Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment. Cheers! - Bethany

Monday, May 15, 2017

Wineau Abroad: Wines from Afar

A few notes on some of the selections my globe-trotting Hubby has brought back for me (us) to enjoy ...

Weingut Familie Pitnauer 2015 Bienenfresser Zweigelt Reserve (Göttlesbrunn, Austria) - "Bienenfresser" is the German name for the European bee-eater, a small, colourful, swallow-like bird, as depicted on the label. Wild nose of cloves, raspberries and a hint of green pepper. Medium-bodied with fairly high acid and tannin levels. The wild fruit carries along the palate, accompanied by smoked meat and peppercorn. The finish, while dry texture-wise, explodes with jammy fruit flavours.

Weingut Okonomierat Rebholz 2015 Riesling Troken (Pfalz, Germany) - Brilliant gold with pale green highlights. Nose and palate tangy with green apple, petrol and lime zest. High acid, bordering on effervescent. Sharp and slightly metallic on the finish, with the fruit coming up a bit short. Biz trip to Berlin, Germany, 2016.

(PS, quick lesson on how to read a German wine label : Ă–konomierat = an honour awarded to a deserving agriculturalist; weingut = vineyard property; Pfalz = wine region in Germany; Rebholz = family name of proprietor.)

Cave St-Pierre 2012 Johannisberg de Chamoson (Valais, Switzerland) - Also known as sylvaner, this wine glows with a deep gold colour tinged with a lime-green edge. Redolent with talcum powder, mango, papaya and fresh honey, and a viscous, creamy texture that coats the palate. Best with food, begs for fondue/raclette.

Celliers de Meknes Chateau Roslane 2013 Premier Cru Les Coteaux de l'Atlas (El Hajeb, Morocco) - This was a fantastic find, something that would definitely be worth ordering a case of, if I can find the Canadian distributor. In the glass, a regal garnet/plum colour that is slightly brickish. Overwhelming nose of jam, cherries, cedar, rosemary and pepper, followed by a light-to-medium body and mid-range acid/tannin balance. The exotic spice mix gets some cinnamon added to it, and the tangy fruit rounds out the finish.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

It's Been Too Long

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. Sometimes it hits you with a one-two sucker punch to the gut. Or a bullet to the head.

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Be kind, everyone. Every person you meet is a human being, no matter where they come from, no matter what they look like on the outside.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Curse the Moon, Love the Wine

It was the Gold Rush, in small-town Osoyoos, set within spitting distance of the United States border. Smugglers, under the cover of night, bolted through the undergrowth, desperate to evade customs agents. And that moon, that cursed moon, shone full and bright.

Those who were caught swore it was all the moon's fault for foiling their well-laid plans.

They became known as moon cursers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Wordless (Wine) Wednesday: Okanagan

There is no shortage of beauty in the Okanagan. Breathtaking, heart-swelling, silent, awesome and indescribable views so magnificent that even pictures can't do it justice. But I'll try.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Hatch: It's ALL the things

A group of black swifts is not called a flock, it's called a frenzy. Swifts lay a single egg in their clutch, nest in inhospitable cliff outcroppings exposed to the elements, and only eat specific kinds of bugs. No wonder the silly things are endangered.

Such a quirky species seems a fitting mascot for West Kelowna's The Hatch winery. Where Mission Hill is the epitome of the traditional winery-slash-museum, The Hatch is cheeky, eccentric and homey. From the circular links on its website and funky labels envisioned by artist Paul Morstad, to the raucous frenzy of 'Hatchlings' working behind the tasting bar and in the cellar, The Hatch remains unapologetic in its irreverence.
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