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 or drop me a line. Cheers! - Bethany

Sunday, June 28, 2015

#CDNWineDay: Backroads and Downpours in the County

Not even a two-day deluge could keep me from a Canadian Wine Day weekend in the County. And let me tell you, it RAINED. And then it rained some more. And then more on top of that. You'd figure rain would mean a lack of tourists, right? On the contrary, rainy days send the crowds to the tasting rooms en masse. I mean, what else are you going to do when your beach plans at Sandbanks are waterlogged? Go drinking, of course!
Clockwise from top L: affogato at Drake Devonshire; the Golden Grape; dessert at The Hubb;
Terra Cello Winery; Traynor Vineyards; Red Tail Vineyards

Monday, June 15, 2015

'Hoppy' Craft Beer Week, everyone!

It's Ontario Craft Beer week! Not that you really need an excuse to try out the wide range of hoppy beverages made by passionate local brewmeisters, but this is a good one.

We've had a good year so far when it comes to beer. I signed Hubby up for the Savvy HipHops beer-of-the-month club last Christmas (aren't I a good wife?) Every month since the early weeks of snow-bound January, we've been treated to brews from all over the province: ales and IPAs, porters and stouts, gruits and saisons, and one-offs done with everything from peppermint to cocoa nibs. It's been a bonus learning experience for me, and an eye-opener to styles I never thought I'd enjoy.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Hubby Speaks! A Taste of Alan Doyle and City Winery NYC

A few times a year, Hubby gets sent off on business somewhere in the world (while yours truly pulls Single Mom Detail ™ at home). In between never-ending meetings, chats with bigwigs and the like, he ventures out to discover something new about where he is. This is his latest adventure ...

On a recent trip to New York, I made my way over to the trendy SOHO/West Village neighbourhood to visit City Winery NYC, the only fully functioning winery in Manhattan. It also doubles as a restaurant and live music venue. That night’s featured performer was Alan Doyle, former frontman of Great Big Sea, who was touring to promote his recently released solo album So Let's Go. I figured this was as good a place as any to have a full-fledged “New York moment” complete with celebrity cameos, strangers that become part of a one-night entourage, and a bone-deep contentment brought about by great food, great wine and great music.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


May was a long month. I ain't gonna lie.

Just in case you were wondering where I've been ... Hubby was in New York for a marathon session at the UN. From the end of April until just last weekend. A month. Me and the kiddies. Single Mom Detail™ of epic proportions.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Everything But The Chard

The California Wine Show was in Ottawa on its annual tour this week. This time around, I carefully studied and plotted a route on my map, checked the map against the list in the catalogue, checked the list against the layout at the door. Because this time I had a plan and I was sticking to it.

Whites. Everything but Chardonnay. (Ok, so I tried *one* Chardonnay, but it was so lively, zesty and fun it hardly qualifies in the same league as the over-oaked cedar boxes that usually dominate the market.)

And if I had time for reds, anything but cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir.  So what else does Cali do other than the Big Three? Here's what:

Thursday, April 09, 2015

County (at the top of) the Capital

Hang on, lemme wait until the room stops spinning ...

Wait. It's still spinning. WTF?

I was driving that night, so I knew that uncomfortable sense of vertigo wasn't from the wine. It was from the room itself - the revolving Summit Room atop Ottawa's Marriott Hotel.

I'm sure in its heyday revolving rooms were the thing, but it wasn't quite my thing. One minute I was standing perfectly straight (and sober); the next, I had lurched over sideways, spilling some of my wine in the process. I looked like a drunk. Except I wasn't! Really! (Well, this time at least ...)
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