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

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

WBC15: In the Defence of Hybrids


In the middle of a Q&A period on the soils and grape varieties of the Finger Lakes, a voice piped up out of the crowd:

"Can you tell me about hybrids? Why are they such crappy grapes?"

As one tweeter put it: Ouch.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

WBC15: the Wine Bloggers Conference in 17 Words


In her opening address to WBC15 participants, Karen MacNeil passed on a bit of advice given to her when she was the wine and food editor of USA Today: "If you know your stuff, you should be able to explain it in 17 words."

So here is my recap of the 2015 Wine Bloggers Conference in 17 words (more or less ...)

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Review: Thirsty for more at Soif


Everything at Soif is corked.

No, no, not the WINE. The wine and the food (OMG) are fantastic. I'm talking about the walls. The floors. Some of the tables, parts of the bar, pieces of artwork. All made of cork. A startling revelation as you walk in the door; this is, indeed, a one-of-a-kind place.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Following "The Dream" at Broken Stone

Winemaking is about passion. It has to be. If you're in it for the money or the fame, then you're in the wrong business.

Tim Kuepfer, of Broken Stone Winery, gets that.

And when you taste his wine, that passion shines through.

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.
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