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

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Arrivederci Violi's

We pulled up to the border, rolled down the windows and handed over our passports.
The guard ran them through the computer, looking us over with a critical eye.

"Where ya'll from?"
"Cornwall."
"Where ya'll going?"
"To Violi's, for dinner."

A smile of fond recollection flitted across the guard's face.

"For the last time," my dad said.

The smile dropped. "What's that, now? They're closing?"

"Yup. End of the month."

He hands back the passports with a sigh and waves us through. "Ya'll have a good evening now ..."

Clearly I'm not the only one with a heavy heart over Violi's closing for good this weekend. Even the border guards know it, whether they've been there themselves or from waving through visitors who have nothing more to declare than a Styrofoam box filled with half-eaten cheesecake and a full belly.


Monday, September 01, 2014

TGCWC: A Year of Drinking Locally

So, three hundred and sixty-five days have come to an end. A full year of Canadian wine. Time to take a quick look back ...


Friday, July 18, 2014

Winemaker's Boots: Work, then Play


In addition to hanging out with John and Sasha during my last visit to the County, I did a quick tour of its southern tip, getting delightfully lost and off-track in the process, but still finding my way to a few wineries I had yet to visit.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

In the Winemaker's Boots

My boots are pink. Pink-and-purple paisley, to be precise. Fairly flimsy rubber things that haven't seen more action than the odd puddle jump with the kids or a hasty walk from the parking lot in the pouring rain.

John Squair's boots are colour-of-earth, a dusty greyish-brown streaked with muddy high-water marks and purple splotches of grape juice. His boots have trudged through rows of vineyards, from their infancy to budbreak to harvest, year after year. His boots have steel toes and mean business.

They're big boots to fill. I'll try to do my best to keep up.

Last year, when John and Sasha Squair launched an online campaign to build Three Dog Wine, I didn't think twice about getting on board. That was my birthday gift: support a local winemaker, and as a perk, get to spend the day working with him.

That day came bright and sunny, and I arrived at their door in my pretty pink boots. Sasha gave me a wave and a smile. "John's not here yet," she said. "But he said you could get started with that," and nodded over to a worn-out pickup truck balancing on a jack, with one wheel missing. 

Um ...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Rosé part deux, with Rocky et al

Kids and pets. Both noisy, messy, smelly, demanding, moody, clingy, expensive. Yet they both exude a limitless, unconditional love (usually with equal amounts of drooling.) I speak the truth because I've had both.

I don't have any critters other than my two children right now, so I very much enjoy visiting those who have "children" of the furred-and-feathered kind. Which is why I was tickled by the latest rosé tasting at Eva's house. For you see, Eva has a menagerie.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Oh Canada!

The nation turned 147 years old today, but us Canadian wine fans have been partying it up for a few days now.


June 28 was the second annual Canadian Wine Day, the anniversary of Bill C-311, which brought an end to Prohibition-era restrictions on the inter-provincial movement of wine. Notwithstanding some provinces still balking at the idea (without actually having a legal leg to stand on) we celebrated with plenty of samples from coast to coast.
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