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

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Local 'Selebration' with Ontario wines

This Thursday marks Savvy Company's fourth year in the biz, and they're hosting an all-Ontario bash at the NAC that night to celebrate. Regrettably, between mummy duties and other commitments, I won't be able to go. But that doesn't stop me from perusing the list of wineries in attendance and reminiscing.

Creekside was one of the very first places Hubby and I stopped at on our inaugural wine tour in 2002 (back when we just drove along, Wine Route map firmly in hand but completely ignored, as we periodically cried out, "OOOOO! THAT one looks cool! Let's go see it.") The '01 Sauvignon Blanc was my first lesson in vintages. I fell in love with the citrusy zing immediately, and was absolutely heartbroken when we returned the next year to find it wasn't quite the same. (I still think their s.blanc is one of the best outside of New Zealand; there's a bottle of the most recent vintage in my cellar right now.)

Not only did we find the best riesling in Ontario at Cave Spring Cellars, but also one of the best getaway spots in Wine Country: Inn on the Twenty. We still consider the butter-yellow alcoved room our 'honeymoon suite', and have savoured many a decadent meal across the street since then. Their late-harvest Indian Summer Riesling is on my list of top go-to wines; it has the perfect balance of sweetness and edge.

We took an escorted tour aboard a swanky Rolls Royce once (again, on our honeymoon - what a great trip!) that started and ended at Chateau des Charmes. We'd been to three or four other places already that day and were rolling into the parking lot right around closing time, but they managed to squeeze us in. As luck would have it, none other than Paul Bosc Sr. joined us in the tasting room for what ended up being a long, fabulous talk about wine and travel and the years of hard work it took to establish the Chateau and its vineyards. Hubby and I are big fans of the Gamay 'Droit' (thusly named for the arrow-straight stance of its vines) and the Equuleus I tried earlier this year at (yet another) Savvy event was heaven in a glass.

Angels Gate was sparkling in its newness when we first crossed its threshold. The long walk past the Snapping Turtle Pond and up the steps of the gleaming white "mission-style" church at the top of the hill built up a healthy thirst. You could still smell the fresh paint. I loved the smell of their rosé the most. (And it was their suggestion that we go back up 81 to that non-descript house on the right; that's where Daniel Lenko lived. We just *HAD* to try his wine. I'm so glad we took their advice.)

And that's just Niagara. Prince Edward County's Bergeron Wines, Karlo Estates, Sandbanks and The Grange will also be pouring at this Savvy soirée. Sigh ... now I REALLY wish I could go. Hope some of them stick around for the Wine and Food Show Friday afternoon ... crossing my fingers!

Savvy Company Sip, Swirl, Savour and Selebrate: Thursday, November 10, 7 pm, Panorama Room, National Arts Centre, Ottawa

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