What happens when you mix wine and cheese with modern technology, and hand the reins to a bunch of cheery (did someone say tipsy?) wine aficionados? This:
Oh, we had a few technical glitches, and there were some control issues to contend with, but hey - it all worked out in the end. And we had a great deal of fun in the process.
Following on the heels of a very successful Twitter tasting, 'Team MacLean' logged into Google+ for the first-ever Canada-wide live video tasting. As you can see, the conversation was spirited, jovial and veering only slightly off track due to a contagious case of the giggles.
Jackson-Triggs 2007 Entourage Methode Classique Brut - Funny story here. In an effort to be efficient and well-organized, I removed the foil on the bottle and unscrewed the cage ever so slightly so that we could open and pour it quickly during the broadcast. During the "please stand by" period before filming (when we were all starting to get a bit thirsty and hungry) there was a deafening POP as the cork exploded out the top of the bottle, smashed into the ceiling and fell to the floor. Holly, Nita and I all looked at each other in the ensuing silence and burst out laughing. Note to self: unless you're ready to pour your bubbles, DON'T undo the foil and cage! As for the wine, it had that touch of sweetness to it that I like in a sparkler, but finished dry and crisp, its leftover bubbles joyfully popping in my mouth.
Le Clos Jordanne 2009 Village Reserve Pinot Noir - I love this stuff, plain and simple. For those of you who don't believe in 'terroir', I challenge you to try this and still tell me the concept is bogus. The very earth of Niagara issues from the glass, along with subtle cherry notes; the palate is dusty, tannins moderate and well-structured. The finish is elegant.
Flourish 2008 Vidal Icewine - This was a pleasant surprise. I find that many icewines, particularly vidal, tend to have the same flavour profiles: cloying honey/apricot with punch-you-in-the-face florals and a syrupy texture. This one had enough acidity in it to balance out the sweetness, and a slightly tart, grainy finish reminiscent of a Bosc pear.
Out of all the cheeses we tried for both tastings, the Alfred and Avonlea seemed to go best with the wines, while the "Baconator" smoked cheddar fell flat every time. For me, anyway. As we all know, tasting - whether it's wine, cheese, coffee or whatever - is a completely subjective thing. And I'm perfectly comfortable being the odd one out.