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, September 08, 2013

Canadian Wine Challenge - Week 1

Really, is it that hard? To drink Canadian wine for a whole year? Pfft.

(Of course, now that I've said that, some existential non-Canadian wine crisis will rear its head in the coming weeks ... zoiks.)

I've started off on the right foot, stocking the cellar with everything red, white and sparkling - even a few sweet wines in there. I've got selections from Jost Vineyards on their way, and just picked up a half-case of homegrown hybrids grown a mere 45 minutes south-west of Ottawa, at Smokie Ridge. (Keep an eye out for a full review of that marvellous afternoon ...)

The first week had an unintentional side-challenge of "let's see how long a bottle of wine can last". That's unheard of around here - what do you mean, leftover wine? But the Lailey 2010 Cabernet Franc (Niagara) we opened to celebrate the first day of the challenge held on nicely till Wednesday when we finished it off. Silky-smooth, tannins softened around the edges, plums and blackberries and a velvety finish. Suffice to say, I am SO glad we have another two bottles downstairs of that heavenly red.

Even an office party couldn't keep me from quaffing Canadian, especially when it was a Sandbanks 2011 Rosé (Prince Edward County) Just the slightest hint of off-dry character with bright strawberry-rhubarb-pie juiciness to it. Great for an afternoon tipple.

Also got to try a Dan Aykroyd Discovery Series 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (Niagara, supplied by Diamond Estates). Cantaloupe, floral notes and sweet lemon up front, with medium weight, muted tropical fruit and zest on the follow-through. The finish was a bit watered-down, though.

To top the first week, one of my most treasured Calamus 2011 Pinot Gris (Niagara) was served up with Hubby's world-famous spaghetti carbonara over the weekend. The soft orange-y-pinkish tinge to it is always a thrill; the slippery body and complete spectrum of tropical flavours and aromas make it a fave PG of mine. (Darn well better be, after waiting SEVEN MONTHS to get it via the LCBO. Word up: order direct!)

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