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

Monday, November 08, 2010

Hand in hand, like hockey and fondue

Uh, how's that go again?

As part of the $100 Challenge, I wanted to try a local wine that I'd written off when it first came out. See, I have (wrongly, so it seems) assumed that wines sporting the names of big-shot celebrities must be all about novelty and less about quality. I've poo-pooed the Weirs, Akroyds and Gretzkys for a while, blindly judging them for their covers. For shame! What kind of a sommelier am I, anyway?

So the Challenge gave me a good excuse to give one of them a try: Wayne Gretzky Estates No. 99 2007 Merlot. Just under $16 a bottle, it's light, fruity and friendly, with low tannins and all kinds of food matching potential. I poured a cupful in with the fixins for beef fondue on Sunday night, based on a recipe from a fellow Ottawa blogger over at Rachelle Eats Food. While the havarti trick didn't quite work out with the rolled-up slices of sirloin, overall, the meal was a delicious success. And the remaining broth made for some kick-ass French onion soup tonight.

This Hockey Hall of Famer wine would also make for a nice alternative to beer while watching the game. Or at least for toasting another loss by the Leafs. (Yeah, I went there ...)


  1. Darn. No "Like" button on this.

    I've been skeptical of the celebrity wines as well. Sounds like I'm not missing out on this particular one.

  2. How did I miss this? Now I have a craving for beef fondue.


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