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

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Wine Wednesday: Holiday Imbibery

Recovering from the holidays is always such a drag. Bleary-eyed, we woke up Tuesday morning to the obnoxious noise of the alarm clock, heralding the first day back at work. The kids desperately clung to the last vestiges of Christmas, mewing plaintively for one more story, one more ride on the rocking horse, one more look at the tree. The blast of sub-zero windchill didn't help matters, either. What happened to a mild winter?

So to cheer myself up, I'm dedicating the first Wine Wednesday of 2012 to a review of the last two weeks' most memorable quaffs.

Pre-Christmas celebrations started early at work, as my boss brought out a bottle of Chateau de Montgueret Crémant de Loire (France), eliciting a squeal of delight from me and much laughter from my colleagues. Yeast, flint and a hint of flowery perfume on the nose; tight, plentiful bubbles and a mineral finish in a parched-dry mouthful.  We also opened up a Villa Sandi Prosecco (Italy) that would have been better suited for dessert rather than a mid-afternoon quaff: heavy on the candied fruit and juicy watermelon up front; the follow-up was somewhat unbalanced and altogether too sweet for my tastes. 

Our year-ender luncheon was held at the Brasseurs du Temps, a restored timber-and-stone building straddling the Ottawa River and housing its own brewery facilities. I sat back and enjoyed La Framboyante, their raspberry wheat beer (tart fruit, noticeable hops and a sweet pepper finish) and a slice of traditional French-Canadian game pie topped with a chunky house-made ketchup. Loved the atmosphere of the place; this will require a return visit, for sure.

The Fool reappeared for Christmas dinner (more tourtière) and again on Boxing Day, as the whole family squished in around my mother-in-law's dining room table for the requisite turkey / stuffing / taters / peas feast. (That turkey lasted all week, reincarnated into croissanwiches with cranberry sauce and brie, in pot pie and just warmed up on a plate with lots of gravy.)

Trius Brut (Niagara) on New Year's Eve was sweeter and milder than I expected, and quite enjoyable. My favourite chianti, Nipozzano, was poured on lasagna night at my mother-in-law's place, along with a Deen de Bortoli Vat 4 Petit Verdot (Australia) brought by my bro-in-law. The former has a gob of juicy fruit right up front, with the dusty mouthfeel and finish typical to chianti. The latter also started out with elegant fruit characteristics that segued into mild notes of green pepper, with a well-balanced tannin-to-acid ratio and a dry, tight finish.

Now I'll spend the next week coming down off the sugar rush of too many cookies, brownies, frozen cheesecake bites and homemade pie. At least wine is (relatively) low-cal. 

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