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Monday, 14 July 2014

Wine. What is it good for? Absolutely EVERYTHING.

I love wine.  I like the taste, I like the colour, I like the scent (or bouquet if you are really that crazy about wine).  I like the glasses, I like the culture.  I like pictures of wine, I love wine glasses, I love travelling to wineries.  So far I've only been to the Ontario wine regions and Napa & Sonoma valleys in Northern California. 

On the weekend, I ended up at 3 wineries doing a lot of tasting and little buying.  

Our first stop was Trius. We've been to this Ontario winery many times. It was formerly called Hillebrand, and I think is officially Trius, by Hillebrand.  And is owned by the Andrew Peller company.  The same company also offers, Peller, 30 Bench, French Cross and the Gretzky wine.  Same company, but all with different wine makers so all very different wines.  

 If you are fortunate to go with a wine club member, you can enjoy less crowds in the private tasting room.  And if you are REALLY lucky, Kim will be the one helping you with your tastings.  She is very knowledgeable and really fun.  

We started off with some Brut (Canadian Champagne), tried a Reisling (which is a white that is on the sweeter side, great for sipping), and progressed to other whites and reds and ended up with ice wine.  If you are tasting for the first time, or want to host a wine tasting party, always start with sparkling, light whites, and progress to the heavier reds.  If you go backwards, or jump around, you will not enjoy the experience as much, and the flavours won't taste right. 

I was with our friends who were getting engaged later that day (unbeknownst to the future bride, but with full knowledge of the rest in the group), and so we were also interested in possible wedding venues.  Trius used to offer this service but do not any more.  

I purchased a wine called "Showcase Red Shale, Cabernet Franc 2011" after tasting, and enjoying.  A Hillebrand label.  Very full bodied, but not too heavy.  I would for sure eat with a steak, but would also be good with pork.  Wouldn't really drink with poultry.  It is very smooth, and to be honest, also good for just sipping.  Some wines need to be taken with food to improve the taste, but this is enjoyable on it's own.

Next stop was Stratus.  This is a very sleek looking modern winery.  And for those of you interested, they do offer weddings.  But we were told that if you aren't having the reception outside on their beautiful patio, it is inside where all the big vats are, so unless you want rustic, I would advise against it.  If anyone knows that I'm incorrect (since we didn't ask the actual event planner, just the people working the tasting bar), please let me know.

I LOVE ice wine and late harvest wine.  My husband is not a fan.  However Stratus offered a sweet dessert wine called Mosaic, which was only a 4 on the sugar scale.  Some ice wines can be as high as 17, so while sweet, it's not crazy sweet.  It is a white dessert white, so would pair really well with my lemon meringue pie.  Or better yet, Creme Brulee - easy recipe to follow later this week.

Next was Peller Estates.  This is a large facility for tasting and offers lunch and dinner.  Excellent, excellent restaurant.  A little pricey for a lot of people, but well worth it if you can afford it.  I went last Fall when they were offering a fixed price menu which makes it a little more affordable.  Beautiful buildings and surroundings with lots and lots of parking.  The tasting room is often very busy and this weekend was no exception.

Here I bought the 2012 Peller Estates Meritage.  To be perfectly honest, I didn't taste this one.  My husband, had been reading up about it, and the reviews were very good, so purchased a bottle.

The picture at the top of this blog is a Peller Estates Cab Franc Ice wine.  It is to die for.  Having this with chocolate or something like a rich pecan pie would be amazing.  However, it's $90 for a 375 ml bottle, so better go somewhere to taste first. 

I should have made better notes during this wine tasting experience so I could be better at sharing with my blog readers, but was too involved in the actual tasting, and getting distracted by the impending engagement.  Will promise to do better next time.


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