Ontario Wine Tasting: Two Events in One Day

On March 2, 2020, I attended the Taste Ontario event held at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. The wine booths were set up in the stunning ballroom that features an 18 foot ceiling and beautiful crystal chandeliers.

During that evening, a friend and I went to the Savvy Company wine event. It was an Ontario wine centric kind of day, only a short few weeks ago when large groups of people could still be in the same room and no one seemed preoccupied with COVID-19.

Wineries and shops are heavily affected by the outbreak. The vast majority of the wineries listed here are currently offering  a free shipping promotion.  Please support local wineries to keep these businesses thriving and to help our overall economy.

Here’s a glimpse of the wine sampled:
Creekside The Backyard Sauvignon Blanc Bubbly 2018
VQA Creek Shores
Cost:$25.00

Review: Made in the Charmat method to let the wine be the expression of the grape, this Sparkling Wine was successful at keeping all of the Sauvignon Blanc characteristics. Herbal notes on the nose with aromas of freshly mowed lawn and chives as well as hints of petrol. Lime on the palate with a slight sharp finish, this was a fun wine to drink.

Wine-Food Pairing: Herbed fish, seafood sautéed with chives, deep fried zucchini or asparagus.

13th Street Gamay Blanc de Noir 2017
VQA Creek Shores
Cost: $34.95

Review: Made in the traditional method, this is a no dosage, super dry, crisp, tart and easy to drink bubbly that spent 12 months on its lees. Aromas of red field berries, fresh bread, hazelnut, and hints of spearmint. Delicate red berries and citrus notes on the palate.

Wine-Food Pairing: Enjoy with fish, a fresh summer salad, or on its own.

2027 Cellars Edgerock Vineyard Brut Rosé 2016
VQA Twenty Mile Bench
Cost: No retail price listed

Review: Made in the traditional method, this bubbly spent 30 months on its lees. Aromas of red field berries, fresh baguette, and mineral notes. The palate follows the nose along with citrus notes. The acidity is well balanced and the mouthfeel is pleasant.

Wine-Food Pairing: Enjoy with a summer field salad or with seafood.

Meldville Pinot Noir 2017
VQA Niagara Peninsula
Cost: $27.00

Always a pleasure to speak with winemaker Derek Barnett. He’s a bon vivant with great energy and his wine is delicious!

Review: A medium bodied Pinot Noir with aromas of plum, black cherry, ripe raspberry, violet, baking spices, hints of chocolate, and vanilla bean.

Silky on the palate with tart plum and sour cherry flavours. Cedar and baking spices seeping through.

Wine-Food Pairing: I bought a couple of bottles for the house. This wine is versatile. I enjoyed a glass with a cheese burger. Try with duck, pork, roasted Portobello mushrooms, or bison burger. Also excellent on its own.

Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir 2016
VQA Twenty Mile Bench
Cost: $34.95

Review: I love this wine! A fuller-bodied type of Pinot Noir with aromas of plum, red berries, cedar after the rain, dried eucalyptus leaves, and earthy notes. Tart plum and red berry flavours follow through on the palate. The tannins are velvety and well integrated. The overall product is nicely balanced and pleasant.

Wine-Food Pairing: Pair with roasted duck, turkey, or pork chops.

Sue-Ann Staff Chestnut Tree Cabernet Franc 2017
VQA Niagara Peninsula
Cost: $39.95

I cannot say enough about this winery. Year after year, they produce great wine. It was nice chatting with Sue-Ann Staff. She’s a natural storyteller. The stories behind the names of her wine are so interesting that I’d love for her to publish a book about it. To find out the story behind this one, see the 2016 review.

Review: The Cabernet Franc 2017 does not disappoint in the least. Aromas of ripe blueberry and red field berries, forest floor, wet wood chips, hints of cocoa and potpourri. Full-bodied with nice acidity on the palate and dark berry and plum flavours. It’s delicious!

Wine-Food Pairing: Pot roast with hearty vegetables. Roasted eggplant parmesan.

Hidden Bench Estate Terroir Caché 2016
VQA Beamsville Bench
Cost: 44.95

Review: A full-bodied Red with dark berry aromas, potpourri, dried eucalyptus, cedar, and hints of savory roast beef. Moderate tannins on the palate with plum flavours and notes of cedar and subtle chocolate. Keep in the cellar for a few years or decant before serving.

Wine-Food Pairing: Pair with red meat. I’d love to try it with herbed-crusted prime rib.

Until the outbreak is over, I will be enjoying lots of Ontario wine and supporting local businesses. I recently purchased the Ontario bottles pictured above through Savvy Company. I will also be buying from local wineries.

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