Monday, May 24, 2010

Thanks for the Memories

May 24 weekend, the official start of summer for most Canadians and for me the start of winery touring season. So on a beautiful Friday afternoon, I headed to Inniskillin to do a little tasting. This was my first time visiting Inniskillin and was very excited to taste some wine from this influential and long standing Niagara winery.

Your experience at a winery is shaped by the tasting bar attendant and we were very lucky to have Jon as our tasting guide. He was friendly and knowledgeable, in a non pretentious way- my kind of wine guy. He may have been even friendlier after I mentioned that I write a wine blog, I may be on to something here...

I told Friendly Jon that I don't like Chardonnay. Jon, being a Chardonnay lover, asked me to keep an open mind and to try the 2007 Reserve Select Chardonnay. He laughed when I said it smelled like milk, but did admit that Chardonnay does have a high amount of lactic acid (point for me!) This Chardonnay was the best Chardonnay I have ever had, but I still didn't really like it. I didn't taste the butter, pineapple or baked apple pie that the experts do, but that doesn't mean that they weren't there.

Just as we were thinking about saying good bye to Jon he offered us a wine that he promised would have the "wow" factor. Intrigued, we watched Jon opened a skinny bottle and placed two icewine glasses in front of us.

For those of you reading this blog to gain tidbits of wine knowledge to impress, here is a great one for you. One of the co-founder of Inniskillin, Donald Ziraldo, convinced Riedel that they needed to make an icewine glass and after a few years of naggig it happened! I think it might be the prettiest wine glass out there (see above picture).

As he poured the amber coloured wine into our glass he explained that he doesn't open a 12 year old Riesling Icewine for just anyone. It smelled like caramel and burned wood and tasted like "wow". It lacked the super sweetness that I don't like about icewine and was so full of flavours that my taste buds were confused, in a good way. From caramel to apples to burnt sugar to honey. This was complicated goodness! When I got home and Googled this wine I found a bottle for $170! Well, at least I have the memory...

Thank you Inniskillin and Jon for a great afternoon!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Cure for a Bad Day

Last week, I had a bad day. One of those days where you feel like the world is against you and you find yourself crying on the way home. Then you find yourself angry at yourself for letting the world (or one person) make you cry. I think you all know the kind of day I am talking about, and boy did I have one.

I had been very proud of myself for avoiding my annual Birthday Meltdown. I actually thought that turn 30 had cured me of such irrational behaviour. I should have known better. All it took was a long day at work, cancelled plans and what I perceived as a "dirty look", and I was blubbering in my car as I looked at my life in ruins.

By the time I got home, I had stopped crying, texted my friend to let her know that the meltdown had happened (she had been on standby for the past week) and had a course of action: a chick flick and a bottle of red wine.

After a bad day there is nothing better. I poured myself a glass (or three) of Cave Springs Cabernet Merlot, got my blanket and watched Julia & Julie. The Cab/Merlot was warm and fruity and the movie with cute and funny and suddenly all was well in my world.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Turning 30 is not so Bad when you have Family, Friends and Wine

Last weekend, I turned the big 3-0 and thanks to great family and friends it wasn't as bad as I was anticipating. In fact, I had a great Birthday that filled with the people I love, sangria, delicious food and a pinata.

Just when I was beginning to think that no one was reading my blog, I was surprised again. Just take a look at some of the gifts I received:
  • A set of 4 Riedel stemless wine glasses (I know the giver is a little worried about me using these due to my tendency to break wine glasses. I promise I will be careful Rebecca, and if I do break one...or four, you know it was because I was just having too much fun!)

  • A collectible Lolita wine glass called "30 ish" (I wish it said 20 ish)

  • A Shopper's Drugmart gift card (To buy aspirin for my red wine headaches)

  • Gift certificates for the LCBO (I may surprise everyone and use these to buy vodka)

  • The Wine Bible (This will definitely be useful when I am trying to write pretentious posts. Or maybe I will actually learn something...)

Now for the wine:

  • Cave Spring Cabernet/Merlot 2007

  • Creekside Viognier 2008
  • Fazi Battaglia Titulus 2008 (I am very intrigued by this one, mostly because I have no idea what it is and I can't find it in my Wine Bible!)

  • Moselland Arsvitis Riesling 2004

  • Creekside Pinot Noir Rose 2007

  • Vitae Sangiovese 2007

  • Fat Bastard Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

I love it when other people buy you wine. I have a selection here that for the most part I wouldn't have chosen for myself. I am so excited to try all of these (from from my new Reidel wine glasses) and blog about each. So stay tuned, and the pool is now open to see how long it takes me to break a glass!