Let us take a moment of silence to mark the end of a glorious two weeks of vacation. It was a brief staycation, cut short by my employer’s requirement that I actually return to work. Total buzzkill. This time off will be sorely missed. But it’s time to get back to saving the world, one translation at a time [translator’s note: this may be a gross exaggeration].
Besides being a request for your positive thoughts as I prepare to head back to work, this post seems like an opportune moment to share a few great wines that I’ve had the pleasure of drinking over the past little while. Here they are, in no particular order whatsoever:
Lamoureaux Landing Cabernet Franc 2011
Lamoureaux Landing is a great little winery in the Finger Lakes, NY that we discovered during a weekend of wine tasting last year. This winery prides itself on its sustainable wine practices. Cool-climate reds are not usually my favourite, as they tend to be lighter bodied, whereas I prefer my reds in the medium-to-full bodied range. But this is a nice medium-bodied red that has beautifully mellow yet complex flavours that would pair nicely with most foods. This bottle of 2011 was opened 5 years later, and was a lovely garnet colour. It tasted of black cherry, cedar, leather, sweet spice, smoke and a hint of earthiness. And despite being a cool-climate cabernet franc, it didn’t have the telltale vegetal (or in my mind, green apple mentos) notes that most have, which is probably why I bought it in the first place! If you’re ever in the Finger Lakes, would you mind grabbing me another couple of bottles? Also, we really need to ease up on our cross-border liquor allowances. Two bottles per person is not enough!
By the by, if you are ever in upstate New York, I highly recommend doing a weekend in the Finger Lakes. The area is chock full of wineries (nearly 100 of them), breweries, distilleries (Finger Lakes Distilling makes great cassis), a cheese trail (!!), restaurants and great B&Bs.
We stayed at the Barrister’s Bed and Breakfast in Seneca Falls, which was a real treat—beautiful rooms, HUGE breakfast and generous hosts. I would stay there again in a heartbeat. And if you’re looking for places to eat, try lunch at The Wienery in Dundee and dinner at Moro’s Table in Auburn.
I discovered this wine at the Savvy Company‘s Outstanding in their Fields event last fall, which showcased wines from across Ontario. Southbrook is Canada’s first biodynamic winery, meaning that, among many other things, all required materials such as manure and animal feed are produced from within the farm. It’s not easy for cool-climate wineries to obtain this designation, so that makes this one stand out even more. And boy do their wines ever taste good! This particular wine is called “Wild Ferment” because it uses naturally occurring wild yeast in the fermentation, which gives it an exciting flavour that isn’t at all run-of-the-mill. It is a beautiful golden yellow with incredibly unique aromas of vanilla, cinnamon, candied pineapple, pear, clove, banana yogurt, caramel and butter. Sounds delicious, right? It’s very rare that I spend $35 on a bottle of wine, but a two-sip tasting of this one just wasn’t enough, so I bought a couple of bottles, which are sadly now gone. This was a limited run, so as you can imagine, it sold out pretty quickly. But perhaps this is hope for another vintage? Have I mentioned that a trip to Niagara is in order?
I know, I know, this is a wine blog. But you may recall me mentioning that I was taking a beer course. This had me drinking beer for educational purposes, and while I really enjoyed discovering the craft brewing scene here in Ottawa, I realized I just don’t enjoy beer as much as I love drinking wine. I think it may have to do with the fact that I cannot burp for the life of me. Do not roll your eyes at me! I am told it runs in the family (particularly the prim and proper Scottish side of the family). Luckily, the beer course is now over and I am back to drinking wine on a full-time basis. However, this IPA from Victoria, BC was one of the only beers I tasted in the course that I went looking for at the LCBO afterwards. I think this is what you’d call “expanding your horizons”. This is a pretty hoppy beer, so if you’re not a hops fan, this beer may not be for you. However, if you like beers with hops that contribute aromas and flavours like tropical fruit (think mango and passion fruit), grapefruit and a bit of stone fruit, then you may want to pick this guy up from the LCBO ($6/650 mL bottle). It’s a great summer beer, which coming from me is a huge compliment.
Just to balance things out after a red, a white and a beer, obviously a rosé is next!
This is not the type of rosé I usually go for. Unlike my favoured dry rosés, this one is classified as medium on the LCBO sweetness scale, but I didn’t find it cloying at all due to the equally high acidity, making for a well-balanced wine. The riesling is apparent on the nose (90% riesling and 10% cab franc) and it tastes of red delicious apple, pear, lemon, peach, raspberry, cherry, roses and hibiscus. This wine is fun and delectable, and at $14.95, it’s a great way to start an evening with the girls. Also, it pairs really nicely with pan-fried tilapia!
What do you like to drink on vacation? Any preferred reds/whites/rosés/beers?
Wish me luck for tomorrow!