One last time before I go

Friends!

It has been quite a whirlwind since my last post, which seems like a lifetime ago. The last four weeks have included my last day of work, packing up the entire house, last-minute arrangements for the logistics of life and home ownership in our absence, trying to fit everything I need into a carry-on bag (yes, we are going to do 2 months in Europe with only carry-on), many teary goodbyes with loved ones, and not surprisingly, lots of wine. The last few months have been characterized by the toilet paper roll effect. When we first started planning this trip four years ago, it seemed like a lifetime away. But as the day came closer, it started to come faster and faster, like the end of a toilet paper roll. Now D-Day is already tomorrow. How crazy is that?!

So this post is just a quickie before I go, written at the Toronto airport, because I have had the pleasure of drinking some fabulous wines in the past four weeks.

Nyarai Cellars Pinot Gris 2016

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Nyarai Cellars 2016 Pinot Gris

The Alsatian-style pinot gris is a new varietal for Niagara’s Nyarai Cellars, whose viognier and Cadence red blend have already been featured on Wining with Mel. This is a wonderfully light wine that is perfect for summer, with notes of yellow apple, cantaloupe, lemon, straw, minerality from stainless steel fermenting, and white flower. These flavours, along with its mouth-watering acidity, make it an excellent food wine. Try pairing with white fish or light shellfish dishes. I tasted this in a friend’s backyard, with grilled pork and baked apple, which was a winning combination! This pinot gris will be released on the Nyarai website next week, on August 3, 2017 for $20.95. Only 103 cases were produced, so don’t dilly-dally on this one.

And in case you were wondering, pinot gris is the same grape as pinot grigio, just in a different language 😉

KIN Vineyards Pinot Noir 2015

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2015 pinot noir at the KIN Vineyards tasting room in Carp. Duane Faris Photography

I know, I know, I just talked about KIN Vineyards in the last post. But when you have a high-quality wine producer practically in your backyard, it’s normal to gush about it. We’d had a bottle of the 2015 pinot noir in our cellar since our visit last fall. And since we were leaving for a year, it was time to drain the cellars! This pinot has evolved quite nicely since we first tasted it last year. It is a beautiful light ruby red colour, with aromas of smoke, baking spice, cassis and cherry. This medium-bodied beaut is high in acidity and low in tannins, making for yet another perfect food wine. Pair this with anything and everything, from salmon to mushroom risotto to lasagna.

Aurelio Setimo Barolo 2008

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Hands off my barolo!

This was the last bottle in the cellar, which we saved for our last night in our house, to go with the delicious steak dinner seen above. The wine was a gorgeous dark garnet colour. Going on nine years, it surprisingly still had lots of structure and character, with tannins and acidity still going strong – perfect for steak. I loved the prominent notes of fig and baking spice, as well as black cherry, wood, and forest floor, so typical of the Piedmont region in northern Italy. This 2008 still could have sat in the cellar a while longer. Impressive!

Catarina Bacalhoa 2016

As a tip of the hat to being in Portugal in about 8 hours (!!), I figured a Portuguese wine was in order. A co-worker was kind enough to share this chardonnay blend with us to celebrate my last day of work. Super floral, with aromas of apricot, tangerine, orange blossom, this is a beautiful high-acidity wine to drink on its own on a hot day in Lisbon (so tomorrow for some of us) or with pork or fish dishes. For those of you not in Portugal, check the SAQ for this excellent value wine ($13.30!!).

Well folks, our flight is boarding, so I have to sign off *quickly*. It may be radio silence for a while, but stay tuned for Wining with Mel, European edition.

In the meantime, happy wining!