Hi, I’m Diane!
First and foremost, it’s always been so crucial for me to shine a spotlight on local beverages, especially the ones not found on the shelves of the LCBO. I enjoy a glass of wine now and then, 😉 especially on the weekend when I’m looking to wind down or with a good meal. Over the past several years, I’ve tried to narrow down my favourite styles of sparkling, rosés, whites, reds and ciders, and while I’m still learning and exploring other options, I’ve found a handful of excellent wines; that I truly enjoy!
I hope you will find some starting ideas here as wine can be intimidating and expensive to start exploring whether you’re new to drinking wine or unsure what sort of wine to offer as a housewarming present, for example.
Okay, I love sparkling wine! Honestly, what other beverage are you drinking that you can use weird objects to open? People have used a stapler, trophy, chef’s knife, and the actual sabre! There is no other beverage with a more fantastic manner to open it. The fact that you can Sabre a bottle is reason enough to like Sparkling. How does it work? The person attempting to open the bottle glides the “sabre” down the bottle’s body, removing the top of the neck; if done correctly, the neck of the bottle is left open while the power of the blade striking the lip separates the collar from the neck of the bottle.
One of my standouts is bright, crisp and perfect for time with your besties, this vino comes with notes of lemon curd, biscuits and baked apples and is a guaranteed winner, and it comes from a talented female producer – Lydia Tomak. Check it out here if you love sparkling wine: N/V Ravine Brut.
For me, no other wine embodies the joie de vivre like a ridiculously good sustainable rosé. Maybe Vadim Chelekov and his team at Kacaba Vineyards Winery, located on the prime benchland of The Niagara Escarpment in Vineland, Ontario, are putting a bit too much love and attention into their wines. I’m certainly not complaining, but rosè with this sort of work involved? I’m talking sustainable farming, hand-harvesting, natural ferments and even vegan friendly. It’s a bit ridiculous. And what’s in the bottle? Outstanding wine. 100% Gamay, crafted into a delicate pink wine that expresses candied strawberries, red currant and cranberry, leads to a dry finish. Thank you, Vadim! If you’re looking to enjoy a few sips and be reminded that this is what rosé is all about pleasure and simplicity.
I adore white wine for a variety of reasons. But, one of the main reasons I have a passion for white wine is that I associate it with a particular fun time in my life, and there, my wine love affair began with one delicious bottle of wine. While on a four-day wine adventure in the Okanagan in 2010 for my mom’s 60th birthday, one restaurant associate recommended a wine that would forever change my life. One sip of that Chardonnay blew me away. By the end of that first glass, I knew how I wanted to spend every moment of my spare time – finding that next great bottle of white wine. 2019 was a winemaker’s dream. Just enough rain and long, sunny autumn. Perfect for those slow-ripening cool climate grapes.
My recommendation is this Chardonnay that rested in both French & American for 16 months, built texture and complexity, resulting in a delicious wine rich, creamy texture with aromas of stone fruit & a touch of minerality.
Aside from knowing a plethora of grape varieties from all over the world, there’s one in particular that continues to captivate my curiosity due to its depth, complexity, and food pairing potential – and that’s Pinot Noir. A well-balanced pinot noir should seduce you aromatically, enter elegantly onto your palate, and leave you with a lengthy, exquisite finish. It’s simple to love and respect wine, but if pinot noir hasn’t been a part of your wine-loving life, I hope you’ll reconsider. It’s a highly sought-after grape that’s grown all over the world, and it’s a particularly excellent one. It’s almost chameleon-like in its ability to assume the terroir of its surroundings and put those scents, tastes, and textures on full show in each sniff and sip. Pinot noir belongs in every wine lover’s cellar, cabinet, or glass. Many of them are fine, but only a few are outstanding.
Without question, the world sees a Craft Cider revolution, and Canada is no exception. As a person who prefers cider over beer any day of the week, it’s great to see the ever-increasing homegrown varieties popping up. While cider is a beautiful adult indulgence all year round, fall is my favourite time of year to enjoy it. There’s something about the combination of sweater weather, delicious apple cider, and the smell of spice in the air that screams fall in Ontario; June is officially Ontario Craft Cider Month. Here is one that will be sure to have you singing O’ Canada.
Don’t hesitate to try any of my favourite selections mentioned because there’s just no going wrong.
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