Taste Ontario

Sandwiched in between all these Project FiftyBrew excursions Nellie and I found ourselves on a wine mission last week: the Taste Ontario event at the Art Gallery of Ontario. It was three hours in which to sample a few wines from more than 30 of Ontario’s producers.

By the time we arrived the crowd was at full throng, making my tasting experience somewhat more claustrophobic than I’m used to. Luckily there was food…piles and piles of food. We filled our plates with meats and veggies and sausages (mostly sausages), and didn’t even make it over to whatever risotto they had cooking, and whatever was making that lobster smell (lobster risotto??) as it was too crowded. Anyway, we were there to sip wine, not eat.

We’d already planned out what we were going to do (of course we did!): in the limited time we would ignore the wineries we knew and loved (Fielding, Hidden Bench, Tawse, Southbrook, Stratus) as well as the wineries who’ve just never impressed us (e.g., Jackson-Triggs, Colio, Angel’s Gate) and those which offend our snob sensibilities (Wayne Gretzky, Mike Weir). This was our chance to try something new. It was also a good chance to try some wines from Prince Edward County, which we’d not had much exposure to yet.

Our favourites on the night were:

  • Château Des Charmes Old Vines Riesling 2007 and Equuleus 2007
  • Creekside Estate Laura Red 2007
  • Konzelmann Late Harvest Gewurztraminer 2008 and Reserve Pinot Grigio 2009
  • Megalomaniac Cabernet Franc 2007 (surprising, since I didn’t like anything I tried at the winery)
  • Reif Estate Gewürztraminer 2008
  • Norman Hardie County Pinot Noir 2008
  • Closson Chase S. Kocsis Vineyard Chardonnay 2007 and South Clos Chardonnay 2008

Nellie also liked the Reif Estate Silver Meritage 2007, the Malivoire Musqué 2009 and the Grange Of Prince Edward Sparkling Brut 2007, but none were really my thing.

We ordered a bunch of those, and planned to buy a few more in the LCBO when they hit the shelves.

All in all, a pretty enjoyable event. We eventually ran out of a) wine to try, and b) patience the crowds, and decided to get a proper meal. We stopped at reds on the way home, pleaded with the sommelier to let us have the Norm Hardie County Pinot by the glass (no dice) and got some advice on a New Zealand side trip when we visit Australia next year.

Right, that’s done. Back to beer then.

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