Showing posts with label Ontario. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ontario. Show all posts

Monday, August 22, 2022

Canadian Sweetness

Inniskillin bills itself as Canada's original estate winery, founded back in the 1980s. The winery stakes out the breadth of Canada, with locations in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.

The wine we have here is their 2017 Icewine, made from Vidal grapes. Icewine, if you are not familiar with it, is made from grapes which are harvested so late in the season that they are frozen. Nicholas Gizuk is the Winemaker at the Niagara location, and he produces several icewines, Vidal (oaked and unoaked), Riesling, Cabernet Franc and sparkling styles. Alcohol in the Vidal sits at 9.5% abv, while a 375 ml bottle sells for about $50.

This dessert wine has a lovely, rich golden tint. The nose offers candied apricot and honey, while the palate shows that yummy stone fruit and a touch of citrus, along with plenty of acidity.

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Friday, July 8, 2022

Blood Of The Vines - Americana

Pairing‌‌‌ ‌‌‌wine‌‌‌ ‌‌‌with‌‌‌ ‌‌‌movies!‌‌‌ ‌‌‌See‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌hear‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌fascinating‌‌‌ ‌‌‌commentary‌‌‌ ‌‌‌for‌‌‌ ‌‌‌these‌‌‌ ‌‌‌‌‌movies‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌many‌‌‌ ‌‌‌more‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌at‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌From‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Hell.‌‌‌ This week, in lieu of fireworks leaping from these digital pages, we have wine pairings for three films which concern the good ol' U.S. of A.

Paul Newman stars in WUSA, along with Joanne Woodward, Anthony Perkins, Laurence Harvey, Cloris Leachman, Pat Hingle and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. That's a stellar cast, but the critics were not impressed - despite Newman saying it was his most significant film. Of course that was in 1970, well before Slapshot, which gets my vote.

The story revolves around a conservative radio station in New Orleans - we call them right-wing media, now - and its owner's plan to stage a white supremacist rally. There are, as you might expect, bitter personality clashes, gunfire from a catwalk, a change of heart for a cynical host and an antihero who leaves town after all is said and done. 

The movie appeared at a time long before the AM radio dial was co-opted by GOP talking points. One has to wonder, with all the good music on the radio in NOLA in 1970, who was wasting their time on talkers? 

Louisiana's Landry Vineyards has a wine called Bayoutage, but don't worry. It's not made from Louisiana grapes, it hails from Lodi, California. I suppose that's why it's available for shipping. Of course, it could be a right-wing conspiracy.

Coming along in 1975 was Nashville, just a year before the Bicentennial but equipped with enough red, white and blue to get the party started early. The Robert Altman spectacular ran nearly three hours, featured an hour or so of music, starred about half the actors who had a SAG card and spawned a hit record which took the Best Original Song Oscar that year.

Nashville took a satirical look at politics and the country music industry, two fixtures that lend themselves easily to satirical looks. The film got varied reactions from critics - from "superficial" to "brilliant" - and the public wasn't exactly beating a path to the box office, although the movie did rake in enough cash to rank it in the top 30 that year. 

Did Altman's take on politics and country music have enough gravitas to put Jimmy Carter in the White House the following year? Just wondering.

What better pairing could we find than a winery that's a half-hour south of Nashville and co-owned by a country music star? Arrington Vineyards has Kix Brooks on its corporate ledger and offers a nice rosé called Celebration, although the label goes easy on the stars and stripes.

Medium Cool, from 1969, centers its action in 1968 Chicago. With the Democratic National Convention and the associated riots as a backdrop, the film calls TV news on the carpet for dispassionately covering events without a contextual framework. Shot in documentary fashion, the movie originally got an X rating, for language and nudity, but director Haskell Wexler said it was "a political X." Later, the rating was changed to R.

The title of the movie comes from terminology coined by Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian philosopher. Canada's Jackson-Triggs Winery has an estate in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, and their Proprietors' Selection Shiraz is a great choice - unless you'd prefer an icewine for Medium Cool.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Rich, Robust Red Wine From Canada's Niagara Peninsula

The wines of California are what I am usually awash in, so the opportunity to taste wine from Canada doesn’t happen very often for me.  I have my good friend Kevin Johnson to thank for this one.  In a previous life for both of us, Kevin was the best damn music director a radio station ever had, and I don’t say that simply because he sends me wine from his travels in the northern realm.  It is nice to be thought of kindly, and I think of Kevin that way very often.

When I think of Canadian wine, I think of icewine - even though I know there is more to it than that.  This is a table wine from Niagara-on-the-Lake, a beautiful place I visited once and would love to see again.  The wine is the Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Reserve Rich and Robust Red VQA Niagara Peninsula 2012.

Even in that lengthy monicker, the term "VQA" does rather jump out.  What does “VQA” mean?  It stands for “Vintners Quality Alliance,” and is a regulatory and appellation system similar to France’s AOC or Italy’s DOC.  Further sub-appellations allow for the different terroirs of Canada to be more specifically identified.  Jackson-Triggs Winery is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, within the Niagara Peninsula - Canada’s largest wine appellation.

The Jackson-Triggs name is a blend of the winery founders’ names, Allan Jackson and Don Triggs.  They established the winery in 1993.  Winemaker Marco Piccoli has worked in Italy, Germany and Argentina, and claims to infuse a bit of himself in each of his wines.

The Jackson-Triggs Rich and Robust Red is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.  On the Jackson-Triggs website, an explanation is given that the winery makes both Syrah and Shiraz.  The distinction comes down to New World vs Old World, with Shiraz being the version with the bigger, bolder fruit-forward experience.

The fruit for this wine is from the Delaine Vineyard, in the heart of the Niagara Peninsula.  Oak aging is carried out over six months in French and American oak barrels.  Alcohol is restrained, at 13.5% abv and the wine retails for $14.

The dark wine has a medium feel in the mouth, with prickly tannins.  A nose of blackberry and cassis jumps from the glass, while on the palate the fruit is forward as well.  Notes of dark berries and black pepper are graced with a touch of vanilla oak.  The finish is rather tart, with a peppery flavor lingering.  Ultimately, this red blend does not taste like world class wine, but it does deliver enough to keep afloat the expectations of a Cab/Syrah blend for under $15.

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