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Ferment to Be Together
With Cupid’s arrow ready to strike in a few days, the theme of this issue is love. My love of natural wine started at Treadwell in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario in October 2017 at a dinner where I was introduced to Pearl Morissette (that Sputnik Riesling!). Since then I have been learning about natural and low intervention wine and the producers, importers, educators, and bottle shops behind them. Which eventually led me here, wanting to share articles, posts, and info about natural wine with you (yes, you!). So, thank you for reading and I choo-choo-choose you and our shared love of wine this Valentine’s Day. 😘
Pretty in Pink
It might seem countervintuitive to drink rosé in the winter but wine knows no seasons, polar vortexes be damned! There are many to choose from but to name a few that recently caught mine eye: Bobinet Piak! Rose (1) a Cabernet Franc, Pineau d’Aunis and Chenin Blanc blend made in the Loire Valley, France; Las Jaras Superbloom (2) a co-ferment of red and white Rhône varieties made by comedian-turned-winemaker Eric Wareheimin in Sebastopol, California; Vin de La Gamba Frauenpower Rosé (3) a lightly sparkling blend of Dornfelder, Riesling and Siegerrebe made in the Rheinhessen region of Germany (make sure it is verrrry cold and open verrrry slowly due to built up pressure). These next two were found in the LCBO Destinations Collection: Aphros PAN Sparkling Rose (4) by biodynamic producer Aphros in Vinho Verde, Portugal; and Theopetra Estate Xinomavro (5) made from a red grape variety indigenous to Greece. And a few local Ontario options: Trail Estate Supersonic (6) made from wild-fermented Concord grapes in Prince Edward County (and bottled in lighter-weight glass to reduce carbon); Hidden Bench Locust Lane Rosé (7) made from organic Pinot Noir, Viognier, and Chardonnay, and from the winery’s natural wine line, Rachis & Derma Chantilly Rosé (8) a Méthode Ancestrale Pinot Noir sparkling rosé; Pelee Island Lola Rosé (9) a cheap and cheerful Cab Franc; and Paradise Grapevine’s Pep Talk (10) a dry and fizzy Vidal aged on Gamay skins in a cute lil’ can.
Wine and Chocolate
Eataly’s How to Pair Wine and Chocolate explains how to find the right balance between wine and chocolate, which is usually when the wine is sweeter than the chocolate. The Italian eatery recommends pairing a milk chocolate with a light-to-medium bodied wine, suggesting a Gewürztraminer; while a dark chocolate, which can be more bitter and earthy, would match better with a full bodied wine like Cabernet Sauvignon. On food and wine pairings in general, the Globe and Mail's wine columnist says the wine should be sweeter than the dish, and suggests fortified wines for chocolate. But remember that pairing wine and food is subjective, so go ahead and pair your fave chocolate with whatever wine your heart desires!
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