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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Oh Canada!

Hello?  Anyone out there? I hope my faithful readers haven't given up on me...  It seems I get on a roll with  posts, then all of a sudden, three weeks go by, and I haven't written a stitch..

My daughters and I went to visit my parents in Langley, BC over the Easter break. While there, I got the chance to visit a couple of wineries.  One, a tiny 2 person operation, with a small building in which the wine was made. It was very deceiving as it didn't even look like a winery!  All the wines are produced in Langley, BC with grapes sourced from the Okanagan Valley.  In the meantime, they were terracing slopes out back to plant their own set of grapes.  Blackwood Lane Winery was full of character, and the front end manager, Kimberley, was lovely. I fully expected to pay for my tasting, but was treated for free, when she found out I was in the "bizz"! Lucky me, and lucky for my daddy, who happened to be my chauffeur for the day, so he got to participate as well! A nice time of bonding for father and daughter!

The view out back at Blackwood Lane
Winery - Langley, BC. The site of the
winemaking! A stunning view!
My dad and I at Blackwood Lane
Winery - April 7, 2012. I was very
happy to have him with me!


2007 Merlot
Blackwood Lane Winery
Langley, BC, Canada

 I had this wine sitting in my rack for a whole month after I visited this winery!  It had to be opened for others to enjoy it!  I couldn't just open it for me!  At $34, this Merlot was not to be trifled with.  And I would never be able to get  this wine here at home. I tasted some quality wines at Blackwood, but this was by far my favourite.  Lots of chocolate, spice and leather on the nose, with hints of cinnamon and black cherry on the palate. Beautiful finish with that perfect blending of acidity and tannin!  It was tasted with some blue cheese bread, which paired well!  If you are in south Langley, and have the time, stop in!  It's very tiny, so you might miss it if you blink ;) But trust won't want to will be worth your time!

Domaine De Chaberton Winery
Langley, BC, Canada
What I loved about this winery, is it's truly "All Canadian".  All grown, harvested and bottled in Langley, BC.  A bistro on site that is a very popular lunch destination, this winery had people coming in and out while I was there.  I arrived a little too early to take the tour, but I wasn't worried, knowing I'd be back this summer to see more of the "fruit set" on the vines.  Maybe even see that "Veraison" which is where the grapes actually ripen, turning from little green berries to actual reddish/purple grapes (of course the colour will depend on the varietal!)

2010 Bacchus
Domaine de Chaberton
Fraser Valley, VQA
British Columbia, Canada
Anyway, I digress...Now is the time to be thinking about enjoying some delicious patio wines.  It's almost summer after all, and this one would fit the bill! Lots of delicious summer fruits like peaches, pears and pineapples! Yum!  If you like the fruity whites, you'll love this wine! Very clean and fresh with medium acidity, so it's not too tart in the mouth.  Stunning really!  And the Bacchus grape?  Alright, hang on to your hats for this one: Created in 1933 by a German viticulturist, it's a Silvaner/Reisling crossed with a Muller-Thurgau, which is already a cross!  So...maybe it's a mutant?  Haha!  The Bacchus grape is usually lower in acidity (which I mentioned), and has even been described as "exuberant".  Are you curious?  At $13.99 a bottle, you really can't go wrong by giving this wine a try.  But guess what?  Not easily found in Alberta.  (You BC folks should be able to find it not problem) So if you're going to the lower mainland this summer, stop in about noon to have some lunch at the Bacchus Bistro. Take the 2 pm wine tour, then take some time after that to browse their vast selection of wines in the shop, and sample some in the tasting room!  Sounds like a great idea doesn't it?  I'm going in August, and I'm going to do it all! 

Domaine De Chaberton Estate Winery
1064 216 St., Langley, BC V2Z 1R3

Thursday, 3 May 2012

More to Celebrate...

I feel like it's been forever since I posted...and I guess it has, since we are into May! With life being so busy recently, I feel like I'm neglecting the wine! 

So you know I'm kind of into wines these days that conjure up good memories, evoke thoughts of wonderful time spent with loved ones.  This posting is no different. For those of you that follow this blog and are on facebook, you might remember the "anniversary wine".  This particular wine is special because it was purchased by my wonderful husband for me last year after I tried it at a wine tasting.  I promptly informed him that I would lay it down for the year, and open it on our 20th anniversary, which we celebrated just this past March.

What's really funny, is that my friend Isabel will laugh when she reads this post!  Because she KNOWS I don't like Tempranillo!  And what is this wine?  100% Tempranillo!

Sierra Cantabria Colleccion Privada
la Rioja, Spain

Enter the Sierra Cantabria...starting to turn a bit brickish because of its age.  Remember I said in an earlier post, that as red wines age, they become lighter in colour.  With this bottle being 12 years old, expect that brickish colour.  Lots on the nose here: tobacco, leather and even some black fruit and chocolate left.  Younger wines tend to feature more of the fruity aromas we usually experience rather than the mature bouquets of leather, smoke and tobacco. On the palate, not too acidic, and not too tannic. Lots of mushrooms, and still that hint of black fruit.  And as you can see by the photo, we served up goat cheese, Camembert, smoked turkey, salami and Babybel cheese.  What I loved about these pairings, was that I didn't plan them.  Not that all those cheeses worked, but it sure was a lot of fun, which for me, is further proof that wine is not pretentious, and I don't need to go to great depths to find that perfect pairing! I have always said: "drink what you like".  I don't necessarily like Tempranillo, but the bottle itself was opened as part of a celebration.  And just because I don't like the grape, it doesn't mean I won't keep trying it over and over and over again.  Someday, I might like the taste of mushrooms, and barnyard, and forest floor in my wine, instead of the fruity, vanilla-y fresh flavours I appreciate so much more now! Right Isabel? ;)