The Charming East Coast Beckons: Learning The Secrets of the Wines of Atlantic Canada

A review of “The Wine Lover’s Guide to Atlantic Canada” by Moira Peters and Craig Pinhey ($37.95):
 
As the Canadian wine industry grows, it has become increasingly pivoted on the wines of British Columbia’s rugged and dramatically changing climes and Ontario’s collection of viticultural pockets, where Burgundian, Alsatian, and German styles of viticuture express themselves in New World Soils.
A recently published work by Moira Peters, a wine educator and professional sommelier, and Craig Pinhey, a sommelier and writer from living in New Brunswick fills in a widening information gap about Canada’s neglected East Coast wine regions.
‘The Wine Lover’s Guide to Atlantic Canada’ does not entirely resemble other dense, esoteric wine texts.  It attempts to capture the aesthetics of the regions through a photgraphic and factual presentation of a region quickly being recognized as a producer of fine wine (especially sparkling wine).
Benjamin Bridge’s Nova 7: a moderately sweet, lightly fizzy sparkling from the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia.
Because each province’s strategy for controlling the promulgation of alcohol does not necessarily facilitate cooperation with one another, many Canadians west of the St. Lawrence might be shocked to encounter a thriving wine industry spanning Eastern Canada.
Not yet a commercial dynamo, information on the producers is scarce.  Unless you are lucky enough to live in a province with a control board savvy enough to have negotiated wine from a larger producer (like Jost or Benjamin Bridge) or the winery is staring you in the face as you drive through Gaspereau Valley, the opportunity to try these wines are rare.
It is getting better, however.  Most of the East coast remains a destination wine experience for vacationers and lucky locals.  Though as the reputation of the wine gets better, so does the demand for their wine and interest in what each region specializes in.
Information about what sort of wines are available in each region used to be limited to a collection of vague online articles and academic texts aimed at botanists and ampelographers studying the soil (too academic for the average enthusiast).
‘The Wine Lover’s guide to Atlantic Canada’ fills this demand for information at just the right time in the region’s development.
The volume reminds me of the digest written by Rod Philips to comprehensively lay out Ontario’s wine regions in context with one another.
Both volumes provide a complete picture: there is useful information about style, grape varietals, fruit wines, and climate. There are also charming anecdotes from the proprietors and winemakers about where they live and what they do.
All Canadian wine regions have had their difficulties reaching people’s dinner tables. The book describes a wine region with an outlook that emphasizes the struggles of a wine region to overcome the prejudice and invective new regions encounter.
This phenomenon is something observable and familiar to those who have watched Ontario and B.C. grow and mature over the last three decades.
It would have been observable in the mid twentieth century, as people scoffed at the idea of Australia producing anything resembling a fine consumer luxury.  The same goes for South African Cape and Argentina.
Atlantic Canada’s wine regions are not quite like other wine regions.  They are committed to what grows well in their soil.  There is even a commercially dedicated breeding program in Kentville, Nova Scotia to discover and explore what possible varieties can grow in the soils of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and elsewhere.
New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Labrador are all mentioned for their thriving fruit wine industries, which cover a range of styles from sweet to dry or table wine to distilled spirits.
The overwhelming majority of the book, which is just over two hundred pages, focuses on Nova Scotia.  The other regions combined take up roughly the same amount of space to discuss.
This can be forgiven, though, since Nova Scotia is definitely the innovative engine responsible for the recent surge in popular interest for East Coast wines.
Moira Pinhey and Craig Peters knew exactly the digestible details to include so as to capture the attention of fellow wine enthusiasts.  This book would also be a suitable conversation piece for someone who appreciates the beauty of the East Coast.  The charming landscapes and abstruse nature of the wineries make ‘The Wine Lover’s Guide to Atlantic Canada’ a compelling and fast read.
Greg is a self-styled “wine raconteur” interested in the education amd appreciation of wine and other consumer luxuries. He has studied with the Wine Council of Ontario, the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, The Wine Scholar Guild, and is currently engaged in a graduate degree focusing on the risk and regulation of controlled substances.
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Lots and lots of bubbly!

Hey there!

I find myself sipping on some prosecco tonight – how about you?

Lately I’ve been having a lot of bubbly and I’m certainly not complaining! Whether it be champagne, prosecco, or cava…I love it all! They all offer different experiences at different price points. I mean we all love champagne, but if you are like me…atleast current me…I can’t afford to spend $100+ a night on this stuff. So what do I do? I turn to other bubbly producing countries to help me out!

Think prosecco if you generally like something on the sweeter side. Think cava if you are looking for tremendous value. Think Canadian sparkling wine if you want to “go local” (if you are a canuck of course lol). There are other countries doing interesting stuff – Australian sparkling shiraz – which is certainly an acquired taste….go explore!

The point is, you don’t always have to spend a lot to get a good bottle of bubbly. $15-25 CAD can get you far. However, if you got money to burn, then go for it!

What bubbly is your go to? Do you only drink it on special occasions? Saturday morning mimosas?

Let us know!

Cheers,

Nick
Wine Cru Reviews
http://www.winecrureviews.ca

 

If James Bond Drinks Bollinger Champagne, So Must I!

Hey Friend!

What’s in your glass this evening? Well it doesn’t compare to what I’m having – bold statement, right? Sometimes you just got to be. Like our good friend “007” aka James Bond, tonight I’m having some Bollinger Champagne.

This stuff is soooo goooooood. I must thank my fellow colleague, Greg, for this recommendation. This bubbly is very tasty and features baked apple pie with a nutty finish. At an alcohol level of just 12.5%, this champagne is light and refreshing!

If only I could have this every day…

Have you had Bollinger Champagne before? What was the reason?

Anyways, time to get back to celebrating a special champagne birthday!

Cheers,

Nick
Wine Cru Reviews
http://www.winecrureviews.ca

Wine Tasting in Prince Edward County – UnCork Canada

Hey everyone!

Hope you had a great weekend and to all you dad’s out there…hope you are having/had a great day. Cheers to you!

What did you all get up to this past weekend? I had the chance to go to Prince Edward County for the very first time and Wine Cru Reviews co-founder, Greg, was my tour guide/fellow explorer!

“The County”, as it is often referred to, is just outside of Kingston, Ontario and features some of the best wines Ontario has to offer. First stop, was Three Dog Winery. When we arrived to the open concept tasting room, there were a lot of people enjoying chilled rose and white wines on this particularly warm day. We had the opportunity to try several of the wines, and they were all very good. However, the Reiki Off Dry Riesling was a stand out for me – loved this wine. Definitely one of the best spots if you are looking to have some BBQ, live music and a friendly atmosphere.

But before we go any further…

Why did we go to the county this weekend of all weekends? We were invited to attend UnCork Canada – which featured wines from across the nation, coast to coast. The venue was just off main street, in a beautiful historic building called the Crystal Palace. Wines from B.C. to Nova Scotia (and everything in between) were offered for tastings and some were even medal winners from the All Canadian Wine Championships held a week earlier. There was no shortage of wine that’s for sure! To see some of the great pictures from our trip, check out our Instagram page – @winecrureviews

After a couple of hours at the event we decided to venture off and visit some of the wineries while we were in town.

In addition to visiting Three Dog Winery, we visited:

All were very different experiences… the following is the coles notes version of my experience:

Huff was very modern, classy and had some amazing bubbly. TerraCello, is a very rustic and has a very “old world” feeling to it – pizza appears to be their thing. Broken Stone was a great find, and featured some tasty chardonnay. Closson Chase is QUALITY and worth the premium pricing. Lacey Estates, is a great family winery, that has some amazing white wines – especially the 2013 Gewürztraminer!

I had a lot of fun and can’t wait to go back again! There is something for everyone in PEC.

Have you ever been to the county? What wineries did you visit?

Cheers,

Nick
Wine Cru Reviews
http://www.winecrureviews.ca

p.s. Happy Early Birthday Greg! Pop that champagne!