Introduce Yourself to Konzelmann Wines

If you haven’t heard of, or tried Konzelmann wines then it’s about time you introduce yourself. This Niagra winery located on the shores of Lake Ontario is producing some seriously good wines. They make big reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, beautiful whites such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer, Rosé and Riesling sparkling wines, and of course some tasty icewines. Some favourites of mine include their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (more on that later).

Konzelmann has quite the history both in Germany and in Niagra on the lake. I won’t go into detail, but basically a German restauranteur named Friederich Konzelmann had the vision, and made it a reality. The first vintage was released to the public in 1893. However, it wasn’t until 1984, when Hebert Konzelmann, a 4th generation winemaker and great grandson of Friederich, left Germany to pursue his dream in Niagra. We are certainly glad he did.

Our friends at Konzelmann sent us their newly released  2015 Chardonnay Reserve and the 2016 Vidal Special Select Late Harvest, which recently won a Silver medal at Intervin. My take on both are the following:

The 2015 Chardonnay Reserve is a real gem for under $20.00 (CAD). For those who are oak adverse, fear not. The oak is subtle and there is a slight smokiness that goes along with it. This wine is smooth and features nice fruit, especially lemon. It is well balanced and is ready to drink now or can be put away for a few years in the cellar. Pair this Chardonnay with a quinoa salad, pan-seared vegetables and baked eggplant parmesan. You won’t regret this purchase – thank me later!

The 2016 Vidal Special Select Late Harvest is delicious and the perfect way to end a great meal. This dessert wine features a long lasting finish of honey and creamsicle. You definitely don’t want to interfere too much or compromise the taste of this dessert wine – pair it with a single scoop of vanilla ice cream. Simple is good. Let the wine put on the show.

Great news – you don’t need to leave your home to buy these beauties! Order online! And if you end up falling in love with their wines, you can join the Wine Club for as low as $55 a month.

If you are looking for the ultimate experience, then you have to go to the source: visit the winery! Tours are offered year round and from what I have read online, the customer experience is amazing. Sadly, I have not visited the winery… yet! That is about to change this coming Saturday, February 10th and I am very excited to say the least. Greg and I will be touring around the winery and participating in the “Days of Wine & Chocolate” event that is running for the entire month of February in NOTL. According to the website Konzelmann will be paring a 2013 Pinot Noir Reserve with Ghirardelli dark chocolate rye cookies with a dusting of Maldon salt snow – courtesy of Casa Mia Ristorante. Jealous? Come and join us!

This should be an amazing experience and a lot of fun!

The countdown is on…

Nick
Wine Cru Reviews

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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!

 

 

 

Good Ole Gamay Noir

Hey!

What are you sipping on? I’m having some Gamay Noir from the Niagra Peninsula and it is gooooooood. This wine is light, fruity and pairs beautifully with a warm summer night!

When you think of Gamay, you probably think of Beaujolais first and that makes perfect sense.  I mean these guys have been doing it very well for centuries now. However, this grape varietal is gaining popularity in other cool climate areas, such as Canada.

If you are a fan of pinot noir, then there is a good chance you will like gamay noir, as they share a lot of the same characteristics. The gamay I’m having this evening features cherry, raspberry, strawberry, floral and earthy aromas and flavours. Love it!

One thing to note about gamay noir (or Beaujolais) is the price point. This stuff can be cheap and deliver great quality! You can easily get a bottle for $10-$15 Canadian and be very happy. However, I you want to spend a little more you can get stuff that will knock your socks off! For example, The Grange of Prince Edward makes some of the best Gamay Noir that Ontario has to offer. For an investment of $22.95 CAD you can have one of the best experiences with this grape varietal.

So next time your friend says they like to drink Beaujolais, pour them a glass of Canadian Gamay Noir, and watch their eyes light up!

Cheers,

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

 

Try Canadian Cabernet Franc Now!

Hey there!

What’s in your glass today? For me, it’s some Niagra Peninsula Cabernet Franc from Magnotta Winery. This full bodied 2013 VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) wine features inviting aromas of red berry fruit, spice, earth, herbs and oak. On the palate this wine delivers much of the same, with a nice long finish!

Magnotta winery is one of the many Ontario VQA producers who are establishing Cabernet Franc as a “go to” varietal for Canadian wine consumers. These grapes are often blended with cabernet sauvignon, merlot and baco noir…it also makes for amazing Canadian icewine! Canadian winemakers are serious about their Cab Franc, and the quality found is a reflection of that.

For those who love big reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Carmenere, Cab Franc is worth the try. It shares a lot of the same characteristics, but the earthiness and herbal notes give it a bit of a twist. Now this “twist” isn’t for everyone! I often find this varietal to be a big hit or miss with people who try it for the first time. Eyes either light up with joy or a cringe of the face sometimes occurs.

For those who don’t appreciate the wine at first, often all that is required is a little oxygen! It is recommended that you decant your wine with a decanter or simply remove the cork and let the wine sit on the table for 30-40 minutes before enjoying the first glass.

Whether you are sure about Cab Franc or not, it is worth exploring!

Cheers,

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

 

 

 

 

What are you drinking?

Hi there,

I’m slowly sipping on a white cotes du rhone and trying to figure out what I would like to say for this first of many blog entries from myself and the team here at Wine Cru Reviews. For someone who usually has a lot to say, this writing thing is kind of hard. More wine needed maybe?

Mainly, I would like to welcome you, our reader… probably my mom. Actually pretty doubtful – simply opening e-mail can be a struggle for her. She’s great at using her iPhone though. I digress…

Our team of wine lovers are hoping to simply bring you quality wine content in a fun and unintimidating way. What does that mean to us? Well to me that means, interesting stories and facts about wine makers/producers, funny stories, winery experiences and adventures, detailed reviews about Canadian and international wines, and a whole lot more in an “easy to drink” kind of way. We will see how this blog evolves over time!

Our commitment to you is to provide straightforward opinions about the wines we try and to provide an educational component to them.

Time for a top up.

So what is it that you are drinking?

Do you try and drink local or are you all about trying stuff not found in your own backyard? I think it’s important to try to support local as much as possible, but it is equally important to explore what the wine world has to offer. It is amazing to me how a varietal can taste drastically different from region to region, country to country. Shiraz from Australia, Malbec from Argentina, Cabernet Franc from Canada? Let us know!

Are you a seasonal wine drinker? Pinot grigio and rose wine in the summer? Big full bodied cabs during the cooler months? In Canada,  particularly in Eastern Ontario, we spend more than half the year surviving our cool climate weather. I tend to enjoy both red and white wines year round, but do find myself gravitating towards certain regions or countries from time to time. Right now, while we patiently wait for summer to arrive I find myself trying many different white wines and lighter reds. However, it did snow a little today… and it is May… might have to switch back to something heavier to warm me up!

One more glass…

It is safe to say that it is our hope that you follow along and participate by commenting and e-mailing us (info@winecrureviews.ca) about anything wine related. Let us know what you are drinking!

Cheers,

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