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  • More Canadian Wines

    VIDAL MEDIUM DRY/LATE HARVEST

    This grape achieves its best I believe in sweeter wines. The bouquet of citrus and tropical fruits keeps the sultry,

    comforting ripeness of banana and honey in balance. The relatively high acidity also moderates the otherwise very sweet taste of the wine.

    RIESLING MEDIUM DRY/LATE HARVEST

    Pine medium dry to sweet wines are made from the noble Riesling here just as they are in Germany. The fresh and refined acidity of Riesling keeps the wine well balanced in spite of its cosseting sweetness. There are very attractive floral aromas and also apple, peach, and honey with the sweeter Late Harvest, and the occasional mineral undertones. Drinking temperature is 46.4-53.6°F (8- 10°C).

    ICE-WINE

    Ice-wine is probably the best-known Canadian speciality. The best of these wines walk off with major prizes at the majority of the international exhibitions. Ice-wine can in principle be made from any type of grape including red varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pranc, but with a few exceptions the most interesting of them are produced from Vidal and Riesling. The method of making Icewines is the same as that for making German or Austrian Eiswein and French Vins de Glace from the south-west of France.

    The grapes are allowed to hang until frozen by the frost. They are then quickly pressed and the tasteless frozen liquid remains behind with the seeds and skins, with only the honey sweet juices emerging from the press.

    These juices are so concentrated that the yeast cells which can normally live up to a level of alcohol of 15% are finished by 8 or 9%. Ice-wines are very complex, powerful, extremely aromatic wines with notes such as apricot, peach, sweet melon, and honey with Vidal grapes and tropical flowers, apricot, citrus fruit, toffee, and vegetal nuances with Riesling. To gain double the pleasure serve it cold at 46.4-53.6°F (8- 10°C) but then allow it to warm up slowly.

    ROSE

    Most Canadian roses are very lightly structured and not terribly interesting. They are certainly fruity but despite good acidity and reasonable complexity most are knocked back like soft drinks. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C).

    BACO NOIR

    This is an extremely surprising French-Canadian hybrid which produces quite exciting results in Canada with full-bodied wines with lots of juice and taste that are very scented with suggestions of blackcurrant, blueberries, tobacco, and animal undertones. Some top Baco Noirs slightly resemble better Rhone Syrah wines. Drinking temperature is 60.8-62.6°F (16-17°C).

    PINOT NOIR

    The typical bouquet is of woodland fruits, cherry, and a hint of wild strawberry which when older become more rustic notes of leather, animal, and humus. Drinking temperature is 57,2- 60.8°F (14- 16°C).

    CABERNET

    Bear in mind that many Canadian Cabernet wines are a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Pranc but may also contain Merlot. These are generally well-made wines but the best of them are simply fantastic. They have constantly caused great surprise in blind tastings with their power, complexity, seductive fruitiness, and elegant tannin. Drinking temperature is 60.8-62.6°F (16-17°C).

    Other wines

    The best wine houses also make excellent Sauvignon Blancs, Aligotes, Gamay Blancs and Rouges. These wines are not very abundant though.

    Recommended wines

    The following wines from the best Canadian wineries are well worth trying.

    - Ontario: Chateau des Charmes, Hildebrand Estates Winery, Inniskillin, Marijnissen Estates, Reif Estate Winery (all Niagara-on-the-Lake); D'Angelo (Amherstburg); Henry of Pelham (St. Catharines); Stoney Ridge Cellars (Winona); Lakeview Cellars (Vineland); Cave Spring Cellars (Jordan); Colio Estate (Harrow); and Pelee Island Winery (Kingsville) .

    - British Columbia: Calona Vineyards, Quails' Gate, Summerhill, Mission Hill, Cedar Creek, St. Humbertus (all Kelowna); Hawthorne Mountains, Inniskillin Okanoga, Jackson Triggs, Peller Estate (Okanoga); Domaine Combret, Tinhorn Creek (Oliver); and Langley's Estate Winery (Langley).

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  • The Canadian Wines

       It is best advised to buy only wines that have a VQA neck seal (Vintner's Quality Alliance). These wines are not only strictly controlled in respect of their guaranteed origin but are also quality tested for taste, colour, bouquet etc.

    Canada WinesThis gives assurance that you have bought one of the better Canadian wines. Canada also has two levels of guarantee of origin: the broad Provincial Designation Wines category i.e. British Columbia or Ontario, and the more precise Viticultural Areas Wines which originate from one of the recognised wine districts su'ch as Okanagan Valley, Similkameen Valley, Fraser Valley, or Vancouver Island for British Columbia, and Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore, or Pelee Island for Ontario.

    The strength of Canadian wines is their firm and fresh white wines and the sultry, overripe sweet wines. Some wine-makers and growers though, mainly in Ontario, can also make excellent rounded and full-bodied reds. Most ofthe Canadian red wines though are very light in structure and a bit shallow. The same goes for Canadian wines as elsewhere: do not choose the very cheapest wines for a little more money will yield far better quality. The following types of white wine are generally recommended.

    VIDAL DRY CANADIAN WINE

    This is a fresh and firm dry Canadian wine with a bouquet of green apple and sometimes, with the better ones, hints of citrus fruit. Drinking temperature for this Canadian wine is 50-53.6°F(10-12°C).

    SEYVAL DRY CANADIAN WINE

    This wine is less severely dry than the Vidal and it has a nose containing grapefruit and the occasional hint of flowers and spices. It has a good balance between acidity, alcohol, fruit, and sweetness. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C).

    RIESLING DRY CANADIAN WINE

    This is a very elegant wine that is quite fresh but not harsh and it possesses interesting floral notes in its nose. Most of these wines are of the 'off-dry' sort with some sugar residues which enhance the delicious taste.

    The best of these wines are drier but they have seductive bouquets in which pear, apple, and spring blossom appear. Late harvest wines have a touch of botrytis, which makes them more complex and attractive. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C).

    CHARDONNAY DRY CANADIAN WINE

    Canadian WineMost Canadian Chardonnays are fresh and a touch green (unripe apples), partially full-bodied, with a subtle bouquet of butter, wood, and citrus fruit. The best Chardonnays (bottled sur lie, reserve, and barrel fermented) are more complex, full-bodied, and creamier.

    These wines also possess the elegant hints of toast and croissants of the better Burgundies. There are also typically hints of butterscotch, toffee, or caramel which are more Californian and Chilean in nature.

    Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C) for the simpler wines and 53 .6- 57.2°F(12- 14°C) for the better examples.

    GEWURZTRAMINER CANDIAN WINE

    This wine that is generally vinified as 'off-dry' with sugar residues, is full bodied and slightly spicy. It has a seductive bouquet in which lychee, melon, peach, and spices can be detected. Drinking temperature is 50- 53.6°F (1O-12°C).

    GEWORZTRAMINER MEDIUM DRY/ LATE HARVEST CANADIAN WINE

    This one is fuller and more seductive than the 'offdry' version. It has a good balance between sweetness, alcohol, fruit, and acidity.{jcomments on}