CTV Morning Live

June 26th, 2015. 9:40AM

Theme: Canadian Wine for Canada Day – proudly red & white

Today on CTV Morning Live, CTV Morning Live hostess Lianne Laing and Matt showcased some terrific Canadian wines that would be great for Canada Day celebrations.  Check out the video here:  Canadian Wine for Canada Day as seen on CTV Morning Live

The Canadian wine scene is thriving!  Year after year Canada continues to produce some of the finest wines on the planet. That’s right, some of the finest wines are coming from right here in Canada.  That’s an achievement we should all toast to!

There is a lot to be proud of here in our own backyard and Canada Day is a great time to reach for a special bottle of Canadian red or white to celebrate with. Celebrating all that is great about Canada, and doing so with Canadian wine and Canadian cheese.

Today I’ve got a selection of Canadian wines from coast to coast that would be excellent to enjoy at your Canada Day party. Several of these wines were recent winners in Natalie Maclean’s Great Canadian Wine & Cheese Match which concluded earlier in June. Winning wine and cheese pairings can be found here: http://www.nataliemaclean.com/wine-cheese-pairing/

Did you know, there are over 500 Canadian wineries!  The economic impact for our wine industry is huge.  Annually $6.8B of economic impact can be attributed to our Canadian wine.  That’s significant.  And did you know that for every bottle of Canadian wine you purchase that provides over $30 in economic impact.

Click to access Canada-InfoGraph.pdf

However, Canadian’s only buy 30% Canadian wine, meaning that 70% of wine sales in Canada are for international wines.  Perhaps it’s time to change that.   With the passing of Bill C-311 on June 28, 2012, Canadian Wine lovers now celebrate “Canadian Wine Day” (@CanadianWineDay on Twitter), annually on June 28.  Bill C-311 is the law that when passed has helped pave the way for permitting wine shipping across provincial borders, winery to consumer direct.  A big step to creating a Canadian wine culture and a giant leap to supporting our Canadian wineries.  Now I can get some of my favourite BC and Nova Scotia wines shipped directly to me! I’m lovin’ it!

Local wine and food is a trend that’s here to stay and Canadian’s appreciate the benefits of enjoying high quality local products; products that reflect the local environment; products with great pedigree; and what a perfect pairing local wine and food is.

Today I’ve got a selection of Canadian wines from coast to coast that would be excellent to enjoy at your Canada Day party.

Detailed list of Wines:

1.      Featherstone Joy Premium Cuvée Sparkling 2010 – Ontario – $34.95 (awarded Canada’s best Sparkling Wine!)

VINTAGES#: 310334
$34.95 – available winery direct and will be released via Vintages in 2015 – http://www.featherstonewinery.ca/wines.html

One of the finest wines in Canada!  Featherstone Cuvée Joy won Best Sparkling Wine of the Year and Double Gold at the recent All-Canadian Wine Championships.

Featherstone’s Award Winning Bubbly!

  1. Tantalus Riesling 2014 – BC VQA Okanagan Valley – $19.95

$19.95 – winery direct http://tantalus.ca/our-wines/riesling/

Tantalus Riesling now available at SAQ in Quebec! http://www.saq.com/page/en/saqcom/white-wine/tantalus-riesling-2014/12456726

Winemaker’s Notes:

A clear and luminous shade of yellow. This wine has a classic Tantalus Riesling nose of fresh lemon zest and orange oil with top notes of wild flowers and an undercurrent of guava and green pineapple. On the palate the wine is intense with granny smith and gala apples, peach skin and pineapple. Crunchy, juicy acidity pulls the finish into laser focus. This wine’s intensity and balance will allow it to live for a long time. Cellar for up to 10 years.

3.     Handsome Brut – Ontario – $23.95 (great with cheese!)

—LCBO#: 395160

Matt’s review:  Handsome Brut is a fine example of an Ontario traditional method sparkling wine, made the same way as Champagne, with all the labour intensive processes, and with a similar quality, yet fortunately at a fraction of the price. Immediately upon pouring one is taken by the deep golden colour and the steady streams of fine micro bubbles. The appearance captures your attention and then the aromas of orchard fruit and lemon square makes you really crave that first sip. A dry, crisp and refreshing sparkling wine with terrific mouth coating blanket of fine bubbles that leads to a medium-long tart apple and mineral finish. A wonderful dry sparkling wine to enjoy with rich fare. Beamsville Bench is a wine region in Ontario that continues to impress me with the quality of product it produces. Tasted January 2015. 91+ points. Matt Steeves – www.quercusvino.ca

  1. Black Hills Estate Winery Viognier 2011 – Okanagan, BC – $25 (excellent with goat cheese)

“Nicely aromatic with apricot and lemon custard undertones. The palate is fresh and juicy, with complex flavours of nectarine, peach, tropical fruits and honeysuckle. This wine is soft and luscious with beautifully balanced acidity and alcohol. Pairs great with seafood such as halibut or delicious on its own.”
Graham Pierce, Winemaker

  1. Huff Estates  CUVÉE PETER F HUFF 2010 – $40 – Prince Edward County (excellent with creamy cheese)

This VQA 2010 sparkling wine, fashioned in the ‘Methode Traditionnelle’ manner, marks Huff Estates’ 5th vintage of this palate pleaser.  Awaken to rich brioche scents enlivened with green apple slices spritzed with lemon and lime. Youthfully fresh, crisp and lively with orange blossom and pear buoyed by our distinctive County minerality. Highly drinkable!

6.     Henry of Pelham Reserve Baco Noir 2012 – Ontario – $24.95 (excellent with Balderson cheddar)

—VINTAGES#: 461699

World-class Baco Noir

Matt’s review: One of the finest single varietal expressions of Baco Noir you can find, anywhere. Henry of Pelham continues to impress Baco lovers with this incredibly round and luscious reserve wine. Dark fruits, roasted peppers, black currant on the nose. The palate is round and full. A bit more acidity would have made this wine even more enjoyable. Tasted February 2015. 89 points. Matt Steeves – www.quercusvino.ca

7.      Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 2013 – Nova Scotia, Canada – $24.95 (cheese, dessert, or on its own = excellent!)

Winery Direct –  http://benjaminbridge.com/shop/nova-7
Matt’s review: Benjamin Bridge has been making a real fizz in the sparkling wine scene over the past decade. This Nova Scotia (Canada) based winery is producing sparkling wines that rival those from Champagne. A combination of ideal terroir for producing crisp & complex cool climate grapes, along with creative winemaking expertise, has resulted in world-class sparkling wines with incredible minerality and refreshing acidity.
The Nova 7 is stylistically similar to Italy’s Moscato d’Asti, with its gentle effervescence, floral and orchard fruit aromas and flavours, and also produced in a off-dry low alcohol style. Unlike many Moscato d’Asti’s, the Nova 7 is crisper, and loaded with refreshing minerality making it that much more versatile for pairings.

Nova 7 is a beautiful copper-hued salmon colour with a nose displaying sweet honey suckle, asian pear, and golden yellow apple notes. Slightly effervescent, the initial taste profile is of sweet orchard fruit, followed immediately by crisp refreshing acidity and a long mineral finish. Perfectly balanced, this off-dry wine is loaded with refreshing minerality making it a great choice for east coast seafood appetizers, sushi, tart berry desserts, or simply to enjoy on its own whether that be on a patio in the summer or during the holiday season to make a special toast. Benjamin Bridge sparkling wines are some of the most interesting I’ve tasted and I look forward to following this winery in the years to come. Tasted November 2014. 92+ points. Matt Steeves – www.quercusvino.ca | @QuercusVino

  1. Harwood Estates Marquesa 2012 – Prince Edward County – $29.95 (excellent with blue cheese)


This fortified dessert wine is deep garnet red in colour and is reminiscent of the classic Portuguese dessert wine style. It was lovingly crafted from 100% estate-grown Marquette grapes and aged for 18 months in a combination of American, French & Canadian Oak barrels.  Lovely blackberry jam and cinnamon spice on the nose. The palate is wonderfully complex with flavours of spiced raisins, sweet prunes and dried fig. The finish is velvety smooth and beautifully warming. Fortified to 19%.

We highly recommend serving the Marquesa 2012 at room temperature with aged or blue-veined cheeses, candied walnuts or dark chocolate. Also, this wine makes a fine companion to be savoured with a fine cigar.



With so many people steering clear of products containing gluten, I see more and more folks reaching for tasty Cider.  I’ve got two delicious hard ciders here today that are proudly produced in Ontario. These would be a great beverage and nice gesture to have on hand at your Canada Day party.

1.     Spirit Tree Draught Cider – Ontario – $2.65/can

—LCBO#: 413153   |   473 mL can

Tasting Note: Pale yellow colour with fine bubbles; aromas of ripe apple and apple blossom, with hints of herbal, leather and white wine notes; dry, crisp on the palate, flavours of tart green apple, with musky and vinous notes.

2.     Forbidden Artisanal Cider – Ontario – $2.95/can

—LCBO#: 374496   |   473 mL can$2.95 (/can)

Tasting Note: Pale lemon colour; aromas and flavours of fresh, crisp apples; crisp, clean and refreshing.

And, if you’re looking to pair some great Canadian wine with Canadian cheese, then here are two Balderson cheddars that I find go great with most white and red wines:

Balderson Vintners Cheddar are aged for 20 months and 40 months, respectively. These cheeses are produced to compliment both white and red wines.

Balderson Vintners Extra-Old Cheddar For White Wine is aged for 20 months and is graded to complement the subtler and sweeter flavours of most white wines. A creamier texture than other cheddars breaks down quickly on the palate with no lingering aftertaste.

Balderson Vintners Old Cheddar For Red Wine is aged for 40 months and is graded to complement the full-bodied flavour and tannins of most red wines.

These cheddars are available in most grocery stores, cheese specialty shops and you can also order them online from Balderson Village Cheese.