CTV Ottawa Morning Live
June 29th, 2016. 8:15AM
Theme: Award Worthy Canadian Wines for Canada Day Celebrations
Today on CTV Morning Live, CTV’s talented Lianne Laing and Sommelier and CTV wine-guy Matt Steeves showcased some delicious award worthy Canadian wines that would be great for your Canada Day celebrations.
<<Watch the CTV segment here>>
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 and there’s no better time than Canada Day to do so!
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.
Today I’ve got a selection of Canadian wines from coast to coast that would be excellent to enjoy at your Canada Day party. Starting from the West and heading East, we’ve got some real beauties from four provinces that are sure to put smiles on the faces of everyone at your Canada Day party!
Did you know, there are now 675 wineries in Canada from coast to coast. Those 675 wineries are doing some seriously great things and it’s making a huge impact too. In fact, the economic impact for our wine industry is massive, with an estimated annual impact of $6.8B being attributed to our Canadian wine industry. That’s significant. And it gets better! Not only is drinking Canadian wine a smart thing to do, it’s an economic driver as every bottle of Canadian wine you purchase provides over $30 in economic impact. My recommendation is you stimulate your taste buds (and the economy) by reaching for and enjoying some delicious Canadian wine.
More good news. Canadians are choosing and enjoying record amounts of Canadian wine. In fact, Canadians enjoy more than 1 billion glasses of Canadian produced wine every year, equal to 220 million bottles. That’s a huge testament to the growing popularity of Canadian wines and the maturing wine industry that continues to garner more and more international acclaim every year. This success is in part due to the leadership of the Canadian Vintners Association which helps ensure the continued growth and prosperity of the Canadian wine industry, and to wine lovers like you that buy and enjoy great Canadian wines with the special people in your life which in turn supports the hard working boutique wineries that take such great care to produce some of the finest wines available.
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. If you’re fortunate enough to get a chance to visit some of the beautiful wine regions across Canada this summer then I strongly recommend you do that and where possible try the restaurants that many of the wineries have on site. I’ve never had a less than stellar meal at any winery in Canada and that’s also where I’ve had many textbook ‘perfect pairings’ which is always a fully stimulating treat for the senses.
So here’s my selection of Canadian wines from coast to coast that would be excellent to enjoy at your Canada Day party.
- Painted Rock Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley, BC – $40 winery direct
A beautiful full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from award winning winery, Painted Rock, located in Canada’s ‘Bordeaux’, the Okanagan Valley. Deep, layered, and complex. The nose shows ripe dark berries, roasted beets, eucalyptus, cedar, and earth. Dry, with fine integrated tannins, this is a stellar estate Cabernet that will continue to shine over the next 10 years. Enjoy with braised beef dishes. Tasted October 2015. 91 points. Matt Steeves – www.quercusvino.ca
- Foxtrot Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, BC – $46 winery direct
The fruit for the 2013 Chardonnay was sourced from 18 year old Chardonnay
vines from the Four Shadows Vineyard at the foot of Campbell Mountain o the south end of the Naramata Bench. The fruit was picked on October 5, 2013. All of the fruit was immediately whole cluster pressed and cold settled in tank. The juice was then transferred to 50% new and 25% second fill and 25% third fill Francois Freres oak barrels and inoculated with four different yeasts. The wine underwent ML and was aged sur lie eleven months. After eleven months the wine waEdits racked from barrel, cold stabilized, and underwent a light filtration before going into
bottle. The 2013 Chardonnay is a medium to light lemon colour and has aromas of citrus, stone fruits and subtle spice. These flavours continue on the palate with a complex minerality framed by a rich mid palate with subtle spice, green apple and citrus fruits, and lengthy finish. – Foxtrot Vineyards
- 13th Street Winery Burger Blend (white) 2015, Niagara, ON – $14.95 at LCBO or winery direct
13th Street Winery has come out with what might be a burger-loving white wine drinker’s perfect summertime wine. Crafted with summer and BBQ season in mind, 13th Street’s winemaker, JP Colas, brought together two very popular grapes (66% Riesling, 34% Pinot Grigio) that are packed full of sweet orchard fruit (pear, apple), and spice. The creamy-smooth mouthfeel is backed with refreshing apple and spice on the long finish. Fantastic with seared tuna or salmon burgers, or go all out with a stacked Aussie burger with the lot (i.e. big, bold and delicious stacked burger topped with beets, pineapple, fried egg, and smothered in a creamy sauce). Look for it in LCBO in July or get some shipped to your door winery direct. Terrific wine for the price and perfect to enjoy this summer! Tasted June 2016. 89 points. Matt Steeves – www.quercusvino.ca
- 13th Street Winery Burger Blend (red) 2015, Niagara, ON – $14.95 at LCBO or winery direct
A unique blend of 53% Gamay Noir, 38% Pinot Noir, and 9% Merlot from the Niagara Peninsula. Burger Blend’s fruit forward profile is balanced wiht layers of raspberry, tangy dark cherry, plum, cranberry, cedar, herbs, and spice. This youthful wine is absolute dynamite when served slightly chilled with BBQ grub. Pick-up some O’Brien Farm (www.obrienfarms.ca) beef and grill some gourmet burgers with your favourite toppings and see for yourself. Tasted June 2016. 89 points. Matt Steeves – www.quercusvino.ca
5. Foreign Affair Amarosé 2015, Ontario – $18.95 at LCBO or winery direct
Foreign Affair Winery has done it again…they’ve produced another unique and remarkably delicious new style of wine combining the best features of two of my favourite wines, Italian Amarone and the king of the summer patio, Rosé. The 2015 Amarosé is a beautiful blend of 57% Pinot Noir, 22% Riesling, and 21% Chardonnay with small components of the Riesling and Pinot Noir having undergone the famous appassimento (drying of the grapes) to produce even more rich flavour, body, and complexity. The colour is a gorgeous salmon-rose gold that lights up in the summer sun like a fancy diamond. Bursting with sweet strawberry shortcake, cherry, watermelon and dried herbs, the palate strikes the perfect balance of sweet strawberry and refreshing cherry with a long and luscious finish. Enjoy with smoked salmon, grilled fish and seafood, charcuterie, or one of my favourites, while chillin’ with a few friends on your patio. A beautiful rosé that’s unlike all the others, and at $18.95 it offers exceptional value! Vintages release June 11, 2016. Tasted April 2016. 90+ points. Matt Steeves – www.quercusvino.ca
- St. Nicolas Ice Cider, Quebec – $26.95 at SAQ throughout Quebec
The best method to produce ice cider is to pick late harvest apples such as McIntosh and Cortland at the end of fall and leave them outdoors in open bins, to be exposed to the dry and icy St. Lawrence winds for three to four months. The longer the apples are exposed to the winter cold, the greater the sugar concentration and the better the cider they produce. If a dozen apples are needed to make a bottle of cider, up to fifty are necessary to produce a half-bottle of ice cider. Serve ice cold (4°C) and enjoy with berry desserts, foie gras, blue cheese (my favourite is Blue Benedictine where the monks from the Saint-Benoît Abbey started making blue cheese in 1943… Blue Benedictine is arguably Canada’s most famous blue and has won many awards including the overall Grand Champion at the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix). Its velvety texture also makes it a first choice aperitif. My favourite pairing is homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream. Absolutely delicious!
- Benjamin Bridge Nova 7 2014, Nova Scotia – $25 winery direct or via LCBO
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 and other storied wine regions around the world. 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 each and every vintage.
Nova 7 is stylistically similar to Italy’s Moscato d’Asti, with its gentle effervescence, floral and orchard fruit aromas and flavours, that’s also produced in a off-dry low alcohol style. Unlike many Moscato d’Asti’s, Nova 7 is typically crisper, perfectly balanced, and loaded with refreshing minerality making it that much more versatile for food pairings from fresh cut fruit, to spicy Asian dishes, to the richest desserts available.
The 2014 vintage is a beautiful rose gold colour with a nose displaying sweet honey suckle, marigold blossoms, Asian pear, sweet ginger, and apple notes. Slightly effervescent, the initial taste profile is of sweet orchard fruit and fresh ginger, all backed with 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 throughout the year to make a special toast in the presence of some of your favourite people. Benjamin Bridge wines continue to be some of the most interesting I’ve tasted vintage after vintage and the 2014 Nova 7 is the finest vintage I’ve tasted yet! Tasted June 2016. 95 points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca | @QuercusVino
Check out this delicious summer cocktail using Nova 7:
(from Benjamin Bridge’s website: http://www.benjaminbridge.com/news/the-nova-7-cocktail)
Since its release, Nova 7 has become not only the perfect summer sipper but a wine for all occasions. Requested over and over by fans to explore its potential in a cocktail, we partnered with top, local mixologist, Jeffrey van Horne (Lot 6), to create an original cocktail that would protect the defining elements of Nova 7 that make it a category unto itself.
- Ice, 1 dash of Lavender tincture or 1 sprig of Lavender (or Rosemary as substitute), 3/4 oz Grey Goose Vodka, 1/2 oz Cointreau, 1 oz Grapefruit juice, 3 oz chilled Nova 7
- Add ice to wine glass to chill.
- Add lavendar to shaker tin or mixing glass. If using fresh lavendar or substituting with fresh rosemary, muddle lightly to bruise the herb and release essential oils.
- Add remaining ingredients, except Nova 7, to tin or mixing glass. Fill with ice and seal.
- Shake hard for 10 seconds, discard ice, strain mix into wine glass.
- Top your wine glass with well-chilled Nova 7.
- Benjamin Bridge Rose 2011, Nova Scotia – $45 winery direct
Benjamin Bridge recently released their 2011 Vintage Rosé, a beautiful blend of Pinot Meunier, Pinor Noir, and Chardonnay. A classic traditional method rosé, just like they do in Champagne, France, but this one is proudly Canadian and it’s guaranteed to capture the attention of anyone that’s fortunate enough to try it.
A very faint pink hue, the subtle colour is not indicative of the complex taste, seemingly endless palate cleansing micro bubbles, the medley of berries, brioche, match stick, and of course briny minerality. Enjoy this premium rosé with seafood, summer salads, or any special occasion that commands a quality sparkling wine. Enjoy now or cellar for 5+ years. Tasted March 2015. 92+ points. Matt Steeves – http://www.quercusvino.ca
This time of year Canadians celebrate “Canadian Wine Day” (@CanadianWineDay on Twitter), to mark the passing of Bill C-311 on June 28, 2012. 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. Perhaps most importantly, now I can get some of my favourite BC and Nova Scotia wines shipped directly to me, and my wine loving friends in other provinces can do the same including enjoying the lovely Ontario wines that I do on a regular basis!
Matt Steeves is CTV’s wine-guy, a Certified Sommelier, Wine Writer, & Director with the National Capital Sommelier Guild – follow Matt on Twitter @Quercusvino or www.quercusvino.ca
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