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Who is interested in Canadian wines? Who knew we made 'em?

 
 
Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 10:09 am
Icewine is the only wine Canada has ever exported succesfully, however, we produce many wines of great interest and quality. We did a team-building function for the Board of Directors for AT&T Canada yesterday, and as the Senior VP and 2 other guests were visiting from the States, we put on a show of Canadian wines. The 1999 Inniskillin Seeger Vineyards Chardonnay, at $16 and change, would easily trounce a $30-40 California Chard in a blind tasting. Expert, facile use of French oak, hugely ripe (14%!), so it gives the character of a warm climate Chard. Giant fruit basket of flavour...ripe pear, green apple, apricot, butter, and a gentle smokiness. Also, we served a 1999 Vidal Icewine from Marynissen Estates, a huge wine, beautiful acidity to balance the sweetness, and a bargain at $32.95 for a half-bottle. Note: all prices in CDN dollars. If anyone is interested in, or has had experiences, good or bad, with Canadian wine, post them here, and we can learn and discuss. Cheers!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 10,750 • Replies: 39
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jespah
 
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 10:34 am
Can you add an option of "I've never tasted it". 'Cause that's what I would pick, and I suspect other folks would, too.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 10:51 am
Sure jespah, how do I change the poll, cuz I also wanted to enter an 'indifferent' category? I am a bit lame at this...
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jespah
 
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 11:11 am
Just edit your first post and add poll options. Then click "Submit" again.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 01:37 pm
Ta da! Smile
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margo
 
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 02:09 pm
Well - I was the first person to vote - a resounding dunno!

I'm sitting here with an empty glass held out - where is the wine waiter? Confused
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jespah
 
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 02:53 pm
I'm ready to drink with the kitty. :-D
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hamburger
 
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 04:02 pm
i recall that years ago canadian sparkling wine with the unbelievable name (and taste) of BABY DUCK was selling quite well in great britain. the wine had the taste of ARTIFICAL rasberry juice mixed with vinegar - and the kick of a mule! would you believe that it's being sold in china? see: www.montrosechina.com . HOORAY for canadian ingenuity - we can't send an astronaut to the moon (of course we help by producing the canadarm), but we sure can ship baby duck to china! hbg
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hamburger
 
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 04:14 pm
anyone really wanting to know about BABY DUCK - doesn't the name alone already make you giddy? - should go to www.montrosechina.com.cn/b2c/special.asp . it's on special right now! hbg
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 04:22 pm
hmmmmmm, i'm not sure we want the fine and delicate members of this forum to think that Baby Duck is what canajun wine is all about.

I've heard that some of the wine 'country' tours are very good just west of here. I also know that I'd like to try some of the apple wines from the Bay of Quinte area. They seem to get consistently good reviews.
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hamburger
 
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 04:33 pm
beth: you are into applewine now - tsk, tsk - what vice will you indulge in next ? the montrose site is driving me crazy; every other time i try it, it comes up in chinese - some of the BABY DUCK must have spilled over and gummed up the works. hbg
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 04:42 pm
cavfancier - you've got 7 votes in - 6 never tried, and 1 indifferent. Have you voted?

We need to know the truth about this stuff before spending $30+ on a half-bottle whose highest vote on your poll is indifferent!

hamburger - have you picked up any of that Bay of Quinte apple wine? I think I'd like to try some the next time i'm in the area - maybe with some rotkohl?
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Montana
 
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Reply Sat 12 Apr, 2003 05:48 pm
I love wine. I even make my own, but I don't think I ever tried Canadian wine. In fact I'm sure of it since the price is too rich for my blood.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 11:35 am
Given all the duck they eat in China, I am not surprised that they also enjoy Baby Duck Very Happy

Unlike that 'fine' wine, Icewine is not artificially sweetened or chaptalized. It is wine that is fermented from the juice of grapes that have been left on the vine to freeze solid. Generally, the colder and longer the winter, the better the icewine. The grapes must be pressed before they thaw, so they are picked at night, when it is coldest, with bare hands. The brave can actually volunteer to do this at our Niagara wineries. Because the yield of the juice is so low, the cost of the wine is high. In Canada, two grape varietals are used for Icewine, Vidal or Riesling, never the two together. Personally, I think Vidal makes a more succulent icewine.

A good icewine has rich, huge fruit flavours, is incredibely sweet, with a high acid balance. Icewine can be served with dessert, or if it is a very good one, enjoyed after dessert, like a cognac. It is definitely a special occasion wine. Icewines are also great agers, and can be cellared 10-20 years or more, if the vintage is particularily good. Icewines also increase in value over the years, if you are looking to make an investment. We have one bottle in our cellar, 1989, from Inniskillin, that was probably around $30 at the time. Vintages now lists the same bottle for almost $300.

Britain and Japan are two of the bigger importers of Canadian Icewine. There are often icewine tastings happening through some of the wine clubs. That is probably a good way to get a value taste before committing to a bottle, or come to Niagara and tour some of the wineries.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 11:36 am
Almost forgot, Icewine is divine with foie gras...
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cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 01:43 pm
cav, Went to the winery in Niagara City many, many, years ago, and bought a couple bottles of icewine. Was introduced to icewine when my wife and I visisted Germany about two lifetimes ago, and the tasting a small drop in a shot glass cost us US$2.50 per person. Once you taste icewine, you never forget the taste. Some years after our return from Germany, we joined a German wine tasting club, and we bought a half case of half bottles, and we paid about $75 per bottle. The icewine I bought in Niagara City cost about $35 for the half bottle. It's been drunk a long time ago. Wink c.i.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 03:01 pm
Yeah, actually, compared to some of the German 'Eisweins', the Niagara product is a bargain. That one I mentioned, 1999 Marynissen Estates VQA Icewine is $32.95 for a half bottle and it is excellent. Also, Magnotta makes very reasonably priced Icewine as well, including a 200ml size for around $15-20. Inniskillin puts out 50ml minis of their Icewine each year around Christmas...a cool stocking stuffer, and a chance to sample some Icewine for about $6-7. Here is a tip: We had a rough, cold winter this year, next year's Niagara Icewine's are predicted to be stellar.
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cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 03:30 pm
cav, Next year, heh? my wife and I are gonna be in Montreal and Toronto in early August. Any suggestions for good wine purchase? c.i.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 04:12 pm
Hmm, c.i., Toronto is close to Niagara, not a bad drive or you could take a train. My suggestion would be to go there for a tour. I can certainly get you a list, but if you want some wines that are uniquely Canadian, you may want to try Henry of Pelham's Baco Noir, a native hybrid grape, and another hybrid, Marechal Foch, which Inniskillin makes very well, especially the 'Old Vines' Foch. These reds are quite different from your average Cab, Merlot, Pinot varietals...a little foxy, a bit 'wild', with gobs of fruit and a backbone as well. Perfect for drinking now. Penninsula Ridge and Malivoire are two other up and coming Niagara wineries. Seeing as you will be here in the summer, the Malivoire 'Ladybug' Rose competes very well with the great dry roses of Tavel...sort of a dinner rose, but perfect for just sipping outside as well.
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cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2003 04:14 pm
cav, Any idea how long these reds will last in the bottle at room temperature? c.i.
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