Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dessert Wine Tasting

I enjoy late harvest vidal or icewine as an occasional treat, so it was an unusual opportunity to be able to compare different vintages and tastes in the same evening and at the same table.

Canadian dessert wines starred at the wine tasting hosted by Nicolette and Desmond. With the exception of a cabernet franc, the grape featured in all the picks was vidal:

Igluu Late Harvest Cabernet Franc
Igluu Late Harvest Vidal
CEV Late Harvest Vidal
20 Bees Late Harvest Vidal
Southbrook Vidal Icewine
Magnotta Vidal Icewine

We tasted each wine on its own and then paired it with different cheeses:  chevre, stilton, guiness, leicester, triple brie, and sauvagine. I have never tried the sauvagine before but it is now on my shortlist of favourites; deliciously creamy.  The word translates to 'udder'  (I'm sorry, I can't help myself, but it was 'udderly' delicious).

It constantly amazes me how quickly the character or flavour of something transforms when it is paired with another taste.  The same wine with a stilton, followed by the sauvagine, totally changes its complexion.

Colours ranged from the palest straw to golden auburn, with the dominant flavours being caramel and dried fruit.  Much variety between the selections; sometimes the caramel took on more of a honey or toffee overtone.  Apple in one glass, apricot in another, there a touch of pear.  Silky, smooth and chewy were all useful adjectives.

We made our notes on tasting sheets and at the end of the evening Nicolette pulled out the 'official' marketing/tasting notes; it was fun to compare and see where we had shared vocabulary with the vintners.

Very sweet of them to host! (sorry again, must be all the sugar causing these bad puns).

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