Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Late Harvest Vidal

The first pressing of grapes frozen on the vine yields a few delicious drops of ice wine,  and the second pressing is often sold as "late harvest".   So with temperatures well below freezing and the season of feasting upon us, it seems entirely fitting to enjoy a tasting of late harvest vintages. 

Nicolette and Desmond invited people to sample some great varietals and offered delectable pairings of smoked trout, pepper pate, and wonderful cheeses.  Two new cheeses to add to my list of favourites: a creamy Devil's Cave Blue from Sudbury and a goat cheese baked with lemon and pepper.

Thanks to the invite I was happy to discover how beautifully the pepper pate and smoked trout contrasted with the flavour of the Late Harvest Riesling.  I can definitely see this as a first course or aperitif, served in summer, with frozen grapes presented as a garnish on the side.  yummmmm
The popular favourite was the Chateau de Charmes Late Harvest Riesling which was pale straw in colour and surprisingly fizzy.  We found out later this won the 2009 and 2010 Gold Medal at the Ontario Wine Awards. Next favourite was Strewn, the colour of golden straw with a peachy taste and pleasant tingle in the mouth.  Both had a nicely balanced acidity so the sweetness wasn't at all cloying.

Dan kept everyone laughing with his descriptions for the personalities of the wines - one was an effusive Bryn Mawr graduate, another was "confused but not conflicted",  still another "burst rudely into the room unannounced and quickly departed without leaving much of an impression":

Nicolette also shared a 'mouth-feel' wheel she'd come across - a handy way to create a shared vocabulary for red wines that we referenced a few times - silky was a great description for Legends Vidal.

Way too many calories but lots of fun!

1 comment:

Annika said...

Introduced my parents to Ice Wine over the holiday.. We tried Lakeview Cellars, Vidal 2008 (VQA Ontario). I tried to explain to my nephews that it is for sipping, but that's hard for the young when it taste like Sweet Juice Nectar, and it goes down to easy.
Looking forward to trying A Cider Ice wine that I bought when visiting Quebec recently.