Previously...

Even cooler Cali pinot
Terrific deluxe meritage from Two Sisters
A cool California chardonnay
Pinot grigio beats chardonnay!
Frame-up: The Beer Store, beer tax and beer prices


Previously

Even cooler Cali pinot

La Crema is known as a Sonoma winery, but it also has vineyards in Monterey. And even though it's around 120 miles south of San Francisco, Monterey is quite cool, thanks to the chilliness of the Pacific at that point. The cool shows in La Crema's 2014 Pinot Noir. 

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Terrific deluxe meritage from Two Sisters

One of the newest (and fanciest) wineries in Niagara on the Lake is Two Sisters Vineyards. It's been open a couple of years now and has a great location off the Niagara Parkway. I was very impressed with the Eleventh Post meritage I picked up back in May.

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A cool California chardonnay

 While it's very much a big and bold California chardonnay, this La Crema from the Sonoma Coast also has nuanced aromas and flavours and a good amount of acidity. The 2014s are being released at Vintages on August 20.

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Pinot grigio beats chardonnay!

Well, not in my wine cellar that's for sure, but the continued growth of the crowd-pleasing white from Italy - and now just about everywhere else - means it has now taken the number one spot in white wine sales in Ontario, slightly nudging out the usual favourite, chardonnay.

In my Bar Report for Foodservice and Hospitality magazine, I look at wine trends in Canadian restaurants  - California cabs remain big in reds, as does malbec. In spirits, gin is (still) in and spiced dark offerings are jazzing up the moribund rum category. Whiskies, especially American ones, are also still doing well. 

Craft beer continues its upward march even as the beer category as a whole declined last year.

And your spirits tip for 2015: Mezcal from Mexico - the cool kids on the west coast are boosting its so far modest sales in Canada. It's made from agave, like tequila, and different parts of Mexico make it in different styles. This is the Mexican spirit that can sometimes include a worm, and it's got a long history.  


Frame-up: The Beer Store, beer tax and beer prices

Upon announcing the signing of the “framework” agreement on revised beer retailing laws, Premier Wynne specifically mentioned that one of the objectives of was to keep Ontario’s beer prices “among the lowest in Canada”. The Beer Store’s spin on deregulation also argues that it keeps prices "low". But how true is that? 

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Beer bust

Beer in grocery stores could be seen as a holiday present that many people in Ontario have been waiting for for a long time, and that wait is over.”

Kathleen Wynne, Sept. 23, 2015.

The real Christmas present was under The Beer Store's tree: a raft of restrictions on a limited number of supermarkets with a very slow rollout process.

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A classic cab franc from Niagara

Cab franc is cab sauv's poor cousin... in Bordeaux it is rarely the main grape in the blend and the pure cab francs from Loire Valey appellations like Chinon remain inexpensive afterthoughts. Have you ever even seen a California cab franc? 

While it lacks the power and fruit of cab sauv, cab franc performs well in Ontario. Here's a classic example of cool climate cab with its distinctive bell-pepper green note. It's from Chateau des Charmes. 

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Cool California Pinot

Sonoma Coast is touted as a cooler climate zone, and it is by California standards. La Crema's pinot noir from the area is a fine example of a restrained California pinot.

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- Fine Canadian Food and Wine Websites -

 


  
 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 


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