Together for ONTARIO
By Angela Aiello “The Super Wine Girl”
Leaves have changed colour. Temperatures are lowering and grapes are almost all off the vine. Here in Ontario, it’s the most beautiful time to head to wine country and see and taste Ontario from grape to glass.
Together we are celebrating Harvest season and the wines coming out of our own backyard - Ontario VQA wines! This month, the LCBO is proud to have on offer, a selection of over 400 VQA wines from Ontario’s 180-plus VQA wineries, it’s the perfect way to share the love locally, as we venture into the Thanksgiving season.
When you choose local, you’re not just getting an amazing product with uniquely homegrown flavours, you’re supporting our wine industry and helping it grow when it’s needed most.
We all have an important role to play in helping to rebuild our industry. By shopping and discovering wines from our neighbours, we can do our part in showing what Ontario is made of and #pairitforward! Ontario’s wine industry generates 18,000 jobs annually and every purchase of Ontario VQA wine generates significant economic impact for Ontario’s economy. So, what are you waiting for!
Here are 5 tips for an Ontario Wine Getaway and also eight wines to you to share and enjoy this season.
1. Do Your Homework
Don’t just wing it. Visit winecountryontario.ca or take a look through the Wine Country Ontario Travel guide to help plan your visits in any of our amazing wine regions. Be sure to book your tasting in advance so you’re not disappointed. Don’t forget to dress the part for all of your Instagram photos too!
2. Pick a Theme
With so many wineries and so little time, organize your visit around your interests and what excites you. Whether it’s sustainability, outdoor patios,, architecture, celebrity wineries, a regional or grape focus feel free to stay focused on what you want out of the day(s) visits. Do just one comprehensive winery tour—there’s no need to see fermentation tanks a second or third time. Given current COVID regulations, planning makes a big difference here.
3. Taste and Talk
Taste Ontario’s signature cool-climate grapes like, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Cabernet Franc and more! Discover white, orange (white wine fermented on its skins), rosé and red wines from many of our talented winemakers from all over the province. Make reservations at a winery restaurant to find the perfect food and wine pairings too!
4. Tour Responsibly
Have a designated driver, spit, take a cab or Uber or even better, stay the night(s). Support Ontario and have a staycation in wine country! Consider hopping aboard an organized day trip. Don’t forget your mask and your portable hand sanitizer, too.
5. Be Inquisitive
Get the inside scoop. Ask about the history of the winery, the story behind the name, the terroir and the stories. Explore the vineyards, and touch the soil while you’re at it! Ask about what makes the winery special, innovation in the winery, and be compassionate to the staff at the wine bar during this time, maybe even tip adequately if they’ve really impressed you.
This month, the LCBO is proud to have on offer, a selection of over 400 VQA wines from Ontario’s 180-plus VQA wineries - a perfect way to share the local joy as we venture into Thanksgiving. Be sure to check out lcbo.com, the customer app or in-store for local product suggestions. You can also discover something new from the comfort of your home with LCBO’s virtual tasting event series, featuring talented winemakers and industry experts.
Here are 8 wines for you to taste and enjoy
1. Peninsula Ridge Sauvignon Blanc VQA
Peninsula Ridge Winery is known for its quintessentially Canadian, cool-climate wines. Enjoy lime, lemon and gooseberry flavours, with hints of tropical fruit and mineral. This wine is aged in stainless steel to preserve the purity of the fruit's expression. Serve with seafood, salads or creamy- textured cheeses. LCBO
2. Thirty Bench Winemaker's Blend Riesling
This wine is from the Beamsville Bench, which is one of Niagara's best spots for growing Riesling. It's a classic, featuring ripe peach, pear and lemon flavours, refreshing acidity and a hint of spice. It will make any meal special, from simple ham-and-brie sandwiches to foie gras. LCBO
3. The Audacity of Thomas G. Bright Orange Wine VQA
Contact with grape skins during fermentation yields wines that are complex and delightful with food. Experience aromas of rosewater and tangerine zest with added layers of clove and nutmeg. On the palate, the wine is crisp and dry, with flavours echoing the aromas. Serve with cider- glazed ham or seared duck breast. LCBO
4. Pelee Island Lola Cabernet Franc Rosé 2019
Cabernet Franc is an ideal grape for rosé. Expect this one to deliver brightly articulated cherry, with a satisfying weight and elegant mouthfeel from partial malolactic fermentation. A satisfying match for charcuterie. LCBO
5. 13th Street Gamay
A superb example of Ontario's proficiency with Gamay. This is always complex, with ripe cherry and plum fruit alongside touches of smoke, meat, pepper spice, herbs and underbrush. A substantial Gamay that will be great with a roast beef dinner. LCBO
6. Rosehall Run Pinot Noir VQA Defiant
Medium ruby red colour; aromas of ripe cherry, black fruit, oak, earth and spice with beetroot and vanilla; extra dry, light-medium bodied, easy drinking, flavours of black fruit and vanilla, with floral and spice notes. LCBO
7. Trius Red
From a pioneer of premium Ontario red wines, this Bordeaux-inspired blend has been crafted to perfection every year since 1989. Blackcurrant, grilled herbs, tobacco and cedar. Savour with blackened Ontario lamb, slow- cooked pork shoulder or roast beef. LCBO
8. Family Tree 'The Goat Lady' Chardonnay VQA Speck Brothers
Bottle Size:750 mL bottle Alcohol/Vol:13%
Made In:Ontario, Canada By:Speck Bros. Sugar Content:9 g/L Sweetness Descriptor:D - Dry Style:Full-bodied & Rich Varietal:Chardonnay
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Please, always sip responsibly.