Written by: Jennifer Vipond, Certified Sommelier
Bruce Wine Bar Kitchen, Thornbury, ON
As the spring season approaches and we begin to think about spring in cottage country, our minds love to think about the social aspect of cottaging. We get excited about those first warm days when the sun is shining and the late winter melts away, exposing all of the new promises of the season. Part of the enjoyment of this time is planning the food and wine for your festivities, and choosing food and great wine for those fresh spring meals is always fun. Our Sommelier, Jennifer Vipond has some great picks for this spring at the cottage!
Nothing says spring quite like Riesling, and some of the best come right from our own back yard! How exciting is that? In my mind, Ontario produces some of the best Rieslings out there.
Rieslings go quite well with spicy foods and as long as I can detect that florality, crisp green apple with that noteworthy high acidity, I am happy. Petrol, of course, is one of the aromas in a Riesling too. Quite a tasting note, isn’t it? Funny, when I began tasting and really thinking about the wine before tasting it, I would attempt the glass by first a quick whiff, then a swirl again, then another nosing. I thought to myself, “why in the world would anyone want to smell ‘petrol’?” Well, it simply is a characteristic of Riesling and that’s that. I have since grown quite attached to the nose of a good Riesling and would definitely say that Germany, Ontario, and Austria all do them very well.
I still do identify Rieslings by acidity for sure, and the notes of fruit and petrol. However, the way of the tasting note is changing. Petrol seems to be an offensive term for many winemakers/producers so the term is defined as more of a flinty minerality. Who can blame them really? As a result, there are other terms emerging in place of petrol. So for me, I just don’t say “petrol” out loud anymore.
There are aromas of citrus, peach, pear, mineral and apricot. Riesling does have the incredible ability to age for decades and still look and taste as fresh as a daisy. This rule applies only to the best German Rieslings but Australia’s dry Rieslings also develop beautifully for at least up to a decade. Riesling grown in warm conditions often lack the freshness, delicacy and floral/lime/lemon flavours that it gains from being grown in coolish to cold places. I suppose that is why I am such a proponent of Ontario Rieslings.
As the warmer weather and all of the promise of spring unfolds, be sure to enjoy the wonderful wines I have chosen for you with your favourite cottage meals!
Download the Spring Edition of The Phillips Team Cottage Real Estate Magazine Here
Rieslings & Sparkling wine for the Spring!
Cave Spring Riesling, 2013 Niagara, ON LCBO#286377
In Ontario, this is one producer that continues to come out on top when taste tested against many of the same varietal. Know one thing for sure, Ontario does an excellent job at producing Riesling. This one in particular is a beauty! This very aromatic Riesling boasts scents of lemon drop & ripe Bartlett pear. The palate is medium bodied & dry in style, with Honeydew melon on the attack followed on the mid-palate by intense pink grapefruit flavours. A beautifully, integrated seam of acidity carries very persistent flavours of lemon-meringue, spice & citrus rind long onto the finish. How’s that for delicious descriptors? Thanks Cave Spring Website, I couldn’t have said it better!
Rieslings in general are very food friendly. Spicy, salty, greasy, light…the dish is always right with a Riesling!
Sue Ann Staff Lulu Riesling, 2012, Niagara, ON LCBO#322636
This wine is on the sweeter side (off-dry), but has such a cutting acidity that the tartness and overall flavour and mouth feel is intoxicating to me. Very light colour with a typical cool climate green hue. Very aromatic with aromas of citrus such as lemon juice and lime leaf, followed by minerality that is typical of the cool climate in Niagara. The semi-dry, refreshing palate is clean and fruit driven. Not only does the citrus present itself on the palate, it is joined by Granny Smith apple, white peach and honey. Zippy and mouth-watering. Not kidding! A good Riesling can get pricey but is worth paying a little more for the complexity of the wine. It is not to say that you can’t find a Riesling for less or any varietal for that matter. Generally, the price does reflect the juice in the bottle. This Riesling would be great with poultry, seafood, fish, mild cheese or on its own.
For more of Jennifer’s selections, download The Phillps Team Cottage Real Estate Magazine Here or pick one up at many strategic locations throughout the Parry Sound-Muskoka district.
Jennifer Vipond is the Proprietor/Certified Sommelier at the Bruce Wine Bar Kitchen in Thornbury, Ontario. After attending several Tofino Food and Wine festivals, Jennifer followed her heart, studying and completing her advanced certificate with the internationally recognized Wine and Spirit Educational Trust (WSET), and is a Court of Masters- Certified Sommelier. From the moment you meet Jennifer she loves sharing her knowledge and passion of wine, and her enthusiasm is highly contagious. We are thrilled that Jennifer has join us as The Phillips Team, Cottage Magazine’s resident Sommelier (and great friend, we might add!). Watch for her picks in each of our quarterly publications.