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Four local wines to hunt down 

Local wine experts weigh in on what homegrown bottles they’re drinking.

click to enlarge MARC JOLIN
  • Marc Jolin

Lesley Quinn, sommelier at The Barrington Steakhouse & Oyster Bar
Drink of choice: 2015 Mercator Sauvage Sur Lie

"It's one of the first white wines in Nova Scotia that I feel has shown real complexity. I love Tidal Bay, it's easy to drink and delicious, but this has texture, minerality— it's just got a lot going on. The cool thing about it is it's a blend of a hybrid grape and vinifera, Petite Milo and Chardonnay. And it's aged on its lees—that style of aging is done with white wine from France and Austria, wines that are considered quite good, and usually considered to be really good with seafood. Some Chardonnays we see out of Nova Scotia are overly oaked. It's just really well balanced. There's smokiness to it that's really cool that would go great with any Nova Scotian, or PEI, oysters."


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Jenny Gammon, sommelier/communications & events manager at Bishop's Cellar
Drink of choice: 2015 Lightfoot & Wolfville Riesling

"Aromatic, fresh and food-friendly—what else could I want from a local white wine? Here in Nova Scotia we've got a relatively short growing season and lots of cool summer nights, keeping our wine full of refreshing acidity and lively aromatics. Wineries in our own backyard, like the newly-opened stunner Lightfoot & Wolfville, are wisely looking to other cool climate regions to find the best and brightest grapes for our conditions. Riesling is a somewhat misunderstood grape as many wine drinkers associate the grape exclusively with the very sweet style of wines it can create. This wine is mostly dry with just a touch of sweetness for balance— full to the brim with zesty flavours and bright acidity. A perfect match for the many nuances of Asian cuisines and other warm, spicy foods that I especially love this time of year."


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Keegan deWitt,
sommelier at Bar Kismet
Drink of choice: 2016 Benjamin Bridge Pinot Meunier

"While this wine isn't available on the market yet it will be in the near future! The reason I've chosen this wine is that it is one of the few red wines from Nova Scotia that I can really get behind. It's a naturally made wine which means it is wild fermented using indigenous yeasts and done without the addition of sulphites or any cleaning agents whatsoever. If you are in to progressive winemaking and want to try some interesting and experimental wines then you should definitely check out the Benjamin Bridge Wine Club. They are making some of the most interesting wines in the province right now and this one really shows their capability as a winery. The wine spends six months on its skins and is a beautiful bright ruby colour with flavours of cherry and spices, absolutely delicious. We are highly regarded for our ability to make sparkling wine in this province and it's so exciting to see and taste our potential for red wine as well."


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Heather Rankin, sommelier/co-owner at Obaldee, A Wine Bar
Drink of choice: 2015 Petite Rivière Gamay

"Many local wine-lovers aren't as familiar with the wines of the LaHave River Valley. Being on the south shore it tends to be warmer than the Gaspereau and Annapolis valleys, and its soil and topography differ too. These Gamay grapes are from Bear River, hand-harvested in 2013 and bottled two years later. It's a lighter, leaner style than many red lovers might be used to, but what it lacks in weight it more than makes up for with subtle, delicious nuances like red cherry, cranberry and dried herb. A great food wine—this has Thanksgiving dinner wine written all over it."



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