Wine Camp


Tonight, I attended another event I was alerted to c/o Nico. Wine Camp took place at the Fine Wine Reserves, in the bowels of a King Street building. The first thing you notice upon entering the space is the comforting smell of wood. It’s everywhere. Helps to keep all that expensive wine safe.

We were treated to samplings of 6 Ontario wines – 2 whites and 4 reds. I’ve never been a big fan of whites. I can handle Pinot Grigios as they tend to have the kind of full body that I prefer. The two whites came from well known Niagara winery Henry of Pelham. There was a sparkling Cuvée Catherine Brut and a Chardonnay. Neither changed my mind about white wine.

On to the reds.  My first impression of the Cabernet Franc was “BLACK CURRANT!!!!!!”. It was that strong. It was a jammy, smooth and sweet wine. It tasted more like juice than wine. Not unpleasant, just unexpected.

With the Syrah, you were immediately hit with a musty, earthy nose that was definitely evident on the palate as well. After about 10 minutes in the glass, though, it settled in nicely. Smooth and robust, slightly tannic, I really enjoyed this one. I’ve realized recently that I am partial to syrahs and shirazes. The last one I tried, before going on an awesome tour of the storage facilities at the Reserve, was Featherstone’s Merlot. This was a big and bold wine that I also enjoyed quite a bit.

I don’t know which wine I missed, but at the end of the evening, everyone went home with a free bottle of Dan Akroyd’s Cabernet Shiraz. I’m skeptical of this, but at that price, I’m willing to give it a whirl. Besides, I’ve already had an offer to share it with a friend I haven’t seen in far too long.

Of course, there were a variety of nibbles to accompany these wines. Along with the usual vegetables and dip, there were these yummy grilled cheese sandwiches, topped with some kind of tomato concoction.

Best new discovery by far was this sage derby cheese. It’s colour definitely kept me at arm’s length, as I’m not fond of blues and figured the green colour must have been a mold. Am I glad Nico does like blues and tried it. It tasted and felt similar to a semi-aged cheddar but with a delightful herbal overtone. I’ll definitely be seeking this one out next time I’m at the St. Lawrence Market.

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