Saturday, September 24, 2011


This title would lead one, with a narrow interpretation of the phrase, to expect ‘terroir’ or ‘somewhereness’ in the Ontario wines featured in this LCBO glossy. However, after reviewing the selection of wines I'm led to a more generic interpretation. When compared with fruits and vegetables imported to Ontario wines don’t have to be refrigerated nor do they need prepicking or treated to delay ripening during travel. They can be shipped from New Zealand, South Africa, California and Chile with a modicum of environment control. Encased in their not quite hermetically sealed cylinders, in bottles or in bulk, the flavours of their home location are retained.  'Local Tastes Better’, in this instance, may simply mean ‘Buy Ontario‘.

With admittedly a narrow interpretation my question to explore this further is ‘Of the nineteen Ontario wines in this glossy which ones would I expect to have the taste of terroir and of the grape?’. 
My focus is where the wine originates, the sub-appellation, and what grape varieties are used. The remaining component of whatever's in the bottle is the winemaker's contribution including his/her care of the soils and vines.

Of the nineteen wines in this issue there are two sub-appellations that should have a specific terroir, one from Twenty Mile Bench (Flat Rock Cellars 2009 Pinot Noir  #001545). Flat Rock produces three Pinot Noirs the one being offered is their entry level, a blend of three traditional clones: 667, 777, and 115 from estate vineyards. The second sub-appellation is Lincoln Lakeshore and Legends Estate winery (Diva* Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc #179143) offers a
Page 17 - Do as I say, not as I do!
traditional (if I said Bordeaux I'd have to black it out ) blend. Three wines are from a zone, Niagara-on-the-Lake, consisting of several sub-appellations (Château des Charmes Riesling  #061499, Stone Church Sauvignon Blanc #101865, Southbrook Connect Red ‘Organic‘ #249565). The grapes in these three are likely from estate  vineyards with the potential to express a specific 'somewhereness'. The remaining fourteen wines are blends of juices from across Niagara Peninsula and the broader region of Ontario.

For the consumer on a budget this glossy offers a number of beverage options but to experience the taste of Ontario one really needs to be more selective and visit specific wineries.

Cheers, Ww

Separate note: Does anyone proofread the recipes? eg. Roasted Red Peppers: ignoring the 11 cups of liquids there are 12kg (26lbs) of sweet red peppers. I better start now if I want it for Monday's supper ... or...  maybe I'll drop into Longo's for a jar.

No comments: