113) December 7, 2019

Sparkling Wine for Nerds!

Venue: Private home

Synopsis: As the holiday season approaches, many of us will head to the  sparkling wine section of our favourite retailer. So many products to  choose from! There are the familiar favourites: Champagne, Cava,  Prosecco. And then there are those other crazy weird ones. This tasting  will focus on the most unique and geeky and nerdy sparkling wines on the  market and the stories behind them!

The tasting is intended as an after-dinner event, with simple finger snacks to pair.

The wine line-up:

Reception: Boslita Sovietskoe Shampanskoe, Lithuania

Flight one:

-Akenta Vermentino di Sardegna Spumante Millesimato 2016, Sardinia

-Sensum Laxas Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain

Flight two:

-Pittnauer Pitt-Nat Rose, Burgenland, Austria

-Luis Pato Rosado, Bairrada, Portugal

Flight 3:

-Domaine Rolet Cremant de Jura Rose, Jura, France 

-Herxheim Dornfelder Trocken Sekt, Baden, Germany

Flight 4:

-Cave Monge Granon Clairette de Die, Rhone, France

-Chateau Langlois Carmin Brut Red, Loire Valley, France

114) January 25, 2020

Canada vs The World: A Blind Tasting Smackdown!

Venue: Private home

Synopsis: Canadian wines have come a long way since European Vinifera varietals  started to replace hybrid vines back in the mid 1990s. At first the  only Canadian wines known internationally were ice wines. Now, quality  white and red wines from BC and Ontario are recognized in international  wine competitions, as well as still and sparkling wines from Nova  Scotia. It's been a few years since Noble Rot has done a blind  comparison of Canadian wines versus their international benchmarks.  There will be five flights of wines in this event, each flight being a  matchup of two wines: one from Canada and an international challenger.  Each flight will be paired with a dish prepared by chef Matthew Hollett  who many of you will remember from last year's Rioja vertical and  superfoods for superheroes event.

The wines (even the varietals) will be kept under cover until that  evening to ensure they are tasted blind and objectively evaluated!



Fried quail egg on latke with smoked salmon, creme fraiche and chive


Roasted beet, goat cheese and walnut salad


Wild mushroom pappardelle


Beef short rib with celeriac purée


Vanilla creme brûlée with dried fruit compote

* Please refer to Instagram posts from January 25, 2020 for the wine lineup and the winners!

115) February 15, 2020

You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Vino!

Venue: Private home

Synopsis: What is "Natural Wine?" There is a dedicated (perhaps fanatical)  segment of the fine wine market dedicated to such wines. These wines are  typically made from organically or biodynamically grown grapes, which  are fermented using only the indigenous yeasts present on the grape  skins. Nothing is added, nothing taken away during the winemaking  process. Whereas conventional winemaking involves adding a fair amount  of sulphur dioxide to stabilize the wine against oxidation and microbial  contamination, minimal to no sulphur is added to natural wines. As  well, conventional wines are filtered and fined to produce a completely  clear product, while natural wines are neither filtered nor fined and  are proudly cloudy. Enthusiasts claim that natural wines are more  unique, characterful, and more representative of their grape varietal  and terroir than conventional wines which are too technical and  conformist. They embrace vintage variation and even bottle variation as  added marks of authenticity. Now, there are some natural wines which are  dreadful, and truthfully are flawed wines. However, those that are made  well are potentially fascinating and complex. Making quality natural  wines that are free of winemaking faults, and stable enough to reach the  consumer in clean condition without the benefit of sulphur and  filtration, requires a masterful hand in the winery.

This event will feature several natural wines including an "orange  wine" and an extended skin contact Syrah aged in clay amphorae. As a  contrast we have conventionally-made wines from the same producers and  vineyards to highlight the difference in flavour profiles.

Flight One:

Benjamin Bridge 2014 Brut (100% Chardonnay) - Nova Scotia

Benjamin Bridge 2018 Pétillant Naturel (100% Chardonnay) - Nova Scotia

Flight Two:

Menti Riva Arsiglia (100% Garganega natural wine) - Veneto, Italy

Menti Monte del Cuca (100% Garganega orange wine) - Veneto, Italy

Flight Three:

Tawse 2016 Quarry Road Vineyard Pinot Noir - Niagara

Tawse 2018 Quarry Road Vineyard Natural Unfiltered Pinot Noir - Niagara

Flight Four:

Laughing Stock 2016 Syrah - Okanagan Valley

Laughing Stock 2016 Amphora Syrah - Okanagan Valley

116) February 29, 2020

Leap Night: Leap Like You've Never Leapt Before!

Venue: Private Home

Synopsis: Every four years, the peculiarity of our 365 and 1/4 day orbit around  the sun requires a leap day to keep our calendar on track. This year,  leap night happens to be a Saturday night and so why not celebrate with  wines from the last nine consecutive leap years! Along with the leap  year theme, our favourite catering chef Matthew Hollett will prepare a  menu of "things that leap."

The wines:

Flight One:

-2008 Bollinger La Grande Année Brut Champagne

Flight Two:

-2016 Stags’ Leap Chardonnay, Napa Valley

-2012 Pavillon Blanc de Chateau Margaux, Bordeaux

Flight Three:

-1996 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

-2000 Chateau Kirwan, Bordeaux

-2004 Solaia, Tuscany

Flight Four:

-1988 Chateau Rieussec, Sauternes

-1992 Porto Quevedo Colheita Port

-1984 Francis Darroze Domaine de Barigos Armagnac

Dinner menu:

1) Grasshopper crusted lamb loin, tomato chutney

2) Salmon avocado ceviche

3) Rabbit ragu with creamy polenta

4) Chocolate caramel pot de creme