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
-Akenta Vermentino di Sardegna Spumante Millesimato 2016, Sardinia
-Sensum Laxas Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain
-Pittnauer Pitt-Nat Rose, Burgenland, Austria
-Luis Pato Rosado, Bairrada, Portugal
-Domaine Rolet Cremant de Jura Rose, Jura, France
-Herxheim Dornfelder Trocken Sekt, Baden, Germany
-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.
Benjamin Bridge 2014 Brut (100% Chardonnay) - Nova Scotia
Benjamin Bridge 2018 Pétillant Naturel (100% Chardonnay) - Nova Scotia
Menti Riva Arsiglia (100% Garganega natural wine) - Veneto, Italy
Menti Monte del Cuca (100% Garganega orange wine) - Veneto, Italy
Tawse 2016 Quarry Road Vineyard Pinot Noir - Niagara
Tawse 2018 Quarry Road Vineyard Natural Unfiltered Pinot Noir - Niagara
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."
-2008 Bollinger La Grande Année Brut Champagne
-2016 Stags’ Leap Chardonnay, Napa Valley
-2012 Pavillon Blanc de Chateau Margaux, Bordeaux
-1996 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
-2000 Chateau Kirwan, Bordeaux
-2004 Solaia, Tuscany
-1988 Chateau Rieussec, Sauternes
-1992 Porto Quevedo Colheita Port
-1984 Francis Darroze Domaine de Barigos Armagnac
1) Grasshopper crusted lamb loin, tomato chutney
2) Salmon avocado ceviche
3) Rabbit ragu with creamy polenta
4) Chocolate caramel pot de creme
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