Meet Marquette

As of August of this year, a new winter-hardy hybrid has been added to the VQA’s list of authorized grape varieties. It’s called Marquette and, according to Wikipedia, it’s  “an inter-specific hybrid red wine grape variety developed at the University of Minnesota, and is a cross between two other hybrids, MN 1094 and Ravat 262. Marquette was introduced in 2006.”

The grape’s most enthusiastic proponent is Sandor Johnson, owner of Potter Settlement Artisan Winery in Tweed, Ontario. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Where the Spirits Moved Him

My colleague and friend Tod Stewart has written a highly entertaining book on beverage alcohol. Here is the blurb from Amazon’s website: “Travelling the world over in search of the best spirits is no easy task. Quench Magazine’s contributing editor Tod Stewart takes a unique (and sometimes hilarious) outlook on the world of booze. You’ll never look at your glass the same way again. Foreword by whiskey guru, Davin de Kergommeaux.” (The Kindle edition is $2.99).


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 745: A Whole Lot of Tasting Goin’ On

Flat Rock Cellars Nadja’s Vineyard Riesling 2018 (Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara – $24.95, Vintages Nov. 23 release)
Bright, very pale straw colour; minerally, stony, lightly floral nose of honey and lemon zest; light-bodied, just off-dry, pink grapefruit flavour with lively acidity and great length. (90)

Flat Rock Cellars Rusty Shed Chardonnay 2018 ($26.95, Vintages #1552, Dec. 7 release)
Golden colour; spicy, toasty, apple, developing barnyard notes; medium-bodied, dry, richly extracted, peach and caramel flavours carried on balancing acidity – well-integrated oak, lovely mouth-feel. (92)

Campbell Kind Wine New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2018 (Winemaker Steve Smith, Marlborough – $19.95, Vintages #10556)
Bright, pale straw colour; grassy, gooseberry nose with a guava note; medium-bodied, crisply dry, green plum and gooseberry flavours with racing acidity. (89) Continue reading

Posted in Wine Lover's Diary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wine of the Week for October 24, 2019


Xavier Vignon Côtes du Rhône 2017
Deep purple colour; cedary, floral nose of blackberries with vanilla oak notes; medium to full-bodied, dry, richly extracted mulberry flavour with balancing acidity. Better than the 2016 vintage, which I rated 89. Great value at $16.95. (90)

Posted in Wines of the Week | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 744: Moraine


Moraine wines

Recently I tasted six wines from a new winery in the Naramata Bench. This is the way their website describes them:

Moraine is a family-owned winery and vineyard overlooking Okanagan Lake, located just minutes from the city of Penticton. From its shelf-like location above striking clay bluffs, Moraine peers over the landscape and water. These iconic glaciated white clay cliffs comprise the breathtaking Naramata Bench and inspire the winery’s land-formed name.

The winery owners are the husband-wife team of Oleg and Svetlana Aristarkhov, who, at a time when they were ready to make a life change, were enchanted by Moraine’s setting. The couple believes that wine offers one of life’s most simple, enjoyable, and accessible pleasures; and this philosophy spurred their leap into the wine industry. They relocated from Alberta, where they had lived for 15 years, to make premium Okanagan wines.

Here are my notes: Continue reading

Posted in Wine Lover's Diary | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment