A Call for Canadian Wines: Let Them Move Coast to Coast Glorious and Free

On Canada Day, many of us raise a glass of local wine to celebrate. But which Canadian wines will make your July 1st memorable?

Here, with her picks for you, is Natalie MacLean who offers Canada’s most popular online wine and food pairing classes at nataliemaclean.com.

Hello Natalie.

Before we dive into these wines, tell me where the Canadian wine industry stands today and how has it fared during the lockdown?

– There are now more than 800 wineries now from coast to coast in Canada.

– Great selection of wine from coast to coast, wine is made in every province; the four largest ones are Ontario, BC, Quebec and NS.

– Most wineries have fewer than 20 employees so they don’t make enough wine to be stocked in the big liquor store chains that have remained open.

– Wineries have been challenged during the lockdown because tasting rooms, as well as their restaurant customers, have been closed (though they’re starting to open up again).

– They’ve focused on direct shipping, many across the country.

 

 

Tell me about the two wines you suggest as starters to whet our appetite.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Benjamin Bridge Rosé 2011

Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada

 

 

 

– These two wines are great aperitifs: low alcohol, great flavour.

– These wines will also pair well with grilled seafood and veggies.

– Benjamin Bridge from the heart of NS’s wine country in the Annapolis Valley.

– Sperling comes from the Okanagan Valley.

– All of these wine regions are worth visiting as restrictions lift: great road trip if you want to avoid air travel and support local; many wineries have restaurants attached.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sperling Vineyards Old Vine Pinots 2017
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC VQA, Canada

 

 

 

Which wines have you recommended as lighter grilled fare?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards Tidal Bay 2017
Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada

 

 

– These wines pair well with grilled seafood and veggies.

– Tidal Bay is Canada’s first stylistic appellation based on how the wine is made, off-dry.

– The rosé from Prince Edward County, just north of Toronto, sand dunes.

– Rosé lifts and brightens grilled and smoky flavours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karlo Estates Patio Reserve Rosé 2016
Prince Edward County, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada

 

 

 

 

You also have a Chardonnay here, tell us about it.

– Quebec’s wine country is nestled in the eastern townships, in the southeastern part of the province where they have enough warmth to ripen grapes.

– This Chardonnay is full-bodied, round and luscious, perfect for grilled chicken or pork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coteau Rougemont La Plage Chardonnay 2017
Quebec, Canada

 

 

 

How about wines to pair with grilled meats?

Grizzli Cabernet Franc

– This is a hearty, full-bodied BC red wine that’s perfect for grilled meats such as hamburgers, steaks and sausages.

 

 

 

 

Grizzli Winery Reserve Cabernet Franc 2014
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC VQA, Canada

 

 

 

 

What about dessert?

Pondview Vidal Icewine – Niagara

– Icewine put Canada on the map.

– Perfect for grilled pineapple or on its own.

 

 

 

 

 

PondView Estate Winery Gold Series Vidal Icewine 2015
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario VQA, Canada

 

 

 

– Cider icewine is a specialty of Quebec.

– Great with roasting marshmallows.

 

 

 

 

 

Neige Recolte D’hiver 2012
Monterigie, Quebec, Canada

 

 

 

Take Action!

Our chat sparked a Twitter storm that I hope helps put more wind in the sails of our provincial government representatives — MPPS and MLAs — to finally open provincial borders to give our local, grassroots businesses to support they need as well as Canadian wine lovers the diversity of taste they deserve.

>> Contact your local MPP and/or MLA and let them know you want this!

You can also find them on Twitter via this list.

Here’s a sampling of the comments for your reference…

 

 

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