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Daniel O'Keefe

Daniel O'Keefe

Start From Scratch

Back 10 Cellars Start From Scratch Chardonnay 2018

Lincoln Lakeshore, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
1430 days ago

Daniel scored this wine: 91/100

After a 2013 experiment yielded favourable results, Back 10 continues to employ a wild fermentation of its Chardonnay in Canadian oak barrels. Featuring a broad, deep, and complex nose and palate, this unique white presents unabashed butter and cream to mix with peach, coconut, vanilla, dill, and tropical fruit aromas. Rich and textured on the palate with all sorts of tropical fruit stylings. Lengthy finish engages all of the palate. A natural match to lobster and butter or shrimp and panko mac and cheese.

Big Reach

Back 10 Cellars Big Reach Riesling 2019

Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
1430 days ago

Daniel scored this wine: 91/100

Yet another fine example of Riesling from Back 10 Cellars. Riesling was the first wine they ever produced, and that original 2012 vintage won gold at the national level. Production method unchanged, this loght and crisp white is made with hand-harvested high acid grapes, lightly pressed, and fermented cool in stainless. The resulting wine balances on the edge of a knife with high acid, balanced sugar, and a very light body of 10% ABV. Expect potent apple, peach, and melon notes. Match with Asian take out.


Back 10 Cellars Smitten Sparkling 2018

Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
1430 days ago

Daniel scored this wine: 91/100

A top rated sparkling Riesling crafted in the Charmat method. Exceedingly fruity nose boasting bushels of apple, peach, pear, lemon, and melon. A touch off dry to balance the high acidity of the hand-harvested Riesling, picked when the grapes possess 10 grams of acid per litre. Plenty of fruit through the palate and finish. An absolute treat with prosciutto-wrapped melon or spicy chicken tenders, though very easy to enjoy on its own.

Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery Meritage 2018

V.Q.A., St. Davids Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
1449 days ago

Daniel scored this wine: 89/100

49/46/3/2 Cabernet Franc/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot, with everything but the PV coming from the Estate Vineyard. A lighter, softer, and more feminine style of Meritage, and that's not a criticism. Highly aromatic thanks to being nearly half CF. Cedar mingles with forest floor, cherry, raspberry, and violet. 8 months in French oak has added some gentle and complementary baking spice. Between the soft tannins 12.7% ABV body, this red makes a fine match for chicken, turkey, and pork.


The Tragically Hip Flamenco Rosé 2019

Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
1450 days ago

Daniel scored this wine: 90/100

A lovely rose crafted from a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay. Crisp, zippy, and dry, leading with red cherry and strawberry, followed by by slight hints of peach, lemon, and citrus. Pleasing texture and underlying minerality. Finishes with plenty of fruit. Match this remarkable rose with grilled chicken and ribs, and make sure you have the Trouble at the Henhouse album from the Tragically Hip on in the background.

Daniel O'Keefe

Wine BloggerVisit Daniel's Website

Memorable Wine

Foreign Affair Cabernet Franc 2004


First Wine

Wayne Gretzkey Chardonnay


Unusual Wine Experience

Old, dry, and oxidative Niagara Riesling with lasagna. Somehow, it worked really well.


Current Fav Wine

Riesling, always Riesling!





Winner World's Best Drink Writer
WFour-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
Five-Time Winner Association of Food Journalists
Six-Time Winner Bert Greene Award
Best Wine Literature Book Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Online Writer of the Year Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Award