With summertime looming (HOORAY), it’s almost time to relax with a glass of red on the patio. But have you thought about the wine list? I attended the County in the City event at the Church at Berkeley Church.
This was a wine-tasting event that highlighted the wines of Prince Edward County, hosted by the Toronto Wine & Spirit Festival. Over the course of several hours, I sampled an array of wines and even went back for seconds at some stations!
After extensive research, I’ve narrowed down my top picks that are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. And some are even available at the LCBO.
Sandbanks Estate Winery - Sandbanks Rosé – $12.95
I loved this lemonade-pink wine with a medley of raspberry, tangerine and grapefruit. Recommended as an aperitif or served with grilled chicken or fish.
Sandbanks Winter Harvest – $12.95
All I can say is – DELICIOUS! This dessert wine was my top pick for the night, both for its flavour and price. Made from the Vidal grape, it tasted like honey in a glass. The flavour is very similar to ice wine, but the bottle is a fraction of the cost. Excellent served icy cold as an aperitif or with dessert – or even as the dessert itself.
Trumpour’s Mill - Paint the Town Red Gamay Noir – $14.95
The name of this wine is perfect because it’s both ruby-red and a show-stopper. It had such a unique aroma of raspberries and cherries...I couldn’t resist asking for seconds. A great wine to accompany cedar-planked salmon.
Lighthall Vineyards - Lighthall 2011 Progression - $20.00
Get busy with the fizzy, baby! This sparkling white bursted with light and refreshing bittersweet bubbles. A perfect patio drink for the summer. This wine isn’t on the shelves of the LCBO, so check out the website, or even better, visit the winery for a tour and tasting.
Stanners Vineyard - Stanners Vineyard Estate 2009 Pinot Noir - $35.00
Stanners Vineyard is a small family vineyard and boutique winery dedicated to producing premium Pinot Noir. And do they ever! I loved this bright red blended with cranberries and cherry flavours. This wine recently won bronze medals at the Canadian Wine Awards and the Intervin International Wine Competition.
I had little use for the wine spit bucket at this event. The wines were just too yummy to waste! At the end, I sampled some of the delicious foods. The butter chicken hit the spot!Upset about missing the party? Don’t despair – the Toronto Wine & Spirit Festival is back for its fourth year on June 14-16th! The event will have samples of wine and craft beer, as well as live music and food. Advance tickets are $25.00 and will soon be available at: www.wineandspiritfestival.ca --- Lisa Jackson