The logistics – first we had to receive the wine and the cheese, in my case I had them both sent directly to work as there are always people who can sign for it. The day when the wine came, the FedEx guy brought in this big box, and though we receive many parcels each day, some of my colleagues noticed that this one was different. I proceeded to open it, while anxious to find out which wines I am receiving, I got a nice surprise – I expected six bottles, but there were seven. Some of my colleagues (knowing what I do for fun) asked if there will be any leftovers that they can share. About a week later, I received another parcel, this one with the cheese. Now everyone knew what I was up to and so they gathered to see what cheeses I got. I must say, almost nothing like the actual visual sensation of wine or cheese on a weekday morning at work brightens up the day more.
This, as it turns out, is a date for which I had to prepare on many different fronts. First, I set this day to be the deadline for launch of my website GrapeSelections.com and by that I am talking about the preparation of website text, purchase of domain name and hosting service, not to forget the actual building of the webpage. Second, new to Twitter and Facebook, I had to familiarize myself with the platforms – all this by not trimming down on my day job, personal life and sleep (well, maybe a bit) – no wonder why it moved at a snail pace.
And there is the tasting of four wines and 6 cheeses and writing up the reviews. Now, though first and second deeds were fun, the tasting itself was the real fun. Here is the list of what we worked with reviews and pairings:
The 2011 Open Riesling Gewürztraminer is a medium bodied wine, with pleasant aromas of soft green apple and faint leechie on the nose and more of a green apple on the palate. It has a refreshing acidity, soft tannins and a medium to long, slightly sweet finish. Enjoy with light food or by itself on the beach. Excellent value for $12 at a rating of 88 pts. LCBO# 134965. Tasted July/12. LCBO and other reviews on Natalie MacLean’s site.
The 2010 Inniskillin Winemaker’s Series Two Vineyards Riesling is a light bodied wine, with nice aromas of faint pear and citrus fruit on the nose and wine lees on the palate together with a sligh fizz. It has a crisp acidity, soft tannins, nice minerality and a medium finish. Very food friendly, drink now or hold for couple of years. Rated 88 pts. Tasted July/12. LCBO and other reviews on Natalie MacLean’s site.
The 2010 Jackson-Triggs Silver Series Chardonnay, aged in French and American oak for 6 months giving it an attractive hay/golden colour. It is medium bodied, has woody aromas, together with apple/pear, boxwood and faint vanilla. It is not too acidic, has, soft to refined tannins (decant for 30 min to allow the overwhelming woody notes to faint away and for the fruit to come forth) and a long finish. The actual LCBO# is 252072. This wine should be tasted with strong cheeses. Rated 89 pts. Tasted July/12. LCBO and other reviews on Natalie MacLean’s site.
The 2010 Jackson Triggs Black Series Meritage, composed of 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Cabernet Franc and 31% Merlot aged in French and American oak for 12 months, is a medium to full bodied, fruity wine with intense aromas of prune, black fruit, black pepper, smoke and vanilla. It has refined tannins (decant for 15 min) and a medium to long finish. Drink now till 2017. Rated at 89 pts and for $13.45 classifies this wine as a good value wine. Tasted July/12. LCBO and other reviews on Natalie MacLean’s site.
The Île-aux-Grues, a very nice cedar, paired well with Open Riesling, however the Two Vineyards Riesling paired better with it due to its nice acidity. The Silver Series Chardonnay was too strong for this cheese.
The Albert’s Leap Brie, a soft, creamy, rich and salty cheese, paired best with the Open Riesling, as the wine’s fruit shined through.
The Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, almost starting to crumble and with strong green pepper taste – was my favorite btw; paired well with all the withes. Together with Two Vineyards Riesling, the finish was nice and clean. With the Silver Series Chardonnay it cut right through the woody wine notes.
Alfred Le Fermier, soft yet crystalline cheese paired best with Silver Series Chardonnay as its long finish enhanced the cheeses flavor. With Open Riesling it enhanced the wine’s apple notes and with the Two Vineyards Riesling it was nice, clean and refreshing.
Niagara Gold’s taste was enhanced by the Open Riesling, but it really shined together with the Two Vineyards Riesling as it accented its lemon scents. Together with Silver Series Chardonnay the two softened each other, perfect marriage.
The Maple Smoked 2 Year Old Cheddar, a nicely smoked, strong cheese, was perfectly married with Open Riesling as it softened the cheese. Just as well, the Two Vineyards Riesling cut right through the cheese and had a nice clean finish. Together with Silver Series Chardonnay, flavors of both were enhanced.
As mentioned in the title, this was a twitter tasting, which can be seen if you search for #CdnCheese. This tasting was organized by Natalie MacLean and participants included ones below plus more.
Bethany Harpur @2ndferment
Jason Solanki @cono_sur
Corinna Horton @thefoodgypsy
Nina Syas @wineandfoodlove
Allie Hughes @alliehues
Dawn Montgomery @DawnMontgomery
Susan Desjardins @susanswine
Gaby Israel @wineGPCi
Holly Bruns @WineOutLoud
and myself @Grapeselections