Happy #Canada150 everyone! (and Happy Birthday to my Mom too!<3)
VQ.. Eh! See what I did there? lol... VQA
What is VQA you might wonder? Well, I'm glad you asked! Here's a pretty fitting description, considering were celebrating our beautiful country and all things Canadian this weekend.
"Vinters Quality Alliance is about place. Special places right here at home. Places nowhere else in the world. Where the soil, the slope, the sunshine, the warmth, the rainfall and the craftsmanship all matter. Together, they give us better grapes and better grapes give us better wine".
Essentially to qualify as a VQA wine you have to follow certain rules in regards to growing/harvesting and making your wine. Similar to DOC/DOCG in Italy, it provides a fundamental starting point for quality assurance of wine in Ontario.
There are countries all over the world that give us amazing wine. I'm a sucker for a good New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but its important to support our thriving, world renowned Canadian wine industry and to do that I'd thought I let you know about two of my favourite wineries in Ontario and what I would be drinking from there if I wasn't 3 weeks from having a baby! lol so please... drink some for me!
Closson Chase Vineyards
By far one of my favourite wineries I've ever had the privilege to visit! I was in Prince Edward County last year for the Wassai Festival (blog and details coming late this summer) and had the opportunity of visiting this magical little winery. If you are ever in the region, please go! They make phenomenal wine and the crew there is fantastic.
#1) Mosaic Sparkling Charmat Method - A beautiful bottle of bubbles with notes of baked macintosh apples and buttered bread. The bubbles are tiny perfection and persistent. This would pair amazingly with some of our summer favourites like fresh shucked oysters and scallop ceviche or you can just sip this one on its own too (which is what I do with a lot of my bubbles lol) TIP: some of the best wines in Ontario are not available at the LCBO all the time and are only released once in a while. This winery will deliver ANYWHERE in Ontario for FREE (with the purchase of 6 bottles). Bubbles delivered to your front door... What more could you ask for?
#2) 2014 Classon Chase Vineyard Chardonnay - Okay so this one isn't being released to the LCBO until next week but I just had to mention. Alongside their Pinot Noir, this is probably my favourite white at Closson Chase. It received a GOLD in the National Wine Awards last year through Wine Align and just screams good Canadian Chardonnay. It has notes of caramel, lemon custard, and brioche. A beautiful full round mouth finish, with some refreshing minerality and buttered toast. Pair this wine with a great lobster mac and cheese, for a heavenly experience. Mmm now I'm hungry. :)
This wine is being released at the LCBO on July 8th. Don't delay putting your order in as there are only 2100 cases being released across Ontario. This wine could be cellared as well if you wanted.
Trius Wines (Andrew Peller)
Trius is from the other wine growing region in Ontario which some of you may of heard of...Niagara lol. They are one of the oldest wine makers in the region making exceptional wine for more than 30 years now!
#1) Trius Brut Rose Method Classique-
Of course I'm going to mention another bubbles! What's summer, let alone any other season, without bubbles?? And these ones are pink!
With notes of wild strawberry and blood orange. Refreshing flavours of white currants and white cranberry with cherry and wild strawberries on the finish. If I were pairing with food I'd grab some yummy cheeses, maybe some simple seafood or chicken.
I won't even begin to list all the awards this wine has, but I will say this is one bottle of bubbles you can take to the bank! This bottle is unfortunately not available at the LCBO full time either but on the winery website there is a limited time offer until July 28th for free delivery on any order of 6 bottles or more.
#2) Trius Merlot - Want something to pair with your more substantial everyday summer meals? This one is perfect for grilled steaks, prime rib and those glorious summer bbq burgers that we all look forward to every year.
Juicy flavours of cherry, blueberry and plum with notes of tobacco and spice on the smooth finish. Serve this one a smidge cooler than room temperature. Two thumbs up for an easy summer red.
So there you have it guys! Four of my top picks for celebrating not only Ontario/Canadian wines and our country's 150th Birthday, but celebrating all summer long!
Ashley Tyla xo
ps. Thanks to my fabulous models! @amy.lou.berry