CANADIAN WINE FOR CANADIAN THANKSGIVING

As a county Canada is unique. As Canadians we are all kinds of awesome.

We know that when it comes to maple syrup, well, you can put that sh@t on everything. Our colourful money looks fancy. No one is jumping out of bed for a Bloody Mary, but a Caesar will right all wrongs on a Sunday morning. Politics aside, our leader is sexy with the best hair in the free world. We believe in three downs. There is such a thing as Tim Hortons drive through etiquette. We are proud of public health care, poutine chips, hockey, coffee crisps and smarties, Ryan Gosling abs…

And most importantly, this week we proud to be a nation that believes in Thanksgiving before the snow flies. One last long weekend as the cottage, a chance to enjoy the great outdoors and to cheer for Canadian football.

Since we’ve established how awesome we are, we should probably talk about how awesome, and like our Prime Minister, how hot Canadian wine is. The world is taking notice that the Great White North is not just about beer, although we do have some damn good beer. For years while we have been enjoying our local wines, outside our boarders knowledge of Canadian wine has remained fairly unknown, but that has been quickly changing. American wine critic and Wine Spectator columnist Matt Kramer called Ontario “the world’s least-known great wine zone.”

Making Canadian wine something else to add to our list of things we are proud of.

Here are a few of my favourite wines to make it a very Canadian Thanksgiving!

CANADIAN WINE FOR CANADIAN THANKSGIVING
Start the Thanksgiving feast off on a Canadian high note with Benjamin Bridge Brut. This east coast bubbly has established itself as a premium Canadian wine. Crafted using the traditional method of Champagne (second fermentation in the bottle), it blends traditional Chardonnay with local Nova Scotia grapes: L’Acadieand Seyval. It’s light and pretty, crisp and fresh with a lovely core of minerality and citrus notes. Perfect for appetizers, as well as with the main bird. This bubbly is how I plan to kick off our Thanksgiving!

 

OTHER SPARKLING WINE PICKS:
Hinterland Rosé 2013 Method Traditional

Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Brut

Summerhill Cipes Brut

When it comes to turkey it is definitely a time to think pink! Not only are Rosé wines extremely food friendly, they are juicy enough to help out a dry turkey. My pick for Thanksgiving dinner this year is Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards Pinot Rosé. Are you seeing an east coast trend? If I can’t be home for Thanksgiving, then I might as well enjoy the best of Nova Scotian wines. Pinot Rose is a blend of the two noble red Pinot varieties; 75% Pinot Meunier and 25% Pinot Noir. The grapes are from Lightfoot & Wolfville’s organic and biodynamic Oak Island Vineyard in Avonport, Nova Scotia. There are flavours of pink grapefruit and red ripe berries, balanced with the signature minerality of the area.

OTHER ROSÉ WINE PICKS:
Stoneboat Rosé

Devil’s Wishbone Winery Pinot Gris Rosé VQA 2015

If you prefer a more traditional pick, then serving a Riesling with your turkey feast is a good choice. Luckily there are so many great Rieslings in Canada right now it was tough to just pick one, I love them all equally. A mouth watering turkey needs a mouth watering wine, which meant it had to be Norman Hardie Riesling. One sip of this wine and your palate opens up, ready for the feast ahead. It is so versatile that it will work well with everything on your plate, but won’t be over powering. It’s aromatic with loads floral and citrus notes, but still bone dry. It’s light bodied with crisp acidity and a refreshing finish. It’s a Canadian gem!

OTHER WHITE WINE PICKS:
TH Wines Riesling

Planter’s Ridge Chardonnay

Cedar Creek Pinot Gris

For a moment forget the old adage of white meat, white wine. Red wine lovers rejoice because there are plenty of picks that you can enjoy with turkey. Keep it lighter, with bright fruit flavours, avoid big oaky tannic monsters, and your Thanksgiving food wine pairing will be safe! Think Gamay and Pinot Noir and slide that Barolo back into the wine rack. But what I really want you to consider is the sexy TH Wines Cabernet Franc. This could be my favourite wine at the moment. It is subtle, fragrant and loves to flirt with your tastebuds. TH Wines Cabernet Franc is a little spicy with flavours of black ripe plums.

OTHER RED WINE PICKS:
Norman Hardie Pinot Noir

Joie Farm Gamay

Château des Charmes Pinot Noir, Paul Bosc Estate Vineyard

For more reading on Canadian wine, check out my series for Food Bloggers of Canada exploring Canadian vineyards and the exceptional wines they produce.

HAPPY CANADIAN THANKSGIVING FRIENDS!

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