Palate Practice

tasting with intention

Tag: wine (page 1 of 7)

Yes, Climate Change is Affecting Wine Too

It might sound shocking to some, but I had no interest in learning about climate until studying wine. Astounding, right??

In short? Climate is everything (well, along with soil). Don’t believe me? Let’s look at Chardonnay and you’ll see what I mean.

The Chameleon Grape

Chardonnay is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world. It also grows well in a large variety of climates, which is part of why it’s so popular.

Put Chard in a cold climate and you get lots of citrus and green fruit. Omit oak treatment or lees contact and it’ll also pick up minerality (flint, chalk, gravel) from the soil it’s grown in. Great examples of cool climate Chardonnays include Chablis and, in my opinion, Ontario.

Put Chard in a warm or hot climate and things change a LOT. Citrus and green fruit give way to stone and tropical fruit. Peach, pineapple, melon and mango are all fair game in a warm weather Chardonnay. There also isn’t as much minerality but there does tend to be more oak treatment, I’m guessing because the wines aren’t as subtle and delicate and can take the stronger flavours that oak imparts. Oak would leave flavours like vanilla, coconut or banana in its wake, further adding to the difference between warm and cool climate Chardonnays.

And all that based on the climate. Makes you wonder how climate affects people…

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What Being an English Major Taught Me About Wine

Back before I was a true wine devotee, I was an eager and slightly naive university student studying theatre and English literature. While some people might think having a degree in English essentially amounts to a degree in bottled air, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in university and have become more and more grateful and proud of my degree as time passes.

Among other things, my degree taught me how to read pieces with a critical lens, to think of how context affects a work, and how to write coherently and effectively. As I’ve gained time and experience to fully digest all the learning I did in university I’ve started to realize that the things I learned are actually a great way to treat all things in life – wine included.

Let me explain what I mean.

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The Sweet and Subtle Moscato

It’s time for the next installment of the Noble Grape Challenge. Last time we explored the underrated Chenin Blanc, and this time around we get to know another grape that tends to fly under the radar – Moscato.

About the Noble Grape Challenge

Let’s refresh ourselves on what’s going on here – Wine Folly created the Noble Grape Challenge as a way to learn the spectrum of flavours and characteristics found in red and white wines. Taking nine reds and nine whites and going through them from lightest to darkest, we’ll learn about the key characteristics and flavours of each.

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Noble Grape Challenge – Riesling, the Wine Lover’s Grape

It’s time for the next installment of the Noble Grape Challenge. Last time around we began the second half of the challenge by getting to know Pinot Grigio. Now it’s time to move on to one of my favourite white varietals – Riesling!

About the Noble Grape Challenge

Let’s refresh ourselves on what’s going on here – Wine Folly created the Noble Grape Challenge as a way to learn the spectrum of flavours and characteristics found in red and white wines. Taking nine reds and nine whites and going through them from lightest to darkest, we’ll learn about the key characteristics and flavours of each.

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A County Wine Tour

Over the recent long weekend I got to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a while – I went on a wine tour of Prince Edward County. A couple of family friends have started a new company out in the County and invited me on their ‘dry, not so dry run’.

Let me tell you – it. was. AWESOME.

Our small group got inside access to three of the best wineries in the county, complete with tastings and food pairings created just for us. And, as if that wasn’t enough, at each stop we got to meet and talk to either the winery owner or the head winemaker! We were completely welcomed an immersed into the world of each winery. It was such a cool way to go behind the scenes and really learn what each winery is all about.

Here’s where we went.

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Wine Websites Across the Internet

It’s probably no surprise that when I’m not learning or writing about wine I’m often reading about it. Yes, I’m a little obsessed! But there’s so much to know!

These are some of the places I’ve found online that keep me coming back again and again. They consistently have great stories and information and some of them are written by people I know. If you’re looking to branch out in your wine reading, take a look at these websites.

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Noble Grape Challenge – Last of the Reds

It’s time for the next installment of the Noble Grape Challenge. This time around we learn about our last red variety, which means after this post we’ll officially be halfway through the list. Last time we explored the wild and wacky world of Syrah/Shiraz, and today we get to know Malbec.

About the Noble Grape Challenge

Let’s refresh ourselves on what’s going on here – Wine Folly created the Noble Grape Challenge as a way to learn the spectrum of flavours and characteristics found in red and white wines. Taking nine reds and nine whites and going through them from lightest to darkest, we’ll learn about the key characteristics and flavours of each.

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A Preview of Cuvée en Route

One of the best way to learn what you like (and what you don’t!) and have a fun wine adventure is to take advantage if you happen to live near a winery. Lucky for me, I live about an hour away from one of the best wine regions in Canada. I try to get to Niagara a few times a year to visit wineries and learn more about how they approach making their wine. It’s fascinating to get to talk to someone in the know about the choices that were made in making a wine! #nerd

 

Cuvée en Route

I’ll be heading to Niagara later this month for an event I’ve come to know and love. Put on by the folks at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), Cuvée en Route is an annual showcase of the delicious wines this region has to offer. On March 24, 25 and 26 wineries throughout Niagara create small tasting menus (usually 3-4 wines) and often share wines you can’t get at a normal tasting. Case in point – last year I had wines from as long ago as 1998! This is a great opportunity to taste things you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.

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