As I approached the store I was greeted by one of the staff and the manager himself even welcomed me and eagerly asked if I’d like a drink. I happily obliged. To my surprise I was handed a glass! Not just a plastic Dixie cup and not only that but there was a good 2 to 3 ounces in it. This was by far the most impressive part of the visit. With my glass in hand, I sauntered around the store sipping at my white Meritage, vintage 2010. The store is not that large but with 10 or so people filling its single aisle it seemed very cramped.
To my knowledge this was the first time I had drunk a Meritage blend and to be frank it wasn’t all that memorable. It was crisp, cold, and fruity on the tongue and around the mouth. The finish was smooth, short and not overly sweet. I’m not sure if a second glass was permitted but either way I was more eager to try the red. Trying not to seem too much like I needed a drink, I asked the winemaker himself for a glass of the red. It was a 2009 red Meritage, a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. I have had both frustrating and pleasant experiences with each of the 3 varietals but never had the opportunity of trying a blend like this. I enjoyed the wine at the time but once I left the store I couldn’t tell you much about it. If it was either one of the 3 grapes I would have been happy but having the mix confused my taste buds.
Once I finished my glass I was ready to get out of there. I considered what it would look like to the manager or staff if they had seen me come in only to drink and then hit the road. So having pictured that in my mind I thought up a few questions to ask Marco. By the end of the conversation I found out that he preferred his Merlot in comparison to the other varietals and that I should contact him by email for a tour of the winery if I were back home in Niagara.