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Friday, 16 March 2012

Strewn Tasting!

As much as I love buying a bottle and having a romantic wine and cheese night with my girlfriend, going to a winery and tasting a variety of different wine can be an immense amount of fun. I love to try new varietals and compare vintages so it boggles my mind that I wasn't more eager to go to tastings in the past. 

Although I have lived in Niagara Falls for many years I have never fully appreciated and enjoyed having all these wineries so close by. Sure I've tried a couple bottles here and there, from Chateau De Charmes to Hillebrand to Peller Estates, but recently I went to taste the wares that Strewn winery had to offer. 

Fortunately I have a friend who works at Strewn who provide my girlfriend and I with a fantastic tasting experience. There was only one other couple in the room at the time, so it really gave the tasting the sense of being private and personal. 

I'd say we tried about 8 different wines and all were extremely flavourful and thoroughly impressive. While we sipped on our sample we were regaled with a informative and detailed background of how the certain wine was produced and the prominent flavours that we should pick up on. I was astonished by how much my friend had learned since he started working at the winery. It's funny to see him as the connoisseur he has become, since less than a year ago, when we lived together, he was strictly a white wine drinker and not as willing to try new things. Regardless of his reasons for getting into the wine business now, I am overjoyed to see someone my age delighting in this brilliant beverage.

Now, I can't recall each and every wine we tried since I was almost stumbling out the door when we were done. I can, however, tell you about the wine that I purchased. Each wine was splendid in its own regard, but not all were in my price range, such as the 2008 Cabernet Franc Icewine, which is $63! There were 3 that tickled my fancy that were also very affordable. I have provided the tasting notes below.

Chardonnay Barrel Aged 2010 ($12.95):
This wine shows aromas of vanilla and apple, a smooth texture, and a refreshing finish. Enjoy on its own or with foods such as a holiday turkey, a mushroom dish or grilled shrimp. Chill lightly.

Gewurztraminer 2010 ($18.95):
This wine produces intense aromas of lychee, tropical fruit and a touch of clove leads to a full, smooth palate. Goes well with pork, veal and spicy Asian dishes.

Cabernet Franc 2007 ($18.95):
This wine shows complex aromas of dried fruit and herbs with notes of vanilla and leather. Round and flavourful with smooth tannins and an earthy hint on a long finish. Enjoy now with rich meat dishes such as duck confit or braised lamb.

As the bottles we sampled from had been open for a day or more and I didn't have a pen and paper to jot down my own notes, the best I can do is vouch for the winemaker's description. Even if the bottle had been opened for a day or more these aromas and flavours since permeated my senses. I will probably be popping the Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer in the following week or so but I am most excited about the Cabernet Franc. It was quite delicious at the tasting and would be fine now, but it is expected to be even better by 2013. A year is a long wait when you're always thirsty but I'm sure I have the will power. I'll spend my time thinking of a special occasion to open it. 


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