It's been pointed out that I often leave out details about wine pairings or completely omit them when talking about meals with specific wine pairings. It isn't that I don't like wine or that I disagree with the sommelier's wine pairings it's that I don't feel I know enough about wine to comment. Which is why I was very excited to be given the opportunity to attend Savvy Company's County in the City and learn more about the wines from Prince Edward County.
In unfamiliar territory I met up with Bethany, sommelier and blogger at Second Ferment, and followed her lead at the first few tasting tables. She explained the basics of tasting wine: first looking at the colour against a white background then swirling the wine in the glass to get a good whiff of the aroma and then taking a sip, letting it linger in your mouth so you can taste the acidity, alcohol and tannins. I struggled to keep up with her descriptions for the wines and while she scribbled long paragraphs in the provided notebook I scribbled 'yum' and 'super yum' beside the wines I enjoyed and odd comments like 'tastes like weak lemonaid' besides the ones I didn't.
Besides writing obscure notes to myself I got to taste some really interesting wines from the dozen or so different Prince Edward County wineries represented. I had several favourites of the evening and some wonderful wine discovery moments. Lighthall Vineyard's 2011 Progression Sparkling won a 'super yum' ranking with its notes of pear and apple so refreshing I could see myself enjoying a bottle on a hot patio. I also liked Karlo Estates 2010 Fifth Element (Petit Verdot) it smelled spicy and tasted spicy too! I also had an opportunity to sample their Van Alstine and Van Alstine White, I can't tell you which I liked more so maybe they should be served as a pair from now on? I also enjoyed tasting Stanners Cabernet Franc 2010 and 2011 side by side - my first time experiencing the difference a year makes in taste and what a difference it makes. Scoring an 'intriguing yum' in my black book was Keint-He Vineyards 2008 Pineaux Sauvage, a sweeter wine that at first smelled faintly like scotch but kept changing and developing as it breathed.
I think I have a long way to go in learning about wine but County in the City really opened my eyes to the wine world and it let me buy some bottles that aren't on LCBO shelves. Savvy Company is hosting a similar event at the National Arts Centre with wines from Niagara-on-the-Lake on May 30 - a great opportunity to learn more about wine from that region and discover your own likes and dislikes or 'yum' and 'super yum' in my case.