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10 local Ontario wines that pair perfectly with Thanksgiving

October 1, 2020

Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion to not only eat locally grown and made foods of Ontario, but to also drink Ontario made wines.

There’s no denying that Ontario wineries offer an amazing selection of wines that range from budget friendly to more premium in stature. And no matter how much you spend, it’s a sure thing that what you’re getting is going to be very food friendly. With so many different varieties and styles of wine made so well, it’s hard to single out just a few.

Below is a curated list of 10 Ontario VQA wines – complete with tasting notes and recommended pairings that you can find locally made or farmed in Ontario. All wines are available to purchase either at LCBO stores or online direct via each winery’s website:

 

Rosehall Run ‘Ceremony’ Blanc de Blancs

Kick off your family dinner with this traditional method sparkling wine from Prince Edward County’s Rosehall Run. It’s crisp and sharp, with long persistent fine bubbles that are laced with dry yet fruity flavours of lively citrus, toasty almond undertones and a distinctive minerality on the finish. A versatile match for many foods, no doubt, but this particularly pairs well with your appetizer cheeseboard, including cheddar and thyme shortbreads. ($36)

 

 

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Hidden Bench 2017 ‘Estate’ Chardonnay

Situated within the Beamsville Bench, Hidden Bench is an artisanal, terroir-focused winery dedicated to crafting premium wines solely from their own certified organic estate vineyards. They’ve established an ongoing reputation for consistent excellence, producing wines of pronounced complexity and character which bear a sense of place and time. This estate chardonnay is a quintessential example of how meticulously maintained vines can lead to an outstanding result. Bright, fresh and lively textured, this is drinking beautifully now. Make this your choice pairing with turkey dinner. ($29.95)

 

 

Mother's Day

 

13th Street 2018 ‘Whitty Vineyard’ Gamay

This is one of 13th Street’s single vineyard gamay offerings – sourced from a micro-block within the Whitty Vineyard – and, with this, you get much more focused flavours. There’s inviting aromas of fresh raspberries, black cherry and rhubarb. Candied flavours of black cherry and strawberry on the palate with a refreshing mineral splash. There’s vibrant acidity adding to the structure. If the decision is to pair red wine with your turkey dinner, this is a winning choice. ($23.95)

 

 

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The Good Earth 2018 Rosé

Such a fresh and vibrant wine, so palate and pocket friendly it will have you wanting to buy half a case. If its strawberry, raspberry and floral aromatics don’t seduce you, its palate of fresh, semi-sweet with a touch of tartness will. Another good one to pair with turkey but would also be delicious with fresh seafood. ($17.95)

 

 

 

 

Westcott Vineyards 2016 ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir

From the very hot and dry vintage that was 2016, this pinot is soft and juicy with subtle earth and cherry notes. Acids are well balanced and there’s barely a hint of tannin to be noticed. If you’re someone who takes note of sub-appellations and studies their unique differences, this is a great choice to represent the Vinemount Ridge. Will pair beautifully with bone-in oven cooked ham and scalloped potatoes. ($29.99)

Read more about Westcott Vineyards here

 

 

Ontario wines

 

Adamo Estate 2017 ‘Huebel Estates’ Cabernet Franc

The cabernet franc varietal is Ontario’s most planted red grape and for great reason. We simply make very good wines with it. Huebel Estates is located within the Niagara River sub appellation of Niagara-on-the-Lake and warmer temperatures of this particular site make all the difference in this very new world expression of cabernet franc. The palate is round and fruit focused with a long finish, making it very approachable and food friendly. Serve this along-side fresh penne pasta with pomodoro sauce – or any tomato-based dishes for that matter. ($34.95)

Read more about Adamo Estate Winery here

 

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Cave Spring 2017 CSV Riesling

Crafted from the finest parcels at their estate in Jordan, Ontario, this dry, complex riesling embodies Cave Spring’s highest commitment to quality and authenticity. The nose is complex, with aromas of wet stone, grapefruit, pear, honeycomb and ginger. Dry, medium bodied and seamless, the palate is creamy up front with a rich, dense and mineral middle offering ripe orange, pear, honeyed almonds and spice. Riesling is always fashionable with spicy homemade foods, but try this one with Ontario trout with dill. ($29.95)

 

 

 

 

Karlo Estates 2017 ‘Van Alstine’ Red

This is the first fortified table wine made in Prince Edward County. A ruby port style wine boasting 18% alc./vol and 95 grams of residual sugar. And as with Port wine, this is something to be savoured. Enticing aromas of raspberry, spice, stewed cherries, chocolate and cedar waft from the glass. It’s soft and quite full on the palate with rich, ripened fruit flavours and a beautiful finish that lingers. Enjoy with dark chocolate after dinner or with locally made aged cheddar. ($29)

 

 

 

Stratus ‘Botrytis Affected’ Semillon

Since it requires very specific conditions in the vineyard – and a lot of care and physical work – Stratus has only made the Botrytis Semillon three times. It’s an aromatically rich and dense wine, sweet with notes of raw honey, orange marmalade, ginger and ripe juicy melon. It can age for years but it’s pure perfection right now. It’s similar to an Icewine but not nearly as much sugar. The balance between sugar and acidity is just so bang on. It’s literally lip smacking! Enjoy this with dessert this holiday season. Ontario fresh pumpkin pie perhaps? ($35)

 

 

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Inniskillin Riesling Icewine

As far as Ontario wines go, Icewine is our liquid gold and quintessential to our winemaking identity. Grapes for this remarkable riesling Icewine (my favourite of their Icewines) were harvested from select vineyards in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Picked at a chilling -10ºC the grapes were immediately pressed resulting in a rich concentrated liquid that’s just oozing with vibrant notes of honey, apricot and mango. It’s well balanced and held together expertly by crisp and lively lip-smacking acidity. Pair this with homemade apple pie served with a slice of honey-infused cheddar. Oh, the flavours! ($79.95)

Read more about Inniskillin here