Mother’s Day is fast approaching and with store-to-store shopping brought to a halt this spring due to COVID-19 restrictions, online is the way to go. With support local still being the priority right now, I thought to call up friends at 13th Street Winery and ask for some help in putting together gift options for mom.
Usually at this time of year, the folks at the St. Catharines, Ontario winery would be preparing for the annual spring handmade market, which is hosted each year on the winery’s grounds during the days leading up to Mother’s Day. This year’s market (the 10th annual) was to take place May 8-9. We’ll now have to wait for the fall version of the handmade market, which will run September 11-12 (fingers crossed).
If you’ve never been, this is a great excuse to get out and visit wine country; sit out and relax on the over-stretched patio to the sounds of live music while sipping on some wine. Perhaps indulge in some freshly made pizza or something from any of the food trucks parked out back. And yes, there’s the 13th Street Bakery too (famous for its butter tarts). Of course, you cannot miss out on browsing the numerous booths – all under large pavilion-style tents – filled with various handmade crafts and goodies, all made locally.
Mother’s Day and a visit to 13th Street seem synonymous with each other, there is no doubt. But that will all have to wait for now. Instead, let’s work on bringing some of the local treasures from this place to you at home or to mom for her special day.
Give the gift of rosé and gamay
For some, rosé and gamay noir wines are perfectly normal all-season pleasers, but I, like so many others, tend to reserve these wines for warmer weather sipping. The fact that these wines perform better chilled make them pleasing patio quenchers during outdoor backyard barbecues with family and friends, or just hanging out whilst waiting for certain restrictions to be lifted.
Rosé and its fresh, dry berry flavour undertones just seems to pair appropriately with sunglasses and summer weather smiles. Likewise, gamay is generally a very drinkable wine in the sense that its light body and lower alcohol content make it much easier to drink than a typical red wine. It’s also fruitier and has a savoury element to it. Watch out because before you know it, the bottle is finished.
If rosé is wine’s version of kool-aid, then gamay is its tropical fruit punch cousin. Obviously, there are many other great wines that drink well in warm weather environments, but at 13th Street, these wines are a proud specialty.
To help make gift-giving easier, the below selections are available to order online directly through the winery’s website for special courier delivery or can be ordered and picked up via their porch pick-up service.
All orders within Ontario are offered as free delivery and can be ordered online here. Just use promo code FREE for complimentary delivery service.
Porch pick up of baked goods (yes, including their famous butter tarts), meals to go (meat pies, soups and weekly features) made by on-site chef Josh Berry can be ordered online at https://13thstreetwinery.com/13th-street-bakery/.
13th Street 2019 ‘Vin Gris’ Gamay
A 100 percent gamay rosé mostly made from free-run juice – hence the beautiful pale pink colour. Fruit is solely sourced from the estate’s remarkable Whitty Vineyard, and so, what we get is a very lovely and lively wine, full of complex flavours and mouth-watering acidity. It’s quite fragrant with flowers, cherries, lemon zest and grapefruit. Keep sniffing and you’re bound to discover notes of jalapeno and white pepper. It’s juicy, refreshing and very bright. Great for long summer days. ($24.95)
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. Black cherry and strawberry on the palate with a hint of minerality. There’s refreshing acidity adding to the structure. Great to serve along-side spicy barbecue dishes or cheese platter appetizers. ($23.95)
13th Street 2019 ‘Burger Blend’ Rosé
According to 13th Street’s notes for this wine, the goal of this particular Burger Blend series was to produce a fruit-laden and refreshing wine that represents excellent value and one that would bring out the best in your burger. A challenging task since the perfect burger can be a very personal and unique creation. Consider the traditional elements: the acidity of pickle, the sweetness of relish and ketchup and the spice of BBQ sauce and mustard. This Burger Blend rosé is a fruity, light and crisp wine, with a touch of spice and a juicy finish that can be enjoyed alone or with your favourite summer backyard fare, burgers most certainly included! ($14.95)
13th Street 2018 ‘Estate’ Gamay
It’s no secret that gamay is a very gulpable red wine varietal and this particular one, sourced from premium, low-yielding vineyards, is practically irresistible. Fruit scented, there’s further depth on the palate with black cherry, leather, spice and earth. Perfect companion for pizza, pasta dishes or grilled meats. ($19.95)
13th Street 2017 Blanc de Noir Gamay
Of course mom loves sparkling and Mother’s Day is an occasion worthy of it. This is the winery’s first Blanc de Noir made exclusively from gamay grapes. It’s a bit unconventional, but there is reason to believe that this could take off and become more popular. There’s lovely aromas of raspberry and maraschino cherry. I get an initial creaminess on the palate with a mineral driven finish. It’s a bit tart and there’s some bitter flavours that round things off a bit, but it’s different and there’s bound to be a market for this stylishly bottled sparkling wine. ($34.95)
13th Street NV Cuvée Rosé Brut
This is a classic blend of pinot noir and chardonnay, with 70 percent coming from the 2014 vintage. The pinot noir provides fruit, power and richness while the chardonnay gives structure and backbone. What stands out the most for me when I taste this annual fan favourite sparkling is the creaminess of the mousse. It just sits beautifully in your mouth. This is a dry wine that’s bracing with vibrant acidity, yet very flavourful with mouth watering notes of strawberries and cream, ripe stone fruit and almonds. It’s the perfect aperitif to serve friends and family but will also pair nicely with Mother’s Day brunch. ($29.95)