California Wine all tastes the same? Says who?

Well, finally back to blogging. After an intense weekend at the Wine Bloggers Conference, followed by four full days of running around Sonoma and Napa – and Fairfield, and Berkeley and San Francisco – and then returning to a new position at the newspaper in Quebec City, and mulling over about twenty different potential post subjects, I finally managed to focus long enough on one subject. And here it is.

One of the things that truly struck me, throughout the tastings I attended at the Wine Bloggers Conference and in the days that followed, was the great diversity of wines I tasted. Yes, there were a good lot of big, fruity, oaky cabernet sauvignons and chardonnays, but there was also a great deal more, in terms of grape varieties, climate variations and winemaking styles. More than I had expected, certainly.

Over my week, I had everything from grassy sauvignon blanc to jammy zinfandels, rustic carignan to (more…)

Regional Wine Writing Project: Napa North? How about Burgundy West?

When I decided to take part in the Regional Wine Writing Project, I started with Quebec, my homeland, which deserves a full introduction to just about anyone that is not a wine lover in Quebec itself. That was easy, in other terms, because just about everything remains to be said. Writing about Niagara, which is, to say the least, more often discussed (and whose wines are more readily available to US readers, as a look through Wine-Searcher.com will tell you), was a bit more of a bind. Where to start?

What finally got me started was a recent Globe and Mail article by John Szabo, where the Niagara region (more…)

Wine Blogging Wednesday #48: Back to Your Roots

Great theme from Lenn Thompson, founder of the Wine Blogging Wednesday, to celebrate four years of this collective tasting thing (which begat a French heir called les Vendredis du vin, among other good things). He calls upon us to (more…)

Tasting Note: Melon 2003, Deux Vert Vineyard, Yamhill County, La Bête

Melon from Oregon? Now that’s a wine that could qualify for Wine Blogging Wednesday 47, whose theme is “Brought to You by the Letter S”. ‘Cause it’s oh, so Surprising.

But no, I have another idea for WBW 47 that I will be posting later today, and for which the letter S is a much clearer sponsor.

Still. Melon de l’Oregon? Really?

Melon or Melon de Bourgogne is the default grape from which the refreshing Muscadets of the Western Loire Valley are produced. It became popular in the 17th Century, near Nantes, because (more…)

Canadian wines for all occasions

I was invited for a second time by CJAD host Sharman Yarnell to do a wine-related bit on her Saturday-morging show called Showtime. And since our little chat was to air soon after Canada Day (and Quebec City’s 400th anniversary, by the way), she thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the state of Canadian wines today – and also, at the state of Canadian wine availability in Quebec.

One great question she asked me was if Canadian wines can provide all the styles of wines you would want. I said yes, and after thinking about it, after taping the interview a few days ago, I’m even more convinced.

One of the wines I mentioned from the outset was Osoyoos Larose’s Le Grand Vin, a solid Bordeaux-style blend (merlot, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot) produced in the Okanagan Valley, whose 2004 vintage sells for just above 40 dollars at SAQ. It’s a great example (more…)

On the way up, New Zealand is stopping by

In recent years, New Zealand has certainly been a growing concern on the international wine scene. The sauvignon blancs, of course, and, increasingly, the pinot noirs have been making great headway on world markets. The growth of the industry in general has been simply phenomenal.

Over the last decade, the number of wineries in New Zealand has doubled, the number of hectares under vine has more than tripled (from 7,410 to 25,355 hectares), and the value of exports has been multiplied nearly by ten (from 75.9 million NZ$ to 698.3 million NZ$).

In Canada as elsewhere, the signature sauvignon blanc (more…)

Would you like some red with your eggs? Or maybe in them…

As I was going through one of my reader pages, I stumbled upon a post from The Accidental Hedonist, presenting a version of a recipe called eggs en meurette – i.e., poached eggs in a red wine sauce. It brought back memories of a restaurant called the Chanoine Kir, after the man who gave his name to the drink mixing white wine with a touch of cassis liqueur, where the eggs were a classic element of Sunday brunches. I thought it was quite fantastic, with the red wine, onions, mushrooms and (more…)