My appreciation for the snow, even when it comes down in pretty big white fluffy flakes, has waned significantly. Since shoveling snow and scraping ice from windshields can only amuse me for so long... my mind invariably wonders to thoughts of warmer weather, two wheels, the valley, and, of course, wine. To break up the winter blues, we have already enjoyed some winter wine festivities, such as last year's last TNT of the season and The Nova Scotia Ice Wine Festival, however, a much needed mid-week escape to the valley to visit a few of the wineries that remain open over the winter is definitely called for.
Celebrating its ten-year anniversary this year, Domaine de Grand Pré hosts the 2017 edition of the Nova Scotia Ice Wine Festival. This celebration of Nova Scotia Wine, ice wine in particular, but also local cuisine, opened on the weekend of February 25-26 and continues the following weekend March 5-6. The wineries participating this year include Gaspereau Vineyards, Blomidon Estate Winery, Planters Ridge Winery, Luckett Vineyards, L’Acadie Vineyards, Sainte-Famille Wines and Domaine de Grand Pre. There are also special guests to this year’s event: Annapolis Cider Company, Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards, Benjamin Bridge, and Avondale Sky Winery. All of this makes for a tremendous, high-quality ice wine festival. Come and enjoy!
Last December Blomidon Estate Winery released their much anticipated traditional method brut rosé. I was thrilled to receive a bottle as a gift the day before leaving on our European wine trip. Needless to say, I lacked the discipline to save it for our return, and thoroughly enjoyed it, with friends, on the eve of our departure. While sampling many spectacular Champagnes in Rheims my mind would occasionally drift back to that evening, the lovely sparkling rosé, and I think to myself that upon returning, I must have another bottle. I could no longer resist the siren call of this alluring salmon-coloured elixir in it's distinctively-shaped bottle and elegant minimalist complementarily coloured label.
On February 15, 2017, we celebrate Lupercalia, that pagan precusor to the modern Valentine’s Day celebration that was set to replace the former’s millenial celebration of pagan, sensual excess with one dedicated to more polite and chivalrous love on the previous day. Valentine’s Day is frequently composed of de rigeur gifting of heart-shaped chocolates, cards, long-stemmed roses, and pink champagne to be consumed at a downtown restaurant where you booked a table many weeks in advance.
Today, we have wolves, wantonness, and, of course, wine, real Bacchic wine! I’ll take Lupercalia over Valentine’s Day anytime!
The Spritz is a famous cocktail of Venice and the Triveneto with origins that hark back to the 19th century when the region was occupied by the Austrian Hapsburgs. Based on the Austrian spritzer of white wine and soda water, the Spritz we know and love today is a Venetian cocktail concoction, el spriss venessian.