Since we are still just before “bud break” but just after World Book Day, I thought I’d reflect on these two important moments. Started by booksellers in Catalonia, Spain, in 1923 to celebrate the death of perhaps that country’s greatest writer, Miguel de Cervantes, World Book Day has resonated for almost 100 years. While there are still many bottles of excellent wine now, ready to be consumed, we are still at an early point in the season so, in order to get ready, how about reading a good book or two? This activity is to be accompanied by wine, of course … .
Easter Sunday was spent with a friend whom we had not seen in a long time. Time spent with him is always fun; besides great food and conversation, his home is filled with all sorts of fun toys. Our previous visit had us playing with his theremin; this time around we discovered that he has a pot still. While the still may be legal in Nova Scotia, moonshine is not. Whereas it is easy enough to purchase a still in Nova Scotia, officially, they are sold for the purpose of water purification and essential oil extraction. In the past few years, artisanal distilling has begun to flourish in the province, with small private distillers opening in Lunenburg, Antigonish and Guysborough counties. However, the Alcohol and Gaming Division of Service Nova Scotia that oversees the Liquor Control Act does not allow distilling in the home. Needless to say, we were more than a little curious about the still since, until very recently, no-one was (officially) making grappa in Nova Scotia. As the Nova Scotia wine industry has been flourishing over the past few years, we had already been fantasizing about the possibility of making Grappa in Nova Scotia.
Today, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, is International Day of Human Space Flight. We celebrate the anniversary of the first human space flight by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin whose Vostok 1 single, 108-minute orbit around the earth in 1961 changed the world forever. Although you may believe you would be justified to question the relevance of this special day with things related to wine … you are mistaken.
Yesterday, Tuesday, April 4, 2017, marked the beginning of this calendar year’s TNT events (Tuesday Night Tastings), those first Tuesday evenings of every month during the wine season (and a bit beyond) in Nova Scotia when local wineries and vineyards showcase their oenological talents and compare and contrast some of the excellent wines their labours have produced. Each month, there is a theme. This month, April, it was vinifera, vitis vinifera, aka old-world grapes. It was hosted by Benjamin Bridge in the very palm of the Gaspereau Valley where, as we arrived toward dusk, we were greeted with a flute of Nova 7 and roaring wood fires as the sun began to set over the ridge ... .