Here’s what’s inside January’s Toronto Life Wine Club box
In this month’s delivery: Start the new year with a resolution to drink only great wine, and celebrate your dedication to the cause with this sparkling rosé, chardonnay and baco noir from Peller Estates. Orders must be placed by Jan. 22.
Signature Series Ice Cuvée Rosé
Why we’re into this wine: As one of the heavyweights in the Ontario sparkling category, this bubbly is understandably presented as part of Peller’s signature line. Pinot noir takes centre stage in the blend (70 per cent) with chardonnay supporting (26.5 per cent), and gamay noir has a fun cameo at 3.5 per cent. Painstakingly made in the traditional method, the wine was aged on its lees for 14 months, then disgorged whereupon a dosage of vidal icewine was added, creating a fuller flavoured bubbly with a lovely finish.
What it tastes like: Bright cherry and red berry fruit are complemented by bready, yeasty notes. The dosage of icewine augments the richness and flavour without contributing noticeable sweetness. A well rounded and well-balanced sparkling.
How to drink it: Chilled alongside cheeses, savoury pastries and salty snacks. In other words, this is the perfect wine with which to toast the end of your January health food cleanse.
2017 Signature Series Chardonnay
Why we’re into this wine: From start to finish, this wine has received the utmost care, starting with careful barrel fermentation on its lees for 11 months in French oak, with a small portion of the wine undergoing malolactic fermentation. The lees were then stirred by the winemaker, a delicate activity called bâtonnage, for four months after fermentation. The result: An elevated, toasty chardonnay that is smooth and elegant while being deep and complex at the same time.
What it tastes like: At first sip, there’s a pleasant unctuousness that leads into flavours of freshly baked bread, brown sugar and vanilla. Think peach cobbler. The mouthfeel is full and round, the flavours well-balanced and harmonic, and the finish is ample and enduring.
How to drink it: This is a rich chardonnay, so pair it boldly with smoked salmon and caviar, peppered parmesan pasta, and honey mustard-glazed pork. Chill lightly before serving.
2018 Private Reserve Baco Noir
Why we’re into this wine: It’s luscious, fruit-driven and juicy, both in aroma and on the palate. Its deep colour and texture come from 14 days of fermentation on the grape skins, while the warm spice and smoke flavours arise largely from six months of aging in French and American oak barrels. Baco Noir is a signature varietal from Niagara and one that is crafted expertly in the region. But even among gems, this baco stands out.
What it tastes like: Abundant plum and black cherry, blueberry, black pepper and smoke. Enough tannin to offer structure to the wine, but moderate enough to be extremely approachable and food friendly. A lovely balance of dark fruit, spice and sweet smoke.
How to drink it: This wine was born to pair with game meats and barbecued fare, so brave the January elements and fire up the Big Green Egg. Bison burgers, venison dogs and duck sausage will have never tasted so good.