Here’s what’s inside December’s Toronto Life Wine Club box
In this month’s delivery: A trio of exclusive bottles—a pinot grigio, a rosé and a pinot noir—from Hockley Valley’s Windrush Estates that will ensure you and yours have the merriest of holidays. Orders must be placed by Dec. 25.
Existing club member?
2017 Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Grigio
Why we’re into this wine: Windrush Estates is a premium, state-of-the-art winery located north of Toronto in the Hockley Valley. Focusing on just a few varietals, they work with grapes from both Niagara and their own estate. Winemaker Jonathan Boyle has applied a very light touch to this Italian style of pinot gris where the wine is crisp, straightforward, and light bodied. It’s seen minimal oaking, so the wine has a lovely balance of fruit with a hint of oak spice.
What it tastes like: Pear, citrus, a dash of nutmeg, and a hint of vanilla grace the nose and palate. A healthy foundation of acidity nicely balances the forwardness of the fruit and spice making this wine an ideal candidate for food pairing. Roasted white meats, seared black cod, and anything with goat’s cheese in it will be a sumptuous match.
How to drink it: Chill only lightly so as to allow the delicate bouquet to open up. Whether you’re sipping it with friends or pairing it with hors d’oeuvres, this wine is the perfect kick-off to any holiday party.
Why we’re into this wine: Windrush Estates wanted to give Toronto Life Wine Club members a truly special Christmas present, so they produced a limited quantity of this exclusive VQA pinot noir rosé. It’s not being sold anywhere, period. And as the year comes to a close, what better way to celebrate 2019 than with an eponymous vintage? The pretty pink colour is the result of 30 hours of careful skin contact between the grapes and the juice. This wine is fresh, lively, and fruit-driven with a bit of spice thanks to a few months in oak.
What it tastes like: Cranberry, rhubarb, and strawberry opens up at first sip, then leads to warm baking spice in this dry rosé. The light tannin and acidity of the wine encourages more depth of flavour and, as with the pinot grigio, makes it wonderfully food friendly.
How to drink it: This rosé is incredibly versatile–it’s got you covered for any holiday evening starting with sips and light bites, carrying through to heartier dishes of turkey, salmon, or duck, and finishing with apple pie.
2018 Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir
Why we’re into this wine: Pinot Noir is a fidgety grape, not the easiest varietal to coax into a bottle along with one’s great expectations. However, Boyle and vintner Jim Warren have proven their pinot noir-whispering skills with this vintage. Seven months of aging in new French oak barrels has allowed the wine to remain delicate and graceful while flavours blend harmoniously and finish with a pleasant mellow roundness. This is a standout expression of a Niagara pinot noir.
What it tastes like: Smooth and velvety, it has the bright red cherry and plum flavours that we love in a good pinot, but it’s the earthy goodness that will have you returning for a second sip. Hints of mushroom and green herbs, like sage, imbue the wine with a savoury note of distinction.
How to drink it: Chill lightly and match the savoury notes in this wine with that of food. Ideal pairings will be mushroom and olives in pastry, lamb with herbed wild rice, tomato pasta, and whichever roasted dish spells the holidays for you.