Time for me to get back to work! My apologies for those two or three of you who have been checking the blog periodically for updates; a nasty chest infection followed by the purchase of our first house (and subsequent move) has incapacitated my writing for several weeks.
I am now on the mend, and moved in, and feel up to the challenge of gearing up for ISG Sommelier Level 2 which begins in just a few weeks. Of course, to prepare for the enological challenges, I will need to taste much wine and write about the inherent research.
For today, let's talk about fruit wines. Fruit wines are made in much the same manner as grape wines ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fruit_wine ), and there are just as many varietals. Virtually anything that grows from the ground can be made into wine; tomato wine, pumpkin wine, dandelion wine... you get the idea. Now that doesn't necessarily mean that it will be good. Take for instance, the incident in which a wise and benevolent man I know (remaining nameless due to humiliation) decided to make banana wine. Sounds vulgar doesn't it? Well, it must have been pretty bad because he came home to discover his brother and his brothers girlfriend throwing up said banana wine... I mean it was uncontrollable to the point of almost needing hospitalization.
Not all fruit wines are created equal.
Enter Sleeping Giant Fruit Winery ( http://www.sleepinggiantfruitwinery.ca/ )to the equation! Purveyors of true quality, these fine folks have over a dozen fruit wines to their names, and I had the distinct pleasure of sampling more then a few. Some of the more observant readers may be raising an eyebrow about now, as I am not always the biggest fan of fruit wines. In general I find that there is poor production quality and value, with lacklustre performance from the product. Not so the case with Sleeping Giant. True, not everything they carry is to my taste, but it is all made with craftsmanship, caring and genuine attention to detail. Pay heed.
2010 Bartlet Pear
- nose: rich pear notes (obviously) with gala and spartan apple, moderate+ in intensity with floral honey notes & a backbone of acidity
- palate: moderate- acids tasting of pears and crabapples, long finish with the same pear/honey/floral notes found in the nose
- moderate+ body, almost Chardonnay like... good structure
- PAIRS WITH: try it with a simple smoked chicken sandwich, or a roast turkey dinner... the orchard fruit qualities will play off poultry quite well
Apricot (all wines are 2010)
- nose: moderate++ intense with overripe apricots, almonds and a muscat-like quality florality which is sublime
- palate: full- acids balance the sweetness, moderate structure, moderate-body. Palate was less intense then the nose, and lacked the structure I was hoping for, but the thin, acidic finish makes this a natural for pairing with cheeses