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Sep 25, 2007 06:57 AM

Ontario Wines Recs. for Thanksgiving Dinner

In keeping with the harvest theme I was wondering if anyone had any Ontario wine recommendations for a traditional thnaksgiving dinner (turkey, etc.). I usually serve red and white...maybe an off-dry reisling and a pinot noir or baco noir

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  1. I recall once bringing a bottle of Cave Spring Reserve Chardonnay to a U.S. Thanksgiving dinner in New York. Someone else brought a California Chardonney. Once they had sampled it, the guests, unfamiliar with Canadian wines, polished the Cave Spring off in 15 minutes. Some of the California wine was still left at the end of the meal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ekammin

      I second the recommendation for Cave Spring.

      If it's an off-dry riesling you're after, I definitely give them a big thumbs-up (the dry is quite nice as well, if that's your preference). Actually, I've yet to find a bottle of Cave Springs I didn't like. :)

    2. I'm not keen on baco noir, but that's just a personal thing. I like your riesling and pinot noir choices, though. There is a very good CEV cabernet franc which would be a very nice match with the dark meat on the bird, and would be able to stand up to the usual flavours in stuffing. It runs about $22. You might want to consider gamay as a red choice, as well, since we do some nice ones here. Last year I had quite a nice one from Chateau des Charmes (St David's Bench?) but I forget its vintage; $15(?). The one to avoid is the Konzelmann pinot noir. I haven't touched it in years because it was flavoured sweetly of strawberry - I couldn't finish my tasting portion.

      4 Replies
      1. re: hungry_pangolin

        ekammin, have you tried the Cave Springs Chardonnay Musque?? Currently in our LCBO's at just over $15. It is wonderful.

        1. re: hungry_pangolin

          If you're talking Gamay, the Henry of Pelham 2005 was just out when I was at the winery in August, and it was STUNNING. Spicy though, so you'll want to serve it with a very rustic side dish or a tangy gravy or chutney with your turkey.

          I also had an excellent off-dry riesling from Marynissen at the winery in August, might stand up to a fall meal.

          As for Ontario Pinot Noirs, the Cave Springs 2005 is getting raves all around, and stood up nicely to a spicy thai tofu dish I did this weekend. the Flat Rock 2004 awaits opening any day now - I'm thinking of pairing it with chicken-barley soup, right up the fall food aisle..

          1. re: LemonLauren

            Thanks for the suggestion, Millygirl. I'm just on my way to the L:CBO to get something to go with Arctic Char this evening, and I will certainly look for it.

            While we're on the subject, I can recommend a sparkling rose (actually a pink champagne in all but name) named Catherine. It is made by Henry of Pelham, named after Henry's wife (he was evidently a real person, the son opf a United Empire Loyalist)..

            1. re: ekammin

              I'm sure the Musque would pair very nicely with artic char...and thanks for the tip on Catherine. I will pick up a bottle. Love any kind of sparkling, and of course, champagne.

        2. I am a member of a wine club through Peller Estates. I am a novice when it comes to wines, but of all the wines that I have received from Peller, I really really enjoyed their Baco Noir. It was really delicious and I preferred it to their Cab Sauvignon, but probably liked it equally as much as their Cab Franc. I suppose that it is all personal taste though, and I am sure that it varies between people.

          1. I won't make suggestions for dinner, but don't forget about a nice Ontario icewine for dessert!

            6 Replies
            1. re: KevinB

              Hi, Millygirl -

              You mentioned that your LCBO had the Cave Springs Musque; which store is that? The one I went to had never heard of cave Soprings Musque,m but did have a bottle by Chateau des Charmes. I got that, and it was, indeed, a memorable wine.

              TYhere is evidently a Musque by Fielding, but no store in Toronto seems to have it.

              1. re: ekammin

                Nah, it's available in almost all the stores. I just checked the LCBO website, which is great BTW. The product code # is 246579 and it's even on some kind of air miles promotion at the moment....get 4 extra air miles or something like that. Good luck ekammin. Keep me posted.

                1. re: millygirl

                  Millygirl -

                  Right you are. According to the LCBO website, my local store (5995 Yonge) has two bottles of it, while the manager there told me yesterday he had never heard of it. I'm going back today, to have a pointed talk with him.

                  1. re: ekammin

                    Before you do that... when checking inventory on the LCBO websites, know that they will sometimes show bottles as being in stock that aren't. Two bottles sounds like my "ghost inventory" experiences.

                    1. re: hungry_pangolin

                      Right, but even if he didn't have any in stock, he should have at least knwon about it.

                2. re: ekammin

                  I was just down in Fielding this past April and was talking to their winemakers. Apperently they don't really make enough wine for them to be in LCBO in a regular basis - like a lot of the really great, fun wineries in Niagara like Stonechurch. I love both these wineries, so I just stock up when I'm there :)
                  They do, however, ship by the case (I think). Check out their site : www.
                  P.S. Their 2006 Sav Blac BLEW MY MIND. Higly recommended

              2. Another yeah! for Cave Springs off-dry Riesling (and, generally, I think Niagara does riesling well... Inniskillin is OK too).

                But we tried some Ontario reds this week, and I have to sadly report that both were truly awful (a Jackson-Triggs pinot and an Inniskillin cab-merlot). I'm sure there must be exceptions, but I don't think Ontario is doing red very well as yet... I have had some good Okanagan, if you want to keep it Canadian... but can't remember any specific bottles.

                Oh, and the Catherine/Pelham bubbly is pretty great...

                4 Replies
                1. re: Rabbit

                  what year were the reds you were trying? in my opinion, 2005 was really spotty for the cabs (ok, all ontario cabs are spotty), but the pinots from '04 are pretty decent...

                  1. re: LemonLauren

                    Honestly, I don't remember... and these were admittedly crappy bottles from the Wine Rack (got caught short on a Sunday). Still, it had been a while since I'd had any Ontario reds, and I was optimistic that I would find something "better" than I remember. Sales clerks were super-positive, but I guess that's their job. Granted there are probably some producers doing interesting things, but I wasn't impressed by what seems to be readily available "out there."

                    I'll take a look at some of these suggestions and try again.

                    1. re: Rabbit

                      Rabbit.... that's not a, um, 'sciebtific' sample.

                      1. re: hungry_pangolin

                        Fair enough... I think I just confessed as much.