i was the spectator during a mini booze cruise event for dave today.
so, apparently canada has become a world leader in the icewine field, and nova scotia contributes its own unique flair to the offerings. the annapolis valley (north of us, it starts in wolfville and proceeds west down to approximately digby) supports most, if not all, of the wineries in nova scotia. this year, the first two weeks in february celebrated the icewine festival. while there were events in halifax, the real stuff was occurring at restaurants and the local wineries themselves up in the valley. we decided to go to the source.
(the part of the black line from digby to wolfville is the annapolis valley)
from the list of festival events, we chose one that was free and simple (since i couldnt participate, it didnt make sense to try and attend an oyster and wine pairing, or cheese and wine pairing, etc). we settled on the muir murray winery, the newest in the valley wineries, which is right outside of wolfville.
we arrived during a lull and dave was able to get lots of attention from one of the wine girls. he tried almost all of their wines and enjoyed many. not that i know much about wine, grapes, etc but here is some info on what he tasted (and his rating):
favorite: their "cape split" red wine made from "leon millot" grapes
good: their "summer song" rosé wine made from "marechal foch" grapes, their "orchard view" semi-dry red wine made from "marechal foch" grapes, their "black walnut" red wine made from "leon millot" grapes.
okay: their "atlantic tide" white wine made from "l'acadie" grapes and their "eagle soar" made from "baco noir" grapes.
fair: their "1755 reserve" white wine made from "l'acadie" grapes
and what about their icewine you ask? he really liked it. theirs is called "the solstice" and is made with "vidal" grapes. apparently a true icewine is harvested in the winter after the grapes have had 3 consecutive days on the vine between -8 and -11 celsius (12-17 F). the grapes are then ready for immediate and speedy harvest and apparently "each frozen grape creates just one drop of icewine." bunch for bunch, you get about one-fifth the amount of wine from frozen grapes as you do from normally harvested grapes. thus, the 200ml bottle of icewine we purchased was $26 (compared to the 750ml bottle of "cape split" we also got for $17).
i am intrigued to try the icewine (one day) as she said that with different dessert options the wine tastes different. she suggested only about 1 oz of icewine per person and a dessert plate filled with chocolate covered berries and sliced pears with bleu cheese spread on them...okay! im there.
with wine purchases in hand, we drove into downtown wolfville to find something else to do since we had made the drive. i was thinking about a soup or dessert or something, but i wasnt quite ready for food yet so we went to paddys irish pub and dave got a beer sampler. keep it flowing man.
he took his time imbibing and we were able to spend a few delightful minutes watching the olympics on the bar tv. thankfully, at home, we are able to get canadian webcasting for pretty much every olympic event on ctv.ca. they are so proud their athletes, i cant help but say its "cute." since skiing was a big part of daves childhood, all things mountain during the winter olympics are a must-see. it was nice having a change of viewing scenery from our apartment.
but, finally he was done and the ski jump event was over. we made our way down main street to the vegetarian lunchbox. so far, weve only had their desserts, but they are great. dave got some coconut chocolate balls and i found the very basic and simple oatcake to be perfect. i would really like to come back for a proper meal there, all the creations on their menu board look great.