Sommelier Michael Gauthier spends a lot of time sniffing out the best Canadian wines and spirits for the National Arts Centre’s le café restaurant. At a recent wine show he found several gems to be added to the Centre’s unique Canadian collection. “These are rare bottles that can’t be found at the LCBO,” says Gauthier, who works closely with NAC chefs for outstanding food-drink pairings. “A beautiful Bordeaux blend from the Okanagan Valley, an aromatic gin from Ungava... My hope is they allow our patrons to discover little-known, high-quality Canadian producers.”
Here are highlights of the le café's list of outstanding Canadian wine and spirits:
Oculus – Kelowna, BC
- One of Canada’s best wines. Deep ruby colour, powerful nose. Wood and jammy flavours abound. Great mouthfeel with a really long finish.
Grange Chardonnay – Prince Edward County, ON
- An unoaked chardonnay with vibrant yellow apples, pear, and honeysuckle. Terroir is really reflected in this wine with its clean mineral finish.
Creekside Pinot Noir – Jordon, ON
- Pinot Noir is one of my favourite Canadian varietals. Creekside’s has a soft bouquet featuring red berries, a silky texture and a lovely level of tannins.
Featherstone Rosé – Niagara Peninsula, ON
- Easy to drink, this rosé has notes of wild red berries and red pepper. Juicy and well-structured, it pairs well with salmon and summer salads.
Sortilège – Canadian whisky and maple syrup
- Golden yellow, maple syrup, toffee, and caramel. Lightly acidic, unctuous texture, very long finish.
Gin Ungava – Northern Québec, QC
- A combination of six rare northern botanicals, handpicked during the short summer season and handcrafted into a unique product.
Prélude magazine – Cuisine
Holiday issue, 2016