Bring On The Blends

Last night I enjoyed a glass of 2009 13th Street White Palatte.  It is an off dry blend of seven different grape varities, packed full of exotic and austere flavours.  A really good deal at $14.95.  There were only 350 cases produced, it is sold out at the winery.  Grab it while you can from VINTAGES.

While I enjoyed all the fresh flavours in my glass I began thinking about blends.  What’s the deal?  How important is this wine style for Canadian wine and what is it’s role?

Did Stratus have it right from the beginning with their signature assemblages White and Red?  These high end wines have been produced there since 2000 and are priced at $44 a piece.  Road 13 Winery recently released signature blends Stemwinder and Rockpile.  The idea was to increase the production of the blends so Road 13 wines could reach more customers.  The production of some single varietal wines decreased as a result.  All in all, it was a sales and marketing decision.

Marketing decision or not, multiple varietal blends play a very important role in Canadian wine production.  Distinct regional flavour is not lost in these wines styles.  It is celebrated through the multiple translation of numerous grapes varieties.  For a cold climate grape growing country, vintage is a major factor in each years production.  The ability to blend expresses the quality of Canadian wines whether it’s a good year or not.  With the mosaic of grape varieties grown across this country, often times there is not enough of one variety to justify making a label.  Super small production can leave customers disappointed because they can’t access the wines, or wineries disappointed because retailers won’t carry their product because they fear it has unreliable shelf space.  Blends, in no way, take away from the small boutique uniqueness of Canadian wine – they just make really good wine available to more fans.

Price point aside, Canadian blends offer great value.  Some of my favourites include: Laughing Stock Blind Trust, Rollingdale Riewurztrafelserson, Flat Rock Seriously Twisted, 30 Bench Red, Herder Josephine, Mission Hill SLC Sauvignon Blanc Semillion.

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About allisonvidug

Allison has been professionally passionate about wine and food for eight years. In that short time, Allison has traveled across Canada to work at some of the finest establishments focussed on premium wine, food and service. Her travels and education has allowed Allison the pleasure to live in some of Canada’s most beautiful locations such as the Okanagan Valley, Niagara Peninsula, the Southern Gulf Islands, Toronto, Lake Louise and Muskoka. Some of Allison's favourite things include; wine, gin, whisky, cheese, mushrooms, cooking, hosting, growing vegetables, cottaging and dogs. Allison has seriously invested in her education of food and drink. She is a graduate of the Food and Beverage Management Diploma Program at George Brown College. She also holds a Diploma in Viticulture and Winery Management from Niagara College. Allison has fine tuned her wine and spirit sensory skills by completing certificates with the International Sommelier Guild and the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Allison is currently completing here WSET Diploma, one of the highest levels of wine education.
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