DRINK THIS

Blo­mi­don Es­tate Win­ery’s 2014 Blanc de Noirs is loved by crit­ics for its toasty notes, full body and del­i­cate bub­bles.

The Coast - - FOOD + DRINK - BY MOIRA PETERS

ANova Sco­tian bub­bly goes great with food. No sur­prise, then, that con­tes­tant chefs at Canada’s Great Kitchen Party in Hal­i­fax—the re­branded Gold Medal Plates na­tional culi­nary com­pe­ti­tion—choose over­whelm­ingly to pair their com­pe­ti­tion dishes with lo­cal sparkling wine.

This makes for an es­pe­cially good op­por­tu­nity to size up some of the top sparkling wines in the re­gion. At this year’s Hal­i­fax com­pe­ti­tion, held last month, Blo­mi­don Es­tate Win­ery’s 2014 Blanc de Noirs came out on top, ac­cord­ing to the Kitchen Party’s panel of lo­cal wine judges (this author in­cluded).

As the name in­di­cates, Blo­mi­don’s Blanc de Noirs is a white wine pressed from dark grapes—Pinot Noir and Pinot Me­u­nier, two clas­sic Cham­pagne va­ri­eties. At press­ing, juice is sep­a­rated from skin, mean­ing the pig­ment found in grape skins has lit­tle op­por­tu­nity to bleed into the juice, leav­ing only the faintest rem­nant of colour—a pleas­ing barely-even­salmon tinge of orange-pink that is nearly im­per­cep­ti­ble once it’s poured into a glass.

The wine is won­der­fully lively and balanced, with “pro­nounced toasty notes on the nose, freshly baked bread, red ap­ple, spice and un­der­ly­ing aroma of ma­ture cheese,” ac­cord­ing to Alanna MacIn­tyre of Bishop’s Cel­lar, one of the com­pe­ti­tion’s judges. “Full bod­ied, with a pleas­ant, creamy tex­ture, fine mousse and a dry­ish fin­ish,” adds Craig Pin­hey, New Brunswick wine, beer and spir­its writer, also a Kitchen Party wine judge. “A to­tal de­light,” sums up Heather Rankin of Obladee, A Wine Bar, an­other panel judge. “Flo­ral, woodsy, wild cherry note and a soft del­i­cate bub­ble.”

Blo­mi­don Es­tate Win­ery’s Blanc de Noirs is avail­able for $45 at the win­ery, through its on­line store and at the Hal­i­fax Sea­port Farm­ers' Mar­ket (1209 Mar­ginal Road) on Satur­days. Well worth hav­ing on hand for the hol­i­day sea­son.

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