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Springtime - Rosé - Niagara: Oakville's Sommelier

Photo by: Cynthia Silversides Photo by: Cynthia Silversides

Photo by: Cynthia Silversides

The 2013 March equinox is coming up in Oakville on Wednesday, March 20th. Why not have a wine tasting party to welcome spring? Gather up your wine-loving friends and decide on a theme. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

"Springtime in Paris" Pair French inspired nibbles and wines with daffodils gracing bistro tables and Parisian music playing in the background. Think oysters, snails, smoked fish, game birds, foie gras, terrines, vichyssoise, baguettes and cheeses. Begin with Champagne or Crémant (sparkling wine), then put together a selection of aromatic Alsatian white wines. Their main grapes: Pinot Blanc (Klevner), Sylvaner, Muscat, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, and Pinot Gris.

Last spring I tasted the excellent wines of Domaines Schlumberger in Alsace. Situated in Guebwiller, the only area in Alsace with 4 Grands Crus sites, Schlumberger is the largest privately owned estate in the region. They are very attached to tradition producing high quality wine using only their own grapes and juice in their 100 year old oak casks. I especially liked their dry style of Pinot Gris, a versatile wine for food pairing.

"Provence meets Niagara" Create an art cafe-like setting with a variety of rosé wines from both regions paired with ratatouille, bouillabaisse, or a daube provençale (beef stew typically made with vegetables, garlic, and Herbes de Provence). You may even want to start your party with a Pastis (liqueur flavoured with star anise), the aperitif of Provence.

photo: Cynthia Silversides photo: Cynthia Silversides

photo: Cynthia Silversides

About 87% of the wine produced in Provence is rosé, a blended wine made from a variety of red grapes grown in the region. Throughout the Niagara Peninsula wine region you can find rosés made from various red grapes including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir. I have enjoyed many bottles from the local wineries: Ridge Road, Fielding, Creekside, and Southbrook.

So there you have it: Springtime, Rosé, Niagara

Thinking about wine, what's happening in Oakville? The Oakville Wine Enthusiasts Club (OWEC) wine tasting this month is scheduled for March 22nd, presentation by Le Sommelier.