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Wine Pick of the Week

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October 30, 2014

Now that most of the grapes have been harvested in our wine regions (Ontario too), estates turn their attention and hopes to icewine. They’re made under rigorous VQA strictures in both provinces (rules state that the temperature must be at least -8°C and the sugars sky-high), and only a few grapes have sufficient acidity to balance their decadent honeyed sweetness. Try our Ontario winner, Château des Charmes, made from the vidal grape this Halloween weekend. Sip while you hand out the treats, or make a rustic local apple crostini for a well-paired dessert.

Château des Charmes Vidal Icewine 2009



Château des Charmes Vidal Icewine 2009

$25.99 for 200ml

Ontario +565861


In the heavy tome called Wine Grapes, the vidal entry is introduced as "a French hybrid ideally suited to the production of sweet Canadian Icewine"-a ringing endorsement for a grape that does little outside our northern climes, except in Sweden and smatterings of vineyards in the eastern U.S. The world's largest plantings are in Ontario, whose winter-hardiness is obviously a virtue. The Château des Charmes 2009 Vidal Icewine is lush with tangerine marmalade flavours and grapey sweetness, but revived by lip-smacking racy acidity. It's deftly balanced, showing the harmony that comes with five years of age but still vital and lively. Try it with foie gras with sautéed apples or with fruit tarts, or add a dribble to a glass of prosecco for Sunday morning breakfast in bed.





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