Halifax recently held the Inniskillin Best Sommelier of Canada Competition. This was the first time the bi-annual event was held outside of Quebec. As part of the organizing committee, it was an honour to welcome the best sommeliers in Canada to Atlantic Canada.
The three-day event had competitors compete in a number of strenuous exercises to determine the wine professional with best combination of theoretical knowledge, wine tasting skills and the ability to relate this information in a stressful restaurant situation. To make it even more complicated they were required to compete in a language other than their native tongue. So who won? In a very close final, Quebec sommelier Veronique Rivest (this is her second time winning the competition) bested Will Predhomme of Canoe restaurant in Toronto. So what does Ms. Rivest wine? At the NSLC sponsored gala dinner, it was announced that she would receive ten thousand dollars cash, five thousand in fine wines and a trip to Tuscany provided by By the Glass and Tenuta Caparzo. Not bad.
Learn more about By the Glass’s Tuscan adventures at www.bytheglass.ca.
Everyday: Borgo Scopeto Chianti Classico (Bishop’s Cellar, $17.22)
This is a lovely estate, located just north of Siena. If you have seen the romantic Hollywood film “Letters to Juliet” you’ve seen the estate with its incredibly cypress line driveway. The winery, which is a sister property to Montalcino’s Tenuta Caparzo, produces a modern style. A little dollup of Merlot rounds out the Sangiovese of this immediately enjoyable red wine with lots of dark fruit flavours and subtle vanilla aromas. For a few extra dollars reward yourself with their Super Tuscan called Borgonero. This wine, which once retailed for close to $50 a bottle is now available at Bishop’s Cellar for just over $25.
Serving Suggestion: Lasagna
Gourmet: Caparzo Rossi di Montalcino (Bishop’s Cellar, $21.57)
Tenuta Caparzo is legendary winery, located on the north side of Montalcino. Its classic Caparzo Brunello and single vineyard La Casa Brunello di Montalcino are familiar to Halifax wine lovers that have joined me on tour in Tuscany. Caparzo is our home in Tuscany. Their Rosso is a 100% Sangiovese based wine with pure red fruit and floral notes kissed with a touch of oak that is more approachable in youth compared to their Brunello.
Serving Suggestion:When in Tuscany, I would enjoy this with a wild boar stew, but at home think lamb stew or Pasta Bolognese.
Mark DeWolf is the Food & Drinks Editor of Occasions Magazine, a sommelier instructor and owner of By the Glass.