Enjoy some of Canada's wines this summer while you try some local restaurants in YYC. Whether you are having lunch, dinner or dessert, there’s always a tasty Canadian wine to pair with your meal. With many grape varieties and hybrids, you are sure to find one to woo your palate.
Here’s three things about Canadian wineries that you probably didn’t know:
1. From coast to coast, there’s a wonderful selection of wine that is made in each province. Popular grape-based wines come from BC, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.
2. Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland make fruit-based wines. Fruit such as blueberries, cloudberries, and lingonberries are used. Local fruits create wines with crisp berry notes.
3. During the lockdown, wineries had to close their tasting rooms and focus on direct shipping and innovative canned wines that’s more sustainable.
Time to experiment and test your taste buds with pairings that highlight the dishes from local restaurants in YYC:
The super popular Lobster Roll Kit for two is a great take home meal! The star is fresh Atlantic lobster piled high on two brioche buns that have been adorned with malt aioli, butter lettuce, and fried leeks. The lobster is so buttery and melts in your mouth. We also treated ourselves to some East Coast oysters. Pairing this meal with the Orange Gewürztraminer from Dirty Laundry Vineyard was delightful as the freshness of this wine was light and crisp and the marmalade citrus notes really complemented the lobster.
This summer we’ve been obsessed with watermelon, it’s more versatile than it appears. You can definitely eat it fresh, but wait until you cook it on the grill, you won’t look back. We were so happy to find this steak and watermelon insalata from Sauce Italian Market. The flat-iron steak was cooked perfectly and the lime mint vinaigrette was delicious with the watermelon, granny smith apples, red onion and feta. This paired perfectly with the Gray Monk Odyssey Rose Brut, as we often find notes of fresh melon and berry flavors. It’s such a great choice we bought a couple of bottles to go with all our summer salads.
Red blends are fantastic with steaks and dishes featuring Alberta beef and the firm tannins in these wines refresh the palate after each bite. That’s why we chose Fuji Ramen and Sushi new Fuji Beef Roll with Alberta beef, cucumber, avocado, sesame seeds & teriyaki sauce and their assorted sashimi platter. This was such a tasty roll. The Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend from Red Rooster Winery had dark fruit notes and the spice and smoke notes enhanced the rich and natural oils from the sashimi and meaty taste of from the roll.
Last but not least, we are featuring one of our favorite flower/honey (grape-less) wines. While there’s nothing wrong with a cold beer or margarita (or two), here’s a wine to try to take your 'Taco Tuesday' to the next level. Our go-to taco joint is Blanco Cantina and, in our opinion, have the best fish tacos. We paired the crispy tilapia tacos with an Alberta-based sangria named YeeHaa! from Spirit Hills Winery in Millarville! It is a delicious ready-pour sangria that can be served straight over a full glass of ice, YeeHaa! is fruity, has a soft sweetness with a well-balanced acidity and a lingering sense of apples, berries and cinnamon.
We had a lot of fun pairing these Canadian wines with some of our favorite local YYC restaurants and would love to hear what your favourite restaurants are, and your pairings! This summer whether you're enjoying a patio, grilling up some meats, watching fireworks, visiting your fave taco joint, or making s’mores, we hope you try these Canadian wine picks for your celebrations.