Wine Reviews Tasting Notes and Education for the Non-Snob, by Vino Joe, a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW)

Canadian White Wine: Peller Estates Chardonnay

Peller Estates Chardonnay 2011 | VQA British Columbia, Canada

peller estates chardonnay niagara canadaAs a follow-up to the post on Inniskillin Pinot Grigio, my personal somm offered me two Chardonnays from Canada — one on the high end, one on the low end. This one was on the low end of the spectrum. But don’t take that the wrong way — this was no dog.

Peller Estates Chardonnay has an expressive nose of spicy vanilla oak, ripe pear, and honeysuckle. With that nose I was expecting an in-your-face, fat, sugary, over-oaked blast of tree bark on the palate, but that was not the case. Rather, there was plenty of bright acidity balancing ample ripe fruit, and the spice flavor was more toward something exotic like ginger or cardamom than the typical vanilla extract we’re used to tasting in cheap California Chardonnays. The finish was well-balanced and even had a hint of tannin. A nice solo drinker, and it would likely match with roasted or grilled pork.

Unfortunately, I think this wine will be difficult if not impossible to find in the USA, but if you live in Canada, you can find it at a retailer near you using Wine-Searcher

If you find yourself in the Niagara, Ontario area of Canada, check out the winery personally — for more info, visit the Peller Estates website.

By the way, yes I realize the winery is in Ontario and the wine is from British Columbia, which is a pretty far distance. If anyone has more information on how the wine is produced, please elaborate in the comments. Thank you.

We’ll soon review the Chardonnay that was on the higher end — stay tuned.

Canadian White Wine: Inniskillin Pinot Grigio

20130825-135140.jpgSo, I’m finally getting around to posting wine reviews from my trip to the Okanagan Valley to participate in the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference.

This was my first taste of Canadian wine above the border, selected as a “surprise” by an enthusiastic and friendly sommelier at the White Spot Restaurant inside Kelowna airport. The lovely young lady asked if I wanted to see the wine list, or if she could surprise me; naturally, I opted for the surprise. She “guaranteed” that I’d enjoy the wine — and I did. It’s always great to find someone with a similar palate to guide you.

One caveat: it was served too cold — due to the white wines being stored in the refrigerator next to the beer. My personal somm explained, “most people who come in here want their white wine ice cold.” Yes, we have that problem in the USA as well. In any case, initially, the wine wasn’t impressive — not bad, just not impressive. But, my trusty infrared thermometer (yes, I’m a James Bond wannabe) registered 45 degrees Fahrenheit, so how could the wine possibly show any character? Once it warmed up to a more drinkable 52, then 55, the lovely mineral took over the aroma, which also boasted ripe pear and a hint of white peach. It had excellent acidity — again, only after warming up — and was nice enough drinking on its own, with a well-balanced finish of green apple. I would guess it would also go well with an array of foods. If you see it, give it a try.

Find this wine at a retailer near you using Wine-Searcher

See more reviews for Inniskillin Pinot Grigio from Wines in Niagara, Tony Aspler, and John Schreiner on Wine.