Sips and Savours: Oct. 2012

There’s a nip in the air, and the sweaters are coming out of storage.  Thanksgiving is on its way.  Whether you’re hosting dinner for two or twenty, it’s a time to celebrate the harvest in Canada.  What better way to do that than with Canadian wine?

A traditional Thanksgiving meal centres around turkey, although ham and roast beef might show up, or it might be a vegetarian feast.  This list of wines tries to cover as many bases as possible.  There are usually many different flavours competing for attention, and the key to finding a wine, or wines, is versatility.


Riesling and turkey make a beautiful match.  Since Riesling is almost never oaked, fruit tends to dominate, which helps the wine match the stronger flavour of this bird, while the higher acidity levels in the wine make for a clean finish, getting the palate ready for the next bite of rich poultry.  Equally good when served as an apéritif, with a starter salad, or throughout the meal, Trius Riesling Dry VQA features aromas and flavours of citrus fruit such as lemon and tangerine, with a bit of green apple and a mineral note.  This wine would also pair well with ham.

From the west coast, try Mission Hill Five Vineyards Pinot Blanc VQA.  Sometimes mistaken for Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc is made particularly well in British Columbia, and is full-bodied enough to stand up to just about anything, even beef.  This version smells and tastes like apple, melon, pear, and vanilla.  The fruit component is great for matching with side dishes like cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes.  With this wine, too, there is a seam of cleansing acidity that is refreshing.

A solid entry on the red side of the ledger, Peller Estates Family Series Baco Noir VQA offers a nose and palate of blackberry, cranberry, plum, black pepper, and leather.  If you like big fruit, but don’t want to be whacked over the head with alcohol and tannin, Baco Noir is for you.  There is lots of juicy fruit hanging on a sturdy, yet subtle, frame.  You can put this wine with turkey, roast beef, or eggplant parmesan, and it will do fine.  Baco Noir works and plays well with others.

Experiment and have fun, even if you are stuck next to crazy cousin Alfred.

Happy sipping,


Susan Sterling

Author of our monthly feature Sips and Savours, Susan Sterling’s love of wine blossomed when she worked in Europe as a cycling guide. She holds Intermediate, Advanced, and Diploma certificates from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) in the UK, and hosted the online wine shows Naked Wine Show and Grape Notes. Find out more about Susan at

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