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Ok, I realize that ‘eh’ is usually used in the context of a question, but I just had to use ‘eh’ in the subject line since I’m in Canada this week.  (I am still working on my creativity  and photography skills.)

Although I have had many Canadian ice wines, I have never tried a Canadian red, so my mission for this trip is simple – expand my palate, taste a bunch of Canadian reds, and bring back a few.  Admittedly, I have never considered Canada a serious producer of anything other than ice wine, but I am keeping an open mind.

My first Canadian red (just wish I could embed a cheesy drum roll audio clip here)…  Inniskillin 2007 Reserve Series Pinot Noir made from fruit from the Niagara Peninsula.   Located in the Provence of Ontario, the Niagara Peninsula has the largest planted area of all the viticultural areas (VQA) in Canada with 13,600 acres under vine.  Thirty-two varietals are grown in The Niagara Peninsula (surprised by that fun fact).

Inniskillin Pinot Noir 2007 Reserve Pinot –  I ordered this as my first glass to accompany dinner of grilled salmon.  Not a very positive beginning – I found this wine thin, green with loads of very tart cherry.  I believe this wine retails for about $18CA/bottle ( ~$17/bottle US).  I noticed this wine in the airport Duty Free shop for just $14CA.  I think I’ll stick with the excellent Inniskillin Ice Wines from now on.
My next wine of the evening was this ‘little’ beauty, the Jackson-Triggs 2007 Cabernet-Merlot also from the Niagara Peninsula.   I received this as a check-in gift at the hotel, but I believe a bottle of this wine retails for about $15 CA.  Dark ruby in the glass, this wine showed a basic nose of dark fruit – blackberry, plum, and currant.  In the mouth, muted tannins with dark fruit and earth flavors.   An ‘ok’ wine, but definitely not on my ‘gotta have again’ list.


Although I have not had much luck here in Canada in terms of finding a nice red (yet), I must say Canada could win the ‘Friendliest Locals in The World’ award.  It’s interesting how friendly and social the Canadians are.

Next stop is Play Food and Wine in the By Ward Market to check out their Canadian offerings.

Hat tip to Tom Firth of Wine Access Magazine and Natalie MacLean for wine and restaurant recommendations while here in Ottawa.  Any one else out there with Canadian red recommendations?