Drink Local: Discover Local Wineries Without Leaving Your Home

(Photo: Rennie Estate Winery)

The farm to table movement has changed the way we eat but it seems to have done little to change the way we drink; while the French drink French wine and the Californians even drink California wine, Canadians rarely drink Canadian wine. Canada, and in particular the Niagara region, is known around the world for great Chardonnays, Cab Francs and Pinot Noirs. The problem often is that places like the LCBO usually only stock from vineyards with high outputs, in turn the customer looses out on tasting some of the best artisanal wines from the smaller vineyards in the region. Enter Pour Niagara, an online boutique that specializes in bringing the best of the Niagara region to your doorstep. That’s right, you can order your wine online (even mix and match the cases) and it is delivered to your doorstep in 3-5 days. What better way to impress your date,  “Oh, I got this wine from a small little winery I discovered while I was driving some back roads in Niagara…”

Here are our top picks from the Niagara region that can be delivered right to your door.

Rennie Estates Christine Chardonnay, $35

This terroir driven Chardonnay is rich and balanced. It features aromas of ripe pear, peach, fig and vanilla-oak; it’s soft and fleshy on the palate with rich, opulent fruit flavours, integrated spice and a creamy texture through the finish. This wine was a 2014 InterVin International Wine Awards Gold medal winner.  I was never a huge Chardonnay fan as many of them are just too oaky but I enjoy this one from Rennie. Only 75 cases were produced.

Rennie G, $55

The signature wine of Rennie Estate, this 2014 InterVin International Wine Gold medal winner is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes; the berries are first dried for over 70 days and then aged in small batches for 18 months in French oak. Many blended wines are seen as less than but that should never be the case; ‘G” is big, opulent and complex wine with great structure.  This is the perfect big, bold red you have been searching for.  This is a limited release; only 65 cases were produced.

Westcott Reserve Chardonnay,  $29

This white is a bit of a contradiction, dry and sturdy yet creamy and curvy; a perfect balance. It features hints of apples, peach and vanilla spice. Only 100 cases produced.

Flat Rock Cellars Gravity Pinot Noir, $30

Flat Rock employs a state of the art 5-level gravity flow bottling system to create this wine; only the finest parcels of Pinot Noir vines are selected to craft this vintage. The wine features notes of dark cherries, plums, spice and earthiness; it has rounded, firm tannins and a rich mouth-feel.

Between the Lines Cabernet Franc, $16

This just might be the best bottle of red you taste for $16.  The wine is full of rich plum and black cherry aromas; on the palate the wine is lively with rich flavours of black fruit and smoke. This unbaked wine comes with its own structure that is enhanced by a ripe black pepper spice. Perfectly paired with ribs or a great sirloin burger.

Coyotes Run Red Paw Pinot Noir,  $25

The distinct red Trafalgar clay is rare in the Niagara region and lends to a unique medium bodied Pinot Noir. This wine features notes of cherry, currant and strawberry-rhubarb jam; the palate features ripe tannins and a concentrated lingering finish.

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