Canada produces a tremendous array of sparkling wines, spirits and dessert wines – all extremely popular on the international and local markets. Here are some food pairings to set you salivating. Cranberries are an ingredient in several of the dishes, adding a fresh, tart taste.
1. A foodie trip to British Columbia + Cranberry Bruschetta
Pairing: Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Noir and Cranberry Bruschetta
When you think of Canadian wines, it’s hard NOT to think of the Okanagan Valley, with its miles and miles of vineyards. This wine-producing area actually needs no introduction – the wines speak for themselves. The Mission Hill Reserve Pinot Noir is a case in point. Every swallow is bursting with fruit, delicate tannins and a spicy finish – the perfect match for a simple but delicious appetizer of toasted baguette with a cranberry bruschetta topping. Invite all your friends – this wine is made for sharing!
Link to Mission Hill Winery: http://www.missionhillwinery.com
Wine link: https://www.saq.com/page/en/saqcom/vin-rouge/mission-hill-reserve-pinot-noir-2015/11092027
Recipe link: https://www.patiencefruitco.com/en/recipes/cranberry-bruschetta/
2. White wine from Nova Scotia + Salmon Spoons with Fresh Salsa
Product: Benjamin Bridge Tidal Bay 2015
Benjamin Bridge has earned a sterling reputation for its award-winning sparkling wines, but the vineyard also produces an excellent white wine called Tidal Bay, named for its birthplace on the Bay of Fundy. In the mouth, this aromatic white wine reveals notes of baked green apple, dried mango, lemon rind and saline undertones. Tidal Bay makes an inspiring combo with morsels of fresh salmon topped with strawberry salsa. Seafood lovers, rejoice!
Recipe link: https://www.saq.com/page/en/saqcom/recette/bouchees-saumon-salsa?selectedIndex=3&searchContextId=2178012592083840526
Wine link (in Quebec): https://www.saq.com/page/en/saqcom/vin-blanc/benjamin-bridge-tidal-bay-2015/13108918
Winery link: http://www.benjaminbridge.com/wines/tidal-bay
3. Fruit Tea and Organic Blueberry Juice Cocktail from Quebec
Product: Pur Vodka
Canada has nothing to prove when it comes to vodka – we’re the proud producers of a vodka that’s been named world’s best five times! Since it was launched in 2009, the Pur Vodka brand has won 57 medals at high-level international competitions. To savour it fully, sip over ice or combined with seasonal ingredients also produced in Canada – for instance, a divine fruit tea with organic blueberry juice cocktail, a drink any mixologist would approve of!
Those recipes are for mocktails, but it’s easy to turn them into a cocktails:
Vodka link: http://www.purvodka.com/
4. Gin and Tonic Northern-style… and relaxing with a good read
Product: Ungava Gin
Made from Indigenous botanicals picked in the Canadian Tundra, this gin is guaranteed to warm your heart. The winner of 24 medals since 2012, it’s earned a worldwide reputation. Ingredients include wild rosehips, crowberry, Labrador tea, cloudberry, Arctic blend and Nordic juniper. One taste and there you are up north at Ungava Bay. Try it in a gin and tonic while you peruse an interesting book. A great way to get away from it all without leaving Canada (or your own sofa!).
Gin link: http://ungava-gin.com/en/home/
Enjoy with: Maple Salmon Gravlax: https://www.ricardocuisine.com/en/recipes/5783-maple-salmon-gravlax
Suggested reading: Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo: http://a.co/hx8BZnd
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life: http://a.co/cYjAzCY
5. Red wine from Ontario + Melted Brie with Cranberry and Walnuts
Pairing: Redstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 and Melted Brie with Cranberry and Walnuts
The Niagara Peninsula is Canada’s largest wine-growing region. One of the star wineries is Redstone, named vineyard of the year at the 2017 edition of the National Wine Awards. Redstone’s Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, which won the bronze medal in the same competition in 2016, is a must for your next dinner party. Crafted in accordance with organic biodynamic principles, this intense and fruity wine reveals notes of red berries and delicate tannins. It’s a great match for the forthright taste of cranberries on melted Brie – a combination that’s sure to please!
Recipe link: https://www.patiencefruitco.com/en/recipes/melted-brie-with-cranberries-and-walnuts/
Wine link (in Quebec): https://www.saq.com/page/en/saqcom/vin-rouge/redstone-cabernet-2013/12728859
Wine link (LCBO): http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/redstone-cabernet-2013/415885
Winery link: http://redstonewines.ca/wine/cabernet-sauvignon-2/
6. Ice cider from Quebec + a winter campfire
Pairing: Neige Première Ice Cider and cheese fondue
To top off the day, what could be better than a sweet ice cider shared with friends around a campfire? And not just any ice cider – this one has won 56 awards, including best ice cider in the world in 2014! With gorgeous notes of apple, honey, baking spices and cardamom, Neige Première (first snow) is happiness in a glass. Surrounded by folks you love – well, that makes it just perfect…
Three-Cheese Fondue Quebec-style: http://distasio.telequebec.tv/recette/190/fondue-quebecoise-aux-3-fromages (In French only)
Canadian wine producers do us proud every day. Exported worldwide, enjoyed locally!