This holiday season, remember that you don’t need to go far to enjoy delicious wines. We’ve tapped the shoulders of some of the best local wineries and wine shops for their two cents on the perfect wines for the table to take you through this whole holiday season.
Holland Marsh keeps the pillars of family, friends and food in their minds when they craft their wines, especially during the holidays. This holiday season, start off with the 2018 Ephemere Rosé. It’s fun, fruity and fresh, yet still quite dry. It makes for a great wine to drink while mingling with family members and enjoying appetizers, such as soft cheeses and shrimp cocktail.
Their 2017 Select Cabernet Baco makes for a great, fuller-bodied and smooth red. It has a lot of spice and ripe fruit characteristics. It pairs perfectly with turkey or pork roast for dinner, since the soft tannins will round out while the fruit characteristics will come to the forefront of the palate.
If you’re planning on serving something like a prime cut steak or braised meat for dinner, their Reserve tier Mélange Red is the right choice. It is a blend of Holland Marsh’s best grapes from three different fantastic vintage years in the region. It’s rich, complex and creamy, with a lot of spice and dried fruit characteristics.
A few other options from Holland Marsh include their 2019 Select Sauvignon Blanc, which is perfect alongside a nice cream-based pasta. Finally, a bold ribeye steak would pair wonderfully with their 2016 Reserve Merlot. If you’re looking for a unique gift idea this holiday season, make sure you reach out to the winery to ask about their custom basket orders. You can have a basket made with a variety of their wines, jellies, truffles, wine glasses, charcuterie boards and more. You can find their wines at the winery itself, since they aren’t available at the LCBO. Find out more on their website.
Windrush prides themselves on wines that patrons describe as “delightfully different”. This season, the 2019 VQA Dry Riesling will be released on December 5th, and has been a favourite of those who have sampled it from the barrel. With only 2 grams of sugar per bottle, it is nice and dry compared with many other Rieslings. It pairs perfectly with foie gras, smoked sausage, and seafood like crab cakes or smoked salmon.
The 2018 VQA Jim Warren’s Classic Chardonnay is buttery in taste and full barrel aging. It’s an excellent white wine for celebration. It pairs perfectly with pan-seared scallops, fish baked on a cedar plank or with strawberry-jam infused cream cheese over smoked salmon.
The 2019 VQA Cabernet Franc is also being released on December 5th, and has left many early samplers excited to order it ahead of time. It’s a luscious red with a palette that balances solidity with sublime fruit development. It pairs nicely with pork, lamb or game meat. It also works well with soft cheese on warm bread or ravioli with tomato sauce.
If you buy two or more bottles of wine from the Windrush winery store, you’ll receive an insulated wine tote bag, which is perfect for carrying. They also offer free carrying boxes if you plan on gift-giving two or three bottles. If you book your visit in advance, you can enjoy a free tour and tasting directly from tank or barrels with your wine bottle purchase. While their wines aren’t sold at the LCBO, you can purchase cases from their website with free delivery. Outside of the winery, here’s a list of the select restaurants and farmers markets you may pick up a bottle of Windrush wine from here.
Located in the hills just outside of Orangeville, Adamo is a beautifully located winery with a lot of great options for sipping during this festive season. Start off with their unique 2019 Legacy Pét-Nat. It’s a natural sparkling wine with the aroma of fresh fruit and many citrus fruits. It has a lot of bubbles and a crisp, medium-long yet refreshing finish. It’s the perfect wine to start the evening with appetizers.
If you’re interested in another bubbly option, the aptly named 2018 Spark’l Chardonnay Musqué is another great wine. Also containing lively fruit notes like orange blossom and honeydew melon, this bottle of bubbly also works perfectly for appetizers and starting the evening.
For the big dinner, Adamo’s 2017 Meritage is a great option. It’s an oaky blend, made up of four types of delicious red grapes and notes of black cherry and blackberry. It pairs perfectly with beef, veal and game meat. If you plan on serving a turkey dinner, consider the 2016 Parke Pinot Noir. It has notes of red fruits like cranberry and strawberry. Its earthy yet smooth texture pairs nicely with poultry, but also goes well with beef or veal, too.
If you’d like to try a series of the wines from Adamo this holiday season, you can also consider taking part in one of their virtual tasting experiences. Your tasting package will include four bottles of wine and an accompanying video to walk you through the tasting. You can visit their website to learn more.
This holiday season, Magnotta has some great wines you can bring home for the big dinner. Their 2019 Vidal Dry Equus Series VQA is well-liked. It’s a fruitier white, with notes of peach and apricot, and it pairs well with firm cheese as an appetizer or fish and poultry, for a turkey dinner.
If you’re on the hunt for a good red wine, their 2015 Enotrium Gran Riserva VQA is a delicious blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a very full-bodied wine, yet still quite dry. With notes of dark berries like cassis and blackberry, it pairs wonderfully with beef tenderloin or roast lamb.
Finally, the Woodbridge 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Venture Series VQA is an excellent medium to full-bodied Ontario red. It has currant, cranberry and cedar aromas and a smoky finish. It is a delicious partner to slow-cooked meats like back ribs or pulled-pork. It also goes well with a spicy-seasoned chicken, or even a turkey dinner.
There you have it. We hope this list helps you navigate the holiday season with a little more ease this year. These days, it’s especially important to support our local winemakers as much as we can. Happy sipping!
Bri is a Toronto native who has spent many years living abroad, but has been happily reconnected with Ontario for the past three years. She loves writing about travel experiences in our beautiful province including all things nature, food and culture. You can find her canoeing and swimming across Ontario with a craft brew in her hand in the summer, and snowshoeing or curling up with a good book and an Ontarian Pinot Noir in the winter. Follow along on Instagram @mstravelingmitch.