GAMAY IS ONE OF OUR BEST LOCAL REDS
If Niagara was just starting out and hiring consultants to advise on red grape varieties, chances are many would suggest Gamay and Cabernet Franc. Grapes that work well in parts of France with climates similar to ours. However, neither of these wines are on today’s top ten chart so who’s going to buy them? And therein lies the dilemma for our local wineries. Do they produce quality, but difficult-to-sell, Gamay and Cabernet Franc, or so-so editions of popular reds such as Cabernet and Merlot?
What got me thinking about this is my tasting of three local Gamays. In my glass is a spirited, playful Cave Gamay – really bright flavours, white pepper vitality and great refreshment. So good – one of the best local Gamays I’ve ever tasted. While it has the Beaujolais spirit, there is a difference, because of its terroir – Niagara soils. It’s hitting the spot as I prepare supper, but what the wine is suggesting is the summer season, and the outdoor life, and lighthearted meals and times in general. Gamay is also versatile enough to partner red or white meats, spicy Mex/Tex, and most everyday foods – especially a greasy burger.
Earlier I tasted Angel’s gate Gamay which was lighter and delicate, and hugely gulpable. Will be the perfect light red in the patio season. Liveliness was the big feature in Henry’s Gamay – it’s almost as refreshing as a white. There is also a gutsy, earthy quality for partnering with food – especially anything with tomato sauce. Ontario Gamay with Italian genes!
Buy all three and start enjoying spring. Lightly chill all Gamay wines, of course.
CAVE SPRING 11 Gamay, VQA Niagara 228569 $14.95
ANGELS GATE 11 Gamay, VQA Niagara 107714 $12.95
HENRY OF PELHAM 10 Gamay, VQA Short Hills Bench 291112 $14.95