COULD NOVA SCOTIA BE THE NEW CHAMPAGNE?
Scores of wine regions now produce very good sparkling wine that comes close to Champagne, or offers another variation on the theme. But few have set out to really go head to head with the de-luxe brands in terms of style and price. Enter Benjamin Bidge in Nova Scotia.
A few weeks ago I participated in a taste-off deluxe Champagne brands and the 2004 vintage of Benjamin Bidge Reserve and Blanc de Noir. How did Nova Scotia do verses the $250 brands? Destroyed them. The tasting was blind and the vote was unanimous. An amazing and exciting experience.
Benjamin Bidge is on the Gaspereau River and under the direction of Niagara wine brains, Peter Gamble/Ann Sperling (Ravine/Southbrook) and a French guy with Sparkling wine-making experience around the globe. It’s certified organic. The bad news is current production is tiny and it’s likely to be several years before there is commercial availability. The price will be steep but what a high it will be to celebrate big moments with deluxe Canadian Sparkling. Pierre Trudeau would have been proud.
P.S. To keep things ticking over Benjamin Bridge produces a semi-sparkling, Moscato-style wine that tops anything out of Italy. It’s off-dry with the elegant feeling of Mosel wines from Germany. Tartness and a slight sweetness working well together. Delightful and difficult to categorize. Super low alcohol, so consider it for weekend lunch/brunch. Or afternoon sipping. Expensive but worth a ‘Canadian wine moment.’ Available at Vintages.
BENJAMIN BRIDGE ‘Nova 7’, Nova Scotia 256289 $25.95