ONTARIO PRODUCES SOME OF THE BEST GAMAY IN THE WORLD
The North American palate enjoys red wines with richness and sweetness, so itâ€™s difficult for light, tart or rustic reds to compete. â€œI donâ€™t have time for light redsâ€ is a comment I often hear. Funny how millions of French and Italians have always enjoyed this style. But what do they know! One thing they do, is that tartness and bitterness are a drinkerâ€™s friend â€“ providing refreshment in the first few glasses, and palate-cleansing later with food. Instead of judging wine on a first sip, note whether itâ€™s good company over the evening. An interesting personality is preferred over niceness.
The Gamay grape is best known as the grape behind Beaujolais â€“ the classic light red, however, in Ontario this grape takes on a more rustic quality similar to some gusto Italian reds. Wines for hearty foods. I invite you to indulge in Italy â€“ Ontario style. Lightly chilled of course.
Consider a few bottles of these for the big bird dinners down the road.
Chateau des Charmes has always been a proud producer of Gamay â€“ the Droit has been a recommendation of mine for a couple of decades. And experts at a recent judging finally caught on, and gave it a Platinum award. Very concentrated in flavour so you are more likely to think Barbera than Beaujolais. Certainly rustic, and inviting hearty food. I love its uniquely â€˜Ontario statementâ€™.
The regular Charmes Gamay is certainly one of the best local wines at the LCBO. A wonderful combination of vigour, and earthy flavours â€“ even some traditional â€˜farmyardâ€™. Again, more Barbera than Beaujolais, so think spicy Italian sausages in a tomato pasta. Lightly chill and toast the good life.
Another of my long-time favourites is Caveâ€™s Gamay. Generally speaking, it could be described as a tart, lightish red that an Italian family might drink with every meal. A good palate stimulator, food flatterer â€“ providing nourishment for belly and soul.
Tawse is totally different. A bright, fruity wine that could pass for Pinot. So donâ€™t fret over the price. I love the play between the razor edge of tartness, and the pretty, delicious fruitiness. The naughty young cousin scenario. Lightly chilled this would be fab with a patio lunch, or to libate/stimulate the dinner chef, and assistant! Also to partner a casual BBQ of chicken or pork.
P.S. See more local Gamay in my County Report.
CHATEAU DES CHARMES 12 Gamay, VQA Niagara on the Lake 57349 $13.05
CHATEAU DES CHARMES 12 Gamay Noir â€˜Droitâ€™ VQA St. Davidâ€™s Bench 582353 Vintages (Sept 19) $16.95
CAVE SPRING 13 Gamay, VQA Niagara 228569 $14.95
TAWSE 13 Gamay, VQA Niagara 322545 Vintages $18.75