November 29, 2011
While some might think of the phrase “Québec wines” as an oxymoron, we were happy to try to prove them wrong. Here’s some useful background info from the Quebec Wines website:
“There are over 30 wineries in Quebec located in five distinct regions.
“Although grapes have been cultivated in Quebec for centuries, it is only in the last 20 years that local wine production has taken off in a big way.
“Few people outside the region are familiar with Quebec wines because the majority of production is consumed domestically. Many wineries sell out their inventory simply by marketing to visitors of the winery.”
When we arrived at Uncle Tony’s, places had been set up in a back room with three wines and samples of Wild Boar and Venison Paté, Brie Cheese, and dried apricots, along with a basket of sliced bread.
The white wine, Orpailleur Classique, was sourced from one of the original five founding wineries in Québec, Vignoble de L’Orpailleur. Made of 90% Seyval Blanc and 10% Vidal, it was a light-bodied and crisp wine that displayed green-apple aromas and flavors as well as what our wine guide described as “boxwood” notes and a green-bean finish.
Comparing the wine to a Sauvignon Blanc (which was more of a fond wish than actual reality), she suggested we pair it with the raw-milk, Brie-like local cheese.
Orpailleur Rouge, a red blend made from three local varietals, displayed notes of cherry and black currants, and, once again, “boxwood.” It was designed to pair with the paté, and was likened to a California Merlot, Beaujolais Nouveau, or a Spanish or South African red. Hmmm. . .again, wishful thinking.
The multi-award-winning Ice Cider was produced from a whopping 80 McIntosh apples per each bottle, according to our wine guide. It was very apple-y tasting, with notes of licorice and oak.
It paired okay with the dried apricot, but would have been better with our wine guide’s suggestions–drizzled over a fruit salad or served with a dark chocolate tart.