Its 4:30pm on a Thursday. It’s a sunny spring afternoon and I’m on holiday in the English countryside with my friends.
Having just come back from a lengthy walk, we all sit down in our cosy rental cottage feeling both rejuvenated and exhausted from our day’s trek.
As 5 o’clock approaches, we begin talking about what we’d usually be doing at this time on a Thursday. All of us have the same story; something along the lines of slogging away in a busy office, staring at the clock and waiting for its hands to reach home time.
Well, as you can imagine, it doesn’t take long before we’re all in agreement that a tipple and a toast to our much deserved holiday is in order. We trot into the kitchen to check out our options and my friends suggest that we open up the wine that they’ve brought: a 2009 Silver Series Riesling from the Jackson Triggs Estate & Vineyard in Toronto, Ontario. Oh, I do love a good Riesling, so no convincing was needed there!
The Riesling grape produces a variety of wines, ranging from the popular dry/semi-sweet varieties to the deliciously indulgent dessert wines, and is well known for its intensely aromatic fruit and floral notes. When served ice cold on a hot summer’s day or a balmy evening, there’s honestly nothing quite like it.
Originating in Germany’s Rhine region, Riesling is now produced all over the world and is one of the most popular white wine varieties, ranking just behind Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. I find that due to its sweetness and complexity, Riesling is best paired with light, summery dishes, such as salads, fresh fish and stir-frys.
Now, I’d like to consider myself to be quite well-versed in wine, but I must admit that this particular bottle came as a bit of a surprise to me. Other than Canadian Ice Wine, a type of dessert wine, I hadn’t really tried many Canadian wines before. Maybe I’m more of a Californian wine snob than I previously thought, or perhaps I’ve just been ignorant all these years, but for whatever reason, the Canadian wine industry just hadn’t been on my radar. With that being said, I was extremely intrigued and couldn’t resist the chance to educate my palate further.
So the corkscrew went in – twist, pull, pop and pour. My once-empty glass was now brimming with a buttery, pale yellow liquid that sparkled as it reflected off of the early evening light coming in through the window.
After giving the wine a little swirl, I brought the glass up to my nose and took a deep breath. An ambrosial fragrance immediately filled my head. Notes of citrus and flowers, particularly jasmine and apple, made my mouth water on command like one of Pavlov’s dogs. I didn’t waste much time after that. I took a long sip and let the opulent flavours of green apple, honeysuckle and melon tantalize my taste buds all the way through to the zesty and slightly fizzy finish.
It was absolutely divine! I was also very surprised at how light and refreshing it was. I’m used to full-bodied, semi-sweet Rieslings but this was light, dry, and perfectly balanced. Needless to say, I was instantly hooked. My friends and I polished off the bottle later that evening over a dinner of seared tuna steaks with new potatoes and spicy aioli dressing.
The 2009 Silver Series Riesling from Jackson Triggs retails at $18.00/£11.00 and is currently only available for purchase through the vineyard’s website or from other Canadian retailers. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on it, you must be warned: this is a very moreish wine. It goes down extremely easily, and long after the bottle has been finished, your palate will be gagging for more.