Off to Italy!

Dear readers, followers, family, & friends.

Consider this post my “out of the office” message for the next two weeks.  If this was one of those classic bounce back messages we all receive it would read something like this…

“I’m sorry to have missed your e-mail.  Please note I will be out of the office from Sept 14th – Sept 30th.  In that time I will have no access to e-mail or voicemail as I will be touring the gorgeous landscape that is the Amalfi Coast of Italy.  I will be drinking some of the best wine the world has to offer and eating some of the best food you can find.  I may even get to Tuscany and Rome for a few days along the way.  But don’t worry your message is important to me and I will respond to it and also provide a recap of my trip when I return.”

Or something like that…

Talk to you all soon.

- Mark
Follow me on Twitter: @towineman

The readers have spoken – Pinot Noir is your favourite!!

My first official readers poll has ended and the readers have spoken… Pinot Noir is your favourite Ontario grape variety!!

First off all I thank all of those who participated.  I was a bit nervous that I would only get a few votes, but I am pleasantly surprised by the vote tallies, the comments, the re-tweets, and the overall feedback… so thanks!

Pinot Noir came in first just a single vote ahead of Riesling which came in second.  Really not bad choices.  Along with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir is all the rave in Ontario these days, then you have Riesling which has been a staple of our wine industry for years.  We are a cool climate region and producing world class cool climate wines, mainly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Writers and wine enthusiasts around the world are beginning to take note of this and Ontario is getting some much due respect for these wines.  In my opinion it is these two grapes (along with Ice Wine of course) that will carry us to wine superstardom in the wine world in the years ahead.  Chardonnay for the record received my vote, so though it tied for third I am giving it the nod to round out the top 3.

Other Interesting Results:
- Ice Wine only received two measly votes.  What happened out there?  Is our Ice Wine only popular to the rest of the world and not domestically?
– Chenin Blanc was the only grape variety not to receive a single vote. However I am not surprised at all as I threw it in there just to see if anyone would submit a faulty vote. There is no way you could pick Chenin Blanc above all the other options given.  So this is my proof that the results are indeed accurate and relevant.
– Cab Franc and Cab Sauv rounded out the top 5.  Other than Ice Wine missing (as mentioned above) it is no surprise that the top of the list included Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Cab Franc… but I am slightly shocked at the Cab Sauv support out there.  I guess there are just that many people who love Cab Sauv no matter where it’s from.
– Someone voted “other”.  Please reveal yourself and the grape variety you are referring to as your favourite in Ontario. Seriously I am very curious.  My guess is Baco.

Here are the final results:
1. Pinot Noir – 27%
2. Riesling – 23%
3. Chardonnay – 12%
4. Cab Franc – 12%
5. Cab Sauv – 12%
6. Ice Wine – 8%
7. Gamay – 4%
8. Other – 4%
9. Chenin Blanc – 0%

Based on the results here are some recommendations on what to try for under $20:
O’Leary Wines, Unoaked Chardonnay, 2011, #307751 – $14.95
Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir, 2007, #13904 – $16.95
Chateau de Charmes Estate Bottled Riesling , 2009, #61499 – $12.55
Thirty Bench Riesling, 2009, #24133 – $18.95
Lakeview Cellars Riesling Reserve, #294074 – $16.95
Angels Gate Mountainview Chardonnay, #116384 – $18.95
Mike Weir Pinot Noir, 2009, #75 – $19.95

Once again thanks to all who voted.

- Mark
Follow me on Twitter: @towineman