Love and wine. How are these two connected?
I do love wine and many experiences where I have experienced love have included wine. The world of wine is wrought with passion; if you’ve stood in a vineyard and had a conversation with a vigneron or visited a winery and barrel tasted with a winemaker, you have without a doubt experienced first hand the passion and love that goes into crafting wine. Vines are tended, nurtured and cared in a way a parent provides for their child. Perhaps this is why there is such an allure and attraction to wine; perhaps when we drink from a particular bottle, we feel we are experiencing some of the love and passion that went into creating it. There is a sense of being connected to the land from which that wine came and maybe even the people who created it.
I will always have a fondness in my heart for Italian wines for reasons that go deeper than what is in the glass. It was in Italy that I took my first wine appreciation course with a dear friend, I visited my first vineyards and enjoyed delicious meals accompanied by the local wine. It was also here that I met my husband, who happens to be Piemontese where some of the best wines in the world come from. When I drink any type of wine from that area, whether it be a rustic country red or an ethereal smelling Barolo, my heart and head go back to a really sweet time in my life.
North Americans have become recently fascinated by Danish notion of Hygge (pronounced “Hoo-gah”); which is essentially a way of living well and being happy by taking pleasure from simple soothing things in life; think cozy blankets, a fireplace, wine and good company! Though, the most important ingredient to happiness could very well be our connection to others and healthy relationships. I always enjoy wine in pleasant social surroundings; so I do associate it with happiness, friendship and sharing. You certainly don’t need wine to make these connections or to be happy; but when enjoyed responsibly, it is a wonderfully pleasurable and social drink.
Of course not all wines come about from the same passion and desire to create something unique or to subtly express terroir; there are plenty of mass produced bulk wines out there, that serve a purpose and are not labours of a winemaker’s love. However, these are not the wines that excite me or that I fall in love with. In a meeting the other day as the Bishop’s Cellar team discussed our portfolio of wines and some of the passionate suppliers that we work with, my colleague Erin commented that “we aren’t selling Shampoo” (sorry Aveda, I am sure you care about what you put in your bottles too….). This made me laugh and also I have to agree wholeheartedly; for the wines that we love to sell, love to drink and talk about are the ones that have been crafted with a certain amount of care.
Here are some wines that embody this sense of passion and love that will be perfect to enjoy this Valentine’s day or whenever you want to feel good!
Champagne Lassalle Brut Preference Premiere Cru – Champagne is love in a bottle, isn’t it? No need to say more.
Lightfoot & Wolfville Pinot Rose – I love the aesthetic of this bottle; from the eye catching artwork on the label, to the wine’s light pink hue; this is most definitely a local labour of love and is crafted with the utmost respect for the environment thanks to biodynamic farming methods.
Casajus Vendimia Seleccionada – Eso vino es muy suave! Just one sip of this hand crafted Tempranillo and all of my Spanish language inhibitions melt away. I love the intensity of dark primary fruit flavours and the delicate oak that brings structure and sweet spice to the whole.
Villa Cafaggio Cortaccio – This sophisticated Supertuscan is in perfect balance right now and is sure to provide lots of drinking pleasure. Dine at home in style and serve this with a juicy grilled steak alongside some sauteed bitter greens and porcini mushrooms.
Domaine de Haut Perron Pinot Noir. – Pinot Noir’s lighter style, lifted aromatics and silky texture makes it a favourite of mine anytime of the year as I never tire of it (like the best relationships).