Have you ever found yourself wandering and wondering up and down the aisles of the LCBO in search of a bottle of wine for dinner, picked up a few bottles, read the descriptions, sighed, and then just grabbed whatever one had the nicest label? Or maybe just decided to wing it with a moderately priced bottle from France or Italy or California, or maybe something with a kangaroo or a cat on the label and hoped for the best?
The search for a nice bottle of wine becomes slightly more complicated when you are looking for something that pairs nicely with the menu you have planned dinner, and since you feel like supporting Canadian winemakers, you want to try something maybe from Prince Edward County (PEC) or Niagara. Or British Columbia. Or The East Coast. Canada is now producing some of the best wines in the world, so if you haven’t checked them out, or don’t know where to begin, fret no more; the results for the Great Canadian Wine Match are in!
This is Natalie MacLean’s first annual poll of thousands of Canadians to determine our favourite Canadian wine to pair with everyday dishes; chicken, beef, seafood, cheese, dessert, and, of course, pizza. The nice thing about this is, the winners are selected by average joes, like us. While we respect and admire the high falutin’ tastes and know-how of that rarified group of silver-toungued sommeliers, who can determine the mineral content of a certain terroir down to the atom, it is nice to have a more popular assemblage of local wines, selected as favourites, by our peers.
“The groundswell of participation in this competition shows just how well we make wine in this country—and how proud we are of it,” says Ms MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine site and the competition host. “Both the winning and the nominated wines are great bottles to crack open for Canada Day celebrations, no matter what you have on the grill or picnic table.”
The nominations and voting were done via social media and real-time, online voting, by everyday people with a passion for wine. If your favourite wine is not listed in the finals by all means, nominate and vote for them next year.
Here are the winners of this year’s competition, as selected by Canadians from coast to coast:
Canada’s Best Wine with Cheese:
Quails’ Gate Late Harvest Optima, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Canada’s Best Wine with Pizza:
Norman Hardie County Pinot Noir, Prince Edward County, Ontario
Canada’s Best Wine with Seafood:
Domaine De Grand Pré L’Acadie Blanc, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia
Canada’s Best Wine with Chicken:
Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Chardonnay, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Canada’s Best Wine with Beef:
Luckett Vineyards Phone Box Red, Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia
Canada’s Best Wine with Dessert:
Black Sage Vineyard Pipe, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia