The Onivino holiday wine tasting was a huge success. While the rest of Montréal was trudging home in the cold, we were swirling our Sangiovese and savoring pâté poivré. The snow flurried outside the windows of our magnificent host location, Avenue Art Gallery, overlooking the Vieux Port. Nothing thaws the winter chill better than a rich wine and warm conversation.
The atmosphere was perfect for some dégustation exploration. It’s the part we love most about our job. Everyone had a chance to taste the spicy notes of the Pinot Noir, delight in the anomaly of a Californian Sangiovese, and play with pairings of chèvre and fruit with the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Never attended an Onivino tasting? These events are fantastic opportunities to access exclusive, rare wines you’ll never find at the SAQ. It’s easy to feel frustrated or lost pacing the SAQ aisles. There is only so much you can learn on the back of the bottle. At tastings we get to pop the corks! We get to smell, swirl, and taste them! If you’re ever hesitating on buying a case, this is the perfect context to window shop. These intimate gatherings allow us to unwind, mingle, and dedicate time to discovering what fits our palate. During the evening we brainstormed whole menus to accompany the Andretti Merlot. We experimented with chocolate and vanilla cupcake pairings (the Bergevin Lake Pinot took the prize). We converted the Jack Daniels purist into a full-fledged Sauvignon Blanc enthusiast, and traded Outback travel stories inspired by Groom’s Australian Zinfandel.
The thrill of being a private importer is uncovering these lesser-known regions, offering rare and exclusive cuvées, and demystifying the wine culture. We love discussing acidity, bouquets, noses and legs – without the snobbery. The Onivino team wants to be your personal sommelier, your walking-talking-wine-encyclopedia only a phone call away. Our goal is to give you access to exclusive products that will not only wow your dinner guests but render a routine meal a five-star experience.
Thank you to everyone who made this event such a success. We hope our lucky taste testers enjoyed the Onivino goodie bags, and continued the holiday celebration at home.
Did you miss out on the good time? We hope you had a good excuse! But don’t worry; we’ll be doing many more special events and tastings in the New Year. Save room in your calendars for our next event in January – details coming soon!
Notes on the featured wines:
Sauvignon Blanc, Darryl Groom, Adelaide Hills, Australia, 2010
Brighter than California Sauvignon Blanc, and a little less pungent than New Zealand, this wine exemplifies the Adelaide Hills appellation as a world class Sauvignon Blanc producing region. 100% Sauvignon Blanc fruit, 100% stainless steel fermented with no oak contact.
Barrel Fermented Viognier, Bergevin Lane, Columbia Valley, Washington, USA, 2010
Floral and spicy fruits merge with slight vanilla tones, lemon and ripe pear. Profound in the mouth with voluptuous notes of honey.
Pinot Noir, Bergevin Lane, Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA, 2011
Light to medium in color, this Pinot expresses enticing notes of savory spice on the nose, with earth and red fruit in the palate. Interesting and complex yet incredibly easy to sip or pair.
Merlot,Napa Series, Andretti Winery, Napa Valley, California, USA, 2007
This 2007 Merlot adds flair and nuance to well ripened blueberry, orange blossom and cherry flavors with a hint of cedar and spice. A full bodied, well-structured wine with wonderful presence, but is soft as it glides across the palate with ripe, bright fruit flavors.
Sangiovese, Napa Series, Andretti Winery, Napa Valley, California, USA, 2008
Ripe stone fruits, blueberry, boysenberry, chocolate, caramel and smokey aromas in the nose, with a wonderful balance and structure. A complex finish.
Zinfandel, Darryl Groom, Barossa Valley, Australia, 2010
Brick red in colour, with a spicy, raisiny aroma and a rich medium weighted palate with some apparent sweetness, a robust, dry finish.
Photo Credit: Mohamed Hamad