As we head into the colder weather most of us are switching from those cool refreshing summer whites to full-bodied reds. When it’s cold outside we naturally want to hibernate by the fireside with a lovely glass of Cab or Chianti.
But just as the weather changes something in us, so does it affect each year’s vintage. As drought, frost and hail have ravaged Europe’s wine grape harvest, some vintners say this year will be the smallest in half a century.
Some wine makers like Cherie Spriggs of southern England’s Nyetimber Winery have gone so far as to forego the 2012 harvest.
A smaller harvest will definitely be costly to vintners and the approximately 2.5 million European families that make a living off the wine industry. But just because the harvest is small doesn’t mean the vintage will be bad. The up side to the bad weather creating a smaller harvest may mean the quality of the wine is better because the flavours are much more concentrated.
But while Europe is dealing with downsizing this year’s production other growers around the world are reporting very good seasons. Ontario in particular harvested early and according to Grape Growers CEO Debbie Zimmerman, red grapes will be especially good this year, thanks to sweltering conditions promising 2012 will be a very good vintage indeed.
So if you aren’t already do so it’s time to support local. If you haven’t tried an Ontario wine lately check out the VQA section at your local LCBO and give something new a try or head down to Niagara to enjoy a winery tour and pick up something you might only find there.
One of my favourites lately was the 2010 Insieme appassimento style red from the Colaneri Winery. In this wine Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot have come “together” to create the perfect sipping fireside wine. It has a beautiful combination of dried figs, cherry and leather on the nose and goes beautifully with everything chocolate (really – wine and chocolate, could there be a better pairing?). Sadly I just checked and saw this one was sold out but I’ve tried serveral wines from Colaneri and have to say you can’t go wrong if you’re looking for a full bodied red.
What’s your favourite cold weather wine?