Need something to serve the other Mom’s during your child’s playdate that’s sure to impress, but want to keep indulgences to the palette and not the wallet? Here are three Ontario Wines Under 15 dollars that are sure to please anyone. Oh, did we mention it’s all local?
Vineland Semi Dry Riesling (VQA)
Description: Vineland Vineyards host the oldest Riesling vines in Ontario, grafted from the German winery St. Urbans-Hof. It boasts citrus flavours, a light body, and crisp acidity.
1. Sourdough with Apricot Jam
Sweet and sour doesn’t just describe your child’s playdate. The sweetness of sun-kissed apricots are found in Kurtz Orchard’s in Niagara-On-The-Lake. This honeyed flavour boosts the apricot notes while the tang of the sourdough contrasts the soft sweetness of the semi-dry Riesling.
2. Brie Cheese
Brie is inherently creamy, and the perfect way to offset the acidity found in the zesty lemon lime flare of Vineland’s semi-dry Riesling. We chose Albert’s Leap Brie for our charcuterie, a family run brand from Vaughan who boasts a flavour that is authentic and comforting.
We all know that the best food is the kind we have a part in making. So why not spend a playdate at Andrews Scenic Acres picking your own strawberries? It provides a healthy snack for the kids, and the tart sweetness of a fresh strawberry balances well with the sweet acidity of our recommended “adult grape juice.”
Pelee Pink (VQA)
Description: Pelee Pink is a rosé made with 100% Chambourcin grapes, offering fruity and lightly spiced undertones. With notes of rhubarb, strawberry, and raspberry, it is dry and medium bodied.
1. Seedless Coronation Grapes
Unlike the chambourcin grapes used to make Pelee Pink, coronation grapes have a distinctive sweetly sour taste that bursts in the mouth and balances the acidity of the wine.
2. Brie Cheese
Albert’s Leap Brie makes another appearance on our charcuterie as it’s creamy texture and delicate flavour complements the spiced undertone and snappy flavours of rhubarb and raspberry.
Konzelmann Merlot (VQA)
Description: Elegant and velvety, Konzelmann’s Merlot carries flavours of liquorice and raspberry, with notes of pomegranate, vanilla, and cherry. Medium bodied with friendly tannin.
Serve: Lightly Chilled
1. Aged Asiago Cheese and Dark Chocolate
Asiago is an Italian milk cheese which becomes more firm and sharp as it ages. This type of cheese is nutty yet creamy with an initial bite of saltiness. The nutty flavour of the cheese pairs well with the cherry undertones while the salt adds a welcome contrast. Our charcuterie boasts Thornloe’s cheese, a trusted Ontario brand of more than 70 years.
For Mom’s looking for a little more indulgence, we suggest adding a layer of Laura Secord’s Extra Dark Chocolate with 85% Cacao. This chocolate boasts a bitter-sweetness that when layered with the aged asiago gives way to the friendly tannin of Konzelmann’s Merlot.
2. Cacciatorino Pork Sausage
Our charcuterie sausage comes from Niagara Food Specialties.
This is an Italian small dry sausage, similar to a salami. It’s quite salty, but packs a punch with spices such as coriander, pepper, and caraway. Unlike the cheese and chocolate which emphasize the sweet aroma of vanilla and flavour of liquorice, the salty spice of the sausage creates a contrast on the palette that is quite stimulating.
Photos by Brennen Robinson