I attended my yearly rendez-vous with La Grande Dégustation de Montréal a few weeks ago! This event that highlights wines of the world on top of an array of whiskeys, rums and gins just to name a few is the perfect chance to stock up on a box or two of bottles for the holidays. After going four years in a row, I definitely saw things evolve. So before listing my finds for the holidays here are a few comments about the festival to come better prepared in the future:
1) Most wines at the event are sold at the SAQ.
When I started going to the fair, a good majority of the wines came from private import. It made it much more interesting to head to the event to buy bottles that you couldn’t find in Quebec without paying for import fees and the price of a full case. Nowadays, most wines are already sold here so I prefer to head to the store later. The good news is you can buy them anytime during the year.
2) Coupon prices have gone up.
It’s much harder to taste a good wine for 1-2 coupons ($) than it was before. You will usually taste the low end products that need to be accompanied with food to actually be enjoyed. However, wine stands started to offer smaller pours for half the coupon price which is great if you want to survive the fair!
3) The snacks are not really worth it.
Most snack stands have gone up in prices for portions that are less than satisfying. Go get free foie gras tastings at Les Canardises’ stand or a good bread big enough to share at Première Moisson (they take coupons or cash).
On to the good wines!
Bachelder Niagara Pinot Noir 2013 SAQ
That’s right, a Pinot Noir from Niagara Peninsula, Ontario! After visiting the beautiful Prince Edward County also in Ontario and finding some pretty solid wines, I definitely have a more open mind to local wines.
Domaine Labranche 2013 Fire cider SAQ
I love the products coming from Domaine Labranche. They work with more tart flavours than the other ice wine producers in Quebec. Their fire cider is actually not an ice wine but a fire wine in the sense that the apples are heated instead of being frozen. It creates a delicious and rich cider that can easily be mixed in cocktails or can be heated up as a hot cider.
Wines Cuvée Chartier SAQ
François Chartier is a genius when it comes to creating harmony between food & wine which is why I wasn’t surprised to find this new line of wines crafted for food! This collection is aimed to be a crowd pleaser and make it simple to pair the right wine with the right dish.
Did you attend #LGDMTL this year? Comment below and share your finds!