wpid-img_20150117_200027.jpgThe forces that be behind Toronto Booze Hound usually drink red wine. We might not review red wine very often because we don’t consume much from Ontario, and because we bulk order our batches from Fermentations. But we picked up some smooth Grey Owl cheese, some velvety Highland Chief Cheddar and some pungent Swiss Challerhocker from All The Best Find Foods near Summerhill, and the cheesemonger talked us into pairing these beauties with a Gewurztraminer. “The sweetness of the grape will really balance the creamy richness of these cheeses.” And this is why wine & cheese should be sold side by side with carefully crafted in-store displays to maximize profit and consumer experience. Knowledgeable staff can make or break a cheese & wine pairing, and we appreciated his guidance in such an expensive and luxurious purchace.

Pelee Island is Canada’s southernmost vineyard. Located in Kingsville, ON along the shores of Lake Erie, the vineyard is in spitting distance of the Detroit/Windsor border. They have a really diverse portfolio of wines, and their Gewurztraminer Riesling blend is only $11.95 at the LCBO, and a VQA wine to boot. We chose this grape for its sweet profile, since riesling on its own doesn’t usually work on my palate. We split this bottle in white wine glasses. It was cheap & cheerful, with a twist top. Gewurztraminer shines in the cold climates that us Canucks bring to the table.

Appearance: Really pale golden colour, with thick legs on the pour.
Aroma: Sweet aroma characteristic of both the riesling and the gewurtraminer grapes used in the blend. Hints of pear, strawberry and banana. Maybe some oak?
Taste: Sweet on the palate, counterbalances the very pungent cheeses we paired this with wine.

Aftertaste: Lingering finish with hints of lychee.

Overall: This is not overpoweringly sweet, thankfully. A mild finish earns this a would-buy again ranking (assuming we’re indulging in more stinky cheeses).

Shawna O'Flaherty

Shawna is a 30-something Montreal native transplanted to Toronto in 2010. Wine loving, beer sniffing and rum swilling come naturally to her, and she is also a certified Irish whiskey taster. She has hosted beer and cheese pairing events in the past.

Shawna has visited vineyards in 6 countries on 3 continents, and has a knack for finding the hoppiest beers around. A dedicated Booze Hound, Shawna completed the Wine Specialist Certificate at George Brown College in 2018.

She can be found drinking alka-seltzer and coconut water in the morning.

Email: shawna@torontoboozehound.com