I hold wpid-wp-1447812691281.jpgon to a good bottle of wine for ages, which means I have a bit of a wine hoarding problem going on. I had a bottle of Terroir Caché 2010 by Hidden Bench hanging out getting more delicious on my wine rack since June 2014. We picked it up right at the vineyard on our way home from a camping trip on the shores of Lake Erie. The weather turned rainy, so we made a long detour through the Beamsville Bench area of the Niagara wine region and visited a handful of wineries. There may still be a few other bottles kicking around our wine rack from that road trip. I like that we have been hanging on to this bottle since before we founded Toronto Booze Hound.

The 2010 : blend of Terroir Caché does not seem to be listed on the
vineyard’s website, but the 2011 blend retails for $38.20 at the LCBO. I think this is why I have been hoarding it for a while. We got into this decadent bottle to celebrate some professional achievements on both of our parts after a rough patch. At $38 a bottle, this is not your average Thursday evening wine. The cork was stained a deep red.

A Meritage blend is essentially a Bordeaux-style blend using the common grapes found in the Bordeaux region of France, but cultivated outside this area. The Niagara area produces a lot of these blends. This particular bottle consisted of 53% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Malbec, and was aged 18 months in French oak. The blend varies widely from vintage to vintage based on the growing season’s weather, and the vineyard recommends cellaring it.

Appearance: Deep mahogany red colour, a visually perfect glass of wine with thick legs. It looks like a meal in a glass.wpid-wp-1447812651733.jpg

Aroma: Strong blackberry aroma, rich and peppery aroma.

Taste: Mature flavour, full bodied with more blackberry and cherry on the palate. Very peppery.

Aftertaste: Semi-sweet aftertaste, lingering. Heavy on the tannins.

Overall: This was a bold, decadent flavour and we hope to get our hands on a bottle of the 2011 blend too. We recommend pairing it with spicy pasta, dark chocolate with sea salt or a steak served rare. We enjoyed it with a steak, because that’s how we celebrate here.


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

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