Red Wines from Canada

27 Nov

My business in Toronto is complete for the time being. But I was able to enjoy several Canadian wines, thanks to some wonderful friends and their suggestions! Below are reviews of two reds that showed solid character and winemaking skills in the inexpensive and moderate price ranges, including a solid value in high end organic wine! If you find yourself in Toronto, the West End has a great little place called Midfield Wine Bar & Tavern with a well-considered wine list and many small pours available via coravin. They carry a solid world selection, we finished the night with a bottle of Jura Désiré Petite L’Essen Ciel Arbois-Pupillin! If you missed it, here is a link to my post on Canadian white wines. Cheers! -JvB

Hidden Bench 2013 Pinot Noir VQA Beamsville Bench Unfiltered (Organic)
12.7%ABV, $28 CAD. 

Color is deep ruby with garnet center. Nose offer plum, and earth with a hint of eucalyptus. Black currants, cassis, and plum are primary with secondary notes of oak, granite, toasted almond, some vegetation and a touch of bitterness in what is a very pleasing finish. This pinot noir surprised me with full bodied flavor. It  would pair well with a somewhat heavier flavor profile than I’d expect for pinot, such as red meat, mushrooms, veal marsala, chicken in a gravy or with a touch more spice. Not only would a pinot lover enjoy this wine, but the wine lovers who like full bodied wines might find this pinot a new approach that they would enjoy.


Henry of Pelham Baco Noir VQA, Ontario, CA 13%ABV, $15 CAD

Color shows deep ruby center with purple edging. The nose offers blueberry and black plum, notes of cedar, clove and allspice. On the palate dark blue fruit meets with a pleasing blend of black and sour cherries with high acidity and tart tannins. There is a touch more sugar than I am used to. It seems like the French -American hybrid Baco Noir grape (that has success growing in North America where the delicate and thinner-skinner pinot noir can not) might have a distant cousin in the concord grape in the barrel. It makes for a kind of rustic, although pleasing quality. The wine does not try to be anything elegant or fancy, but is a solid match for cured meat, pizza, poutine, and hearty cold-country food. I could totally see downing a bottle of this watching a hockey game.




The nightly Coravin pour list at Midfield (above) and two unusual wines (below) found at Midfield!




Feel free to share your favorite wines from Canada! 

à vôtre santé!


4 Responses to “Red Wines from Canada”

  1. Duff's Wines November 28, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    Whoever recommended the two wines profiled picked a couple good examples of wines that are good efforts and particular in style to Niagara. Hidden Bench is a solid producer. Back is not that common but Henry of Pelham does try to impart some small amount of complexity on a difficult grape. Plus, you have my interest piqued about Midfield. I usually do Archive (on Dundas as well) but haven’t been to Midfield.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jimvanbergen November 28, 2016 at 10:13 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words, Bill! I had some good suggestions and spent some time with a good salesperson before making up my mind, plus I had time to spend with each wine. I hope you do try Midfield, I really enjoyed their selection!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. thewineraconteur November 27, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

    Jim, I have been happy with most of the Canadian wines that I have tried in the last couple of years, and it sounds like you almost went native. -Eh

    Liked by 1 person

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