Sunday is my Funday, particularly when Juice Imports hosts a wine tasting ($25)! The night before the event, my friend Quebecoise confided that the wines from her home province were notoriously bad. Despite this inside tip, I was confident that Sunday’s wines would be stellar because I’ve personally tasted the whimsically delightful wines Juice Imports brings to Alberta. For this blog, let’s listen to “Old Love” by Dominique Fils-Aimé.
We sampled six wines from Pinard Et Filles, a winery in Magog, Quebec. Erik confirmed what Quebecoise stated – Quebec does have a reputation for making atrocious wines. However, there is always an exception. In this case, winemaker / farmer Frederic Simon is dedicated to excellence. According to Erik, Simon’s passion dictates the unparalleled quality of his wines. If the crop doesn’t meet his expectation, he won’t bottle it, despite any financial loss he suffers.
The first two tastings were what Erik referred to as “serious and brooding” wines. First up was Bambine ($59.95). Amber in colour, I smelled ripe, dank nectarines. What an entrance this wine makes on your tongue! Erik mentioned this wine was on his top ten list in 2021. He described this orange wine as “beastly, full-bodied, supple, with rich, black tea characteristics, like oolong.” Sunflower whispered that it reminded her of funky cider.
The second wine – Ciel Ouvert ($61.95), is Erik’s current favourite. To me, this wine smelled bright and potent. Erik tasted brine and almond characteristics. He compared this wine to a book you repeatedly reread because you discover something else each time you look through the pages. It’s a wine you can taste over and over and, each time, find new depths. Sunflower thought the Ciel Ouvert would pair with a fatty cheese with an unusual flavour.
The third wine was Sunflower and my favourite – Verres de Gris ($52.95). What a fun wine! I drank this far too quickly. Sunflower tasted blackberry or gooseberry and said it smelled jammy. Erik commented that Pinard Et Filles has a cult following, and their stock sells out instantly in New York and Toronto. Even in Quebec, there are lineups to buy their wine, and customers are limited to one bottle per person.
Next, we tried Vin de Jardin ($49.95), a garden wine. Woah, baby! I dig the smooth, silky texture and pretty scent. Sunflower tasted cranberries and mentioned it was almost like drinking white wine.
Frangin ($52.95) was another winner. Sunflower smelled raspberries. Erik described this red wine as peppery and lip-smacking. He noted that all Pinard Et Filles wines are 100% natural, with no added sulphur, colour, or flavourings.
For our last tasting, Erik opened up a can of Piquet ($11.95, 355 ml). Ah, now this is what I’m familiar with – easy quaffing wine. Sunflower tasted papaya. Piquet is yummy and delicious. Erik said this style of wine is made utilizing waste products, such as grape skins, which contain so much flavour. Erik and Sunflower commented this can would be perfect for bringing to a picnic or movie theatre. I went one step further and declared it would be ideal for work. Tough crowd – no one laughed at my joke, not even a smile.
Thanks, Erik and business partner Mark, for volunteering your time to host this event, and Bricks Wine Company for only charging a bare minimum for using the beautiful space. The (practically) free tickets just mean we have more to spend at the store.