Monday, April 19, 2010

A challenge to Ontario wineries!

The kitchen has been re-organized, the patio is getting its' face-lift, and the summer lies before us as I finalize the spring wine list. I will be writing later this week about the upcoming Patio Opening Party and the upcoming Winery Tours, but today I wish to set the record straight and offer a challenge...

...As people and wineries offer to me what products I should carry I have come to the realization that there is some confusion as to what cafe Taste is and who I am... Taste does NOT carry local food and wine because it is just from Ontario. I choose to support those producers that are close, however above all I choose our wines and our foods based upon QUALITY.

Wine is not simply 'good' to me based upon the merit of being from Ontario. No, I want to make it clear that I am trying to make consumers aware of the better quality wines that can be found here. Does one think that an Italian or French wine is automatically "good" simply because it comes from an "Old World" viticulture area? the reality is there is MUCH "bad" wine made everywhere, for as with all industries, as with all artistic disciplines, there are those that are more adept @ producing than others.

I will point out that Ontario (as the rest of the world) has produced an incredible amount of unsatisfactory wines. This does NOT mean however that Ontario isn't capable of world-class products. We have some magnificent winemakers here, and they all began with less than perfect creations.

Certainly there is the wild-card of vintage, but wine regions around the world each have something to offer, and the wine-makers craft an personal style is inherent in the wine they produce. The better producers rise to the top, and they reflect the "good" wines of that region.

I am thankful to be part of a movement that is changing the way we Ontarians view our food suppy; the "identity crisis" Ontarians (and Canadians) have about trying to compare their products to another part of the world. An Australian winemaker doesn't try and say "This Cabernet/Merlot is very Bordeaux", they are instead proud that they produce a wine in an AUSTRALIAN style. Same too as the Californians, the French, the Spanish.

Take the International vinifera and grow them throughout the world and see how each region bears their mark upon the wines. Then see how Ontarian wines bear the mark of our terroir and be proud of them. A California Cabernet should drink a certain way, as should an Australian, a French, and so too an Ontarian!

So my challenge to Ontario wineries is two-fold: Do not try and imply Ontario wines are "just like Burgundy/Bordeaux/Tuscany/Napa Valley/etc.", instead embrace the nuances of an exquisitely crafted local wine, as is done in every other of the world's wine regions.

I will go further and put emphasis on "exquisitely crafted"; As I've already stated, wines will not be carried by cafe Taste that aren't quality, and I implore Ontario winemakers to not use the VQA symbol as a shield to sell wines that are simply local. Rise to the challenge, learn your craft well, and create exceptional wines I can proudly present to my customers.

This is an exciting time for us as there is a surge of quality. It is my hope that the ripples of this become waves that raise the levels of all produced.


Jeremy Day - Wine Geek

1 comment:

  1. Well said Jer! It's an uphill battle but the mentality of Ontario wine drinkers is changing, give it 10 years and people will be scratching their heads that this ever needed to be said!