Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's Official... the Leaf is Gilded!

It's official!  After months of learning about starting a wine agency, the ins and outs of dealing with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, forming a business partnership, racking our brains for a business name, creating a website, making contacts in the industry... I'm happy to launch Gilded Leaf Wine & Spirits.

Now the tough work begins.

We need to find wineries to represent, and start our journey up the steep (and I would imagine sometimes slippery) learning curve.  There are so many ways to represent a winery and their products... distributing directly to the LCBO, supplying restaurants and private clients, participating in wine clubs and wine fairs... the list goes on.  So many possibilities!

I'll continue to blog about my learnings in the business, and especially as I begin my next course on Food & Wine Pairings - can't wait!  The scale will officially be removed from the bathroom until well after this course is complete.

In the meantime, please feel free to check out my website at:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

No Jesus Juice Here

One of the featured wines in a recent vintages release is the South Australian Shiraz, The Formula, 2005 by Small Gully Wines. If you can snag a bottle of this stuff, I recommend trying it. I'm going to warn you, though, it's a *tad* stronger than some of the other wines you may have tried lately. At 16.7 percent alcohol by volume, one of the first aromas that hits you is... well.... alcohol. Once you get past the initial memory of Jack Daniels, aromas of dark chocolate, black cherries, and sweet spices start to emerge… almost Christmas Cake-like.

There has been a rising trend towards wines being created with higher and higher levels of alcohol. This might be due to the fact that more wine makers are giving in to the trend of producing much more fruit-forward wines, using very ripe grapes. The riper the grapes, the higher the sugar levels, and the higher the resulting alcohol. Alcohol is created when sugar and yeast ferment... so the more sugar you have in the juice (called must), the greater the potential for higher alcohol levels.

One theory for the demand for fruitier wines is that this "new generation" of wine drinkers tends to drink wine both with and without food. For centuries before this one (and possibly up until more recently), people drank wine as part of their meals. Folks living in the new world wine regions are now adopting more of a "drink when I want, where I want" culture (my peeps!). If you aren't pairing your wine with your food, your palate will start to demand more flavours to compensate for that lack of "mouth harmony" (yeah, I just made up that term).