[The wonderful folks at Authentic Seacoast really stand up to their name. If you follow them on Twitter you’ll often get lots of great links to East Coast gems. So, I was very happy to include this next guest who ‘s the wine director at DesBarres Manor Inn. Don’t forget to enter the contest this week to win some great items donated by the guests. Leave a comment here or tweet about your fave East Coast beverage using the hashtag #ECBC. Check out the full contest rules and prizes. Love wine? Check out this great new wiki Halifax Wine Impressions by Michelle Yogis.]
By Audrey Firth
I love wine. I love white wine, red wine and rose. My friends rely on me to choose wine for our get togethers. And guests at DesBarres Manor Inn count on me to choose the perfect bottle or glass for a memorable dinner. I am quick to point out that I am not a sommelier. I just like to drink wine and have had the good fortune to work with some of the best names in food & wine in Atlantic Canada. My Cape Bretoner’s appreciation for alcohol and parties also comes in handy!
I find great bottles that just make me feel that I can never top it (Belle Glos Pinot Noir 2004) and then I am off on my next adventure and I find Pierre Sparr Pinot Gris or his yummy Gewurztraminer. I became a big fan of Gewurztraminer back in my days at Inn at Bay Fortune (PEI) with Chef Gordon Bailey. We were hosting a wine dinner with Malivoire wines from Beamsville, Ontario and Chef Gordon did a great double smoked bacon tart that was paired with the Malivoire Gewurtz …the best taste!
For many of us it is difficult to try those new wines. We are either intimidated or we stay with our favorites because we do not want to waste money on something we may not like. This past winter to beat the winter doldrums I hosted my friends every Friday evening for “Happy Hour” (sometimes it was Happy Hours). We often tasted Nova Scotia wines with wines from around the world. One Friday we tasted whites – Cookathama Chardonnay from Australia, Man Vintners Chenin Blanc from South Africa and Nova Scotia’s Jost Vineyards L’Acadie Chardonnay and the Jost won hands down. Did I mention we also did food to go with our wines? We paired these great wines with a Seafood Bubbly Bake …great Maritime comfort food.
At DesBarres Manor Inn I enjoy doing the same for our guests. Our very own Chef Shaun often prepares wonderful tasting menus and I like to try a couple of wines with each dish. It kind of broadens your wine horizons. Sometimes we pair a white and a red with the same dish. While we offer fine dining, we like to lose the pretense so people can relax and simply enjoy the flavours and friendship of sharing a wonderful meal and good wines together.
So have fun with your friends and family this fall and winter with your own tasting parties. Seek out Nova Scotia restaurants that pair dishes with wine to gain new insights on how you can bring local flavours together with wine. And follow writers who share seasonal wine picks and pairings like we do at DesBarres Manor Inn.
Well happy tasting to all of you! Don’t hesitate to drop me a line with your own pairings or wine questions. And most of all have fun with your own wine discoveries. Cheers from me to you as I go off in search of the next (in my humble opinion) great wine!
Audrey Firth is the wine director at DesBarres Manor Inn and the general manager for the Authentic Seacoast Resorts. She contributes to food and wine tweets at @AuthenticCoast and shares recipes and wine picks at DesBarres Manor.