Wednesday, 30 January 2013


Munro's Dry Mead:  The idea to share my wine adventures was a result of my trip to Alvinston, Ontario in search of mead.  I finally opened a bottle of mead recently.  "Stuyding" for tasting and written exams during the September - December term of the Sommelier programme at Algonquin College left me with little time to try some of the wines I've been collecting over the last several months.

With a residual sugar designation of 2 this is the driest of the meads from Munro's Meadery.  The label describes it as having a crisp finish but I did not detect sufficient acidity to use that descriptor.  I found the mead to have floral and honey aromas; flavours of cinnamon, ginger and citrus peel (a very slight pithy bitterness); full body (some oiliness) and a long finish with some spices lingering on the palate.  This mead reminded me of a gewurztraminer and in fact it paired well with foods I would generally pair with that varietal.   

Food Pairings:  After reading the label I tried the mead with fish but it was not a good pairing due to the lack of acidity.  I then prepared a cheese plate and, like a gewurztraminer, the mead complemented blue cheese very well.  Finally, I paired the mead with pork tenderloin roasted with a glaze made from pomegranate jelly and the wine proved to be a complementary match to the pork. 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013


Domän Sånana in Skillinge:  After visiting Hällåkra winery in North Gronby I drove south toward the sea and followed the picturesque road along the water to the village of Skillinge on the southwest coast of Skäne.  Percy Månsson is the owner of Domän Sånana and known as a pioneer in Skåne winemaking. He is a self taught viticulturist and winemaker, first cultivating grapes in his garden as a hobby in 1995. He then planted a small vineyard at the end of the 1990s on a rural property owned by his family since 1874.  

Domän Sånana produces only 900 litres of wine annually given not only its small size but also due to the fact that only half of the grapes grow to a size sufficient for winemaking. Rondo makes up more than 80% of the vines at the vineyard.  Percy explained that he follows some biodynamic viticultural practices to control pests and diseases in the vineyard.  For example, white clover is grown between the rows of vines as a cover crop given that it provides habitat for predatory insects and nitrogen to the soil.
Wine & Cheese Tasting:
When I arrived at Domän Sånana in the mid-afternoon I found Percy preparing for a wine tasting course he was hosting that evening.  After a short tour in the vineyard Percy graciously offered a sample of some of his award winning wine and various locally-produced cheeses.  The Rondo that I tasted had vibrant red fruit flavour (cherries and strawberries) with high acidity, as is typical of the varietal.  It paired well with some of the softer, creamier cheeses.