A Wine Lover’s Weekly Review Of $10 Wine – Another Canadian Riesling-Vidal Blend

Just a few short weeks ago I broke my more or less promise twice by trying a Canadian Riesling-Vidal blend. The promise had nothing to do with Canada; in fact, this wine carries the Canadian appellation. It was a question of blends and even more so the Vidal grape which itself is sort of a blend, a hybrid combining not so fine grapes in an attempt to deal with the Canadian winter. Vidal makes some excellent ice wine. But if its grapes aren’t frozen… The producer’s web site says nothing about their vineyards and precious little else. Flourish belongs to Constellation Brands, which claims to be the premium wine producer in the world. It was founded in 1945 with 8 employees. Perhaps their turning point came in 1954 with Wild Irish Rose. The companion wine is a German Riesling Spätlese at twice the price.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Flourish Riesling-Vidal VQA 2011 6 % alcohol about $10.

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials. “Tasting Note : pale straw with green tints; floral, apricot and honey aroma; light body; off-dry flavours of melon and peach with balanced acidity. Serving Suggestion : serve with chicken curry.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine offered pleasant acidity and good length but its fruit was unripe. The first meal was quiche time. The homemade eggplant and cottage cheese quiche with sesame seeds on the top sweetened the libation. The homemade mushroom, cottage cheese, and tomato quiche garnished with sesame seeds on the top sharpened the drink’s acidity and there was lots of lime. The side dish of eggplants, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms rendered our Canadian friend sweet with a little fruit. Dessert was a yummy vanilla ice cream bar with a rich chocolate coating. The liquid was reduced to only a wisp of lime.

The second meal centered on a barbecued chicken breast with paprika dusted skin. My glass gave me sweet acidity, lime, and metal. Fresh avocado and this wine meant sweetness up and acidity down. Spicy humus muted the liquid. Fresh raspberries gave whitey a wooden taste with light acidity.

The final meal began with Wasabi-less, virtually tasteless Japanese rice crackers. In response this blend came up with lots of apples and some sweetness. Then came a semi-spicy omelet to which the wine replied with very good acidity, fine sweetness, and smoke. A spicy red lentil chipotle hummus brought out not unpleasant sweetness and a touch of fruit in my glass. A delicious homemade candy made from dates, chia seeds, and coconut (that took hours to leave my teeth) soured the wine, but it was almost ethereal.

Final verdict. I probably will not be buying this wine again. I like the good Rieslings too much. But some of its pairings were good. I will hesitate before trying their other offerings, except for Wild Irish Rose, a real no-no for me.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but drinking fine Iwine with good company. He loves teaching computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. His Italiian  travel website is http://www.travelitalytravel.com .

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