We are still a few months away from enjoying our favourite beverage in the great out doors but as we look forward to longer days and warmer temperatures why not grab a few friends and take a little trip to Tidal Bay. You don’t have to go far for this journey. In fact for this little trip you don’t need to leave Nova Scotia or your house if you don’t want to. Hosting your own wine tasting is a great way to explore and discover uncharted territories in wine. We often have our go to labels that we know will not disappoint but a wine tasting can open up new worlds and new experiences without having to venture very far.

Leisa and Aaron Bryant live on Quarry Island not far from Melmerby beach. They enjoy travel, friends, wine and of course their home, a perfect recipe for a night in for a Tasting.
Because I am the Wine Guy I got to pick the tasting menu and while there are more wines in the world than you would ever have a chance to sample I chose one very close to home. You might have already given one of these wines a try or at least noticed them on the shelves at your local NSLC. It’s Tiday Bay and it holds the merit of being the one and only Appellation wine in North America. An appellation is a defined and protected geographical area that is used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown. Tidal Bay wines are the only appellation wine in North America and it is designated as such because the grapes are felt to most beautifully convey the Nova Scotia terroir. The wine is known to be crisp, fresh, dryish and with a nice brightness.

It’s always fun to do a home based wine tasting. Everyone is usually quite relaxed in the atmosphere and the most important thing to remember is that you don’t need a wine expert or a Sommelier to lead the tasting. It just takes a little research and a little imagination to create a great experience.

Wine tasting is both subjective & discovery. There are many ways to entertain at home and fun always involves discovery.

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Fun involves a theme. You don’t need to be an expert. Pick a theme. Have everyone pick a wine based on a common style or label, Chianti, Rioja, Tidal Bay, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio. You can chose by either by grape variety or area of a wine so just choose a theme for your party and have fun with it.

Blind tastings are great because it leaves everyone guessing! Making a game out of your tasting also relaxes people and helps to take the pressure off, especially people who aren’t comfortable or overly knowledgeable about wine.

Paper-bag your wines and leave them that way so labels can’t be seen.
Pour each wine one at a time in no more than 2 oz. pours and allow a few minutes for each wine to be tasted and notes taken. Limit the number of wines to no more than 8, as your sense of taste gets muddled if too much at once.

Have your guests jot down their notes on each one, either as individuals or in teams. Share them around the room with one another then reveal each wine from the paper bags. Have a prize for anyone who can correctly guess each wine.

Again discovery need not be too far from home. Tidal Bay is a perfect local discovery based on an appellation “style” wine. Tidal Bays are wines local to NS and yet provide a plethora of options based on producer.

Tidal Bay is a concept wine based on style. Tidal Bays are NS wines showcasing our home grown, aromatic, thirst-quenching style of wine.

 

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Craig Campbell
Craig Campbell is a sommelier who has spent much of his career in the Food & Beverage Service industry. He has been Retail Manager at Gaspereau Vineyards near Wolfville, NS since 2014. He resides in the Annapolis Valley and enjoys writing about his passions, both professionally and personally.