This is NOT an easy list to make.
I have sampled wines at the wineries, in tasting rooms, at wine bars, in restaurants and at home.
I have more than 5 favourites, but I want to keep this list simple so I have a list to use for comparison, going forward.
Some of the wines do not have vintages listed unless it was significantly different compared to other vintages that I tasted – and/or enjoyed more or less.
If the wine is available through the LCBO/Vintages, I added the link and number for your reference.
If you come across any of these wines on your travels – or get a chance to sample one, let me know your thoughts! firstname.lastname@example.org
#1 J. Charpentier Champagne jcharpentier.com
This was the little winery in Champagne that quickly had me forgetting the other “big houses” that I usually held in my cellar. I don’t get to sample it often, however, since they do not export to North America, but I occasionally luck out and find it in a wine shop in Europe. Buttery, smooth and full of tiny bubbles. I can taste the passion this family has for its wine.
I first tasted this wine as a recommendation from a waiter on my honeymoon cruise in early 2005. By the end of the cruise, there was none left in their cellar. I made a point of finding it again once I returned home and I have been recommending to everyone ever since. It is a “regular listing” wine at the LCBO so you can find it just about anywhere.
#3 Elizabeth Spencer Chardonnay elizabethspencerwines.com
My favourite tasting memory from my last visit to the Napa Valley. A small little winery with a small tasting room, I can still close my eyes and see the slightly foggy, golden liquid in the glass. It isn’t allowed to go through malolactic fermentation so the mouth-feel is smooth, unique and gave me a new appreciation of California chardonnay.
Liquid gold! What brought me back to appreciating sweet wines. Not just for dessert, it pairs beautifully with many savoury dishes, too, so I can open a bottle and find an excuse to treat myself more often that I probably should.
I was always a fan of Beaucastel’s wines, but a recent visit to a Famille Perrin tasting room gave me the opportunity to sample the 1998 vintage and I couldn’t help but buy a bottle to take home. Smooth and well-rounded, I am holding off opening it until I can figure out exactly what dish I will pair it with…or what special occasion I can come up with to drink it all on its own – and all by myself.
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