Sunday, 21 April 2013

Wonderful wine gift from in-laws

I suppose now that I have you reading this blog post, I could tell you the wine gift my in-laws provided was their daughter, my lovely bride, DAZ in the Kitchen, who shares in good food and wine with me.  And I do thank them every day for that gift, one which you can not put a price on (even though my father-in-law tried to during his speech at our wedding.  Something about transferring a liability from his balance sheet to mine!).

No, I am referring to a beautiful half bottle of 2002 Inniskillin Vidal VQA Ice wine from Canada.  This is a real gift.  Embarrassingly, I left it sit on the counter for six weeks before even looking at it.  I assumed it was just another dessert wine and I had a few already in the fridge and the Vintec, so I figured in due time I would get around to storing it.  There was no ceremony or exclamation of bringing me such a nice gift.  The in-laws were back from a long time overseas and we had not seen them for a while, so had them and my wife's brother and his wife over for dinner.

The in-laws came in, we shook hands and hugged, took their coats and then my mother-in-law says, "Oh yeah, here's a bottle of ice wine."  I said, "Thanks," and we left it at that and proceeded to talk about things and then sat down to dinner.  No explanation of why they decided to pick that bottle to give me or what a special bottle it is.  (I wonder if they knew?)  Therefore, I thought nothing of it and laid it down on the counter.  I figured it was a current vintage and had a screw top, but fortunately, I laid it down horizontally as a matter of course.  And a good thing I did, as it was neither a current vintage or under screw top:  It was a 2002 vintage under cork.

This morning I decided to finally do something with the bottle and that was the first time I looked at it since they gave it to me.  It was then I noticed it was a 2002 vintage and that surprised me.  I then looked at the alcoholic content (10% which is nice for a dessert wine and a good way to finish off an evening) and was high in residual sugar so I know it is going to be a sweet dessert wine.  I kept looking for the grape used wondering if it was Semillon or Riesling.  Even though the word Vidal was prominently displayed on the bottle and box, I though that was some sort of brand name, not a grape name.  However, Vidal is the name of the grape used.

Some study provided me with background on the Vidal grape.  It is a hybrid grape (Trebbiano and Rayon d'Or) with a very thick skin.  It was originally intended to be used for production of Eastern Canadian brandy.  However, it proved worthy of being used to make great Ice wine.  The grape is now grown in Eastern Canada, upper state New York around Niagara Falls, and in selected locations in the US Midwest region.

Further study showed me that this wine is difficult to source in Australia, and I can only assume my in-laws got it when in London or some other major metropolitan city around the globe.  It is an expensive bottle of wine.  The 1992 vintage is one of the very best.  I greatly look forward to drinking this bottle in the right setting and context.  This wine matches up well with several cheeses and with a pear tart or dessert with caramel sauce - I like the sound of that!  I might bring it along for one of our spectacular lunches at Bistro Molines in the Hunter Valley.  Robert (Molines) does great things with caramel and I could call ahead and ask him to make a special dessert for us.

I am gob-smacked that they gave me such a unique and special bottle of wine.  I have no idea about where they got it and why they decided to give it to me (but will now find out), but I am thankful and greatly anticipating drinking this special bottle.  I can only hope it lives up to my anticipation, but from everything I have read, it should!  Thank you, in-laws!

Steve Shipley
Twitter: @shipleyaust
My other blog (on business, tech, world issues):  Steve Shouts Out!

1 comment:

  1. Steve, my wife and I visited the New York Finger Lakes area two years ago and we purchased a bottle of Castle Grisch Vidal Ice Wine. A couple of months later we shared the bottle with friends and it was truly a great wine experience for all. I know you are in for a remarkable experience when you do open it. Enjoy!!!