I contributed this article to the summer issue of Mercedes-Benz Club Canada‘s magazine. This is a reprint.
I’m dreaming! Dreaming of hopping into a gleaming white sport Coupe, with a few ponies under the hood, tooling through south of France wine country. In my fantasy, I’m negotiating winding roads through the dazzling countryside along the Rhône River.
This route passes through meticulously manicured vineyards, edged by the mountains, and clustered with quaint historic villages. But with this experience currently not an option, I look a bit closer to home to design a similar adventure. After all, the weekend lies just ahead.
A buddy of mine is about to take delivery of his brand new AMG CLS 53. The color? Gleaming white. Sweet. Dreams come true! We decide to leave early Saturday morning for a day in Niagara Wine country. We take back roads to get there.
Beyond the Burlington Skyway, we head East on a combination of Highway 81 and Ridge Road. The scenes are so beautiful this could be France! The sexy growl of the muscle under the hood of the Coupe add to the exhilaration of our journey. We stop at Peninsula Ridge winery in Beamsville for a cheese plate on the patio and wine. Great view of Toronto across the Lake.
Another leisurely 30 minute drive and we are at our main destination, Pondview winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake. We settle in near the tasting bar and ask the sommelier, “What have you got in a white varietal that originates in the Rhône? We’re looking for a south of France experience in a wine,” we tell her. A couple of glasses of Viognier arrive soon.
Tasting Notes: Pondview Viognier 2017
The grape variety originates in the Rhône, south of France. This Ontario version is light daffodil-yellow/gold in the glass, with aromas of tree fruit and lychee when you swirl. Flavours of candied pear, honeysuckle, violets, and minerality follow. This is a lush, full bodied white wine. The viscosity is amazingly thick! Yet there’s also a softness to this wine. The character of this Viognier is winning our hearts. It’s a perfect summer sipper, pairs well with food, and paired extremely well with the AMG sport Coupe that got us there and back in style!
Food pairing: French stick hot out of the oven (sliced), Ripe French brie, rustic Provence style farmer paté, Carr’s table water crackers, Kalamata olives, Caesar salad.
Music pairing: “Hotel California” cover by the Mona Lisa Twins and several Beatles covers, also by the Mona Lisa Twins.
By Paul Singer
The Wine Baron