Getting settled in Saint John
Now that I'm in the city for good, I decided it was time to take care of some business.
Big Tide Brewing Co has a Mug Club, and I'm the newest member, #85. Adam's been a member for years, and I've always been a little jealous of his Mug when it comes to the table. So now we're even. That is actually how big I smile when my mug arrives :)
Big Tide is a great place to hang out and try a few local brews. They also offer flights of 4 beers for $8.50, so if you're having trouble deciding what to drink, just drink them all!
Liquid Gold Tasting Bar & All Things Olive is another place that I've been hearing great things about. They have four locations in Atlantic Canada, on of which is right Uptown. I'm told tasting olive oil is a common practice in the Mediterranean, but new to North America.
At Liquid Gold you have dozens of olive oils and balsamic vinegars to taste at your leisure. The staff is more than helpful, especially if you're unsure of how to match the flavours. You can purchase sample packs with 6 small bottles of oil or vinegar if you just can't decide what you like best.
I chose the Harissa-infused olive oil, the Mango-infused white balsamic vinegar, and a small bottle of Japanese Sesame oil. Make sure to plan more than one visit, as you'll have trouble trying to taste everything in one go.
A scenic NB drive
Yesterday, I made my way to Saint John. This is it, a big move coming up, and three long days of pitching Uncorked Tours to anyone who will listen :)
I had the wonderful opportunity to share a cup of tea with Dave and Sonia at Mott's Landing Vineyard. When I arrived they were already hard at work labeling thousands of bottles of wine. During our brief visit, we were able to catch up and talk about growing grapes, winemaking, and the wine industry in NB as a whole.
Mott's Landing Vineyard is only about 45 minutes from Fredericton and worth the drive for those of you living in the Capital. It's very possible that Uncorked Tours will offer a tour from Fredericton, so if you're interested, leave a comment and we'll work something out.
After leaving Mott's Landing, I wove my way down through South-Central NB. I can't wait for Spring when everything is green and growing again.
At Dunham's Run, I was able to catch up with Tony Rickett who has some great ideas for this summer. I think we'll be seeing a lot of each other. Before leaving I picked up a bottle of Hopped Up. This is wine for beer drinkers. It's a mead, so it's made from honey, but with the addition of hops that Tony grows.
Fun Fact: the hops used in Big Tide's beers come from Dunham's Run.
After leaving Dunham's Run, I looped back up to Belleisle to visit Alan at Gillis of Belleisle. For a number of reasons, this was my first time visiting this winery and I was impressed. I tasted a few wines and really enjoyed them. Although I'm not usually a fruit wine drinker, Gillis of Belleisle is producing a Maple-Blueberry wine that is a real taste of New Brunswick.
The three wineries I visited yesterday, Mott's Landing Vineyard in Cambridge-Narrows, Gillis of Belleisle in Belleisle, and Dunham's Run Estate Winery in Kingston, will all be regulars on the winery tours offered by Uncorked Tours. These winery owners are working hard to increase the awareness of NB wines, and there are some really interesting and delicious wines being made.
My trip to Saint John ended at a most appropriate place, happinez wine bar, sharing a glass of wine with owner, Peter Smit. happinez is a fantastic, intimate, little piece of wine heaven. Peter regularly hosts wine tastings which can be found on the "Tastings" page of the website.
I had a wonderful day visiting with everyone, and I'm looking forward to bringing people out to the wineries to try the wine for themselves. Tours will begin in late-April, and can be booked as early as now. Until online booking is available, please visit the "Contact" page and I will respond to you within 24 hours.
Blind Wine Tasting
Last night, 6 friends came over for a Blind Wine Tasting. Each person brought a bottle of wine and we covered all the labels. Blind tastings are a great way to get people to try new wines while removing preconceptions like "Chardonnay is the best white" or "The best reds come from Spain".
Each person received a tasting card to keep track of the 7 different wines we tried, 2 whites and 5 reds. The wines were judged based on each person's opinion of the aroma, taste, and finish of the wine, as well as the taster's overall enjoyment of the wine.
The winning wine ended up being a Cab Merlot produced by Open, a Canadian winery, and brought to the party by Emily. Congratulations Emily!
Thanks so much to everyone who came out. I can't wait until we get to Wine Again. Cheers!
At Uncorked Tours we're all about sharing the fabulous food, wine, beer & spirits being produced in the Province of New Brunswick.
It is our pleasure to share some of the awesome experiences you can have while living or visiting the province.