How many times have you gone to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner and then had to travel to the ANBL to pick up one or two bottles of wine? In many other provinces (and states) those two purchases happen at the same place. New Brunswick has now caught on to a few truths about food and wine:
1. Wine-drinking is on the rise. The more wine we consume, the more likely we are to try new labels and want to experiment with food and wine.
2. People like to pair their wine to their dinners (I'm not talking about strict rules, just general guidelines, what tastes the best).
3. Many people don't want to visit both a grocery store and a liquor store meaning sales will increase if the wine is sold in the same location as the food. More sales equals more tax dollars for roads, hospitals, and schools.
The Co-op in Sussex is the first in a series of pilot grocery stores offering wine. Accounts of what is being offered varies, so I decided to check it out myself. By my count, there are roughly 30 imported wines available and 20 NB wines available. The local wines on offer come from three of our grape wineries - Gillis of Belleisle, Mott's Landing Vineyard and Dunhams Run Estate. (NOTE: If you want to try the wines before you buy, consider going on a full-day winery tour, we visit all three of these wineries.)
As this program is rolled out to Co-ops across the province and select Superstores and Sobeys, I hope to see the breadth of NB offerings increased, in particular to include wines from Richibucto River, Winegarden, Belliveau Orchard, Magnetic Hill, and Granite Town. The wines selected aren't available in regular ANBL stores and the prices shown are before bottle deposit and tax.
Saint John has come a long way in the past few years when it comes to food and drink offerings. We now have many options for all types of cuisine, and if you know where to look, many choices for NB wine and beer as well. This summer, Uncorked Tours is entering the food and drink arena with a brand new Uptown walking tour - Saint John Uncorked.
This 2.5 hour walking tour features 5 stops for wine, beer, and food samples. Along the way, you'll learn lots of history such as the struggles of the Rosswog family as they tried to grow grapes commercially for wine production, the importance of Simeon Jones, a Saint John mayor and brewmaster, and of course the fortitude of Susannah Oland as she rebuilt her family brewery here in Saint John after the Halifax explosion.
Is there any better way to spend an afternoon than learning some great stories and drinking some great wines and beers? We make 5 stops including Winegarden in the City Market, the only private wine store in the province, Big Tide Brewing for a lesson on how to make great NB beer and happinez wine bar for some fabulous NB cheese and charcuterie. Before the tour is over, make sure to take advantage of a photo shoot with a moose.
Reservations must be made in advance. Tours run June-Sept, Tues-Sat at 1:30pm, beginning at the King Square Bandstand.
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.