Do you know what the best part of the wine world is, to me? There is always something that comes out, and shows you exactly the opposite of what you believed or what you’ve told. I know from couple of viticulture books that hybrid grapes don’t have enough quality to make good wines; that is why it’s generally used Vitis vinifera to make wine, and hybrids can only make a good job as a rootstock. Only because it’s written so, I believed in that, without trying any wine from hybrid grapes. Now, after trying many wines from hybrids, I know the truth: There are some varieties of hybrids that give wines which are difficult to drink and personally they are not suitable to my palate. However, there are some of them, if you know how to handle in the vineyard and in the cellar; they can give you a quality wine. Today, I would like to talk about one of them: L’Acadie Blanc. It is a Canadian white grape variety, which takes its name from Acadians who originally settled in Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia in 17th century.
First, I’ve tried a still wine that was made from L’Acadie Blanc to get to know the variety. Of course, with only one example it is not possible to ‘know’ it, but I had to start from somewhere. I am not going to mention the name of the winery, since I think it was not a good representative of the variety. From what I’ve read in the Appellation America website, if you had to describe L’Acadie Blanc by resembling it to a European variety, a non-oaked cool climate Chardonnay would be a good example. Of course, this similitude might be questinable. However, having this example in mind, I’ve continued tasting and searching for the crisp acidity, full-body and apple and citrus aromas of L’Acadie Blanc. And finally, I found these characteristics (and more) in a wine that I tasted during Nova Scotia Ice Wine Festival. It was the sparkling wine that is made with traditional method, with L’Acadie Blanc grapes. It’s called Prestige Brut, made in 2010 and aged in the bottle for 5 years before disgorgement.
What else would you ask for, when you find a perfect sparkling wine that you liked very much? Well, I would say oysters! In the Nova Scotia Ice Wine festival, I was so lucky that the moment I had my L’Acadie Blanc sparkling wine in my glass, I saw that small boat, full of oysters! They made such a great pairing. (Unfortunately, with the excitement of the moment, I don’t even remember which variety of the oysters that I’ve bought, but they had 3 different types.)
Having this delicious pairing in mind, I bought a bottle of the same sparkling wine that I tasted in the festival, for 2 main reasons: First, it was Friday and on Fridays I drink bubbly (strict rule!). Second and the more important, I wanted to taste this sparkling again to discover more aromas and enjoy the taste of it at home. After having paired it with oysters and seeing the perfect match of ‘local wine-local food’, I wanted to go to extremes and pair it with a non-local food. So, I made some sushi with salmon, shrimps and avocado. Not a classic pairing (or maybe it is?), but I always enjoy the match of ocean-like aromas of nori with the bubbles. This pairing again, it was success.
Here what I’ve learned from my meeting with L’Acadie Blanc:
- Never believe in generalizations.
- Never give up tasting, until you find the quality.
- Pair local food with local wine, but also go crazy and match the extremes.
- I love sparkling wine.
Ops, sorry, I think we already knew the last point!
Let me know if you have tried L’Acadie blanc, how did you find it? If you didn’t, is there another variety that not only gives you pleasure but also teaches you many things? I would like to know.
All images © 2017 by Nedret Neslihan IVIT. All rights reserved.