My love for wine is in my blood. My maternal last name is Champagne. My family is from the region of Champagne in France. All my life, I’ve been told numerous stories of how my mother and her siblings helped my grandfather with his personal wine production. Their task was simple: step on the grapes, haha. Later on, when my mom met my dad they invented wine recipes with the fruits that would grow in their backyard e.g.: plum wine. Wine is an acquired taste. At a young age, I would take sips in my parents wine glasses (in the French culture this is acceptable.) I think this allowed my refined palette to develop itself. Wine tasting is a very personal experience and with time you learn to appreciate wines that are not necessarily to your liking. As I grow older and wiser I can’t help but compare what I’ve seen and experienced on my numerous travels. When I travel (before Covid of course), I always take the time to visit wineries of different regions. Every country has their own specialty spirits but often each of them also produces wine and beer. From Napa valley (USA), to Porto (Portugal) , to Rhone (France), to Maipo Valley (Chile), to Franken (Germany), to Niagara-on-the-lake (Canada), I’ve visited a lot. The beautiful part of visiting is also comparing what you’ve seen, tasted and experienced. The Niagara-on-the-lake region (vineland) is by far the most enjoyable experience. The winery scene has become an environment with a lot of etiquette. Let’s go back to basics! Most of us go to wineries to visit the vines, sample the production and have a good time. In the Niagara region the wineries are always down to earth, friendly, beautiful and the wines taste divine.
All this brings me to talk about one winery in particular; Alvento. This winery was founded in 2001. They are located on a 16 acre waterfront site in the vineland Niagara. From what I heard, their property has an amazing restaurant and a Bed and Breakfast. I tasted their wine for the first time this summer. My plan was to go in person for a visit. Unfortunately, with the current situation I haven’t gone on my annual Ontario winery tour this year. Alvento would’ve definitely been at the top of my list. I always enjoy going to a winery where I already know the wines and get to experience their reserved production.
Earlier, I spoke about taste. I used to swear by full bodied red wines like a Côte du Rhones. After a forgettable headache from the combination of the Chilean altitude and a red wine high in tannin my taste has changed. Now, my favourite wines are full body white wines like Chenin Blanc. I also enjoy an aromatic Gewurztraminer with a cheese platter or a dry white wine for those hot summer nights. I do on occasion still appreciate a glass of red wine. When my friend introduced me to the Alvento wines, with no surprise, I loved their white wines but also appreciated the Astral red wine. I would describe Astral as a smooth red. Again, I would’ve loved to visit the Alvento winery to try some of their other creations. That is how I got the genius idea to bring Alvento to me. Why wouldn’t I order their wines directly from their website?
Recently, like most people, I’ve been planning my holiday gifts. I’ve always been that conscious shopper trying to buy everything local. But now more than ever I make it a priority. Our local businesses need our help. When I used to travel, I would buy my wine bottles for the holidays overseas. This year I decided I would order wines directly from our Ontario wineries. It will be a good way to taste different wines I can’t find at the LCBO or Wine Rack. Alvento has so many wines I haven’t tasted yet and I would love to introduce their wines to my family who lives in the Montreal area. What about a new tradition; an in home wine tasting for the holidays.
I hope I was able to get you intrigued in Alvento: this local business I came to love. Was I able to motivate you to shop local for the holidays? We often forget that buying local doesn’t stop at furniture, clothes and home decoration. This year make a change, don’t look for deals, be conscious of what could help our community. Remember that things that are locally sourced are often more expensive because we pay Canadians with a competitive wage and use quality materials. Also be proud to introduce these Canadian businesses to your family. If I can’t be with my family this holiday, you can be sure that we will be sharing a bottle of Alvento over a zoom video call (keeping it 2020 style till the end.)