I will never forget the phone call when I was asked to be the Sommelier for a private luncheon for her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during her Canada Day visit to Ottawa. The caterers for this special event – Thyme & Again Creative Catering – requested that I handpick a selection of wines to pair with each course. The meal featured locally grown ingredients and produce – naturally, it was a prime opportunity to showcase Ontario wines and wow the guests.
Below is the royal lunch menu and premium Ontario wine selection – enjoyed by her Majesty the Queen and 100 plus guests during the royal visit of the newly renovated Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa on Wednesday June 30, 2010.
~ Upon Arrival ~
13th Street Winery Cuvée 13 Rosé VQA 2007, Niagara
A small number of Ontario’s 100+ wineries craft sparkling wine. 13th Street Winery is a boutique winery situated on the Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment) renown for their sparkling wines. This rare sparkling Rosé made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a splash of Syrah is extraordinary – dry, crisp with delicate aromas of wild strawberry, juicy red cherry with an elegant mousse that lingers as it refreshes. A delicious way to begin today’s celebration.
~ First Course ~
Green and White Asparagus Salad with Orange Segments,
Organic Baby Lettuces and Shaved Ontario Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Isabella’s Extreme Sheep’s Milk Cheese
Huff Estates South Bay Chardonnay VQA 2007, Prince Edward County
From Ontario’s fastest growing wine region – Prince Edward County – where over 20 wineries have emerged in the last 5 years and their wines are making a big impression in the wine world. This Chardonnay from Huff Estates won the prestigious White Wine of the Year from the annual Ontario Wine Awards and turned heads as it gained praises by British wine media last month when showcased at the Seriously Cool Chardonnay tasting at Canada House in London, England. This Chardonnay is a complex medium to full bodied wine, delicately threaded with French oak giving delicious tastes of vanilla custard, toasted nuts, warm spices with a hint of smoke.
~ Main Course ~
Roasted Breast of Barbarie Duck with Shredded Confit of Duck Leg
Mashed Potatoes with Wild Blueberry & Thyme Jus
Local Spring Vegetable Bundle
Stratus White VQA 2006, Niagara
Located in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Stratus Vineyards crafts an ‘assemblage’ using the estate’s best Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Semillon & Viognier grapes. The blend composition changes with each vintage. The result in the 2006 vintage is a medium bodied wine with aromas of peach & pear with a delicate hint of orange blossom balanced with the acidity & plush mouthfeel that will complement the ingredients in the main course for those who prefer white wine.
Lailey Vineyard Canadian Oak Pinot Noir VQA 2007, Niagara
A truly Canadian wine – this Pinot Noir has been aged in barrels made with native Canadian oak trees – an innovation in the Canadian wine industry. Lailey Vineyard is one of the original six wineries who were integral to this experiment. They now they craft four wines exclusively aged in Canadian oak barrels to rave reviews. This elegant medium bodied wine has aromas of cherry, cranberry & earthy tones that grace the glass with a soft texture of red fruit & fresh ground white pepper that lingers on the palate. Selected by the Sommelier as roasted duck & Pinot Noir are a classic food & wine pairing.
~ Dessert Course ~
Fresh Local Strawberry Compote with Lemon Poppyseed Shortcake
Vanilla Mascarpone Mousse
Coffee and Tea Service
Read the article that appeared in the St Catherine’s Standard on July 2, 2010 ‘Some Niagara wines for the royal palatte’ featuring this luncheon event.