You always have to have wine in your glass: Sommelier’s Perspective

Featuring wines with winemaker Richard Karlo of Karlo Estates in Prince Edward County

Nine Karlo Estates wines were tasted at the May OWEC night.
You always have to have wine in your glass: Sommelier’s Perspective
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About the Author

Cynthia Silversides

Cynthia Silversides

Cynthia Silversides is an accredited Sommelier certified by both the Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) and Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS). Passionate about great wine, food, and travel experiences, Cynthia is owner of Niagara Vino providing tutored wine tasting and tour services in the Niagara Peninsula wine region of Ontario, Canada. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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The Oakville Wine Enthusiasts Club (OWEC) tasting in May was a wonderful evening. Winemaker Richard Karlo and his partner Sherry Martin from Karlo Estates located in the Prince Edward County (PEC) wine region of Ontario presented an awesome selection of their wine to the club complete with food pairings. According to Martin, Richard Karlo’s first rule for wine tasting is, “You always have to have wine in your glass.” Hear, hear! The OWEC always loves to have these two present not only for their excellent wine, but their delightful company and gracious hospitality. And, they let us in on their good news that they will soon be married in June – Congratulations!!

Martin told the club that “Richard Karlo is a Bordeaux guy at heart.”

A little bit of history: The land for Karlo Estates was acquired in 2005, planting began in 2006, first vintage 2008, and the winery opened on May 22nd of 2010. Karlo is a Master Winemaker with over 25 years of winemaking experience and a keen sense for gauging balance. He was asked to join the Wine Judges of Canada and completed their program with the highest score ever. Martin, an artist, designs the wine labels which include her drawings of the drystone bridge  (the largest in North America) on their property and Celtic symbols which honour the partners’ shared heritage.

Richard Karlo and Sherry Martin presenting Karlo Estates wine for OWEC

Richard Karlo and Sherry Martin presenting Karlo Estates wine for OWEC

During their presentation Martin gave OWEC members lots of tips on engaging all five senses while wine tasting. For example, “touch” will warm up your wine from the heat of your hands if you hold your glass by the bowl as opposed to the stem or pedestal. The first taste was their barrel fermented Pinot Gris, a food friendly wine made in the French style as opposed to the lighter, crisper Italian style of this varietal called Pinot Grigio. Food pairing was a garlic salted pickle stuffed olive which complemented the complexity and minerality of this Pinot Gris grown in their limestone soils.

Karlo Estates makes the fullest body reds in the county by way of a long, cold maceration process. Martin told the club that “Richard Karlo is a Bordeaux guy at heart.” Their Quintus is an ode to Bordeaux, a classic blend of five Old World varietals, each initially made separately as single varietal wines: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Then using his palate he comes up with the final Bordeaux-style blend. The wine label is a five-sided Celtic inspired star intended to convey that this five-varietal blend is a unique product of each vintage, like in a card hand – making the most of the hand that the vintage has dealt. Paired with Balderson 2-year old cheddar, this wine with aromas of cassis, dark chocolate, and tobacco showed great complexity and balance. Bringing us to the sense of “sight,” Quintus is garnet in colour, one clue which can signify an older red wine as opposed to a younger red which will often be more purple in colour.

Nine Karlo Estates wines were tasted in total culminating with their award winning VanAlstine White and Red Port-style wines. More history: Karlo Estates sits on land deeded to a man by the name of Peter VanAlstine in 1799, the original Loyalist group leader in the area, and first member of Parliament for the region. In 2010 the Karlo Estates VanAlstine Red was chosen as one of the “Top Ten Cutting Edge Wines of the World” and in 2012 their VanAlstine White won Intervin Gold. The White is an excellent aperitif and also makes a great cocktail base. In fact, wine expert Konrad Ejbich created a Manhattan-style drink he calls “The Wellington” mixing 1/3 Wiser’s Spiced Whisky with 2/3 Karlo Estates Van Alstine White. You always have to have wine in your glass – I’ll drink to that!

The OWEC is having their annual Barbecue with Cottonwood Wine Agency presenting on Friday, June 20th.

 

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