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Taste the Townships
Updated on Nov 1, 2023
This being the season welcoming all kinds of gathering, it’s the perfect time of year for me to propose some of my favourite drinks to enjoy as an aperitif. The Key? Lightness and simplicity.
By Marc-Antoine Bergeron
Historically, the term “piquette” refers to a low quality table wine. Nevertheless, this way of making “wine” is carried out using an ecological technique that gives a second life to grape marc, and allows the winemaker to offer us a totally new and different product. Stéphane Lamarre, winemaker and producer, kept his wonderful grape marc after pressing it to make his main wine. He then added apple juice to rehydrate the grape must. The end result is an absolutely perfect aperitif. This aromatic sparkling wine is very dry, light in alcohol, but its effervescence is less intense than Champagne or crémant. On the nose, we sense notes of blackberry, blueberry, apple and black cherry.
For me, a glass of bubbly is one of the best ways to start an evening, and Léon Courville’s Cuvée Muse does this very well. All the work put in by enologist Amélie Oustau, THE muse behind this product, is what makes it so extraordinary. Originally from the Champagne region of France, Amélie knows quite well how to create marvellous sparkling wines. This cuvée is elaborated entirely with Saint-Pépin grapes, which, in my opinion, is the perfect variety for producing sparkling wine in our region. Muse 2018 offers beautiful aromas such as citrus zest, white flowers and apples. Delicate and generous bubbles line the mouth with a hint of minerality.
Union Libre’s Fire Cider is what placed this wine and cider producer on the radar in 2013. It’s obtained by reducing pressed apple juices through a heating process, and then slightly aging these juices in barrels. This produces a cider offering aromas of sweet spices, applesauce, nuts and caramel on the nose. It has a full-bodied texture and its fresh acidity keeps its length in the mouth at a maximum. The heat concentration provides a lower sugar content than ice ciders. I suggest drinking it on the rocks as an aperitif, or even as a super-simple, pleasant cocktail with a bit of a kick!
Preparation : Pour the fire ice aperitif cider and the ginger syrup on the ice cubes, add lime wedges and stir.
Snubbed a long time, Vermouth is now one of the most sought-after spirits, and has become a very important base for several cocktail recipes. The Val Caudalies vineyard offers us two options: the Sweet Vermouth and the Dry Vermouth. For those who prefer to drink their vermouth straight, I suggest the sweet version. Simply add a couple of ice cubes, to enjoy this fresh and complex wine-based aperitif. You’ll notice fruity and sweet spice aromas, as well as a sweetness in the mouth, a slight herbaceous feel and a hint of bitterness. It’s fresh and invigorating!
For those who prefer cocktails, I suggest you try their Dry Vermouth. Just as complex on the nose as the sweet version, it offers aromas of citrus, spices, vegetables and olives. Dry Vermouth has an interesting texture and is very dry on the palate. Perfect for creating your martinis.
Preparation : Place a couple of ice cubes in a tall glass. Add the vodka, vermouth and the olive juice. Stir with a spoon, then pour the mix in a martini glass with the help of a strainer. Decorate with two olives on a tooth pick.
2 metres, 20 seconds, a face covering... You know the drill. This summer, we all need to do our part to make this vacation season both enjoyable and responsible.
(In fact, I can even stand apart.)
(Anyways in #touristmode, I'm in no hurry!)
(Ring ahead to avoid the crowd... it’s that simple!)
(I promise... this is no time to joke around.)
Together - For a safe vacation - Let’s be responsible.