I must admit, when I first came across the wines from Elephant Island Orchard Wines I was skeptical. For some reason, I always had reservations about fruit wine - then I had the privilege of staying at the winery for a few days! It was an idyllic place where I immersed myself in the world of fruit wine and developed an appreciation for it.
I truly admire the passion and the dedication of the owners, Miranda and Del Halladay. Wine might be known and appreciated, but fruit wine is a tough market to venture into. Persistence, vision and a focus on quality is what has led them to success.
One of the stumbling blocks, I think, is knowing how and when to enjoy fruit wine. Below are some of my favourites from Elephant Island Orchard Wines, with a few tips on how to enjoy them!
One of the things I love to do in the winter is spending a lazy afternoon cooking. A little glass of wine always inspires me - especially when accompanied by good music. With fresh and pure notes of pear that are balanced by good acidity, their 2014 Pear Wine is a great choice. It’s also a great aperitif to serve to your guests prior to dinner. And if you are a brunch lover, it works like a charm with fruit salad and crêpes!
If you like Port, you probably have a sweet tooth, and chances are you also like chocolate. Mix things up a little, and instead of reaching for a bottle of Port try a bottle of the NV, Stellaport Wine. It’s a nice wine to sip on after a meal with a piece of chocolate. Very comforting on a cold day by the fire.
Kir (white wine and crème de cassis) and/or Kir Royale (sparkling wine and crème de cassis) are amongst my favourite cocktails. It’s a nice way to use your leftover white wine and it’s also a great aperitif before dinner. Replace the crème de cassis for the 2014 Cassis Fortified Wine next time you feel like something different. A nice Canadian twist to introduce your guests to!
Michelle Bouffard is a wine educator and journalist who splits her time between Montréal & Vancouver. She is the president of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. She Tweets @michellebwine and Instagrams @michellebouffard.