When is a Wine Like a Woman?

Everybody’s Mad Men crazy this week, and so are we, even when it comes to wine. It probably wasn’t intentional but this past Tuesday’s class at the iYellow Wine School had striking parallels to two of Mad Men’s leading ladies. With a focus on full-figured reds and graceful whites, it’s hard not to offer up comparisons to the characters of Joan and Betty.

Led by sommelier Taylor Thompson, enthusiastic wine students filled the lovely back patio at cafe Taste to try a variety of Ontario wines that were either graceful or full-figured.

The cool and graceful whites included a Trius Brut from Hillebrand Estates Winery, a chardonnay from Flatrock Cellars and a barrel fermented chardonnay from Henry of Pelham. Thompson explained the different processes used for the two chardonnays, explaining how the barrel fermentation created an oaky flavour with notes of honey and a creaminess in the second wine compared to the minerality and buttery flavour of the first.

Reds can be graceful too, though, and a pair of Pinot Noirs from Cave Spring Cellars and Lailey Vineyard Winery were the next to be sampled. The Cave Spring pinot noir was bright and full of strawberry notes, very light in colour whereas the Lailey pinot was darker, with a nose of over-ripe fruit, and an earthy acidity. But on Mad Men, graceful Betty is known for her cold demeanour and to my palate, pinot noir tends to leave me a bit cold as well.


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