The final countdown is on, but the last minute gift or present for the person with discerning taste doesn’t have to be a challenge or sourced outside of our provincial borders. Nova Scotia’s ever expanding local wine, beer, cider and spirits industries are producing world class products that are sure to impress even the most discerning palates. Here are 5 picks I’d be happy to find under my Christmas tree.
2011 Blomidon Brut Reserve, blomidonwine.ca, 750 ml, $45.00
A truly outstanding Traditional Method sparkling wine that is showing the complexity and character of bottle age as it exudes a wondrous mix of caramelized fruit, butterscotch, ripe apple, crème brulee, toast, hazelnut and lemony flavours. A truly spectacular wine that any oenophile would be happy to receive on Christmas.
No Boats on Sunday Cranberry Rosé Cider, NSLC, 500 ml, $4.99
Full disclosure….my wife is a driving force behind the popular No Boats on Sunday brand. Regardless of any familial bias this cider produced from 100 per cent local cranberries and apples delivers an authentic cranberry tang to balance the sweeter edge of its McIntosh apple-based cider. Enjoy on its own, as a prelude to turkey dinner or as accompaniment to fresh cheeses such as a locally crafted goats milk cheese.
Propeller Russian Imperial Stout, NSLC, 650 ml, $6.50
It’s big, it’s bold, it’s beautiful. This gorgeous big boned brew has curves in all the right places with a robust mix of dried fruit, coffee and dark chocolate aromas and flavours. A sexy brew that is sure to keep you warm on a cold day.
Compass Distillers Spring Gins, compassdistillers.ca, 750 ml, $42.81
The first time I had this gin crafted from all Nova Scotia grown ingredients, I was simply blown away with its remarkable combination of juniper, pine-like and saline tones. This is a special product that is pure and authentic showcase of its Nova Scotia roots. I hope a bottle is in my stocking this year.
Viva Nova Collection, Select NSLC, 3 x 60 ml, $35
I simply love the cigar box-like packaging of this collection of local products presented by Domaine de Grand Pré winery. This incredibly gift pack is comprised of three “carry-on” size friendly vials of their delicious Vidal Ice, Pomme D’Or Ice Cider and Pomme D’Or, the latter a remarkable apple cream liqueur.