sparkling sunday

Sarah’s birthday was in October and in true form, we celebrated a month late by running away from the city and joining a sparkling wine tour: Sparklings En Route Tour from Uncork Nova Scotia! (Go North Tours). DSC_0559 DSC_0579

Guys, this was fun! Who knew you could learn and drink? The drive down was a bit of a history lesson of our local wine industry including the scoop on our signature grape and the promising future of Nova Scotia’s wine industry. Go us!

I hadn’t been down to the valley since summer and it was a bit of the shock to the system to discover snow! There is something sad about naked grape vines in snowy fields however, despite the bitter temperature, the valley is still beautiful.

We pulled into Blomidon Estate Winery and were greeted by an off-road bike rally race happening in the vineyard. Odd, but fun Nova Scotian shenanigans – I was kind of jealous. Anyway our group of 9 (all girls, all under 40) went to the back and sampled five wines with cheese and crackers. This stop was the most visual, as we got to see a bit of the process while we sampled a variety of sparklings, plus a red, white and rosé. The first was my favourite but sadly in won’t be on the market until next year. TeaseDSC_0562 DSC_0565 DSC_0567 DSC_0571 DSC_0575 DSC_0577 DSC_0578 DSC_0580

The second stop was L’Acadie Vineyards and as much as I hate picking favourites, I have to say it won best in show. Honestly, the Prestige Brut was probably the best sparkling wine I’ve ever had. And to be clear, I am not the only one who thinks this. Check out what his grandfather (2007) won:

  • SILVER MEDAL: 2011 Effervescents du Monde, Best Sparkling Wines in the World, Dijon, France
  • GOLD MEDAL: 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition
  • GOLD MEDAL & TOP SCORING SPARKLING: 2010 Canadian Wine Awards
  • TOP SCORING SPARKLING: NSLC International Port of Wines Festival
  • BEST WHITE: 2011 Savour Food and Wine Show, Halifax

We sampled three more sparkling wines including a rosé and I was pleasantly surprised that I liked loved it. Quite possibly it was the talk of Christmas dinner while we drank, but I was totally convinced it was a must have for the holidays. To be honest, the word ROSÉ made me queasy up until this point because I am not a fan of sweet drinks but this gal proved me wrong.

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Our third and final stop was Domaine de Grand Pré. Crazy beautiful and the driveway alone convinced me I have to come back in the summer (cobblestone crush). Not gonna lie, during our third stop things got a little fuzzy (the photos below will attest to that) but we hung on and sampled on! At Grand Pré we had six samples including an ice wine to wrap things up. Their sparkling was also lovely and by now we clearly knew I prefer the drys, Amanda prefers the sweeter variety and Sarah was in the middle. It just goes to show, drink what you like but take the time try it all!DSC_0599 DSC_0601 DSC_0602 DSC_0603 DSC_0606

I came home with a bottle of L’Acadie Vineyards 2009 Prestige Brut Estate and L’Acadie Vineyards 2010 Sparkling Rosé for the holidays. I must be completely honest at this point by admitting I did not go in with great expectations. By no means am I a wine snob but I usually breeze past the Canadian and American wines at the LC. I think a lot of people have a misconception about local wines and often think of specific brand or taste they’ve had in the past (I call it wedding wine) and don’t want to go there unless it is free… at your table… So, with the being said, I am now going to be more open to trying local wines and would love to hear your favourites. Just keep it dry kids!

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i spy…

… a good idea.

The fun part about being a wedding photographer’s assistant is you are a fly on the wall most of the day. Not saying much but observing everything. And as a fan of all things weddings, it is handy! So, when I spot a good idea, a nice touch, or something magical, you know I am going to share.

On Saturday I was back in the Valley for the third weekend in a row (am I beginning to talk like a valley girl?). It was a beautiful day with a beautiful couple. They looked so young, which makes me feel like I may be getting old. Argh. Anyway, the one thing that really stood out from other weddings I’ve been to was that immediately following the ceremony, the guests filtered into a large room. On their way to, they passed by the Bride and Groom making it the most efficient receiving line ever! Once everyone had their afternoon beverage (iced tea/lemonade), the Bride and Groom entered and had their first dance right away.

Reasons why I love this.

  • Over and done with (especially if you are a shy couple)
  • The photographer gets great natural light for the dance
  • The romance of the wedding ceremony is still strong
  • It gives the guests a little treat before the couple is whisked away for pictures
  • Then, while pictures are being done, the guest can casually make their way to the cocktail / reception at their own leisure.

Often, your first dance is after dinner and dessert. Guests have been sitting a long time, the tables may still need cleaning, the line up at the bar is long and people are loosing their attention. In all of the reception chaos, it is harder to pump up the romance when people are just waiting to pump up the jams. You still get to start the dance party off with a few special moments including the Father-of-the-Bride and the Mother-of-the-Groom dances so it is a win-win. I have also seen the first dance happen at the beginning of the reception (before dinner) and this too is a great idea but there was something extra special about combining it with the ceremony.

Brides-to-be: Consider this. I know I will suggest it. Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

Photo: Taken with my spyPhone (aka iPhone): Acadia University, Nova Scotia.

psst. If you like what you’re reading, please subscribe and share. xomeg