Canada, Quebec City, Travel, Wine

Québec City, Week 1

Chateau Frontenac

Our first week in Ville de Québec has drawn to a close. Fortunately, we still have a few more weeks to enjoy this enchanting city! There is so much to see and do here, and it is very interesting learning about North American history from both a Canadian and a French perspective. The food has been outstanding! We’ve saved money by hitting the Super Marché for groceries and dining in for many meals, but we’ve enjoyed a number of fine restaurant meals, as well. I’ve been surprised by the culinary diversity. Beyond the expected French cuisine, there are several Irish pubs, Italian Ristorantes, Chinese, Greek, and even a few Mexican cantinas. Our first full day here, we stopped for lunch at one of the Irish pubs, were I had an Irish-Canadian fusion of a pulled-pork sandwich over poutine, all smothered with a whiskey gravy. It was decadently delicious! Another day I had the best French onion soup I’ve ever tasted – savory and light; not over-salted like so many I’ve had in the U.S. Perhaps the topper of the week, however, was last night’s Duck Confit Burger! Yum! Tender chunks of duck, with shredded pickled beets, topped with a soft poppy seed bun, with an enormous side of fries. It’s all I’d hoped it would be!

After a bit of a rocky start in the wine department, we enjoyed a Québécois wine that I found at the local farmer’s market, as well as some amazing ice wines and ciders. I also braved a sample of a locally produced tomato wine. Yes, tomato wine. In addition, between restaurants and the SAQ store down the street, we’ve taken advantage of the huge selection of fine French wines. Not unlike many states in the U.S., wine and liquor sales in Québec are regulated by the government liquor board. Although they do sell wine in grocery stores, frankly it’s not anything you want to drink. For the good stuff, you must head to the local SAQ (Société des alcools du Québec) store. Nevertheless, they do have a wide selection, and with the favorable U.S. exchange rate, the prices are pretty reasonable. I reviewed the Québec red wine in my earlier post, Destination: Québec City. Here’s what else we drank during Québec City, Week 1:

Willm Alsace Réserve Pinot Gris 2015

Willm PG

Rich, golden color in the glass. There are aromas and flavors of honeysuckle, ripe apricot and peach, and a hint of elderflower on the finish. Light and tasty, with mild acidity making it a great evening sipper.

Paired well with dinner of Roasted Chicken Thighs and Gold Potatoes.

4.0 Stars (88-91 points)

SAQ Store, $17.80 CAD (approx. $13.93 USD)

Château Eugénie Chateau Eugenie Tradition Cahors 2012

Chateau Eugenie

Dry and medium bodied. Raspberry and red currant, with fresh acidity. Finish is red fruit with a hint of licorice spice. Great with my Croque Monsieur and my wife’s Burger la Parisian.

4.5 Stars (92-94 points)

Chez Jules, $20 CAD for a 375 ml carafe (approx. $15.58 USD)

Albert Bichot Chablis 2014


Light straw color. Initial aromas of green apple and pineapple. Very well balanced, with medium mouthfeel and bright acidity. No one flavor dominates, but is a blend of pineapple, white grapefruit, lemon, and pear. These flavors linger with a zesty and invigorating finish.

A nice complement to a ground turkey casserole and green salad.

4.0 Stars (88-91 points)

SAQ Store, $22.50 CAD (approx.. $17.60 USD)

Note: This was actually my first Chablis. We are not big Chardonnay fans, but we have recently been enjoying unoaked Chardonnay, in the Chablis style. We are now big fans of Chablis!

Vignoble Le Nordet Vendanges Oubliées En Rosé 2012

Rose Ice Wine

Ice Wine from a Québec producer. Delightful! Rich dessert wine with ample sweetness, and light raspberry and strawberry notes. Beautiful pink color, and pleasant mouthfeel.

4.0 Stars (88-91 points)

Marché Du Vieux-Port Farmer’s Market, $29 CAD for a 200 ml bottle (approx. $22.60 USD)

Domaine de la Bergerie Yves Guégniard La Cerisaie 2014 (Anjou)

La Cerisaie

Deep purple color. Black currant and blackberry, with woody notes. Quite dry, with good acidity for food pairing. Smoky-berry finish. A very nice accompaniment to my duck confit burger.

3.5 Stars (85-87 points)

Chez Victor, $9.75 CAD per glass (approx. $7.60 USD)

And finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Tomato Wine!

Omerto Vin Apéritif de Tomate

Tomato Wine

Tomato wine. Yup. Wine made from tomatoes. Very much like sake in that it is bone dry and has a neutral flavor, with just a hint of sweetness and vegetal notes. 16% ABV. This was drier Sec style. They also make a Demi-Sec, as well as one aged in acacia barrels and one in cherry and chestnut barrels. I only tasted the Sec. Interesting to try, but not something I’d drink often.

3.0 Stars (82-84 points)

Marché Du Vieux-Port Farmer’s Market, $24 CAD (approx. $18.71 USD)

There’s more to come in the next few weeks! Stay tuned!


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