Aquarium du Quebec, Canada, Changing of the Guard, Citadelle de Quebec, Fete Nationale, Quebec City, Wine

Québec City, Week 3

Week three of our Québec City adventure saw the arrival of our daughter and 9-year old grandson. With a fresh infusion of awe and wonder, we set out to enjoy even more sights and adventures. We hopped on the red, hop on-hop off bus for an open-air, second deck look around the city, affording us views we had not seen from street level.

Although touristy, we generally try to take one of those double-decker bus tours when we arrive in a new city. They provide a great overview of the city, allow you to get your bearings a bit, and help you decide which sights you want to explore in more detail. While on the bus, my grandson spied the exact t-shirt he wanted to get as a souvenir of his trip. After disembarking, we made our way to the store where he got his t-shirt, and I found (and bought) mine!La vie est simple

Thursday was my wife’s birthday, so thousands of people from all over Québec came over for a fête on the Plains of Abraham. There was a huge concert, featuring French and Québécois performers with music ranging from country, to folk, to rock. It was all in French, and we didn’t know the songs, but music is a universal language and everyone there had a great time! After the 2+ hour concert, they even had a fireworks show! Oh, Friday happened to be Québec’s 408th birthday, so the fête could have possibly been for that. Like I said, it was all in French!

On Saturday, we paid a visit to the Aquarium du Québec. It’s a fun family destination, and while small in comparison to some aquariums, they really pack in the interest and delight. Dory and Nemo were even there! Among other attractions were the two baby walruses. Apparently, breeding walruses in captivity is incredibly difficult. Worldwide, only seven pups have been born in captivity since 1930! As luck would have it, two of them were born recently right here in Québec!

Perhaps the highlight of the week, aside from my wife’s birthday, of course, was the Changing of the Guard at the Citadelle de Québec. Built by the British, starting in 1820, to defend against anticipated attacked by the Americans, the Citadelle is now home to the Royal 22nd Regiment. Located on the highest point in the city, the views are amazing! The Changing of the Guard ceremony is similar to the one in London, which I missed when I visited there a few years ago. The Royal 22nd Regiment’s version includes their mascot, Batisse the Goat. This is a tradition that has continued for decades. The current goat is Batisse XI, and is a direct descendant of Batisse I, a gift from Queen Elizabeth in 1955. They continue the lineage, and Batisse XIII is currently in training!

And yes, there was wine this week, too! Here’s what we had, in no particular order:

Borsao Crianza 2013

Borsao Crianza

Red blend of Grenache Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tempranillo. Ruby red with aromas of raspberry and blackberry. Medium body but structured, with distinctive oak flavors along with the berry. The finish is medium with dark berry, oak, and mineral notes.

4.0 Stars (88-91 points)

Le Grand Café, $7.75 CAD per glass (approx. $5.95 USD)

13th Street Winery Burger Blend 2013

2013 Burger Blend

A blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay Noir. Delightfully juicy and delicious. Medium red color with red raspberry and cranberry, with some mild earthiness and spice. With lively acidity and mild tannins, this is a great wine with…well…burgers!

4.5 Stars (92-94 points)

Chez Victor, $9.25 CAD per glass (approx. $7.09 USD)


Trimbach Pinot Blanc 2015

Trimbach Pinot Blanc

I’ve been reading a lot about Pinot Blanc lately. It seems to be riding a tide of popularity, so naturally I wanted to try it.

Light straw color. Initial aromas of unripe apricot and almond notes. On the tongue, tangy acidity wakes up the tongue with flavors of lemon, grapefruit, red apple, apricot, and mild almond, with a hint of spice and mineral on the finish. Slightly creamy mouthfeel, yet dry and brisk, it’s quite refreshing and paired very well with our dinner of seared chicken with tarragon sauce.

4.0 Stars (88-91 points)

SAQ Store, $19.55 CAD (approx. $15.18 USD)


Folonari Valpolicella 2014

Folonari Valpolicella

Great pizza wine! Ruby red color. Aromas of blackberry bramble and spice. Flavors of ripe raspberry, black pepper, plum, and oak are balanced with smooth yet structured tannins and bright acidity. Long, zippy finish of raspberry and Bing cherry. Amazing value! Yes, I will have another glass, thank you!

4.5 Stars (92-94 points)

SAQ Store, $15.90 CAD (approx. $12.35 USD)


Vieux Chateau Renaissance Bordeuax 2014

Vieux Chateau Renaissance Bordeaux

Ruby color with red brick rim. Aromas of blackberry bramble, raspberry, and new oak. On the palate, blackberry, cassis, raspberry, and oak, with a hint of eucalyptus or mint on the finish. Quite dry, with a medium body and light acidity.

I don’t normally think of Bordeaux with pizza, but it says, right on the back label, “Ideal pour accompagner vos pizzas…” And they’re right! This was a great pairing with our combination pizza.

4.0 Stars (88-91 points)

SAQ Store, $14.55 CAD (approx. $11.39 USD)


Roquebrun Col de L’Orb Saint-Chinian 2015

Col de L'Orb

A very nice Rose for a hot day. Tasty and refreshing, delightfully dry, and not overly complex. It has a deep salmon color. Initial aromas are soft strawberry and raspberry essence. On the palate, there are flavors of strawberry and raspberry, with a bit of floral, and a hint of fresh fig on the finish. The acidity is light and zesty, leading to a medium finish.

3.5 Stars (85-87 points)

SAQ Store, $14.10 CAD (approx. $10.92 USD)


I also found another Québec wine that I really like a lot! I only had a sample at the farmer’s market, but it’s sure tasty. I’m waiting to review it until I can have a proper glassful, so stay tuned!


3 thoughts on “Québec City, Week 3”

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