LE Wine Tasting Event January 23rd.

Cost is $50.00 per person. Tickets are limited so buy now before we sell out!

7 TO 10 p.m.
January 23rd (Thursday)
at Henley Gardens
1093 Kingston Road

buy your tickets now
Call 416 693 9463
email dave@beachwinery.ca



Vintner David Larocque will once again educate us on Wine regions of our Limited Editions.
Chef Patrick Hillis will create five food pairings to compliment each Limited Edition wine.

January -South African Shiraz Cabernet with Grape Skins

Paired with Classic Braised Beef Short Ribs

January – South African Viognier Chenin Blanc Roussanne

Paired with Spiced Roasted Butternut Squash soup

February – Pacific Quartet 

Paired with Maple Soy Salmon with Green Pea Purée

March – Oregon Pinot Noir

Paired with a Chef’s creation.

April – Washington Cabernet Merlot

Paired with Grilled Rosemary-dijon Lamb Skewers

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Trempranillo Dec. 2013




 Once you learn how to pronounce this delectable Spanish grape and once you have tasted it once, you will be hooked! Spain has some hidden gems, hidden out of sight during Franco’s rule and now bursting into the wine and food itineraries since post EU-Spain and Tempranillo leads the way! This black grape is Spain’s most planted grape and is a significant player in the international wine market.


In the world


Tempranillo is indicative of Spain and is found throughout the country under many different names. It is most often associated with Rioja, the first Spanish table wine region to achieve recognition both within and outside of Spain for the quality of its wines. Tempranillo is a common component of blended wines and is often accompanied by Grenache, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

As the DouroRiver winds it way from Spain into Portugal the Tempranillo grape follows, heading south into the Alentejo region, changing it’s name as it moves from region to region.


In the vineyard


 Generally a hardy variety, Tempranillo grows well in many different soils, with a short growing cycle from bud to harvest and has no problem with cooler climes as well.


In the winery


 Tempranillo possesses significant aging potential which means that many of Spain’s finest Tempranillo based wines have historically been matured in American oak barrels for extended periods of time. Most of us prefer the fruity wines of a younger grape to the earthy bouquets of a developed wine so winemakers are being encouraged to reduce barrel time all over Spain.


In the glass


 It can be difficult to identify a Tempranillo grape because of its diverse expressions. With a mix of red and black fruits you will find strawberry, black cherry, blackberry and tea aromas.Color ranges from deep blue black to a pale brick or garnet color if the wine has spent a lot of time in a barrel.


In the mouth


 Tempranillo is diverse on the nose and on the palate. Generally Rioja wines are characterized by elegance, with moderate acidity, tannins and alcohol with the essence of strawberry and vanilla.


Colleen Clarke


Wine Expert


December 13, 2013


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Be in the know and Enjoy Wine More

Be in the Know and Enjoy Wine More


“Wine is subjective; don’t be intimidated into thinking any other way. Figure out your own preference.”

Wine musings

  • Alcohol is absorbed faster when warm, so high alcohol wines like Zinfandel should be served slightly below room temperature.
  • When you aren’t sure what to order at a restaurant, order an Italian white like a Pinot Grigio, an unoaked Chardonnay, or New World Sauvignon. All three work well with many dishes.
  • Wine in the refrigerator  will cool about four degrees F every 10 minutes. Conversely, wine will warm up at about the same rate when left at room temperature. Don’t over refrigerate your wine, the vibration of the refrigerator’s motor disturbs the molecules and can affect the taste of the wine. Same day cooling and warming is suggested.
  • Serve wine in large glasses, it is sexier, more fun and looks so yummy compared to thick lipped, bar sized wine glasses.
  • Serve most sweet and fortified wines, “colder than cold” to bring out the wine’s acidity which balances the sugars.
  • More expensive wines are not necessarily the best tasting wines.
  • Over 90% of all wines should be consumed within one year. Most whites are meant to be drunk within 3 years of their release.
  • Wine with relatively high sugar concentration or viscosity, has more “body.”
  • A crop of newly planted grape vines takes four to five years to grow before it can be harvested.
  • Don’t have wine shipped to you in the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter as extreme temperatures are damaging to wine.
  • Red wines get paler as they age, or browner whereas white wines become deeper and more golden.
  • To remove the gunk, or sediment from a wine bottle, decant the bottle, leaving the residue in the empty bottle.
  • If you are laying a bottle down for a period of time, keep the movement of the bottle to a minimum.
  • The best way to remove red or white wine stains from fabric or carpet is with equal parts hydrogen peroxide and Dawn liquid soap. ‘Wine Out’ also works pretty well with a soaking of Oxy-clean if need be.



Colleen Clarke

Wine Expert

November, 2013


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“If They Order Merlot, We’re Leaving”

“If They Order Merlot, We’re Leaving”

This famous line was uttered by Paul Giamatti’s character in the movie “Sideways,” filmed in the Paso Roblas wine region north of Santa Barbara, Ca. This line tanked Merlot sales in California for years afterwards as Merlot fans felt criticized and belittled for liking what was implied as an inferior wine. Obviously, Merlot held it’s own and is back as strong as it was before this 2005 film was released!

Merlot is not the soda pop of wines, it just has been overexposed and is everywhere, ergo, it appears to be commonplace.

In the World

Merlot is a French grape, native to the most famous wine region in the world, Bordeaux, though it is being planted in new world countries more frequently as of late. Merlot is Bordeax’s most planted varietal and the most important component in most all of the region’s red wines. The names St.-Emilion and Pomerol are not shabby real estate in western France by any means. Because of Merlot’s ease of growing, it is now being grown prolifically throughout new and old wine world regions.

In the Winery

The grapes are abundant, they grow all over the world without too much hassle and Merlot wine is not a complicated wine for vintners to produce – voila, an abundance of Merlot wine with deep color and high levels of alcohol.

These characteristics make Merlot an excellent blending wine with grapes with headier levels of tannin and acid but less forward fruit like Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese and Tempranillo.

In the Glass

With good quality Merlot the black fruits prevail with plums and black cherries giving Merlot a deep ruby color with medium to high intensity aromas. Some climates produce aromas with more of a dried fruit essence like prunes rather than plums, dried cherries rather than cherries, and also fig. When you catch a whiff of brown spices that remind you of Christmas pudding, you know you are drinking a Merlot.

In the Mouth

Merlot is usually a ready to drink wine from the wine store to the table. Merlot offers a richness and suppleness in the mouth that consumers value and seek out. The usual low to modest tannin and acid effect makes supping with food or without enjoyable and yummy.

As for pairing food with Merlot, strong cheeses, pasta with red sauces, hamburger or non grilled beef, and chocolate are highly recommended.

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Wine with Easter Ham

Wines with Easter Ham


When you are matching a wine with ham it is necessary to specify whether the ham is

“smoked” or “cured. ” I’m assuming the ham is traditionally found on tables in Canada, which is baked or, in the case of pre-cooked and shrink-wrapped varieties, often boiled. It’s pink and, in flavour as well as colour, falls somewhere between white meat and dark. This offers much latitude where beverages are concerned.


Among whites, I suggest a New World chardonnay especially from Australia, California, Chile and British Columbia as they often exhibit a dense tropical-fruit essence, which matches the saltiness of the meat.


In the red category, go with a light, fruity, crisp wine like the Beaujolais-Villages or Cru de Beaujolais of the Gamay grape. If you must have something with a little more body you could go with a Côte du Rhone or Pinot Noir, still light but a tad richer in color and body. You may also want to go with a Rosé, preferably one with a smidgeon of sweetness to it. Canada, Spain, and France all make a nice rose´, though most of their grapes are generally on the drier side.


If you are making a sweet baked ham, I’d go with a Gewerz (though some people find them too floral and perfumed) or a Provençale rose´, a Brut rose champagne, a rose´ Zin or a lighter bodied white Zinfandel. Another alternative is a sparkling wine since the fizz will help cut the fat.


Remember the rule, sweet wine with sweet food, creamy wine with creamy food, etc. If a smoked or cured (not sweet) country style, I’d consider going “different” and serving a nice sherry, which will complement the smoke and salt wonderfully.


Over the holiday you may be eating a piece or two of chocolate. There is nothing quite like a bite of chocolate with a deep red wine like a California Zinfandel, Cline makes one with it’s own chocolate built right in, for a very affordable price. Your taste buds won’t disappoint you with Cab Sav’s and New World Shiraz’s.


This year is a time to experiment. Buy a bottle of a couple different grapes, do your own pairing so next year you will know what wine you will be serving with your Easter ham. 


PS. For turkey lovers a Sauvignon Blanc or dry Riesling is your best bet, depending on your stuffing.


Wine Expert

March 27, 2013

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