An EPIC Wine Tasting

Written by Gary Killops



Wineries from Lake Erie North Shore will be uncorking their passion at the 10th annual London Wine & Food Show at Western Fair this January. This will be the fourth year the group of wineries, known as Essex Pelee Island Coast or EPIC wineries have brought their wines to the London/Middlesex market.

“The proximity between London and Essex County makes it close enough to make a day trip out of it,” explains Melissa Muscedere of Muscedere Vineyards. Tom O’Brien, owner of Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards agrees, “London is close to EPIC wine country. We want the folks of London to sample our wine, then come visit us.”

The wineries of Lake Erie North Shore are less than a two-hour drive from London. Leave the house around 9 a.m., and arrive in the region around 11, when many of the wineries open for business. Visit three or four wineries and be back home around 7 in the evening. The perfect day trip!

IMG_4393Jody Goslin, Master Taster at Oxley Estate Winery and usually the one pouring Oxley’s wines at the London Wine & Food Show says, “This is our third year attending. Every year, appreciation for our wine region continues to expand. More and more people in London and surrounding area are learning just how amazing our wines are, and how fabulous our region is.” Goslin goes on to say “people at the London Wine & Food Show become interested in our story, and then they visit our winery the following summer. That’s just as much our reward as it is theirs.”

Oxley Estate Winery will be showcasing their latest wine release called “Ripper Red” at the show. This wine is a fascinating blend of Regent and Merlot grapes. Dark ripe fruit notes with hints of vanilla, a full-bodied red wine offering a savoury lip smacking finish. A must try at the show!

The history of the Regent grape at Oxley is interesting. This dark-skinned varietal, originally developed in Germany, was the first wine bottled by Oxley. Regent is not well-known by Ontario wine drinkers and Oxley has a plan to change that. Regent offers deep dark colour, soft velvety tannins and fruit forward notes to the wine.

    Muscedere Vineyards will be pouring several soon-to-be-released wines at the Wine & Food Show. They will offer tastings of their 2011 Syrah, 2012 Pinot Noir and 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. After spending a couple of years in the barrel, the Syrah has been aging in stainless steel tanks waiting to be bottled. I tasted this wine with Rob Muscedere this past August and we both agree that this is the best Syrah yet from the family vineyard. Classic white pepper notes, cherry fruit and a spicy finish. The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc offers intense citrus and gooseberry notes. It’s a rich and complex wine with impeccable acidity.

Cooper’s Hawk Vine­yards will be pouring several interesting wines at the show that will be showcased at LCBO boutique stores in late September.

IMG_4391Talon Red, a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Baco,Cabernet Sauvignon and Marechal Foch, is a complex, well-structured wine that demands attention. Layered aromas and flavours of dark fruit, leather, cedar, vanilla and pepper spice may be discovered in a glass of this wine. This wine has been in the bottle a little over a year and is drinking well right now.


IMG_4375Talon White is a captivating blend of Auxerrios, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Viognier, Savagnin, and Sauvignon Blanc. Compelling aromas in the glass invite a taste. Intriguing and intricate citrus fruit and flowery notes balanced with by lively acidity that supports a long finish. A great sipping wine!

Viewpointe Estate Winery will be offering two new wine releases that will also be available at the LCBO in February. Its 2011 Big Bluff Red is a compelling blend of Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Claudia Taylor, winemaker at Viewpointe, says the winery will also offer tastings of its 2013 Big Bluff White. Taylor describes this wine as a luscious blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Auxerrois. In addition to the new wine releases, Viewpointe Estate Winery will be pouring several of its award-winning Cabernet Francs.

The London Wine & Food Show has allowed wine lovers to discover the wineries of Lake Erie North Shore. The wineries suggest a visit to the region over the weekend of February 7th and 8th for their annual Festival of Ice, an EPIC weekend wine tour where each winery will present a unique winter experience, from ice-skating, a snowman-building contest and professional ice sculpture carvings. Wines from the region will be paired with local culinary delights.


Gary Killops is a certified wine geek who loves to talk, taste and write about wine. He shares his wine tasting notes on EssexWineReview.com


About the author

Gary Killops

Gary Killops is a CAPS Certified Sommelier who loves to talk, taste and write about wine. He shares his wine tasting notes on EssexWineReview.com