Fielding Estate Winery Red Conception 2008, Niagara Peninsula, Canada

Fielding Estate Winery of Beamsville, Ontario have released a very modestly monickered 2008 Red Conception. A bottle of wine that isn’t weighed down by lengthy description of the varietals used, soil ph levels or weaselly qualifiers like “Cold Climate.” The back label informs the purchaser that they can go to the winery website and find out what varietals are used in the wine, but in the spirit of calling a good red wine, red wine, I will leave the varietal hunting to those who care. The wine itself has an inviting aroma of oak and capsicum and the colouration tends to be slightly on the light side of medium. Taste-wise, it is a lip-smacker. Tart field tomatoes, apricot and a hint of mustard seed are what my bottle showed me. The folks at Fielding do offer higher range wines, but this wine does a great job at tasting different from the millions of other reds on the market and remaining accessible. Eschewing the usual descriptors is a daring move as most wine buyers nowadays are disciples of the varietal – and it pushes drinkers into a corner and forces them to evaluate the wine on its own merits of being a red wine. It reminds me of another Canadian entity, a band simply titled “The Band.” Assembled with a convoluted blend of top notch musicians who paid their dues on the roadhouse circuit, they just practised their brand of bluesy rock with a classical pianist and an Arkansas born drummer. Up on Cripple Creek, is my musical pairing for this wine. The lip smacking effect sounds like the keyboards that sound like mouth organs and Robbie Robertson’s squawking stratocaster.

I have enjoyed many Ontario wines, but this is my first music match for wines from the Canadian hinterland of wine. Ontarians, God bless them, love to quantify everything. They claim that their government liquor monopoly (the LCBO Liquor Contorl Board of Ontraio) is the largest single buyer of alcohol in world. (I guess China doesn’t count as part of the world). So I raise my glass to an Ontario winery that doesn’t pester you with talk of being “World Class,” and make a wine that is in a class of it’s own.

Leave a comment and me know what wine you would match with this music.

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