Birthdays and Beautiful Summer Nights call for Something New


If there’s one thing that hasn’t changed over the years, in fact it’s probably amplified over time, for me it’s my love of entertaining. It’s no strange occurrence for me to wake up on a Saturday, turn to my husband over coffee and say “let’s have a party” or, if I think there may be less of a chance of it happening, “let’s have people over for dinner” which always in turn results in a house full of our closest friends.


This year we are all turning 30, so for the most part spouses and partners are trying to be sneaky, putting together surprise parties (which by now we have all caught onto but play it up anyways). My husbands was the first of this string of surprise parties (there  have been 3 since) but this past weekend was a very dear friend of ours, he and Mike have been friends for over 14 years and he’d been the best man at our wedding.


I had to work the day of but was off early enough to at least make it and since I’d be at the store all day prior to the event I had an excellent opportunity to put together a mixed box of fabulous beers chosen by the Keg and Cork beer experts. Not only that I had a full shift to decide what I’d be enjoying that evening.


I chose for myself an incredibly well-crafted 99point Cider from France.


 As my wine for the evening the 2010 Gentil “Hugel” from Alsace.


If I’m ever asked what my favorite wine is quite frankly I usually hum and haw (there are so many amazing ones out there to choose from), however that will usually be followed by “Whites from Alsace are probably my favorite”, and summed up with a description of the aromatics, generally thicker texture and lovely stone fruit flavors given by a Riesling, Gewurztraminer or even Pinot Gris. This being said, I’d never tried this particular wine and I was excited to give it a go.


So what is this wine? What we are looking at is a white blend; I usually drink single varietal from this region so I knew this would be a different experience. The blend according to the Hugel website is as follows:


Gewurztraminer : 12%
Muscat : 2%
Riesling : 20%
Pinot gris : 22%
Sylvaner & Pinot Blanc : 44%


From a technical standpoint: This wine was light and refreshing, it wasn’t what I’m generally used to given the region, but also I hadn’t looked to the blend just yet. I thought it had beautiful structure, all of the grapes involved supported one another in regards to keeping the acidity, intensity (both nose and palate) and alcohol balanced. I got lovely notes of citrus, cucumber, green gooseberries, green plums and yellow cherries. There was just an ever so slight scent of white truffle on the initial pour.


It was a perfect summer sipper and retailing under $20.00.


I enjoyed the cider at a BBQ held by the parents of the now 30 Birthday Boy and once the party started to die down we took the remainder of those wanting to continue back to our place. It was a perfect evening. Warm, fresh and everything lovely that Edmonton summer has to offer. I shared this beautiful vino with anyone who wanted to try… I love when people say they “don’t like White Wine” and then try something new and beautiful; I guess I like to convert people in that way. The visiting continued on our patio until well into the wee hours. In the end, looking back on the day, yes it’s too bad I missed the “Surprise” but the evening of friends didn’t fall short.


The summer we get is far too short to not sip on something delightful. Give this white blend a chance to enhance your evening.


Cheers for now!