There’s a lot to be said for cold, easy-sipping, summer wine.
And then there’s also that wonderful flavour of cherry licorice that reminds me of road-trips that I used to take every summer from St. Catharines, ON, to Sauble Beach, ON. My grandmother always had nibs or licorice because it would shut my brother and I up for at least a minute.
In a way, this pairing is not just of a wine and a junk food, but of my childhood summers and adult summers.
So let’s get into it.
2017 Sandbanks Pinot Grigio
First thing anyone notices is the beautiful amber colour on this Pinot. You ever see your grandma drinking Pinot Grigio and notice that it’s a really clear looking wine? Yeah. Not this one. This one has the perfect amount of colour from the skins to make sure that you don’t mistake it for a rose, but you notice this thing glimmering in the sun.
This is a dry wine, some decent acidity on it. For me, I feel like this is a truly old-world take on Pinot Grigio in that the acidity is high but managed, and it does have a bit of a heavier body feel to it. What I learned from a few botanically-inclined Italians back in Niagara is that sometimes Pinot Grigio might get harvested earlier in the season just to keep that acidity higher.
Now, when I think summer wine, I think citrus, tropical flavours, and that refreshing feeling in the back of your throat that makes you loudly exclaim, “AHHH!” at the end of a good sip (read: gulp). I get some pear, lemon, and grapefruit flavours out of this one. And as mentioned, that high acidity makes this wine come across as incredibly refreshing.
All I’m really driving at here is that sometimes a pinot grigio goes down like water; you hardly notice it and you drop that bottle like a bad habit right on top of your liver. But you notice this one.
I honestly straight up lack the descriptors for some of the things that happened here, but I’m going to do my best.
At first, the sweetness of these Super Nibs cut the acidity of the Pinot Grigio, mellowing out the wine. But then, as the flavours mingle, I got more of an anise flavour (think black licorice), but then the aftertaste was something just wholly new to me.
It was like the artificial cherry flavour and citrus came together to create a whole new candy flavour and I just couldn’t stop eating and drinking. I was addicted. This was new. Like hearing a cool song for the first time, I just threw that on repeat until I was just… drunk.
For me, this was one of our best pairings yet. It was honestly more of a shot in the dark that brought these two things together, but man, did it pay off.
Give it a shot and tell us what you think!