Day 24: Of Weasels and Wine – A Guest Post by Calvin Hanselmann

Yesterday I featured my Q&A with Calvin Hanselmann. If you couldn’t tell from his answers, he’s got quite a wicked sense of humour. So when I asked him to write a post for my #30daysofblogging, I should have known it would start with a line like this one does! 🙂 ~Shawn

Weasel Piss

“Ontario wines taste like WEASEL PISS!”

“Wow!”, I thought, “I don’t know what weasel piss tastes like, but it can’t be good.”

We were in the dining room of our friend’s home in the heart of BC wine country, a home that overlooked Quail’s Gate’s vines and looked up at Mission Hill’s incredible architecture. More than his current residence, our friend had a career that positioned him to know about wine: postings in Europe, Canadian Vintners’ Association board, senior exec at a well-known BC winery, and more.

And this was his view of Ontario wines: they taste like weasel piss.

“All Ontario wines don’t taste like weasel piss,” was my next thought. I knew better. I had had Ontario wines that didn’t taste like weasel piss.

Such as Baby Duck. Don’t laugh! Baby Duck didn’t taste like weasel piss 30-odd years ago, when I was lying on my back in the snow on a mountain in the Rockies, skis pointed downhill, warm sun on my face, squeezing it from a wine skin. Did it matter that I was a young teenager? Not a bit. That Ontario wine was the best wine in the world, in that moment. Far from weasel piss, I am sure.

Years later, after relocating to Ontario, I discovered other Ontario wines that didn’t taste like weasel piss. Wines such as Ontario Rieslings, especially from select wineries in Niagara, that can show the same characteristics of top Rieslings from the Mosel, and can age just as well. Not weasel piss.

Then there is PEC. Almost a decade ago my family and I shared an extended weekend with three generations of a family at their cottage in Prince Edward County. This was our first time in “The County”, and our first visit to Ontario wine country. We fell in love with all of it — PEC wines, PEC wineries, PEC winemakers — and have since been back innumerable times and on every visit we find more great Ontario wines that are anything but weasel piss.

I realize how fortunate we are to live so close to wine country — a rare treat in a country as vast as Canada. We can make visit wineries as a day-trip. We have gotten to know winemakers as friends. And we haven’t had to drink anything that we would describe as tasting like weasel piss.

A few years ago, we met our friends for dinner at an Ottawa restaurant, bringing a bottle of Long Dog Pinot Noir, a Prince Edward County wine. When the wine was poured with the main course, our friend exclaimed, “This is REALLY GOOD!”

“To weasel piss”, I thought.


This entry was posted in #30DaysofBlogging, Experience, Prince Edward County and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.