Jonathan’s July Wine Review

Blogger: Jonathan Nadeau

About Jonathan: Jonathan writes regular drink reviews for Abacus Data’s Canadian Millennial site to help readers understand what typs of wines, beers and spirits Millennials are looking for. Jonathan has been involved in the beverage alcohol industry in Canada since he was old enough to hold a glass and he has a good grasp of what our generation is drinking.

Its summertime and it’s been hot…really hot. There are multiple ways to cool down in the summer, take a swim, hide out in an air conditioned room, move to the South Pole, etc. But my favourite way to stay cool in the summer is an ice cold glass of white wine.

A recent posting on talks about the 2012 Wine Trends That Are Worth Drinking. One of which is my summertime favourite, unoaked chardonnays. This is backed up with our own research that shows Millennials are drinking more white than the previous generation.

Why go unoaked this summer?

You may be asking why go unoaked? Well there are a few good reasons why this generation is pushing that way. First, there is the added cost of producing chardonnay in oak, a good barrel costs nearly $1000, a fee that is passed on to the consumer that can work out to be around $3 to $4 a bottle! So going unoaked is great added value.

Second, the oak adds vanilla, butter and cream notes to the chardonnay, and we all know that is what you want when it’s 35 degrees in the shade. Also, the oak masks the true characteristics of the wine.

So why add the oak at all? Well, sometimes it needs that vanilla and butter to soften the wine out. Sometimes a wine region can’t produce a chardonnay that has enough character to stand on its own.

This is what makes our local wine regions special. Niagara had the soil and climate to produce a chardonnay with enough spine to go without oak. The characteristics of a chardonnay from Niagara will be unique to…well Niagara, giving the drinker a unique local experience.

My Favourite: 


The Vineland unoaked chardonnay is some of the finest that Niagara has to offer, especially at $12.95 from your neighbourhood LCBO(669374). This light and crisp white is the perfect summer afternoon sipper. It has a nice little bit of body, but nothing that would weigh you down. The nose comes off with pears, apples and a nice little hit of citrus on the palate. This all culminates into a well drawn out finish.

This chardonnay is 100% VQA as well, meaning that all the grapes come from Ontario. As the generation most likely to spend more on products that we know are locally produced, it is great to find local products that are this good.

So this summer when you want to beat the heat, go local and get yourself a nice glass of Niagara chardonnay.

Jonathan Nadeau is an Analyst at Abacus Data, a Telfer entrepreneurship student, and a self proclaimed Cork Dork working on his Sommelier certification.

Contact Jonathan Nadeau:

T: 613-232-2806



Jonathan on Twitter Jonathan on LinkedIn Jonathan on Google Plus