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August Pairing: Sweet Corn and Chardonnay

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Chardonnay and Sweet Corn

The month of August brings the harvest of my favourite local vegetable… sweet corn. The flavours are bright and sweet, refreshing and complex. The potential in the kitchen seems endless ranging from your basic pot of boiling water, to corn bread, to inclusion in some savoury grill-top offerings. It’s natural to seek out the local wine to accompany the local veg, and so I have chosen three bottles to grace the table and a recipe in which you can showcase the Niagara bounty.

2010 Sketches Chardonnay

Tawse Winery, Vineland, ON


With light oak that lends to the inviting toasty quality, this wine is a powerful palate superstar with bright punches of citrus and green apple on the mid-palate. The mouthwatering acidity is matched by the creamy mouth feel, while sweet notes of French oak are exceptionally well integrated. Awesome value, delicious wine and excellent pairing potential.

2011 Chardonnay

Fielding Estate Winery, Beamsville, ON


This wine sings of childhood memories as the flavour is reminiscent of my mother’s campfire baked apple. Let me break this down for you. Green apple aplenty, a little baking spice (think cinnamon), some brown sugar, and, of course, the nuttiness of a browned butter. We would put all of this into some tinfoil and wrap it tightly, then wait for the ultimate dessert to result. I cannot tell you how reminiscent this wine is. I think most striking is the nutty quality, almost like roasted pecans. This is flavour country, and I am ready to go back for another visit.

2007 Chardonnay

Chateau des Charmes, Niagara on the Lake, ON


With a rich creamy mouth feel and the nuances of French oak, this wine is a knock-out when you’re looking for a classic cool climate Chardonnay. The melon and citrus are all-stars in this bottle, creating a fruitful complexity that keeps you interested and satisfied. The buttery quality to this wine is like butter popcorn, and so, it is a natural partner for Niagara’s sweet corn crop. A lovely bottle at a great price point that was featured at the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration’s Grand Tasting!

Recipe: Peachy corn succotash tacos with lentils + basil slaw

The Author

Allie Hughes is the wine and culinary contributor to Naturally in Niagara, feasting on the decadent experience that is life in this region. With a fine wine sensibility honed at the International Sommelier Guild, Allie is taking the journey of Niagara by the glass with you with each new taste. Allie is also the creative mind behind the marketing of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, and owner of Hughes & Co., a boutique social strategy firm.

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