Sunday, 31 May 2015

Luscious Lushes

This post is loooooong overdue.  It took me about 6 months to plan, meet approval and get organized but the first ever Wine Appreciation/Intro to Wine course on the Lower North Shore of Quebec took place in La Tabatiere this past winter/spring.  These hard working, fun loving, keen, silly, beautiful and feisty women signed up for a 6 week course that allowed them to not only taste wine – but to learn about the history, geography, science and art that comes with it. 


In a small classroom at the local school, these women began to learn about something that I am needless to say -  very passionate about. It was my pleasure to share this passion with them –  I am humbled by their curiosity, dedication and attitude with it all. As much as we laughed, ate, and ‘tasted’, ( and we did A LOT of all three ) they took it very seriously.

The best part was -  of course  - the tastings at the end of night!  It was their first time tasting wine ‘professionally’, and I loved every second of it! They were SO GOOD at identifying aromas, flavors, tannin!  Adelaine or ‘Maid’ as she is also known as left me in stitches every night.  She was SPOT ON with her tasting notes!!!   “This wine has that dancing in your pleather  pants for 2 hours kind of leather notes’.  It’s funny – but at the same time it is so true!  Wine is very subjective.  What one tastes can be completely different from someone else; and the flavors/aromas we identify comes from experience!  If someone has never tasted passion fruit – how can that person identify it in wine? ( And sauvignon blanc is ALL passion fruit).  Adeline was great . No – she was amazing.  She studied, she asked tons of questions – she gave feedback.  Carrie R came up with tasting notes that were  just as funky– but again, very unique to her experience.  A tasting note of mussel farm rope, most people on the Coast could understand – but maybe not someone from Plateau Montreal. 

Maureen O and Maureen C were just as keen!  Maureen O is thinking about continuing her studies by taking courses online. Trina G has revamped the wine celler in her home and is desperate to go on a food/wine trip soon.  Julie T will be making sure the Luscious Lushes continues to taste – they will be starting their wine club in the fall! Tara B – God love her. Smiles all the time – and let’s hope for everyone’s sake, she stays away from the Two Oceans.  ;) Donna R – she is determined to one day find a good Champagne!

I have to give these gals credit;  They took time out of their already busy schedules to attend and study a topic that would not , in the end, give them any kind of advantage in the work force.  These girls were in for pure interest and pleasure – and I couldn’t happier.  Every night someone took s turns whipping up some delicious meal that was associated with the country that we were covering that night! Paella, spaghetti, BBQ ribs, moose bourguignon, cheese, home made bread…..   They became intoxicated not from the wine  - but from the regions, the grape varieties, the regulations, the winemakers, everything!  On my part – it was of course a bit selfish to get so much pleasure out of teaching these girls what I knew about the wine world.  There is no truer saying that “Through wine comes friendship”.    


In a small isolated fishing town of about 400 students, these 8 women dedicated their time to study and learn about something that was pretty foreign to them.  There is no independent SAQ store there, no private imports….just a friendly shop that sells wine along side your fruit/veg – and fishing gear of course!  (Getting the wine come to town was a bit of challenge.  Making 6 trips to the store and back home with cases of wine on my ski- doo without breaking anything was a miracle itself.)

I am so proud of them for taking the risk at learning and trying something new. I’ve planted a small seed here, and I hope they continue to explore the world through wine.  The Lower North Shore is a very special part of the world – surrounded by natural beauty and friendly people.  And although not many from home understand or care about wine - Thank you for allowing me to share something that means so much to me.  Cheers!

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