Wine and date nights go together like peanut butter and jelly – effortless and delicious. But with so many flavour profiles and price points to choose from, it can be pretty intimidating choosing the perfect bottle off the shelves for your next at-home date night or selecting from a long wine list at a restaurant.
Nova Scotia is actually known for producing some of the best wines not only in the country but in the world! Each style of wine created in Nova Scotia’s wine country harnesses the surroundings of the high tides, resulting in a mouth-watering freshness with a hint of salinity. In fact, over 200 international and national awards have been given to Nova Scotia wines and even Gordon Ramsay himself has a Nova Scotian sparkler on his wine list.
Read on to majorly impress your date with the knowledge of these local wines on your next date night.
A true celebration of Nova Scotia’s unique coastal terroir, Avondale Sky Winery’s 2020 Tidal Bay is fresh and aromatic with a lingering minerality.
This vintage contains a blend of 100% Nova Scotia grown L’acadie Blanc, Frontenac Blanc, Vidal, Osceola Muscat, and Geisenheim. Enjoy notes of apple, peach and guava in a soft yet crisp blend.
Tidal Bays are fresh white wines that must meet a strict set of rules and pass a tasting panel’s evaluation before they can proudly stamp the name on their label. This is the perfect wine to pair with local seafood – our favourite is alongside mussels!
Where to Buy: www.avondalesky.com
This bright and crisp white wine is a popular varietal in Nova Scotia and Jost Vineyards does it just right. Their L’Acadie Pinot Grigio is a blend of Nova Scotia L’Acadie Blanc with a touch of Pinot Grigio, making it a delightfully balanced floral wine.
The wine opens with shaved almonds, green apple, ripe pear, and grapefruit on the nose which melt into rounder, fuller aromas of honeydew melon, green mango, lemon-lime zest, and a trickle of passion fruit all wrapped up around a core of honey and brioche.
This is a great wine to serve with a bowl of seafood chowder or a lobster roll, or even alongside some salty snacks such as sea salt chips or edamame.
P.S. you can purchase this wine in a 3000 ml bag – perfect for a group date night!
Where to Buy: www.jostwine.ca, NSLC, Harvest Wines, Bishop’s Cellar
Gaspereau Vineyard’s Riesling has been a winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Nova Scotia Wines three times, making it a top choice for date night!
The wine has refreshing acidity, a lingering apple and mineral note, and a balanced sweetness. It’s great to pair with a variety of foods no matter what you’ll be indulging in but our favourite pairings are with a creamy pasta or sushi.
Where to Buy: www.gaspereauwine.ca, NSLC, Harvest Wines, Bishop’s Cellar
The sparkling wines crafted in Nova Scotia are garnering worldwide attention and one of our personal favourites (along with Chef Gordon Ramsay’s) is the Benjamin Bridge Brut Reserve. The MasterChef Host is serving the 2008 vintage of this local sparkling wine at his three-star Michelin restaurant in London. Benjamin Bridge offerings have also been listed at other Michelin-starred restaurants throughout the United Kingdom and France so you know you’ll be sipping some of the best!
Although the 2008 vintage is sold out, winemaker Jean Benoit Deslauriers, says the 2010 vintage is comparable. On the nose, you’ll notice assertive hints of acacia honey and raw beeswax enhanced by subtle and elegant floral undertones. This youthful and vibrant wine would be the perfect bottle of bubble to pop for a special occasion.
Where to Buy: www.benjaminbridge.com, NSLC, Bishop’s Cellar, Harvest Wines
This unique wine is one of Lightfoot & Wolfville‘s prestige offerings, created with 100% Chardonnay. The single-vineyard Méthode Classique sparkling is made from a specifically selected low-cropping block on their estate and aged in French oak barrels.
Tasting notes include lemon curd, hazelnut, and light toasty lees. It has a salty citrusy intensity and smoky, stony undertones.
It is a gold medal recipient of the WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada, making it another ideal candidate for a special occasion toast along with fried dishes such as calamari or chicken.
Where to Buy: www.lightfootandwolfville.com, NSLC
Fermented long and slow at low temperatures, this non-traditional sparkling wine has a delightful fizz and retains the aromatic qualities of the grapes.
Sip on tropical fruit and citrus aromatics with tasting notes of mandarin and grapefruit – perfect for dreaming up your summer holidays.
Fizz would be delicious served chilled alongside cured charcuterie for a low-key but hella romantic date night.
Where to Buy: www.luckettvineyards.com, NSLC, Harvest Wines, Bishop’s Cellar
Compass Rosé is a classic Provence-style Rosé made to express local grapes and the unique terroir of Nova Scotia. The delicate structure and expressive aromatics make this an ideal food wine year-round so be sure to keep this bottle in stock!
Tasting notes include perfumed orange blossom integrated with hints of wild strawberry and passion fruit on the nose.
This wine pairs well with lots of different foods but we suggest going the traditional route and serving a glass alongside a roast chicken dinner. It also pairs well with a variety of cheeses so a date night cheese board could be an excellent option as well!
Where to Buy: www.mercatorwine.ca, Harvest Wines, Bishop’s Cellar
Nova 7 is one of our absolute favourite wines and we’re so glad it’s available in a can! It has a gorgeous coral blush hue with rose accents and has notes of freshly bloomed orchids as well as fresh tropical fruit.
It’s one of those bright, vibrant wines you can drink all year-round and it would be a great choice to pack a couple along for a staycation.
Price: 250 ml Can for ~$8, 750 ml bottle for $25
Where to Buy: www.benjaminbridge.com, NSLC, Harvest Wines, Bishop’s Cellar
Ancienne, meaning old or ancient, is a collection of wines from award-winning winery, Lightfoot and Wolfville, that was made to celebrate the pinnacle of their wine-growing efforts. The label is styled to look like an old book, giving it a very classic and intriguing appearance.
The wine is pale-ruby in colour and has notes of brambleberry, brown spice, dark cherry, and sandalwood. If you enjoy bright acidity and red fruit flavours, this is the perfect bottle of red for you!
We would save this bottle for a fancier dinner date paired with Peking duck or a hearty grilled veggie dish. Delish!
Where to Buy: www.lightfootandwolfville.com, NSLC, Harvest Wines, Bishop’s Cellar
You might not think of red wine when you think of Nova Scotia but there are some serious gems created in this province, including The Old Bill from Luckett Vineyards. Think rich stewed fruit, black cherries, leather, and strong tannic structure. This red blend is the real deal and one that you’ll want to add to your secret wine knowledge list to impress your date.
This wine would pair well with a lot of meat dishes such as a steak or a stew.
P.S. Luckett Vineyards also has their Phone Box Red which is a fan favourite!
Where to Buy: www.luckettvineyards.com, NSLC