My summer trip to Nova Scotia was nothing short of amazing. I’ve always wanted to travel east and a friend of mine recently moved to Halifax, so away I went. We didn’t spend too much time in Halifax as we procured a few days to explore Cape Breton and the Cabot Trail. I couldn’t possibly document all of the amazing food and wine I experienced in one blog post, so my first Nova Scotia inspired post is dedicated to what I obsessed about the most: a wine variety called Muscat.
Nerd Alert: Muscat vines are mainly cultivated in Australia and various European countries. Until tasting it in Nova Scotia I had never heard of it but according to my (internet based) research, it’s the oldest known grape variety in the World. Winemaking being a relatively new concept to NS, some of their vines, (mainly reds) are not mature enough for grapes to reach their full potential. But I found the Muscat variety to be bold enough to stand on its own.
One of my favourite pastimes, which I miss deeply, is Happy Hour. It’s tragically lame that Ontario doesn’t have Happy Hour. Anyway, we only had time to visit Five Fisherman (most recommended restaurant in Halifax) for Happy Hour, but you could image how ecstatic I was to hold that menu with quality discounted drinks and oysters! We sampled NY Muscat, Gaspereau Vineyards which boasted deep lychee and peach notes paired it with oysters from PEI and my love affair began.
In search of more Muscat, we promptly headed to Obladee, a family owned wine bar. I actually went there twice on my trip and highly recommend it to those who enjoy a relaxed, trendy but mature air. The staff were as charming as the atmosphere. Even the guests were quick to chat and helpful recommending places to see in Cape Breton. The extensive wine list was easy to read which I completely appreciate – I never claimed to be a wine connoisseur but I do like my wine and I like to have a minor understanding what I am ordering.
For a snack we chose a cheese and charcterie board (all local) with olives, baguette and chutneys that are not usually my top pick but I surprisingly enjoyed them. For (liquid) dessert, we finished with a glass of Benjamin Bridge Nova 7; Muscat is one grape in this lightly carbonated blend with an almost arrogant pinkish, grey hue. A bottle goes for $25 and makes a perfect gift for any wine lover.
Another Muscat wine (with a citrus edge) to note: Ortega, Luckett Vineyards.