Unwined: Wine by the Pint?
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Unwined: Wine by the Pint?

Wines at Barque. Photo by Andre Proulx.

There has been a bit of a buzz about the wine list at Barque smokehouse lately. While you may know of Barque for its great food there is a lot going on in the way of beverages at the Roncesvalles restaurant; most excitingly, they’re now pouring wine on tap. But even though it might seem strange to see wine get poured the same way as beer, rest assured that there’s no reason to doubt the quality of the wines coming out of the keg. Much like the screwcap debate, we can put a cork in it.

Here’s what we think of the wines Barque has to offer.

2014 Southbrook Vineyards “Orange Wine” Vidal – This wine is worth the visit to Barque in itself. When you order, don’t be put off by the cloudy appearance of the wine in your glass; it’s just the natural result of a wine fermented by winemaker Ann Sperling indigenous yeast and no added sulphites. Simply put, there are no additives in this wine!

This wine is bone dry, with bright acidity. Flavours of grapefruit and lemon layer over tea flavours, adding a bright crisp acidity on the finish that will perfectly match your meal.

2013 Norman Hardie Zweigelt – Norman Hardie is already well known for his Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but there are a lot of interesting wines from his winery that are heading out the cellar door and onto the taps at Barque. This Zweigelt is no exception: loaded with ripe raspberry and cherry, the finish leaves a nice spicy note that fills your whole mouth. But don’t be fooled by its dark colour, as it is medium bodied with nice acidity on the finish. Pair it with Barque’s beef ribs or brisket.

Shiny Apple Cider – This Niagara cider comes to our glasses courtesy of Small Talk Vineyards, with a twist: it’s blended with Pinot Noir, giving it a nice acidity with notes of blackberry, raspberry and cranberry mixed in. The result is a drink that packs a bit of a punch in terms of alcohol (9%), though, so maybe try not to get too carried away.

While the cider does have a bit of sweetness to it, we would still consider it a dry variety. It also happens to be refreshing and delicious. In short, Shiny Apple is everything you expect from a good cider with lots of apple.