Overall, my three weeks Home for the Holidays was pretty stellar. Lots of home cooked meals (though somehow, managed to miss out on my Dad’s mac and cheese and Danielle’s famous chocolate cheesecake squares — the only kind of cheesecake I’ll eat), time with friends and family (though it seemed to be “the year no one went home”) and lots of time to read.
But the worst part of Christmas this year… was…
Yes, the wine.
Specifically, the lack of GOOD wine.
This is not in any way a slight on my parents taste in fermented grapes, but much more a comment on how terrible the Canadian wine distribution network is.
It’s such a shame. We have two excellent burgeoning wine regions in this country, but if you go to the Canadian section of the liquor store wine section in Eastern Canada, you get Jackson Triggs and Peller Estates.
Don’t get me wrong, they do an okay job, but there are so many many many good little wineries in Niagara and the Okanagan, and only a handful do any distribution.
Some of it is their size; some of the Okanagan wineries, for example, really can’t satisfy much of a larger market than they already accommodate (for example my three favourite releases last spring were completely sold out by the end of June). Some of it is they can’t afford to.
There’s also a federal prohibition-era law that makes it illegal to move alcohol over provincial borders (and wineries say it’s easier for them to ship to the states than to another province).
That’s being changed, thanks to a private-members bill from an Okanagan MP. The bill has passed second reading…
The bill proposes a personal exemption that would allow, for example, a B.C. resident to buy wine from a Niagara winery or an Okanagan winery to ship to wine clubs in other province.
All I can say is I hope it gets put into law, because I don’t plan on being here forever, and I have every intention of maintaining this expensive (and delicious) wine habit of mine.