Wine column: Toast to the teams who produce simple, original wines that reflect regions

My New Year’s personal pledge is to be more thankful, and whine (pun intended) less.

I don’t mean to ramble on about poor wine-by-the-glass lists — especially at large Edmonton event spaces where you can find specialty food kiosks with brisket, wraps and premium seating menus offering lamb pops and sushi rolls. But nowhere to be found is a decent wine-by-the-glass list for patrons looking for something more interesting than mass-produced, commercial, high-alcohol, headache-inducing formula wines.

Sorry, I drifted off topic. I will whine less starting right now!

I pledge to be more grateful and thankful for all the wonderful moments, people and pleasures of life and to drink better and more thoughtfully, focusing on wines with a story, with less manipulation, no additives and are interesting.

Let’s raise our glass and toast the families and their teams that work hard to produce simple wines expressing their place of origin through vineyards using sustainable farming practices and making wines that are made with grapes. Simple.

These are two standout producers making wine in soils that are full of life, producing quality wines with little or no manipulation.


Michel Gassier and his wife, Tina Gassier, are the fourth generation of this family-owned and operated winery located in the southern French Rhone Valley in Costieres de Nimes. Their philosophy is minerality, freshness and balance by focusing on soil health without using any toxic substances, using indigenous yeast, minimal use of sulphites and working “in perfect harmony with nature.” They are also certified organic. Here you have a producer with enough volume to produce wines for larger event venues with a common link — round, fresh and easy to drink. Wink, wink … nudge, nudge.


A fresh and zesty white wine expressing classic gooseberry notes with passion fruit, peach, mango, lime and floral, hay-like notes on a mineral-driven palate. An interesting wine with an added splash of Pinot Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc is not a grape you typically find in this region. A value-driven charmer.


Merlot is another varietal that is not commonly found in Costieres de Nimes. The wine is a light and easy red with ripe red fruits, cherry, plum, vanilla and spice. It’s elegant, fruity and finishes with velvety tannins. Another terrific value from Michel Gassier!


Tyler Harlton is a Canadian producer that follows the “organic mindset” by avoiding any manipulation, uses no chemical additives (such as

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Lifestyle

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