The heart has its reasons

The heart has its reasons


If you're reading this column, it's probably because wine is a source of pleasure for you. But wine, you know, is also a wonderful vector of generosity.

A generosity essential to the survival of community organizations, such as the Food Banks of Quebec (BAQ). In 2022, the organization created in 1988 responded to an unprecedented demand: 2.2 million people in one month! Food aid needs have never reached such levels, and they will only increase given the current economic uncertainty.

For a 14th year, the SAQ invites its customers to support food banks. “Thanks to the generosity of our customers and the commitment of our employees, we have donated nearly $14 million to date,” redistributed to the 19 regional Harvests and nearly 1,200 community organizations across Quebec. During the long Easter weekend, from April 6 to 12 inclusively, for each bottle of wine, cider and other alcoholic beverages from Quebec sold online and in its outlets, the SAQ will donate the equivalent of a meal to the Food Banks of Quebec.

Starting with the taste, all the reasons are good to “drink local”. And if we followed those of the heart? Cheers! 

L’Orpailleur, Brut

IGP Wine from Quebec 12% | ★★★★ | $$1/2 | $30.50

SAQ code: 12685625

Charles-Henri de Coussergues has been refining his mastery of effervescence since 1991 in Dunham. The quality of its Brut is increasing year after year. A proportion of Vidal brings fat and volume to the Seyval; the wine is made according to the traditional method and aged on lees for 18 months. A crisp mouthfeel of freshness, fine and persistent bubbles and pretty brioche nuances, which blend with the notes of flowers and tropical fruits. Impeccable. 

Léon Courville Vigneron, Vidal 2021

IGP Wine from Quebec 13% | ★★★ | $1/2 | $18.75

SAQ code: 10522540

The vineyard of Léon Courville and Anne-Marie Lemire covers about twenty hectares on the outskirts of Brome Lake. Their vidal gives me the impression of being drier in 2021, with a nice fullness in the mouth, but also a delicate bitterness, which counterbalances the gourmet flavors of peach and grapefruit. A good white wine to accompany a warm salad of delicate squash, kale and feta. 

Cidrerie Le Somnambule, Le Sauvage 2022, Sparkling cider

Quebec 6 % | ★★★ | $$ | $19.00

SAQ code: 15020207

Produced in Saint-Henri (in my native Bellechasse), by Ève Larouche-Laliberté and Émile Robert, Le Sauvage is the result of spontaneous fermentation (without adding yeast) and it is bottled without filtration, before the end of the fermentations, hence its fine effervescence. A very dry farmhouse cider, far from “alcoholic apple juice” with candy flavors, with nuances of spices and sweet grass. A very light spring aperitif and a nice pairing for next Sunday's Easter ham. 

Les Bacchantes R1 2021

IGP Vin du Québec 12% | ★★★ | $1/2 | $17.15

SAQ code: 14455436

The wines from Sébastien Daoust's estate in Hemmingford, Montérégie, have made a leap in quality over the past two vintages. The vineyard, under the responsibility of Geneviève Thisdel, is in organic conversion. R1 des Bacchantes is made from 100% Marquette, a hybrid grape variety somewhat reminiscent of Gamay, with its suppleness and notes of pepper, violet and black cherry. The 2021 is drinkable and just fleshy enough, bursting with fruit and backed by fresh acidity. It will go well with a beet salad or duck confit. 

Château de Cartes, Vin de Soif 2021

IGP Québec 11 % | ★★★ | $$ | $19.95

SAQ code: 14788636

The label announces a wine of thirst and that is precisely what Stéphane Lamarre and Anik Desjardins give us: suppleness, lightness and fruit in abundance. The blend of Lucie Kuhlmann, Léon Millot, Maréchal Foch and Vidal in equal parts gives a good light-coloured red, whose flavors of cranberry, currants and green pepper are enhanced with a slight pearliness. Tailor-made for a Quebec charcuterie board.

Correct ★
Good ★★
Very good ★★★
Excellent ★★★★
Exceptional ★★★★★

More stars than dollars: worth its price
As many stars as dollars: worth its price
Fewer stars than dollars : the wine is expensive