Welcome Back to the Glassroom

We’re Baaack! Get Your Corkscrews and Reading Glasses Ready for This Back-to-School Edition of Stop Whining and Start Wine-ing!

Crack open a new semester with our new edition of Stop Whining and Start Wine-ing! Graphic Nadine Abdellatif

After a summer that was hotter than ever before, a whole new wave of COVID-19 and practically everyone’s travel plans being screwed to high heaven, it’s almost nice to return to school. 

Here, students just have to contend with the usual issues: where to find good drinks and who you’re going to drink them with! It can be kind of intimidating, figuring out what to drink while trying not to blow your whole budget in the first week of school, but don’t worry. As your Fairy Winemother, my duty is to make sure you’re as ready as possible to have a good time, so I’ll show you around and introduce you to everyone you need to know.  

The New Kid

Vignoble Rivière du Chêne Le Rosé Gabrielle 2021

$16.75 at the SAQ 

Who’s the new kid? Where does he come from? What’s his haunting, dark secret that will change your small town forever? Well… Okay I’ll admit, I didn’t believe the origins of this wine at first (what teen movie heroin does?), but my wine snob ways have had to admit defeat in the face of this amazing rosé that comes from…*dramatic pause*… Quebec?!? That’s right folks, this is a Quebec grown and produced wine right out of the Laurentians and it is going to blow your mind. As a very dry rosé, its low sugar content makes it quite refreshing. Even better are its incredible notes of strawberry, raspberry and even some hints of roses on the nose (how’s that for a tongue twister?).  It goes great with cheese and bread, and will be equally at home when served with something like a fresh salad. So, it’s perfect for your back-to-school wine night after the reality of the first few weeks sets in. 

The PTA Mom

Fattoria Fibbiano Fonte Delle Donne Toscana 2021

$19.50 at the SAQ

This organic white wine hails from Tuscany, Italy. She’s a perky blond with a go-getter attitude, the best power suit collection on this side of the St. Lawrence River and legs (as in what runs down the side of the glass when you swirl your wine around- often indicative of alcohol content) for days! Not only is she running the Parent Teacher Association, but she’s also boasting fresh, bright flavours of lime, Granny Smith apples, honeydew melon and chalk. With a really light, minerally mouthfeel and a lingering finish, this wine is not to be missed. Enjoy it outside, soaking up the last of the summer sun before autumn brings us back down to earth (and to midterms). 

The Grad Student

Meinklang Kontakt 2021 

$22.15 at the SAQ

They’re so artsy! So cool! They have tattoos and make their own bread and thrift shop like a pro. You see them walking across the grass at Loyola Campus, talking to their friends, and can’t help but feel like you want to be their friend too. At least, that’s how you’ll feel about this natural (no additives), organic (farmed without the use of pesticides), orange wine from Burgenland, Austria. This wine has notes of mandarin oranges, melon, spice, and ripe apple—and is almost effervescent in your mouth. As with most orange wines, there is quite a bit of tannin here, which is that mouth-drying feeling you typically get with red wines. This is because orange wine is made with white wine grapes in the style of red wine. This means that the grapes have more contact with the grape skin—the source of tannin– during the winemaking process than a typical white wine. This is what gives orange wine its beautiful colour and funky flavour. Altogether, a wine that’s great on its own or with food and is always welcome at any party on or off campus! 

The Froshers 

3 Lacs Gin Fizz Lime Basil 

$15.60 for 4x355ml at the SAQ

They travel in a pack, wear bright shirts to find each other in a crowd and are absolutely the ones chanting “Drink! Drink! Drink!” at the party, and with good reason too! These lime and basil gin fizz ready-to-drinks from Distillerie 3 Lacs are the life of the party and, in my experience, always mean that good time is about to begin! They come from Boucherville, which isn’t too far outside of Montréal, so it feels great to support a local business and have a good time doing it. The drinks are light and really refreshing, with actual lime and basil flavouring, not just their artificial versions. In a sea of RTDs, this one really stands out, just like that bright pink frosh shirt! 

Well that concludes our campus (wine) tour. Doesn’t drinking feel so much better in the company of others instead of alone in your basement over Zoom? Or maybe it doesn't, I’m not telling you what to do! All I know is I’m going to be spending lots of time with the wines we met today over the next few months, hopefully I’ll see you there. 

Cheers from one struggling student to another!  

This article originally appeared in Volume 43, Issue 2, published September 13, 2022.