THE SOPHISTICATED WINO - Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery
August 19, 2016



Wine from a fourth-generation Fancy Farm Girl

By Shari Darling, The Peterborough Examiner

I just tasted a fun and fabulous off-dry rose produced in Niagara called Sue-Ann Staff Fancy Farm Girl (FFG) 2014 Foxy Pink, (CSPC 469338), $14.95, available at the LCBO Lansdowne West near The Parkway).

I like the name and label of this wine. Catchy. I feel like a fancy farm girl myself!  While not a farmer, I do enjoy renovating homes and wearing steel toed work boots.  I also sell makeup online and am blessed to operate a business in wine and food. 

So, there's some farm and fancy in my lifestyle, as well as in the lives of many of my girlfriends. 

One of my best friends, Cora Whittington, runs Golden Pathways B&B and Leadership Retreat. Cora and husband David operate a farm, all the while hosting fancy events at their retreat. They live a fancy farm life, too!

It's a fitting brand name. On her website Staff says, "Years back, while tending my family farm, I had a revelation. I loved the farm. This is my Paris, my Australia, my South Africa, my freedom. So I dress the part and enjoy life through the rose-coloured glasses of the fancy farm girl. The farm is a metaphor, the attire an approach. The reality? There is a fancy farm girl in all of us."

Under this brand you'll find four wines called Frivolous White, Flamboyant Red, Foxy Rose and Flirty Bubbles.

Staff is a fifth-generation grape grower. In 2002 she won the Ontario Wine Society's Ontario Winemaker of the Year Award. Staff studied winemaking at the University of Adelaide in Southern Australia, and she went on to make wine at the family's 200-year-old estate in Jordan, Ontario. Now with 450 national and international awards under her fancy belt, Staff now operates her own winery at 3210 Staff Avenue in Jordan (Lincoln), Ontario -

The label itself is very feminine with shades of pink and lime green, created by artist Francesca Waddell. I'm drawn to the label.

As for the liquid inside the bottle"¦.it's a winning rose.  Interesting, different, and delicious.

FFG is a fun and well balanced rose with quite interesting character. The nose swirls with aromas of fresh orange and peach. The palate offers both orange and berry notes. This is due to the interesting blend of grapes - 90 per cent Riesling (white grape) and 10 per cent Cabernet Franc (red grape).

The blending of these varieties create a delicious, easy drinking rose with good weight, refreshing acidity, lovely flavours, and some sweetness (1 to 2 on the sugar code).  The sweetness is not over-riding because acidity balances it out.

Best of all this wine is low in alcohol (11 per cent), making it an afternoon sipper by the pool or lake. It's also the ideal quaffer for girl's night in!

A whole range of foods will work with this rose, such as fancy hors d'oeuvres celebrating tanginess, saltiness and gentle sweetness. Pair this wine with Radishes Filled with Salmon Roe (salty) and Lemon Cream (tangy) or Canapés with Smoked Salmon and Capers (salty).  

To prepare the most harmonizing cheese tray to pair with FFG, use Parmigiano-Reggiano (salty), Gorgonzola (salty and pungent), and Stilton with Mango and Ginger (sweet). 

Because of the wine's berry character and sweetness, this gem will complement fresh salads of greens sprinkled with blueberries and strawberries. Be sure to use a rice or white balsamic vinaigrette. Wine vinegar is too acidic and will make the wine's acidity taste rancid. 

Its off-dry quality will also work with both subtle sweet and spicy barbecue sauces for grilled chicken and ribs. Examples include St. Louis (tangy); Memphis (sweet and tangy); Kansas City (sweet and tangy); Char Sui (Chinese barbecue sauce that is sweet; Honey and Bourbon; barbecue rum sauce.

Shari Darling's books and other publications are available

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