Kathryn Zondag Airdrie sommelier

A wise person once said that variety is the spice of life. I could not agree more! It is one of the reasons why this past year has been extremely exciting for the wining and dining scene here in Airdrie.

It is true that the right glass or bottle, served with the right dish, can be an incredible experience. Menus in Airdrie have been taken to new heights, and I am excited to see the new wine lists are beginning to soar with them. Open the wine list at restaurants like Hayloft in Airdrie or First & Vine and you will find the likes of wines of which you may have never heard. Negroamaro or Verdejo, anyone? These pages contain wines that have been carefully picked for their high quality and beautiful flavours.

But Kathryn, what is Negroamaro? Will I like Verdejo? Rest assured you will find something special.

Are you a fan of Sauvignon Blanc? Then you will love the fresh acidity and crisp citrus that wines like Verdejo or Chablis offer, but with more depth and complexity in flavour. Pair either with light seafood and you have a beautiful match.
Is Malbec your go-to red? I recommend giving a glass of Negroamaro a try. The name of this Italian beauty literally translates to “dark and bitter.” It offers the same ripe dark blackberry, bitter cocoa and earth character of Malbec, but with a little more mouth-coating muscle. Pair it with a rich red meat dish like braised lamb shanks and you have a winner to write home about.

Airdrie wineAre you the type of person who cherishes ‘clean sheet day,’ stopping a moment under the covers to pause and take a deep breath? Then an aromatic experience with lightly perfumed Viognier, peachy Albarino, or the rose petals of Gewurztraminer will leave you wanting to pause, breathe deeply and savour. After all, isn’t that the reason we take time to go out for a meal with those we care about? To stop, savour and enjoy.

So next time you pop into one of Airdrie’s new restaurants, take your time with the wine list, don’t be shy, and ask about the unfamiliar and special selections. Treat yourself to something new. Not only will you have expanded your horizons, but you will likely find a new favourite. As someone who loves wine just as much as their friendly staff do, I can assure you that nothing is better than helping someone discover a new treasure!


Kathryn Zondag is a certified sommelier, and holder of the advanced certificate in wine and spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) in London, England.

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