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Prison Break: A Wine Tasting Tale Uncorked

Last night was a very unique and special night; I was invited to a private wine tasting that was held at SAQ headquarters in Montreal after hours. A former prison, it now houses Head Offices of the Société des alcools du Québec, the state-owned liquor board in Quebec It was only three couples and the two SAQ advisers who gave us a private tour of SAQ wine museum.

Which is a very cool experience; seeing it used to be a old prison dating back to 1837 with the original century old wall, you can even see some of the original shackles still attached to the former prison walls. The only spirits that remain now are in bottles.

We got to visit the prisons cellar room where I spotted some famous labels; like Penfolds Grange, Château Pétrus Pomerol, Opus One and Romanée-Conti to name a few to grab my attention. I had hard time leaving the cellar, I even offered to stay there and watch over the bottles for the bottles safety of course [wink]. But no sale, after the incredible tour we went into a private tasting room, where there was an incredible selection of wine provided for us by SAQ advisor, along with an assorted cheese and fruits platters to further wet our appetites.

Some of the standout wines poured for us that night included Château Bouscaut Pessac, Léognan Grand cru Classé 2004, which I had completely fallen in love with. The only way to describe is that I was head-over-heels, like mad-love.

Luckily, I was able to get a second glass for tasting it again, oh-my it was fantastic, very well crafted bottle of wine. I was impressed with how fresh it was on the nose very alive and vibrant, white wine form 2004 vintage. In my estimation, it was just special bottle any of you that would love. I’m not much of a white-wine kind of gal, but this wine was for a special treat, selling $55 it’s defiantly worth the price of admission.

I also really enjoyed the Brouilly Château de Pierreux it was very rich and juicy much darker color then the usual Brouilly, very rich had a hints of licorice and dark fruits, dark black cherry and a just a touch of leather, beautiful medium finish was superb from 2009 Vintage selling for about $20, at this price point, I was wanting to buy more then just a few bottles. I was so taken with this wine, I thought oh just another glass would be grand, so I help my self for a second glass [shhh!].

Then came the Malbec, a Catena Alta Angelica Mendoza 2008 , very rich strong spicy wine that best enjoyed with BBQ meat, beef or lamb. It would have showed better, because it was a bit tight and needed to be decanted a least 1 hour to let it breathe some. It sells for about $52, makes a great gift to any wine lover who really enjoys barbecued meats. Our group also enjoyed Pascal Jolivet Pouilly-Fumé 2010 very much.

A beautiful refreshing white wine with strong grassy hints of lemon grass and honey lots of minerality in the glass, lovely mouthful, notes of herbs, grass, touch of citrus, just lovely for any sushi lover out there and the price is only $26 easy on the wallet and great in the glass, young and fresh easy drinking, what can anyone ask for?

Finally, we also sampled some locally made products Michel Jodoin cidre léger rosé mousseux 2009, great little apple bubbly. A light refreshing quaff, only 7% abv, makes for a nice celebration for those people who prefer not drink champagne, but still want that bubble experience. Yes it’s made with Apples, smells like apple pie and apricots and had delicate mousse in the mouth; they sell it for $18, a very tasty local product.

We finished off our evening with ice cider Domaine Leduc-Piedimonte Cidre de Glace 2007 which sells for $26. This wine explodes with hints of caramel and apple puree or apple compote and honey with apricots very nice way to end the evening, so for all of you who follow my wine suggestion hopefully you will give some of these wines a swirl and let me know what you think, cheers!

I hope you enjoyed hearing another voice, from a fellow traveler, a good FB friend and a ever curious vino-sapien. She had a great time at a Private Tasting, where she had the opportunity to sample a delicious selection of wines in the bowels of a former prison, which is now SAQ headquarters in Quebec.

I really like to introduce "other-voices" from time to time. This is her first time contributing an article to the online world outside of her FB audience. I only know her as Honey Bun, on Facebook where I'm always excited to read her vinous-tasting exploits, of which sometimes I'm a bit envious. She and her husband Pierre own a fantastic boating business called Marina FortinUntil next time folks sip long and prosper, cheers!


This was a great read! Loved how you made us feel as if we were there at the private wine tasting with you. Take a look at this website for more wine tasting details.

Wine Tour Healdsburg

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