John Howard is an egoist – that is, a man with an outsized image of himself. His friends thought he was full of himself when he decided to name his winery John Howard’s Cellars of Distinction. That’s how his wine brand came to be dubbed Megalomaniac.
We had the opportunity to visit his winery in the Niagara Peninsula a few years ago and had an excellent tasting in his underground cellar. With names light Bigmouth Merlot, Bravado Cabernet and Narcissist Riesling, it was a lighthearted experience. The wines, though, were not lightweight.
During a recent trip to Point Pelee in Ontario, I breezed into an LCBO store. Due to restrictive laws north of the border, we hardly see any Canadian wines in the US. I scooped up a few bottles and was checking out when I saw this one on display near the register.
Homegrown is 100% Ontario wine, which the bottle proudly proclaims. For us, that is great news. Without a doubt, the Niagara region is ideal for Riesling. Howard is also quite proud of the location for his vineyard, latitude 43 and longitude 79.
This is a quality Riesling for a very palatable cost, only $13 Canadian. This offers the full spectrum of Riesling flavors with a rush of peach and citrus and some honeyed sweetness. The sweetness is somewhat kept in check by the acidity, but this is sweeter than we typically drink.
The time to bring out the man with the bowler hat (that graces the Homegrown label) is when you have a casual get-together or need something to cool down a spicy dish. Or maybe when you need to send a subtle message to your egotistical friend.
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Value: 3.5 of 5