Whether you’re a host or a guest, pairing wine with candles makes for a great gift.
It's a real treat to both your guests's senses or your host, but there's an art to doing it right. Not too long ago, we gathered at our Toronto stockist Health Hut to chat about just that with our favourite wine shop, Grape Witches. Here's a recap and a wine pairing for those who weren't able to join us IRL.
ICYMI, before launching LOHN we spent two years developing our story, design and products. Inspired by our Eastern European heritage and a road along which amber was traded, we decided to make scents inspired by journeys and products to take you on. That turned into four different candle collections: Amber, Tea, Spice and Forage.
With wine in hand and candles lit, we spent the evening sipping and sniffing down the Amber Road Collection.
1. ERDE (paired with Zanasi's Antica Natura)
We started the evening with ERDE—the first scent we ever created (also our bestseller!). It means earth in German and smells like a lush forest with notes of cedar, ripe fig, spicy nutmeg, fresh vetiver, all grounded by golden amber. (Fun fact: did you know that figs are flowers, not fruit?)
After walking guests through the notes we added some bubbly! This scent pairs beautifully with a lambrusco—just like ERDE brings to mind afternoons spent in the garden, Antica Natura evokes a light, bouncy feeling, and a freshness you can only get in nature.
2. JURA (paired with Ursa Major's Dam Mast Qalandar)
Next, we moved onto JURA, our second best-selling scent. Meaning sea in Lithuanian, it smells like a rainy coastline with notes of lemon, bergamot, eucalyptus, sandalwood and cedarwood, with a touch of warm amber. (Fun fact: sandalwood oil can't be harvested until the tree is at least 30 years old. It's then unearthed as the oil is in the trunk, roots, and branches!)
The winemakers at Ursa Major happen to share the philosophy that good things take time! From a sloping mountain vineyard in its fourth year of organic transitioning, Dam Mast Qalandar goes through natural malolactic fermentation in barrels and then rests on full lees for 6 months. The result is a soft spoken wine with lightly freckled minerality throughout, pairing perfectly with our seaside JURA.
3. FEU (paired with Albamar's Albariño)
FEU is arguably our most delicious scent. Meaning fire in French, it smells like the village bakery, complete with spicy cardamom, vanilla, creamy coconut, cedarwood, and of course toasty amber. (Fun fact: vanilla seed pods have no scent when they are gathered. The odor develops as the pods ferment during a month-long curing process under the sun and the pods are processed in various ways to give us the oil and the extract.)
We decided to pair it up with wine produced in Albariño, noted for botanicals and citrus undertones. The lightness counteracts the richness of FEU, and freshens up our sweet notes with scents of green apple, yellow kiwi & sea asparagus.
4. ORO (paired with Vignoble du Reveur's Imagine)
Our last stop on the amber road journey was ORO. The name comes from the Greek prefix meaning mountain and the candle smells like a mountainside wildflower garden with jasmine, pink pepper, chamomile, and a splash of citrus, all mellowed by cozy amber. (Fun fact: it takes two thousand pounds of flowers to produce three pounds of jasmine absolute. It's incredibly expensive, but synthetic jasmine doesn't hold a candle to the real thing).
To round off our palettes, we paired ORO with an off-dry, savoury and textural orange wine. The blend of four Alsatian grape varieties reminds us of a well-rounded day in the French mountains, and the scent sealed the deal.
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