- Jessica Emin
Moira Peters knows a lot about wine. A trained sommelier, wine columnist and the owner of Unwined Tasting Parties, she doesn't just talk about the juice—her life is all about it. Even more so now, as she adds her latest badge of vino know-how: Writing the book on local wine, literally, as co-author of The Wine Lover's Guide to Atlantic Canada.
"I grew up in Cape Breton, so my knowledge of wine was pretty much what is the cheapest wine possible," says Peters, who found sommelier training and an appreciation for good grapes through a New York restaurant managing gig.
"I had grown up with the Nova Scotian industry...not having the best reputation for quality wines, so I didn't really know what to expect," she says of her return to Nova Scotia.
"There's a misconception that local wine isn't good quality," Peters adds, but "that's because there's a misconception of what quality wine is. People have a hard time with acid levels and the acidy of Nova Scotian wine is generally very high. But, in fact, good quality wine has to have acidic structure, or else it loses character."
It wasn't long after those re-introductory sips at home that Peters met Craig Pinhey, a wine judge and journalist. She says The Wine Lover's Guide to Atlantic Canada felt like a "natural next step" and her friendship with Pinhey (combined with his "natural writing abilities") allowed the book to come together on a short deadline.
The book, on shelves now, features a comprehensive map of the wine varieties on offer across Atlantic Canada (which Peters says is an absolute first), as well as extensive profiles of every vineyard in Nova Scotia. For Peters and Pinhey, it was a passion project mapping all that east coast wine enthusiasts have to be proud of: From Nova Scotian sparkling wine, which Peters vows are "some of the world's best", to the newer scene in New Brunswick, which she forecasts as being "very exciting in the next few years."
When Peters first fell for wine, she saw it as something to "enjoy as an intellectual pursuit." It's a feeling she hopes other aspiring wine swillers will catch too.