Wine Reviews  

Forbidden Fruit Dead End – Game Over (red blend)

Dead End red blend

Wine: Dead End – Game Over (red blend)

Winery: Forbidden Fruit, Cawston

Why drink it? The winery itself is at the dead end of a gorgeous drive in the Similkameen, and this is its premium label owing to select organic grapes from a property called the Dead End Estate. In this bottle: Tannat, a hearty red grape with gusto, and Malbec, a thick-skinned robust purple-y grape. Expect a fairly full body when you get to a sip, but first enjoy the rich inky colour and aromas of black fruits, well-worn leather, and a touch of earthiness. The palate reflects the aromas of dark currants, black cherries, and ripe wild blackberries. Noticeable but pleasant tannins.

Pair with: Almost any red meat, gourmet grilled game meat sausages, a slow-cooked rich cassoulet, a hearty roasted eggplant dish, and beef ribs. A good Baba Ganoush with a selection of aged and/or smoked cheeses will do nicely,

Price: $40

Music pairing: Bring on the Night, The Police


2017 Skimmerhorn SPF17 (port style)

Skimmerhorn SPF17

Wine: SPF17 (port style), 2017

Winery: Skimmerhorn, Creston

Why drink it? Don’t let the acronym in the name of this port-style wine throw you off, it stands for Skimmerhorn Port-style Foch; nothing to do with sun protection. Marechal Foch, the sole grape in this bottle, is a cold-hardy hybrid varietal that typically has some sweetness. Side note, in its development and history, when it first came to the U.S. from Europe, it was renamed for a First World War Allied Commander. The wine has a black cherry-spiced aroma, akin to brandied cherries, and a deep, red plum colour, with toasted nut and fig jam flavours.

Pair with: A selection of roasted nuts along with some soft cheeses. Or, combine these into a baked Camembert topped with toasted hazelnuts and cranberries, drizzled with a little bit of dark honey. Serve with a Black Forest cake for dessert.

Price: $24

Music pairing: New Moon on Monday, Duran Duran

Monte Creek Living Land La Crescent

Living Land La Crescent

Wine: Living Land La Crescent

Winery: Monte Creek, Kamloops

Why drink it? What is this grape? It’s a hybrid, cold climate hardy, white varietal developed by the University of Minnesota and named after a small town in that state. Its DNA is complex, and it generally produces an off-dry aromatic wine, which sums up this unique bottle. The wine has some thoughtful skin contact, and it’s the skins that contribute to the ripe pear, applesauce, and floral aromas. The flavours? Peach, citrus, maybe a hint of grilled pineapple; kind of like Riesling, kind of like other cold climate varietals, but wholly independent. Like that one kid who always stands out in the class photo.

Pair with: A never-too-late to party Oktoberfest themed dish of sauerkraut and Kielbasa, suggests the winery. Butter chicken, but put it on a pizza with a sourdough crust. Spicy Mexican takeout. Go retro with some stuffed roasted bell peppers.

Price: $22

Music pairing: Crescent Moon, Conor Albert & James Smith


2018 Roche Château

Wine: Chateau, 2018 (red blend)

Winery: Roche, Naramata

Why drink it? A Bordeaux-style blend of mostly Merlot with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, in the glass it’s a deep, rich, and inviting red. Both the aromas and flavours are intense; the former begins with black fruits – ripe plum, wild blackberries, dark currants –and a mix of savoury spices. The latter takes the dark fruits to the palate with the addition of some earthiness, mushrooms, and cigar box. Tannins on the finish are a grippy but begin to relax while in the glass, so consider decanting if you want to open a bottle soon, or let this one rest for a few years.

Pair with: The first dish that will immediately come to mind: steak. Better yet, steak and mushroom cream sauce, or skip the beef and grill some big portobellos stuffed with an herbed cream cheese. Top the steak or ‘shroom with a fried egg.

Price: $50

Music pairing: Walk Me Home, P!nk

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