Wine Reviews  

Van Westen, Naramata

Join our wine writer, Allison Markin, every week for a wine review complete with food and music pairings. Featuring Okanagan and Canadian wines, with an occasional international bottle, Castanet celebrates the bottles of our Valley and the diversity of the Canadian wine industry and influences from around the world. For current availability and pricing, consult the winery. Unless indicated, international selections are generally available at government liquor stores or private wine shops.

Wine: Violeta (Malbec), 2015

Winery: Van Westen, Naramata

Why drink it? There is something distinct about wines from the Naramata Bench, a certain ruggedness blended with elegance, perhaps? This Malbec is a reflection of that, with rustic characteristics of pepper and spice notes with noticeable, but not overbearing, tannins. As the wine ages, or with decanting a couple of hours before dinner, the ruggedness evolves into a softer sip, still with the intrigue of tobacco and leather, but the dark plum and cherry notes come forward, almost paying tribute to the orchards in the area. Rich, warm, with hints of fruitcake on the second (or third) glass.

Price: $35

Pair with: Roasted or grilled game meat along with a side of lightly seasoned autumn root veggies, even roasted tomatoes may work based on the winery’s tasting notes. A savory blueberry sauce can take the place of cranberry sauce this coming holiday season, for a change.

Music pairing: Big Man on Mulberry Street, Billy Joel

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