Wine Reviews  

Hester Creek Character

Wine: Character (red blend) 2017

Winery: Hester Creek, Oliver

Why drink it? Everyone should have a “go to”, value-priced red blend handy for unexpected company or when you simply feel like a glass. With Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Merlot in the mix, there are nice elements to this Character; aromas of pepper, licorice, and hints of smoky barbecued meat, followed by integrated flavours of cherries, currants, cedar plank, and subtle spices. Just enough oak to give the wine a bit of structure and weight, with tannins that could use a year or two to soften in the bottle if you choose, or just drink now with a comforting snack or dinner.

Price: $21

Pair with: The winery suggests a warm stew. A tomato-based beef stroganoff or pasta sauce with meatballs or meat sauce, or a veggie lasagna. Works well with that frozen Shepherd’s Pie you put away for a rainy day when no one wants to make too much of an effort.

Music pairing: My House, Flo Rida


Tinhorn Creek Chardonnay

Wine: Chardonnay 2017

Winery: Tinhorn Creek, Oliver

Why drink it? If you have an older vintage of this chard tucked away, bring it out to compare with the latest release and explore how this wine evolves, especially as the buttery notes come out after three or so years of resting. The oak treatment is light on the 2017, as the wine-making process includes barrels, concrete and stainless steel. Golden-green in colour with expressive aromas of tropical fruits, lemon zest and lime, and some spices. The lemon notes make their presence known in the flavour profile with a bright finish. A good “starter” chardonnay if you have been resisting oaked wines.

Price: $21

Pair with: Lightly seasoned roast chicken with roasted potatoes. Fish and chips as both halibut and cod will pair nicely. Butternut squash soup or stuff pasta with a cream-based sauce, and just about any flavour of risotto.

Music pairing: When I Come Around, Green Day

Pink Bling!

Wine: Pink Bling! (sparkling wine)

Winery: The View, Kelowna

Why drink it? Yup, sparkling wine in a can. Why not have this instead of a super sweet cooler or fizzy vodka drink? Unapologetically fun, the pink version is a blend of Ehrenfelser, Gewürztraminer, and Pinotage, and while swirling it in the glass is not necessary, pouring it over ice (if you haven’t yet chilled the can), releases subtle notes red berries, watermelon, and honeydew. Slight sweetness, but not at all cloying, you’re not meant to debate the flavours and nuances, but perhaps spark a comment or two when fridge door is opened, or it’s pulled out of the ice on a hot day.

Price: $17 (for a six pack)

Pair with: A side of fruit salad for brunch, or a selection of melon slices. Better yet, freeze those slices or chunks and add them to the glass instead of ice cubes. Good yogurt mixed with granola for a mid-afternoon power snack.

Music pairing: Just Dance, Lady Gaga


Road 13 Viognier

Wine: Viognier, 2017

Winery: Road 13, Oliver

Why drink it? A nice golden hue in the glass, this Viognier will get you thinking about those spring evenings when it’s still cool, but the sun sparkles on the very last layer of melting snow. Bright and expressive aromas of orange peel, the first fresh nectarines of the season, and honeysuckle or honeycomb. That’s the spring part; the weight and body of the wine lends itself to the last days of winter, as its fullness blends nicely with rich fruit flavours and the aforementioned aromatics, with subtle hints of oak and vanilla on the finish.

Price: $21

Pair with: Takeout curry with some nice heat to it, with mango or apricot slices mixed in with chicken or chickpeas. In fact, a mix of roasted nuts and chickpeas, instead of a store-bought snack, is nice. Also happens to pair well with chili-lime flavoured Spitz.

Music pairing: This Life, Bruce Springsteen

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