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Wine Reviews  

Roche, Naramata Bench

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: Arôme, 2017

Winery: Roche, Naramata Bench

Why drink it? And now for something very different, from Roche, now in its second year on the Naramata Bench: Schonberger. This grape is a pinot noir, muscat, chasselas cross and the name aptly describes the intense nose from this white wine. Beautifully aromatic, imagine that you’re on a tropical beach next to exotic flowers, with freshly sliced papaya and guava next to you. The flavours are fresh and light, refreshing but not overly acidic. If you’re looking for a bottle to get you through the rest of summer, this will gently prepare you for the autumn transition to weightier whites and light reds.

Price: $19

Pair with: Take-out sushi, but also lightly spiced Thai dishes or curries, like mango chicken curry or Indian dishes featuring tropical fruit. Make your own fruit salsa with cilantro, and serve with grilled halibut, cod, or sole.

Music pairing: Molly Town, Joss Stone

Have a wine to suggest? Email Allison at [email protected]



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Quinta Ferreira, Oliver

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: Malbec, 2012

Winery: Quinta Ferreira, Oliver

Why drink it? Malbec typically has a deep purple-inky colour making it easy to spot in a lineup of reds, and also slightly softer tannins than other deep red wines… just like this one. The winery smartly holds back its reds to age a bit and integrate its flavours before releasing bottles for purchase, and while this bottle can rest for another couple of years, it’s drinkable now. A swirl in the glass releases dark cherry and ripe blueberry notes with a hint of vanilla bean. A sip? Raspberry, some plum, spice notes from the oak treatment, and a very subtle note of mint on the finish.

Price: $35

Pair with: Even with its smoother tannins than other bold reds, this wine pairs well with most meats — lamb, leaner cuts of red meat like skirt steak, and even slow cooked pulled pork sandwiches. Anything with blue cheese (including veggie burgers, or in a salad dressing), will be tasty.

Music pairing: Pipe Dreams, Nelly Furtado

Have a wine to suggest? Email Allison at [email protected]



Camelot, East Kelowna

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: Ruthless Rosé, 2017

Winery: Camelot, East Kelowna

Why drink it? The first rosé produced by Camelot, a charming winery in East Kelowna that embraces its medieval theme, this pinot noir based pink sipper has the pinkish hue of the recent “blood moon” we all tried to Instagram. The nose is light, with hints of vanilla, strawberry jam, and pink grapefruit. The grapefruit extends to the flavours with subdued citrus, watermelon, and grilled peaches that have been nicely caramelized. Definitely fruit forward, those who like super dry rosés may find the this one a little too…ruthless with the fruitiness.

Price: $20

Pair with: This is a pool party rosé. Grab the unicorn floaties and some friends on a hot summer day, and your Go Vino (plastic, safety first!) glasses, and the raspberries and strawberries you picked up at the fruit stand, and simply enjoy. But keep the wine on ice.

Music pairing: If Ever I Would Leave You, from the musical Camelot

Have a wine to suggest? Email Allison at [email protected]



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Arrowleaf, Lake Country

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: Bacchus, 2017

Winery: Arrowleaf, Lake Country

Why drink it? If it’s been a while since you took an afternoon to explore Lake Country, put Arrowleaf into the GPS and go check out the view. Pick up some treats from the bakery, or plan on enjoying the picnic patio for an hour or so. This white wine is not a blend, but Bacchus is a cross between Riesling, Sylvaner, and Muller-Thurgau, producing an aromatic wine with multiple layers of fresh floral notes and herbs on the nose. Peaches mixed with citrus flavours, the palate is light, with a refreshing finish of grapefruit and a hint of elderflower, and a very slight off-dry sweetness.

Price: $16

Pair with: Truly a sipping wine because of the slight sweetness and refreshing finish, you don’t need to think too hard about what to enjoy with this. It’s fruit season. Pick up some apricots, peaches, whatever is fresh your local fruit stand. If you’re ambitious, lightly grill and drizzle with honey.

Music pairing: Slings and Arrows by Moody Blues

Have a wine to suggest? Email Allison at [email protected]



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