Wine Reviews  

Quails' Gate Chasselas

Wine: Chasselas-Pinot Blanc-Pinot Gris, 2018

Winery: Quails’ Gate, West Kelowna

Why drink it? First, it’s fun to say “Chasselas” with a slight flourish. A grape with a long history at the winery, it’s blended with these two Pinots to become one of the signature creations at Quails’ Gate. Enticingly aromatic with aromas of fresh pear, wild flowers, and white peaches, it’s worthy of a nice, calming sniff before the first sip. A touch off-dry, the wine is light and fresh, with flavours of lime zest and Okanagan stone fruits leading to a refreshing and crisp finish. Don’t wait too long to open and enjoy, hopefully on a hot day on the patio.

Price: $18

Pair with: Since it’s spot prawn season, try to pick up these sweet treats for a special spring occasion and don’t overthink the preparation. Garlic and white wine is all you need, or olive oil with fresh basil for poaching. Also lovely with a selection of sashimi or a buffet of salads.

Music pairing: Time Has Told Me, Nick Drake


Mystic River Pinot Blanc

Wine: Mystic River Pinot Blanc 2017

Winery: Wild Goose, Okanagan Falls

Why drink it? Pinot blanc, which is a genetic mutation of pinot noir, often flies under the radar…much like this winery, which keeps quietly racking up awards and is home a fantastic BBQ bistro. Aromas of honeydew melon linger with the mineral-like scent in the air after a sudden rainstorm hits hot asphalt. You could compare the flavours to some chardonnays, but this is lighter and medium-bodied with vibrant acidity. Crisp and refreshing, try it next to the winery’s very first sauvignon blanc and decide which one you prefer for patio season.

Price: $18

Pair with: All you need to enjoy this wine is a few friends on the deck, a full ice bucket, and a selection of easy snacks: veggies and kettle-cooked potato chips with a side of asiago dip, slices of melon, and if the mood strikes, grill up a couple of mild sausages to share with lemon cornbread.

Music pairing: Pride and Joy, Stevie Ray Vaughn

Singletree Rosé

Wine: Rosé 2017

Winery: Singletree, Abbotsford/Naramata

Why drink it? The 2018 vintages (two choices, one a reserve) should be released any day now, but the 2017 may still be around. And as Singletree is just opening its winery on the Naramata Bench, the opportunity for a taste is now close by. A pinot noir pink wine, the aromas of fresh strawberries and pink grapefruit are nice and bright, with a few notes of watermelon in the mix. The flavours echo these elements, with subtle tropical fruits and acidity on the finish, making this a refreshing sip for spring, just don’t overchill it in the fridge.

Price: $20

Pair with: A lovely spring brunch wine, with slightly sweet waffles and a fruit compote and cream on top, instead of maple syrup. Raisin bread for toast, or a nice granola mixed with dried cranberries and currants, topped with vanilla yogurt.

Music pairing: 4 in the Morning, Gwen Stefani



Black Hills Chardonnay

Wine: Chardonnay 2017

Winery: Black Hills, Oliver

Why drink it? Just released, a lot of love and care went into this well-crafted chard. A good transitional white wine with medium body and weight to get you through a cool spring until summer hits. Notes of lemon rind, fresh pears, and pie dough with a bit of tropical fruit on the nose. The oak treatment is present but nicely balanced, with minerality, vanilla bean, and clarified butter rounding out the citrus flavours and a long finish. Lovely to drink now, or put it on the wine rack for a couple of years to let it rest and fully develop its complex layers.

Price: $30

Pair with: A pear and gorgonzola tart. If adventurous, anything with lemon curd including buttery breakfast pastries and a side of crème fraiche to mix and match. Fettucine alfredo, or a creamy version of mac’n’cheese with lots of butter and seasoned bread crumbs on top.

Music pairing: Remedy, The Black Crowes

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