Wine Reviews  

Wynwoood Pinot Noir

Wine: Pinot Noir, 2015

Winery: Wynnwood Cellars, Creston

Why drink it? Yes, Creston. It’s worth the trip to the Kootenays to tour the wineries here before they are fully discovered. In other words, go now and avoid the inevitable rush, especially if this Pinot is an indication of what’s there and is yet to come. An unexpected discovery. While the wine has some youthful notes and it could rest for a couple of years, on the nose it has balanced notes of red fruits and bramble, and on the palate these continue with a bit of sour cherry. Medium tannins, and it finishes with earthy and intriguing barnyard and mushroom notes. New world and old world coming together.

Price: $25 (check with the winery)

Pair with: New friends, and a harvest dinner of fall veggies, roast beef, perhaps lamb kabobs or a lamb burger, with a side of braised red cabbage or a beet and goat cheese salad. Have a pinot tasting party with this and a few other bottles, and a wide selection of cheeses.

Music pairing: Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac


Equinox Syrah, 2015

Wine: Equinox Syrah, 2015

Winery: Le Vieux Pin, Oliver

Why drink it? The 2016 vintage may also be available in the wine shop. But, if you’re looking for a gorgeous Syrah that will, undoubtably, have you taking a breath after a sip and then saying a quiet “wow”, hurry before it’s gone. The winery’s description of the 2015 is as poetic as the wine itself: garnet in colour, with good marriage between old and new world styles, and perfectly balanced. On the nose you’ll find spice notes like black pepper, blackberry and dark plums, followed by earthy flavours mixed with a bit of leather and red fruits. Each sip brings more to explore.

Price: $90

Pair with: A special occasion, most likely, perhaps a first day of autumn dinner with friends when the weather has just turned to fall, and you feel like braising beef, or roasting leg of lamb, or taking a bounty of different mushrooms getting creative.

Music pairing: L’est écrit, Francis Cabrel

Baco Noir 2016

Wine: Baco Noir 2016

Winery: Ancient Hill, Kelowna

Why drink it? Baco Noir is rarely found in the Okanagan, but more common in Ontario. The grape is a red wine French-American hybrid created by Francois (wait for it) Baco, and is described as Indigenous to North America. This one is a deep, brooding red, the flagship of the winery, bold and rich. Dark chocolate, dark plum, and an intriguing note of earthiness, kind of like the scent of a new tire, on the nose. The flavours of black fruits, cigar box, and vanilla bean nicely blend together, with a lengthy but surprisingly soft finish. It’ll be interesting to taste again in a few years.

Price: $25

Pair with: The acidity of the wine made an accidental perfect pairing with a double pepperoni and mushroom pizza. So go with salty cured meats, or dishes with a thick tomato sauce such as a baked pasta covered in crusty, melted cheese on top.

Music pairing: Be Cool, Sophie Milman


McWatters Meritage blend

Wine: Meritage (red blend) 2016

Winery: McWatters Collection, Penticton

Why drink it? It’s hard to believe that the man behind this label has pressed his last grapes, but rather than hold on to this bottle (which you can, for three or so years, perhaps), why not open it and enjoy its aromas of cassis, cocoa nibs, blackberry jam, with hints of leather now? A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, the aging in French oak is elegant and the flavours of dark fruits are nicely expressed with smooth tannins on the finish and a nice balance overall. And it’s meritage like heritage, in case you’ve been wondering. A term created by McWatters himself.

Price: $30

Pair with: A fond memory shared with a close circle of friends and family, or a newly discovered future BFF, preferably on a patio or around your kitchen island, with plenty of laughter. Rest in peace Harry McWatters while the legacy you started for BC wine goes on.

Music pairing: Go Rest High on that Mountain, Vince Gill

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