Wine Reviews  

Ancestral Sparkling Zinfandel, Covert Farms, Oliver

Sparkling Zinfandel, 2018

Wine: Ancestral Sparkling Zinfandel, 2018

Winery: Covert Farms, Oliver

Why drink it? A first for the winery, this is a minimal intervention wine (yes, that’s becoming a thing), letting the grapes do what they are simply meant to do, gently ferment in stainless steel, bringing out the elements of zinfandel, a varietal usually destined for bottles of robust reds. Those elements are there, but subtle compared to a big zin. Notes of cranberry, jasmine leaves, strawberry freezer jam, and sour cherries lead to a crisp sparkler with a bit of honeycomb and citrus zest. It will do well on the patio, nicely chilled, on a hot day.

Price: $32

Pair with: The refreshing finish can handle a spicy dish, such as a Indian curry or Asian dishes with bit of heat. In a pinch, grab some crackers, spread on a dollop of a creamy goat cheese, and add salami for a savoury top, or a drop of jam or chutney for a sweet bite.

Music pairing: Strawberry Wine, Deana Carter


Township 7 Polaris sparkling, Penticton and Langley

Township 7 Polaris

Wine: Polaris (Sparkling), 2016

Winery: Township 7, Penticton and Langley

Why drink it? While this vintage is sold out, partially owing to it being named the best Canadian bubbly at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships, the 2017 is on pre-release, and there are two other sparklers at the winery. This one, blanc de blancs (all chardonnay), is elegant and vibrant, with notes of green apple, lime zest, and some honeysuckle on the nose. The classic acidity is balanced with fresh-baked bread, brioche, and stone fruits on the palate. Charming and intriguing on the finish, with lingering complex flavours and some creaminess.

Price: $35

Pair with: Well-crafted sugar cookies, heavy on the butter, light on the sugar sprinkling. Brunch with a rich mushroom and brie frittata, mushroom and seafood risotto, or French toast. A classic romantic appie of oysters, or simply popcorn with truffle salt on a Friday night.

Music pairing: Drops of Jupiter, Train

Bliss Blueberry Sparkling Haskap, Meadow Vista

Bliss Blueberry Bubbly

Wine: Bliss Sparkling Blueberry Haskap

Winery: Meadow Vista, Kelowna

Why drink it? A meadery featuring more than 100 beehives, Meadow Vista is all about honey wines and meads, and has several bubblies to try. This crisp sparkler has the lovely colour of pink grapefruit in the bottle, and you’ll experience some tart citrus notes on the nose mingled with floral and blueberry notes from the Haskap berries, sourced from a nearby farm. Not only is this a refreshing sip that has both sweet and tart elements, the berries – full of antioxidants and vitamins – make it healthy. A juicy and bright option for a celebration that requires sparkling wine.

Price: $17

Pair with: Chill well and enjoy on its own as an aperitif, or with mild soft cheeses and hearty artisan crackers, such as cranberry and hazelnut Raincoast Crisps as an appie. A pear and gorgonzola salad or tart will do, baked brie topped with a fruit compote, or pick up a pecan pie.

Music pairing: No Rain, Blind Melon

Amicitia (red blend), 2016, Covert Farms review

Amicitia, Covert Farms

Wine: Amicitia (red blend), 2016

Winery: Covert Farms, Oliver

Why drink it? A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Pettit Verdot, and Syrah (in descending order by the percentage in the bottle), there’s a bit of something for every red wine drinker in this certified organic and vegan wine. Raisins, blackberries, and sour cherry jam lift out of the glass, followed by a bit of vanilla and nuttiness, and tobacco owing to the barrel treatment. The flavours are a mix of tart red fruits, cranberry, sage and herbs. A longer finish than you might expect from the fruit forwardness, and this bottle is age-worthy for a few more years if you have patience.

Price: $30

Pair with: Red blends are always intriguing and open to trying a variety of dishes. Leaner meats such as pork roast or duck, or flavourful meat pies. A pasta dish on a lazy evening with a veggie based red sauce will do. Add some salty goat cheese for a mac’n’cheese change up.

Music pairing: Dreams, Beck

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