Wine Reviews  

Road 13 Roussanne

Wine: Roussanne 2017

Winery: Road 13, Oliver

Why drink it? Roussanne is not all that common in the Okanagan; from the Rhône region of France, this particular style is becoming the winemaking focus at Road 13. A beautiful golden hue in the glass, the grapes come from the Similkameen and have been well tended from picking to fermentation, producing a subtle tropical nose with pineapple and hints of honey and oak. The winery describes the wine as round and opulent, and it is indeed deceptively luxurious after a good sip or two. Flavours of apricot and vanilla bean, light sage, and the pineapple carries through from the aromas. Not what you might expect from a white wine, but a delightful discovery that can age for a few years.

Price: $26

Pair with: A variety of patés might be fun to see which one pairs best. Roast chicken or pork with a side of extra creamy mashed potatoes, or a quiche with loads of butter and a mix of mild to medium cheeses. A rich breakfast frittata will do nicely too.

Music pairing: Birthday, The Beatles


Mission Hill Chardonnay

Wine: Terroir Collection Chardonnay, 2017

Winery: Mission Hill, West Kelowna

Why drink it? The grapes come from Oliver, at Jagged Rock Vineyard, and much care has gone into this distinctive and refreshing wine, starting with the site selection and choosing specific blocks in the vineyard. Expressive notes on the nose of fresh picked pears, hints of guava, vanilla from the balanced French oak treatment, and citrus. The latter continues on the palate, with lime and lemon zest, a backbone of figs, and a round finish that is both earthy and fresh. Well worth a visit to the wine shop to fetch a bottle to tempt the “anything but chardonnay” crowd, or sip at the winery’s Terrace Restaurant.

Price: $45

Pair with: Creamy pasta with or without added seafood, perhaps prawns. Good take out lobster rolls that aren’t too spicy, a good New England clam chowder or crab cakes. Also great with homemade potato chips and super indulgent duck fat fries.

Music pairing: All We Are, Kim Mitchell

Ardua red blend

Wine: Ardua (red blend), 2013

Winery: Macintyre Heritage Reserve, Naramata

Why drink it? Expressively Naramata, this blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc pays homage to the family history behind the label, and can be found at Lake Breeze Vineyards on the Naramata Bench. While it can be put away for a few years to soften the tannins, the aromas of blackberries, bramble, and dark chocolate are very inviting now. Decant for an hour or two, then enjoy the flavours of dark cherries and blueberries mixed with subtle savoury spice notes, well-integrated with careful oak treatment and supple notes of cedar and leather. An elegant and smooth wine worth seeking.

Price: $90 ($270/3-pack)

Pair with: A special occasion, perhaps family is visiting from the other side of the world and you’re having a celebratory dinner with premium steaks, or your BFF from university is exploring the Okanagan for the first time, or you simply want to raise a glass to a fond memory.

Music pairing: I’m Gonna Be, The Proclaimers


VinAmite Gamay Noir

Wine: Gamay Noir, 2018

Winery: VinAmité, Oliver

Why drink it? A red wine for white wine drinkers, Gamay Noir is a light and bright summer red that does well with a brief chill, 10 to 20 minutes in the fridge, before serving. This bottle, from one of the friendliest wineries in the southern part of the Okanagan, opens with aromas of raspberries, cranberry compote, violets, and a hint of vanilla bean thanks to soft oak treatment. Don’t let the light ruby colour trick you into thinking this will have simple flavours, but take time to explore layers of red fruits, some anise and clove spice notes, and fresh purple plums. Drink within one to three years.

Price: $30

Pair with: Perfect with a platter of charcuterie on the patio with friends, or a morning omelet with mild savoury notes from a soft, ripe cheese or crumbled sausage left over from last night’s dinner. Give it a try with a fresh raspberry-rhubarb pie just for fun.

Music pairing: Our Lips Are Sealed, The Go-Go’s

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