Wine Reviews  

Snoop Dogg, 19 Crimes, Cali Red 2019

Snoop Dogg, Cali Red 2019

Wine: Snoop Dogg, Cali Red 2019

Winery: 19 Crimes, California

Why drink it? Yes, Snoop Dogg, like many celebrities, has a wine. The label simply says: composition – red wine, origin – California. A blend of Petite Syrah and Zinfandel (and maybe a touch of Merlot?), if you enjoy the juicy red fruit flavours of Zin, the candy-like jammy-ness of this bottle is will be enjoyable. The colour is a deep, bright red with purple undertones. The aromas? Slightly toasted, a hint of vanilla wafers, and of you take a deep sniff, BBQ potato chips. Smoother than you might expect on the palate, with blueberries and hazelnut flavours, it finishes with a slightly sweet note, perhaps like Snoop himself.

Pair with: For a full-on Snoop Dogg experience, pick up a copy of his cook book, From Crook to Cook, and give a recipe a shot. Perhaps the spaghetti and meatballs, or the fried bologna sandwich with chips. Or find episodes of Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party to watch for inspiration.

Price: $20

Music pairing: Lay Low, Snoop Dogg


Seven Stones 2013 Row 128 Merlot

2013 Row 128 Merlot

Wine: Row 128 Merlot, 2013

Winery: Seven Stones, Similkameen

Why drink it? One of the best Merlots from the region, worth seeking out to see if for no other reason than to decide if you agree, or compare with another vintage from the winery. The aromas are complex and inviting with much to explore from earthiness, olives, and well-worn leather to dark fruits and cherries. Dark chocolate and blueberry jam on the palate, with a lingering finish that is decidedly smooth (especially older vintages), with roasted espresso beans and cedar notes behind plums and a bit of vanilla. Dry, expressive, and a delightful bottle that expresses the Similkameen.

Pair with: Perfectly fine on its own thanks to its age, for leisurely sipping on a cold evening, or pair with a dish that has some body; something meaty or cheesy, or both. A cheesy gratin, a hearty stew, meatballs served as an appetizer just for fun.

Price: $28

Music pairing: Seven Days in Sunny June, Jamiroquai

2018 Merlot from Time Winery

2018 Time Merlot

Wine: Merlot, 2018

Winery: Time, Penticton

Why drink it? Merlot is a classic that can stand the test of time. A bottle or two on hand are convenient choices for those evenings when a glass of red wine is in order after a complicated day. This one is uncomplicated, simply inviting you to enjoy. Dark cherry, Satsuma plums (with the red inside), and a bit of coffee bean on the nose, with the fruit aromas taking center stage. Oak aging comes through on the palate with some cedar and body, richer than you might expect, with reasonably present tannins and a medium to long finish. Drink now meats and cheeses, or let it rest for two or three years.

Pair with: A meaty lasagna with extra cheese, homemade vegetarian chili, takeout black bean broccoli stir fry with or without beef. Almost any burger with a robust list of toppings, or find a recipe for a rich mushroom or onion dip and enjoy with tortilla chips and some binge watching.

Price: $25

Music pairing: Slow Ride, Foghat


2018 Burrowing Owl Chardonnay

Burrowing Owl Chardonnay

Wine: Chardonnay, 2018

Winery: Burrowing Owl, OIiver

Why drink it? Maybe this is the bottle that can convert the “ABC” – anything but chardonnay – wine drinker to branch out. Hand-picked and hand-sorted, some artistry and care went into this chard to ensure balance between crisp fruit notes and creamy oak tones from a variety of barrels. Granny Smith apple and fresh pear prevail on the nose, with a bit of butter that hints at what’s to come on the palate: flavours of tropical fruits and toasted almonds behind an elegant creaminess that delightfully lingers. After a couple of years resting on the wine rack, open now or give it a few more years to evolve.

Pair with: A creamy chicken and mushroom soup, or a buttery corn and potato chowder. Grilled stone fruits when in season as a side dish, or create a unique grilled cheese with homemade bread, plenty of sliced Havarti, and peach and apricot relish on top.

Price: $30

Music pairing: Something to Save, George Michael

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