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Wine Reviews  

OK Crush Pad, Summerland

For Canada’s 150th birthday this year, Castanet is featuring an Okanagan wine each week, celebrating the bottles of our Valley and the diversity of the Canadian wine industry, including suggested food pairings and Canadian music artist to listen to while enjoying a glass. For current availability, consult the winery.

Wine: Haywire Free Form Red, 2015

Winery: Okanagan Crush Pad, Summerland

Why drink it? “Free form” wines are made naturally, with no intervention in the cellar. The Pinot Noir in this wine went into a clay amphorae, not your usual tank or barrel, and was left to rest and essentially tell its own story of the grape, the land, and the environment's terror, if you will, around it. If you’re just getting into wine, work up to this entirely unique creation with deep, dark, black fruits, a whiff of holiday fruit cake on the nose, and an intense flavour profile that starts down a fruity path, winds into earthy woods and wild mushrooms, and ends with melted dark chocolate drizzled over an espresso.

Price: $55

Pair with: Gather a couple of friends who like to talk endlessly about the summer they spent in Burgundy drinking Pinot Noir, as surely they will sip this wine, put their glasses down, start asking questions about it, and spark a debate about which one of you knows more about Pinot.

Classic CanCon music pairing: The Maker, Daniel Lanois

Have a wine you'd like to suggest? Contact us at [email protected], and we will put you in touch with our wine writer.



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Township 7, Naramata

For Canada’s 150th birthday this year, Castanet is featuring an Okanagan wine each week, celebrating the bottles of our Valley and the diversity of the Canadian wine industry, including suggested food pairings and Canadian music artist to listen to while enjoying a glass. For current availability, consult the winery.

Wine: Merlot, 2015

Winery: Township 7, Naramata

Why drink it? Merlot should be a red wine staple as soon as the first reports of snow start coming in and the search for warm comfort begins. Ripe notes of dark cocoa nibs and raspberry jam compete with a light scent of light cigar leaves as you swirl and sniff this deep garnet-coloured wine. Have a glass handy as you prepare a fall harvest dinner, and enjoy flavours of dark plums and ripe red berries, followed by vanilla bean and a bit of dark chocolate. If you’ve stayed away from Merlot because it’s “too big” for your tastebuds, welcome back with this balanced bottle and its soft finish.

Price: $23

Pair with: The winery suggests “seared blueberry duck breast”, but if that’s too fancy, simply pair with beef stew full of roasted fall veggies, spiced with bay leaf and local garlic scape salt, with a side of roasted baby potatoes and plans to watch a movie later.

Classic CanCon music pairing: Make You a Believer, Sass Jordan

Have a wine you'd like to suggest? Contact us at [email protected], and we will put you in touch with our wine writer.



Maple Leaf Spirits, Penticton

For Canada’s 150th birthday this year, Castanet is featuring an Okanagan wine each week, celebrating the bottles of our Valley and the diversity of the Canadian wine industry, including suggested food pairings and Canadian music artist to listen to while enjoying a glass. For current availability, consult the winery.

Wine: Lady of the Cask

Winery: Distillery – Maple Leaf Spirits, Penticton

Why drink it? Yes, this is a spirit, not a wine, but it would be a special treat to finish Thanksgiving dinner, or should go on the gift list for the holidays. And it’s made from grapes. Beautiful Okanagan grapes are lovingly and carefully distilled and aged in the style of a good brandy, spending six years in premium French oak barrels. The result is a golden-hued, amber spirit with rich nutty and butterscotch flavours. One of Canada’s first cognac-style sips, the humbleness of the husband and wife duo at Maple Leaf could certainly brag more about this bottle.

Price: $70

Pair with: As with most brandy or cognac style drinks, this is a delight on its own to finish an elegant dinner, but it can be paired well with a dark chocolate-laden dessert. If you’re anxious to try it during dinner, serve with a selection of salty cheeses.

Classic CanCon music pairing: Drifting Away, Doug and the Slugs

Have a wine you'd like to suggest? Contact us at [email protected], and we will put you in touch with our wine writer.



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Mirabel, West Kelowna

For Canada’s 150th birthday this year, Castanet is featuring an Okanagan wine each week, celebrating the bottles of our Valley and the diversity of the Canadian wine industry, including suggested food pairings and Canadian music artist to listen to while enjoying a glass. For current availability, consult the winery.

Wine: Pinot Noir, 2015

Winery: Mirabel, West Kelowna

Why drink it? Rarely does an Okanagan wine create as much buzz as this pinot without a tasting room (to come), or ample shelf space at your favourite wine shop (buy the wine online). Carefully crafted with a brooding and intricate pinot noir character, this is a bottle to collect, attempt to hold in the cellar, and share with your favourite wine friends. A hearty sniff beguiles with toasty notes wrapped around dark, red fruits. A slow sip wakes the taste buds up to a subtle earthiness surrounded by dark cherry, strawberries, and a hint of hazelnuts. This wine will transport you to a previous life as a poet living in a French vineyard.

Price: $70

Pair with: The earthiness suggests mushrooms, think morels or wild varieties, mushroom risotto. Rare meats – lamb, steak, carpaccio – or roast pork. Tourtiere or really, any harvest-season French-inspired dish that you’ve seen a chef prepare on the Gusto network or a Bourdain show.

Classic CanCon music pairing: Dance Me to the End of Love, Leonard Cohen

Have a wine you'd like to suggest? Contact us at [email protected], and we will put you in touch with our wine writer.



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