2021 Sumac Ridge Private Reserve Cabernet-Merlot

Sumac Ridge Cab-Merlot

Wine: Private Reserve Cabernet-Merlot, 2021

Winery: Sumac Ridge, Summerland

Why drink it? A blend of two cabs – Sauvignon and Franc – with Merlot, this is a good bottle to have on hand for the occasional pop-in by friends or neighbours, or to grab on your way out the door if you’re the one doing the spontaneous pop-in. Plenty of aromas of fresh strawberries, raspberries, and ripe red fruits with a bit of spice and cocoa. The flavours bring in those fruits with some cherry, plus a hint of vanilla owing to the oak treatment and malolactic fermentation. Approachable and pleasant, medium bodied with lighter tannins on the finish.

Pair with: Turn a bottle into mulled hot chocolate: simmer half-cup cocoa powder, 2 cinnamon sticks, 8 star anise cloves, touch of ginger, two-thirds cup dark chocolate chips, cup of cold water, half-cup brown sugar till dissolved. Add wine, orange slices, fresh cranberries last and keep warm.

Price: $15

Music pairing: Invincible, Pat Benatar

More Wine Reviews articles

About the Author

As a kid, Shelley Boettcher often found herself in the back seat of a pick-up, exploring the back roads of the Okanagan Valley with her parents. They’d occasionally leave her and her brother in the car while they stopped at mysterious addresses to buy wine. They would emerge, clearly happy, as they stuck a box or a few bottles in the vehicle. Then they would continue on their journey.

But it wasn’t until a trip to Spain in 2000 that Shelley herself fell in love with wine. She came home from the holiday and promptly told her editor she wanted to become a wine writer.

And she did. 

An award-winning food and wine writer and editor, Shelley holds her master’s degree in journalism and her advanced WSET certification, as well as her level 2 International Sommelier Guild certification. A wine columnist for the Calgary Herald, she spent a decade as CBC Radio’s national syndicated wine columnist and she has written three books about wine, including two that were Canadian bestsellers. Her byline has appeared in magazines and newspapers around the world, including the New York Times, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail and Postmedia newspapers across Canada. 

Shelley has travelled throughout many of the world’s wine regions and countries, including Niagara, Oregon, Washington, California, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Australia, Germany, Argentina and the Republic of Georgia. A few years ago, she even tracked down and visited a winery in Denmark. 

Shelley has also served as a professional wine judge regionally and internationally, including the Okanagan Wine Festivals, Vinitaly and the Chianti Classico Consortium. For more than a decade, she has been a restaurant wine list judge for the Vancouver International Wine Festival, too. She still teases her parents for sparking her love for wine, especially BC wine.

And her favourite? Whatever she's drinking at the moment.

You can follow Shelley on Instagram @shelleyboettcher or Twitter at @shelley_wine. 

If you have a BC wine you’d like to suggest, email Shelley at [email protected] with the name of the wine and a short note about why you enjoyed it.