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.
Music pairing: Invincible, Pat Benatar