Love the wine you're with

It’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, and that means, for some, choosing a bottle of wine is a paramount part of the preparations.

There are many B.C wines I could suggest for the occasion, but instead I asked a handful of winery folks to tell me about their favourite bottle and why they love it.

These bottles are tied to memories, and that’s really want counts, no matter the wine.

Jeff Del Nin, Winemaker, Road 13 Vineyards
Wine: Campbell’s Rare Muscat from the Rutherglen region of Victoria, Australia.
Why I love it: It is a fortified, and extremely old dessert wine that is aged for decades in a solera system.

The complexity and richness in the wine is mind-blowing, and it fills me with a sense of awe and respect that wines of such majesty and perfection exist in this world.

Drinking one of these wines always reminds me of the 10 years I lived in Australia and all of the dinner parties that ended with a Rutherglen Muscat and sticky date pudding.

Christie Mavety, Proprietor, Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars
Wine: La Moussiere (Sauvignon Blanc), from Alphonse Mellot, Sancerre, France.
Why I love it: Fond memories of a visit to this domaine many years ago. After seven hours and many vintages, I will always have a special spot for this wine.

John Skinner, Proprietor, Painted Rock Estate Winery
Wine: 1998 Burrowing Owl Merlot and Cabernet Franc
Why I love it: In the early 1990s, my wife, young kids and I holidayed for the first time on the lake in Osoyoos. I asked a neighbour what that huge excavation was that we could see on Black Sage road. He explained that it was a new winery called Borrowing Owl; he then told me how the government had a new policy, paying wineries to pull out hybrids and plant vinifera to improve the quality of our wines.

I went home and explained to my wine club “if the wines coming out of Burrowing Owl are any good, maybe, there would be a good market timing investment opportunity to get in the industry.”

In 2000, my family and I returned from a European vacation in August. Several days later, I found two bottles of wine on my doorstep with a note asking, “are you getting in?”

My friend had dropped off a bottle each of the ‘98 Burrowing Owl Merlot and Cabernet Franc. I opened both bottles and phoned him.

All I said was “yup!” and that was the beginning of our journey.

Mary McDermott, Winemaker, Township 7 Vineyards and Winery
Wine: 1990 Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne, from Maison Ruinart, the first established champagne house.
Why I love it: Dom Ruinart Millésimé is entirely made from Chardonnay grapes. It is a blend of different terroirs but all without exception Grand Cru. Tasting this wine was a revelation and the beginning of a love of champagne and sparkling wine that has continued to this day. The mousse was creamy with fine bubbles and the aromatics were divine.

This wine sent me on the journey to now producing sparkling wine.

Evan Saunders, Winemaker, Blasted Church Vineyards
Wine: Larmandier-Bernier Latitude Blanc de Blancs (chardonnay), from Champagne Larmandier-Bernier, France.
Why I love it: Latitude takes me back to France and a small wine bar in Paris’ Bastille. My little bit of French, their little bit of English, and plenty of gesturing brought my wife and I to this wine.

We shared it with friends in Beaujolais, and each time I have had it since it brings me back to eating spectacular bread, cheese, and charcuterie in their sun-filled kitchen in Villefranche-sur-Saône. Amazing!


Comments are pre-moderated to ensure they meet our guidelines. Approval times will vary. Keep it civil, and stay on topic. If you see an inappropriate comment, please use the ‘flag’ feature. Comments are the opinions of the comment writer, not of Castanet. Comments remain open for one day after a story is published and are closed on weekends. Visit Castanet’s Forums to start or join a discussion about this story.

More Okanagan Taste articles

About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories