Time for a taste of autumn

Ready for fall?

It’s not often that us folks in the Okanagan wish for summer to be over, but if you’re already looking forward to the colours and flavours of autumn – the pumpkin spice latte is already available, by the way – as I am, let’s start planning our beverage choices.

A few suggestions for this time of year when it’s not yet sweater weather, but it’s definitely time for a cardigan after the sun goes down.

August is rosé month, and it’s a perfect wine to pair with almost anything. Gather fresh stone fruits and the last of this year’s fresh berries for a fruit salad, especially with slightly sweeter styles of rosé, or choose a drier style for charcuterie on the patio before it gets too chilly. Options: Gray Monk Latitude 50 Rosé, Stag’s Hollow Syrah Rosé.

If you haven’t ventured away from your tried-and-true favourite white wine varietals, now’s the time to branch out. Look for bottles you’ve always wondered about, with a bit of weight and body to the wine to go with colder temperatures. Consider a pasta dish with rich cream sauce or a fancy grilled cheese for dinner, or grilled salmon from the barbecue. Options: Blue Mountain Pinot Blanc, Play Estate Winery Semillon.

Speaking of white wines, give a blend a try. Whether or not you’re searching for a bottle to pair with something to nosh on, explore the world of Marsannes with Rousannes, Semillons and Sauvignon Blancs, or a white Meritage. Both classic and quirky choices are out there. Options: Wild Goose Autumn Gold, Winemaker’s Cut BOHO Beat. Bonus ironic option: Township 7’s Homecoming, made especially for Ironman Canada.

There are two lighter red “noirs” that beautifully transition from summer to fall, either for simply sipping or lighter fair from the grill: Gamay and Pinot.

Gamay Noir is a lovely red to enjoy with meaty or oilier fish dishes, and its fruitiness lends itself to fresh fruit salsa, perhaps spooned over a salmon steak, or with fresh fish tacos. Like rosé, it’s also a delight with the cured meats on a charcuterie platter. Options: Haywire (Okanagan Crush Pad) Gamay, Rust Winery Gamay.

Pinot Noir is a classic red, and no bottle from the Okanagan is ever quite the same as the next. Some are light and fruity, some bolder with dusty tannins. Ask a wine drinker to name their favourite Pinot and they will either name one right away, or take too long to ponder the question. Options: Tantalus Vineyards Maija Pinot Noir, La Frenz Desperation Hill Pinot Noir.

And for that first chilly night, time something fortified, sweet or bubbly (or some combo thereof) for dessert. My perennial favourites, if you can find them: Vin Amité Ouest (port style), Quail’s Gate Botrytis Affected Optima (sweet white), or Cipes Ice (Pinot Noir bubbly).

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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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.

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