Focus on Okanagan wine

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: Cailleteau Gamay Nouveau, 2016

Winery: Quail’s Gate, on the Westside Wine Trail, West Kelowna

Why drink it? A play on Beaujolais Nouveau from France, this Gamay Nouveau comes from one of the Okanagan’s long-standing wineries. Quail’s Gate continues to innovate with this lighter red wine, named for the baby quail that appear all over the region; like its French inspiration, it celebrates the end of harvest. A fruity, vibrant red a bright indigo tinge to the colour, this bottle is meant to be opened and enjoyed now, don’t save it till spring. Easy to drink, try it lightly chilled, maybe ten minutes in the fridge, and enjoy its fresh flavour, with a hint of cherries, vanilla, and spice.

Price: $19.50

Pair with: Relive that time you backpacked around France and ate a lot baguettes. Make up a plate of local soft cheeses and some cured meats alongside some nice bread, and for dessert, a slice of chocolate salami.

Classic cancon music pairing: Hits by Joni Mitchell

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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.