vinAmite Quest (Port-style)

vinAmite Quest

This the last wine review by Castanet's long-time wine reviewer Allison Markin. Well-known and well respected in the B.C. wine industry, Markin will continue to write her popular Okanagan Taste column on Castanet, which will now focus on food and events. We thank Allison for her many years of dedicated service helping to educate our readers about the multitude of excellent wines produced in B.C.

Wine: Ouest (Port-style)

Winery: vinAmite, Oliver

Why drink it? There are 3-year, 5-year, and this 7-year port-style wines in this collection, the numbers indicating the length of aging. Should you be lucky enough to have all three, they’d make fine evening of comparing and contrasting. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah, the fortification comes from distilled 2012 Cab Sauv. Tucked out of sight until release, the intensity of aromas and flavours has increased, but there is also a subline softness to the deep plum, chocolate covered cherry, and Chambord-esque notes, with just a hint of cinnamon-caramel sauce on the finish.

Pair with: A brunch with friends and family; ask everyone to bring their favourite aged cheese to share for grazing, pair with fig jam or raspberry jam. Serve a pulled pork frittata for the main, then a finale of rich cinnamon buns drizzled with caramel sauce instead of icing.

Price: $65

Music pairing: La Chanson de Catherine, Edith Piaf

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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.