Wine Reviews  

2016 Rollingdale Fort from West Kelowna

2016 Rollingdale Fort

Wine: Fort, 2016

Winery: Rollingdale, West Kelowna

Why drink it? Fort is a fortified port-style wine made with organic Marechal Foch grapes, so it is to be sipped with care, at 22 percent alcohol, though you won’t feel the effect immediately. But you will feel it. This is a rich wine, and from the first sniff of the aromas of blueberry jam and toasted nuts, your sweet tooth will sense a treat is coming. The blueberry element combines with flavours of back cherries and dark chocolate, candied almonds, and a bit of raspberry on the finish, which is lighter than expected, but still leaves all of these flavours lingering for some time.

Pair with: You could get yourself a very creamy brie or other soft cheese to spread on a cracker and top with a touch of jam, or you could experiment with this in a cocktail. But all you really need to do to enjoy is sip slowly after dinner on the last cold night before spring.

Price: $39

Music pairing: Easy, Dragonette

Snoop Dogg, 19 Crimes, Cali Red 2019

Snoop Dogg, Cali Red 2019

Wine: Snoop Dogg, Cali Red 2019

Winery: 19 Crimes, California

Why drink it? Yes, Snoop Dogg, like many celebrities, has a wine. The label simply says: composition – red wine, origin – California. A blend of Petite Syrah and Zinfandel (and maybe a touch of Merlot?), if you enjoy the juicy red fruit flavours of Zin, the candy-like jammy-ness of this bottle is will be enjoyable. The colour is a deep, bright red with purple undertones. The aromas? Slightly toasted, a hint of vanilla wafers, and of you take a deep sniff, BBQ potato chips. Smoother than you might expect on the palate, with blueberries and hazelnut flavours, it finishes with a slightly sweet note, perhaps like Snoop himself.

Pair with: For a full-on Snoop Dogg experience, pick up a copy of his cook book, From Crook to Cook, and give a recipe a shot. Perhaps the spaghetti and meatballs, or the fried bologna sandwich with chips. Or find episodes of Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party to watch for inspiration.

Price: $20

Music pairing: Lay Low, Snoop Dogg

Seven Stones 2013 Row 128 Merlot

2013 Row 128 Merlot

Wine: Row 128 Merlot, 2013

Winery: Seven Stones, Similkameen

Why drink it? One of the best Merlots from the region, worth seeking out to see if for no other reason than to decide if you agree, or compare with another vintage from the winery. The aromas are complex and inviting with much to explore from earthiness, olives, and well-worn leather to dark fruits and cherries. Dark chocolate and blueberry jam on the palate, with a lingering finish that is decidedly smooth (especially older vintages), with roasted espresso beans and cedar notes behind plums and a bit of vanilla. Dry, expressive, and a delightful bottle that expresses the Similkameen.

Pair with: Perfectly fine on its own thanks to its age, for leisurely sipping on a cold evening, or pair with a dish that has some body; something meaty or cheesy, or both. A cheesy gratin, a hearty stew, meatballs served as an appetizer just for fun.

Price: $28

Music pairing: Seven Days in Sunny June, Jamiroquai


2018 Merlot from Time Winery

2018 Time Merlot

Wine: Merlot, 2018

Winery: Time, Penticton

Why drink it? Merlot is a classic that can stand the test of time. A bottle or two on hand are convenient choices for those evenings when a glass of red wine is in order after a complicated day. This one is uncomplicated, simply inviting you to enjoy. Dark cherry, Satsuma plums (with the red inside), and a bit of coffee bean on the nose, with the fruit aromas taking center stage. Oak aging comes through on the palate with some cedar and body, richer than you might expect, with reasonably present tannins and a medium to long finish. Drink now meats and cheeses, or let it rest for two or three years.

Pair with: A meaty lasagna with extra cheese, homemade vegetarian chili, takeout black bean broccoli stir fry with or without beef. Almost any burger with a robust list of toppings, or find a recipe for a rich mushroom or onion dip and enjoy with tortilla chips and some binge watching.

Price: $25

Music pairing: Slow Ride, Foghat

More Wine Reviews articles