Wine Reviews  

2018 Ex Nihilo Riesling Estate Ice Wine

Riesling Estate Ice Wine

Wine: Riesling Estate Ice Wine, 2018

Winery: Ex Nihilo, Lake Country

Why drink it? It won’t be long until we reach the few days of sustained freezing weather required for the chilly hand-harvesting of frozen grapes. Carefully picked and pressed in the middle of the night, the result is a luscious treat. For Riesling fans you’ll find some familiar aromas of pear, honey comb, nectarines. The goal with ice wine is to find a balance between sweetness and acidity, and this bottle meets that goal as it starts with lush flavours and body, then ends with a somewhat refreshing finish. Enjoy a small glass on a cold night and say cheers to the crew that ventured into the vineyard to produce it.

Pair with: A classic pairing that contrasts the sweetness is a selection of salty or pungent cheeses, creamy goat cheese included. A savoury version of shortbread cookies –parmesan and thyme – will do nicely. With dessert, choose a crème brulée.

Price: $40

Music pairing: Waiting on a Friend, The Rolling Stones

2018 Stag's Hollow Teroldego

Stag's Hollow Teroldego

Wine: Teroldego, 2018

Winery: Stag’s Hollow, Okanagan Falls

Why drink it? What is Teroldego? A bold choice to bring to the Okanagan, to start, as the grape traditionally enjoys the soil and climate of Northern Italy. In the glass, the deep, ink purple is reminiscent of magenta. On the nose, you’ll find a subtle earthiness and vibrant notes of blueberry syrup and blackberry jam. You might think it needs to age, but it is surprisingly drinkable with blueberries continuing from the aromas, cherry pie filling, light minerality, and dusty tannins with refined oak notes on the finish. Think Syrah with a twist; bold indeed.

Pair with: Break out a big, hearty, Italian pasta dish with a thick, meaty sauce. Order in a meat-lover’s pizza with extra sauce and bacon. Take a stab at making your own boeuf bourguignon. Roast or braise fall veggies with a spice blend of cumin, paprika, cardamom, and serve over wild rice.

Price: $42

Music pairing: Time for Me to Fly, REO Speedwagon

2019 Noble Ridge Pinot Grigio

Noble Ridge Pinot Grigio

Wine: Reserve Pinot Grigio, 2019

Winery: Noble Ridge, Okanagan Falls

Why drink it? A classic grape – call it Grigio or Gris, this bottle favours the Italian name to honour the country from which PG is thought to have originated – this bottle takes the old-world style of the varietal and gives it some Okanagan character. The aromas are bright with orange peel, white peach, lemon-lime, and hints of slivered almonds. The fresh flavours continue with citrus, guava, and tropical melon combined with some pear and tropical melon slices. The finish is refreshing and lingers just long enough to make things interesting.

Pair with: The winery suggests antipasti. Melon slices wrapped in prosciutto will do nicely, as will lighter creamy pasta dishes with chicken or veggies. Works very well with takeout fish and chips with a couple of squeezes of lemon and some good tartar sauce.

Price: $19

Music pairing: Goodbye to Rome, Perry Como

2017 Little Engine Platinum Merlot

Little Engine Merlot

Wine: Platinum Merlot, 2017

Winery: Little Engine, Naramata

Why drink it? It’s a club exclusive and sold out … so you need to find a good friend with a bottle, or book a tasting at the winery to experience their entire portfolio including two other Merlot options. This one would have changed the mind of Miles in Sideways in one sip. Intense aromas on the nose of dark chocolate and freshly ground espresso with a bit of spice and dark cherry, not to mention a beautiful deep red colour in the glass. Flavours of cassis, dark fruits, and cedar pair with gentle oak notes and some creaminess from malolactic fermentation, ending with an elegant and balanced finish.

Pair with: A good steak, roast beef, or a burger with caramelized onions and bleu cheese on top, with garlic mashed potatoes or crispy fries on the side. A dark chocolate torte with raspberry or currant sauce. Or just open your bottle with the good friend you want to share it with.

Price: $85

Music pairing: Georgia on a Fast Train, Billy Joe Shaver

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