Wine Reviews  

2020 Stag’s Hollow Albari?o

Stag’s Hollow Albari?o

Wine: Albari?o, 2020

Winery: Stag’s Hollow, Okanagan Falls

Why drink it? Only a handful of B.C. wineries are playing with this Iberian varietal that produces a refreshing, fresh, dry white wine. When you’re ready to expand from more common whites, give this bottle a try. Its journey took it, in portions, through stainless, French oak, and concrete. The nose has zesty notes of lemon and grapefruit with tropical hints. On the palate the citrus comes through with Okanagan stone fruits and some smooth complexity from lees contact, giving it just a bit of weight, and as the winery describes, some salinity. The latter will remind you of cool evening waves by the ocean.

Pair with: Seafood fresh from the brine, especially shellfish, simply treated with a splash of lemon. Grilled halibut or cod with salsa verde on the side as an experiment. Paired well with a variety of takeout veggie and seafood tempura, and pasta with pesto.

Price: $24

Music pairing: Between Us, Harry Connick Jr.


Bartier Bros. 2019 The Orchard Row (red blend)

Bartier Bros. Orchard Row

Wine: The Orchard Row (red blend), 2019

Winery: Bartier Bros., Oliver

Why drink it? Formerly the house wine at the winery, this bright red blend of Cabernet Franc, Gamay Noir, Pinot Noir, and a touch of Syrah has a bit of story. The grapes come from a single row that was planted with vines leftover from the initial planting of the vineyard. It’s a testament to not wasting anything. Violets and wildflowers on the nose with the scent of freshly picked strawberries emerging after a swirl. The palate then leans towards dark plums and ripe raspberries, and French oak treatment comes through on the finish with some light spice notes, then noteworthy tannins.

Pair with: Leftovers, of course. Create a hearty stew or soup with fall veggies you’ve been looking at in the fridge and wondering what to do with, and include some ground meat that didn’t make it into another dish. Also good with grilled sausages thrown on a brioche bun.

Price: $37

Music pairing: Hey Brother, Avicii

Left Field Cider Co.

Left Field Cider

Cidery: Left Field Cider Co., near Merritt

Why drink it? Why not cider for a change? It’s not just for hot summer days, is a perfect autumn drink, and there are many craft cideries around the province exploring unique production techniques and fun flavours. Like this one: cider fermented in bourbon barrels. The core tart apple cider scents come through, with a touch of vanilla from the barrel treatment and some smokiness. It’s dry, in the tradition of English ciders, surprisingly complex, and if bourbon is your drink of choice, you’ll find some hints of it. Some tannins to appreciate on the sophisticated finish.

Pair with: Holiday dinners in place of sparkling wine as an aperitif, or alongside the main course for something different. Serve with anything apple-based from crumbles to pie to tartes during prime apple harvest season, or around a campfire with s’mores.

Price: $16 (750 ml)

Music pairing: Grateful, Rita Ora

Mission Hill 2019 Vista’s Edge Cabernet Franc

Vista’s Edge Cabernet Franc

Wine: Vista’s Edge Cabernet Franc, 2019

Winery: Mission Hill, West Kelowna

Why drink it? Part of the winery’s Terroir Collection, a series of wines that explores the microclimates in Okanagan wine country, the grapes for this bottle come from the southern tip of the valley, from a vineyard in the edge of the U.S. border. Characteristic cab franc aromas of earthy herbs and blueberries rise from the glass, with a nod of oak notes from the French barrique treatment. You’ll taste further herbaceous flavours and dark plums, surprisingly bright acidity, and a lengthy finish with medium tannins. You’ll want to take some time to savour this bottle sip by sip.

Pair with: Your favourite lamb dish, the classic pairing with duck, or roast chicken with rosemary or tarragon. Give fennel a shot in a side dish of some sort. Find a good steak and kidney pie from a local bakery or on a bistro’s take home heat-and-eat menu.

Price: $60

Music pairing: Slow Hands, Niall Horan

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