Wine Reviews  

2018 Okanagan Crush Pad Bizou + Yukon Pinkie Rosé

Okanagan Crush Pad Rosé

Wine: Bizou + Yukon Pinkie Rosé, 2018

Winery: Okanagan Crush Pad, Summerland

Why drink it? The label is inspired by the two Great Pyrenees pooches who roam the vineyards and have fans checking in on them via social media. The wine is a reflection of, and perfect for, chilling with your canine besties. Aromas of red summer berries, meadow flowers, with hints of citrus. The red berries are joined by sour cherry and watermelon notes on the palate, with a bit of tart cranberry juice. Bright and refreshing acidity throughout, that peaks on the juicy finish with a lift of mouth-watering grapefruit. Pinkie is also now available in convenient picnic-friendly cans.

Pair with: Whatever snacks you have on hand that you can toss on a patio table or a picnic blanket on a hot day, with not a care to be had except who has the best ‘life hack’ for making the best onion dip out of a soup packet and the dill growing in the backyard.

Price: $20

Music pairing: Flowers In Your Hair, The Lumineers

2020 Mission Hill Reserve Meritage red blend

2020 Mission Hill red blend

Wine: Reserve Meritage (red blend), 2020

Winery: Mission Hill, West Kelowna

Why drink it? A blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot, these distinct Bordeaux varietals come from the warmer vineyard sites in the southern tip of the Okanagan near Oliver and Osoyoos. The heat allows for full ripening and a flavourful bottle of red. Aromas of dark red fruits, wild blackberries, and bramble as if you’re walking through rows of raspberry bushes on a warm evening. Aged in both French and American oak, the dark fruit flavours are joined by some toasted cedar and vanilla. Drink now with dinner, or age for another 3 to 5 years.

Pair with: Lamb chops, a good grilled burger topped with an aged hard cheese, a dense mushroom risotto, or experiment with a gourmet grilled cheese with layers of flavours including a savoury blackberry jam or red fruit ‘ketchup’ for dipping.

Price: $30

Music pairing: Flowers Need Rain, Preston Pablo and Banx & Ranx

2021 Stag's Hollow Tragically Vidal

2021 Stag's Hollow white

Wine: Tragically Vidal, 2021

Winery: Stag’s Hollow, Okanagan Falls

Why drink it? This wine recently won double gold at the International Cascadia competition, where one judge called it a perfect example of Vidal, a typically slightly sweet, tropically-scented white wine you may more often see as an icewine. This table wine version takes you back to an Okanagan orchard in late summer, and is ripe with classic stone fruit and pineapple notes with just a hint of ginger. Rich and luxurious, pear and apple flavours emerge on the finish with balancing acidity and blood orange citrus elements. A well-deserved accolade.

Pair with: A fresh fruit salad, or a fruit compote dolloped over pancakes or French toast topped with crème fraiche. Will pair well with most roasted poultry dishes, coconut and squash soup with a bit of Asian or Indian spices in the mix.

Price: $20

Music pairing: Wheat Kings, Tragically Hip

2015 Volcanic Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Volcanic Hills

Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015

Winery: Volcanic Hills, West Kelowna

Why drink it? This wine just won double gold at the International Cascadia competition. A deep, dark red in the glass, and a swirl will first give you aromas of blackberry bramble, dark plums, and cedar, then opens to notes of black pepper and cassis. The latter two continue on the palate with a bit of toasty oak emerging, with a pleasant blend of black fruit flavours with black currants dominating. Medium bodied and a bit lighter than expected, and well balanced and with a pleasant finish. This wine is hitting its peak at seven years in the bottle, so consume soon.

Pair with: Grilled tenderloin bruschetta topped with a touch of blue cheese, or a main course of steak with potatoes au gratin on the side. Grilled portobello mushrooms, braised short ribs, or just give a savoury blackberry sauce a shot over your favourite meatballs.

Price: $46

Music pairing: Burning Down, Robert Plant

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