PERFECTLY POTABLE: Inniskillin’s Okanagan cab sauv a versatile red

Robert Moyes offers up this month’s interesting pick of wines to try out

Robert Moyes

Monday Magazine columnist

Inniskillin is a long-time Ontario winery that opened a satellite operation in Oliver in 1994.

Their 2016 Okanagan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is smooth and medium-bodied, with classic notes of bell pepper, plum, and cassis. There are generous hints of oak and a decent finish – marking this as an easy-drinking red that would stand up to a steak, but it is also well matched with pasta dishes and most barbecue meats. It’s fairly priced at just under $18.

If spring ever decides to get here you’ll want to head onto the patio with a big glass of Argentina’s Santa Julia Pinot Grigio ($15.60) in hand. Ripe “fruit salad” aromas lead to flavours of pear, pineapple, banana and melon that are barely off-dry and never cloyingly sweet. This is a lighter style wine with good balance, refreshing acidity and a long finish. Perfect before dinner, or with salads.

If you have a hankering for dinner with a multiple award winner, check out the 30 Mile Shiraz hailing from South Eastern Australia. Very attractively priced at $16, this is a smooth, full-flavoured, slightly jammy wine that is eager to show your palate a good time. Black cherry, plum and blackberry flavours dominate, with hints of mocha and spice. Hey, is that a lamb shoulder chop I smell on the barbie?

And I hope you’ve saved up for a splurge, because here’s a gloriously seductive, full-throttle wine that knocked me sideways at a recent tasting. J Lohr’s Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon ($51.75) hails from California’s Pasa Robles area and could give a lot of higher-end Napa Cabs a run for the money. Dense but soft, with an enticing bouquet and ravishing layers of black plum, cassis, dark chocolate and black cherry that shamelessly caress the palate, this full-bodied and intense wine is tailor-made for hedonists.

Trust me.

All prices include tax.

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