Even though Alberta’s naughty Premier Notley has now stopped the war on the B.C. wine industry, it’s still a good idea for provincial loyalists to step up at the till and buy a few extra bottles of Okanagan joy juice.
One to consider is Honest John’s Red ($23), which comes from Road 13, a family-run winery between Osoyoos and Oliver. A six-varietal blend dominated by Merlot and Gamay, this is a very smooth, appealing wine featuring bold and savoury notes of blackberry and other dark fruits, along with hints of pepper and spice. Ironically, it’s named after a long-ago B.C. premier, John Oliver.
A less politicized potable is the 2015 Perez Cruz Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon ($17.75), which comes from the Maipo Valley, Chile’s premium red wine region. Expressive, aromatic and full-bodied, it’s a deservedly popular Cabernet offering flavours of cassis, plum, blackberry and pepper. A year of aging in oak barrels adds elegance and complexity to this attractively priced wine.
And from halfway around the globe comes Lindeman’s Sauvignon Blanc, Bin 95, whose 2017 vintage couldn’t be fresher … or more affordable. This Aussie easy-drinker has delicate aromas of pear, gooseberry, and passionfruit. On the palate are classic flavours of grapefruit and stone fruits that are framed by fresh green herbal hints. Crisp, zingy and dry, this is an appealing, patio-friendly wine that is value priced at $12.65.
And let’s finish with “a smokin’ hot bargain” (to quote the sommelier who was the main attraction at a recent birthday party I was lucky enough to attend). She was referring to the Tormaresca Trentangeli ($22.50), a tangy red from the south of Italy that features the unusual Aglianico varietal (but also contains Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon). Earthy and decidedly astringent, the Tormaresca evokes the rustic charms of a Salice Salentino. Would be perfect with a dinner of hard cheeses, olives, chewy peasant bread, and charcuterie.
(All prices include tax)