Monday Magazine wine columnist Robert Moyes. Photo by Don Denton/Black Press

Monday Magazine wine columnist Robert Moyes. Photo by Don Denton/Black Press

PERFECTLY POTABLE: Take a trip from California to Italy to Okanagan

Wine notes by Robert Moyes features the latest vintages to cross his palate

It’s hard to imagine a more attractive entry-level California Chardonnay than the 2017 Artius ($15).

Supple, medium-bodied and surprisingly elegant, the Artius has an enticingly fruity bouquet that follows through with flavours of apricot, lemon, melon, and a hint of pineapple. The velvety mouthfeel and long finish are further indications that the Artius should be of interest to other than just budget shoppers. And this little beauty even goes on sale fairly often!

The Puglia region of southern Italy produces many affordable and very quaffable wines. Case in point is the Codici Salice Salentino ($17.25), which is made predominantly from the Negroamaro grape. Deeply coloured and full-bodied, this aromatic wine has an enticing palate of dark fruits such as blackberries and prunes that are complemented by hints of olives and a lick of spice. This would be great with lamb or beef or a garlicky pasta, but is also attractive just as a patio sipper.

The Okanagan’s Hester Creek has been making fine wines for decades and certainly has a handle on Pinot Gris, B.C.’s most popular white varietal. Their full-bodied 2018 vintage ($22) is on the dry side, with pear and green apple on the nose, followed by a palate of melon, apricot and a hint of citrus. Although it would be great with Asian dishes, my wife and I had this with fresh pan-seared Pacific halibut steaks tweaked with pesto – delicious!

My two-man “Wine Club” had been in serious disarray for a couple of months but when we finally had a meeting recently we came back strongly with the 2015 E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone ($28.75), a Syrah-dominant blend. Rhone wines have a high quality-to-price ratio and this one delivered from the first sip: a spicy nose was followed by lush dark fruits on the palate, and nicely endowed with those herby “garrigue” notes characteristic of serious Rhone reds. Delicious now, but could cellar for a few more years.

(All prices include tax.)

Food and WineRobert Moyes

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future

Royal BC Museum dives into the world of orcas with upcoming feature exhibition

Joan Miller with the Vancouver Island North Regional Film Commission says there’s much room for optimism in the region rebounding from COVID-19 and is excited about what the future holds for the region. Black Press File Photo
North Island film industry optimistic about post-COVID rebound

Interest in filming here is still high, according to film commission, once things open back up

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, has been filming in Langford and Colwood over the past two weeks. On April 7, filming will take place on the east side of the Esquimalt Lagoon. (Black Press Media file)
Netflix series ‘Maid’ filming in Colwood

10-episode Warner Bros. production filmed exclusively in Greater Victoria

Victoria mural artists Joshua Lundrigan (from left) and Paul Archer join Rob Chyzowski, co-owner of Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner in front of an Archer-designed mural that went up on Thursday at the Inner Harbour restaurant. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Positivity rules with new outdoor mural from Victoria artist

Paul Archer teams with Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner for patio project

Donna Jones, who was born and raised in the Cowichan Valley, is the executive director of the documentary ‘Bobbi Jo: Under the Influence’. (Submitted)
Islander produces documentary offering hope to those with addictions

Donna Jones and husband Brent just released Bobbi Jo: Under the Influence

‘Frank Ney’ by Patrick Flavin, ‘Millstone River Upper Falls’ by John Collison Baker, ‘Labyrinth of Dreams’ by MA Molcan, ‘On the Other Side’ by Liana Ravensbergen, ‘December Snow’ by Laurel Karjala and ‘Jacks Point’ by Dana Smiley (cropped, clockwise from top-left) are among the works in the Nanaimo Arts Council’s latest exhibition. (Photos courtesy Nanaimo Arts Council)
Nanaimo Arts Council presents its first online gallery show

Submissions now open for upcoming ‘Ekphrastic Celebration’ show

Dorothy Sevcov’s exhibition ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ is on display at Art 10 Gallery until the end of the month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Experimental paintings now on exhibit at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Dorothy Sevcov’s ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ on display through April

Courtenay artist Christine Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick from April 9 to 23. (Photo courtesy Christine Boyer)
Island painter shows off the wildflowers of Western Canada in first solo show

Courtenay’s Christine Boyer presents floral exhibit at Nanaimo’s Gallery Merrick

Nanaimo Harbourfront Library librarian April Ripley led the effort to create a Vancouver Island poetry booklet in recognition of National Poetry Month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Harbourfront Library publishes booklet for National Poetry Month

Collection features winners of ‘Poem in your Pocket’ contest

SENCOTEN language revitalizationist and filmmaker Renee Sampson’s short film, Bringing Our Language Back to LIfe, shows online during the Reel 2 Real International Youth Film Festival, April 14-23. (Photo courtesy Wapikoni)
SENCOTEN language featured in short film created on Saanich Peninsula

Renee Sampson film highlights importance of passing on traditional languages to youth

The area surrounding the Chemainus Rotary Club’s bunker door is one of the new surfaces that will feature a mural. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Up to three new murals coming to Chemainus

Project will be coordinated between the Rotary Club and Festival of Murals Society

Jules Sherred, photographer and owner of Polaris Creative, is putting together an exhibit that combines two of his greatest passions: food and advocacy for those with disabilities. (Polaris Creative photo)
Kickstarter launches for fully accessible exhibit focused on food

Raising awareness has been Sherred’s life’s work.

Sooke artist Jessica Ruth Freedman is one of nine virtual in-residence artists who share the creative process, conduct webinars, write and offer sage advice with artsUNITE, a free online wayfinding platform for artists. (Contributed - Jessica Ruth Freedman)
Sooke artist joins artsUNITE, getting creative through pandemic

National program brings much-needed support to arts community

Most Read