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.)

Just Posted

Victoria’s Oktoberfest brings out the Bavarian in all of us

Stein and Dine at Victoria Public Market celebrates German food, beverages, culture on Oct. 19

Restaurant Review: Authentic Mexican molé hits the spot

Restaurante la Tortilla Mexicana’s hearty, spicy sauce works well over enchiladas, writes Allan Reid

REVIEW: Mullins’ Weaksauce hits the mark, like a good hockey pass

UVic Fine Arts alumni and frequent CBC writer’s biographical storytelling show here through Oct. 19

Two local authors walk away with Victoria Book Prize

Kathy Page and Aidan Cassie each walked away with a literary award

Inspirational evening celebrating the power of the arts

The Victoria Guitar Society hosts Syrian Encounter – An Evening with Orontes Quartet, Oct. 18

Fashion Fridays: How to pose in photos

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra launches new season

First up: Celebrating the Concerto on Oct. 27

Trudeau to appear on Jessi Cruickshank’s Facebook Watch show ‘New Mom, Who Dis?’

Federal Liberal leader to do sit-down interview with Canadian media personality on Wednesday

‘Joker’ laughs its way to October box office record

Warner Bros. said “Joker” grossed an estimated $93.5 million in ticket sales from 4,374 screens in North America

Ginger Baker, Cream’s volatile drummer, dies at 80

Baker wielded blues power and jazz technique to help break open popular music in the 1960s

‘Interesting mixture of emotions’: Scott Moir reflects on final tour with Tessa Virtue

Multiple Olympic ice dance gold medallists skating through B.C. during the Rock the Rink tour

It’s onward and upward for Victoria gelato artisan

After winning Gelato Festival gold, Stefano Mosi will compete at North American finals in 2020

Most Read