Allison Markin – Mar 21, 2021 / 4:00 am | Story: 328577
Wine: Rosé, 2019
Winery: Monster Vineyards, Penticton
Why drink it? Rosé season is upon us, so let’s jump in with “pink power”, as the winery calls this blend of Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc. Made using the saignée technique in which the juice from red grapes is “bled off” just as fermentation begins, the bright red fruit aromas are notable, and the colour is reminiscent of lightly crushed early season pink raspberries. Rhubarb and strawberry pie notes on the nose with a bit of vanilla lead to Bing cherries and ripe watermelon on the palate, with refreshing finish that is both crisp and a tad sweet.
Pair with: All you really need to do is keep a bottle chilling in the fridge for patio season, though an accidental pairing with BBQ potato chips was surprisingly pleasant. Dig out a recipe for a tart fruit crisp and start getting ready for summer.
Music pairing: Say You’ll Be There, Spice Girls
Allison Markin – Mar 14, 2021 / 4:00 am | Story: 327867
Wine: Marsanne, 2018
Winery: Road 13, Oliver
Why drink it? This wine comes is available in a special three pack for spring, with a bottle of Viognier and a bottle of Riesling, as well as on its own. Marsanne is often blended with Roussanne, but do explore it as a standalone. A rich golden hue, it’s depth and subtle richness begins with tropical notes of passionfruit and pineapple on the nose, expressing further tropical fruits on the palate with the addition of honey and touches of toasted almonds and melon. French oak treatment and lees stirring through fermentation result in light creaminess, with a relaxed balance of acidity on the finish.
Pair with: Pork chops and a gourmet apple sauce, with a side of corn bread, for fun. Chicken schnitzel or a chicken burger on brioche with creamy mayo. A creamy chowder of almost any kind featuring seafood, veggies, or both (but no tomatoes).
Music pairing: Moonlight Desires, Gowan
Allison Markin – Mar 7, 2021 / 4:00 am | Story: 327156
Wine: High Mountain Malbec, 2018
Winery: Catena, Argentina
Why drink it? At this time of year, the wine world usually congregates for the Vancouver International Wine Festival; this winery was in the 2020 roster, and this dry, medium-bodied Malbec is currently available in government stores. Three high elevation vineyards, topping out at 4,747 feet, provide the grapes. Blackberries and blueberries on the nose, with hints of violets, what you’d expect from a Malbec. It’s perhaps juicier than expected, with flavours of deep purple fruits and currants, smooth tannins, and a soft, but lengthy finish rounded out with oak notes. A great, unexpected, value.
Pair with: Malbec easily lends itself to lamb and beef dishes and the obvious choice is steak. Choose hearty rather than spicy, and consider playing with sage. A Bolognese sauce over pasta, grilled eggplant, or almost anything that involves bleu cheese.
Music pairing: Waiting in Vain, Annie Lennox
Allison Markin – Feb 28, 2021 / 4:00 am | Story: 326440
Wine: Fort, 2016
Winery: Rollingdale, West Kelowna
Why drink it? Fort is a fortified port-style wine made with organic Marechal Foch grapes, so it is to be sipped with care, at 22 percent alcohol, though you won’t feel the effect immediately. But you will feel it. This is a rich wine, and from the first sniff of the aromas of blueberry jam and toasted nuts, your sweet tooth will sense a treat is coming. The blueberry element combines with flavours of back cherries and dark chocolate, candied almonds, and a bit of raspberry on the finish, which is lighter than expected, but still leaves all of these flavours lingering for some time.
Pair with: You could get yourself a very creamy brie or other soft cheese to spread on a cracker and top with a touch of jam, or you could experiment with this in a cocktail. But all you really need to do to enjoy is sip slowly after dinner on the last cold night before spring.
Music pairing: Easy, Dragonette