Henry Yuen – Wine Columnist (for original Chinese postings please go to:
Summer is almost here! The caress of the golden sunray on our shoulders is simply riveting. So gear up, BBQ lovers, porch dwellers, time to head outdoors! Yes, the arrival of summer also tells us it is time to cool off and sip some refreshing patio wines!
There are many good BC choices, including the 2011 vintages from JoieFarm most folks would agree as great patio sippers; at least that will be what my circle of wine buddies, including my wife, will be enjoying the next few months. Go pour yourself a glass of chilled Rose, you will not disagree. With or without food, JoieFarm’s Rose has impressed many wine lovers!
Since JoieFarm surfaced in the BC wine horizon, their wines have been one of my favourites, simply because the ”WOW” effect is never lacking and that they are consistently good year after year. Take for instance, their chilled Rose and Riesling can make a sunny afternoon on the patio a relaxing interlude!
2011 is their 8th vintage. Instead of growing bigger in production, JoieFarm concentrates on getting better. The evidence of success is in the bottle where each wine exemplifies the best of the distinctive terrior in the Okanagan region and the attention to detail during the wine-crafting process. While not all grapes are sourced from their own vineyard, JoieFarm does make sure the all harvest meets their stringent qualitative demand so strong efforts are a must from day 1. Quantity-wise, their wines are not in huge production and may not be available in every BC government liquor store; you may have to “hunt” for their wines in specialty wine outlets. But I can guarantee you this, they are worth the effort!
Of the 2011 vintages, I particularly like the A Noble Blend. Harvested from older vineyards that averaged 25 years of age, the beautifully-balanced wine is full of weight and intensity. Though the fruit is of Germanic-varietals, the style is of theAlsaceregion ofFrance. The 2011 A Noble Blend is a well-proportioned blend of Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Auxerrois and Schoenberger. With its refreshing aroma of Asian spices and concentration of ripe fruits, we paired the wine with a few recipes from Stephanie Yuen’s newly published cookbook “East Meets West “. The first one was the Shrimp Cakes from the Thai House. The pan-fried Shrimp Cakes was served with spicy vinaigrette. A perfect match to tame the naughtiness of the chilli sauce and called out the acidity and full flavour of the wine. Another dish we paired with the same wine was the Vietnamese Grilled Chicken with Lemon Grass (recipe from Bon Café). The aroma of the lemon grass and the sweetness of the marinade fully embraced by chicken, whose fragrant, when grilled; danced beautifully with the fresh citrus hint of the wine. No doubt this is an Asian food-friendly wine.
Paired equally impressively with Asian dishes are the un-oaked Chardonnay, and the Pinot Blanc. Asian-flavoured baked or barbequed wings, lamb chops, beef ribs… spicy or not, these wines are versatile, well-balanced and will stand up well to most more intense-flavoured dishes.