Words: Henry & Stephanie Yuen Photos: D.D
Chinese blogs: http://taiyangbao.ca/food/427141/
Thanksgiving wasn’t that long ago but all of a sudden there’re only a few days left to Christmas. Though the air is crisp and the temperature cold, the atmosphere is warm and jolly wherever you go. There will be sumptuous dinners, parties and all kinds of special events to behold. For many wine lovers, the shopping list of wines for the holiday season is one that needs to be procured as soon as possible.
No matter the occasion and celebration, a bottle or two of wines to bring along as an invited guest is the welcomed consideration, however, with so many choices to select from - sparkling, whites, reds and dessert wines - it is not an easy task.
Why not start with a bottle of bubbles or sparkling? Good French champagne, as we know, is not cheap. If you do desire, try the Lanson black Label Brut, the Louis Roederer Brut Premier and Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial. For those memorable occasions and celebrations, why not pick up a bottle of the Taittinger Comets De Champagne Blanc De Blanc 2004 or the ever popular Dom Perignon. That doesn’t mean other sparkling wines are out of the question. Good selections of BC bubbles with easier to manage price-tags are waiting. Our picks are the beautiful coloured and classy Summerhill Vineyards Cipes Blanc De Noir 2008, the vivacious Blue Mountain Brut, delightful Sumac Ridge Stellars Jay Brut and the brilliant See Ya Later Ranch Brut. These are all top-notched bubbles that would not disappoint your wallets or the dinner guests.
For white wines, the choices are even more. Close to home, pick up the Haywire Pinot Gris, Quails Gate Chenin Blanc, Hester Creek Character White, the Oak Bay Schonburger, Joie Farm Gewurztraminer, the Tinhorn Creek 2 Bench White. From our oversea friends, try the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and the wallet friendly Cono Sur Viognier, also from Italy, the 2012 Puglia I.G.T. of Tomarescal had provided me and my dinner guests with sensational pairing too. These are great starter wines for warming up and to go with most appetizers.
As a fan of Chardonnay laced with appropriate oak treatment, buttery texture and smoothness mouth feel are the lures. Right here in BC, The Time Winery Chardonnay, Quails Gate Estate Selection Chardonnay and Burrowing Owl Chardonnay are palate pleasers. Those from Meyer Winery, Quails Gate Estate Winery would not disappoint either.
The list for red is even longer and where do you begin? For fans of big, bold, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon the choices are plenty. Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, the Fort Berens Cabernet Sauvignon, The Perseus Cabernet Sauvignon and Rodney Strong Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon, Black Sage Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Wakefield Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, just to name a few.
For red blends, why not pick some big wines from Bordeaux according to your budget. Made with 75% Merlot and 25% Cab Sauvignon, Jean De Trimoulet Saint-Emilion Grand Cru is impressive. From our backyard there are the sumptuous Osoyoos Larose, the deep and elegant Mission Hill Oculus and from Hester Creek The Judge. A must buy if you can put your hands on it, the 2014 Okanagan Wine Awards Premium Cup winner - See Ya Later Ranch Shraz Viogner promises to send your palate to cloud 9.
Of course, there are lots of very well-crafted red varietal wines - Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc from around the world and locally. For example, one of our favourite Argentina reds is Don Miguel Gascon Malbec.
For dessert wines, the world renowned Ice Wine from the Okanagan is luxurious and can be a prelude to, the desert itself, or a sweet final note to dinner. Try the Inniskillin Okanagan Vidal Ice Wine; Jackson Triggs Grand Reserve Riesling Ice Wine and the NK’Mip Riesling are sure wins. BC also produces excellent not as sweet and syrupy late harvest, a good substitute for those who opt for a lighter dessert wine. Ready for some exotic divine? We highly recommend the one and only Walnut wine made at Vista Doro Winery here in Fraser Valley.