Recently I spent 1 week on Vancouver Island with my daughter. Beautiful. Honestly considered not coming back and sending for the rest of the family to pack up and join us there instead. Did you know they can grow fig trees on the island? For some reason that excited me.
Also, what excited me was when M found us a bottle of Nk’Mip wines – Canada’s first Aboriginal owned and operated cellar. We drank the Dreamcatcher – a blend of Riesling and Chenin Blanc. It was dry, crisp, with lemon and melon notes, and just a touch of sweetness at the end from the ripe fruits. I’ve never had an Aboriginal wine before – and if you think of it, who knows how to work the land this country better? The Okanagan people have been growing crops here for centuries. The wine was beautiful – like the Island. Seriously, look a this photo and for the love of sweet baby bacchus somebody tell me why i didn’t send for the rest of the family and just stay there.
Home base on Van Isle
Fig trees! Told ya
The sounds of the Winter Olympics remind me that I love being Canadian. I love the sound of sharp metal crunching into the ice – pond hockey. Similarly, the sounds of the sleds speeding down the ice tracks take me back to fearlessly going far too fast on my toboggan – no helmet, airborne crashes, good times.
These sounds remind me of a Riesling. Larch Tree Hill Riesling is produced in the Okanagan Valley of BC. Riesling grows very well in cool climate wine regions such as Germany, Alsace, and Canada. Come to think of it, cool climate regions produce the best winter Olympic athletes (outside of the Jamaican bobsledders).
This is a great Winter Olympics wine because Riesling is versatile, a little daring, and is best served cold (for maximum coldness). It’s being served this month at the Red Brick Café in Guelph – and it is going fast. That’s right, fast – just like the skaters, bobsledders, luge, and skeleton events that I am pairing it with. Skin tight suits are optional. Don’t tell us about it if you do wear one – nobody wants to know.
LARCH TREE HILL RIESLING Prospect Winery 2007
LCBO 145136 | Price: $ 13.95 Okanagan Valley, BC 12.5% Alcohol
This wine has aromas of lime and peaches and has a nice long finish – much longer than a typical Riesling. The producer’s tasting notes mention hints of fennel and honeysuckle. You will taste the honeysuckle more as the wine warms up.
Larch Tree Hill stands well on its own and would make a great apéritif – serve it very cold while watching the madness that is short-track speed skating and the absolutely terrifyingly insane (or daring) skeleton and luge events – and for the record there is no evidence that “luge” refers to the greek sport of sliding “nude” down ice slides. That was a complete fabrication on my part.
Are you trying to effectively pair wines and Olympic events? Looking for a wine consultant with a degree in Physical Education? Tired of my questions? Look no further and lend me your ears and palate – it’s time for an Olympic Merlot. Canada has already won a gold medal so we can all relax and enjoy the next couple of days with a smooth red wine from BC. This is the 2nd J-T wine I’ve selected ( Jackson-Triggs Methode Cuvée ) but the first from the Okanagan Valley. I’m not usually a fan of Merlot – they often come across as soft and plummy – however, this one has won me over. It certainly has a time and a place and the time is now and the place is in front of my TV watching figure skating (the highest rated Olympic TV event in America). I also selected this wine for February’s tastings at the Red Brick Café .
JACKSON-TRIGGS Proprietors’ Reserve Merlot 2006
LCBO 543867 | Price: $ 14.95 Okanagan Valley, BC 14.5% Alcohol
The first things that strike me about this wine is that it is dark, dark red in colour with a very distinct nose of dried plums. The flavours of strong concentrated fruit with a touch of smoky oak on the finish are delicious. It is nicely balanced with some acidity, long velvety tannins, and an even longer finish.
This wine has figure skating written all over it – especially pairs. Smooth, lovely, mellow – can you think of another Olympic event that compliments Merlot better than that? Maybe curling, if they weren’t yelling “hurry hard – hurry” at me the entire time.