Wine Guy: Buddying up to B.C. bottles

Opinion: It’s mid-November. Time to batten down the hatches, honestly both literally and metaphorically. Storms are brewing, and winter is coming.

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It’s mid-November. Time to batten down the hatches, honestly both literally and metaphorically. Storms are brewing, and winter is coming.

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Yet in these times, fortunately there are a variety of B.C.-raised bottles ready and ably willing to buddy up with — to both comfort the tastebuds and also cosy up next to the palate. Say, alongside a pot of stew or slow-oven braise.

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Lakeboat Vineyard & Winery 2021 Pinot Gris, B.C. (from $21.95, available through the winery and select private wine stores)

It’s worth reiterating that storm-ready wines don’t have to equate to bottles of red. There are all-season, comforting white wines as well — including a number of textural, local Pinot Gris.

For a fun example look for Lakeboat’s 2021 Pinot Gris. The winery is based in Kaleden, a farming community on the often-overlooked western shore of Skaha Lake between Okanagan Falls and Penticton.

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This is textbook B.C. Pinot Gris: full of orchard fruit and floral aromatics leading to a subtly textured mid-palate before a supple, balanced finish.

Pair with roast chicken or butternut squash stew.

Bottom line: B, versatile mid-week partner.


Joie Farm 2022 Rosé, B.C. ($27.99, No. 511469)

It’s never too late in the year — nor too early — to drink rosé. So keep cracking open those bottles of pink wine.

If looking for a suggestion, consider Joie’s bright and berry-full rosé. A blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay (67/33 proportion), this is an unabashed juicy, robust and fruity pink wine bursting with flavours of berry, melon and herbs.

This bright pink stays fruity and fresh through a dry finish, making it an easy pairing partner for a variety of meals — fish tacos, takeout Thai and cream-based pasta sauce all come to mind.

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Bottom line: B+, fun, all-rounder rosé.


Tinhorn Creek 2021 Cabernet Franc, B.C. ($27.99, No. 530717) 

Cabernet Franc is quintessential comfort wine. It’s like the cashmere, or Cowichan, sweater of reds — depending on where it’s made.

And when it comes to local Cab Franc, Tinhorn’s is kind of like a cashmere version of a Cowichan sweater. Which is to say, like typical Cab Franc from France, it brings suave elegance.

But also like typical B.C. Cab Franc, it brings bold and heady fruit along with evident woolly, toasty oak.

All in all, the wine’s beguiling melange of fruit, herbs, spice and oak come together to mark a robust red ready to take on pot roast, roast mushrooms or most other hearty meals.

Bottom line: B, proper winter warmer.

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The Swirl: Half Corked Marathon — Ticket Lottery

Is this the year? Due to popularity, the 2024 Half Corked Marathon in Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country on Saturday, May 25, will hold a ticket lottery.

Take note that the lottery opens at 9 a.m. on Nov. 16, with lucky winners notified by Nov. 21 of their chance to buy tickets for the $275 event.

The Half Corked Marathon weekend also includes a family style feast with live music at the Primavera Party on May 24, along with an intimate, elegant, multi-course dinner at a winery location the evening after the run.

All events include transportation from Oliver and Osoyoos, dinner, wine and entertainment.

For details head to 

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