Get ready for the celebrating!
With Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa all just around the corner, it only makes sense to start picking up a few bottles of wine that will work with just about any food you put on the table.
And there are so many interesting wines available from all around the wine world – as well as right here in British Columbia. Why be ordinary when you don’t have to…
Latest amazingly tasty and affordable arrival from the Okanagan Valley is Big Bucks Reserve White (561274) $9.99. A mysterious white blend, it sings with all the gooseberry and kiwi fruit we expect from high quality whites from New Zealand without that herbaceous, almost grassy undercurrent.
Last we heard, Christmas is once again being celebrated on December 25th this year – a Sunday. Instead of waiting until Saturday December 24th to line up with the maddening crowds of last minute shoppers start your wine picking right now!
Tucked in between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova has been making wine since the 14th century and exporting wine to Poland, Russia and the United States since the 1960s. Kvint Aligote (795260) $14.10 is a fresh Moldovan take on Burgundy’s second most famous white wine grape – after Chardonnay. Decidedly dry and brightly aromatic in a very French style, it boasts subtle flavours of grapefruit, green apple and pear.
A blend of 88 per cent Merlot and 12 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, New Zealand’s Sacred Hills Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet (847996) $17.99 has oodles of dusky ripe plum and red berry flavours with spicy hints of pepper and nuances of nuttiness. Light enough to pair with ham and turkey, heavy enough to serve with roast beef!
This year Hanukkah celebrations begin on the evening of Saturday December 24th and continue until the evening of Sunday January 1st, coinciding to some degree with Christmas and New Year celebrations. Very few wine lovers have fully embraced the wonderful ability of Rosé and Orange wines to pair perfectly with any kind of dish.
Grown in the Black Sage road vineyards of the south Okanagan Valley, Stoneboat Pinot House Rosé (967240) $19.29 is an unusual blend of Pinot Noir and Pinotage wine grapes. This vibrant Rosé shines with grapefruit, wild-berry and watermelon aromas that slide into a round and elegant palate. Pinotage adds a spritz of pepper to the berry fruit flavours.
Orange wines are the latest and trendiest fad in the wine world. Orange wines are made of healthy grapes and by natural procedures: spontaneous fermentation, no adding wine yeasts, no cooling in the fermentation phase and long aging periods on lees in wooden barrels.
The tricksters at The Hatch winery in Westbank - outside of Kelowna in the Okanagan - refused to be left out. Their ‘Rhymes with Door Hinge’ (745109) $24.99 is an inventive blend of Okanagan Kerner, Schönburger and Chardonnay wine grapes. Subtle flavours of salty dried apricot and almond slide into spicy notes of bergamot – think Earl Grey tea!
First celebrated by African-Americans from December 26th to January 1st, Kwanzaa was created by Maulana Ndabezitha Karenga - an African-American professor of Africana Studies in 1966. The holiday has since spread to Canada, and is celebrated by Canadians of African descent. Families celebrating Kwanzaa decorate their households with objects of art, colorful African cloth such as kente, especially the wearing of kaftans by women, and fresh fruits that represent African idealism.
Far from being fresh and fruity, another unusual wine from Moldova, Kvint Cabernet Sauvignon (859991) $17.49 tastes like it could have been made in France. Subtle and dry, it features aromas and flavours of dusky black cherries, plums and light vanilla oak. Be sure to serve this with rich and fatty foods to let the fruit flavours shine.
Depending on your own personal preferences and beliefs, if you choose to celebrate the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice at all (officially December 21st) the reversal of the gradual lengthening of nights and shortening of days - the festivities will begin within the next few weeks.
Whatever you choose to celebrate, if wine is part of your festivities be sure shop early to get exactly what you want while it is still available. Beat the maddening crowds!
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