Column: B.C. Day wine lineup

As I did on Canada Day, I will celebrate B.C. Day by drinking wines that fit the occasion. On this B.C. Day, I thought I would taste some interesting B.C. wines which are readily available at liquor stores so that you can join me in tasting them! Join me on my Instagram account on B.C. Day at 5:00 pm for a live, in-depth tasting of these wines. Buy one or all of them to try with me!

I have tried to highlight some of the best value B.C. wines available in liquor stores. Many B.C. wineries make a number of wines using different grape varieties, so invariably, each winery will have its favourite grape varieties to work with or particular varieties that grow best on their plot of land.

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I am going to start with a Tantalus 2019 Riesling (SKU: 802280, $24.49). Tantalus is a relatively new winery, which was established in 2004, although grapes have been grown from their vineyard since 1927. They have focused their attention on three grape varieties, Riesling being one of them. This is a wise choice to focus on the grape varieties that are well suited to the location of their winery. Some of Tantalus’ Riesling vines date back to the late 1970s.You will get a lot of tropical fruit aromas and flavours, with lemon and citrus elements. It is a wonderful pairing with a salad and a delightful way to start B.C. Day

Next, I will be tasting a Stag’s Hollow 2018 Heritage Block (SKU: 115972, $27.99). Stag’s Hollow is located in Okanagan Falls, and is one of my favourite B.C. wineries. I have always enjoyed their red wines. Relatively small quantities of wine produced but they are very focused on making quality wines. This year, they are celebrating their 25th year of making wines, which is quite a feat in the industry. Heritage Block is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes, with a little Malbec and Petit Verdot. A glass of Heritage Block should be full of juicy fruitiness and dark cherry flavours. Oak on the nose will also be prevalent. It will be great with steak or anything you put on the BBQ.

Finally, I will be tasting a Poplar Grove 2016 Syrah (SKU:234471, $35.99). Poplar Grove was founded in 1993, and was one of the first wineries in the Naramata Bench region (which is between Kelowna and Penticton).  The winery changed ownership in 2007 and is now family owned.  Their vineyard has an unbeatable location for growing grapes.  Although they produce white, rose and red wines, it is their red wines that really shine.  The Naramata Bench gets extreme heat during summers, which allows for maximum ripeness in the grapes.  Their Syrah is a beauty: blackberries and black currant flavors with vanilla and violets on the nose. At 14-per-cent alcohol content, it packs a punch!  It is great with lamb, or a heavier, meaty dish.

I hope everyone has a safe and fun B.C. Day, and I look forwarding to tasting and discussing these wines with Richmond News readers on Instagram on August 3, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.  Happy drinking!

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