Column: Canada Day wine tasting

I can think of no better way to celebrate Canada Day than to enjoy some Canadian wines. I went through my wine collection and found a few bottles I received from my friends. So here is how I am spending my Canada Day!

I’ll start with the Gehringer 2018 Pinot Gris Private Reserve (SKU: 347203). The current vintage in liquor stores is 2019. Pinot Gris shouldn’t be aged too long but anything less than 5 years of aging should be fine. Gehringer Brothers is a well-established winery located between Oliver and Osoyoos, and their Pinot Gris consistently wins various wine awards. Whatever the vintage, you’ll get a tremendous wine for the price. Notice the subtle apple and pear flavors and aromas with citrus elements. It’s very well priced at $14.99.

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Next, I’ll try the Quail’s Gate 2017 Old Vines Foch (SKU: 639625). This is another well-established Okanagan winery that has a history of consistently producing a quality red wine using Marachel Foch, which is a unique grape variety that is only grown in a few places worldwide. It used to be prominent in B.C., until many B.C. wineries began planting more popular grape varieties. It is not the most well-known grape, but when I first began drinking wine, I really enjoyed B.C. Marachel Foch, so it has some sentimental value for me. Marachel Foch is characteristically very dark in color and light in taste (almost like Pinot Noir). It is very pleasing to the eye and very easy on the palate. It doesn’t develop the complexity of other popular grape varieties, but it is a great all-purpose wine that you can just pop and enjoy. It’s priced at $25.99 and is a very unique wine.

To finish, I will have the Paradise Ranch 2016 Merlot Late Harvest (SKU: 34), which is a sweet wine. The current vintage in liquor stores is 2017. I prefer late harvest wines to icewines because late harvest wines are not as concentrated in terms of sweetness and doesn’t have as syrupy a texture. Because is it made with Merlot grapes, the wine is a very pleasing blush red color. It pairs well with desserts and fruits, and is reasonably priced at $19.99 for a 375 ml bottle.

For those of you on Instagram, I will be doing a live tasting of these wines at 5 pm on Canada Day on my Instagram account.

Many people have asked me why I describe the name of a wine differently from most wine writers. In describing wines, I always start with the name of the winery, followed by the vintage (year of production) and then the region or grape variety. I find that many people get confused as to which name refers to the winery, and which name refers to the grape variety or region. So by putting the vintage (year) in the middle, I think it helps people remember the name of the wine and distinguish it from the grape variety or region of the wine. I believe this is especially useful when I am describing Old World wines where the grape variety doe not appear on the label and everything is in a foreign language.

Until next time, Happy Canada Day and happy drinking!

Tony Kwan is the Richmond News' new columnist. Lawyer by day, food and wine lover by night, Kwan is an epicurean who writes about wine, food and enjoying all that life has to offer.

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