Column: Steveston wine agency’s August deals

Upstairs in the historic brick Hepworth Building on Moncton Street in Steveston, is the Waldorf Wine Group. It’s a family-owned wine agency which sells wines to the government liquor stores in B.C., Alberta and Ontario as well as the private sector.

Steveston resident, Andy Waldorf, a retired Air Canada pilot with a passion for wine, founded the agency in 1993.

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During August, two wines in his portfolio are on sale. One is an old favourite of mine and according to Waldorf’s sales manager, Khristian Laroche, the Selbach 2017 Fish Riesling is “our workhorse.” That means it is a big seller and is available in 110 stores in B.C. Here in Richmond it’s available at all three BC Liquor store locations: Seafair, Ironwood and Brighouse, for $18.99 (one dollar off). It’s the German white wine with the label featuring the fish watercolour painted by Steveston artist, Johanna Waldorf.

Produced from Germany’s noble Riesling, it’s grown on steep slopes overlooking the scenic Mosel River. Rieslings from the Mosel are aromatic and lighter in alcohol and body than the fuller-flavoured and higher alcohol Rhine Rieslings. The family owned Selbach winery knows a thing or two about making wine; they’ve been doing this since the 1600’s!

If you’ looking for a tasty white to sip at a picnic or on the patio as a pre-dinner drink, this is the one. I love the fresh lime aroma with suggestions of stones and a whiff of diesel, which is a trademark of fine Rieslings. The flavour is full of refreshing acidity and minerals which balances the off-dry apple fruit.

The Selbach Riesling is as refreshing as sushi where the acid from the rice wine vinegar balances the slightly sweet fresh fish and rice. With this similarity, it’s going to be an excellent choice to enjoy with your next plate of sushi. Of course oysters on the half-shell, ceviche, basically any food will pair with the Selbach Riesling! I recently enjoyed it with a barbecued sockeye marinated in coconut cream and fish sauce. The combo raised the flavour of both to new heights!

Another great choice for August summer days is the 2018 Solà Fred from Celler Masroig ($18.99 on sale). Made from Carignan grapes grown in the Montsant region of Spain’s Catalonia, this unoaked red has a beautiful deep burgundy colour. It’s bouquet has red and black fruit with savoury touches, while its  delicious flavour reveals cherry, almond, blackberry and leather.

The Solà Fred is like a Spanish Beaujolais: Medium bodied, smooth, refreshing and flavourful and meant to be enjoyed chilled on a summer’s day. Enjoy with tapas, grilled pork chops, or Merguez lamb sausages.

Available in 81 government liquor stores, including Seafair and Brighouse in Richmond.

Eric Hanson is a life-long Richmond resident, retired teacher and wine educator. Eric has also taught wine appreciation courses in Richmond and throughout Metro Vancouver for many years. He continues to be a journalistic ambassador for the enchanting world of wine through his weekly column.

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