Saturday, August 13, 2011

Last of the Summer Wine

Those of you of a certain age or those hardcore winos among us who have scoured IMDB for wine-related TV programs and movies, will recognize the title of this entry as a reference to the British Sitcom about three older men nearing the Autumn of their lives which ran on BBC 1 for an impressive 31 series. However, for our purposes we’ll take the phrase at its literal best and focus on suggestions for your wine drinking enjoyment during the last days of summer. Fleeting as it may seem, the best days of the setting summer lie ahead with long, warm evenings and the palpable sense that now is the time to celebrate, before the party ends.

For your end-of-summer get-togethers we recommend you look to light and medium bodied wines to pair with your favourite summer foods and warm days. A crisp and tart white will help you combat the mid-day heat and a complex, yet non-committal red will keep you engrossed into the balmy night. Below are some recommendations for light and medium bodied white and red wines for your late-summer intrigue.

Light and Medium Whites
Nothing beats the heat like a crisp, light white wine. When you find yourself in need of refreshment during the dog days of summer, turn to these lighter-bodied whites for the replenishment of essential you-ness.

St. Hubertus Estate Winery 2009 Chasselas - $17
Light White. A fun picnic wine that won't wear down your alcohol tolerance quickly and keep you refreshed in the sunshine with good acidity and sweetness.
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SummerGate Winery 2009 Muscat Ottonel - $20
Light White. Balance and a long, lingering finish seem to be a trademark of the SummerGate portfolio and is well represented here with intricate aromas of apricots, rose petals, stonefruit, cotton candy and lemon.
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SpierHead Winery 2010 Riesling - $22
Light White. Produced from fruit grown in the home vineyard of the East Kelowna-based winery, the SpierHead 2010 Riesling offers a rich nose of baked apples with supporting slate mineral notes followed by a bright, focused, citrus and mineral-flavoured dry palate.
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Stag's Hollow Winery 2009 Con-Fusion - $18
Medium White. An easy-going, crowd-pleasing, Thai food loving, Gewürztraminer-dominant white blend with other aromatic varietals adding to the cornucopia of exotic fruit characters on the vibrant nose and off-dry-ish palate.
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Tinhorn Creek Vineyards 2010 Oldfield Series 2Bench White - $23
Medium White. Opens with a lush nose of apple sauce, kiwi, gooseberry and citrus fruit. The moderately intense, dry palate follows with similar flavours and added pineapple and lemon zest tartness.
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Sandhill 2010 Small Lots Program Viognier - $25
Medium White. Good concentration on the fruity nose and mineral-filled, dry palate. The finish is very long with lingering orchard fruit and mineral flavours.
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Light and Medium Reds
As the days get shorter the long, warm evenings lead to patio parties under sparkling stars. Humid though it may be, you'll want something red for your glass that will stay tasty for as long as the converstion you'll be engaged in.

Fort Berens Estate Winery 2009 Rosé - $18
Light Red. A dry rosé whose light-cranberry hue hints at the prominent tart fruit at the core of the flavour profile. Light in body and complexity but well balanced and easy-drinking with a touch of residual sugar and a tart, moderate finish.
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JoieFarm 2010 Rosé - $21
Light Red. This is the rosé to pour your non-pink drinking friends who believe that the much maligned (and emasculated) wine style can't offer the complexity of white and red wines.
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Church and State Wines 2007 Pinot Noir - $26
Medium Red. This Pinot offers superb concentration of raspberry, cherry, savoury spice and earth note characters on the sublime nose and silky palate. Fully dry, yet veins of sweet fruit linger with spice on the long and refined finish.
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Chateau Des Charmes 2007 St. David's Bench Vineyard Cabernet Franc - $26
Medium Red. The St. David's Bench Cabernet Franc delivers a terroir driven expression of the varietal wrapped in a blanket of toasted oak. Alcohol is well managed at 13.5% with ripe fruit and tannins from the stellar 2007 growing season.
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Cassini Cellars 2008 Reserve Pinot Noir - $34
Medium Red. A familiar red fruit and toasted oak profile from the 2007 vintage is accompanied by barnyard and cured meat aromas in the new release. This adds complexity to the wine which also boasts silky smooth tannins and food-friendly, mouth-watering acidity.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2011

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