Varietals

 

Please click on the wine of interest to link to its description 

WHITE GRAPE VARIETALS

Gewürztraminer
Pinot Blanc
Pinot Gris
Riesling
Sauvignon Blanc
Chardonnay

RED GRAPE VARIETALS

Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Pinot Noir
Merlot
Syrah / Shiraz
Sparkling Wine
Late Harvest and Icewine

 

WHITE GRAPE VARIETALS

 

Gewürztraminer

Flavours and Aromas

Rose, lychee, peach, grapefruit, fruit salad; also mineral, earth, pepper, citrus.

Intensity

Highly aromatic, assertive.

Texture

Medium-light to full-bodied, lively.

Sweetness

Dry to semi-sweet.

Style

Gewürztraminer is one of our most popular varietals, and for good reason; its intense, exotic aromas and flavours seem ideally suited to spicy cuisines from China to Thailand to India, and it stands up equally well to the fruitiest salsas and smokiest grilled and barbecued flavours of contemporary North American cuisine.

The Basic Pairings

Spicy fish and shellfish dishes, chicken, turkey, pork, ham, sausages, cured and smoked foods of all kinds (prosciutto and melon is a classic).

The Go-To Ingredients

Ginger, honey-garlic, green, pink, black, white, and Szechwan pepper, caraway, fennel, sage, cilantro, coconut, tropical fruits, fruit-onion salsas and curries.

Pinot Blanc

Flavours and Aromas

Apple, lemon, pear, banana, fig, straw, sometimes slightly earthy or herbaceous; if barrel-fermented and/or oak-aged, butter, butterscotch, toast, vanilla, nutmeg.

Intensity

Subtle to moderate.

Texture

Firm and crisp if stainless-steel fermented; if oak-treated round and medium to full-bodied.

Sweetness

Dry.

Style

Although sometimes called the poor man's (or woman's) Chardonnay, well-made Pinot Blanc can show remarkable strength of character. It is a chameleon of a wine, providing a rich, subtle background for whatever dish it accompanies.

The Basic Pairings

Salmon, crab, prawns, halibut, clams, oysters, chicken, turkey, pork, veal.

The Go-To Ingredients

Chives, leek, onion, mushroom, garlic, nutmeg, lemon, thyme, oregano, parsley, nuts.

Pinot Gris

Flavours and Aromas

Peach, pear, dried apricot, vanilla, almond, spice, clover honey.

Intensity

Assertive.

Texture

Medium to full-bodied, firm, mouth-filling.

Sweetness

Dry to off-dry.

Style

Early-ripening Pinot Gris is a natural for BC, producing ripe mouth-filling wines with plenty of flavour. Very adaptable with the structure to stand up to Asian, Oriental and Latin flavours. A perfect anytime choice.

The Basic Pairings

Fresh and smoked salmon or trout, halibut, crab, prawns, scallops, clams, mussels, oysters, squid, chicken, turkey, pork, veal, quail, pheasant.

The Go-To Ingredients

Ginger, garlic, chili, cilantro, French accents such as tarragon, thyme, saffron, mustard; Italian flavours such as tomato, garlic, onion, basil, fennel, orange; contemporary North American cuisine with the accent on grilled foods and light cream sauces.

Riesling

Flavours and Aromas

Apricot, peach, pear, apple; herbal, floral, citrus, mineral and even sometimes petrol. (English tasters say ‘lemon petrol’).

Intensity

Restrained to assertive.

Texture

Light to medium-bodied, crisp.

Sweetness

Dry to sweet.

Style

No matter what the style, Riesling maintains an attractive balance of fruit and acidity, making it an exciting match with dishes incorporating sweet and tart elements. The most fruit-driven examples take well to barbecued or smoked foods and a wide variety of fruity and subtle spicy flavours. Rieslings can also handle chili heat.

The Basic Pairings

Crab, fresh and smoked salmon, scallop, halibut, chicken, turkey, pork, ham, mild sausages (choucroute is a classic), cured meats such as prosciutto.

The Go-To Ingredients

Sage, onion, caraway, orange, peach, ginger, fruit salsas, mild teriyaki; with drier, leaner styles, also chives, capers, lemon, lime, grapefruit, dill.

Sauvignon Blanc

Flavours and Aromas

Grassy, herbal, gooseberry, green apple, blackcurrant, melon, green pepper, sometimes jalapeno.

Intensity

Moderate to assertive, distinctive aromatics.

Texture

Light to medium-bodied, usually crisp.

Sweetness

Dry.

Style

Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing, high-acid wine for summer sipping, on its own, or as an aperitif. It is excellent with shellfish or light, subtle dishes or, in its oak-aged versions, with richer fare.

The Basic Pairings

Salads, hors d'oeuvres (antipasto), oysters, quiche, ginger or lemongrass- influenced Thai dishes, almost all fish (with or without sauces). BC goat’s cheese is a classic.

The Go-To Ingredients

Lemongrass, ginger, baby onions, gooseberries, sharp white cheeses, parsley, baby greens, cilantro, goat cheese.

Chardonnay

Flavours and Aromas

Apple, baked apple, pear, lemon-lime, pineapple, tropical fruit. If barrel fermented and/or oak-aged, also butter, butterscotch, toast, fig, vanilla, hazelnut, nutmeg, clove.

Intensity

Restrained to assertive.

Texture

Firm and crisp if stainless-steel fermented; round, full-bodied if oak-treated.

Sweetness

Dry.

Style

Chardonnay's rich elegance finds its match in foods that are equally stylish. Bolder examples show especially well with strongly herbed dishes, while more restrained versions shine in the company of luxurious cream and butter sauces and mellow, earthy flavours such as mustard and mushrooms.

The Basic Pairings

Lobster, Dungeness crab, prawns, scallops, salmon, halibut, sablefish, chicken, turkey, pheasant, pork veal.

The Go-To Ingredients

Marjoram, tarragon, thyme, sage, rosemary, saffron, garlic, mustard, mushrooms, fig, lemon, pear, apple, nutmeg, ginger, orange, mango, walnuts, hazelnuts, cream.

 

RED GRAPE VARIETALS

 

Cabernet Franc

Flavours and Aromas

Currant, raspberry, blackberry, plum, cedar, herb, mint; sometimes bell pepper, green olive, dill.

Intensity

Moderate to assertive.

Texture

Medium bodied.

Sweetness

Dry.

Style

Cabernet Franc is similar in style to better-known Cabernet Sauvignon, although almost always lighter and less tannic, and often with a characteristic "green" or herbaceous edge. BC versions are outstanding food wines, especially for casual outdoor meals.

The Basic Pairings

Mild sausages, duck, beef steaks, roasts and hamburgers, lamb, cold meats.

The Go-To Ingredients

Thyme, savoury, rosemary, basil, parsley, bay, olive, green peppercorn, olive oil; Mediterranean vegetables such as eggplant, green pepper, zucchini, garlic, onion, fresh and sun-dried tomato.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Flavours and Aromas

Black currant, cedar, blackberry, plum, black cherry, eucalyptus, green pepper, green olive, sometimes coffee, mocha, chocolate; also dusty, earthy, mineral.

Intensity

Moderate to assertive.

Texture

Medium to full bodied, tannic.

Sweetness

Dry.

Style

While the classic accompaniment is lamb, Cabernet Sauvignon stands up beautifully to virtually all red meats, whether served simply with "jus" or rich, reduced sauces. Fine, older Cabernets are excellent accompaniments to special occasion meals, while younger ones match simpler fare.

The Basic Pairings

Rack of lamb (classic), filet mignon, roast beef, game birds, duck or goose, venison; younger, tannic cabernets with rare red meats.

The Go-To Ingredients

Herbs (rosemary, bay, thyme, sage, but only light garlic), rich sauces, currants, plums, onion.

Pinot Noir

Flavours and Aromas

Cherry, strawberry, plum, violet, beetroot, mint, smoke, cinnamon, Asian Five Spice; mature examples also tea, leather, brown sugar, mushroom, even barnyard.

Intensity

Subtle to moderate.

Texture

Light to medium-bodied, silky, generally soft tannins.

Sweetness

Dry.

Style

Pinot Noir's greatest strength is its suppleness. Without the hard tannic structure found in many red wines, it pairs effortlessly with a wide range of foods—from fish through game birds to grilled beef and lamb. Don't overwhelm its gentle fruits and refined complexity with strong or spicy flavours; simply prepared dishes are best.

The Basic Pairings

Salmon, halibut, tuna, chicken, pheasant, quail, duck, pork, veal, beef, lamb.

The Go-To Ingredients

Thyme, mint, basil, figs, cherries, orange rind, wild mushrooms, pine nuts, soy-honey-garlic.

Merlot

Flavours and Aromas

Raspberries, plums, black cherries, licorice, orange, coffee, toffee, chocolate, fruit cake.

Intensity

Moderate to assertive.

Texture

Medium to full-bodied; can be tannic.

Sweetness

Dry.

Style

Merlot pairs well with red meats. It has the weight and fruit to match wine-braised stews and roasts, and the structure and polish to pair with rare, grilled prime cuts.

The Basic Pairings

Beef, lamb, venison, duck; lighter and softer Merlots also complement lighter white and red meats and game birds.

The Go-To Ingredients

Rosemary, bay, sage, thyme, juniper, pink peppercorns, black olive, currants, plums, prunes, dried berries, onion, garlic.

Syrah / Shiraz

Flavours and Aromas

Spice, pepper, blackcurrant, blackberry, cherry, with earthy, leathery notes

Intensity

Moderate to assertive.

Texture

Full bodied.

Sweetness

Dry.

Style

Syrah/Shiraz has a unique peppery, spicy quality that makes it perfect to pair with robust meat dishes including peppercorn steak and braised lamb shanks. For the adventurous, try pairing it with a slightly spicy ethnic dish such as Mexican mole or lamb korma.

The Basic Pairings

Grilled meats, beef stew, hamburgers, lamb, venison and bison.

The Go-To Ingredients

Peppercorns, bay leaves, sage, thyme, juniper, black olive, currants, plums, prunes, dried berries, onion, garlic.

Sparkling Wine

Flavours and Aromas

From delicate floral, citrus, green apple and fresh yeast to richer vanilla, toast, nut and earth nuances, depending on style.

Intensity

Subtle to moderate.

Sweetness

Usually dry.

Style

Sparkling wine's crisp, almost crunchy effervescence makes it the perfect accompaniment to deep-fried foods: mini egg-rolls, tempura prawns and vegetables. The lightest, crispest styles also work beautifully with sushi and sashimi ... just remember to go easy on the wasabi! BC sparkling wine and fresh local BC oysters is a classic match.

The Basic Pairings

Not-too-spicy appetizers and finger foods of all kinds, sushi, sashimi, fish and shellfish, especially raw oysters, delicate poultry dishes even popcorn and potato chips.

The Go-To Ingredients

Almost anything goes, but never stronger than the wine itself.

Late Harvest and Icewine

Flavours and Aromas

Dried apricot, peach, citrus, tangerine, orange, passionfruit, pineapple, mango to caramel, raisin, nut.

Intensity

Moderate to highly concentrated.

Texture

Medium to heavy, smooth, satiny.

Sweetness

Sweet to ultra-sweet.

Style

Any dessert served with a lusciously fruity dessert wine is a spectacular way to end a meal. Just remember, always choose a dessert wine that is as sweet or sweeter than the dessert; otherwise, the wine may taste bitter, thin and coarse by contrast. Sweet wines pair well with some savoury foods too, like foie gras, pates, and charcuterie. 

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