Adding an Ontario Wine to a West Coast Day

You know, we all like to think of ourselves as individuals – that each one of us are unique. And, sure, we really are – but there are those times that we find ourselves fitting the perfect mold of a cliché. As a proud Vancouverite, I find myself succumbing to this world of ubiquity more and more lately.

So, here goes. A few days back, I’d had a pretty intense work day, with a nice little lunch in the midst of it that consisted of sushi and a local craft beer. After an afternoon of artisan coffee to power through the rest of my work day, I headed off to a nearby yoga class where I worked up quite the sweat, and quite a hunger as well. I know, I know – it’s all so very West Coast of me.

When I got home, I was famished. Fortunately, I’d stopped off at my local farmer’s market and picked up a bunch of kale, heirloom tomatoes, and some fresh, sockeye salmon. I’d decided to combine those three things for a fairly quick and easy dinner; braising the kale, sprinkling a little salt on the tomatoes and a light searing of the salmon would come up a treat! I wanted a little something extra, a little extra protein to amp up my meal. As I prepared my dinner, I’d roasted some chick peas as well, adding some good, crunchy starch to the combo.

While this isn’t the kind of meal that I would have expected to dovetail nicely with a Cabernet Franc, my wife had recently brought back a bottle of Oxley Cabernet Franc from Ontario and I’d been looking forward to giving it a whirl. After chilling the wine down for about 10 or 15 minutes, something I recommend you do with all of your reds (it really makes them sing), I poured myself a good glug.

It turned out to be an impressive match, if I do say so myself! What I enjoyed about the wine is that it was bright and nimble, perhaps one shade under being referred to as medium-bodied. A good dose of soft, red berry fruit hit the fruitiness of the salmon well, and its sunny character provided a nice lift to the earthier elements of the kale and chick peas while it’s slight herbal elements matched them well.

While I may have had a day that was chock-full of West Coast clichés, it was a welcome respite to wander off the well-worn path and round it out with an Ontario wine. I’m looking forward to doing this more often.


Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. He’s not half as fancy/boring as that sounds. He Tweets and Instagrams @KurtisKolt.

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