Don’t Stop Believin’

There are those varieties or wineries you can easily sway your friends towards. Let’s say your pal’s into big reds, and you’ve just discovered a big, juicy Napa take on the grape. Easy, right?

The hurdles that pop up, though, are those that involve a less-popular grape variety or style. All of a sudden, you’re climbing uphill.

I can’t tell you how many times my adoration of certain wines have been met by dismissive attitudes before fully hearing me out, never mind having a sip or two.

The first few times I’d mentioned JoieFarm’s Muscat  to a couple colleagues, it was an effort to move the conversation further.

“We don’t like sweet wines!” they’d say.

IT’S NOT SWEET!” I’d retort.

Nope, the aromatic take on the grape that the folks from JoieFarm take is certainly bone-dry, chock-full of green grape, lychee and a pluck of rosemary.

Or, take something like the latest Syrah from Laughing Stock Vineyards. So many people have been drenched in high sugars and alcohol via Shiraz from abroad that they’re leery of the grape, whether it’s donning its Syrah or Shiraz name tag. Is Laughing Stock’s version a big, boozy fruit-bomb? Nope, far from it. Their take is akin to those from the Northern Rhône, light and dusty with black pepper, plums and fresh herbs throughout. In fact, there’s no way that anyone could mistake their bottling as anywhere near those juicy, hot styles.

There are a myriad of examples of mistaken identities in the world of wine. Often, we find our newest favourites by suspending hard held beliefs and taking a leap of faith. Let’s look at these two examples as evidence of wine’s ability to constantly surprise and impress.

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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