Pair It Up! Niche Wine & Picnic Fare

‘Tis the season and all that, right? I’m thinking about picnics more and more, and we can use the term loosely here – so lay out your blanket in a park, on a beach, or just step out onto the balcony of your apartment.

With the summer sun, we’re looking light and lively. Jamie Oliver has a Cracking Cobb Salad, Rob Feenie has an awesome potato salad, and Martha Stewart has a delicious Turkey Caprese Sandwich on offer. So wines to go with this style of food should be light and lively as well, for sure. Lately, I’ve found myself smitten with the wines of Niche Wine Co. James and Joanna Schlosser are the folks behind Niche Wine Co., and they’re crafting bright and honest wines from fruit grown by James’ parent in West Kelowna. Aromatic whites and lofty reds are what they focus on, and this focus has resulted in a line-up of incredible wines that have grown in quality and recognition over the last few years.

My favourite? Easy. Niche Wine Co.’s Pinot Noir Blanc. Is it a pink wine? A white wine? Hey – I don’t care. What I do care about is that it’s damn delicious. A minimum amount of time on skins allows the fruit to sing with peaches, apricots, and a good tug of nuttiness keeping it well-balanced. Since so much Champagne and Traditional Method sparkling wine is composed in large part by Pinot Noir, it makes sense that this wine kinda tastes like Champagne without the bubbles. Hooray for that!

And then, their Pinot Noir. What a charmer! Handfuls of red plum, cherries, raspberries and a good dose of fresh earth to keep things real. Lovely.

More of a white person? Do try their Small Batch White. Part Pinot Blanc, part Chardonnay, part Riesling, all delicious. An aromatic swirl of citrus, orchard and tropical fruit, chock-full of juicy acidity and charm.

AND, there’s no better time to explore their wines. If you order a minimum of six bottles from them THIS WEEK, (a mixed selection is cool) they’re shipping for free! The sun’s out, you want delicious wine, and there’s a heck of a bargain going on. Seize the moment!

2015 Pinot Noir Blanc          2014 Pinot Noir         2014 Small Batch White

Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. Track him down at, or on Twitter and Instagram @KurtisKolt.