I’m not gonna lie. As a guy who writes about wine as part of his profession, it’s pretty cool to receive semi-regular deliveries of wine to my doorstep. I’m certainly not looking for sympathy when I say this, but I’ll say it anyways:
A lot of the wine I receive samples of is, well, not very good.
While those “not very good” wines come and go without my spending any ink or pixels on them, there are those wines received that barely hit the table before I bust open the box and pull a cork or two. In saying this, I received some samples from British Columbia’s SpierHead Winery the other day and, knowing my personal experience with, and their reputation for, producing incredibly well-crafted Pinot Noir, I tore into the package with gusto.
There were three current releases in the delivery, and before we get into a little food-pairing component, here’s the gist of the three wines (all of them available right here on My Wine Canada):
1) SpierHead 2014 Pinot Noir, $26.55 - Brambly berry fruit, cola and vanilla bean aromatics lead to a palate loaded with black forest cake, lofty acidity, soft, cocoa-laded tannins, with blueberry compote on the lengthy finish.
2) SpierHead 2014 GFV Saddle Block Pinot Noir, $31.15 - Cocoa, molasses and blueberry fruit leather are all distinct components of the nose, leading to cherry, blood orange, mineral, and date elements on the palate with extremely juicy acidity.
3) SpierHead 2014 Pinot Noir Cuvée, $36.90 - Oodles of black fruit, cocoa and licorice waft out of the glass, and then that turns to more umami elements of Italian plum, soy, hoisin, and a touch of fresh herb on the palate with a good gleam of mineral and admirable length.
So. We have three, kick-ass Pinot Noirs, we really do, now what should we tuck into alongside them?
Mushrooms are always good, dovetailing with Pinot’s earthiness and brambly forest floor notes. Food & Wine magazine’s Wild Mushroom and Burrata Bruschetta? Yes, please!
Of course, salmon is always an easy, and delicious, go-to with Pinot Noir. Four Seasons Vancouver executive chef Ned Bell has a mighty delicious-looking wild salmon salad with pickled blueberries.
And, even cheese! Yup, pairing cheese with red wine can indeed be a good match; here are five of ‘em!
Do get acquainted with SpierHead’s Pinots; they’re certainly worth your time. And once you've had a few whirls from your glass, enjoy their food-friendliness, too!
Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. Track him down at KurtisKolt.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @KurtisKolt.