If you’re on the East Coast, you’ve had more than your fair share of snowstorms and extremely cold temperatures that only polar bears should be allowed to live in. From that perspective, the West Coast seems so exotic: beaches and no harsh winters. But the long grey days, the heavy rain and the severe lack of sunlight can be just as trying. Having an emergency kit to fight the winter blues is essential, and it starts with wine and good music. Full bodied reds are cozy and tempting, but try some zesty whites. They will invigorate you and add a spring to your step.
Here are my wine picks for this week:
1) Haywire's 2012 Pinot Gris - Okanagan Valley BC VQA, $19.90
With the help of the renowned wine consultant Alberto Antonini and terroir specialist Pedro Parra, Haywire crafts an honest and authentic wine. Expect vibrant and juicy notes of lime, pear, sage with mineral notes on the finish. Serve with spicy fish tacos and put on some Bob Marley. Those winter blues do not stand a chance!
2) Road 13's 2012 ‘Jackpot’ Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne - Okanagan Valley BC VQA, $29
This wine is made from a blend of the three usual suspects you typically find in the Northern Rhône Valley appellations in France. Many were skeptical as to whether these grapes could succeed in the Okanagan Valley, me included. But Road 13 has proven that it can be done and they do a great job of it. Jackpot VRM is rich and voluptuous with tropical notes of apricot, quince and red apples. This is your sunshine in a glass. Pair with crab cakes or roasted lemon chicken. Music? Brazilian Girls!
3) Meyer Family Vineyards' 2012 McLean Creek Road Vineyard Chardonnay - Okanagan Valley BC VQA, $30
JAK Meyers has been committed to making premium world class Chardonnay from the start. Using very little new oak (20% in this case), the wine becomes a great vehicle to express the terroir of the Okanagan Falls, where this single vineyard is located. Elegant yet dense, it has a great balance of richness and acidity. A luxurious treat when served with fresh steamed lobster from the East Coast. Enjoy this wine in the company of Lhasa de Sela’s music. You will be transported far away from winter.
Michelle Bouffard is a wine educator and journalist who splits her time between Montréal & Vancouver. She co-owns the Vancouver-based company ‘house wine’ and is the president of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. She Tweets @michellebwine and Instagrams @michellebouffard.