Dearly beloved… we are gathered here to get through this thing called wine.
Sacrilege, I know, to tweak Prince lyrics like that. But I only do it out of complete reverence for the late musical icon/genius, who died last week at age 57.
And while Prince didn’t drink, many of us have certainly raised a glass in his memory over the past week, or simply enjoyed sipping on something while one of his records plays in the background.
Here are a few wines that make me think of the Purple One…
Often used as a blending grape in the Bordeaux region of France to add depth and structure to red blends, Petit Verdot is a grape that brings deep purple colour and great complexity. This Similkameen Valley red has some age to it as well, meaning the dark berry and earthy notes are developed and are showing well right now, but the wine is also built to age for a few more years. Only 75 cases of this single-vineyard red were made.
2. Dirty Laundry Vineyard - 2014 Dangerous Liaison ($19.99)
Merlot, Malbec and Syrah make up the blend on this Okanagan Valley red, whose bottle art brings to mind the Purple One’s sexy sense of style. Plush black cherry and dark berry notes are front and centre here, with a seductive splash of tannin and rich deep fruit on the full-bodied palate.
This pink wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. And how does it harken back to Prince? Well, the up-front raspberry notes certainly harken back to a certain beret — the kind you get at a second-hand store. Fresh strawberry and watermelon flavours as well as some crisp acidity make this an ideal dry rosé for sipping as the mercury rises.
Try Ben's top picks by clicking on the bottles below and pay homage to the Purple One.
Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson is the wine columnist and literary editor for the Winnipeg Free Press. He’s on Twitter and Instagram at @bensigurdson.