This month, the featured winery for all wine club subscribers is Lunessence from the Okanagan Valley, BC. Lucky wine clubbers will receive a curated selection of this winery's finest wines. Sign up for the wine club by Nov. 15 and you'll get these gems delivered right to your door a few days later!
Lunessence's story started as recently as 2014. The winery is located in Summerland and, in addition to having their own estate vineyard, the vintner works with other growers and sources fruit from Osoyoos, Oliver and Naramata. Environment is the heart of Lunessence's philosophy which inspired its name. Luna means moon in latin. A reflection on how they believe the planets and their surroundings have an important impact on the vines and the wines. No pesticides or herbicides are used and they farm according to biodynamic principles.The influence of music is also very important. The winemaker, Michal Mosny, who previously worked in Slovenia, was always inspired by music. He used to make wine in a small garage winery not far from the village where Beethoven used to frequent and where he wrote the famous song Für Elise. He always believed (although he cannot prove it) that vines and wines are affected positively by the sound of music. This is why you will find opera – which he is fond of – playing in the vineyards and in the winery. As a musician myself, I let myself get inspired by this thought and paired each wine with an album. If opera had an influence from the vineyards to winery, perhaps another type of music will enhance the enjoyment.
Below are my top picks from the winery. If this is just the beginning, I can’t wait to see where they go from there!
My coup de Coeur goes to this wine. I was as equally charmed by the nose as I was by the palate. Beautiful delicate aromas of orange peel, honey, guava, pear, peach and white nectarine. Slight bitter touch on the finish, which is quite pleasant. Not your typical combo of grapes but kudos to the winemaker, he has done a fine job; they blend beautifully.
This floral and easy to like wine makes me think of an equally easy to listen musician: Chopin. Put on the Nocturnes and serve with mussels, seafood tartare or a healthy quinoa with beets, hazelnut, goat cheese and mandarin and see if it inspires you. It worked for me!
If you like a fuller style of Chardonnay with a touch of oak, you will be pleased.
Appealing notes of pineapple, Meyer lemon, butter, roasted hazelnut, caramel and ginger that lingers. A perfect match with mushroom risotto or lobster.
The warm tropical notes and generous style inspires me to listen to thoughtful and comforting music. Perhaps this is our chance to make a toast to Bob Dylan who was just awarded the Nobel Prize. Cheers Mr. Dylan. Well deserved!
Displays classic aromas of Merlot with charming notes of cherries, red plums and cocoa. Pleasant subtle notes of vanilla and coffee beans with thirst quenching acidity. A good expression of what Merlot can achieve in the Okanagan Valley. Hello lamb popsicles, burger and steak.
There is a reason why Merlot became so popular in the '80’s. It produces friendly medium bodied red wine with charming aromas and supple tannins. In some ways, I can see how Van Morrison could be the Merlot of music. Who does not like the song Brown Eyed Girl? Sit by the fire, pour yourself a glass and pick any album of Van Morrison's. Guaranteed to lift you up when the days get darker.
Michelle Bouffard is a wine and spirits educator and a writer who splits her time between Montréal & Vancouver. She is the president of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. She Tweets @michellebwine and Instagrams @michellebouffard.