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BC | The Hobbyists
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Wild Goose has long been one of our favourite BC wineries and has for years produced some of the most consistently stunning Alsatian style whites being made in the Okanagan.  Autumn Gold was the wine that introduced us to Wild Goose years ago – long before we fell in love with their epicly delicious Rieslings.  A blend of Riesling, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Blanc, Autumn Gold puts a BC spin on a classic Alsatian blend.

On the nose you get the big aromatic notes you expect from a good Alsatian blend:  honeysuckle, orange blossom, tropical fruit and lime.  On the palate, flavours of pear, spiced apple, pineapple and lime zest predominate with a nice mineral note that lingers on the finish.  Fresh acidity and a touch of sweetness that also carries through the long finish on this wine.

We had this with sushi, but it would pair well with almost any seafood dishes and spicy asian fare.  Of course, this would also be excellent with a nice Alsatian onion tart or a cheese fondue – which is to say, it is a very versatile and food friendly white.

8.7/10     $18.99
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Pepper and stewed plums on the nose.  Flavours of black cherry, cassis, chocolate and just a hint of the bell pepper note you expect from Cab Franc.  We thought it the first time we tried this and we stick by it – this is very easily among the best Cab Francs we have ever tried.  There have been many that we have enjoyed, many we have thought were pleasant and tasty, but few we would describe as complex, sexy and unique wines – this one easily fits all of those descriptions.  Great acidity and just the right amount of tannins.  Incredibly well balanced and well structured wine.

We had this with homemade pumkin ravioli and roasted tomato and carmelized onion sauce and highly recommend this with similar rich red sauces.  We also had this with chocolate, which works just as well.

There is something warm and comforting about this wine; familiar, yet new and exciting at the same time.  Pair it with Richard Hawley’s Cole’s Corner to pull out just the right notes.

9.6/10.0     $18

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Hand crafted in an artisanal studio on Granville Island in Vancouver, BC by sake maker Masa Shiroki, Osake is unlike any sake you have ever tasted.  While this is certainly not even close to the stuff you typically get served hot or cold at your neighbourhood sushi joint, it is also quite different from most premium sakes produced in Japan.  While most premium sakes produced in Japan are produced only once a year, Osake produces its sakes in small batches several times per year, usually coinciding with the seasons – so each release is slightly different.

The Junmai Nama Nigori is the most robust and full bodied of Osake’s offerings.  Unfiltered, it has a cloudy white appearance.  The nose is sweet and yeasty, with a briney quality and notes of ripe tropical fruit.  On the palate flavours or ripe melon and caramelized pineapple  dominate, with nutty notes and a clean fresh finish reminiscent of honeydew.  Being a sake, this is not particularly acidic, but this is still very food friendly – and we are not just talking about sushi here (in fact, the Junmai Nama Nigori would be a little overpowering for must sushi dishes and requires something somewhat less delicate).  We would recommend trying the Junmai Nama Nigori with heartier chicken or pork dishes – something with a good salt content to match it’s sweeter notes – or anything with a rich cream sauce.  If the food pairings don’t feel Japanese enough for sake, balance out the atmosphere by throwing on DJ Krush’s classic Krush - dense, rich and satisfyingly sweet, much like Osake’s Junmai Nama Nigori.

$29 (750ml)

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While Chardonnary, Pinot Gris and Riesling often grab the most attention in discussions of BC’s white grapes, we have often thought that Pinot Blanc is really the most succesful white grape in the Okanagan / Similkameen climates.  This wine goes a long way to support that theory. The grower’s series is a single vineyard series intended to highlight some of the select parcels of land from which Clos du Soleil Winery sources their grapes and this wine pays beautiful tribute to Baessler family.

On the nose, notes of pear, almond, honey and lime are crisp, sweet and enticing. On the palate you are immediately struck by the wonderful oily mouthfeel that coats the palate and helps the refreshing citrus finish linger. Flavours of canned pears, sweet lime and apple dominate, with hints of mandarin and honey. Great balance. We had this with Israeli couscus, fire roasted vegetables and homemade preserved lemons – an excellent pairing, but we’re thinking there are a lot of things that would pair well with this.  This wine is soulful, yet fresh and lively – pair it with We’re New Here Jamie XX’s reinterpretation of Gil Scott-Heron’s equally great I’m New Here. You won’t be disappointed in either.

9.2/10.0          $18.90


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