A new season, transitioning from deep, rich stews and braised meat to lighter, earthier fare begs for a new approach to choosing something to sip which perfectly matches seasonal vegetables, meat and dessert. CSL has your guide to the best spring food and wine pairings.
White + Vegetables
Peas, crisp salad and yes, even asparagus are on high rotation. Effervescent, un-oaked and fragrant whites are best suited.
Les Grottes Blanches Vouvray
This golden hued demi sec, is made entirely of chenin blanc grapes from the northern Loire Valley in France. Handpicked at over-ripeness, including some fruit with noble rot or botrytis, it tastes of concentrated quince, and peach enhanced with floral notes. Excellent paired with a blue cheese salad.
Phantom Creek Estates Pinot Gris
A beautiful example of an Alsatian style pinot gris from B.C., this white wine exudes exotic pineapple and lychee, enhanced with notes of spice. Ten months in oak have allowed the wine to develop richness and depth delivering deliciousness in every sip.
Red + Meat
Grilling season begins with full force. Rich red meat matches with the elevated tannins of many red wines, and acts as a palate cleanser between bites.
Phantom Creek Estates Becker Vineyard Cuvée
Situated against the Okanagan Highland mountains, Becker vineyard was initiated in 1977 to prove that European vines could thrive in British Columbia. In 1993, Cabernet vines were replanted in the same area, producing elegant wines that proved that late ripening Bordeaux reds excelled in the area. This beautifully rich Bordeaux blend, a nuanced mix of blackberry, spicy toast, and chocolate, with merlot at the fore, and Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon humming along in the background, is proof of the finesse that winemaker Francis Hutt was able to coax from the grapes. Loin of venison with a blackberry sauce or lamb Wellington match well.
Bodegas Caro Amancaya, 2019
An approachable blend of the two predominant grapes of Argentina and France, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s no wonder this garnet-coloured wine is a collaboration between Argentina’s Catena Family and The Baron de Rothschilds of Lafite Rothschild of France. Twelve months in French oak barrels soften the tannins in the wine, and round out the fruity cassis with notes of coffee, resulting in a lengthy finish, excellent matched with a well seared red meat.
Sparkling + Dessert
Ask yourself if you want to contrast or match the texture of your dessert. Rich and silky chocolate loves the contrasting acidity of sparkling wine, while crisp, and light macarons match the mouthfeel of a good sparkler.
Bartel, Champagne Brut
A blend of pinot noir and chardonnay derived from just three hectares of vineyards in Ville-sur-Arce in the Côte des Bar, France, this sparkler maintains good body, and reveals pale golden shimmer in the glass. Sharp green apple and zesty citrus, balanced with toasty goodness make this an excellent company to chocolate.
Pierre Sparr Brut Réserve Crémant d’Alsace
A novel blend of pinot blanc and pinot Auxerrois from France, this blend hints at fresh melon, green apple and citrus. On the tongue, its light body and crisp finish are balanced with lovely orchard fruit. Ideal as an aperitif, but equally well matched with a creamy mousse-like dessert or sabayon.
This original wine and spirits article first appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.
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