Company’s Coming

I don’t know about you, but I keep certain wines on hand for certain guests. Or more succinctly, I have styles of wine on hand for styles of guests. Summer is visiting season and circles of friends and family are blending like Bordeaux.

“Yeah – come on over for a salmon BBQ. Your cousin and his wife are visiting from Pennsylvania/Porto Plata/Paris/Phnom Penh? Of course, bring them along – the more the merrier” as you scan your memory files for something appropriate to pour.

Of course, I aim to pair wines to food. But that’s already a few steps beyond the basics. Step one: pair wine to the person. Is he someone who doesn’t know cabernet from chardonnay and shops for wine at Christmas based on the free on-packs? Is she a UC Davis professor who just published an article about her garagiste orange wine project? A vegan? An enthusiast? A cooler-drinker? Someone who is ‘allergic to red wines’ or ‘allergic to dry wines’? Tell me your drink and I’ll tell you who you are.

I hear it all, and as host, it’s my job to be hospitable. Here are 5 bottles to store for summer’s surprise visitors that leave lots in the budget for salmon.

And if you find yourself invited, though a friend of a friend, to a BBQ at the Trevehouse, I’ll be the one drinking a Porto Tónico.



Therapy Vineyards
Fizzio Therapy 2012
Okanagan Valley, BC

Because everyone like bubbles, and everyone could use a little physio fizziotherapy. Therapy Vineyards has won attention not only for what’s in their bottles, but what’s on them. A marketing powerhouse, witty sense of humour and savvy creative team has done the team well, and winemaker Steve Latchford has backed it up. Other wines in their portfolio include Freudian Sip and Pink Freud (which might also come in hand for pop-in guests). Starting with huge perfumed floral and pretty peach blossom aromas, this Fizzio is more frothy in the glass, off-dry, with more peach, ripe apple and zippy acid on the finish. Chardonnay is perfumed up with 10% orange muscat – showing that just a dab will do you. Fun, friendly and frizzante – what’s not to like? 86 points.


Cellar DwellerMontesClassicCS10-copy

Classic Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
Colchagua Valley, Chile
$14.99  +464479

A cellar-worthy wine for under $15? No – I didn’t make a mistake. This plumy medium-bodied cab is drinking beautifully now (especially with that grilled beef) but will continue to hold and improve over the next 2-4 years. And at this price, you can afford to lay a couple down for a couple of years. 85% cabernet sauvignon and 15% merlot. Deep cassis, cedar spice, blackberry bush and dark flowers on the nose, before dense and dusky-cloaked tannins around juicy black fruit, tobacco, vanilla and spice. A lick of mint on the zesty finish. 88 points.



Quarisa Wines
Shot in the Dark Traminer Riesling 2012
New South Wales, Australia
$12.99  +248088

Shot in the Dark is a joint project between well known Aussie winemaker John Quarisa, and Icon Fine Wine & Spirits. The aim was to make approachable, affordable wines, and this one certainly qualifies. An aromatic and off dry blend of Traminer (a mutant family member to Gewurztraminer) and Riesling, this lower alcohol (11.5%) is showy sweet peach, lime pulp and pear, with a floral/herb character, spiced lychee, anise and sweet lime on the finish. 86 points.



Benjamin Bridge
Tidal Bay 2013
Tidal Bay, Nova Scotia
$23.99  +583641

You’re probably familiar with the wine islands – that is, the west coast wine islands. But how about Eastern Canada’s maritime wine region and THE wine island of Nova Scotia? If you haven’t had the good fortune to try Nova Scotia wines (and chances are good that you haven’t, because they’re scarcely seen here) now is your chance, with the leading producer in NS available in BC. With this wine, Benjamin Bridge hopes to capture Nova Scotia’s unique coastal breezes, cooler climate and marine terroir.

Tidal Bay is not only the name for this wine (and many others from Nova Scotia), it is the first wine appellation for Nova Scotia, launched in 2012. These crisp, aromatic white wines must all follow the same set of standards, though the finished wines are all quite different from one another. The Benjamin Bridge Tidal Bay 2013 is a blend of L’Acadie Blanc, Chardonnay, Ortega and New York Muscat, presenting with late summer meadow flowers and stone, before a lean and juicy palate of focussed lime, granny smith apple and dynamic, chalky acidity. The finish is gentle roses and a touch of elastic. Surprising concentration here – especially for its 10.5% alcohol – contributed to the addition of structured, mineral-strong Chardonnay. 89 points.

No Wineoscannery-skaha

Cannery Brewing
Skaha Summer Ale
Penticton, BC
$4.90 for 650ml  +604140

Blazing, lazy summer days, floating down a canal in an inner tube with hundreds of your new friends, without a care in the world… this is what you want to drink. This seasonal Blonde Ale is a light, refreshing beer that is perfect for a hot summer day.

A blend of hops and the addition of white wheat malt and German Ale yeast create a bit of interest in this golden ale: mild malt, bright citrus and a twist of bitter hops on the dry finish. Easy and refreshing – like a trip in that inner tube.


Each week Treve highlights 5 timely and tasty picks. Her weekly choices include Locavore (BC wines), Cellar Dweller (wines to lay down for a while for maximum enjoyment), Budgeteer (wallet-friendly bottles under $15), Adventurer (wines for geeks, enlightening or pushing the envelope) and No Wineos (a non-wine pro-alcoholic beverage). So what are you waiting for? DRINK This!


DRINKing Guide: How to use our purchasing information.
*Asterisks denote wines that are only available at the winery or select private liquor stores. All other wines are available through BC Liquor Stores. The price is suggested retail price, and may fluctuate depending on source. Wines are scored out of 100 points.



Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ...

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