Valentine’s Day Rose’s

Editor’s note: DRINK This is a new weekly column penned by EAT Magazine’s DRINK Editor, Treve Ring. Each week Treve will highlight 5 timely and tasty picks. Her weekly choices will 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!

 

Rosés for your Valentine, right?

No – not the flowers. Think pink, drink pink. Rosé wines come in many different styles – from serious brut sparkling to off-dry effervescent, and from bone dry, mineral and structured to bright, cheery and festive. Of course, pink isn’t everyone’s favourite colour, so I’ve spun the wine wheel and landed on a few other hues to warm your mid-February.

Locavore

Haywire

Pink Bub 2012

Okanagan Valley, BC

*$25  +397844

 A fitting pick for St. Valentine’s Day and celebrating the sweethearts in your life. This traditional method sparkling wines was a true labour of love and tribute to the lovely Alison Scholefield, known with great affection as ‘the Bub’ as a child.

A cooler mountainside vineyard near Oliver was the source for the Pinot Noir (51%) and Chardonnay (49%) grapes in the cuvee, whole cluster pressed for complexity and cool fermented to preserve the crisp, shining fruit. At disgorging, a red wine dosage is added to give Pink Bub its lively hue. Light and bright strawberries and orange blossom aromas entice to a crisp palate of green apple, mandarin, Anjou pear and a welcome centre cushion of sage kissed strawberries. Citrus peel carries out the bright finish, well balanced with a touch of residual sugar. Tastes like more; pair with your sweetheart over cheese, charcuterie, baguette and fresh berries. 88 points.

Cellar Dweller

Tahbilk

Marsanne 2010

Nagambie Lakes, Victoria, Australia

$20  +559716

Tahbilk’s history with the rare French-born Marsanne grape stretches back to the 1860’s, when this grape (then called White Hermitage) was planted in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. Though those initial plantings are no longer around, the Estate still produces Marsanne from 1927 plantings – some of the oldest in the world. Tahbilk releases library vintages from time to time (yes, even the 1927), so if you ever see Museum Release on the label, be sure to snatch it, as it has been aged respectfully and reputably. The 2007 Museum Release is floating around some markets now, at an increased price ($30+).

 

If you’re in for the waiting game, this is incredible value for this idiosyncratic wine. In its youth, with whiffs of lemon, white peach, light petrol, marmalade and dried herbs leading to a crisp, minerally and medium bodied oily palate of pear, honeysuckle, earth, lemon thyme, and stony spice. Its well-knit rope of herbal earthiness and floral perfume, bright acid and stone fruit is capped with a lengthy finish. The complexity will build with age – this is a wine you can unscrew the cap on now, or cellar for 5-10 years and beyond. Enjoy this now with grilled poultry thighs, or alongside baked halibut. 89 points.

Budgeteer

Olivares

Jumilla Rosado 2012

Jumilla, Spain

$13  +803841

 Power of suggestion? The bright watermelon hue is reflected in the aromas of this juicy Rosado from Jumilla, Spain, along with fresh strawberry and sweetly scented candied berry fruit. This is no simple wine; 70% Monastrell and 30% Syrah comes together with spicy, nutty minerality, sun ripened cherries, wild strawberries, pink flowers and ripe pear. Dry and fruity, with ample berry cushiness on the palate, this will remind you of watermelon season even through the wet coast winters. Crack for lunch with melon and prosciutto or bagels and lox. 87 points.

Adventurer

Fowles Wine

Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Shiraz 2010

Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria, Australia

$39   +787267

 Ok – so you’re wondering why I’m suggesting you be adventurous with an Aussie Shiraz? Isn’t that so 2002? If that’s where your mind is at, this is absolutely the wine for you. If you don’t fall in love with the name (now that’s intriguing) or the label (striking and characterful) you’ll surely fall in love with the fresh, inviting and open wine. Concentrated in fruit, complexed by ancient granitic soils and brightened by altitude, this wine was blended to complement wild game. This shiraz was aged in 1/3 stainless steel, 1/3 140-year old oak and 1/3 oak puncheons; no overblown sweet oaked shiraz here. In fact, this wine is much more to the wild, Rhone-inflected Syrah bent. Intense aromas of floral cassis, black cherry and leather lead to a fresh and savoury palate of black cherry, fine black pepper, softly plush tannins and black plums on the lingering finish. I’ll concur that wild game would make a fine pair, though herbed lamb rack would also suit. 90 points.

No Wineos

Bittered Sling Extracts

Malagasy Chocolate

$26.50 for 120ml

Bittered Sling Extracts’ apothecarian bottles and labels aren’t just eye catching and memorable packaging; they harken to the historic medicinal uses of bitters, when these concentrated herb, fruit and spice tinctures were prescribed to cure absolutely whatever ails you. The name ‘Bittered Sling’ derives from the May 13, 1806 edition of The Balance, and Columbian Repository that defines a cocktail as “A stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters. It is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head.”

Partners Lauren Mote and Jonathan Chovancek need no introduction in the F&B industry, she a powerhouse bartender and he a star chef.  Their line of high-quality, small-batch bitters and extracts include the seasonal Malagasy Chocolate, sweet perfection for Valentine’s Day. Intensely rich, heady Madagascar cacao beans overtake the nose, and lure deeper into notes of sultry spice, toasted wood and bitter dark chocolate. I think this would be a beaut with a warming aged rum or whisky cocktail, or could complement savoury sauces for proteins or sweets. Highly potent potions – a drop or two will do you.

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.

 

Image courtesy of mi9 wallpapers

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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