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Author: Michael Botner

Taster’s Choice: Holiday Edition

Showcasing a wicker hamper of goodies for holiday dining and entertaining with friends and family, the five-star rating system stresses value for price. Manotsuru "Bylzai" Ginjo Sake Sado Island, Niigata, Japan  $13.29   A premium, micro-brewed Sake, Bulzai is made with rice milled to 60%, a small amount of distilled alcohol and pasteurization only before bottling. Zesty palate offers delicate flavours of banana, white pepper, licorice and mineral. Pair with light fish and seafood. SUMAC RIDGE STELLER’S JAY SPARKLING SHIRAZ Summerland, British Columbia $24.49 Why not an Okanagan Sparkling Shiraz, a style appreciated Down Under? This example sports fine, fizzy,...

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GOOD LIFE: Taster’s Choice Okanagan Falls

Showcasing a varied selection of grape varieties and wine styles produced by Okanagan Falls Wineries. The five star rating system stressed the value for price (pre-tax). Stag's Hollow 2013 Tempranillo Okanadan Falls, Okanagan Valley 1/2 $25.99  Produced from fruit grown in 3 Okanagan vineyards, including 1/3 Stag’s Hollow estate vines planted in 2006, spicy, complex Tempranillo sports richly-textured blackberry, plums, pipe tobacco, vanilla, leather, paprika and smoky oak. Calls for grilled lamb, pork. Nobel Ridge 2012 Estate Meritage Okanadan Falls, Okanagan Valley  1/2 $17.30 Dynamite red blend boasts ultra-ripe, supple plum, blackcurrant and black cherry fruit and intriguing nuances of cocoa,...

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Taster’s Choice: Wine reviews from the Naramata Bench

Showcasing a quintet of fabulous wines from selected producers on the multi-faceted Naramata Bench. The five-star rating system stresses value for price. Tightrope 2014 Viognier Penticton, British Columbia 1/2 $27 Barrel-fermented for three months, the result is a refined, well-man-nered Viognier. It offers yeasty, floral aromas and complex, bone dry flavours of pineapple, tangerine, apricot, nut-meg, ginger and min-eral refreshed by zesty acidity. Likes butter and cream sauces.   Lake Breeze 2014 Pinot Gris Naramata, British Columbia $19 Poised Pinot Gris pleases the senses with aromas of white flowers and candied peach, pear and apple fruit. Rich, honeyed palate sports...

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Similkameen Round-Up

New vineyards, new wineries, new players. See what’s shaking in this burgeoning wine region. In the fruit-growing countryside around Cawston and Keremeos, wineries of the Similkameen Valley are winning accolades for excellence. On a recent visit I unearthed new wineries and structures, adding vibrancy to a wine region already abuzz with excitement. The star attraction is Seven Stones Winery, 10 kilometres south of Cawston. Owner/winemaker George Hanson’s stepson, talented concrete specialist Colin Wilson, designed and built a 3,000 square foot underground cave with a 300 barrel capacity, waterfall and remarkable wrought iron trappings. Access to Hanson’s “man cave” is...

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Find your vinotype: There’s a reason you like the wines you like

There’s a reason you like the wines you like; see where your taste buds fit The concept of “vinotypes” challenges conventional thinking about wine. The notion of supertasters—people with heightened sensitivity to a relatively narrow group of compounds—is bandied about quite a lot in wine circles. The implication is that they are superior tasters and anyone who claims to be a wine expert must, by definition, be a supertaster. Not true, according to Tim Hanni, the Napa-based Master of Wine who developed vinotyping after 20 years of research into consumer wine preferences, behaviours and attitudes. In his book Why...

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