Three great value summer wines!
Monte Creek Ranch Foch, Kamloops, BC
This is one of those wines that you’d never guess what it is from smelling and tasting. You’d recognise the nose of raspberry and blackcurrants with a little herby sage behind, and smoke, and on the palate you’d be tasting red berries, bramble and a little liquorice, and it would seem familiar to you – is it a blend of syrah and grenache? Maybe a Cotes du Rhone? Could it be Corvina? Maybe a Valpolicella? No, too full bodied for that. Zinfandel? No not sweet enough, so you’ll be very happily surprised that it’s Foch – one of very few in BC, and it’s drinking really well. I’d definitely be looking to take this to my next BBQ and test my wine friends’ knowledge, pairing it with ribs and burgers, pork chops, and even chicken. CSPC + 785866 $20
Casal Mendes Blue, Portugal
Such an intriguing wine… you want to be sceptical because of the colour but it’s not just any old blue. It’s a gorgeous Dayglo aquamarine blue. On the nose it smells like blue lifesavers (do they exist?) and like little white spring flowers after it’s rained. And it’s lightly frizzante with a dash of spritz to it. Tasting it blind you have no idea what colour it is, you might think it’s a liqueur mixed with soda water and it just tastes… fresh. It might not be every traditional wine lover’s idea of the ideal dinner wine, but I like it. It’s funky and daring, and very easy to quaff – and it’s only 10% ABV without being sweet at all, so you can drink lots more! Casal Mendes are well known in Portugal for their Vinho Verde and rosé wines. Some salt and pepper calamari would be good here. CSPC + 801241 $12
Rustenberg RM Nicholson 2014
BBQ-ing? Great, then this wine will be your friend. It screams out for a chargrilled burger to go with this silky smooth, velvety, yet full-bodied, wine full of black fruits and wet earth. A blend of shiraz, merlot and cabernet sauvignon from Stellenbosch, there’s a lovely balance between dark fruit and a smoky, toasty, chocolate-y lusciousness that will please the crowds. Crazy good value. CSPC +761701 $21