Let’s face it, summer doesn’t last long here in Calgary. The days may be hot, but once the sun goes down the evenings can still get chilly. It’s always a good idea to make hay while the sun is shining, and I highly encourage you to relax on a deck or patio with some fantastic B.C. wine.


Culmina 2016 Unicus Grüner Veltliner, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Who’s a big fan of BCGV? This guy! This Austrian Grape has earned a lovely toe-hold in the Okanagan and finds new fans every day. Decidedly spicy on the nose (think white pepper) with pear, peach, and a little bit of candy cigarette to boot, the palate is quite dry with super clean fruits, perfectly positioned acids and a nice long finish. A friend to food – think Asian-inspired dishes or lighter flavoured seafoods. CSPC +773529 generally about $29-30

Black Hills 2016 Alibi, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

A blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon, this blend from Black Hills (most well-known for their Nota Bene), deftly captures what I think is the best from each variety. Gooseberry, lemon, and apple peel lead the nose, and bright fruits, a little mineral character and creaminess in the mouth. Would stand out paired with seared scallops or even lobster tails. CSPC +129114 around $24-26

Bench 1775 2015 Chill, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

A hodgepodge of Okanagan white varietals, you’ll find pinot gris, riesling, viognier, chardonnay, semillon, and gewürztraminer – and don’t forget about 11 grams of residual sugar. Easy going but not overly simple, the flavours are exactly what you want on a hot day: citrus, tropical, and fresh. Chill out…let someone else make dinner.
CSPC +319996 $13-15

CedarCreek 2015 “Block 3” Platinum Riesling, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

It wouldn’t be summer without a weekly dose of top-shelf riesling at my house. Sourced from a single, small block of riesling vines, the nose is perfect. Slate and limestone mineral, lemon and lime fruits, and a touch of honey. Quite dry on the palate, it’s pure, steely, and above all, excellent. CSPC +792560 $18-25

Hillside 2016 Gewürztraminer, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

So many people love Gewurtztraminer on a patio or deck. There’s no denying the mandarin orange, rose petal, and lychee fruits that evoke summer like no other wine (except maybe moscato). Juicy and lip smacking on the palate, there’s more than a hint of residual sweetness, and what really comes to mind is the long, tropical finish. A yummy wine from start to finish. Again, no food required. CSPC +505206 About $20-23

Burrowing Owl 2015 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Some people love to watch the world burn, and some people love to enjoy a big, oaky chardonnay when the thermometer creeps up to around 30 degrees. Big vanilla bean and movie popcorn notes on the nose with generous apple fruits, caramel, and a bit of wooliness. Taste the oak too, with spice-laden flavours, creamy texture, and a nice long finish. It’s an oaked chardonnay, but have no doubt, it would really rock with rotisserie chicken, deep fried turkey, or a prime rib. CSPC +1072531 About $32-34

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