Author: Laura Milnes
Silk + Coupe
Let me share my passion of food + wine with you
There’s plenty to worry about over Christmas: the forty-odd people you feel obligated to buy for, that token friend “not big on the holidays” who retreats into their hibernation between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and the in laws are destined to arrive any minute. Where does one find the time to ensure the wine rack is stocked?
Having plenty of experience selecting wine for awkward family gatherings, dinner parties and game nights alike, Kascadia approached me to curate a pack of wines suitable for any holiday situation. Here’s the perfect mix of wines I implore you to have on hand this season.
You’ve likely seen suggestions for most, if not all of the following: “Rosé is best with turkey! Gamay: the only turkey wine you need this season! Riesling and turkey, a match made in heaven!”
Ignore all of those recommendations and instead reach for your new favorite turkey wine: Gruner Veltiner. Hailing from Austria, where it expresses itself in an austere, steely, mineral, stone fruit and white pepper kind of way.
In recent years, the Okanagan has seen an influx of plantings, resulting in a friendlier, fruitier and softer table wine kind of vibe. What does this mean, exactly? This wine is awesome to pour for Grandma, but it also holds up supremely well to turkey.
Winemaker’s Cut also makes their wine in probably the coolest way you’ve heard as of late: they play classical music in the vineyards and cellar. They swear it makes the wine taste better - I believe them, so you should too.
What is a “Dad” wine, you ask? They tend to be full bodied, big, robust, beefy, unctuous examples of red wine that generally need hours of decanting and live within the 15% ABV camp. While there’s always a situation where they’re appropriate, there’s a certain demographic that deem them as “the best”.We all know the types: 50-75 year old men who only drink “full bodied reds”, refusing to drink, let alone try, anything that doesn’t fall within the category.
The problem with these styles? They can be taxing on the palate, and exhausting to drink.
Reach for the Painted Rock Merlot with a bit of age on it. It’ll have your Uncle Gerry tickled pink, but with nearly 10 years of age, a softness that’s friendlier than a younger counterpart. Showing fragility, intriguing complexity (great for you) and enough body to keep your Dad and Grandpa happy.
Expand their horizons by pouring the Black Swift Syrah - quickly emerging as a marquee variety of the Okanagan - and serve it with Hawkins cheesies.It can be easy to forget the wine bubble you exist within only to be reminded when your cousins come to visit from remote Montana with boxed wine in hand.
Watch as their brains implode, while they sip the silken wine, exploding with flavor when macerated with the salty, crunchy delight of the cheesies.
We all need that one day - it’s probably December 27 or something - in between the chaos of the holidays before the next slew of parties or family get togethers recommence.
Take the day to draw yourself a long, luxurious bubble bath. Don’t be shy with the epsom salts, candles, Erykah Badu and most importantly: a bottle of sparkling wine. (extra points if served in vintage glassware.)
This traditional method number from Meyer (Chardonnay/Pinot Noir) is just what the doctor ordered: bone dry, delightful effervescence and lively fruit. Feel no guilt for lingering in those bubbles for hours.
Skip the coffee and tea with dessert this year and instead opt for ice wine. Sweet pairs with sweet - this Pondview Cabernet Franc Ice wine will stand up to all the pumpkin pie, key lime pie and nanaimo bars you’ll throw at it.
Better yet - skip the sweets altogether and construct a cheese board. Make sure to include plenty of blue cheese - St. Agur is best. Opposing flavors, especially ice wine and pungent cheese, are soulmates.
Inevitably old friends will pop in for a visit during Christmas break - and they’ll probably be empty handed.
Reach for the B.Yanco in lieu of hunting in your cellar for that good good.
B.Yanco is comprised mostly of Pinot Blanc from the Hatch’s estate in West Kelowna - and at $20, punches well above its weight. It’s bright, fleshy and super quaffable.
Perfect for catching up with old uni friends, preferably consumed in the comfort of your parent’s hot tub.