THE ADVOCATE 379
VOL. 79 PART 3 MAY 2021
after a few glasses, you will be spinning as you swirl. I spent the morning
recently working as a BC VQA judge and had to assess 54 wines before
lunch. It was brutal work even with a spittoon.
Those who fall in love with wine tasting often buy wine journals and
keep track of certain wines they try, noting the maker, grape variety or
blend, vintage and their personal assessment. Writing it down is a good way
to sort out your impressions.
There are many good primers on tasting. One I recommend is Michael
Broadbent’s Wine Tasting – Pocket Guide: How to Approach and Appreciate
Wine by Michael Broadbent, Master of Wine and long-time head of Christie’s
wine department. Another short but fun one is The Essential Scratch and
Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert by Richard Betts, which is, as
described, complete with scratch-and-sniff stickers. Or buy Wine for Dummies.
Seriously, the Dummies books are generally well done and fun.
Then, with some years of practice, you too can go to your maker knowledgeable
in wine like “an old wine-bibber who, having been smashed in a
railway collision, had some wine … poured on his lips to revive him. ‘Pauillac,
1873,’ he murmured and died.” – Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914), The
Devil’s Dictionary (1911).
I have selected a fairly wide range of wines with different aroma and
flavour profiles that I hope you will enjoy.
UPPER BENCH RIESLING 2020
BC VQA Okanagan Valley Naramata Bench #598805 $24.00 (approx.)
This is an excellent example of cooler climate Riesling from the Upper
Bench area of Penticton, in the Naramata Bench sub-appellation. The 2019
version took the Lieutenant Governor’s medal for wine of the year in 2020.
Fermented and aged in steel and with an alcohol content of 13.5 per cent, it
is steely but rich. It has a brilliant and lifted nose with white grapefruit and
lime, some white flowers and a bit of wet stone. The flavours on the crisp
palate are of green apple, lemon peel, lime and gooseberry, with some
grassy notes. It has a long, mouth-watering finish. It will pair well with a soft
cheese (for which this combination winery/cheesery is also famous),
creamy pastas, fish or chicken dishes or East Asian food. Buy online from the
winery (along with the cheese) or at private BC VQA and other wine stores.
TERRE BRÛLÉE CHENIN BLANC 2019
WO Swartland, South Africa #182934 $21.99
This is my new “go to” South African Chenin Blanc (or “Steen”, as it is often
referred to there). From a growing wine region of Swartland in the Western
Cape, it is made by Loire Valley winemakers Tania and Vincent Carême,