Calliope Viognier and Figure 8 Red

The wine.

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These days, some of the Okanagan’s best premier labels are bringing forward an excellent, value-driven second label set of wines, a welcome development for sure. One such is Calliope Wines, by the folks at Burrowing Owl. These are all under $20, have great character, are approachable right now, and make the local wine scene even more interesting. The Calliope viognier ($15) is a delight, with varietally correct viscosity and a breadth on the palate that reveals hints of apricot, but also, intriguingly, cantaloupe and a bit of anise. Good acidity means the wine will match well with virtually any early evening snacks or seafood. And a curry dish would certainly appreciate the partnership.

Calliope Figure 8 red wine ($15) is a blend of merlot, syrah, and cabernet sauvignon. It shows off plum, red currant, and even some dark chocolate and black pepper. Almost hedonistic, this is great value, and you can’t argue with the DNA of the vineyards. Try some grilled chicken or duck, and roasted potatoes over the fire sprinkled with smoked paprika. Then you are ready to see if the Canucks swoon is about to end. Or not.

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December 2, 2015