If you ever have the chance to sit down with, winemaker Matt Dumayne, formerly of New Zealand but now ensconced at Okanagan Crush Pad, or even have him pour a glass of wine for you at a tasting event, ask him how the heck he figured out how to make the amazing Haywire Free Form, $30. It is a blend, of chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, and it really is a statement wine about soils and fruit in the Okanagan region, and how unique, interesting, and bursting at the seams flavourful wines can, and will, be made. It will no doubt pair with a wide range of foods, but honestly, it is a delight to sip on, perhaps while watching another batch of episodes of The Good Wife or Supernatural. Viewing (and sipping) companion optional.
Can a wine be both sturdy and delightful? The Ogier Héritages Côtes du Rhône, $19, makes the case in the affirmative. The wine is 70% Grenache with some syrah and mourvedre—dark, dark, ruby in colour, with a complex array of red berries and light spice, all pulled together by a regional characteristic of moist earth and a hint of gaminess. Quite a value.