Columbia Winery in Washington State has been producing reasonably priced, good quality wine since 1962. Some true pioneers in the region, including winemaker David Lake, have been involved over the years. Today, winemaker Sean Halls is coaxing great results, using both French and American oak and offering a cabernet sauvignon ($18) of some finesse, soft tannins, fresh black berry fruit, and good structure. An ideal barbecue wine, and perfect to sip on as you catch up on season five of Game of Thrones.
Ruffino is one of the iconic Italian wineries that poured its wares at the latest Vancouver International Wine Festival. The super Tuscan Modus ($30), made with 50 per cent sangiovese, plus cabernet sauvignon and merlot (25 per cent each), is a testament to winemaker Gabriele Tacconi’s great skill, and to the amazing rich, ripe fruit he and his team obtain from the estate’s highly prized vineyards and select lots. At this price, it is something of a bargain, and a wonderful match for a roast pork or lamb, complete with sage and lemon potatoes and gai lan. And grilled bread, of course.
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