There’s been lots of talk on the grape vine among BC residents, supporting a movement to buy more local wine.
I have always bought Vancouver Island and BC wines. But being a taste and food pairing enthusiast, because I still enjoy international wines too, I do need that bottle of French Cotes Du Rhone to pair with my chicken dinners.
The good news is that both international and local table wines offer excellent value.
Wine regions in the Old World are so well established that they can keep their prices down. I have seldom heard of a mortgage on a fifth generation winery in Spain.
New World wines from South America and Australia are not only good but also great value. They produce vast quantities of wine due to hot climates that yield big grape crops. Thus, those bottles are usually priced lower than similar BC wines.
But thankfully that’s changing. Look no further than our very own Enrico Winery in the Cowichan Valley.
Lucky’s Liquor is proud to stock as many wines from Enrico as we can get. Four of them stand out for great taste and excellent value.
The Tempest Ortega is a unique take on a grape that flourishes on Vancouver Island. For a most reasonable $14.99, Ortega is a crisp and lively white wine that sings with citrus, lychee, stone-fruit and floral flavours. It also makes for a tasty aperitif on its own, or is excellent when paired with chicken or prawns.
Cabernet Libre, a designer hybrid grape, stars in Enrico’s Braveheart. Braveheart is 100% Cabernet Libre and delivers plum, cedar, vanilla and cherry to your palate for an easy-on-the-wallet $16.99. With its medium textured body, Braveheart pairs well with salmon or pork.
Enrico’s Shining Armor Pinot Gris is a rich white wine loaded with pear, apple and a hint of honey. A first-rate Pinot Gris for just $14.99, this beauty should be coupled with a creamy pasta dish. The match is heavenly!
If you are looking for a richer red to drink with red meat, give the Jousting Knights from Enrico a try. This blend of Cabernet Libre, Marechal Foch and Petit Milo is aged in stainless steel tanks, resulting in a lush fruit forward wine, priced at $16.99. With its big aromas of red fruit and prunes with subtle layers of smoke and figs, Jousting Knights is a sure-fire winner with rich, juicy roast of beef.
If this column has provoked your interest in these fine value-priced local wines, take the opportunity to visit their source. An hour’s drive south of Nanaimo, Enrico Winery is a family-run estate winery, offering vineyard tours and a picnic area in the summer. Overlooking the pond, its tasting room is open year-round.