Holiday meals centering on roast turkey (with mashed
potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and Brussels sprouts) often challenge wine
Will it be a white wine because there is a lot of white meat
… or a red wine for the dark meat … or a rosé because one size fits all?
Although the rosé selection is rather limited at this season.
The latest wines from Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars
solve the problem. The winery has just released a sophisticated Pinot Gris and
a juicy Gamay Noir, both from 2015. The wines are so affordably priced that you
and your guests can have a glass (or two) of each.
In our house, we like to explore food and wine pairings.
There are so many flavours to deal with in a Christmas or holiday turkey
dinner, including the gravy and the stuffing. It calls for wines with bold
flavours and good acidity.
For many years, the default varietal on our table at
Christmas was Gewürztraminer, ideally from Alsace. These are aromatic dry wines
whose spicy flavours stand up to the rich flavours of the holiday table.
When the great Alsace Gewürztraminers priced themselves itself
out of this market, a search for a dry Okanagan Goo (as winemakers call the
varietal) led us to Arrowleaf Cellars. This Lake Country winery’s very well
made Goo sells for just $15.40.
Because a member of my family refused to drink Goo (can you
imagine?), we have explored other white varietals, such as Riesling, Chardonnay,
Viognier or blends of Rhone varieties. My vote goes to Viognier or Rhone blends
because the wines usually are full-flavoured with a hair of tannin for a
backbone that helps cut through the gravy.
I would recommend Moon Curser Afraid of the Dark ($21.90), a
blend of Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne; or Lariana Cellars Viognier. Both of
these wineries are in Osoyoos, a good terroir for Rhone varieties.
When it comes to reds for the turkey dinner, I don’t think
you need the power of, say, Syrah or Meritage. A good Pinot Noir will stand up.
Solid Pinots in the $25 range are made by Quails’ Gate Estate Winery and by
Meyer Family Vineyards. If you are prepared to shell out the money, both of
these producers (and others) have more complex Pinot Noirs in the $45 - $50
I have been digressing. The point of this blog is to direct
you to the new releases from Blue Mountain, which should be available in good
private wine stores. For example, Everything Wine stocks the Pinot Gris and
several other Blue Mountain wines.
The Pinot Gris’s crispness, acidity and flavours seem to me
a perfect pairing with white meat of the turkey while the rich and generous
flavours of the Gamay Noir can handle the dark meat, the stuffing and the
Here are notes on the wines.
Blue Mountain Pinot
($20.90). The winery fermented 60% of this in stainless steel and
40% in barrels. The latter portion remained on the lees for seven months in
three-year-old barrels. The two lots were then blended. The barrel portion adds
a rich texture to the wine without suppressing the fruit. The wine is crisp
with aromas and flavours of pear and citrus. There is a hint of spice and
vanilla on the finish. 91.
Blue Mountain Gamay
($22.90). This wine was fermented with native yeast and was aged
10 months in four-year-old barrels. It begins with aromas of plum and cherry
which are echoed on the palate. There are spicy notes on the finish. The wine
is remarkable for its seductively silky texture. 90.