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What’s with all the “wine days”?
To be honest, I don’t even keep track of the various demarcated dates throughout the year.
However, based on the myriad news releases I receive regarding said proclamations it feels like there is now a day honouring every wine style and occasion.
And I must admit I was surprised to see a flourish of wine days grouped around the tail end of August. What’s more, they all focus on red wines. Now red wine isn’t usually associated with summer, but here we are:
Red Rooster 2021 Pinot Noir, B.C. ($26.99, No. 533190)
Aug. 18, for example, is recognized as National Pinot Noir Day.
Even if the recognition started in the U.S., we also like our Pinot Noir in Canada — so if you’re looking for an excuse to celebrate, crack open a bottle of Red Rooster’s new vintage Pinot Noir.
Made with grapes sourced from three vineyards in the Similkameen Valley, it’s lighter ruby in colour and wafts wonderful aromas of cherry and leaf pile in a comforting, mellow and elegant style overall.
Actually, Pinot Noir Day in August makes some sense given Pinot’s barbecue pairing prowess, and in fact Aug. 18 is apparently also National Fajita Day, so game on.
Bottom line: B+, elegant yet lithe.
Laya 2021 Garnacha Tintorera Monastrell, Spain ($18.99, No. 189902)
Aug. 28 has allegedly been canonized as National Red Wine Day.
Talk about keeping things wide open. Sure, the cynic in me sees this as a superficial ploy to keep red wines in the mind of enthusiasts throughout the year.
Yet on the pragmatic side why not use the occasion to highlight another fantastic red wine ready to meet the grill?
In this case a robust, high altitude bush vine Garnacha and Monastrell (a.k.a. Grenache and Mourvèdre) blend that is ripe yet earthy, featuring dark fruit and savoury herbs, that comes across sultry and suave with its lingering, blowsy finish.
Bottom line: B, pair with barbecue ribs.
Wente 2019 Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($22.99, No. 301507)
Finally, there is International Cabernet Day, which, according to sources (a.k.a. marketing people), takes place the Thursday before Labo(u)r Day.
Again, more of an American convention, but heck our Labour Day lands the same date in the calendar — so this year Aug. 31 is hereby proclaimed Cabernet Day.
The Cabernet in question, of course, is Cabernet Sauvignon, and is a nice pan-North American tribute look to Wente’s Southern Hills Cab Sauv.
This Californian red is upfront and approachable, with ripe dark fruit and toasty oak. Smooth and balanced to conclude, it’s an easy option for end-of-summer backyard gatherings.
Bottom line: B-, approachable and comforting.
The Swirl: Victoria International Wine Festival
As September rolls around wine events ramp-up, and one of the first majors of the season is Victoria’s International Wine Festival. This year it takes place Sept. 24-30, and the weeklong festival centred around the Victoria Conference Centre (720 Douglas St.) features an array of grand tastings, seminars and master classes, and wine dinners.
Ticket prices vary by event, for complete details and to purchase head to vicwf.com/.
Wine Guy: Three to pair with late-summer gatherings
Wine Guy: Easy summer favourites
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