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Darren Oleksyn
November 2, 2019 | Darren Oleksyn

Calgary Herald - Comfort wines for autumn and winter

"The early autumn snow brought a quick shift in our household.

The down duvets, warm wool sweaters and hearty stews made an early entrance. A lot sooner than hoped; but that’s life in Calgary.

The transition to cooler weather brings a wine switch for me as well. Bigger, beefier wines just seem to fit the fall mood better. Bigger reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Grenache, and full-bodied whites such as Viognier, Roussanne and Chardonnays with a bit of oak, come up from the cellar more often.

These types of wines work well with the richer foods we often enjoy in fall and winter — comfort foods. So I guess you could call these comfort wines. Pop the cork, twist the cap, and snuggle up with a full-bodied wine.


Moon Curser Vineyards
Border Vines
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Former Calgarians Beata and Chris Tolley have been pushing the boundaries at their small Osoyoos winery for several years, making wines from grape varieties not often found in British Columbia.

As Chris said during a recent visit to the winery: “There’s a lot of people doing great Merlot. Why would we want to out-Merlot someone when we could do something different.”

Looking at the pile of medals and awards they earned this year, other wineries might soon want to try Touriga Nacional, Tannat, Carmenere, Tempranillo and Petit Verdot as well.

Canada’s No. 2 winery and best performing small winery, according to the 2019 Wine Align National Wine Awards, Moon Curser makes traditional Okanagan wines as well, including Border Vines, a Bordeaux blend of 71 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon plus Petit Verdot, Malbec, Carmenere and Cabernet Franc. It’s dry, with lots of ripe dark fruit flavours, plus notes of violet, sage and leather.

Price: About $26. Check for it at Aspen Wine and Spirits, BK Liquor, Cloud 9 Liquor Store, Heritage Wine and Spirits, Highlander Wine and Spirits, Kensington Wine Market, Willow Park Wines & Spirits and Zyn the Wine Market.

Drink: In the next five years. A grilled steak would be a great match. Screw cap; 14.6 per cent alc./vol.


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