Want to Start Collecting Wine? Here Are Three Okanagan Bottles to Start With

Faced with the dire prospect of drastically less Okanagan wine being available in the coming years, it’s perhaps time to ponder one of the options for dealing with such shortages: stockpiling (or, as wine people like to say, “cellaring”). B.C. wine does have some qualities that make it well-suited for laying down, chief among them a high level of natural acidity that helps preserve it as it ages. (Think about how long your vinegar can last versus your olive oil, and you have my level of understanding of the science.) And while we have a history of laying down big reds like Nota Bene and Oculus, scant attention has been focused on how our whites fare in the long run. Spoiler alert: they can age really, really well if you choose the right varietals and producers. Here are three bottles that will make you look like a vinous Nostradamus when 2030 rolls around.

Da Silva Chenin Blanc 2023

Da Silva Chenin Blanc 2023, $36

That more B.C. wineries don’t make chenin is a headscratcher—this take by Da Silva has great minerality, sharp citrus and crisp peach; some age will round out all the angles into a beautiful melange of charm and focus.

Bartier Bros. Semillon 2022

Bartier Bros. Semillon 2022, $23

The semillon crew is small (Lock and Worth, Chronos and a few more) but no one has been more committed to the esoteric grape than Mike Bartier. There’s a savoury element here that pairs nicely with some lime zest, and the lanolin-esque depth should spread with five to six years of age. And for $23? An easy investment.

Quails’ Gate Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay 2021

Quails’ Gate Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay 2021, $49

Sometimes you need the blend of elegance and power that is aged chardonnay, and no B.C. winery has done more than Quails’ Gate to promote laying down their high-end bottle. Your reward is a blend of mellow California richness with a freshness that’s all B.C.

Ikea’s Omar bottle shelving unit

We Love This Wine Storage Rack

If you’re getting into the wine-aging business, you need a rack—preferably one with a sticker price that doesn’t cut into your wine budget. Enter Ikea’s near-perfect Omar bottle shelving unit. It’s easy to assemble, absurdly cheap ($50) and nicely expandable for when you ultimately get the collecting bug. ikea.ca