Crisp White Wines

Ormarine Picpoul de Pinet 2010

This French bottle, from vineyards just above Lagoon Thau (which offers up the Mediterranean’s best oyster beds), thrilled the judges and took the Best Light White category at our 2012 wine awards. New investment and modern techniques have transformed Picpoul from a curiosity to a delicious year-round wine that asks for nothing more than a plate of the freshest seafood you can find. (It’s pretty good with charcuterie and cheese, too.) Pale straw in colour, prettily floral on the nose, it offers pear and peach flavours set off by a lemony, salty minerality from the limestone, clay, and fossilized-oyster soil. My advice: buy this wine by the case.

Domaine Fouassier Sancerre Les Romains 2010

Every May I spend a week in Brussels, devouring asperges à la flamande (white asparagus with hard-boiled egg and butter sauce) and pan-fried sole washed down with buckets of Sancerre. Here at home, reasonably affordable Sancerre is harder to find, but Les Romains, a lovely French Sauvignon Blanc from a serious, long-standing estate, is a winner. Lots of lemon and grapefruit harmonized with peach and a strong stony streak of acid make for a great early-summer wine. Best paired with plump Qualicum Bay Scallops, seared 90 seconds a side, served atop just-popped, puréed English peas.



House Wine Monthly Tastings – Bordeaux 2009

Drop by Marquis Wine Cellars on June 16 for the free New Product Salon tasting event (15 to 20 new wines, plus a mystery wine) and pick up the 2009 Bordeaux booklet revamped and ready for the fall release of this opulent and spectacular vintage, lauded by virtually all the critics.


SPOTLIGHT: L’Abbatoir’s sommelier Jake Skakun


Skakun is the sommelier at Gastown’s L’Abbatoir, a partner in the eclectic Cherries and Clay blog, and one of a handful of Canadians invited to the serious three-day Oregon Pinot Camp this June. 

How does your list work?
I start with wines that work with our food and then add wines I really like. Mainly Old World plus B.C., smaller producers, off the beaten track, often organic or sustainable. Some crowd pleasers, but many that are more esoteric.

Favourite pairing?
L’Abattoir’s duck breast roasted on the bone with either Pinot Noir or Gamay. But I also love the way our scallops with chestnuts go with Pinot.

First wine job?

First wine preferences?
J. Lohr Cab and 7 Deadly Zins.

Choice for a celebration?
After my final wine education diploma in June, I’ll be drinking Champagne-in a dream world from Jacques Selosse; in Vancouver, Vilmart’s Grand Cellier.