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Joie Farm on the Naramata Bench was the first B.C. winery to “re-think pink,” producing a hedonistic, French-inspired rosé that balances juicy acidity with a seductive touch of sweetness, perfect for the patio but also a good food match with anything from Dungeness crab to grilled lamb steaks. The 2008 is pinker, shockingly so, than last year’s, pink as early rhubarb, but brim full of strawberry, cherry, and candy floss, like grilled fruit sprinkled with sugar. Joie uses high-quality grapes, mainly Pinot Noir and Gamay, so this rosé will never be cheap (and it’s already sold out at the winery).
Rosé is best the year after the vintage. Most 2007 European rosés are already well past first blush, but several B.C. 2008s, on the shelf now, are really, really good. And if you plan to drink pink all summer, the Quails’ Gate 2008 cannot be beat. Coral pink, it’s crafted in the French fashion using Gamay grapes from a site just up the street from the winery. An appetizing rhubarb nose anticipates crisp, zippy strawberry-rhubarb flavours. To go with it, build a big salad with greens, grains, tomatoes, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and olives, and maybe a little grilled meat or fish on the side.
This Vancouver-based sommelier and instructor—who’s on the road five days a week, often in California, teaching advanced wine courses— originally set out to be a geologist like her dad. “I loved digging up rocks, touching rocks, licking rocks.” Instead of studying geology, though, she ended up in culinary school. “It was rocks to food to wine and back to rocks,” she says. “My students smell rocks and taste rocks to get the idea of terroir—knock two bits of slate together and the dust takes you straight to Mosel Riesling.” Setting stones aside, her favourites for summer sipping are Chenin Blanc from just about anywhere and Cabernet Franc from the Loire. “My blue box has more whites than reds, though Cabernet Franc is a red wine that can behave like a white.”