Wine Issue Preview: 11 Questions With Kelcie Jones

All you wanted to know about wine, but were afraid to ask.

Our annual wine issue—wherein we bother the fine Somms of this city with inane questions and pester them until they answer—is just hitting the shelves this week. We’ll roll out the content online as well in the coming weeks but to get you intrigued we offer you a teaser—Chambar’s Kelcie Jones running the gamut.

What was your fave Covid TV binge? Please pair it with a bottle that sums up all that was good with it.

My partner (Michael Littleford, Sommelier at CinCin) and I watched all six seasons of The Sopranos for the very first time (mostly in tandem with our pals Kurtis and Wendy, too!). We found that the show was difficult to get into at first, but the character development was rewarding with time, kind of like dry Riesling. If you can accept that you might hate it ’til you love it, find a bottle of Grosset Clare Valley Riesling and pat yourself on the back.

What wine, like Proust’s madeleine, will bring you back to 2020 whenever you taste it again?

I have consumed my body’s weight in Lock & Worth Chardonnay over the past few months- we pour it by the glass at Chambar, and I often drink a glass while I close the restaurant. I think I could blind taste this wine in my sleep (does that count as a double blind?).

You finally mastered sourdough—what bottle do you pair your loaf with to celebrate?

The most celebratory of wines, and the wine that tastes most like sourdough itself, of course: Larmandier-Bernier ‘Latitude’ Blanc de Blancs Champagne. The toasty brioche notes might outshine my humble, glutenous creation, but it will be worth it.

You’re invited to a white tie dinner on your Joe Fresh budget. What is the greatest psych-out wine in your personal arsenal (a wine that looks more expensive than it is)?

Natte Vallij Cinsault has one of the most lovely and timeless labels you ever did see, and even though it is under $30 on the shelf, could pass for pricey Pinot Noir to any himbo at the party.

You’ve won the lottery but want to keep it real with your pals. What is the greatest low-key wine in your arsenal (a wine that looks like it’s quite modest but is really special)?

My pals know that I have every other vice around, so I never gamble. Instead I’ll save my lotto money and put it towards a bottle of Jamet Cote Rotie. The label looks, to borrow from the French, slightly ‘moche,’ but it is pricey, and deeply worth every penny.

What wine region do you love so much that you secretly hope never gets discovered by the masses? Please select a bottle that makes your case.

I believe the spirit of Vancouver Island is strong enough to keep the vultures from turning their wine into mass-market Walmart juice. Eventually they will accept me as one of their own and I’ll be invited to move there and start a commune.

You’ve been blessed with a very distinct super power—you can snap your fingers and make this bottle appear on every shelf in every BCL in the Province—what do you choose and why?

Chartreuse. Green AND Yellow. Big bottles of it.

Your investment banker brother-in-law is always railing about how natural wine is a antifa plot. What one bottle do you serve him to convert him?

I don’t want that guy getting drunk at my dinner table… and so I will serve a pristine bottle of Domaine De L’ecu Orthogneiss Muscadet to all my other guests. Conspiracy banker bro can have water while he thinks about his choices.

You realize you have a second super power: you can wiggle your nice and one grape varietal will disappear from the Okanagan. What is it? Wiggle it twice and you can replace it with another varietal- what is it?

Remove: Malbec. It just doesn’t ripen nicely here, and it doesn’t make interesting wine here either. Replace with: Furmint. Why not? Let’s see what happens.

You’re taking a nice law abiding walk on Kits Beach – what’s your vessel and what are you putting in it?

Anybody who doesn’t say a yeti mug is fooling themselves- these are the most indestructible temperature-controlled drinking vessels out there. Mine is full of Tiberio Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo.

The hell is life all about? You’ve a night alone to ponder—what bottle do you open to help you reach contentment about life?

Last February, *just* before the world locked down, I had the opportunity to meet the indomitable Emanuela Prinetti and taste her thoughtful, graceful, and ethereal Chianti Classico wines. We talked at length about Murakami- he name-drops her wines in one of his novels- and so I would probably settle in with a copy of Norwegian Wood & a bottle of her Riserva. More wine producers should be approaching wineries like she does- as a holistic, environmental, food-producing entity.