Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

August 19, 2017
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Resolving to refocus on food wines

We have a lifestyle chestnut we like to toss around that states that the good life is the sum of good wine plus good food and good people. A bit cute, yes, but poignant in its simplicity. Unfortunately, as with many paths to enjoyment, it’s easy to lose sight of the equation and drop one or two legs of the good life triumvirate. And honestly, many of the wines we consume these days are not food friendly to begin with, which will rile any attempt at good life synergies.

You’ve tasted such anti-gastronomic wines: the over-oaked, over-extracted, instant gratification vino that trades subtlety for tongue-lashing “wowness.” While these wines can impress when served solo — notably at tasting competitions where they often rack up serious accolades — they wreak havoc on the good life, running roughshod over meals composed of delicate flavours. And, if you’re not attentive, the 14.5- to 15-percent alcohol by volume found in many of these bottles can lead the conversation of even the best people astray.

So as we start a new year, we’re resolving to refocus on food wines. Happily, a trend already seems afoot to move to lighter-oaked, lower-alcohol wines. These bottles may not curl the toes with each sip, but odds are better that they’ll merrily match with a spectrum of flavours.

This wine resolution should lead to more Riesling on the table. It’s a remarkable white grape whose praises have long been sung by wine enthusiasts. Thankfully, in Canada we have an intriguing supply of Riesling from local wineries, in styles dry to sweet, fruit driven or spiked with minerality.

Cave Spring Cellars produces a Niagara Peninsula Riesling that ably fits into the good life equation. Classic Riesling aromas of flint, mineral, apple and lime rind lead into punchy flavours and a nice balance of sweetness and acidity that creates a yin-yang of wine harmony. For a true taste of the good life, invite a group of friends over and serve this white alongside roast pork, fried chicken or Chinese food.

Kenji and James are BC-based wine writers, educators and winemakers. Their latest book, Had a Glass: Top 100 Wines for 2010 Under $20, $25 and $30 (Whitecap Books; $19.95), is now available from bookstores and online retailers across Canada.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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