It has been a few weeks since my last wine post. As usual we seem to drink wine in spurts, two or three bottles one week, then on to other libations for a few weeks. These next three wines were enjoyed three days in a row with three great meals (yes we actually cooked three days in a row). The first bottle was a Prospect Winery 2006 Red Willow Shiraz. The wines of Prospect Winery pay homage to the Ganton and Larsen families; original and longstanding land-owning partners of the winery. The grapes are sourced from vineyards all across the Okanagan Valley, allowing for diversity, consistency and distinctiveness. Each varietal features a gem; a historical place, figure, animal or item from the Okanagan Valley, commemorated by original artwork from local Okanagan artists. The Red Willow tree is named for its red willow-like stems. Also called a western dogwood, the species provides sustainability and nesting habitat for many birds and mammals of the Okanagan Valley. We purchased this wine at the wine center in Penticton. It had the aroma of dark berries and had a very full-bodied flavor. It had a light peppery taste and a smooth finish. Served with fresh Goat cheese and pear ravioli picked up from the Granville Island market, it was a great dinner.

Next was Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery 2004 summit Reserve Cabernet Franc. We had not been to or tried Mt. Boucherie wines before but since we were close by (at Mission Hill Winery) and they had been recommended by a friend we dropped in on our last Okanagan visit. And of courses, we are rarely disappointed by wineries in this great province and always managed to find at least one variety that we like. Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery is one of British Columbia’s newest Estate Wineries and is the largest family owned and operated winery in the province. Vineyard sites owned by the family now include 80 acres near Cawston in the Similkameen Valley, 40 acres in Okanagan Falls and 55 acres in the Westbank area. We purchased two bottles of the Cabernet Franc. Since the wine’s recommended pairing was anything on the grill we took advantage of the unusually quite use of our community BBQ and picked up a steak for Jeff and Prawns for me. The wine was dark in color and had a fruity, but slightly smoky smell. The flavor was delicious, both fruity and spicy. Another winner.

The third bottle we also purchased at the wine center in Penticton even though the winery is located in the Gulf Islands. Saturna Island Family Estate Winery has micro-climate that is described as unique and as similar to the Northern Mediterranean. The winery has 60 acres of vineyards that are ideal for the cultivation of classic European grape varietals – Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, and Merlot. We chose the Saturna Vinter’s Select 2006 Pinot Noir as I had seen it written about in the Vancouver Sun by Anthony Gismondi who gave it an 86 rating. The aroma was a bit ‘cedary’ which generally I do not like but the flavor of the wine was fruity and delicious. One of the recommended food pairings was grilled salmon, so we figured that it would go nicely with Alaskan King Crab Legs, which it did.

Three great wines, all priced at $25 or under, all which we will have again.