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Column: Thirst quenchers to help you keep your cool

Three thirst quenching wines to enjoy throughout the summer

As the summer weather continues, here are a three thirst quenchers that you can chill and you’ll soon be in a cool mood despite the heat. The Joie Farm 2020 A Noble Blend ($24.99; “A/A+” rating) is a joy to enjoy. Heidi Noble opened her Naramata winery in 2004 and her focus has been on aromatic whites and Burgundies.

As the label states, A Noble Blend is “a wine inspired by Alsace.” Alsace has a war torn history of belonging to France and then to Germany, switching several times before ending up French. As a result it makes wines from German grapes but in a dry French style.

Alsace is known for Edelzwicker, a blend that includes several noble varieties such as Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminer.

Heidi Noble was inspired to make her own Edelzwicker and placed her surname into the title, “A Noble Blend”, It's a double entendre as her wine includes several noble grapes.

This medium bodied white wine is alive with tantalizing smells, flavours, and complexity. A gorgeous aromatic aroma diffuses out of the glass thanks to the Riesling and Gewurztraminer and Muscat: tree fruit, tropical fruit, and floral perfume.

Plus, there are layers of flavours: apples, limes, rose blossoms, lychee, mango. And an electric acidity that makes this Noble Blend liven your taste buds as they enjoy sweet ripe fruit and tartness. Overall an exhilarating experience with a long lip-smacking dry finish!

Available at all Richmond BCLStores. Enjoy with seafood gumbo, curry, or Alsace’s famous Choucroute Garnie with bacon, ham hock, sausages, kielbasa, sauerkraut, and A Noble Blend.

And now for some pink salmon in a glass with the Undurraga Rosé Royal Spumante from Chile ($24.99; “B+/A” rating). It doesn’t taste like salmon but it sure has its colour! There’s a brilliant orange-pink hue that French Provencal rosés enjoy.

Because it’s 100% Pinot Noir, the Royal has a delicious fruit-forward personality. The aroma is brimming with strawberry, raspberry, and cherry flavours, plus an herbal quality. Expect a fairly dominant flavour of the ripe red fruit along with a sweet and sour duality as the crisp acidity and the fruit interact with each other. Dry with an herbal finish. In 2019 this tasty rosé won the coveted Decanter World Wine Award receiving 95 points!

Great to enjoy by itself but it would pair beautifully with Prawn Bisque, Pasta with Spicy Tomato Sauce, and Vietnamese Pho. Undurraga Rosé Royal is available at Richmond BC Liquor Stores.

And now a Vancouver Island robust red from the beautiful Cowichan Valley: Blue Grouse Estate’s 2018 Quill Q Red ($26.99; “B+/A” rating).

There’s red and black fruit with earthy overtones as well as a whiff of smoke and vanilla. Flavours of black cherry, raspberry, strawberry and plum with hints of licorice and umami add complexity to this medium bodied wine with mild tannins and a tartness that balances the ripe fruit.

It’s a blend of Okanagan and Cowichan Valley fruit from quality grape suppliers who have long standing relation with Blue Grouse. 75% of the blend is Merlot and 11.5% is Cabernet Franc; both have single vineyard fruit from north of Oliver. The Cowichan Valley is too cool to grow and ripen the big bold reds such as Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Marechal Foch makes up the rest of the cuvée and comes from a single vineyard in the Cowichan Valley northwest of Blue Grouse Estate Winery.

The grapes were pressed separately and aged for a year in French and American casks that gives the wine maturity and softens up the tannins and the acid. Finally the three wines are blended to create the finished wine.

Bailey Williamson, Winemaker at Blue Grouse suggests, “It is a very good drink with things like ribs, steak, bison burgers, anything like that. A lovely little drop for your summer barbecue. Cheers!” Quill Q Red is available at VQA wine stores and online: