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At my house, the Labour Day long weekend and barbecue are a match made in heaven.
And barbecue and wine are perfect partners.
Therefore, these three days off, grilling and the accompanying drinks are the ultimate trifecta.
The beauty of barbecue is, depending on what you're searing and flipping, almost any and every wine can be a match.
That's why I'll play bon vivant long-weekender and suggest 10 -- yes, count 'em, 10 -- Labour Day barbecue and wine pairings.
- While the grill is heating up, have your aperitif -- a glass or two of CedarCreek Platinum Jagged Rock Sparkling Pinot Noir Rose ($40) from Kelowna.
It's the refreshing bubbly that will prime you for the meal to come with classic aromas and flavours of strawberries and cream.
- The premium and bold Road 13 John Oliver 5th Element 2020 red blend ($65) from Oliver is the ideal pairing for the most-premium of steak cuts -- the filet mignon -- barbecued medium rare.
By the way, it's called 5th Element because the additional component is a splash of Syrah (associated with the Rhone) in a traditional red Bordeaux blend of Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The introduction of Syrah gives the classic blackberry-and-spice profile of a Bordeaux a whiff of Rhone violets.
- At the other end of the red spectrum is the delicate CedarCreek Organic Estate Pinot Noir 2021 ($31) from Kelowna.
It's light enough -- with a cherry-and-fresh-earth profile -- to serve with salmon grilled with sun-dried tomatoes.
- If sausages are coming off the grill, break open the Mission Hill Reserve 2021 Merlot ($31) from West Kelowna or, if you want to go international, the La Fiole Cotes du Rhone Red from France.
Both are fruit-forward and approachable reds that will go nicely with the meat and barbecue sauce.
- Another Cotes du Rhone red, Belleruche 2020 ($23), is made for drinking with pork tenderloin in a herb marinade off the barbecue.
- To go white with your Cotes de Rhone, chill the Gabriel Meffre Saint-Vincent 2021 ($19) and serve it with skewers of grilled prawns in a lemon-juice-and-black-pepper marinade.
- Continuing with chilled white, the peach-and-mineral Mission Hill Reserve 2022 Pinot Gris ($26) from West Kelowna is what you'll want in your glass when the halibut steaks come off the barbecue to be served with peach salsa.
- Two whites from Liquidity Wines in Okanagan Falls are voluptuous -- 2022 Estate Viognier ($31) and 2020 Reserve Chardonnay ($57) -- and deserve to be paired with chicken equally full-figured.
So, leave the skin on and the bone in your chicken breasts and grill them with a heady herbes de Provence marinade.
Ever heard of Piquette?
Well, it's a low-alcohol wine made from the second pressing of grapes.
Second pressing may sound a bit undesirable because all the good juice flows from the first pressing.
But done carefully, a second pressing results in bright, uncomplicated wines with a slight fizz.
It was the wine that was traditionally enjoyed by French vineyard workers after a long season of farm labour.
Bartier Brothers Winery in Oliver has picked up on the tradition and calls Piquette the perfect summer drink.
For the first time, Bartier has made a 2022 white Piquett and a 2022 Piquette Rose and put them in 47,504 cans of 355 millilitre each.
They sell for $16 for a four-pack at www.bartierbros.com.
It's one of the largest volumes of Piquette ever made in Canada.
"In our hearts, we're farmers, simple and honest, and we deplore waste," said winemaker Michael Bartier.
"We were excited by the idea of reusing the 'leftovers' from winemaking for a completely different kind of easy summer drink. The challenge, of course, was that it had to be great. These cans have our name on them. We won't put out a half-effort."
Steve MacNaull is a NowMedia Group reporter, Okanagan wine lover and Canadian Wine Scholar. Reach him at [email protected]. His wine column appears every Friday afternoon in this space.