Over the course of a fragrant five-course Indian lunch at Copper Chimney, Peller Estates became one of my new favorite British Columbia wineries. Of the seven varietals we sampled, there wasn’t one I didn’t enjoy — and I’m not exaggerating. Of course, I had my favorites…
Peller Estates’ passionate winemaker Stephanie Leinemann and her mentor, celebrated Sandhill winemaker Howard Soon, introduced themselves and Peller’s philosophy, which centers around making wine to bond families and friends over a quality product. The personable opening prefaced the informal lunch celebration of the winery’s fiftieth birthday.
A winemaker’s ability to taste extreme subtleties is obviously essential with respect to the sensory analysis of wine. Food and wine pairing becomes more than ‘white with seafood’ and ‘red with red meat’. I was curious to know exactly what Stephanie and Howard would crave while sipping Peller wines…
1. Riesling 2008: light-bodied with aromas of key lime, green apple, and peach with mineral notes.
Stephanie’s pick: Creamy Camembert or Brie cheese.
Howard’s pick: Schnitzel — made by Steph and cooked in butter.
2. Pinot Gris 2008: medium-bodied with aromas of melon, Bartlett pear, tropical fruit, orange blossom, and fresh fig.
Stephanie’s pick: Chilled ginger carrot soup.
Howard’s pick: Veal salt in boca, with capers, prosciutto, sage, lemon, and butter.
3. Chardonnay 2010: medium-bodied with a clean, fresh bouquet of red apple, pear, biscuit, butter, and lemon.
Stephanie: Any type of seafood with a light cream sauce.
Howard: By itself, unless spot prawns are in season.
4. Pinot noir 2009: medium-bodied with flavors of smoked cherry and delicate spice.
Stephanie: Coq au vin.
Howard: Foie gras.
My favorite of the wines we sampled — many of which bear the VQA seal — was the Pinot Noir. Though I’ve never before sprung for this varietal, the 2009 vintage (priced under $20) is beautifully fragrant, smooth, and almost too easy to drink.
Discovering a great product in my own backyard is always exciting — especially one priced so modestly despite its many awards and honors, including being named ‘Canadian Winery of the Year’ at the prestigious International Wine & Spirits Competition in London. View further of Peller’s awards here.
A few images of the food accompanying our wine tasting…
Wishing you to die for food on a daily basis,