Western Living Magazine
We Love This Natural, Nordic-Inspired Look for the Holidays
These Are Your Top 5 Finalists for the 2022 WL Home of the Year!
The Home Tour: Black, White and Textured All Over in Vancouver
Is Julie Van Rosendaal’s Nanaimo Bar Cake the Greatest (Cake) of All Time?
Wine of the Week: Start Drinking Beaujolais or Christmas Is Cancelled
Recipe: Coconut Lemon Amaretti
Discover the Perfect Winter Getaway in Penticton
The Ultimate Winter Staycation Guide 2023: 6 Great Places to Explore in B.C.
B.C. Winter Staycation Guide 2023: 48 Hours in Tofino
A Gift Guide for the Yellowstone Fan in Your Family
Western Living’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide
2022 Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Kitchen Aficionado
Introducing Western Living’s 2022 Designers of the Year Award Winners
WL Architects of the Year 2022: Measured Architecture
WL Robert Ledingham Memorial Award for an Emerging Interior Designer 2022: Studio Roslyn
Sorry, chardonnay. We're exploring our options.
We’ve all got our go-to bottles—the $10 Wednesday-night white, the dinner party crowd-pleaser. But when you’re feeling like trying something new, where do you turn?We’re lucky enough to have an in-house expert, our Food and Travel Editor and wine guru Neal McLennan, who’s always got a hidden gem or obscure vintage to recommend. We’ve collected a few of his most unusual picks from the last year, so read up and drink up—consider it research.
“Okanagan Crush Pad has been pushing the envelope since day one, and their Haywire Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris Wild Ferment takes this normally staid grape in wild (literally) new directions. It’s cloudy (and not exactly ‘white’), it’s bracing, and you’ll definitely have a strong opinion one way or the other on this natural wonder.”
“In the hands of someone thoughtful, the garganegna (gar-gah-neh-gah) grape can produce wines that have levels of interest. Serve this bottle ice cold and its notes of lemon and citrus stand out. As it warms up, a floral bouquet kicks and and the finish develops a pleasing softness. It’s unfussy but sophisticated in a way that has me always thinking it’s got to be more expensive than it is.”
“Grenache can be a tricky grape. With the right conditions it can grow like a weed if left unchecked and bring high yields full of ripeness that can translate into boozy, flabby wine. That evidently is not how it works in Sardinia. This is a wine that’s laser-focussed—very aromatic, with quite fine tannins but a nice salty/acid profile. It’s great with a richer pasta dish or even something heartier, but its chocolate notes also work well when just having a glass by itself.”
“Though a respected wine critic called this Moon Curser Petit Verdot 2012 ‘astringent,’ I found it anything but. It was that ideal marriage of new world winemaking and old world varietals—some rusticity with some supple red fruit to balance it out.”
“This wine is sooooo good—the colour of pale straw, with the softness of ripe melon braced with the bite of lime rind that trails on and on. And although $27 is not inexpensive, when compared to what else you could buy for that price, it’s a no brainer. It has enough acidity to pair with a bowl of Carbonara, but it actually is beautiful on its own and would make a great, elegant pour for a holiday cocktail party.”