Sommeliers' Picks

Introduction by Alexandra Gill
Rosé season is in full bloom. Crisp, refreshing and immensely thirst-quenching, dry rosé wines are the perfect summer sippers. Not quite white and certainly not red, quality pink wines are made from black grapes with some direct skin contact after pressing to impart a pretty blush (although methods do vary). They’re among the oldest known types of wine and also the most unfairly maligned thanks to the rash of candied blends and white zinfandels in the 1980s. These exquisite New World labels, all sourced from British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley and selected by local sommeliers, explain why rosé should be taken seriously.

La Stella – 2017 LaStellina Rosato

“LaStellina Rosato is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Sangiovese, produced by La Stella Winery in the south-central Okanagan Valley, outside the town of Osoyoos. Sustainably farmed and fermented in small batches, this rosé is deep-coloured and served cold; it is a delicious wine for those lazy patio days. The different varieties are blended together using a technique called Saignee (a French term meaning literally “to bleed”) producing a richer and more concentrated wine.

“This is an excellent wine to be enjoyed with spicy foods or on its own. I love the taste of this wine. It has excellent balance and a touch of residual sugar. The addition of estate-grown Sangiovese (think Chianti in Italy!) makes it an ideal choice that suits our menu perfectly. Cin Cin!”

General Manager and Sommelier
Quattro at Whistler, 604-905-4844,

CedarCreek Estate Winery – 2017 Platinum Block 1 Pinot Noir Rosé

“I love the Platinum Rosé by CedarCreek Winery in Kelowna. It’s been interesting to watch the evolution of B.C. rosé over the last few years. They’ve come a long way since the sweet blush and syrupy white zinfandel. Winemakers are now taking rosé seriously and crafting delicious wines for the most educated palate. This wine by Taylor Whelan, chief winemaker at CedarCreek, is lighter and dryer, which makes it perfect for a hot summer afternoon libation. Taylor achieves balance in this wine by harvesting the grapes at two different times and gets his inspiration from the French, or as he says, ‘Certainly Provence would be the inspiration for this wine, with some influence from Sancerre Rosé as well.’

“This rosé is versatile with a wide range of food, from fresh salads to salty cheeses and fruit, and pairs especially well with ripe summer tomatoes, making it the perfect wine for elegant picnic by the lake.”

Wine Director
Bearfoot Bistro, 604-932-3433,

Arrowleaf Cellars – 2017 Rosé

“At Araxi, and in my daily life, we love drinking rosé all year round. Now that the sun is shining on Whistler, the official rosé season is in full swing. This year’s pick is the delicious and excellent value, 2017 Arrowleaf Rosé. Made from Pinot Noir grapes sourced from slightly cooler vineyard sites in Lake Country and West Kelowna, it is fresh, crisp, just a touch off-dry, and super lively. There is plenty of fruit here, too, so it’s sure to please most palates. Sip it on the Araxi patio while enjoying some of the best people-watching in Whistler (or anywhere!) or try it alongside Chef Quang’s tasty summer fare. It’s equally at home with the fabulous bounty of Pemberton farm-fresh produce, or simply chilling poolside with friends. It’s also perfect for pairing with a range of local seafood dishes, or a cheese and charcuterie plate, thanks to its zippy acidity. Arrowleaf Rosé is the perfect drop for every Whistler occasion.”

Restaurant Manager + Wine Director
Araxi Restaurant, 604-932-4540,

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