Tastes of Summer: July Food & Drinks

Jim Hoggan’s Wine Pick


Part of the great art of wine drinking involves pairing your vino not just with the food you eat but with the location in which you eat it. A fine rosé, for example, almost demands that you head out for a picnic.

A good rosé is generally a lighter, fruitier version of a bold red wine – in part because the red grape skins have been removed early in the process or, in the saignée method, the pink juice is drained early from the vat and fermented separately. Some winemakers will also create a rosé merely by blending red and white wines, but those are the ones that, for me, just don’t make the grade. The rosé that results from either of the first two processes can be quite strong but seldom ages well. Most rosés lose their vigour in four or five years.

The Bandol Rosé, from the Domaine Tempier in French Provence ($39.90 at Marquis Wine Cellars; marquis-wines.com), is a fabulous exception. Strict rules ensure that all wines carrying the Bandol label are aged at least eight years. That’s a good thing in the case of the Tempier product, which is fermented primarily from the mourvèdre grape.

You might recognize the fiercely tannic mourvèdre as a typical component, with Grenache and Syrah grapes, of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The excellent Tempier winery blends mourvèdre instead with smaller amounts of Cinsault, Grenache and Carignan and prepares it as a rosé. Aged an appropriate length of time, the dominant mourvèdre works to produce a rich and delicious wine that is light enough to be enjoyed in the sunshine but robust enough to be paired with grilled chicken or salmon. It will raise your picnic to perfection.

Pumping Iron


Extremely durable  and versatile, cast iron cookware can be used on the stovetop, in the oven, on the barbecue or over a campfire. And now it’s making a long-overdue comeback in the kitchen. Lodge Cast Iron, one of the leaders in the renaissance, has been producing cast iron cookware for more than 112 years. Every piece is preseasoned with vegetable oil, making it a healthy alternative to non-stick cookware. And they’re easy to clean: just add hot water and use a stiff brush. $19.99 to $115.99 at Chef’s Edge in Kelowna, 250-868-2425 – A.B.


Meinhart DipRefreshing Dip


Vancouver-based fine food retailer Meinhardt has made a name for itself with artisan-produced products and carefully selected “flavour profiles.”

New this year, Meinhardt’s private label Mediterranean Dip (with a cream cheese and olive base) is the first in a line of dips that the store plans to release over the coming months. Ideal for any summer appetizer platter, the dip spreads easily over bread or crackers.

We suggest trying it with the delectable Rosemary Crispbread. Mediterranean Dip $4.69, Rosemary Crispbread $4.99 at Meinhardt, meinhardt.com  –  A.B.