Who: Sandhill Wines
What: Small Lots Program Sangiovese 2004
Where: Sandhill Estate Vineyard, Okanagan Valley, B.C.
Why: No foolin’ — this Sangiovese (the grape of Italy’s Chianti wines) was grown right here in B.C. - and is the only Sangiovese planting in Canada. Here it is blended with 15 per cent Merlot, to up the body and deepen the colour. Spicy black cherry aromas lead to a palate of pepper, herbs, leather, anise, cedar and ripe cherries. The tannins are dark cocoa smooth, the body is bantamweight and the finish is lengthy and elegant.
When: How about for an April Fools dinner, when you can keep your dining companions guessing as to the provenance of this Sangiovese. And the winner gets — another glass! Don’t pour too generously though — only 406 cases were made. Perfectly suited to cherry braised pork or earthy mushroom risotto.
How (much): $26.99 specialty wine shops
Winespeak of the Week: Sangiovese (san-joh-VAY-zeh) is one of the top red grapes planted in Italy, and makes up the majority of Tuscany’s Chianti blends. It typically results in a hearty, dry red with flavours of black cherries, often with a characteristic orange glint to the hue.