What we’re drinking now

By Harry Vandervlist

Looking for something new to try this summer? Here are five bottles to check out now.

Alvear Fino Montilla-Moriles

(Montilla-Moriles region, Andalucia, Spain)
Crisp and clean as a sea breeze, this is a very dry sherry aperitif (think of Tio Pepe for example). But you can’t call it sherry because it’s made 160 kilometres from Jerez, in the white limestone hills of the Montilla-Morilles region. Though its Pedro Ximenez grapes ripened in very hot and dry conditions, this fino is best served well chilled. It’s classically paired with olives and Serrano ham—but why not some crisped prosciutto and asparagus snacks? And some thinly sliced manchego? About $14/bottle.

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery 2018 Chardonnay

(Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada)
From the long-established winery in Oliver B.C., this versatile, classy wine brings the full symphony. Opening fresh as a gust of clean Okanagan air—that’s the woodwinds—it settles on the tongue with smooth maple syrup or almond butteriness—that’s the string section. Above and behind it all, high piccolo citrus notes keep things from getting too heavy. This Chardonnay can pair with strong flavours. Grill some salmon burgers and top with tzatziki. Or for a cheese tray, try it with some salty dry pecorino, even a creamy cambozola.  About $34/bottle.

Township 7 2018 Raju Vineyard Viognier

(Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada)
Made with grapes grown in Raju Vineyards in Osoyoos, this Viognier is partially fermented in oak barrels. The result is not noticeably oaky, but full of personality. Neither too sweet nor too dry, zippy but not acidic, full-bodied and rich with a touch of mango. Just right with fish tacos—but any baked or grilled fish would pair wonderfully. About $26/bottle.

Cedar Creek Estate Winery 2019 Sauvignon Blanc

(Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada)
First you notice the grapefruit and citrus, and a pleasant acidity. You know there’s alcohol here, in a good way. Finishes with a touch of grass or fresh herbs. Enjoy this with a nibble of spiced gouda or cave-aged gruyere, or a roast chicken. About $19/bottle.