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CITY CELLAR: Rethinking dessert wine

As the weather heats up, many of us are making our summer wine choices, usually focusing on zippy whites and softer reds perfect pairings with the lighter fare the season brings. Until, that is, it comes to dessert.

As the weather heats up, many of us are making our summer wine choices, usually focusing on zippy whites and softer reds perfect pairings with the lighter fare the season brings. Until, that is, it comes to dessert. Now Im a proud Canadian and deeply passionate about our home-grown product, but I gotta come clean here: I dont like ice wine. Sure, I get it waking up in the middle of a freezing winter night to harvest grapes at the perfect temperature, processing them while theyre still frozen to take advantage of those concentrated sugars, resulting in a rich, syrupy, golden-hued sweetness takes remarkable patience, skill and technique. To me though, all that effort ends up being cloying, sweet and heavy as molasses the last thing I want to weigh down a lively, summery dessert with. Admit it: whens the last time you truly had a hankering for the icy stuff?

Exactly. Yet there we go, trotting it out every so often, throwing a wet blanket on the cheer brought by summer peaches, apricots, berries and more. In fact, who said you have to drink a dessert wine at all? Why not drink something less pricey this summer that will compliment your dessert and might even find you refilling your glass once youve polished off those last few crumbs? A couple suggestions:

Sperling Vineyards 2010 Market White, Kelowna, B.C. | $16 | Private Wine Stores

A blend of Pinot Blanc, Bacchus and the little-known Perle grape (just Google it), the wine is both aromatic and juicy peaches and pears will swirl around summer fruit, light cakes and pastries, keeping things airy and buoyant. Keep it nice and chilled, taking note of the fresh floral notes on the nose and drop of honey on the finish.

Segura Viudas Brut Rosé , Penedès, Spain | $16.99 | BC Liquor Stores

Brighten things up by popping open this awesome sparkling wine from Spain thats loaded with strawberries, cherries, currants and a dry, peppery finish. Perfect if theres a chocolate component to your dessert, which will envelope those strawberries perfectly.

TASTING NOTES: Hows this for some summer fun? The lovely ladies of House Wine are doing a tasting in conjunction with Wine Australia to take you through some killer Summer Sippers from Down Under on the rooftop patio of the Vancouver Art Gallery Saturday, June 25 from 7-10pm. $49 Info at HouseWine.ca

Kurtis Kolt is an independent wine consultant in Vancouver. Catch him at KurtisKolt.com