You Need To Try This is a running account of all the good drinks and dishes we come across over the course of our professional and private lives (that we have the rare presence of mind to photograph in the moment). If you want us to try something in particular, tag your social posts with #Islandist and we’ll send a nose over as fast as we can.
I did something out of character recently: I bought some wine. You see, I’m a stalwart beer drinker, and a fairly prolific one. But it took nothing less than a week in Nice, France to turn me on to the world of natural wine.
So far in my adventures closer to home, there are three different local natural wine brands that have stood out to me. Each one has its own distinct persona: A Sunday in August is the good-looking and affable popular kid; Neon Eon is the colourful, good-humoured weirdo; and Else Wines is the free-spirited and self-aware mystery girl. The latter is the focus of my current infatuation. You really must try their A Muscat on Skins.
Subjectively, A Muscat on Skins is a very unwine-y wine. It is super light (9.65% Alc./Vol.), bright and lemonade-y. It’s also a vivacious and slightly precocious beverage, holding its own next to a plate of mature cheeses and good sourdough bread (my French-inspired standard).
I’ll spare you the eye strain of reading the minute child’s font on the label (an otherwise refreshingly whimsical, nature-inspired design by Penticton artist Britt Bidlake) to give you the specs: “Native ferment. Two weeks soaking on its skins. Two months in oak puncheon. Four months in stainless. NOTHING ADDED.”
Else Wines is based in the Okanagan Falls, where their family winery Echo Bay Vineyard is located, but the grapes for this particular wine were grown in Oliver, BC. The experimental wine brand launched earlier this spring with two releases (the other is a Pet Nat). To date, Legacy Liquor Store in Olympic Village is one of only two Vancouver stockists that I know of and, on a recent visit, they were sold out but hopeful about a small restock. If you’re lucky, Liberty’s Commercial Dr. location may still have a bottle or two. Clearly I’m not the only one who is swooning!