While in Victoria, I had the opportunity to join my family and take part in a virtual zoom cooking class “Pan Fried Scallops, Asparagus and Lemon Zest Risotto” hosted by The London Chef.
Right away, I got to thinking what wines might pair beautifully with this meal. It was a bit of a conundrum as I wanted the wine to both complement the richness of the scallops, and to also complement the citrus based risotto and salad. If I was just pairing the wine with scallops, I would think of a dry Riesling, Albarino, or Chablis. I wanted to make sure that there was enough acidity to balance the scallops, yet not be too acidic with the citrusy parts of the meal.
At the local BC liquor store, I checked out the BC wines. I chose two wines, the 2019 Hester Creek Pinot Gris, and the 2019 Nk’Mip Dreamcatcher. Both of these wineries are based in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. In this wine region, the summer days are hot and the nights are cooler. This is the hottest and driest part of Canada.
The Hester Creek Pinot Gris has a citrusy, melon aroma. Upon tasting it, I could pick up stone fruit and minerality. Well balanced with a lasting finish. This bright, dry, and fruity wine is great to drink on it’s own and paired really well with our meal.
Hester Creek Winery was founded by Italian Immigrant, Joe Busnardo. He brought Italian grapes over from Italy over 50 years ago. This winery is part of the Golden Mile Bench wine subregion located on the western slope just south of Oliver. What is unique about this subregion is that the southern aspect receives morning sunshine with shady afternoons. As this area can reach up toe 42 degrees celcius, the shade helps to regulate grape temperature.
The Nk’Mip (pronounced in-ka-meep) Dreamcatcher is a blend of 35% Riesling, 20% Ehrenfelser, 18% Sauvignon Blanc, 18% Pinot Blanc, 8% Chardonnay and 1% Semillon. I selected this wine as I thought this grape blend would pair well with our meal. On the nose, I experienced more of a lime citrus scent. You also experience the grassiness of a Sauvignon Blanc. Upon tasting this wine, there was a balance of acidity and sweetness. It has lovely rich texture and paired very well with the dinner.
Nk’Mip Cellars is the first Indigenous-owned and-operated winery in North America. The Winery is located at the southern end of the Osoyoos reservation.
I’d recommend both of these wines for a seafood pairing, salads, and for sipping. Enjoy!