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Stay local and pick BC Rosés for Valentine’s Day!

Doug Sloan

Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine is an annual holiday celebrated on Feb. 14.

Make it special by sipping a top quality BC Rosé before, during or after dinner.

From one of BC’s largest wineries, Jackson Triggs Black Label Reserve Okanagan Valley Rosé (577486) $10.09 starts with lychee, papaya and redcurrant aromas. Beautifully off dry, its currant flavours lead to a long, fruity finish. Nicely balanced, it pairs with almost any dish.

Valentine’s Day first became associated with romantic love by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards - known as ‘valentines’!

Monster Vineyards is a boutique winery located on the Naramata Bench – north of Penticton - in the Okanagan Valley. A blend of Malbec, Merlot and Syrah pressed off with minimal skin contact time, Monster Vineyards Rosé (486969) $15.99 is all strawberries and honeydew melon with ripe cherries and a spritz of rhubarb and watermelon in the finish.

Most of us think of pink being a ‘girly’ colour – opposed to boyish blue. The shift toward pink and blue actually happened gradually. For centuries, all children had worn practical white dresses, which could easily be pulled up to change diapers, and bleached when said diapers inevitably became soiled.

Among BC’s best pink wines, Dirty Laundry Hush Rosé (44733) $17.55 blends 53per cent Pinot Noir, 43 per cent Merlot and 4per cent Cabernet Franc. Aromas of fresh sliced apple, strawberry and raspberry slide into identically fruity flavours amplified by a touch of sweetness,

Pastel coloured baby clothes were apparently introduced in the mid-19th century, but according to University of Maryland historian Jo B. Paoletti, author of Pink and Blue: ‘Telling the Girls from the Boys in America’ the colors weren’t gender-specific at first.

Canadian by birth, trained in Australia, Richard Kanazawa started making wine in the Okanagan Valley at Red Rooster Winery in Naramata and moved on to Blasted Church Vineyards.  The first vintage of his own Kanazawa Wines was produced in 2010. Made from 100 per cent Pinot Noir, Kanazawa Sakura Rosé (526830) $18.15 offers mouth watering squirts of strawberry, rhubarb, cherry and hints of red grapefruit.

In an article in June 1918 Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department, a trade publication said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”

A boyish pink, Bench 1775 Glow Rosé (230789) $19.99 Copper-hued rather than out and out pink, this blend of 75 per cent Malbec, 10.5 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.3 per cent Syrah and 5.2 per cent Cabernet Franc leads with ripe cherry aromas and flavours with sage, thyme and candied lemon rind filling out the mid-palate and lingering into the finish.

Historian and author Jo B. Paoletti believes the gender/colour line was firmly drawn in the 1980s, when it became more common for parents to find out the gender of their children while they were still in the womb. Excited moms and dads wanted to buy gender-specific items for their new little bundles of joy …and of course, retailers obliged.

Enjoyable by anyone, regardless of gender, Clos du Soleil Rosé (878835) $19.99 is produced from 100 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon with layers of ripe fruit flavours. Oodles of ripe juicy strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb pie jump out of the glass. On the tongue that same medley of strawberry, jammy raspberry, and rhubarb are framed by crisp acidity and an underlying earthy minerality.

Paoletti also theorizes that mothers who grew up wearing gender-neutral clothes and playing with toys that appealed to both boys and girls wanted their daughters to be able to revel in pink, lace, long hair, and Barbies. Marketers and advertisers just made this choice seem natural. And they still do!

So… there you have it boys and girls.  Gentlemen have no legitimate reason to avoid any of these lovely, lusciously fruited pink wines on Valentine’s Day.

Or any other day, for that matter. Neither do ladies. Sip boldly and bravely!


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