We’re a pretty satisfied bunch, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t covetous. Sometimes we see things out there that we just must have. Cool Things We Want is an archive of those earthly desires.
From our daily driver Talisman to bottles of barrel-aged Reynard, the good folks at East Van’s Strange Fellows Brewing have always kept us on our swilling toes by crafting and rotating a succession of interesting beers, making it one of our favourite places to visit in and around our neighbourhood. So when we learned they were fermenting three different wines out of their Clark Drive facility using Okanagan grapes, we were understandably curious and ready for first sips.
Two of these wines – dubbed The Strangers – will be available in 250ml cans at the brewery starting tomorrow. Samples were dropped off at my house last night while we were on the stoop eating a sun-soaked supper so we got into them straight away. The first was a subtly peachy, pineapply, peary blend of Chardonnay, Viognier and Muscat that finished dry (12% ABV) and the second was a surprisingly quaffable rosé of Merlot and Malbec that was strong with the strawberry and gently effervescent (12% ABV). I poured a small amount of the latter into a tumbler to check the colour (a dark pink) but both very palatable wines were consumed good and cold straight from the can — a rare gustatory sensation for me. I wouldn’t hesitate to make room for either one of The Strangers in my picnic basket or camp kit (two places where Riedel fears to tread), though I’d probably reach for the brighter white first, if only because it tastes more of summer.
The third wine – a red – is still developing in French oak and won’t be ready until it’s ready, likely this Fall.
From Strange Fellows’ release notes :
Appreciating that life is far too short for regrets, we decided to exercise our skills as beverage fermenters, indulge our love of process, and have some fun along the way by making this little series of wines to satisfy the wine drinkers among us.
Having the equipment, technology and essential know-how, all we were missing were the ingredients – but thanks to good winemaking friends in the Okanagan we were able to get our hands on some mighty fine grapes as well as some expert advice.
Our approach to making this wine was much the same as it is to beer: starting from a place of respect for the tradition, process and ingredients. Harvested in Oliver, Osoyoos and the Naramata Bench in the Fall of 2020, the grapes were pressed in the Okanagan and have been happily fermenting and ageing at Strange Fellows ever since.
Of course, we wouldn’t be Strange Fellows if we didn’t do something unexpected – like put the wine in cans – which we did so that folks can easily enjoy the STRANGERS anywhere… at the beach, park, or on top of a mountain.
Gallery images via Strange Fellows.