We Want to Toast the Sweet Days of Summer with a Crisp Cold Pour of ‘The Riesling Project’

Photo credit: Manson Ward Photography

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.

A collaborative effort between David Paterson of Tantalus Vineyards, John Weber of Orofino, wine expert Kurtis Kolt and Angus An of Maenam, ‘The Riesling Project‘ is a distinctive and multi-layered Riesling that beautifully articulates the terroir of British Columbia. That it was also purpose-built to harmonize with the sour, salty, sweet and spicy notes of Thai cuisine, is an impressive and tasty feat that puts this wine in a class of its own.

We’re getting pretty used to seeing collaborations between local breweries, but it’s still relatively uncommon for two BC wineries (especially from distinctly different regions like Similkameen and the Okanagan Valley) to join forces, which makes this a cool project on a few levels.

As Chef Angus An explains: “Kurtis and I chose Riesling for this wine project because it is a natural pairing for Asian cuisine and spicy food…We prefer Rieslings with complexity and structure — we wanted to create a wine with a little backbone to pair with our food — not flabby or linear. I believe we have achieved that with Orofino and Tantalus.”

To get a bit “wine-geeky” and technical about it: the fusion of grapes from Orofino’s sandy-loam Hendsbee site and the granite-based Crossroads Vineyards, along with Tantalus’ late-picked ‘Block 4’ grapes, has produced a complex and textural, mineral-rich wine with enough personality to hold its own paired with vibrant Thai flavour profiles. What that adds up to in our books: a perfect fit for a luxurious sunshine-filled BC Day long weekend feast on Maenam’s picnic bench patio seating.

The Riesling Project is available at Maenam for $13 by the glass… but hey, it’s the last proper holiday long weekend of the summer, so the $60 bottle option seems like the better call, don’t you agree? Find out more.

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