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4 aromatic white wines to try this summer

08/02/2015 12:00 EDT | Updated 08/02/2016 05:59 EDT
On the Coast's resident wine columnist Barbara Philip brings us a little of the history behind aromatic white wines in British Columbia, as well as four of her recommendations for you to try this summer.

There's nothing quite like a glass of cool, crisp white wine in the summer time, and while aromatic white wines like Gewürtztraminers and Rieslings can range from bone-dry to very sweet, they all smell delicious, according to wine columnist Barbara Philip.  

"When I stick my nose in a Gewürtztraminer or a blend of aromatic grape varieties from B.C., it just speaks right to my heart," Philip said. "I think, here, I'm tasting Okanagan in a glass."

British Columbia's current ability to produce quality wine actually stems from initial plantings of aromatic varieties from Germany, like Gewürtztraminers and Rieslings, Philip said.

German expert Helmut Becker arrived in the Okanagan in the late 1970s and recommended B.C. wineries grow white grapes rather than Concord grapes that weren't making quality wine. Soon after, B.C.'s wine industry began to flourish.

Though fragrant white wines tend to be overshadowed by Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs, Philip says the former are immensely popular in the summer because of their fruit-forward nature.

Four recommendations for aromatic white wines

Kuhlmann Platz Gewürtztraminer. Alsace. France. 2013. $16.49

A classic Gewürtztraminer that is a little bit rich and has a little bit of an oily texture. Powerfully aromatic with flowers, dried apricots and spice. Slightly off-dry.

Dr. Pauly Bergweiler Riesling. Mosel. Germany. 2013. $17.79

Very high in acid with a slight touch of residual sugar. Rather than floral, this has more peach, lime and lemon flavours.

Ogio Moscato. Sicily. Italy. 2014. $12.99

This has a little bit more residual sugar, and little bit less alcohol. It smells like vanilla bean and flowers, and is easy to drink.

Township 7. 7 Blanc. Okanagan Valley. $17.38

This is an aromatic blend of Gewürtztraminer, Moscato and Pinot Gris, three of the original grapes that Becker planted in B.C.  

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