Wines to set the tone for summer fun in Vancouver

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      The Vancouver summer event calendar is jam-packed with fun things going on around town. This week, some wine recommendations for when you’re heading out and wanting a splash of something proper to set the tone.

      Dog Days

      (To September 1 at the Polygon Gallery)

      In one of the most spectacular art-gallery settings around town, the Polygon is perched right on the edge of Vancouver harbour next to Lonsdale Quay Market, with a stunning view of the city skyline across the way. Per the gallery’s website: “Dog Days features contemporary works, classic images, and vintage photographs from several local archives and collections, considering how dogs have shaped, and are shaped by, human society.” Before hopping on the SeaBus to get there, crack open a bottle of Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (Marlborough, New Zealand; $32.49, B.C. Liquor Stores) and revel in its crisp, bright, and citrusy nature. This wine is named for a time when European settlers in New Zealand kept dogs to mind land boundaries, protecting flocks of sheep. These dogs eventually formed wild packs that, instead, attacked the sheep. Once the settlers removed the troublesome canines, the area where these vineyards are planted became known as Dog Point. These vineyards are farmed organically and produce a Sauvignon Blanc that’s lemon- and lime-forward, with subtle flint and jalapeño flavours woven throughout.

      Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival

      (August 4, West End)

      Festive, colourful, and full of cheer, the Pride parade is always an energetic delight. Why not go with a wine to match all of those characteristics? Bottega Rose Gold (Veneto–Treviso, Italy; $31.99, B.C. Liquor Stores) is a fun and fizzy brut rosé made from 100 percent Pinot Noir, overflowing with pink grapefruit, red currant, and blood orange, with a touch of Turkish Delight on the finish. Yeah, the parade starts fairly early, but I guarantee this is a fantastic breakfast wine.

      Evo Summer Cinema: Finding Nemo

      (August 6, Stanley Park)

      The 2003 Academy Award winner for best animated film is an underwater adventure beloved by many, and lazing on a picnic blanket in Stanley Park around sundown will be a nice respite from our busy city lives. Pack yourself a simple picnic of cheese, charcuterie, and baguette, and imagine a civilized society where, I dunno, you could be a little sneaky by bringing Selbach “Fish Label” Riesling 2016 (Mosel, Germany; $19.99, B.C. Liquor Stores) in a vessel of your choice. The wine is a perennial favourite, bursting with nectarines, pink grapefruit, peaches, and honey. Since it sits at a measly 10.5 percent alcohol, you wouldn’t even have to worry about dozing off on that blanket.

      Honda Celebration of Light 2019

      (July 27, July 31, August 3, English Bay)

      The annual fireworks extravaganza features competing teams from India on July 27, Canada on July 31, and then (for the first time ever!) Croatia on August 3. There’s no better time than that last date to get to know Croatian wine. Stina Cuvée White 2016 (Brač, Croatia; $23.99, B.C. Liquor Stores) is a blend of two indigenous varieties, 70 percent Pošip and 20 percent Vugava, rounded out with a final 10 percent splash of Chardonnay. Honeycrisp apple is joined by mango and guava, then kissed with honey. Juicy acidity keeps it buoyant and thirst-quenching. Tuck into some fish ’n’ chips or sushi and let this wine sing!

      Iron & Wine with Calexico

      (August 24, Vogue Theatre)

      A hot August night will be nice and comfy at the Vogue, where Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam will perform with the gents of Calexico in support of their recent (excellent) joint album, Years to Burn. For their lo-fi sound, let’s go with a wine that’s kinda lo-fi itself. Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées l’Ancien Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes 2017 (Beaujolais, France; $25.99, B.C. Liquor Stores) is made from Gamay vines steeped in limestone soil and farmed organically. It’s an honest wine of time and place, made with minimal intervention. Earthy with Italian plum, blueberries, and a few sprigs of anise, it’s quite the charmer of a summery sip. Serve it with a hint of a chill alongside fried chicken, wild-mushroom risotto, or grilled sausages.