Friday, February 20, 2015

A Haywire Start to the New Year

So, my last entry was for the arrival of the Year of the Sheep. Silly me, I'd made a special effort to go out of my way and find a particular wine that Haywire had fashioned to celebrate Chinese New Year. I then promptly forgot to open it to mark the occasion.  Good thing the Chinese celebrate the new year for a good two weeks. I can still open this bottle and be totally in line with the sentiments behind it.

Boo, however, did not spend another day prepping an inspired Chinese meal for me.

Luckily, this wine would have paired with almost anything - or nothing at all.

1865.  2012 Haywire Lunar New Year Red (Okanagan Valley)

For two years now, Haywire has released a Lunar Red and Lunar White blend that they have hopefully "crafted to work in perfect harmony with local cuisine found in our Asian community." Both wines are a limited release timed to coincide with the lunar new year and the wines feature specially crafted labels - with lucky red and gold colouring and calligraphied Chinese characters - to commemorate this year's welcoming of the sheep.

The Lunar Red is largely made from Gamay Noir grapes - a favourite variety at Haywire; however, a small percentage of Syrah was added and it seemed to add a little heft to the body and depth to the palate. It's not a blend that I can remember seeing before, but it certainly worked in this instance.

There were only 200 cases each of the red and white blends made but this was a tripling of 2014's initial offering when only 60 cases of each wine were offered. Even still, the volume is such that the wines are not going to be found on every shelf in every wine shop.

It might be easy to simply write this initiative off as a gimmicky, marketing ploy to entice Vancouver's teeming Chinese population - after all, the winery's initial lunar wines in 2013 sold out within days of release - but it's nice to see that there's a bigger goal involved as well. Wanting to combat a preconception that only sweeter wines or big, bold reds can effectively pair with asian cuisines, Haywire "has also developed a food and wine pairing initiative for the Asian market." In releasing the initial vintage of the lunar wines, they worked with local broadcasters and foodies Stephanie Yuen and Nathan Fong "to develop a program and guide of how to pair flavours from various parts of Asia with the flavour profiles that emerge from BC wines." That exploration of Asian cuisine and wine continued with the new releases.

And, then there's the fact that both Boo and I really enjoyed the wine. I don't know what the winery will have in store for 2016's Year of the Monkey but I'm hoping it will be just as tasty as this effort.

No comments:

Post a Comment