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Lake Breeze Seven Poplars Pinot Noir 2009, BC VQA Okanagan Valley $25

Despite what many say, some of the best Canadian wines are underpriced. Take winemaker Garron Elmes’ soft, fragrant Pinot Noir, which over-delivers with an appealing dryness (as opposed to sweetness in most inexpensive pinots) and a lush texture. This is a mouthful of beguiling red fruit, sourced from older vines on the Lake Breeze vineyards in Naramata and a young planting in Summerland.

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Serve slightly chilled on its own, or with light pasta dishes, fresh tomato pizzas and risottos. It also matches well with simply grilled or seared salmon and tuna, and sweet-salty combinations: think Peking duck or tandoori chicken. It’s a versatile BYOW choice when each diner wants to eat something different at a restaurant – and a perfect partner to the cheese plate, especially mild and creamy ones.

Available at VQA and private wine shops.

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