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.
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.