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West Coast Wines: Joie Farm The Pure Grape Muscat 2011

Joie Farm The Pure Grape Muscat 2011, Okanagan Valley $22.90

Heidi Noble and Michael Dinn are always ahead of the pack in the Okanagan Valley.

Joie's owners led rosé to popularity and are now doing the same for muscat – a rarity in this region. The fruit, sourced from their own Moscato Giallo vines, is one of the few wine grapes that smells and tastes strongly grapey, which is why Noble and Dinn named this "The Pure Grape." It's a versatile (and sometimes abused) variety — the basis for Asti Spumante, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Muscat d'Alsace and some Aussie liqueurs. Lightly spiced and curried Indian and Thai dishes shine with this barely off-dry wine. It's fragrant and refreshing, with potent lime, lemon and orange zest on the palate, lively acidity and low alcohol (11.1 per cent). (Vikram Vij purchased every bottle from their 2007 vintage to serve in his Vij's restaurant.) Plan to drink it now, rather than sell it.

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Available in private wine shops and online at

Kasey Wilson is food editor of Wine Access magazine and editor of Best Places Vancouver.

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