The Wine Guy offers up three bottles of perry that are pure deliciousness
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Cider may be garnering the spotlight these days, but let’s at least put some shine on perry. For pears — not just apples — can also ferment into deliciousness.
To be clear, we’re not talking about pear-flavoured apple cider. No, proper perry is a potable made solely from pressed pear juice.
Considering the preponderance of pears grown in B.C. orchards, it’s about time this historically-significant beverage finds a local following as perry is common in England and has been produced regionally in France and Spain for centuries.
Dominion Cider Co. New World Perry ($9.80 for 500mL, available through the cidery and select private liquor stores)
Similar to cider, traditional perry is made with a particular type of pears. Pears that don’t taste particularly good eaten as straight-up fruit, in fact, as perry pears tend to be more astringent, tannic, and bitter. The reality is that B.C. doesn’t have much of a history with heirloom perry pears, but Dominion Cider Co. follows traditional perry-making methods by fermenting local Summerland pears with wild yeasts. The unfiltered result is a waft full of pear and pear skin, with a subtle fruit sweetness overall and an undercurrent of engaging funk and a balanced finish.
Bottom line: B+, Great with firm cheese
Nomad Handcrafted Cider 2018 Pear (from $8 for 500mL, available through the cidery and select private liquor stores)
Another farm-to-glass Summerland-based ciderhouse, Nomad Handcrafted Cider uses a blend of Okanagan-grown Bosc, Anjou, and Bartlett pears in making their aptly named “Pear.” This golden-coloured and bright-toned perry brings exuberant aromatics of fresh pear and floral blossom, with a rich entry and evident sweetness followed by a snappy finish featuring lingering baking spices. This engaging tipple is easily interchangeable with cider or white wine for many a meal — from baked chicken to tofu stir fry.
Bottom line: B, Easy all-around perry
Left Field Cider Co. Pear Dry ($9.80 for 500mL, available through the cidery and select private liquor stores)
Further afield, or rather further north into the Interior to be more precise, we alight in Logan Lake at Left Field Cider Co. Using local fruit to craft small batch, full juice cider and perry since 2011, Left Field doesn’t list the pear varieties used in their bottling of Pear Dry but this easy-to-get-into perry shows rich pear aromas in a snappy and bright style. It’s elegant, bringing more of an effervescent tickle than bracing bubbles overall, with a crisp, fruity finish. Bring on the hockey game and pair with chicken wings, nachos, and/or poutine.
Bottom line: B+, Fruity and snappy
The Swirl: Gift of Love Virtual Gala
The annual Gift of Love fundraiser for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice has gone virtual this year at giftoflove.ca. In support of the gala event, which takes place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, Marquis Wines Cellars has curated a “Gift of Love wine menu.” Order wines from the list and 15 per cent of sales will be donated back to Canuck Place, not to mention all orders ship for free. Wines must be purchased by Feb. 22 to be received in time of the Gift of Love gala, for complete details and a list of wines head to marquis-wines.com/gift-of-love-2021/.