Forage restaurant has collaborated with West Kelowna’s Niche Wine Co. on a private label chardonnay that is a perfect partner for their locally inspired menu. It’s a chablis-style unoaked chard—mouth-wateringly crisp and clean, with notes of green apples and citrus—that’s adorned with a striped label that jauntily echoes the walls of the dining room.
“There’s a salinity to it, too,” says Margot Baloro, the general manager for both Forage and Timber, the Canadiana-themed gastro-pub next door in the Listel Hotel. “It’s not complicated, but it’s elegant. It pairs with all things B.C., which is perfect for us.”
Forage has long been renowned for supporting local producers such as Glorious Organics and Turtle Valley bison. Now this collaboration takes that philosophy into the vineyard. Niche Wine Co. is a small, family-run operation owned by James and Joanna Schlosser, whose Maréchal Foch and Gewürztraminer also appear on the menu.
“This meant being able to get a whole batch of something and work with a smaller winery and developing a relationship with them,” Baloro says. Where Forage typically gets a couple of cases of wine in at a time, it has stocked 20 cases of the Niche Chardonnay, which Baloro anticipates will be enough to last into fall. “We’re proud of it.”
It’s an exciting new addition to a wine menu that, even in a city with no shortage of local wines in restaurants, offers a special taste of British Columbia. Sommelier Peter Sullivan and wine list editor Jeanette LeBlanc have compiled a truly helpful guide to what is produced where, and divvied it up according to what pairs best with the categories of “Sea, Soil and Land” on the food menu, as well as wines for snacks and sweets.
“That new way of designing the wine list really speaks to the B.C. experience,” Baloro says.
The wine list changes frequently, and the Niche Chardonnay won’t last forever, so get yourself to Forage this summer to enjoy it while you can. It’s available by the glass or bottle, and goes perfectly with all the seafood and salads you’re craving right now.
Forage is located at 1300 Robson Street in Vancouver.