Nine wines and spirits to sip on in the summer

Atticus is a Canadian poet with over 1.6 million followers on Instagram. Drawing on the overarching themes of love, relationships and adventure, it uses the digital platform to spread words and ideas in much the same way that concept artist Jenny Holzer communicated through electronic displays. lights and projections onto buildings and other structures in public spaces.

Wine frequently sneaks into Instagram posts on @atticuspoetry. “There’s no safer place I know of than tucked away in a corner of a cafe in Paris with a bottle of rosé and an afternoon to spare,” he wrote in a recent reel.

While he keeps his identity a secret and sports a mask when he appears on his stream, Atticus continues to increase his reach. He has published three books, including the recent LVOEand has a growing wine portfolio called Lost Poet.

The wine brand is produced in partnership with Winc, an algorithm-based wine club, which asks members a series of questions to find wines that match the preferences revealed by their answers. Lost Poet launched with a California red blend, which is available in provinces nationwide. Its success paved the way for a recently launched rosé in Ontario.

As you’d expect, the packaging for the Lost Poets bottles was designed to be Instagrammed. Many feature poetic verses in addition to the wine’s name and details, some include a blank space if a wine lover is inspired to put pen to bottle. Luckily, these aren’t just another pretty label. The rosé’s dry and inviting style makes it one of this week’s recommended wines.

It’s featured alongside a selection of wines and spirits that are memorable summer drinks, even if they don’t inspire you to post on Instagram or create a spontaneous poem.

Herbal Amarula (South Africa), $31.45

South African cream liqueur brand Amarula has launched a dairy-free version. Like the original, it’s made with the fruit of the African marula and blended with flavors of coconut, caramel, and vanilla, but replaces the cow’s milk with coconut milk. Marula fruit has a distinctive pungent, lemony, and nutty flavor. It works well for tiki-style cocktails or added to coffee or hot chocolate. Suitable for vegans. Available in Ontario.

Alberta Pure Vodka (Canada), $28.75

The crisp, clean character of Alberta Pure continues to rack up major awards, including a gold medal at this year’s International Wine and Spirits Competition in London. Made in Calgary, this triple distilled vodka is made from local grains and glacier water. The result is a creamy and round spirit, with subtle notes of bread, vanilla and spices. It’s a versatile style to have on hand for cocktail parties. Available in Ontario at the price above, $21.99 in British Columbia and Manitoba, various prices in Alberta, $24.99 in Saskatchewan, $25.99 in New Brunswick, $28.98 in Nova Scotia , $31.97 in Newfoundland.

Casal Garcia Vinho Verde (Portugal), $11

Still one of the most popular vinho verde labels, Casal Garcia is a low-alcohol (9.5 percent abv) and fruity white that’s well-balanced and easy to enjoy. A blend of apricot, peach and floral notes for a style tailor-made to be enjoyed on the patio, dock or poolside. Drink now. Available in Ontario at the price above, $14.99 in British Columbia, various prices in Alberta, $12.99 in Saskatchewan.

Fort Berens Pinot Gris 2021 (Canada), $21.99

This attractive white wine is produced with Pinot Gris grown at various vineyards located in British Columbia, including Fort Berens’ own Dry Creek vineyard in Lillooet. Its fresh and savory character suggests a mixture of pear, yellow apple and melon with a clean finish. A style that will please everyone and can be enjoyed on its own or with a meal. Drink through 2024. Available in British Columbia at the price above and direct, fortberens.ca.

Gérard Bertrand Gris Blanc Rosé 2020 (France), $15.95

Gris Blanc is a pleasant dry rosé made from different varieties of Grenache grown in the south of France. Crafted in the fashionable pale style, this elegant rose wine captures the fruity personality of Grenache, showing notes of white cherry, melon and citrus, with elegant balance and a clean, refreshing finish. Light and bright, it is an excellent aperitif. Drink now. Available at the above price in Ontario and Quebec, various prices in British Columbia and Alberta, $19.99 in New Brunswick.

Inniskillin Montague Vineyard Chardonnay 2020 (Canada), $25.95

Crafted in a rich, creamy style, this single-vineyard Chardonnay from a warm Niagara vintage showcases bold aromas and flavors of hazelnut and toast. This barrel-fermented character and a ripe core of tropical fruit, honey and spice add to the depth of flavor and fuller-bodied style, which is balanced by crisp lemony acidity. Drink now through 2026. Available in Ontario at the price above, $31.99 in Nova Scotia (2019 vintage).

Lost Poet Rosé 2021 (US), $19.95

The Lost Poet label is a collaboration between Winc Wines and Canadian Instagram poet Atticus. The wines are made in California and feature a few verses as part of the minimalist labels. This dry rosé is well balanced and flavorful, offering the expected blend of watermelon, red berry and citrus flavors with some lovely floral accents. Drink now. Available in Ontario.

Phantom Creek Estates Petite Cuvée 2019 (Canada), $37.99

Petite Cuvée is a robust red wine from the Okanagan made from a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It’s a complex red that offers a compelling blend of concentrated dark fruit flavors with salty, smoky and cedar accents. The wine’s supple texture makes it approachable now, but there’s gripping structure and tannins that suggest it will improve with more time in bottle. Drink now through 2027. Available at the above price in BC, $45 direct from phantomcreekestates.com

Templeton 6 Year Old Straight Rye Whiskey (USA), $54.90

Based in Templeton, Iowa, this distillery aged this rye whiskey for six years in new charred American oak barrels before bottling it at 45.75% alcohol by volume (91.5 proof) . The result is a bold spirit with an easy-to-appreciate blend of coconut, vanilla and brown sugar notes to counter the spicy, peppery attributes of rye whiskey. The sweeter character makes it a rye for bourbon lovers. It makes a nice old-fashioned cocktail and works well mixed with ginger ale or ginger beer. Available in Ontario at the price above, $69.99 in British Columbia, various prices in Alberta, $63.05 in Manitoba.

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Shirley M. Pinder