Sommeliers’ Picks

Sommeliers’ Picks

Introduction by Nikki Bayley

Sommeliers, Whistler, wine and dining.

There are few pleasures as simple — and delicious — as savouring wine paired perfectly with the season. Just as winter calls for curling up beside the fire, swirling a big red in your glass, summer cries out for crisp, fresh, fruit-forward whites to enjoy in the sunshine with friends. But with so many options, where to start? Take the advice of these Whistler sommeliers, whose expert palates will take you on a tasting tour from the cool-climate vineyards of France’s Chablis region to the desert heat of Oliver in the Okanagan Valley, and discover unique wines with sunshine in every sip.

Louis Michel et Fils Premier Cru Séchets, Chablis 2014

As though we need any further enticement to be outside right now, this gorgeous Chablis does the trick! Located in northeast France, the Chablis area is considered the northernmost extension of the Burgundy wine region. This Premier Cru wine is aged in stainless steel tanks for at least 12 months and delivers an intriguing bouquet of floral and citrus notes, with scents of grapefruit, flowers, and stones. It starts smooth and has a stunning, long finish, strengthened by the famously pronounced minerality of the Chablis soil and crisp flavours of white fruit.

Its aromatic depth and complexity make it the perfect wine to pair with our diverse variety of cured meats and delicious aged cheeses. The Basalt team also loves to pair this with our classic chicken liver and bacon mousse, featuring a pomegranate ginger gastrique, pickled watermelon rind, homemade mustard and served with grilled baguette. We look forward to seeing you on a lovely summer evening this season, seated near our patio fireplace with a glass of wine in hand.


Wine Director / Assistant Manager

Basalt Wine + Salumeria, 604-962-9011

Ormarine, Picpoul de Pinet 2015

As we look forward to a summer of sunshine and good times with friends, make sure to get out to a local restaurant and try some new wines. My summer pick for 2021 is Picpoul de Pinet from the south of France near Lake Thau, a lagoon on the Mediterranean coast that is famous for its oysters.

Picpoul is an old French grape whose name translates to “stings the lip.” The amazing flavours of this unique grape are unlike any other. Jam-packed with ripe lemon, white flowers, thyme and exotic fruits, this delicious version from Ormarine is still crisp and bone dry. Pale yellow, with a hint of green, it has weight and volume with a silky mouthfeel. This wine perfectly pairs with seafood, and at Bearfoot Bistro, you can try it during happy hour to accompany our freshly shucked Sawmill Bay oysters or grilled octopus.

This summer, join us to experience delicious bounties of locally sourced ingredients with the finest wines from around the world.


Luc Trottier
Wine Director / Bar Manager

Bearfoot Bistro, 604-932-3433

Lightning Rock Chardonnay 2019

Whistler + Summer = Magic: my favourite kind of math.
For the perfect backyard picnic with friends and cold wine, call Il Caminetto to order the charcuterie to-go and grab some hummus from Nesters Market! Pack some sunscreen, a good hat, and a warm blanket. Does it get any better? Yes. What is in your glass?

Lightning Rock Chardonnay 2019 is the new kid on the block: moderate alcohol, crisp apple, and enough complexity to take your mind off the unimportant things in life. Sourced from the spectacular Canyonview Vineyard in Summerland, B.C., in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, the wine undergoes spontaneous fermentation and is unfined and unfiltered. The valley is blessed with ideal weather conditions — cool nights and ample sunshine, sandy soil, and large granite stones. This refreshing wine is available at the Blackcomb Liquor Store and Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar.
A bonus is the screw top so you can forget your wine opener and remember crackers for the hummus. Finally, a solid “Whistler hack” — salt and ice in a bucket of cold water will chill any wine quickly.

Consider visiting the Araxi patio, post-picnic, for some Champagne with oysters. Try the J.L. Vergnon “Conversation” Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru — 100 per cent Chardonnay and one of the many “steals” on a local wine list. Serious postal code. Elegant sipper. As the sun sets, I can guarantee your glass will never be empty.


Shane Taylor
Wine Director, Toptable Group

Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar, 604-932-4540

Burrowing Owl Pinot Gris 2019

With summer in full swing, there’s no better feeling than sitting on a sunny patio or dipping your toes in the lake, celebrating the new season! It’s hard to find a better combination than these moments and a glass of Pinot Gris.

Alive and refreshing, this wine shows a great crisp acidity that cools one’s palate on a hot summer day. The aromas of honeydew, peach, and grapefruit are well balanced, with some lemon notes on a lingering finish.

This wine is perfect on its own or to accompany any light dish. A light, fresh, and summery salad or a citrusy ceviche with local B.C. seafood will pair fantastically together. At Braidwood Tavern, I would pair this Pinot Gris with the fatty tuna ceviche. The ahi tuna is served with diced avocado, cucumber, sweet potato, dried Peruvian corn and a fresh ponzu dressing. The Pinot Gris complements the delicate flavour of the dish while keeping everything fresh and light for an enjoyable lunch on our patio.


Damien Bagnoud
F&B Sommelier

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler