Sommeliers’ Picks

Sommeliers’ Picks

Introduction by Nikki Bayley
Iwill pass on the best advice I was ever given about drinking red wine in the summertime: Chill your reds. No, not those complex, bolder reds you slowly swirl and pair with heavier dishes! Instead, think light, bright, fruit-forward grape varieties such as Gamay or Grenache, which often have a lower alcohol level, and are best with a little chill before serving. Trying these wines on the cooler side brings out their refreshing traits, making them the perfect choice for enjoying on the patio. We asked three Whistler sommeliers to pick their favourite light reds for you to enjoy. Happy sipping!
Domaine Lapierre Morgon 2021

Paul Brian | Head Sommelier
Bearfoot Bistro, 604-932-3433,

I’ve always felt that red wines should be served at cellar temperature (12 to 13 C), which makes all the difference. However, during the warmer summer months, the right wine with the right chill is a delightful experience, and I have consumed this wine at as low as 10 C. This delightfully sturdy and long-lived Cru Beaujolais from the late Marcel Lapierre is not only the ultimate expression of 100 per cent Gamay Noir (grown organically and governed by biodynamic principles), but it is approachable and has the potential of longevity from four to nine years from harvest.
This deep, ruby-red wine expresses the aromas of fruity, ripe cherry with hints of violet, lavender, and licorice. Low in tannins, this smooth wine explodes with bright red and plummy fruit, raspberries, and sweet cherries. At Bearfoot Bistro, to accentuate this wonderful Beaujolais, we pair it with a succulent dish of expertly prepared duck breast sourced from Brome Lake (Quebec), garnished with caramelized honey duck jus and cherry chutney, made with both dried and fresh cherries. Duck breast, cherries, and Beaujolais? Oh my, what a treat!


Joie Farms Gamay Noir 2020

Jason Kawaguchi | Manager & Wine Director
Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar, 604-932-4540,

Admittedly my wine preference tends to skew towards white as the weather turns warmer, but sometimes you still feel like a bottle of red in the summer. Enter Joie Farms Gamay Noir.
While Burgundy is most famously known for its Pinot Noir, the slightly lesser-known wines of Beaujolais are made with Gamay Noir. Offering a wide range of styles from Beaujolais Nouveau to Cru Beaujolais, the area often produces wines of considerable value.

The Okanagan has shown itself as a great terroir for this grape, highlighting the often-zippy spice of Gamay. A little lower in alcohol at 12.2 per cent, it is perfect for days when the temperature spikes. Natural acidity, low tannins, and very approachable fruit make this wine a veritable “jack of all trades” that pairs amazingly well with various foods.

Try it this summer at Araxi with our dry-aged Yarrow Meadow duck breast with a birch syrup glaze, dashi-marinated heirloom eggplant, duck confit Napa cabbage roll, and green tomato plum sauce. Don’t be afraid to put this wine on ice for a while to bring the temperature down to help keep you cool!


Domaine Fond Cyprès
Premier Jus 2021

Nick Humphreys | Restaurant Manager
The Mallard Lounge at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler,

Whether you enjoy the challenge of pairing wine with food or not, some pairings are worth noting. Knowing this can truly enhance your dining experience as we move into summer and look towards long nights by the fire, barbecue, and fresh, light ingredients. I recently discovered that Domaine Fond Cyprès has some very interesting, light-bodied reds. The “Premier Jus” is an elegant and fun wine; whole bunches of Carignan [grapes] were immersed in direct-press Grenache juice, then pressed two days later.
The result is a wine with great acidity and a light body. The Carignan in the wine lends itself well to food and is extremely versatile. New to The Wildflower menu this season, cherry blossom Shoyu duck breast with charred green onion, peanuts, roasted parsnip, salsify purée, and a decadent Sauce Perigourdine [with Madeira and truffles] is an ideal dish to enjoy with this wine. The acidity level from the Shoyu matches the wine perfectly, and the earthiness from the Carignan complements the duck breast.

Follow them on Instagram @fond_cypres.

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