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waters on wine

Atticus is a Canadian poet who has amassed more than 1.6 million followers on Instagram. Keying in on overarching themes of love, relationships and adventure, he uses the digital platform to broadcast words and ideas the way conceptual artist Jenny Holzer communicated via illuminated electronic displays and projections on buildings and other structures in public spaces.

Wine frequently weaves its way into Instagram posts on @atticuspoetry. “There is no safer place I know than tucked in a corner of a café in Paris with a bottle of rosé and an afternoon to spare,” he writes in a recent reel.

While he keeps his identity secret and sports a mask when he appears on his feed, Atticus continues to increase his reach. He has released three books, including the recently released LVOE, and 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 suit the preferences revealed by on their answers. Lost Poet launched with a red blend from California, which is available in provinces across the country. Its success paved the way for a rosé that was recently released in Ontario.

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

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

Amarula Plant Based (South Africa), $31.45

Rating:88 /100

South African cream liqueur brand, Amarula, has introduced a dairy-free version. Like the original, it is made with the African marula fruit and blended with coconut, caramel and vanilla flavours, but swaps out the cow’s milk for coconut milk. Marula fruit has a distinctive tangy, citrusy and nutty flavour. It works well for tiki-style cocktails or added to coffee or hot chocolate. Vegan friendly. Available in Ontario.

Alberta Pure Vodka (Canada), $28.75

Rating:91 /100

Alberta Pure’s crisp and clean character continues to rack up major awards, including a gold medal at this year’s International Wine & Spirits Competition in London. Made in Calgary, this triple distilled vodka is made using locally sourced grains and glacier water. The result is a creamy and round spirit, with some subtle bread, vanilla and spice notes. It’s a versatile style to have on hand for cocktails. Available in Ontario at the above price, $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

Rating:87 /100

Consistently one of the most popular vinho verde labels, Casal Garcia is a lower alcohol (9.5 per cent abv) and fruity white that’s nicely balanced and easy to appreciate. A mix of apricot, peach and floral notes made for a style that’s tailormade for enjoying on the deck, dock or poolside. Drink now. Available in Ontario at the above price, $14.99 in British Columbia, various prices in Alberta, $12.99 in Saskatchewan.

Fort Berens Pinot Gris 2021 (Canada), $21.99

Rating:88 /100

This attractive white wine is produced with pinot gris grown in different vineyards located in British Columbia, including Fort Berens’ own Dry Creek Vineyard in Lillooet. It’s fresh and flavourful character suggests a mix of pear, yellow apple and melon with a clean finish. A crowd pleasing style that is enjoyable on its own or with a meal. Drink now to 2024. Available in British Columbia at the above price and direct, fortberens.ca.

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

Rating:90 /100

Gris Blanc is an enjoyable dry rosé made from different varieties of grenache grown in the south of France. Made in the fashionable pale style, this stylish pink wine captures the fruity personality of grenache, showing white cherry, melon and citrus notes, with elegant balance and a crisp, refreshing finish. Light and bright, this is a terrific 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

Rating:88 /100

Made in a rich and creamy style, this single-vineyard chardonnay from a warm vintage in Niagara showcases bold nutty and toasty aromas and flavours. That barrel fermented character and a ripe core of tropical fruit, honey and spice adds to the depth of flavour and fuller-bodied style, which is balanced by bright lemony acidity. Drink now to 2026. Available in Ontario at the above price, $31.99 in Nova Scotia (2019 vintage).

Lost Poet Rosé 2021 (United States), $19.95

Rating:90 /100

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

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

Rating:89 /100

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 mix of concentrated dark fruit flavours with savoury, smoky and cedar accents. The wine’s supple texture makes it approachable now, but there’s structure and gripping tannins that suggest this will improve with more time in the bottle. Drink now to 2027. Available at the above price in British Columbia, $45 direct from phantomcreekestates.com

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

Rating:88 /100

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

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