What’s in Your Wineskin?

A little something to warm you up in the back country

Bota Pro Wineskin

We suggest the vegan-friendly BotaPro bota bag for all social beverages. Photo: www.botapro.com

Winter is here and the mountains are calling! This year more than ever Canadians are planning to get outside and play in the snow. If you are one of the many, consider packing along a wineskin. Once an essential piece of gear for skiers in the 1960s and ‘70s, the wineskin fell out of style in the ‘80s, but this pandemic is the perfect time to bring it back. Gone are the days of passing it around and sharing with friends. Now, to be safe, the wineskin needs to be our own personal container. There is nothing like a little wine and fresh air to bring a boost to the soul and the immune system!

The wineskin has a long history in Spain where it is known as the bota bag or “botas de vino,” originally used by shepherds. It is easily recognizable by its kidney-shaped, plastic nozzle and the long-braided shoulder strap which allows for hands-free transport. Bota bags use a pine or juniper resin to keep sealed. These original wine skins needed to be broken in and seasoned to ensure water tightness and reduce the possibility of the resin affecting the wine. Although the more modern wineskins have latex liners, I still recommend rinsing your wineskin thoroughly first with water and then with an inexpensive wine to remove any residual taste from the liner. Once the wineskin has been rinsed, it is ready to hold your favourite elixir. To christen your wineskin, pick something special to you. Wineskins like wine, they get better with age. This year, perhaps this old favourite will help make your winter a bit more fun.

What is in my wineskin? I am on a port wine kick lately, so my pick is the Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port 2015. Taylor Fladgate pioneered this style in 1965, so 2015 marked their 50th anniversary. A Late Bottle Vintage, or LBV, is a port from a single vintage that has been aged in the barrel four to six years, and is ready to drink upon release. For a wine to be called a port, it must be made in the Douro Valley in Portugal. However, many fortified wines around the world are made in a “port style.” Or buy local with the Black Sage Vineyard Pipe 2010 from the Okanagan Valley. Both the Taylor Fladgate LBV Port and the Black Sage Vineyard Pipe are perfect for the holidays. A bit decadent, their lush flavours of black cherry, cassis and blackberry will take the chill off when you are out on the trail. Pair it with some dark chocolate for a true out-of-body experience! Now it is your turn: #whatisinyourwineskin? 

December 2020 Digital Edition

IMPACT Magazine’s December 2020 Edition

Read about our top Canadian Olympic snowboarder who returned from injury and is chasing that elusive Olympic Gold!⁠ Learn how not to lose your momentum running through the cold and snow, work out with Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers, avoid back pain with one of the world’s most renowned experts and try out our delicious Holiday-themed recipes.

Read these story in our December 2020 Digital Edition.