I would say drag is a guilty pleasure of mine but I do not feel guilty about how much I love watching a beautiful queen bring the realness. Heading into the finale of Canada's Drag Race this week, seeing so many talented ladies leave the stage--Lemon, I love you girl--has been heartbreaking, but there were six who really had me smitten: the top five queens and the pageant goddess, Anastarzia Anaquway. If, like me, you’ll be indulging in the finale this week, here are some tasty bottles for you to sip on, inspired by these lovely ladies, while watching Canadian drag "her-story" being made.
Anastarzia Anaquway – 2016 Queen Taken Chardonnay, Checkmate Winery, Oliver, B.C.
Starzy manages to own the room and fill every single corner. Everything about her just screams luxury; a true class act. The only wine fitting to a queen of her stature is the Queen Taken chardonnay from Checkmate winery, a wine equally luxurious and completely over the top. Chardonnay is similar to a drag queen in the way that oak, much like costume and makeup, can enhance the beauty of the wine when applied with a deft hand. The Queen Taken Chardonnay is total luxury; buttery, silky and opulent, a true tribute to a queen that left us too soon.
Lemon – 2018 Leaning Post Riesling, Niagara, ON
Riesling is pure and precise, definitely an overachiever in the wine world. My baby Lemon worked her ass off and brought the same intensity to every performance. I have a serious crush on this beauty. Her runway was always high fashion (her bronze dress in episode four was perfection) and she slayed the maxi challenges. The only thing bitter about this bitch is her Drag Superstar journey being cut too short. Leaning Post riesling is lean and steely with notes of sweet lemon and honeysuckle with serious length, an absolute stunner from one of the finest wineries in Niagara.
Jimbo – 2019 Joue Red, Averill Creek Vineyard, Cowichan Valley, B.C.
Jimbo is a total weirdo. Each performance and runway look toed the line between manic clown and high fashion eccentric, and I am living for it. If you don’t like drag, Jimbo could pull you in with his outrageous runway looks and grotesque performances. And just like Jimbo, Joue Red is a natural wine that’s just a little weird, but delivers something for everyone. If you love wine, there’s plenty to captivate you in this bottle. If you don’t, there’s enough vibrancy and character that it may convert you.
Rita Baga – 2017 Blanc de Noir, Tantalus Vineyards, Okanagan Valley, B.C.
Rita wowed me from day one with her campy, cabaret-style drag; the very best style of drag, IMO. An old pro in the drag game, she is so polished while bringing playfulness to each performance. And her performance as Celine Dion was a total moment. The Blanc de Noir from Tantalus is a rich and toasty Champagne-style sparkling wine with sneaky notes of red raspberry veiled under lemon curd and brioche. A total classic, just like Lady Baga.
Scarlet Bobo – 2018 Cachola Family Cabernet Franc, Synchromesh Wines, Naramata, B.C.
Scarlett was not an immediate favourite for me. Her over-the-top drama and constant whining really didn’t win me over, but after her sissy Ilona was sent home, she transformed into a total star. Her performance in the Snatch Games was a turning point and her punk rock style totally earned her a spot in the finale. Cabernet franc is a very polarizing varietal. Its crunchy, herbal notes can be a little intense for someone with a more subtle palate, but once you develop a palate for cabernet franc, it is absolutely mesmerizing. Synchromesh makes one of the most celebrated expressions of cabernet franc in the country with concentrated flavours that are unapologetic in showing off all the fine nuances of the varietal.
Priyanka – 2017 Reserve Pinot Gris, Blue Mountain Winery, Okanagan Falls, B.C.
This queen knows how to make a bitch laugh. Her off-camera quips and performance for the Heritage Minute have made me a huge fan. Yes, girl, I know your name and I won’t forget it. Her sarcasm added a welcome dose of spice but she kept the drama to a minimum while slaying her looks on the runway. Pinot gris is a varietal that is always pleasant but the reserve pinot gris from Blue Mountain has spice, sweetness and depth with a mineral finish that goes on for days.