Honda Accord Coupe V6 Navi at Painted Rock

Sleek lines in front and behind

Sleek lines in front and behind

I have to confess, I had a tough time giving back my sleek Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6 Navi, which I was lent for the other week’s Okanagan trip, prior to the BC Wine Awards judging. This is one of the most fun rides I’ve had in years.

I snapped the picture above in front of Painted Rock’s brand new tasting room—which is as striking in design as the Coupe. The photo does neither one the justice it deserves. But there was a synchronicity that prompted me to take the shot.

Floating between mountains and lake

Floating between mountains and lake

 

Even on rainy day the vista is terrific

Even on rainy day the vista is terrific

 

Clean lines—and, despite the medal haul, quite understated

Clean lines—and, despite the medal haul, quite understated

Not surprisingly, the Painted Rock building is an absolute stunner. I knew it would be good but I wasn’t ready for the ethereal way in which it just seems to float below the mountain and over the vineyard. And, as the chap behind the bar asked me, “Do you remember the old tasting room?”

Indeed I did. In fact, I affectionately referred to it as “Lilliputian.”

I didn’t taste on this occasion but I’m well familiar with Painted Rock, whose 2009 Syrah deservedly scooped a Lieutenant Governor’s Award—and whose wines overall have become Okanagan benchmarks for excellence.

Update: The winery has just been named “British Columbia Winery of the Year” at the InterVin International Wine Awards.

 

About the Honda Accord Coupe …

I’m convinced that all Riesling geeks probably like to drive standards—serious standards that is—with a decent shift mechanism. This 16 valve 2014 Honda Accord Coupe boasts a close spaced, six speed gearbox, which is a real treat to work through. (Of course, it does come in automatic for all you diehard Chardonnay lovers… 😉

An intuitive arrangement

An intuitive arrangement

The ride is gratifyingly firm, with a strong sense of contact with the road. Throw the Coupe into corners and it will respond. Driving the twists and turns of BC Crowsnest Highway 3 was a breeze, with plenty of acceleration in both 3rd and 4th gears and even some in 5th. Cruising in 6th was easy and at ridiculously low revs, even at speed. Shifting was seamless, even if I did have to look for 6 a couple if times before I got used to the gate.

More than just a pretty screen: this safety feature is truly worthwhile

More than just a pretty screen: this safety feature is truly worthwhile

I drove this sleek and sexy coupe at around legal speeds (well, I did try, officer…) pretty well all the way.  The driver’s seat (fully memory-adjustable) delivers good support, almost rally style. No shortage of conveniences, both cosmetic and otherwise add up to one comfy and very secure ride. Put on your right hand turn signal and the crystal clear nav. screen lights up with Lane Watch blind spot monitor. A truly useful feature, it gives you a much wider perspective than the mirror, and really keeps you aware of your blind side.

I don’t pretend to be a designer (or a car reviewer, for that matter) but I do love the Coupe’s sweeping lines and strong aerodynamics that make it very quiet at higher speeds.

Aside from being a fun drive, the Coupe feels very intuitive. Everything seems to be just in the right place. And it was really easy to sync my phone into the system for tunes and calls. And there’s enough room in the impressively spacious trunk for more than a few cases of wine plus two full-sized suitcases. More on the Honda Accord Coupe here.

 

Painted Rock Syrah 2010 is featured in this month’s BC Liquor Stores “Best of BC” promotion—and rightly so. This is about as close to the Rhone as you can get in BC, on the steep eastern shores of Skaha Lake. Look for Classic varietal meaty and spice notes on top, with a plush and peppery palate, expressive black fruit, and polished savoury notes, wrapped in fine tannins, before a long finish. Put it away for a while and you will be well rewarded. BCLS $39.94 / 92 pts.

A fluidity of form ...

A fluidity of form … much like the wine

About the **

Yup. Definitely a tongue-in-cheek title. However, just for the record. I don’t condone drinking and driving. And I always spit when I’m tasting.  And during the judging, this baby went nowhere for the entire three days.