Wednesday, November 30, 2016

'Tis The Season...

... For Gifting Wine

As we approach the holiday season it's time to start thinking about gifts for the wine lovers in your life. Many BC wineries are looking to attract your business with curated cases and half-cases of their wines. Here are a few of the most appealing offers currently available:

The "JoieBox" at $170 includes a selection of pre-release, sold-out, and limited production wines and they are offering free shipping in BC:

2014 Joie Brut - 2 bottles 
2015 'En Famille' Reserve Riesling - 2 bottles 
2014 'En Famille' Reserve Pinot Noir - 1 bottle 
2013 JoieFarm Gamay - 1 bottle

Black Hills Estate Winery
The Black Sage Rd winery offers white or red themed boxes of their portfolio wines. The Big Red Box at $339 is likely your best bet as it includes the "sold-out" Note Bene and their underrated Syrah:

2014 Note Bene - 2 bottles
2014 Syrah - 2 bottles
2014 Per Se - 2 bottles

Laughing Stock Vineyards
The Naramata Bench property has a few gift box options including a nice, mixed, half-case of their red releases but for something a little different, why not "go big" with a handsomely packaged magnum of their flagship wine for $119?:

2014 Portfolio - 1 bottle (magnum)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Canadian Wines for the US Election

Being a political junkie, watching the American election coverage is appointment TV of the highest order, despite the facts that I'm Canadian, have never lived in the United States nor boast but a few friends from down South. I will be glued to the TV nevertheless.

As we've all seen over the past 18 months, the political rhetoric of the 2016 campaign has been particularly nasty in nature, bringing out the worst of humanity from time-to-time; fear of immigrants, fear of women, fear of change. There's been many a day when my mood was darkened by scrolling through the end-of-the-world themed comments and the ridiculous, false-equivalency, "...two evils" posts of my Facebook feed, where the only thing that kept my spirits from completely spiralling out of control was stumbling across a video montage of kittens playing or abandoned dogs being rescued (always brings a joyful tear to my eye).

Well, that's all coming to an end tonight (we hope) when the news outlets call a win for Trump or Clinton and the longest-ever US election cycle will finally be over. Something to celebrate, no matter who becomes President.

I present my picks for just such a celebration. Let's call it a list for, It's-Finally-Fu*%ing-Over! wines. Each are guaranteed to put a smile on your face... and isn't that exactly what you need right about now?

Stag's Hollow Winery 2015 Tragically Vidal - $17
An intense, beautifully-textured, off-dry blend of 89.5% Vidal and 10.5% Orange Muscat that tastes and smells of fresh-off-the-tree peaches and ultra-ripe tropical fruit. Residual sugar is nicely balanced by a wave of citrus acidity and touch of cool mineral and light, dry herb notes. A truly delightful wine with a pure expression of joy that should be shared with friends and family in its youth.
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Bench 1775 Winery 2015 Glow Rosé - $20
A truly lovely rosé to experience via its delicate, candied fruit and floral-herb nose and superbly balanced, slightly off-dry, mouth-watering, berry and citrus-infused palate. Salmon-hued and subtly textured, "Glow" is a blend of 75% Malbec, 10.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9.3% Syrah and 5.2% Cabernet Franc, produced with minimal skin contact and aged in stainless steel tanks. Finishes long with lingering herb, melon and tangy, tropical fruit notes. Delightful.
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Chateau Des Charmes 2012 Rosé Sparkling Wine - $30
This sparkling rosé, made in the traditional method, is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser at your next celebration with its delicious combination of red berry fruit, honeycomb, melon, vanilla-icing and baked brioche aromas and flavours. Palate is both lively and smooth with some residual sugar, mineral and plump, yeasty notes. The finish is crisp and satisfying.
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Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars 2012 Brut Rosé - $33
An elegant and silky smooth Brut Rosé made in the traditional method with compelling aromas of honey-dipped scones, grapes, sweet lees and prune fruit. A pale, bronzed-salmon colour, this dry, zesty sparkling wine with loads of texture and creamy, strawberry notes, is to be enjoyed with savoury appetisers or on its own where it can comfortably hold your attention.
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JoieFarm 2014 "En Famille" Reserve Pinot Noir - $40
A fantastic, barrel select, Pinot Noir sourced from Naramata and Summerland vineyards and true to its cool-climate roots with an only-in-BC blend of vibrant red fruit, silky-smooth sweet herbs and flowers, cedar plank, fine tannins and spicy earthy notes. The finish is long and mouth-watering with lingering, savoury and tangy raspberry seed notes.
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Le Vieux Pin 2013 Équinoxe Syrah - $80
A feminine and moody Syrah with densely packed layers of ripe black cherries, peppercorn, spiced plums, licorice, sweet pipe tobacco aromas and lovely floral notes of potpourri, nectar and violets. The palate is equally dense and concentrated, bursting with mouth-watering, cherry-cola and smoky, black pepper flavours with fine tannins and red berry acidity contributing structure and balance. The finish is long with lingering dark berry notes and smoky goodness.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Featured Wines: Bordeaux Offering

If any of the wines in this week's Featured Wines column tickle your fancy, you can order them directly from Jordan by email ( or find him in the Vintage Room of Everything Wine's Morgan Crossing location in South Surrey.

Bordeaux Vintages

By Jordan Carrier

If wine is romance made liquid, what does Bordeaux bring to the door on a first date? Well, it depends on when he was born.
  • 2009 shows all his cards. He loves you sight unseen and he brought a yacht. He couldn’t park it on the street so it’s lying on its side and disrupting traffic, but it’s a yacht.
  • 2010 shows you one card, on your doorstep. As soon as you bend to pick it up, you notice the next card, several feet away, gleaming in the moonlight. You follow the subsequent cards, perfectly spaced between each other that lead towards the vintage Cadillac on the street, where Bruce Springsteen (the driver) will take you anywhere you wish, just so long as you stay amazing.
  • 2011 apologizes for being late, he couldn’t get to the door because of all the boats and cars. He has tickets to the latest Terrence Malik movie, which you probably won’t understand now but totally will later. He is kind, smart, even smoldering, but shuts down when you try to talk about his older brothers.
  • 2012 comes to the door dressed in sweatpants because he already knows what you think of him, but wows you with a box of chocolates that contains flavours you weren’t expecting. He leads you to a horse-drawn carriage that takes you to a heritage theme-park full of proper people in full dress speaking proper sentences. It is only later that you realize that you married him.
  • 2013 arrives brandishing a stick with a happy face sharpied onto it. He tells you that the stick is for you but he won’t let go of it. After an awkward silence, he relinquishes the stick and slowly backs away into your yard. The next morning, you discover that he took all of the apples off your tree.

And this (2013) is the vintage that the BC Liquor Stores will be offering in a week’s time in their annual Bordeaux release. Private stores are prohibited from participating, but we frankly wouldn’t if we could, 2013 is a dud.

Given the outsized prices of certain recent Bordeaux vintages, I don’t feel bad practicing a bit of Schadenfreude here: 2013 is a vintage without fruit and without joy. I tried select barrel samples from a wide variety of 2013s a couple of years back, and I left the tasting with the distinct impression that I had just French-kissed a pencil. I’m not even sure that age can help, here, a stick of wood may simply develop into an older stick of wood. There will inevitably be the odd gem in this vintage (the whites, particularly, also Fronsac?), but I’d overall give it a miss. If you are collecting verticals, buy single bottles for the sake of continuity, but don’t go deep.

Instead of that vintage, we are offering an affordable (all under $100) selection of well rated Bordeaux from other recent, solid, proven vintages, and because we are ninjas, we are offering people a chance to try them first. Come to our store on Saturday September 24 between 2pm and 6pm and try the following wines from 2012, 2011, and the legendary 2010. None of this silly ’13 business. These are classic wines of beauty and strength, and though it’s a diverse cull, they are all quintessentially Bordeaux.