Wednesday, January 11, 2012

BC Wine Deal: January 11th, 2012

The following wines have been reduced in price at participating VQA wine shops. Some reductions are due to new vintages being released soon and others are simply to help move stock.

Fort Berens Meritage was $28.00 is now $26.99
Inniskillin Pinot Blanc was $13.99 is now $12.49
Inniskillin Pinot Noir was $18.99 is now $17.49
Tinhorn Chardonnay was $17.99 is now $16.99
Tinhorn Pinot Noir was $19.99 is now $18.99

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Looking Ahead to 2012

With 2011 now behind us it's time to look ahead what may be in store for us all in 2012. An attempt at forecasting how I believe certain wine topics affecting the Canadian market may play-out this year. Have your say too and leave a comment below.

Screw Cap Enclosures
I don't think there has ever been more cellar worthy wines produced in Canada at any given time than the impressive examples being consistently offered today. However, it remains a very small percentage of the amount of wines produced from our (relatively) young industry using (mostly) young vines (less than 15 years old). Most wines produced are for daily consumption and are presented in a North American-friendly, fruit-forward and lively style. A style perfectly attuned to the freshness-containing, aluminum screw-cap enclosure more commonly used in Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, in North America the screw cap (or "Stelvin cap" as it is all too often referred to in a Kleenex sort of way) is still associated with bulk, cheap, "jug" wines and rarely seen on quality, mid-range products like the sorts of wines we save for that special evening which is expected to be fulfilled within the next year or two.

It's a perception that a few influential producers like the Okanagan Valley's Tinhorn Creek are looking to change and who see the screw cap for what it is - insurance that of all the wines that leave the winery, none will come back due to a tainted cork. All of their wines, with the only exception being the winery's 200ml Icewine/Late Harvest bottle, are enclosed with a screw cap. Even their reserve wines which receive an extra year of bottle aging prior to release are sealed with the screw cap. These wines taste fresh upon release, yet, you can taste the benefits of the extra time in bottle. The jury may still be out on the long term effect but some data coming out of Australia is encouraging.

I believe that more wineries in BC and Ontario will adopt the screw cap for their bottom and mid-tier wines. Cork will remain the standard for the cellar dwellars as is my own preference. Hopefully, more screw caps will mean less synthetics - the bane of my wine bottle opening experience.

Prediction: Progress will be made, but item will remain "Unsolved".

Outdated Liquor Board Laws
I certainly support the amending of the current inter-provincial shipping liquor laws for the simple fact that I would like to be able to order wine from the Niagara Peninsula directly from the producer and at the winery door price. However, the Ins and Outs of the details as to how the laws should change I leave to other much more informed folks like @JustGrapesWine @freemygrapes and @TDMulligen.

Reading the tea leaves it feels as though support for some sort of personal consumption exemption is gaining ground with politicians and will not only be changed in our lifetime, but changed this coming year. This is a small victory in the larger battle to change the Prohibition-era laws and the mountain of ridiculous (and often confusing) regulations the antiquated laws support. But a victory nonetheless.

Prediction: Solved (somewhat)

Next page: Signature Grapes & Bordeaux Vintages