Thursday, July 12, 2012

Now That You Can (Legally)... Will You?

With thursday's news that the BC government has decided to permit the online purchase and shipment of 100% Canadian wines produced in any Province into BC, will you personally take advantage of your new found freedom?

Currently, the restriction limits the online extra-provincial purchasing to wines containing 100% Canadian grown grapes which means the sourcing of Bordeaux Futures from Alberta as suggested in my Bordeaux 2011 Futures and Wine Laws post is, for now, a no-go. Though, this may not be the last we hear of this topic as Vancouver lawyer Mark Hicken points out on his informative website,, the stipulation that the wine be 100% Canadian may not adhere to Federally signed trade agreements that prohibit the preferential treatment of Canadian products over those from a treaty consignee.

However these details work themselves out, in the meantime, British Columbians should celebrate and head to their nearest Google Machine and place an order... because, well, you can! But, what should you buy? For many in BC, thanks to the previous Iron Curtain Of Taxes created by the provincial liquor monopolies, Ontario wines (and beyond) remain a complete mystery to folks on the West Coast. A few Ontario wines make their way in to the BC Market, but only a few and many of these are of the celebrity-themed variety. It will be interesting to monitor if BC wine lovers actually take advantage of the new regulation as they get more familiar with the Canadian wines produced beyond their provincial borders.

To help you make that initial freedom fulfilling order, here are a few suggestions of Ontario wines that taste different from their BC counterparts and offer you the heartwarming experience of something new.

Chateau Des Charmes 2007 Old Vines Pinot Noir - $19
This is a very old world style presentation of Pinot Noir with a focus on food pairing and terroir characters.
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Chateau Des Charmes 2007 St. David's Bench Vineyard Cabernet Franc - $26
This single-vineyard Cabernet Franc from Chateau Des Charmes falls into the "big funky nose" category of wines produced from the most charismatic of the Bordeaux varietals.
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Norman Hardie 2009 Unfiltered County Pinot Noir - $35
The dry, medium-intense palate follows with an Old World expression of minerals and oak with red fruit characters playing second fiddle.
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Stratus Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Franc - $38
This Cabernet Franc from Niagara-On-The-Lake producer Stratus Vineyards is as smoky and seductive as a cabaret burlesque review.
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Stratus Vineyards 2007 Red - $44
A blend of 7 grapes, the five Bordeaux varietals with Syrah and Gamay, this dark ruby coloured wine offers concentrated aromas of dark cherry, cassis, pencil shavings, coffee grounds, white pepper and oak spice on the exciting nose. 2008 vintage also available.
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Tawse Winery 2009 Sketches of Niagara Riesling - $18
Tawse make a number of different Riesling wines but none beat the price-to-value ratio provided by the Sketches release. Look for 2010 and 2011 vintages online.
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Tawse Winery 2008 Laundry Vineyard Cabernet Franc - $30
Balanced and complex with a long finish, this dark ruby coloured wine is drinking beautifully now and has the potential for further development in the bottle. 2009 vintage now released.
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1 comment:

  1. I think a lot will depend on how much it will cost to ship wines across the country. Some of the numbers I've seen rumoured online would make it prohibitively expensive, notwithstanding the high in-province shipping costs BC residents are already used to ($20-30/case to the coast, just from the Okanagan!)