Thursday, January 16, 2014

Looking Ahead: 2014

When looking ahead and contemplating an entire year of possibilities, it's fun to let your mind wonder through random thoughts and see what sticks as potentially legitimate prognostications. Here we go...

  1. BC's Provincial Government will relax its tight-as-a-diamond-making-ass-hole grip on its populous' ability to consume alcohol. After years of talk, we're on the cusp of seeing real change. Perhaps, baby steps towards modernity in reality, but real change that will make BC's growing number of wine and spirits loving drinkers happy. Beyond the already announced tidbits like allowing wine tastings at Farmer's Markets, I foresee real momentum behind the policy shift and hope to see satellite tasting rooms in down town Vancouver in 2014. No better way to show-off the fabulous home-grown wines made in the Province today.
  2. Sweet red wines is my least favourite wine trend of the past 2-3 years and one that I hope will finally start to die-off in 2014 as the newby wine drinkers that the unctuous, very-berry blends helped to create begin to mature into full-grown winos and realize that 'subtlety' and 'nuanced' aren't just high-scoring words in Scrabble.
  3. A Spanish invasion is on its way to BC. All wine-lovers crave a great valued wine in the $20-$30 range that drinks like a $40-$50 wine. No country in the world seems to do this better than Spain, whose many fine-wine producing regions offer incredible value for money in that price-point (and above). One need not look far to find examples like the Bodegas Breca which sells for under $25 in BC and recently scored 94pts from Robert Parker. Be sure that BC's best wine shops are all paying close attention to the fabulous import possibilities from Spain and expect to see more wines like the Breca on their shelves this year.

Articles in the works...

Fairview Cellar's 2009 Cabernets: A Retrospective
We look at the excellent 2009 vintage through the lens of a single varietal in the hands of a single producer from BC's famed Golden Mile Bench.

2014 World Cup of Wine
The World Cup of Wine returns in 2014 to celebrate the World Cup of Soccer in Brazil with wine-producing nations competing head-to-head in themed battles.

Sonoma County Pinots
Nothing like delving into a fine line-up of the terroir-transmitting Pinot Noir to learn what makes the variety work so well in Sonoma County.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Monthly Picks: January 2014

January begins the new year and a new round of home budget awareness after the spending spree of the holiday season subsides and the pending bills awake a sleeping sense of reality of one's true finances. Thus, for January, we'll focus on budget wines available in the BC market.

Bodega Norton 2010 Barrel Select Malbec - $15
Impressive concentration of blue fruit flavours and loads of cooking spice dress up the full palate which oozes glycerol texture through to a sweet'n'tart wild berry and toasted oak finish where a touch of citrus acidity lingers.
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Bench 1775 Winery 2012 Chill - $16
A fun, off-dry blend of 46% Pinot Gris, 25% Chardonnay, 11% Sauvignon Blanc and 6% each of Pinot Blanc, Viognier and Gewurztraminer offering loads of tropical fruit and mineral characters with a summertime afternoon-drinking-friendly level of alcohol; you could sip this tasty wine all day!
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Cellar Hand 2012 Free Run White - $16
The Free Run White offers amazing value for the price, with a food-friendly profile making it a sure thing for any dinner party due to its food-pairing diversity and supreme drinkability. Enjoy this wine in its youth.
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Terra Andina 2012 'Rich' Malbec - $16
Lives up to its name on the nose and palate with rich berry fruit and MLF characters, while warm oak and light floral notes add depth. Should make for a tasty, affordable party wine where you might not have the need for meaty tannins and will make a good pairing for a wide variety of appetizers.
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Fort Berens Estate Winery 2012 Riesling - $18
This Lillooet produced Riesling offers a range of aromas on the intriguing nose from grapefruit and kiwi fruit to orange blossoms and stonefruit minerality. The delightfully tangy palate starts with sweet, juicy apples and nectarine flavours before quickly resolving into a crisp explosion of mouth-watering, yet balanced, citrus acidity.
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Cassini Cellars 2011 Merlot - $19
A great style for BC which has been guilty, from time-to-time, of over-oaking under-ripe Merlot, turning the Bordeaux varietal into a mere conduit for French or American oak flavours rather than letting the fruit speak for itself.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2013

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

BC Wine Deal: January 1st, 2014

The following VQA wines have been reduced in price at your local participating VQA and BCLDB stores.

Arrowleaf Pinot Gris was $17.95 is now $16.95
Cassini Cellars Quattro was $24.90 is now $19.90 Desert Hills D Minor Rouge was $17.90 is now $16.90 Gehringer Brothers Riesling Ice-Wine was $49.99 is now $47.49Joie Gewurztraminer was $22.90 is now $16.00 Lixiere Gewurztraminer was $19.90 is now $18.50 Red Rooster Gewurztraminer was $16.99 is now $14.99 Sandhill Rose was $17.99 is now $13.99 See Ya Later Chardonnay was $19.99 is now $17.99 Wayne Gretzky Chardonnay was $15.99 is now $13.99