Wednesday, January 21, 2015

BC Wine Deal: Jan 21st, 2015

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

Arrowleaf Pinot Gris was $17.85 is now $16.95
Arrowleaf Merlot was $18.95 is now $17.95
Bartier Bros. Merlot was $26.99 is now $21.99
Black Hills Cellar Hand Free Run White was $16.99 is now $15.99
Broken Shadow Weathervane was $17.99 is now $15.99
Cedar Creek Chardonnay was $19.95 is now $18.95
Chaberton Gamay Noir was $16.95 is now $15.45
Clos du Soleil Signature Meritage was $41.99 IS NOW $39.99
Covert Rose was $20.99 IS NOW $19.99
Covert Zinfandel was $29.00 IS NOW $27.50
Crowsnest Chardonnay Reserve was $17.80 is now $16.90
D'Angelo Setta Coppa was $24.90 is now $19.99
Ex Nihilo Night was $42.00 is now $36.00
Gehringer Auxerrois was $14.99 is now $12.99
Gehringer Cabernet Franc Late Harvest 375ml. was $17.99 is now $16.99
Gehringer Cab/Merlot was $15.99 is now $14.99
Gehringer Summer Night was $15.99 is now $14.99
Gray Monk Odyssey Meritage White was $23.99 is now $18.99
Hester Creek Pinot Blanc was $16.95 is now $14.95
Hillside Pinot Gris was $21.99 is now $18.99
Jackson Triggs White Meritage was $19.99 is now $18.99
Little Straw Tapestry was $17.90 is now $16.90
Lixiere Gewurztraminer was $18.45 is now $13.95
Moon Curser Merlot was $24.90 is now $19.90
Noble Ridge Pinot Grigio was $19.99 is now $18.99
Moraine Cliffhanger Red was $17.50 is now $16.90
Paradise Ranch Cabernet/Merlot Late Harvest 375ml was $18.90 is now $16.90
Sage Hill Gewürztraminer was $28.85 is now $27.90
Sage Hill Rose was $28.85 is now $27.90
Stag's Hollow Syrah was $28.99 is now $27.99
Stoneboat Piano was $24.99 is now $23.99
The View Riesling was $18.90 is now $15.90

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Get To Know... Judy Kingston

Photo courtesy of Serendipity Winery
Judy Kingston
Proprietor, Serendipity Winery
Naramata Bench, BC

The youthful industry that it is, many who venture into the production of fine wine in British Columbia come to do so by way of financial success in a previous career. Judy Kingston's path to proprietorship ventured through many careers, including a long stint as a top technology lawyer in Toronto, before her dream to own a winery was ignited on a wine tour in the Okanagan in 2005.

Wanting to be a knowledgeable, hands-on winery owner, Kingston studied viticulture and winemaking at Okanagan College and has played an active role in the production of her firm's wines since inception. With the hiring of the talented Bradley Cooper in 2014, Kingston will be able to focus more on the on-going evolution, or maturation, of her business and the all-important exercise of brand-building to help distinguish the Naramata Bench based winery from its competitors.

Key Wines To Try:
Reserve Serenata: 2010
Viognier: 2013
Sauvignon Blanc: 2013

1. What do you enjoy most about making wine?
I love that every year, mother nature brings you totally different challenges and flavours to harvest. In the most natural way possible, I try to bring out the best characteristics of the grapes that year. Because I am a frustrated chef – my metal knee prevents me from working in a kitchen full time – it is really important to me that each grape variety is able to express as many of its characteristics as possible to allow it to pair with as many foods as possible.

2. What inspired you to become a winemaker?
I love to cook, but because of my metal knee I can’t stand for long periods of time at a chef’s station to work in a restaurant, and in my mind winemaking was the closest to cooking as I could get.  I find that growing the grapes and making the wine gives me the same creative outlet that I had with cooking.

3. What causes you the most stress during harvest?
Harvest to me is the best part of the winemaking experience. While it is a very busy time, I don’t find it stressful but you have to manage your time properly as there is a lot going on. It is exciting to see the grapes when they come in and to visualize the potential for the wine of that vintage.

4. What is your favourite and/or least favourite wine cliché?
You can’t make a great wine without great grapes – I love this cliché, because it gives the farmers the credit that they truly deserve. People think that all we do is sit around and drink wine all day. And the (few) days that I get to do that, I really enjoy that cliché!

5. Away from the cellar and vineyard, what’s your greatest passion in life?
I really love to cook, particularly when it’s for friends and family. I’ve started to get known around the valley for the elaborate meals that I will sometimes make for the workers that come here, particularly during harvest. When I cook, I really try to think about the person that I’m cooking for, and the meal becomes an expression of my feelings for them.

6. After a long day of work in the cellar, what do you turn to for refreshment?
It depends on the season. This summer I really got into mojitos, and in the winter I love a warm cup of herbal tea.

7. If you could take credit for one other BC wine on the market today, which would it be and why?
Blue Mountain, I like them because each wine is very varietal specific, and they’re very true to the nature of the grape, totally expressing itself in the wine.

8. Of the wines in your portfolio, do you have a favourite food pairing to go with one of the wines?
Definitely salmon with my rosé. Because my rosé is dry and has five different red varieties in it, it is a quite versatile wine to pair with. Salmon brings out these beautiful notes in both the fish and in the wine. It’s quite magical.

9. What do you think will be the next big trend in BC wine over the next few years?
The wines are starting to get drier, which we’re starting to see in the rosés and I think will shift towards all varietals. I think this shows growth and maturity in our winemaking region as a whole.

10. Screw cap or cork? What’s your preference?
As a winery owner, my preference is the use screw cap. When you use cork, there will always be a certain percentage of your wine that has cork taint, and many customers don’t know what that tastes like. You run the risk of a customer trying a cork-tainted bottle, and having a tarnished image of your brand if they don’t know what cork taint tastes like. While it’s hard to do an analysis of long-term ageing in screw caps since they haven’t been around for very long, my experience is that there is no detriment to ageing your wine in screw caps instead of cork.

 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2015

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Monthly Picks: January '15 - Celebration Wines

Sure, Dec 25th has come and gone and your family celebrations along with it. However, many of you who work with companies which schedule their 'Holiday' parties early in the New Year, still have evenings of fizz and fun ahead. Here are some of our favourite celebration wines from 2014 for the drawn-out party season.

Fort Berens Estate Winery 2013 Late Harvest Riesling - $20
Many late harvest wines are as sweet as their more expensive ice wine cousins, but the Fort Berens version, though bursting with intense, candied lychee and ripe peach flavours, does not overwhelm the palate with unctuous, syrupy fruit.
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Backyard Vineyards N/V Blanc De Noir Brut - $23
Backyard Vineyards' Blanc De Noir is a traditional example of a sparkling wine made from 100% Pinot Noir offering a light, yellow-gold hue and fat, persistent bubbles. On the nose you'll find an array of aromas ranging from sweet citrus fruit to fresh brioche with light nutty notes and a touch of brine.
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Chateau Des Charmes N/V Brut Sparkling Wine - $23
There's a nice balance on the palate of this pale-gold, finely-beaded bubbly, between tangy citrus and sweet peach fruit flavours, which in turn, balance the classic, yeasty-brioche and creamy-texture, making it approachable and crowd-pleasing; you'll be hard-pressed to find someone who'll turn-down a second glass. Enjoy on its own or serve with light appetizers.
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Graham's N/V Six Grapes Reserve Port - $24
Sourced from multiple estates in the Douro and compiled of the four noble Douro grapes, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroc, plus small parts of other native grapes, the 'Six Grapes' offers intense red fruit, plum and licorice aromas supported by notes of mint, flowers and Ferrero Rocher confections.
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Quails' Gate Estate Winery 2012 Fortified Vintage Foch - $25
Marechal Foch makes a natural fit as the base for a fortified, Port-style wine like this tasty, after-dinner treat from Quails' Gate. Foch's unique combination of berry fruit and homey, camp fire aromas and flavours makes a solid foundation for the extended barrel ageing and Brandy fortification which imparts added layers of blue fruit, oak characters and exotic citrus fruit to the intense nose and sweet palate.
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Chateau Des Charmes 2013 Vidal Icewine - $26
This beautifully constructed, dense Vidal ice wine smells and tastes of a bowl of apricot and honeydew-infused custard adorned with shavings of candied lime peel. The unctuous, honeyed fruit is balanced nicely with lemon/lime acidity through to an everlasting finish.
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 - Liam Carrier ©copyright 2014