February Special Events at BC Liquor Stores

Here is your inside track to some of the upcoming events in February. There are a wide range of exciting events this month to celebrate Chinese New Year, the Oscars and the Winter Olympics.

PARK ROYAL

GRAND MARNIER ENGRAVING EVENT – CHINESE NEW YEAR
Friday, February 2nd  & Friday, February 9th
4:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Experience the taste of Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, an alchemy of fine aged cognacs and exotic wild oranges, while having the opportunity to engrave your purchased bottle with a personalized message.

CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR WITH WINES FROM CHILE!
Saturday, February 3rd & Saturday, February 17th
12:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Chile is well known for making great quality wines at unbeatable value, but where they truly over deliver is in their premium wine offerings. Premium Chilean wines have been gaining more awards in international competitions alongside wines from the world’s most celebrated wineries. Join Wines of Chile to taste and learn more about these age-worthy wines that are sure to impress your guests as you celebrate the New Year.

CELEBRATE THE YEAR OF THE DOG WITH MARISCO!
Thursday, February 8th
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

From one man’s golden vision to one winery’s golden achievements, celebrate Chinese New Year with Marisco!

CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR WITH JOHNNIE WALKER
Saturday, February 10th
2:00 – 5:00p.m.

Join Master Reserve Brand Ambassador, Joel Virginillo, for a tasting/educational tour through the Johnnie Walker Family of Scotches.

BC LIQUOR STORES NEW & EXCLUSIVES
Thursday, February 15th
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Looking to excite your palate with something NEW? Join our Product Consultants each month for an opportunity to taste new and exclusive wines – only available at BC Liquor Stores. Come and try products hand-picked by our experts in an informative tasting session. This is your chance to talk one-on-one with our Product Consultants to learn about the latest and greatest products that will be the perfect accompaniment to your everyday meals or that special occasion.

CHEER ON TEAM CANADA – CELEBRATE THE OLYMPICS
Friday, February 16th
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Shoppers will sample the Molson Canadian Victory bottles and receive a Canadian Flag blanket with purchase of a 24. A top chef from PICA will feature Canadiana inspired snacks perfect for your own Olympic viewing party.

CHAMPAGNE AND THE OSCARS
Friday, February 23rd
3:00 – 6:00 p.m.

This event will celebrate the Champagnes from Piper-Heidsieck, the official sponsor of the Oscars.  There will be a tasting of Charles Heidsieck Champagne. Champagne will be paired with appetizers that are inspired by the cinema. Kyle Kaplan, Certified Sommelier and Business Development Manager for Piper-Heidsieck will walk you through the Champagne flight and talk about the history of these Champagne houses and the relationship between Piper-Heidsieck and the Oscars.

CÎROC ULTRA PREMIUM
Saturday, February 24th
2:00 – 5:00p.m.

This will be a freestanding mixology session hosted by Diageo’s Reserve Brand Ambassador, featuring Cîroc and Tanqueray. Customers will have an opportunity to try premium spirits in a simple yet inspiring cocktail format that is easy for you to replicate at home.

BRIGHOUSE

BC LIQUOR STORES NEW & EXCLUSIVES
Thursday, February 15th
4.00 – 6.30 p.m.

Looking to excite your palate with something NEW? Join our Product Consultants each month for an opportunity to taste new and exclusive wines – only available at BC Liquor Stores. Come and try products hand-picked by our experts in an informative tasting session. This is your chance to talk one-on-one with our Product Consultants to learn about the latest and greatest products that will be the perfect accompaniment to your everyday meals or that special occasion.

CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR WITH JOHNNIE WALKER
Saturday, February 16th
5.00 – 8.00p.m.

Join Master Reserve Brand Ambassador, Joel Virginillo, for a tasting/educational tour through the Johnnie Walker Family of Scotches.

CELEBRATE THE YEAR OF THE DOG WITH MARISCO!
Saturday, February 17th
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

From one man’s golden vision to one winery’s golden achievements, celebrate Chinese New Year with Marisco!

LANGLEY

CHEER ON TEAM CANADA – CELEBRATE THE OLYMPICS
Friday, February 9th
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Shoppers will sample the Molson Canadian Victory bottles and receive a Canadian Flag blanket with purchase of a 24. A top chef from PICA will feature Canadiana inspired snacks perfect for your own Olympic viewing party.

BC LIQUOR STORES NEW & EXCLUSIVES
Thursday, February 15th
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Looking to excite your palate with something NEW? Join our Product Consultants each month for an opportunity to taste new and exclusive wines – only available at BC Liquor Stores. Come and try products hand-picked by our experts in an informative tasting session. This is your chance to talk one-on-one with our Product Consultants to learn about the latest and greatest products that will be the perfect accompaniment to your everyday meals or that special occasion.

ALBERNI & BUTE

BC LIQUOR STORES NEW & EXCLUSIVES
Thursday, February 15th
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Looking to excite your palate with something NEW? Join our Product Consultants each month for an opportunity to taste new and exclusive wines – only available at BC Liquor Stores. Come and try products hand-picked by our experts in an informative tasting session. This is your chance to talk one-on-one with our Product Consultants to learn about the latest and greatest products that will be the perfect accompaniment to your everyday meals or that special occasion.

CÎROC ULTRA PREMIUM
Friday, February 23rd
5:00 – 8:00p.m.

This will be a freestanding mixology session hosted by Diageo’s Reserve Brand Ambassador, featuring Cîroc and Tanqueray. Customers will have an opportunity to try premium spirits in a simple yet inspiring cocktail format that is easy for you to replicate at home.

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Ancora Waterfront Dining Candlelight Champagne Dinner!

Vancouver, B.C. (September 14, 2016): Join Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio for an intimate dining event this October, where guests will gather at the scenic waterfront location to experience a carefully curated selection of Moët & Chandon Champagnes paired with an exclusive five-course menu crafted by Executive Chef Ricardo Valverde.
Lauded as one of the top seafood restaurants in Vancouver, Ancora has wowed visitors and locals alike with its dynamic fusion cuisine that highlights West Coast seafood with Peruvian-Japanese accents. After a spectacular first year and range of awards – including being named among Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants and a recent nomination as one of Canada’s Best New Restaurants by enRoute magazine – Ancora has plenty of reasons to celebrate and, true to form, will do so with one of the world’s finest Champagne houses.
The glamorous anniversary dinner takes place on Wednesday, October 5, and begins at 6pm with a Champagne tower reception, followed by a communal-style dinner at the restaurant’s sleek long table. Led by hosts General Manager Andrea Vescovi, Restaurant Manager Kane Morgan and a Moët-Hennessy brand ambassador, guests will enjoy a selection of top Moët & Chandon bubbles (ranging from Dom Perignon to Moët Rosé Impérial), perfectly paired with Chef Valverde’s five vibrant courses.
“After such an incredible opening year, we wanted to treat our great supporters to a truly special night,” said General Manager Andrea Vescovi. “We take pride in our unique offerings – and what better way to showcase this than with a dinner featuring the Champagne house of Moët & Chandon alongside Chef Valverde’s inspired dishes.”
The 40-person dinner begins at 6pm sharp. Tickets are $200 per person (plus tax and gratuity), and include all food and wine pairings. To book, email info@ancoradining.com or call604.681.1164.
About Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio:
Situated along Vancouver’s picturesque False Creek seawall, Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio dishes up West Coast sustainable cuisine with Peruvian and Japanese flare. The former home of C Restaurant has been transformed into a sleek, modern fine dining space. Embracing the city’s stunning waterfront landscape, Ancora’s contemporary design features a subtle yet sophisticated mix of soft blues, sand-inspired neutrals and light woods. The comprehensive menu is built on the cornerstones of sustainable seafood, fresh and local ingredients, and uncommon international elements. The restaurant’s unique dishes combine flavours and techniques that embrace diverse cultures and show a deep understanding of the city’s culinary evolution. Guests can expect a mix of West Coast, punchy Peruvian-inspired meals, and artistic Japanese creations served fresh from the crudo bar. Ancoradining.com

Veuve Clicquot Launches “Yelloweek” In Vancouver

Are you a lover of French Champagne and of the arts?  If so, one of these Veuve Clicquot events may be of interest to you.  Read and enjoy!

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Veuve Clicquot Celebrates Yelloweek

Veuve Clicquot Celebrates Yelloweek

Vancouver, May 21, 2014 — Veuve Clicquot is proud to announce the Vancouver launch of Yelloweek, a festival-style ‘tribute to creativity’ showcasing gastronomy, arts, fashion and lifestyle.

Taking place from May 22-24 inclusive, Vancouverites are invited to explore and enjoy a series of creatively-inspired events spanning several categories, including: Yellow TABLE, Yellow BY THE GLASS, Yellow NIGHT and Yellow CONTEST.

Veuve Clicquot’s Yelloweek was created as a tribute to artists and artisans who push the boundaries of their respective creative fields every day much like Madame Clicquot did in her time. Overcoming countless obsta- cles, la veuve (the widow) Clicquot became one of the most successful women entrepreneurs of the 19th century and built a worldwide luxury brand, founded on artisan practices and uncompromising quality.

“Yelloweek reflects the legendary qualities of the Maison and the ‘joie de vivre’ the brand is known for around the world,” said Stephane de Meurville, general manager of Moët Hennessy Canada. “Festival-goers will experience the true essence of the Veuve Clicquot world – taste, innovation, glamour, refinement, celebration, heritage and zeste de folie.”

Events taking place throughout Vancouver include:

Yellow TABLE: an exquisite series of Champagne pairing dinners at some of Vancouver’s most iconic and innovative restaurants, including: Brix, Reflections and Oru

Yellow BY THE GLASS:Special Veuve Clicquot pricing will be offered at various restaurants, including: Reflections and Pacific Rim

Yellow NIGHT: an unforgettable late-night party at Cabana featuring DJ Marco Petralia will embody the zeste de folie spirit of Veuve Clicquot

Yellow CONTEST: an opportunity to take home a little piece of sunshine. Coal Harbour Liquor Store and Legacy Liquor Store will be offering a chance to win a beautiful Veuve Clicquot bicycle

For more information and a complete listing of Yelloweek events, please visit yelloweek.com. Facebook: Veuve Clicquot semaine Yelloweek / Twitter: @Yelloweekcanada #Yelloweek

ABOUT VEUVE CLICQUOT

Since its creation in 1772, Veuve Clicquot played an instrumental role in establishing and evolving the Champagne industry, as we know it today. Located in Reims, France, Veuve Clicquot prides itself on using only the most distinct grapes reflecting Madame Clicquot’s motto “only one quality, the finest.” Now, more than 200 years later, Veuve Clicquot Champagne inspires the world to “Be Clicquot”: modern, audacious and of premium quality. These values, set forth by the extraordinary Madame Clicquot, promise a remarkable experience with each sip of Veuve Clicquot Champagne.

Roses and Rose Wine for Mother’s Day

Rose Hybrid Tea ‘Mrs. Herbert Stevens’

Mothers have a hard job.  And having 1 day a year to celebrate her daily toil hardly covers how much she should be appreciated.  So I’d like to suggest both roses and rose wine for this special day, and any other day you want to show your appreciation.

The Meanings of Roses

For most of us, guys especially, do not know what the colours of roses mean.  Peruse the colours and pick what is most appropriate.  I would think that some colours of roses, e.g. red, may be more appropriate for your spouse, while other colours more appropriate for your mother.  As I am not an expert on rose colours, I present this list from http://www.rkdn.org/roses/colors.asp

Red (Dark)  Unconscious beauty
Red (Single) I Love You
Deep Burgundy  Unconscious Beauty
White Purity, Innocence, Silence, Secrecy, Reverence, Humility, Youthfulness
Pink  Appreciation, “Thank you”, Grace, Perfect Happiness, Admiration, Gentleness, “Please Believe Me”
Dark Pink Appreciation, Gratitude, “Thank You”
Light Pink  Admiration, Sympathy, Gentleness, Grace, Gladness, Joy, Sweetness
Yellow Joy, Gladness, Friendship, Delight, Promise of a new beginning, Welcome Back, Remember Me,  Jealousy
Yellow with Red Tip Friendship, Falling in Love
Orange Desire, Enthusiasm
Red and White  Given together, these signify unity
Red and Yellow Jovial and Happy Feelings
Peach  Appreciation, Closing the deal, Let’s get together, Sincerity, Gratitude
Pale Peach Modesty
Coral  Desire
Lavender Love at first sight, Enchantment
Orange  Enthusiasm, Desire, Fascination

How many roses should you give?  That’s a bit subjective, but 1 rose shows your devotion and 6 roses signify a need to be loved or cherished.  If you give 2 roses, that means you want to marry that person.  Maybe you would like to buy 1 rose for each year you have been together?

Some Rose Wine Picks

I have covered many rose wines over the past years.  Rose wines are wonderful I think for spring time and to celebrate Mother’s Day.  Here are a few that I think are quite tasty:

  • Chateau Lallier Champagnes

    Champagne Lallier Rose, NV, France. If your mother, wife or significant other enjoys bubbles, here is one to please. Very pale pinkish orange colour. Light strawberry nose. Bigger bubble, with strawberry and red cherry flavour. You can never go wrong with Champagne.

  • Domaine Chandon Brut Rose, NV, France.  A sparkling rose that will treat your tastebuds.  Light orangey cherry in colour.  Lees and strawberries on the nose.  Lots of light small bubbles in the glass.  Quite creamy mouthfeel with strawberry and cherry flavours.
  • Haywire Gamay Noir Rose 2010, BC ($23). Light salmon colour. Strawberry and cherry aromas. High acidity with strawberries, raspberries and cherry flavours.  Very refreshing. We don’t come across a Gamay Noir rose, so this was nice.  Gamay, like Pinot Noir is naturally a low tannin wine, with red fruit / summer fruit flavours.  This is a very nice wine for the summer.  Try with some crab or lobster.
  • Blasted Church Rose 2010, BC ($17.99). This rose is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  Usually I expect a single varietal, like Pinot Noir or Merlot, so I was very interested to taste this rose. Very pale cherry colour. Nice strawberry aromas.  Raspberry leaf, strawberry, and capsicum flavours.  High acidity and spicy on your palate. Light body and long length.  This wine packs a punch with 14.9% alcohol, so beware as you sip this one.
  • Olivares Jumilla Rose 2010, Spain. Bright cherry colour. Light cherry nose.  Light body with ripe red cherries and strawberry flavours. Medium acid and low tannins. Very refreshing. Highly recommended.
  • Le Vieux Pin Vaïla Pinot Noir Rosé 2010, BC. Light pinkish salmon colour. Raspberries and strawberry fruit on the nose with a bit of raspberry leaf as well.  Off dry with light body and medium acidity.  Quite nice strawberry flavour with some almonds on the finish.  The grapes for this wine come from one of the organic Kalala vineyards in West Kelowna.

I wish all mothers a very Happy Mother’s Day!

My Top 5 Wine Blog Posts for 2011

Chinese New Year Golden Rabbit

Wow, a whole year has just zipped by.  I was really busy tasting lots of wines at all the fantastic venues here in Vancouver, as well as across the border at the Taste of Tulalip (which you should sign up to attend next year.  It’s excellent).  Thanks to WordPress for compiling my stats and letting me, and you, know these were my top 5 blog posts.  Which do you think?  The answers are below!

I knew my Chinese New Year post was super popular as I watched my stats leading up to Chinese New Year hit the roof. Stay tuned for my wine selection for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

My #2 post really caught me off guard.  But I’m pleasantly surprised.  Spicebox is an easy to drink whiskey, on the ice, or mixed in a drink.  Check out the post.

Lulu Island Riesling Chardonnay Ice Wine

For #3, I was happy to see Lulu Island Winery, a local winery, located in Richmond, BC.  They produce both grape-based and other fruit-based wines.  They also produce a selection of ice wine, so drop by one weekend to Lulu Island Winery if you live in the Vancouver Lower Mainland. 

#4 should be hot right now too, seeing that it is New Years Eve.  I hope I helped many people figure out which caviar and Champagne they would like to nibble and toast with the family and friends.  Wine is a social drink.

And last, but not least #5, about the Rioja region of Spain.  This article came out before the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival.  Spain was the Theme Country this year, and I think the Vancouver readership had a thirst for knowledge about this region and what to expect at the Festival.  Stay tuned for my articles on Chile, as they are the next Theme Country for the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival next year.

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Almost Last Minute Christmas Holiday Wine Picks 2011

There are less than 2 weeks to Christmas now. Maybe you are starting to think about Christmas gifts, or inviting family and friends over to your place for a nice dinner, or you received a dinner invitation? What wines to gift or serve?

I went through the list of all the wines I tasted in 2011 and have a few suggestions for you.

Some Favourite Sparkling Wines for 2011

  • Oyster Bay Brut and Rose sparkling wines

    Perrier Jouet Grand Brut N/V, France. This is also a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Pale lemon in colour.  Light lees and toast on the nose. Light body with apples and white fruit.  Small bubbles with lower acidity.  I really enjoyed this one in part due to the lower acidity which made this Champagne very easy to drink on its own.

  • Bastianich Flor Prosecco, Italy ($19.99).  A delightful wine with melon and lychee aromas. Off dry, light body, with cinnamon, citrus and peach flavours.  Small bubble.  This is such a fun wine. Start a party with this wine.
  • Champagne de Venoge Cordon Bleu Brut Select NV, France ($62.99). This Champagne is a blend of 2/3 PinotNoir and Pinot Meunier (both red grapes), and 1/3 Chardonnay. Light lemon in colour.  Nice medium toasty nose.  Medium acidity and body.  Citrus, some spice and toasty flavours on the palate.
  • Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Brut N/V, New Zealand ($24.99). I was really surprised by this wine.  It won me over with it’s fresh fruit flavours. Light citrus and stone fruit on the nose.  Lots of flavour in your mouth with citrus, lime, kiwi fruit, and herbal flavours. Small bubble with medium acidity.
  • Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Blanc, 2008, California. Light lemon colour.  Vanilla and spice on the nose.  High acid with small bubbles.  Lemons and green apples greet your tongue. A very nice, elegant dry sparkling wine.

Some Favourite White Wines for 2011

  • Stags Hollow Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc 2010

    Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2009, California.  This is a single vineyard wine.  Medium lemon in colour with tropical fruit and some toasty aromas. Medium body and very soft mouth feel (really silky). Some vanilla and tropical fruit flavours.  Really nice.

  • Waterstone Chardonnay, 2009, California. This is my favourite white wine of the night.  Not a typical Napa Chardonnay.  This wine had a medium pear colour.  Vanilla and bartlett pear aromas. Medium body, soft and round mouthfeel.  Cinnamon and tropical fruit flavours with light acidity.  Nice and fruity, some vanilla with a long dry finish.
  • Stags Hollow Viognier 2010, BC. One of my favourite wines of the tasting. This Viognier was pale in colour with some sweetness, orange, and flower aromas. Very pretty. Tropical fruit and cinnamon flavours.  Medium body.
  • Tantalus Vineyards Riesling 2010, BC. Their Riesling is always on my favourite list. This one is no exception.  It has light lemon, lychee and flowers on the nose.  Off dry, with high acidity to make your mouth water for more.  Red apples and lemon flavours.  Excitement in a glass.
  • Thornhaven Estates Winery Pinot Gris 2010, BC. I think there is something specific about the terroir for this wine that makes this Pinot Gris have a wonderful grapefruit nose and flavour.  I haven’t seen this in other Okanagan Pinot Gris. Pale lemon in colour with red grapefruit nose. Flowery with citrus, grapefruit flavours. Yum.
  • Graffigna Grand Reserve Torrontes 2010 (Argentina). Torrontes is the signature white grape of Argentina.  Very aromatic and a good change from Gewurztraimer or Viognier. Light lemon coloured. Lychee and perfumy nose.  Light body, round, with medium acidity.  Lychee, apricot and cinnamon flavours. Very tasty with a long spicy finish.
  • Pfaffenheim Steinert Grand Cru Gewurztraminer 2007 (France). I love Alsatian wines, and was really looking forward to Pfaffenheim’s wines. Medium lemon colour.  Wonderful lychee nose with a slight touch of sweet spice. Full body. Off dry with lower acidity.  Round mouthfeel with lychee, apricot and flowery flavours.  Very nice.

Some Favourite Red Wines for 2011

  • Santa Rita Pehuen Carmenere 2005

    Kim Crawford Small Parcel “The-Rise-and-Shine” Creek Central Otago Pinot Noir 2007, New Zealand. Central Otago, is inland in the South Island.  The cooler climate allows these grapes have a long hang time and smaller berries, which gives a higher skin to pulp ratio, and more intense, riper, fruit flavours.  Medium purple in the glass with ripe purple fruit and vanilla aromas.  Ripe fruit, cassis, plums and vanilla on the palate.  Medium body and medium length.  Very nice.

  • Vina Santa Rita Pehuen Carmenere 2005, Chile. Pehuen Carmenere is a premium wine from Vina Santa Rita.  Opaque purple in the glass. Dark fruit nose with a whiff of capsicum. Full bodied but with soft tannins.  Ripe black cherries, vanilla and spice on the palate.  A very long length.  Here is a Carmenere you should try.
  • Dusted Valley Grenache, Columbia Valley 2009, Washington. This was such a wonderful wine.  Just the right balance of fruit, tannins, and acidity.  The wine was medium garnet in colour.  Cherry, vanilla and smoky aromas.  Raspberry, cherry, and vanilla on the palate.  Medium bodied with a raspberry finish.
  • 1884 Reservado Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Argentina ($16.99).  This was my red wine deal of the wine tasting. Drink now. Raspberry and cocoa on the nose.  Full body with full ripe cherries and raspberries.  Juicy!  Long finish.
  • Desert Hills Syrah 2007, BC.  Another one of my favourites of the tasting. Almost opaque ruby in colour. Smoky, meaty, and dark fruit nose. Full body, dry tannins, with dark fruit spice and vanilla flavours.  Enjoy this big wine with a nice roast over the winter.
  • Ogier Crozes Hermitage, Les Brunnelles 2008, France ($25.99). This is a Rhone Valley wine. The Rhone Valley produces some fabulous Syrah, and this is one of them. I really liked the aromas of this wine of cassis and plums. Full body with cassis, raspberry, cherry and oak flavours.  Low tannins helped make this wine very approachable.
  • Finca Las Moras Intis Malbec 2010, Argentina. This wine was the surprise wine of the evening.  It is priced at $8.99, and over delivers. Pale ruby colour.  Light aromas of grilled sausage and dark fruit. Medium plus body with medium acidity.  Vanilla, cherry, raspberry and sausage flavours all together. Lots of nice flavours.  Dry with soft tannins.

Some Favourite Fortified Wines

  • Sogrape Vinhos Ferreira 20-Year-Old Duque de Braganca (Portugal). Light tawny colour in the glass. Ripe sweet fruit and Malmsey Madeira nose.  Round mouthfeel, medium sweetness. Apples, plums, chocolate and spice. Nice.
  • Fonseca N/V Terra Prima Organic Port ($31.99).  Rich black fruit nose.  Medium body in your mouth.  Spicy with plums, cherries, and chocolate flavours.  Medium sweetness. Very nice.
  • Mount Baker Vineyards Late Harvest Viognier 2007, Washington (US$20 for a half bottle). Deep lemon in colour.  Pretty nose with peaches, oranges and honey. Unctus in your mouth. Sweet with honey, honeydew melon, and peach flavours. Good acidity to balance this wine. A wonderful wine. Highly recommended to top off a nice meal with family or friends.
  • Fonseca 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Portugal ($63.99).  A tawny port is aged in wooden barrels, which exposes the wine to oxygen causing oxidation. As a result, these wines  gradually turn to a golden-brown colour. The exposure to oxygen also imparts “nutty” flavours to the wine. This wine had caramel and roses aromas in the glass.  Amazing flavour with sweet spices, nuttiness and butterscotch.  Sweet but dry with a long length.  I REALLY liked this wine.

There are many more in my archives, so please check there as well for a specific varietal or style. www.mywinepal.com and of course the blog right here!  Cheers and Happy Holidays to all my friends, near and far.

Want a Champagne Icewine Cocktail?

I was just browsing around on the web and I found this recipe for a champagne with icewine cocktail recipe and thought I’d pass it along to you. Although the recipe is listed as “champagne”, it really should be identified as “sparkling wine” as champagne is only from the Champagne region in France.

Since this is a long weekend, you may want to make some tonight or on Sunday night with friends. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Fusion Royale Champagne Cocktail

By Scott McTaggart, Fusion Grill, Winnipeg
750 ml bottle sparkling wine (suggests Sumac Ridge Stellar’s Jay)
375 ml bottle icewine (suggests Inniskillin Vidal)
Preserved Bing cherries

Fill champagne flutes 3/4 full of sparkling wine. Add a dash of icewine to each. Drop in a cherry.

Makes 6 servings.

Caviar and Champagne for New Years Eve?

Last year I made this original post and thought that it would be of interest to you for this upcoming New Years eve.  I’ve added some additional text and champagnes for you.  Hopefully you will be able to find these more recent sparkling wines.

I recently watched The Social Network and thought if I was Mark Zuckerberg, what could I have for New Years eve with my friends?

I think the ultimate indulgence would be sturgeon caviar from the Caspian Sea and vintage French champagne. The four most prized caviar are the Beluga, Osetra, Sevruga, and Sterlet. I did a quick check on the internet and saw that the price for Osetra caviar is around US$500 for 2 oz.  2 oz of Sevruga caviar is US$400.  2 oz of Beluga caviar is US$350.

How to Serve Caviar?

I’m not a caviar expert, so I checked with www.igourmet.com. This is their recommendation: “To allow the delicate flavor of the caviar to come through, serve the caviar on a plain base, such as the traditional buckwheat blini. Plain crackers, toasted brioche, or challah bread are all perfect substitutes. You can then top with a small dollop of crème fraiche on the blini, then add the caviar. For the purist, just enjoy the caviar by the spoonful will no adornment, pressing the eggs against the roof of your mouth with your tongue until they pop.

On the subject of serving Caviar, never use metal. The delicate nature of Caviar is so fragile that using a metal bowl or spoon will give the caviar an “off” flavor of a metallic tang. In haut cuisine, Caviar should be served in a bowl made of ice with a pearl or bone spoon. If you don’t have the luxury of such serving wear, glass will work fine. If all else fails, use plastic before you ever consider using metal serving ware.”

Fish may shine though with a squirt of lemon, but do not apply acidic liquids to caviar, as this can neutralize any flavor…”

If you cannot afford sturgeon caviar (yet), you can try salmon or trout caviar this New Years eve.  Being in Vancouver, I think salmon caviar should be really easy to find.

Champagne for Caviar

Assuming you have your 2 oz of beluga caviar to share with a friend(s), which champagne to enjoy it with?  Most champagne is non-vintage.  It is a blend of wines from different years, bottled and fermented a second time.  The blending of different vintages allows Champagne houses to design a house style, which people enjoy.  James Bond‘s favorite champagne house is Bollinger.  Some champagne is labelled “Blanc de blanc” and is made solely from Chardonnay grapes.  Other champagne may be labelled “Blanc de noir” and would be made with Pinot Noir and maybe Pinot Meunier.  Blended champagnes are usually a mix of wines from all three grapes varieties.

From what I’ve read about champagne and caviar pairings, the saltier the caviar, the younger and fresher the champagne to pair with it.  The bone dry finish of a champagne can stand up to the complex oily, fishy and salty flavors of caviar.  As a champagne ages, it mellows and brings on it’s own flavours and character, so choose a less salty caviar.

Doing a quick check at www.everythingwine.ca, I came up with the following French champagne:

Armand de Brignac Brut Champagne 750 ml Sparkling $399.99
Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois Brut 1998 750 mL Sparkling $225.99
Bollinger Special Cuvee Champagne 750ml Sparkling $74.99
Champagne Boizel Brut Reserve 750ml Sparkling $91.99
Champagne Salon96/97 Le Mesnil Blanc de Blanc 750ml Sparkling $424.99
Cordon Rouge Brut (Mumm) Champagne 750ml Sparkling $58.99
De Venoge Cordon Bleu Brut Select 200mL Sparkling $21.99
De Venoge Cordon Bleu Brut Select Sparkling 750 mL Sparkling $57.99
Delamotte Blanc de Blanc Champagne 750ml Sparkling $78.99
Delamotte Rose Brut Champagne 750ml Sparkling $86.99
Deutz Brut Classic NV Champagne 750 mL Sparkling $64.99

There are many more. There was 101 sparkling French wines listed from my query. Some are not Champagne from the 101, and could be a cheaper alternative. A Cremant would be something you may want to select.

Some champagne and sparkling wines that I’ve rated last year:

Cuillier Pere et Fils,  Brut Selection (France)  Pinot Noir / Chardonnay  NV.    Fine bubble with green apple and pear aromas. Fine bubble with lemon and pear flavour. This wine was like enjoying a fresh pear. Very tasty!

Moreson  Blanc de Blancs Brut Method  Cap Classic (South Africa)   Chardonnay  NV.    A very fine bubble. Red apple, citrus, light spice and bready flavour. It had a long finish. Nice.

Codorniu Sparkling Brut (Spain) Pinot Noir NV.   Light orangy pink in colour. Light strawberry aroma. Very bracing in your mouth, with strawberry and raspberry flavours.

Villa Rinaldi Rose di Barriciaia 1998 (Italy). This is a Pinot Noir based sparkling wine that has some oak aging. Peachy, orange colour in the glass. Nutty, lemony and creamy / lees on the palate. Very small, fine bubbles.

A few favourite Champagnes and other sparkling wines from this year:

  • Perrier Jouet Grand Brut N/V, France. This is also a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Pale lemon in colour.  Light lees and toast on the nose. Light body with apples and white fruit.  Small bubbles with lower acidity.  I really enjoyed this one in part due to the lower acidity which made this Champagne very easy to drink on its own.
  • Bastianich Flor Prosecco, Italy ($19.99).  A delightful wine with melon and lychee aromas. Off dry, light body, with cinnamon, citrus and peach flavours.  Small bubble.  This is such a fun wine. Start a party with this wine.
  • Champagne de Venoge Cordon Bleu Brut Select NV, France ($62.99). This Champagne is a blend of 2/3 PinotNoir and Pinot Meunier (both red grapes), and 1/3 Chardonnay. Light lemon in colour.  Nice medium toasty nose.  Medium acidity and body.  Citrus, some spice and toasty flavours on the palate.
  • Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Brut N/V, New Zealand ($24.99). I was really surprised by this wine.  It won me over with it’s fresh fruit flavours. Light citrus and stone fruit on the nose.  Lots of flavour in your mouth with citrus, lime, kiwi fruit, and herbal flavours. Small bubble with medium acidity.
  • Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Blanc, 2008, California. Light lemon colour.  Vanilla and spice on the nose.  High acid with small bubbles.  Lemons and green apples greet your tongue. A very nice, elegant dry sparkling wine.
  • Roederer Estate L’ermitage 2002. This sparkling wine is made by the famous Roederer Estate Champagne house from France. It is a blend of 52% Chardonnay and 48% Pinot Noir. Pale lemon in colour.  Toast, lees, and caramel aromas. Tiny bubbles in the glass.  High acidity with lots of citrus flavour and some toastiness on the finish.  Nice.
  • Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose, France ($24.99). This Cremant is produced from the Pinot Noir grape. Watery pink colour. Light strawberry aroma. High in acid with small bubbles.  Dry with apple, cherry and strawberry flavours to tickle your tongue.  Elegant.  Easy to enjoy.

Enjoy and have a prosperous New Year!

can stand up to the complex oily, fishy and salty flavors of caviar

Try a Burgundy Lunch at Bistro Pastis

I love French food and the French wine that goes with it. I received this note about an upcoming Burgundy cuisine and wine lunch at Bistro Pastis on September 19, 2010, so I thought I would pass it along to you.  As I see below, you will get to enjoy some Champagne, along with some very nice Chardonnay (white Burgundy) and Pinot Noir (red Burgundy).  Maybe you will see me there too!

Enjoy.

The Burgundy Lunch
Bistro Pastis and Marquis Wine Cellars invites you to a Sunday lunch starting at noon on September 19th. What better way to start your Sunday than to sit down to an exquisite three course meal that has been paired with a great selection of 8 fabulous wines from Burgundy for only $99.

Don’t miss out on this Fantastic Food and Wine Sunday Lunch à la Française. For reservation, please call Marquis Wine cellars at 604-684-0445.

The Burgundy Lunch Menu

Reception Wine

– Champagne Paul Bara N/V Brut Réserve –

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First Course
Scallops and Prawns, Saffron Angel Hair Pasta,
Braised Leek and Fennel, Citrus Beurre Blanc

– Domaine Guillemot Michel 2008 Mâcon-Villages –
– Domaine Patrick Javillier 2006 Puligny-Montrachet “Les Levrons” –
– Domaine Arnaud Ente 2006 Meursault “Goutte d’Or” 1er Cru –

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Second Course
Lamb Sirloin Roulade and Mushroom Duxelle,
Braised White Beans Ratatouille Rosace, Sage Jus

– Domaine Tollot-Beaut 2007 Chorèy-les-Beaune –
– Domaine Jean-Tardy 2006 Vosne-Romanée “Les Chaumes” 1er Cru –
– Domaine Patrice Rion 2006 Gevrey-Chambertin “Lavaux St. Jacques” 1er Cru –

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Third Course
Assiette de Fromage, Figue Compote

– Domaine Comte Senard 2006 Corton “Les Paulands” –
– Domaine des Lambrays 2007 Clos des Lambrays –

– $99.00 –

Bistro Pastis
2153 W 4th Ave. Vancouver, BC V6K 1N7 | Tel: (604) 731.5020 | Fax: (604) 731.5039
www.bistropastis.com

BC Pinot Noir for summer sips

My earlier post was on BC pinot gris/grigio in the $15-$25 range for enjoying this summer. This post will be on BC pinot noir in the same price range. Pinot noir is nice slightly chilled, with not too much tannins to make it enjoyable on the patio. Plus with it’s summer fruit flavours and aromas of strawberries and raspberries in many cases, also makes it a good fit. I think BC makes very nice Pinot Noir. As an aside, there are several either New Zealand trained, or New Zealand wine makers here in BC. New Zealand is very well known for their New World style Pinot Noirs, and are making Burgundy take notice.

A quick check on the EverythingWine website, came up with 17 BC Pinot Noirs:

Arrowleaf Pinot Noir 750 mL Pinot Noir $22.99 More information about Arrowleaf  Pinot Noir 750 mL
Ganton & Larsen Prospect Pinot Noir 750 ml Pinot Noir $15.99 More information about Ganton & Larsen Prospect  Pinot Noir 750 ml
Gray Monk Pinot Noir 750mL Pinot Noir $16.99 More information about Gray Monk Pinot Noir 750mL
Inniskillin Okanagan Pinot Noir 750 mL Pinot Noir $24.99 More information about Inniskillin Okanagan  Pinot Noir 750 mL
Kalala Organic Estate Winery Pinot Noir Rose 750 mL Pinot Noir $21.99 More information about Kalala Organic Estate Winery Pinot Noir Rose 750 mL
Kettle Valley Pinot Noir Reserve 375ml Pinot Noir $23.99 More information about Kettle Valley Pinot Noir Reserve 375ml
Lang Vineyards Pinot Noir 750ml Pinot Noir $22.99 More information about Lang Vineyards Pinot Noir 750ml
Mike Weir Pinot Noir 750 mL Pinot Noir $21.99 More information about Mike Weir Pinot Noir 750 mL
Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Pinot Noir Bin 88 750ml Pinot Noir $16.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards  Pinot Noir Bin 88 750ml
Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Pinot Noir 750 mL Pinot Noir $17.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Five Vineyards Pinot Noir 750 mL
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 750 mL Pinot Noir $21.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve  Pinot Noir 750 mL
Mt Boucherie Pinot Noir 750ml Pinot Noir $24.99 More information about Mt Boucherie Pinot Noir 750ml
Neck of the Woods Winery Blanc de Noir Sparkling 750 mL Pinot Noir $24.99 More information about Neck of the Woods Winery Blanc de Noir Sparkling 750 mL
Paradise Ranch Whistler 2005 Pinot Noir Icewine 200 ml Pinot Noir $24.99 More information about Paradise Ranch Whistler 2005 Pinot Noir Icewine 200 ml
Quails’ Gate Pinot Noir 750ml Pinot Noir $24.99 More information about Quails' Gate Pinot Noir 750ml
See Ya Later Ranch Unleashed Pinot Noir 750ml Pinot Noir $21.99 More information about See Ya Later Ranch Unleashed Pinot Noir 750ml
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Pinot Noir 750ml Pinot Noir $18.99 More information about Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Pinot Noir 750ml

You may have noticed a sparkling wine and an ice wine in the mix. The Pinot Noir grape is one of the classic varietals in Champagne. It also is being used to make more ice wines here in BC. One of my favourite BC Pinot Noir, is the Quail’s Gate Pinot Noir. From previous tasting notes that I have for Quail’s Gate Pinot Noir 2007: Silky with flavours of strawberries and cherries, and a bit of spice.

Enjoy summer!