Celebrate Europe Day, May 9 With BC Liquor Stores

I didn’t know May 9 was Europe Day, but now I do.  BC Liquor Stores is showing off some very interesting European wines to help you celebrate Europe Day on May 9 as well as throughout the month of May.  Here is their announcement. Cin cin.

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The EU Chamber of Commerce in Canada-West, together with BC Liquor Stores and local wine importers, is organizing during the month of May the second edition of “Emerging Wines of Europe” in-store promotion of selected European wines in 30 BC Liquors Stores.
Celebrate May 9th Europe Day savouring “Old World” wines during the entire month of May! Explore a dozen of delicious European wines – recently emerged and gaining popularity in BC Liquor Stores – selected for us by a Master of Wine, Barbara Philip.
The promotion comprises special displays and features in 30 selected BC Liquor Stores and advertising on BC Liquor Stores, EUCCCW websites and in social media channels.
Please find below more details, including the names of wines, tasting notes and the list of participating stores.
Rueda Verdejo
SKU#: 28100
Vintage: 2018
Winery: Menade
Varietal: Verdejo
Region: Rueda
Country: Spain
Price: $22.99
Tasting notes
Brimming with white fruits on the nose. The palate is a sea of citrus, lime, mango and nectarine in a medium-rich style. Think of this as an upscale Sauvignon for the senses with the perfect yin and yang for the palate. 


EM BIO Mavrud & Rubin
SKU#: 169436
Vintage: 2016
Winery: Edoardo Miroglio Ltd. Varietal: Mavrud 75%, Rubin 25% Region: Thracian 
Valley
Country: Bulgaria
Price: $18.99
Tasting notes
A certified organic wine from Bulgaria, made from indigenous grapes of Mavrud and Rubin. Aromas of cherry and eucalyptus, with flavours of tart cherry, cranberry and pomegranate. 
Chateau Dereszla – Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2013
SKU#: 285643
Vintage: 2013
Winery: Chateau Dereszla
Varietal: 75% Furmint, 25% Harslevelu
Region: Tokaji
Country: Hungary
Price: $48.99
Tasting notes
This pale gold dessert wine displays notes of honey, ripe pear, apricot and spice. The palate is smooth with intense flavours of honey, peach, lemon, dried apricot and orange zest. With a long, mouth-watering finish, the Tokaji Aszu has refreshing, lively acidity to balance the sweetness.
 
Monograph Assyrtiko by Gaia Nemea  
SKU#: 214120   
Vintage: 2018
Winery: Gaia
Varietal: Assyrtiko    
Region: Nemea
Country: Greece
Price: $ 21.99
Tasting notes
A youthful, intensely fruity 100% Assyrtiko, with a bouquet of honeysuckle and citrus fruit and a refreshing acidity on the palate. A classic pairing with fresh seafood. Unoaked. 
Bollicini Sparkling Rose
SKU#: 155116
Vintage: NV
Winery: Bollicini
Varietal: Glera ( Prosecco)
Region: Veneto
Country: Italy
Price: $19.99 Retail
 
Tasting notes
Crisp and fragrant notes of strawberry and red berry. Delicious on its own or with appetizers, shellfish, salads, grilled veggies, or fruit desserts. 
Tokaji Muscat Late Harvest
SKU#: 057802
Vintage: N/A
Winery: Grand Tokaj Zrt
Varietal: Yelow Muscat
Region: Tokaj
Country: Hungary
Price: 18.99
Tasting notes
Black locust and fresh flowers with a hint of botrytis on the nose. Smooth citrus and floral taste with botrytis notes and apricot with mint appearing at the end. 
 Finca Cuarta Mencia
SKU#: 30000
Vintage: 2018
Winery: Prior de Panton, MGH Wines Group
Varietal:  Mencia
Region: Ribera Sacra, Galicia
Country: Spain
Price: $21.99
Tasting notes
Intense aroma of red fruit on a backdrop of complex toasted notes of wood aging. Smooth and well-structured on the palate with hints of coffee and ripe red fruit followed by a long finish.
 
 Vinho Verde Maria Bonita
SKU#: 185986
Vintage: 2018
Winery: Maria Bonita
Varietal:  Loureiro
Region: Vinho Verde
CountrY: Portugal
Price: Whl. $11.20 – Ret. $14.99
Tasting notes
This is a dry style of Vinho Verde, attractively perfumed with a herbal edge. The wine has a touch of spice that highlights the smoky citrus flavors. The wine is crisp and intense and has a long lingering finish.
 
“Labrusca” Lambrusco
SKU#: 030163
Vintage: NV
Winery: LINI910
Varietal:  Lambrusco
Region: Emilia-Romagna
Country: Italy
Price: $21.99
Tasting notes
Dry and tangy, with ripe black cherry fruit, candied current, balsamic and spice box notes. Enjoy this dry Lambrusco chilled with rustic Italian food like pizza, pasta, antipasti, & charcuterie.
 
Teodosio Aglianico del Vulture
SKU#: 783498
Vintage: 2015
Winery: BasIlisco
Varietal:  Aglianico
Region: Basilicata
Country: Italy
Price: $21.99
Tasting notes
A full bodied and textured wine with soft fruit aromas of plum and Morello cherry. Well balanced and full bodied with a long-lasting finish.
Laurenz V. Singing Gruner Veltliner
SKU#: 458034
Vintage: 2017
Winery: Laurenz V.
Varietal: 100% Gruner Veltliner
Region: Kremstal, Weinvertel
Country: Austria
Price: $18.38 Whls, $23.99 Est. Retail
Tasting notes
A very attractive fruit bouquet yields apple, peach and citrus aromas along with a typical Veltliner spiciness and a touch of white pepper. The soft and juicy palate is supported by fine acidity. It sings on the palate!
 
Stina Cuvee Red
SKU#: 997742
Vintage: 2018
Winery: Stina
Varietal: Plavac Mali and Merlot
Region: Brac
Country: Croatia
Price: $18.09
Tasting notes
Dark red in color, the wine is dominated by spicy notes and red and black fruits. Supple tannins, it also offers notes of dried plums and cherry. 
Find these wines at the following participating
BC LIQUOR STORES
 
50 Sidney
76 Richmond Brighouse
77 Northgate
79 Kam. Columbia Pl
90 Jericho Village
98 Tsawwassen
102 Dunbar
107 Westview
 111 Commercial Drive
117 Broadway & Maple
120 Richmond Ironwood
125 Victoria Westshore
129 Alberni & Bute
148 Kel. Mission Park
158 Langley
 160 39th & Cambie
163 Westwood Centre
167 Kel. Orchard Park
175 Caulfeild
177 8th & Cambie
179 Whistler Market Pl
181 Broadmead Village
183 Peninsula Village
191 Yaletown
208 Squamish
218 Fort Street
224 Solo
228 Park Royal
233 Robson Street
247 Lynn Valley

Fabulous Food Sunny Wines and Jazzy Music at the Mediterranean Mingle

Mediterranean Mingle food and wine

Mediterranean Mingle food and wine

The Languedoc-Roussillon in the south of France is known for it’s sunny climate, seafood and relaxed lifestyle.  The Mediterranean Mingle let us all relax a bit after many days of wine tasting during the Vancouver International Wine Festival.  For lunch we had a wide array of hot and cold appetizers, along with desserts:

  • Fresh Asparagus Salad, Tarragon Mimosa Foam
  • Grilled Zucchini, Roasted Pepper, Chevre, and Pine Nuts
  • Tapenade Croque-Monsieur
  • Tourte a la Brandade
  • Mediterranean Mussel Brasucade au Noilly Prat
  • Saucisse de Toulouse, White Bean Stew
  • Aigo-Boulido “Sip” Poached Quail Egg
  • Ratatouille Languedocienne, Rosemary Bread
  • Beef Boules de Picolat, Picholine Olives and Cepes
  • Butternut Squash Ravioli, Duck Confit, Wild Mushrooms, Edamame
  • Roasted Cod on Fennel, Yellow Potatoes, Black Olives
  • Lemon Almond Creme Catalane
  • Walnut Orange Cake, Yoghurt Wildflower Honey “Pot de Creme”
  • Wedge of Canadian Oka Cheese, Fig and Olive Crisps

To pair up with these dishes we had wines from 11 different wineries:

  • Domaine Paul Mas
  • Gerard Bertrand
  • M. Chapoutier – Domaine Bila Haut
  • Sieur d’Arques
  • Chateau d’Angles
  • Chateau de Jau
  • Francois Lurton – Mas Janeil
  • Francois Lurton
  • Abbaye Sylva Plana
  • Les Vignobles de Constance & du Terrassous
  • Domaine de Babio

One thing I enjoyed about this event was the booklet provided to us contained a page for each wine and the suggested food pairing.  So for example, you may sample a Cremant from Domaine Paul Mas, and try to pairings of Fresh Asparagus Salad or the Tourte a la Brandade.

For sparkling wines, I thought the Gerard Bretrand Cremant de Limoux 2011 was a fun wine to drink.   Dry, high acidity, citrus flavour with small, creamy bubble.  This bubble paired nicely with the Fresh Asparagus Salad.

Domaine Bila Haut Les Vignes de Bila Haut White 2012

Domaine Bila Haut Les Vignes de Bila Haut White 2012

A couple of white wines that I enjoyed:

  • M. Chapoutier – Domaine Bila Haut, Les Vignes de Bila Haut, White, 2012. This is a blend of of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, and Macabeu.  Medium stone fruit nose.  Round with bright acidity.  Ripe melon and citrus, with a hint of sweet spice and some minerality.  Overall I would say that this wine would be very versatile when pairing with different dishes. (Pair with the Tourte a la Brandade.)
  • Chateau d’Angles, Languedoc La Clape, Grand Vin, White, 2009. Another blend; this time of Bourboulenc (40%), Grenache (20%), Roussanne (20%), and Marsanne (20%).  Sea salt, and ripe tropical fruit nose.  Medium plus body, medium mouth feel.  Soft and round, and very flavourful.  Ripe tropical fruit with a bit of spice on the finish. (Pair with the Roasted Cod on Fennel, Yellow Potatoes, Black Olives.)

A few red wines that caught my attention:

  • Francois Lurton, Fitou, Chateau des Erles, Red, 2004. This blend consists of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah.  Ripe purple fruit and vanilla aromas.  Violet flowers followed by ripe dark fruit and candied cherries.  Full body and dry on the palate. (Pair with the Beef Boules de Picolat, Picholine Olives and Cepes.)
  • Abbaye Sylva Plana, Faugeres, Le Songe de l’Abbe, Red, 2011. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsaut or Carignan (I’m not sure for this vintage) make this red blend.  Nice aromas of ripe raspberries, cassis, and dark fruit.  Full body, round with medium tannins and acidity.  Nutmeg, minerality and dark cherry flavours.  Very much a New World, fruit forward style wine. (Pair with the Butternut Squash Ravioli, Duck Confit, Wild Mushrooms, Edamame.)

Les Vignobles de Constance du Terrassous Rivesaltes Ambre Terrassous heritage 1974

Les Vignobles de Constance du Terrassous Rivesaltes Ambre Terrassous heritage 1974

And of course for dessert, I enjoyed:

  • Chateau de Jau, Muscat de Rivesaltes, 2011. Orangy nose, big legs.  Medium minus body, and medium acidity.  Orange, leads to apples and sweet spice on the palate, together with a hint of pine needles, and ends with stone fruit. (Pair with the Lemon Almond Creme Catalane.)
  • Les Vignobles de Constance & du Terrassous, Rivesaltes Ambre, Terrassous heritage 1974.  As the name connotes, it is amber colour in the glass. Nice butterscotch and orange aromas in the glass.  Full body, round with higher acidity that clears up the palate.  Marmalade, nuttiness, honey and butterscotch flavours.  Long length. (Pair with the Walnut Orange Cake, Yoghurt Wildflower Honey “Pot de Creme”.)

Enjoy the pictures below of the event and think about trying the wines of the Languedoc-Roussillon.  There was also a live jazz band playing fantastic music, but I did not get their name.  You can hear and see a snippet of this band if you check my VINE video.

Live music at the Mediterranean Mingle

Live music at the Mediterranean Mingle

Abbaye Sylva Plana, Faugeres, Le Songe de l'Abbe, Red, 2011

Abbaye Sylva Plana, Faugeres, Le Songe de l’Abbe, Red, 2011

Saucisse de Toulouse with White Bean Stew

Saucisse de Toulouse with White Bean Stew

Chateau des Erles Fitou 2004

Chateau des Erles Fitou 2004

Lemon Almond Creme Catalane

Lemon Almond Creme Catalane

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.

Hart House’s Summer Garden Parties

Sometimes I hear about events at various restaurants with food and wine. Here is a case in point. Burnaby’s Hart House is a beautiful heritage home at Deer Lake Park. They have just released their Summer Garden Parties announcement. You may want to partake, and you may bump into me at one of them. Enjoy!

Burnaby’s Hart House at Deer Lake is pleased to announce the dates for our summer garden party events. Each garden party starts with a casual tasting of wines from the evening’s featured region, held in Hart House’s elegant gardens. Guests may then purchase wines from the evening’s specially-selected wine list to pair with the al fresco dinner that follows. Live music and a spectacular view of Deer Lake will add to diners’ enjoyment of the evening.

The 2009 summer event schedule includes:

Lobster Supper – Wednesday, June 17
Fresh Nova Scotia lobster is the life of our annual Maritime-infused party.
Wine sampling and live music help make this event a great way to welcome in the summer.

Italian Garden Party – Wednesday, July 22
Our classic Italian Garden Party features Mediterranean cuisine paired with premium Italian wines. Guests are welcome to stroll around the beautiful Hart House estate lawn and gardens.

Evening in Provence – Wednesday, August 19
This is a celebration of the culture and flavours of Provence , France . A sampling of French wines in our gardens is followed by a dinner featuring Provence-inspired cuisine.

California Experience – Wednesday, September 9
California’s world-class wines have earned a prominent place on the world stage in recent years. Here’s your chance to sample some of California ’s best, paired with exceptional cuisine.

All events start at 6:00pm. Reservations will be accepted starting May 21, 2009.

Reservations by phone only at 604-298-4278 www.harthouserestaurant.com

SWWS Big Reds tasting – Signup asap

April 12, 2009 07:41:43
Posted By Wine With Karl

For those of you who haven’t been to a wine tasting before, or had much exposure to southern hemisphere red wine, the upcoming “Cellar Select Premium Reds” tasting by the South World Wine Society is going to be a blockbuster. Monday, Noon, April 13 is the deadline to sign up.

Many of these are iconic red wines in the southern hemisphere. Some are from vintages no longer available, so if you want to try them, this may be the only place you can try them. Here are the wines:

1. Pisano Uruguay Coastal Region 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon RPF
2. Saxenburg South Africa Stellenbosch 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Collection
3. Glen Carlou South Africa Paarl 2003 Syrah
4. Peter Lehmann Australia Barossa 2004 Shiraz The Futures
5. Tikal Argentina Mendoza 2006 Malbec Amorio
6. Benmarco Argentina Mendoza 2006 Red Blend Expresivo
7. Valdivieso Chile Central Valley Red Blend Caballo Loco No 7

From the website:

The Glen Carlou Syrah has won the John Platter Wine of the Year in South Africa. The Caballo Loco No 7 from Chile is blended and aged by the Solera method used for Spanish sherry, combining fractions of wine from Caballo Loco No 1 – 6 with 7. The Peter Lehmann Futures Shiraz 2004 is not only a benchmark Australian red, but comes from an outstanding Barossa Valley vintage. The Tikal Malbec was rated 91 points by Wine Spectator. The Benmarco Argentina Mendoza 2006 Expresivo is a beguiling blend of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Tannat, and is one of Argentina’s top new wines. The Saxenberg Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the Cape’s most elegant and highly regarded examples of this varietal.

You have till noon on Monday, April 13 to sign up. It’s a great deal for these premium wines, plus check out the appetizers:

Plate 1
Stilton cheese with toasted walnut and dried apricot
A Van Lawn beef slider
Seared diver scallop, red wine butter sauce
Reddened salmon, red wine butter sauce

Plate 2
Grilled lamb chop with olive crust, natural pan jus
Sautéed chicken liver “Diablo”
Prime rib “melt”
Torpedo Prawn with sweet chili sauce