BC Chardonnay for Summer Sips

Chardonnay. Some people love it; others are not too crazy about it. From my speaking with people, I think it is mainly the heavily oaked chardonnays that are not as enjoyable for many people. But the good news is that there are many unoaked chardonnays which are lighter in body and show more fruit character. Mission Hill brought worldwide attention to Okanagan wines when their 1992 Mission Hill Grand Reserve Chardonnay was awarded the Avery Trophy for the Best Chardonnay at the International Wine & Spirit Competition.

Chardonnay can show a wide range of character including peach, pear, apple or tropical fruits, mineral notes and rich full-bodied buttery, toasty flavours if aged in oak. It can be a heavy white wine with oaking, and can be a replacement for some red wines. Try with a bbq’d steak.

Checking the www.EverythingWine.ca website, for $15-$25 BC Chardonnay, I came up with 33 wines:

Arrowleaf Chardonnay 750 mL Chardonnay $17.99 More information about Arrowleaf  Chardonnay 750 mL
Blasted Church Chardonnay Musque 750 mL Chardonnay $21.99 More information about Blasted Church  Chardonnay Musque 750 mL
Cassini Cellars Chardonnay 750mL Chardonnay $23.99 More information about Cassini Cellars  Chardonnay 750mL
Cedar Creek Estate Chardonnay Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $15.99 More information about Cedar Creek Estate Chardonnay Chardonnay 750ml
Cedar Creek Platinum Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $23.99 More information about Cedar Creek Platinum Chardonnay 750ml
Crowsnest Vineyards Stahltank Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $21.99 More information about Crowsnest Vineyards Stahltank Chardonnay 750ml
Desert Hills Unoaked Chard 750 mL Chardonnay $18.99 More information about Desert Hills  Unoaked Chard 750 mL
Dirty Laundry Chardonnay unoaked 750ml Chardonnay $23.99 More information about Dirty Laundry Chardonnay unoaked 750ml
Dragonfly Hill Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $19.99 More information about Dragonfly Hill Chardonnay 750ml
Gray Monk Unwooded Chardonnay 750 mL Chardonnay $16.99 More information about Gray Monk Unwooded  Chardonnay 750 mL
Herder Vineyards Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $23.99 More information about Herder Vineyards Chardonnay 750ml
Jackson-Triggs Grand Reserve Chardonnay 750 mL Chardonnay $17.99 More information about Jackson-Triggs  Grand Reserve  Chardonnay 750 mL
Kettle Valley Chardonnay 750 mL Chardonnay $21.99 More information about Kettle Valley Chardonnay 750 mL
Mike Weir Chardonnay 750 mL Chardonnay $16.99 More information about Mike Weir Chardonnay 750 mL
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $18.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve  Chardonnay 750ml
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $19.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Chardonnay 750ml
Mt Boucherie Summit Reserve Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $23.99 More information about Mt Boucherie Summit Reserve Chardonnay 750ml
Mt Boucherie Unoaked Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $17.99 More information about Mt Boucherie Unoaked Chardonnay 750ml
Nk’Mip Cellars Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $15.99 More information about Nk'Mip Cellars Chardonnay 750ml
Pacific Breeze Winery Sangiacomo Vineyards Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $22.99 More information about Pacific Breeze Winery Sangiacomo Vineyards Chardonnay 750ml
Peller Proprietor’s Reserve Chardonnay 1.5 L Chardonnay $15.99 More information about Peller Proprietor's Reserve Chardonnay 1.5 L
Quails’ Gate Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $18.99 More information about Quails' Gate Chardonnay 750ml
Quinta Ferreira Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $24.99 More information about Quinta Ferreira  Chardonnay 750ml
Robin Ridge Chardonnay 750 mL Chardonnay $22.99 More information about Robin Ridge Chardonnay 750 mL
Sandhill Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $17.99 More information about Sandhill Chardonnay 750ml
See Ya Later Ranch Unleashed Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $19.99 More information about See Ya Later Ranch Unleashed Chardonnay 750ml
See Ya Later Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $19.99 More information about See Ya Later Chardonnay 750ml
Sonora Ranch Chardonnay 1.5 L Chardonnay $17.99 More information about Sonora Ranch Chardonnay 1.5 L
Summerhill Estate Winery Chardonnay, Organic 750 mL Chardonnay $24.99 More information about Summerhill Estate Winery  Chardonnay, Organic 750 mL
Thornhaven Chardonnay 750 mL Chardonnay $18.99 More information about Thornhaven  Chardonnay 750 mL
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Chardonnay 750ml Chardonnay $19.99 More information about Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Chardonnay 750ml
Township 7 Semillon 750mL Chardonnay $19.97 | $22.99 More information about Township 7 Semillon 750mL
Township 7 un-oaked Chardonnay 750mL Chardonnay $21.99 More information about Township 7 un-oaked Chardonnay 750mL

Chardonnay is quite a popular grape amongst BC wineries. Some chardonnay’s in my tasting notes are:

  • Therapy Vineyards Chardonnay, 2007 – Pale lemon. Vanilla, apple, and butterscotch aromas. Butterscoth, leees, citrus, and orange peel flavours. Round mouthfeel.
  • Dirty Laundry Vineyard Unoaked Chardonnay, 2007 – Light lemon colour. Tropical fruit, lemon, and honey on the nose. Some roundness in the mouth. Vanilla, apple and pear flavours.
  • Greata Ranch Reserve Chardonnay, 2006 – Single vineyard. Slight oaky aroma and lime. Topical fruit flavour with a vanilla finish. Medium body, some roundness on the palate.
  • Greata Ranch Chardonnay, 2006 – Pale straw coloured. Oak, vanilla, and pineapple aromas. Oak, apple and citrus flavours. Light acidity, but very fruity.

Cheers!

BC Cabernet Sauvignon for Summer Sips

Well I’ve talked about Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, and Riesling. This blog is on BC Cabernet Sauvignon wine for the summer. Sometime you want a big red wine, with good tannic structure to complement some serious barbecuing in your backyard or patio. Cabernet Sauvignon is known as the king of the red grapes, although some may say Syrah should share that crown. Cabernet Sauvignon typically has black currant and dark fruit aromas. It can also have other interesting aromas of cedar, violets, leather, or cigar box. The tannic backbone of this varietal helps it age gracefully in the bottle and bring out the nuances in aroma and flavour profiles.

Checking the www.EverythingWine.ca website for BC Cabs in the $15-$25 range I came up with:

Church & State Wines Cabernet Blanc 750mL Cabernet Sauvignon $23.99 More information about Church & State Wines Cabernet Blanc 750mL
Inniskillin Okanagan Cabernet Sauvignon Osoyoos 750 mL Cabernet Sauvignon $16.99 More information about Inniskillin Okanagan  Cabernet Sauvignon Osoyoos 750 mL
Jackson-Triggs Proprietors’ Edition VQA Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml Cabernet Sauvignon $16.99 More information about Jackson-Triggs Proprietors' Edition VQA Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml
J-Triggs Proprietors Select Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml Cabernet Sauvignon $17.99 More information about J-Triggs Proprietors Select Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml
Mission Hill 2003 Reserve Bin 88 Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml Cabernet Sauvignon $21.99 More information about Mission Hill 2003 Reserve  Bin 88 Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 750 mL Cabernet Sauvignon $21.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve  Cabernet Sauvignon 750 mL
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 88 750ml Cabernet Sauvignon $21.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 88 750ml
Sonora Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5 L Cabernet Sauvignon $17.99 More information about Sonora Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 1.5 L
Sumac Ridge Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml Cabernet Sauvignon $22.99 More information about Sumac Ridge Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 750ml

In general, Cabernet Sauvignon wines command a greater price than other varietals, due to their full body, their ageability, and cachet. I was happy to get 9 BC Cabs showing up in the $15-$25 price range. I’ve had the Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon many times over the years. It is a solid wine and sure to please. I recently visited the Sumac Ridge winery and sampled their Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. A nice full bodied Cab.

With the hot weather we are now having in BC, now might be the time to try some of these wines. Enjoy!

BC Riesling for Summer Sips

So far, I’ve covered BC Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir for summer sips. Another varietal you may want to consider is Riesling. Riesling can be made in a bone dry, citrusy style, through to a very luscious sweet ice wine. I think that there will be some style of riesling that would fit your taste.

Checking again on the www.EverythingWine.ca website, I’ve come up with the following wines in the $15-$25 range (you can click on the links and go to the EverythingWine.ca website to see how many bottles are in stock):

8th Generation Dry Riesling 750ml Riesling $24.99 More information about 8th Generation  Dry Riesling 750ml
8th Generation Riesling 750ml Riesling $24.99 More information about 8th Generation  Riesling 750ml
Cedar Creek Riesling 750ml Riesling $21.99 More information about Cedar Creek Riesling 750ml
Dirty Laundry Riesling 750ml Riesling $21.99 More information about Dirty Laundry Riesling 750ml
Kalala Organic Estate Winery Riesling 750 mL Riesling $20.99 More information about Kalala Organic Estate Winery Riesling 750 mL
Lang Vineyards Farm Winery Reserve Riesling 750ml Riesling $19.99 More information about Lang Vineyards Farm Winery Reserve Riesling 750ml
Larch Hills Riesling 750ml Riesling $19.99 More information about Larch Hills  Riesling 750ml
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Riesling 750 mL Riesling $18.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Riesling 750 mL
Pentage Riesling Riesling 750 mL Riesling $24.99 More information about Pentage Riesling Riesling 750 mL
Pillitteri Estate Riesling Icewine 200ml Riesling $24.99 More information about Pillitteri Estate Riesling Icewine 200ml
Quails’ Gate Dry Riesling 750ml Riesling $16.99 More information about Quails' Gate  Dry Riesling 750ml
Red Rooster Riesling 750 mL Riesling $15.99 More information about Red Rooster Riesling 750 mL
Road 13 VIneyards Riesling 750 mL Riesling $23.99 More information about Road 13 VIneyards Riesling 750 mL
See Ya Later Ranch Unleashed Riesling 750 mL Riesling $15.99 More information about See Ya Later Ranch  Unleashed  Riesling 750 mL
See Ya Later Ranch Riesling 750 mL Riesling $16.99 More information about See Ya Later Ranch Riesling 750 mL
St. Hubertus Riesling 750ml Riesling $15.99 More information about St. Hubertus  Riesling 750ml
Wild Goose Stoney Slope Riesling 750ml Riesling $24.99 More information about Wild Goose  Stoney Slope Riesling 750ml
Wild Goose Vineyards God’s Mountain Riesling 750 mL Riesling $24.99 More information about Wild Goose Vineyards  God's Mountain Riesling 750 mL

From a check of past notes, I have tried some of these wines. My notes are as follows:

Dirty Laundry Vineyard Riesling, 2008. Pale lemon colour. Green apple aroma and crisp apple flavour. Tart. Refreshing.

Kalala Organic Estate Winery, 2008. Crisp acidity, pineapple and apple aromas with a hint of petrol. (It won a Gold at the 2010 New World Int’l Wine Competition in California, a Silver in the 2010 Concours mondial de Bruxelles, and a Bronze at the 2010 Northwest Wine Summit.)

Kettle Valley Winery Riesling 2008, has a bit of residual sugar with some apple, flower and citrus aromas, and apple with a bit of petrol flavours.

Cheers!

Enjoy some BC Pinot Gris this summer

I thought to help summer along, I’d point out some white wines that you may be interested in trying on your patio. Today I’d like to focus on BC Pinot Gris. I think BC Pinot Gris are very nicely made. They typically have a lot of nice ripe stone fruit, e.g. peach, flavours, apples, and good acidity to make them refreshing in your mouth. Try with some seafood this summer too.

A quick search on the EverythingWine.ca website, came up with 28 BC Pinot Gris in the $15-$25 range.

Arrowleaf Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $18.99 More information about Arrowleaf  Pinot Gris 750 mL
Black Widow Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $24.99 More information about Black Widow  Pinot Gris 750 mL
Cassini Cellars Pinot Gris 750mL Pinot Gris $15.99 More information about Cassini Cellars  Pinot Gris 750mL
Chase & Warren Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $18.99 More information about Chase & Warren Pinot Gris 750 mL
Church & State Wines Pinot Gris 750mL Pinot Gris $23.99 More information about Church & State Wines Pinot Gris 750mL
Desert Hills Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $24.99 More information about Desert Hills  Pinot Gris 750 mL
Gray Monk Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $16.99 More information about Gray Monk  Pinot Gris 750 mL
Herder Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml Pinot Gris $21.99 More information about Herder Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml
Hester Creek Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $16.99 More information about Hester Creek  Pinot Gris 750 mL
Hillside Estate Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $22.99 More information about Hillside Estate Pinot Gris 750 mL
Hillside Estate Unoaked Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $23.99 More information about Hillside Estate Unoaked Pinot Gris 750 mL
Kalala Organic Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2008 750 mL Pinot Gris $21.99 More information about Kalala Organic Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2008 750 mL
Kettle Valley Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $24.99 More information about Kettle Valley  Pinot Gris 750 mL
Lake Breeze Vineyards Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $21.99 More information about Lake Breeze Vineyards Pinot Gris 750 mL
Lang Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml Pinot Gris $19.99 More information about Lang Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml
Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $18.99 More information about Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Pinot Gris 750 mL
Nichol Pinot Gris 750ml Pinot Gris $23.99 More information about Nichol Pinot Gris 750ml
Pentage Pinot Gris Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $24.99 More information about Pentage Pinot Gris Pinot Gris 750 mL
Poplar Grove 2008 Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $24.99 More information about Poplar Grove 2008 Pinot Gris 750 mL
Red Rooster Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $17.99 More information about Red Rooster Pinot Gris 750 mL
Saltspring Vineyards Pinot Gris 750 ml Pinot Gris $19.99 More information about Saltspring Vineyards Pinot Gris 750 ml
Sperling Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $23.99 More information about Sperling Pinot Gris 750 mL
Thornhaven Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $21.99 More information about Thornhaven  Pinot Gris 750 mL
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml Pinot Gris $16.99 More information about Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml Pinot Gris $18.99 More information about Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Pinot Gris 750ml
Township 7 Pinot Gris 750ml Pinot Gris $23.99 More information about Township 7  Pinot Gris 750ml
Van Westen Vino Grigio Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $23.99 More information about Van Westen Vino Grigio Pinot Gris 750 mL
Wild Goose Vineards Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Gris $21.99 More information about Wild Goose Vineards  Pinot Gris 750 mL

I’ve talked about some of these wines and/or wineries in the past on www.mywinepal.com or on my blog. The Van Westen Vino Grigio Pinot Gris, Thornhaven Pinot Gris, and Black Widow Pinot Gris are a few I’d like to select out as ones that I have enjoyed in the past.
Thornhaven Pinot Gris 2008: Very aromatic. Apple, peach and spice on the nose. Apple and other fruits. Spicy. Quite full bodied.

Van Westen Vino Grigio Pinot Gris 2007: Medium straw colour. Aromas of apple and spice. Citrus and spice on the palate. Full mouthfeel and good acidity.

Black Widow Pinot Gris 2008: Light lemon colour. Nice tropical fruit aroma with light oak. Good acidity. Apple, plum and spice on the palate.

So raise a toast to the start of summer and enjoy some BC Pinot Gris! Cheers.

A New Look for the MyWinePal Blog

Welcome to the latest version of MyWinePal.com‘s blog.  We have tried to make it more user-friendly and interactive.  Our blogs as well as other longer articles are here in one place, along with our latest Tweets.

If there is anything that you would like us to cover on the MyWinePal blog, please comment.  We want to make this website a valuable resource to you.

Going to a wine tasting

You might be apprehensive, but do it. Going to a wine tasting is a great way to learn about wines. You will get the chance to try several wines in a row. The speaker will typically describe something about each wine before you try it, and give his/her opinion on what flavours they tasted and aromas they smelled. Practice makes perfect.

When you are trying wines at home, you may have one, maybe two wines. This is OK, but you can only compare one against the other. This can be a problem if you have one red and one white wine, as the two will likely be very different. What you want to do, if you do open two wines, is to pick two of the same varietal, e.g. two cabernet sauvignon. What you should also do is open wines from two different price points. Try a sub $20 and a $30-$40 Cabernet Sauvignon for example. Can you taste a different at the higher price point? Usually the higher price point wines use riper grapes, have more concentrated flavours and are aged in oak barrels for an extended period. The lower price point wine, may use lesser quality grapes (maybe picked before they reached thier full ripeness and may have some green grapes mixed in) and if there is oak, it could be from oak chips added to the fermenting tank. You will get a less expressive, thinner wine, with maybe a very oaky flavour, for example. It may not happen and you get a very nice inexpensive wine. There are many around. But usually you should be able to taste and smell the difference.

So wherever you are reading this blog from, go to google or yahoo and try to search for wine societies near to where you live. In Vancouver, BC, there is the South World Wine Society, BC Wine Appreciation Society, Australian Wine Appreciation Society, and a few more. At these societies they usually show wines from different price points and usually follow a theme, such as Cabernet Sauvignon from around the world, or compare Australian to South African wine. These wines have been picked specifically to show their differences.

If you are shy, you can get MyWinePal to host a wine tasting at your home. Here is the link: http://www.mywinepal.com/education.html Enjoy!