Spring Winemaker’s Dinner With Howling Bluff May 15

Do you like BC wine?  Have you ever attended a BC Wine Appreciation Society event, such as this excellent sounding winemaker’s dinner with Howling Bluff?  The menu and wines look fantastic.  Check it out and sign up if you are salivating.

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BCWASThe BCWAS is delighted to announce our 2017 spring dinner! This dinner is all about the awards. Glowbal at Telus Garden has won awards for architecture and design as well as – importantly – the food. We think it will be a great place to host owner Luke Smith of Howling Bluff Estate Winery. Luke has won too many wine awards to mention here: in addition to two Lieutenant Governor’s Awards, he’s also garnered several Gold medals in Canadian and international competitions. Join us as we beat the winter blues! (After this winter, the blues will take a lot of beating!)

The Chef at Glowbal Telus Garden has crafted a menu especially for us:

Hamachi Crudo
Meyer Lemon, Fennel, Dill, Grapefruit
2015 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Roasted Lamb Loin
Charred Cipollini Onion and Seabuckthorn Berry Relish
Wild Mushroom Crumb, Wild Stinging Nettle, Puffed Huckleberry Jus
2013 Three Mile Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir

Charred Yarrow Meadows Duck Breast
Spring Peas, Morel Mushrooms, Smoked Fingerling Potatoes
2013 Century Block Pinot Noir

Slow Cooked Beef Tenderloin
Crispy Bone Marrow, Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Tart
Baby Spinach, Cherry Bordelaise Sauce
2012 Sin Cera (blend of Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot)

Seared Foie Gras, Dark Chocolate, Rye Cake, Beet Root
2009 Fort Summa Quies Pinot Noir dessert wine

Alternatively, for vegetarians we have something special as well:

Truffled Arancini
Meyer Lemon, Fennel, Dill, Grapefruit
2015 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Roasted BC Mushrooms
Charred Cipollini Onion and Seabuckthorn Berry Relish
Wild Mushroom Crumb, Wild Stinging Nettle, Puffed Huckleberry Jus
2013 Three Mile Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir

“Peas & Carrots”
Spring Peas, Slow Cooked Baby Carrots, Morel Mushrooms, Smoked Fingerling Potatoes
2013 Century Block Pinot Noir

Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Tart
Creamed Spinach, Crispy Walnuts, Soubise
2012 Sin Cera (blend of Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot)

Sorbet Trio
2009 Fort Summa Quies Pinot Noir dessert wine

Howling Bluff Estate Winery

Date: Monday, May 15, 2017
Time: 6:30pm (please arrive earlier to be seated)
Place: Glowbal at Telus Garden, 590 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
Price: $159 Members / $174 Guests via Interac e-transfer to info@bcwas.com
OR $165 Members / $180 Guests via Paypal (below)
​Important things to note:There will be pre-arranged seating at this dinner. When you sign-up, e-mail us at info@bcwas.com and let us know your chosen dinner companions, and we will do our best to fit everyone in.​

Members $165.00 CAD
Non-Members $180.00 CAD

​Alternatively, cheques can be mailed to: BC Wine Appreciation SocietyPO Box 48912 Bentall Station, Vancouver, BC  V7X 1A8 ​  (Note: Receipt of your payment is required to hold your seat – please notify us by e-mail if you are mailing a cheque.)

2017/2018 BCWAS membership: Join us now, and your membership is good until March of 2018. Only $40 for more than a year of our fun and fabulous events! Click here to become a member of the best wine club in town. http://www.bcwas.com/membership.html

Questions? Contact us at membership@bcwas.com

Please note – there are no paper tickets for our events. Once your purchase is completed you will be added to our attendees list. Please check in when you arrive.

Please make sure you have a safe way home: take transit, call a cab, or ask a friend to be a designated driver. We will have free transit tickets on hand for those who take transit home.

Please note that we are unable to provide refunds. If you purchase a ticket but cannot attend the event, please let us know with as much advance notice as possible and we’ll try to re-sell your ticket, but we cannot guarantee this.

BC Wine Appreciation Society Summer Walkabout – Get Your Tickets

Come join us on Friday July 17 for a casual, festival-style Call Out To Summer.

BC Wine Appreciation Society logoWe’ve called out to summer, and summer has answered us! What better way to keep enjoying the long warm days than an evening with wine, food, and a bunch of other like-minded BC wine lovers?

We’ll open up the patio doors, and we can toast our beautiful waterfront view with some of the best of what our province has to offer.  Even better – it’s a Friday night, so you don’t have to get up and go to work the next day!

Wines being poured include:

2013 Bella Sparkling Gamay

2013 Church & State Trebella

2013 Howling Bluff Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon

2013 Corcelettes Trivium

2014 Samantha Chardonnay

2013 Red Rooster Reserve Rosé

2013 Hugging Tree Rosé

2014 Orofino Wild Ferment Syrah

2006 Cedar Creek Platinum Merlot

2007 Lake Breeze Tempest

2008 La Stella Fortissimo

 

For food, we’ll be providing a selection of platters of cheeses, meats, vegetables, and fruit.

Date:    Friday July 17, 2015

Time:    7:30-9:30 pm

Place:   Our new regular venue, De Dutch Pannekoek House, Vancouver Convention Centre West. It’s located in the western corner, lower (seawall) level, near the Olympic Torch.

Directions (transit): It’s about a 2 ½ block easy walk from both Burrard and Waterfront Stations.

From Burrard Station:      Walk down (north) on Burrard to the new Convention Centre.

From Waterfront Station: Walk west to the new Convention Centre.

You can either walk west along Waterfront Rd to the Olympic Torch, then go across the plaza towards the water and down the stairs, or, follow the seawall along in front of the Convention Centre until you come to the restaurant.

Driving: You can park under the Convention Centre West. Follow the signs for the seaplane terminal. Use the doors closest to the Tap & Barrel. Parking can be expensive, though. You may be able to find cheaper parking a few blocks away. As always, we recommend that you take transit, and we will provide you with a free ticket home.

Price:

Members:     only $45
Non-Members:     $59

Click here to sign up:  http://bcwas.com/Call_Out_to_Summer.html

2015/2016 BCWAS membership: Join us now, and your membership is good until March 31, 2016. Only $40 for lots of our fun and fabulous events! Click here to become a member of the best wine club in town. http://www.bcwas.com/membership.html

Our corporate member Gone Crackers will be providing us with their “Undressed” crackers to go with our wine. We are delighted to be able to enjoy Gone Crackers with our BC wines!

Questions? Contact us at events@bcwas.com.

Please note: There are no paper tickets for our events. Once your purchase is completed you will be added to our attendees list. Please check in when you arrive.

Please make sure you have a safe way home – take transit, call a cab, or ask a friend to be a designated driver. We will have free transit tickets on hand for those who take BC Transit home.

Please note that we are unable to provide refunds. If you purchase a ticket but cannot attend the event, please let us know with as much advance notice as possible and we’ll try to re-sell your ticket, but we cannot guarantee this.

A Few BC Day Wine Picks

BC flag

Our long weekend has started here in BC. And it is also sunny. I’m sure you will want to go outside for a picnic, maybe a BBQ in your backyard patio with family and friends. But maybe you need a few BC wines to get the party going. How about some of these?

Some BC Wines

Haywire Gamay Noir Rose

Haywire Gamay Noir Rose 2010 ($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.

Township 7 Viognier 2008. This wine was medium lemon in colour. Honey, lime and tropical fruit on the nose. Medium acidity with citrus, mango and papaya flavours. If you have not tried a Viognier before, this one will get you hooked.

Church & State Wines Chardonnay 2007. This Chardonnay is medium lemon colour. Nice apricot nose. Vanilla, sweet spice, pineapple and apricot flavours, with a bit of spice. Lots of flavours coming out the glass the more you swirled it around in your mouth.

Blasted Church Mixed Blessings 2010 ($17.99). This is the third vintage of this wine, and each vintage is made of a unique blend of white grapes. This vintage was made with Riesling and Gewurztraminer.  Nice aromatic nose. Green and stone fruits.  Off dry with a slight green, herbal flavour.  Light body with medium acidity and light spice to finish. Nice.

Poplar Grove Legacy

Poplar Grove Winery Legacy 2006. Legacy is a Bordeaux blend consisting of 70% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 24% Cabernet Franc. Opaque garnet in colour.  Leather and cherry aromas. Full body with ripe black cherries and vanilla.  Medium tannins with a long length.

Van Westen Vineyards Voluptuous Merlot / Cabernet Franc 2007. Opaque purple in the glass. Ripe cherries and vanilla with a hint of cedar on the nose. Full bodied with firm yet smooth tannins.  Ripe black cherry flavour.

Howling Bluff Estate Winery Summa Quies Estate Pinot Noir 2009. Pale garnet in colour. Beautiful violets and strawberry aromas. Soft, light bodied, with vanilla, strawberries and ripe cherries on the palate.  Highly recommended.

Enjoy the long weekend!

Thank Your Mom with these Mothers Day Wine Selections

Mother’s Day is coming up soon. We all like to treat our mothers. A nice meal and nice wine is one option. Some wines you may want to consider.

Sparkling Wine

  • Fresita sparkling (Chile). This is a blend of white sparkling wine with blended strawberries. Very nice and fruity. Would be a nice way to start a breakfast if you don’t want to make a mimosa.
  • Champagne Lallier Rose (France). Very pale pinkish orange colour. Light strawberry nose. Bigger bubble, with strawberry and red cherry flavour. You can never go wrong with Champagne. If you cannot afford Champagne, maybe try an Italian Prosecco or a Spanish Cava.
  • 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.   This Spanish Cava is light orangy pink in colour. Light strawberry aroma. Very bracing in your mouth, with strawberry and raspberry flavours.

White Wines

If you mother likes white wines here are a few suggestions.

  • Mission Hill Family Estate Perpetua 2008 (Canada). This is 100% Chardonnay from a blend of 3 Chardonnay clones: 2 Dijon and 1 Loire. A portion of the wine is fermented in French oak and left sur lies for 10 months. Pale lemon with a green tint in the glass.  Flower and lemon on the nose. Medium body with vanilla, pineapple flavours.  Medium acidity. A very well balanced wine.  This is a chardonnay that everyone should try.
  • Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (New Zealand).  Pale lemon in the glass.  Lots of gooseberry on the nose with some herbal on the nose that continued to the palate.  Medium plus acidity with long length.  Really nice flavour.
  • Township 7 Viognier 2008 was medium lemon in colour. Honey, lime and tropical fruit on the nose. Medium acidity with citrus, mango and papaya flavours. If you have not tried a Viognier before, this one will get you hooked.
  • Casa Lapostolle Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (Chile). It had varied aromas of citrus, pineapple and apple. On the palate there was good acidity with pineapple flavour and medium length.
  • La Frenz Winery Reserve Chardonnay 2009 (Canada). Pale lemon in the glass. Lots of vanilla with a hint of eucalyptus / menthol. Nice acidity.  Round mouthfeel with pineapple and spice.

Red Wines

Maybe your mother prefers red wine or you are planning to BBQ something for her.  Here are some suggestions.

  • Vina Santa Rita Medalla Real Pinot Noir 2008 (Chile). Santa Rita is a premium producer from Chile.  I really enjoy their wines, and spent time visiting them in Chile. Their Medalla Real Pinot Noir is coloured light purple in the glass.  Ripe cassis aromas. Round mouth feel, light boded with an abundance of cassis flavour.  Low tannins.
  • Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (New Zealand). Pale purple colour.  Lots of raspberry aroma and flavour.  Also a bit of tea leaves on the palate. Light body with medium acidity.
  • Van Westen Vineyards Voluptuous Merlot / Cabernet Franc 2007 (Canada). Opaque puple in the glass. Ripe cherries and vanilla with a hint of cedar on the nose. Full bodied with firm yet smooth tannins.  Ripe black cherry flavour.
  • Howling Bluff Estate Winery Summa Quies Estate Pinot Noir 2009 (Canada). Pale garnet in colour. Beautiful violets and strawberry aromas. Soft, light bodied, with vanilla, strawberries and ripe cherries on the palate.  Highly recommended.
  • d’Arenberg The Custodian Grenache 2008, (Australia)  This wine is light garnet in colour.  Smoke and raspberry on the nose.  Petrol, cassis, raspberry flavours.  Low tannins. Very refreshing.
  • Bennett Lane Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (California) This cab is deep garnet in colour. A nice nose with ripe cassis and vanilla. Smooth mouthfeel with dark fruit and dry tannins. Long lingering flavours.
  • Clos du Val Wine Company Zinfandel 2009 (California). Light garnet in colour. Smoky raspberry nose. Medium body with raspberry and cassis flavours, with vanilla and spice on the finish. An elegant wine.
  • La Stella Allegretto 2008 (Canada). This is 100% Merlot grown from their Stag vineyard in Osoyoos on it’s own rootstock!  Deep purple in the glass.  Lots of raspberry, cherry and vanilla on the nose.  Full body with mocha, cherry and vanilla flavour, and a hint of raspberry.  Medium tannins with a long finish.

I’ve tried to give you a range of wines from light to full bodied.  I hope there is one for you and for your mother.  Enjoy!

Bordeaux Blends for the Long Weekend

Our last long weekend, Labour Day, is upon us. Soon the rains will start here in BC. So fire up the BBQ for maybe one last great hurrah, and open a bottle of a BC Bordeaux blend.

When I speak of Bordeaux blend, in this blog I’m talking about red wine. There is a white Bordeaux blend, but I’ll cover that in a different blog.

In a red Bordeaux blend, you can have a blend of up to the following different grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carmenere. Malbec and Carmenere are rarely used in Bordeaux now as they were hard to harvest to ripeness and most of the vines are gone. In Bordeaux due to the variations in the climate each year; sometimes a cooler year, and sometimes warmer, you needed to blend earlier ripening and later ripening grapes in order to get a good wine. In the Okanagan, we are blessed with fairly good weather every summer so we can do single varietals, but still blending adds additional complexity to the wine.

With that said, I checked into everythingwine.ca and identified the following BC Bordeaux blends in the $15-$25 range:

Black Widow Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 375 mL Red blend $24.99
Blasted Church Winery Big Bang Red Blend 750 mL Red blend $23.99
Domaine de Chaberton Canoe Red Blend 750 mL Red blend $15.99
Fork In The Road Winery Oliver Block 249 Red Blend 750 mL Red blend $19.99
Hester Creek 2004 Cabernet – Merlot – Cab Franc 750 mL Red blend $19.99
Kalala Organic Estate Winery Cuvee Noir 2008 750 mL Red blend $19.99
Kettle Valley Starboard Fortified Malbec / Petit Verdot 375ml Red blend $24.99
Kettle Valley Old Main Red 375ml Red blend $23.99
Lake Breeze Vineyards Meritage Red Blend 750 mL Red blend $24.99
Road 13 Vineyards Rockpile Red Blend 750 mL Red blend $24.99
Sonora Ranch Proprietor’s Select Red 1.5 L Red blend $15.99
Therapy Vineyards Freud’s Ego 750ml Red blend $19.99
Toscano Rosso Red 2.0L Red blend $16.99

A few of the above blends may have some non-Bordeaux variety grapes in them, such as the Kalala Cuvee Noir, but most I think are all true Bordeaux blends.  In the past I’ve tasted the following BC Bordeaux blends:

Van Westen Vineyards Voluptuous Merlot / Cabernet Franc    2006    Deep reddish purple. Light aromas of cherry, cedar and slight herbaceousness. Round mouthfeel.  Dark fruit liquor, cherry and plum flavours with a vanilla finish.

Poplar Grove    Legacy Merlot / Cabernet Franc / Cabernet Sauvignon / Malbec    2004    Black fruit aromas with a slight wisp of capsicum.  Round mouthfeel with dark fruit and firm tannins.  Dry with a black cherry finish.

Howling Bluff    Sin Cera Merlot / Cabernet Franc / Malbec    2007    Deep purple with a red edge. Smoky, dark fruit aromas.  Dark fruit, cherry and spicy flavours.  Spicy / cherry finish.  Firm tannins.

Black Widow Winery    Hourglass Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon    2007    Nice nose with casis, cherry, plum and vanilla.  Fruit forward.  Black cherry, plum and some vanilla on palate.  Medium length.

Therapy Vineyards    Freud’s Ego Cabernet Sauvignon / Cabernet Franc / Merlot    2007    Medium garnet with slight purple colouration.  Oak, cherry, currant and cedar aromas.  Cherry, red and dark berries, and vanilla flavour.  Round mouth feel, soft tannins.  Cherry finish.

I have many more in the list, but to keep it brief, I’ve listed just a few.  I hope you enjoy your Labour Day long weekend with a red  BC Bordeaux blend.

Cheers.

Naramata Bench Spring Wine Release 2010

Just a week before the huge Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival opens, I attended a much more low-key, but very enjoyable, event: the Naramata Bench Spring Wine Release 2010.

This is the second time I’ve attended this event. Last year I came upon a new winery to me called, Van Westen Vineyards, where their wines beguiled me. So this year, the first winery I went to see was Van Westen, as I was not disappointed. Their 2008 Vino Grigio and their 2008 Vivacious whites and their 2006 Voluptuous are highly recommended. The Vino Grigio 2008, is of course Pinot Gris. It had a light peach and melon nose. Good acidity with more peach and melon on the palate. The Vivacious 2008 is Pinot Blanc with a hint of Pinot Gris, again has peachy fruit as well as some apricot aromas. Good acidity. Peach and apricot flavours with a touch of greenness. Their Voluptuous 2006 is a barrel aged blend of 67% Merlot and 33% Cabernet Franc. Deep garnet in colour. Very ripe plums and black fruit aromas. Medium body, black ripe fruit, plums, black cherry flavours with drying tannins.

Other notable wines are the La Frenz Merlot 2007, La Frenz Andrew Vineyard Riesling 2009, La Frenz Sonoran Vineyard Chardonnay 2009, Lake Breeze Seven Poplars Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Lake Breeze Gewurztraminer 2009, Therapy Merlot 2008, and Howling Bluff Estate Pinot Noir 2008. I’m sure there are more wines, but I only had 1.5 hours at the tasting room.

The La Frenz Merlot 2007 was deep garnet in the glass. A very nice nose, with sweet black cherry aroma. Sweet, black cherry flavour with a hint of vanilla. Very smooth on the palate. Outstanding.

The La Frenz Andrew Vineyard Riesling 2009, is light lemon in colour. Flowery and apple aromas. Good acidity with a bit of residual sugar. Red apple and citrus flavours. Elegant.

Hmm, 3 La Frenz in a row. I must also like La Frenz’s wines alot too! The La Frenz Sonoran Vineyard Chardonnay 2009 was light lemon colour in the glass. Vanilla and nutmeg aromas. Lots of flavour on the palate of apple, oak and pineapple. Very creamy with medium acidity.

Lake Breeze is also a consistent producer in the Okanagan. The Lake Breeze Seven Poplars Sauvignon Blanc 2009 has citrus and slight herbal aromas. High acidity, with citrus and gooseberry flavours. Eat with fresh seafood.

The Lake Breeze Gewurztraminer 2009 is very pale coloure. But has a wonderful lychee and rose petals aromas. Off dry, with medium acidity. Lychee and red delicous apple flavours.

The Therapy Merlot 2008has a lot of leather, coffee, cherry and plum aromas. On the palate there is more of the coffee and cherry flavour, accompanied by some chocolate. Medium tannins. Quite different from the La Frenz Merlot. Maybe buy one of each and do a side-by-side comparison?

Last, one of my favourite Pinot Noirs in the Okanagan is the Howling Bluff Estate Pinot Noir 2008. New world style, with ripe strawberry and cherry aromas with a bit of sweet spice and vanilla. Silky on the palate with vanilla, cherry, and raspberry flavours.

I hope you have a chance to try some of these wines, either here, or even better over in the Naramata Bench at the wineries’ cellar doors. Enjoy!