Best of BC Wine Tastings At BC Liquor Stores in October!

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This announcement just came out and there are some exciting, quality BC VQA wines being poured at BC Liquor stores in the Vancouver Lower Mainland and Victoria.  Here is the announcement and some of their wines.  Enjoy!

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With the fall harvest in full swing and Thanksgiving just around the corner, October is the perfect month to explore BC VQA wines. British Columbians are celebrating our local bounty and, what better way to honour our crops, than with the annual BC Liquor Stores ‘Best of BC’ release?

Every year, BC Liquor Stores carefully selects a small collection of BC wines which are in limited supply and high demand. In the interest of fairness to all of their customers, the whole selection is released at once, and this year’s release takes place on Saturday, October 12, 2013 in Signature BC Liquor Stores across BC. It’s ‘first-come, first served’, so BC wine fans are encouraged to hurry down and snap up the very best that our province has to offer.

In support of this annual release, the British Columbia Wine Institute has organized an extensive series of in-store wine tastings which will feature a variety of VQA wines from BC. From Vancouver’s West End to West Vancouver, from Victoria to Whistler, 12 different liquor stores will be home to sommelier-led wine tastings where customers can belly-up to the bar while doing their shopping, taste an assortment of BC VQA wines, and learn all about the vinicultural bounty that exists right here in our own backyard.

October brings out the best wines our province has to offer with the ‘Best of BC’ release and province-wide BC VQA in-store wine tastings. Enjoy a glass of your backyard bounty this month!

Dates of In-Store Tastings with Locations and Times:

Thursday, October 3                      

Whistler Marketplace – 101 – 4360 Lorimer Rd, Whistler

3 to 7 PM

Saturday, October 5                       

Dunbar- 3453 Dunbar St, Vancouver

10 AM to 2 PM

Sunday, October 6                          

Highgate – 235 – 7155 Kingsway, Burnaby

1 to 5 PM

Friday, October 11                          

Northgate – 103 – 3433 North Rd, Burnaby

3 to 7 PM

Richmond Brighouse – 100- 8100 Ackroyd Rd, Richmond

3 to 7 PM

Alberni & Bute – 768 Bute Street, Vancouver

3 to 7 PM

Langley – 6435 – 201 Street, Langley

3 to 7 PM

39th & Cambie – 5555 Cambie St, Vancouver

3 to 7 PM

Westwood – 100 – 2748 Lougheed Hwy, Port Coquitlam

3 to 7 PM

Fort Street – 1960 Foul Bay Rd, Victoria

3 to 7 PM

Park Royal – 570 Park Royal North, West Vancouver

3 to 7 PM

Saturday, October 12                    

Northgate – 103 – 3433 North Rd, Burnaby

3 to 7 PM

Richmond Brighouse – 100- 8100 Ackroyd Rd, Richmond

3 to 7 PM

Dunbar – 3453 Dunbar St, Vancouver

10 AM to 2 PM

Alberni & Bute – 768 Bute Street, Vancouver

3 to 7 PM

Langley – 6435 – 201 Street, Langley

3 to 7 PM

39th & Cambie – 5555 Cambie St, Vancouver

3 to 7 PM

Westwood – 100 – 2748 Lougheed Hwy, Port Coquitlam

3 to 7 PM

Fort Street – 1960 Foul Bay Rd, Victoria

3 to 7 PM

Park Royal – 570 Park Royal North, West Vancouver

3 to 7 PM

Thursday, October 17                    

8th & Cambie – 2395 Cambie St, Vancouver

3 to 7 PM

Whistler Marketplace – 101 – 4360 Lorimer Rd, Whistler

3 to 7 PM

Highgate – 235 – 7155 Kingsway, Burnaby    –

3 to 7 PM

Featured Wines in the’Best of BC’ Release:  

Burrowing Owl Cabernet Franc 2010 $32.89 Product # 178756
Painted Rock Syrah 2010 $39.94 Product # 130989
Le Vieux Pin Syrah 2010 $44.88 Product # 875831
Laughing Stock Blind Trust Red 2011 $30.00 Product # 492421

Nk’Mip QwAM QmWT Syrah 2009

$34.99 Product # 561415
CedarCreek Platinum “Block 4” Pinot Noir 2011 $39.95 Product # 464628
Poplar Grove Cabernet Franc 2010 $34.90 Product # 894410
Jackson-Triggs SunRock Shiraz 2010 $34.99 Product # 365635
Stoneboat Pinot Noir 2011 $24.89 Product # 498170
LaStella Fortissimo Selezione Di Famiglia 2010 $34.88

Product # 840504

Decanter World Wine Awards 2012 – Gold Winners: Canadian Winners

Decanter Gold Medal 2012

The current Decanter World Wine Awards 2012 were recently awarded.  We all want to know the Gold Medal wines so we can seek them out in our local bottle shop.  But what I want to know especially, is which Canadian wineries won a Gold Medal?  Here is the answer.

Canadian Wineries Winning Gold Medals

Congratulations to both Ontario and British Columbia wineries!  Here is the link to find out all the Gold Medal winners.  Enjoy!

BC Syrah for Summer Sips

Well, Syrah. A big wine. So maybe Summer Sips is not the correct term. Maybe I should call this one, Summer Gulps. Because you would want a big glass of syrah, and enjoy a good amount in your mouth, probably just before or after you have something nice from the BBQ. Syrah loves heat so that it can fully ripen and you can appreciate all the flavours this grape can produce. The southern Okanagan gets a lot of heat, so there should be plenty around.

Syrah typically has high tannins and high acidity, with flavours of blackberry, blueberry, dark chocolate, mint, eucalyptus, smoked meat, black pepper, white pepper, liquorice, and cloves. The high tannin content of the grapes often makes these wines good candidates for aging.  This grape ranks up there in ageability together with Cabernet Sauvignon.

You may also see the term “Shiraz” instead of “Syrah“.  These are the same grape, just a different style wine making.  In France, you tend to get a more restrained version of the wine produced, with less fruit forwardness and more tannins and acidity.  In newer wine making regions of the world, you tend to get a “New World” style called Shiraz.  Australia has been the poster child for the Shiraz style, which is a big block buster wine full of ripe fruit.  Both styles have their followers and their detractors.

Checking the www.everythingwine.com website, I find the following BC Syrah in the $15-$25 range:

Jackson-Triggs Private Reserve Shiraz 750ml Syrah $19.99
Kettle Valley Syrah 375ml Syrah $23.99
Marichel Vineyard Syrah/Viognier 750 mL Syrah $24.99
Peller Proprietor’s Reserve Shiraz 1.5L Syrah $16.99
Stag’s Hollow Rose Syrah 750 ml Syrah $21.99

More syrah  are usually at a slightly higher price point, so checking everythingwine.com again, in the $25-$50, I have the following additional BC syrah:

Blasted Church Winery Syrah 750 mL Syrah $31.99
Church & State Coyote Bowl Syrah 750mL Syrah $33.99
Desert Hills Syrah 750 mL Syrah $39.99
Hillside Syrah 750 mL Syrah $31.99
Laughing Stock Small Caps Program Syrah/Viognier 750ml Syrah $39.99
Marichel Vineyard Syrah 750 mL Syrah $49.99
Mission Hill Family Estate Select Lot Collection Syrah 750 mL Syrah $37.99
Morning Bay Syrah 750ml Syrah $46.99
Mt Boucherie Summit Rsv Syrah 750ml Syrah $30.99
Nichol Syrah 750ml Syrah $35.99
Peller Prop Res Shiraz 4 L Syrah $38.99
Poplar Grove Syrah 750 mL Syrah $48.99
Quinta Ferreira Syrah 750ml Syrah $29.99
Township 7 Syrah 750ml Syrah $33.99
Twisted Tree Syrah 750ml Syrah $28.99
Winchester Cellars Syrah 750ml Syrah $33.99

You may have noticed that some of the syrah are blended with a white aromatic grape called “viognier“. Syrah’s traditional home is the Rhone Valley in France.  Viognier is also from the same area.  French wine makers in this region have found through many years of wine making that by co-fermenting a bit of viognier with the syrah grape, that the colour from the syrah grape becomes more intense in the resulting wine, plus you get some of the aromatic perfume from the viognier.

I have had the Mission Hill Select Lot Collection Syrah from past years, and this is a very refined wine. The price point for this is on the higher end, so if you are going to sip this wine, make it a special occasion.  On the summer sipping theme, Jackson-Triggs produces enjoyable wines at reasonable prices.  Their 2007 Proprietor’s Reserve Shiraz 2007 won a Gold Medal at the Okanagan Valley Fall Wine Festival (I think this is the same as the Private Reserve Shiraz listed above) and is only $19.99. Last month I was at the Township 7 winery in the Fraser Valley.  I tried their 2006 Syrah and noted that this wine had blueberries and plum on the nose.  South mouth feel, with pulm and vanilla flavours, and a sour cherry finish ($24.99). I had also visited a while back the Therapy Vineyard and tried their Shiraz 2007.  From my notes, I noted a medium purple colour in the glass.  Dark fruit, black berries and slight oak aroma.  Ripe black fruit, plummy with a bit of chocolate on the palate.  Smooth mouthfeel with a long finish.  I marked this wine as a star in my tasting notes.

If you like this post on Summer Sippers, or other of my posts, please tag or tweet them. Merci. Now go and enjoy some Syrah.

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!