BC Liquor Store Special Events for January 2020

BC Liquor Stores e-newsThe BC Liquor Stores have many special events for you to experience this month; some related to the upcoming Chinese New Year as well.  Here is their list of events. Enjoy 2020!

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Ring in the new year with BC Liquor Stores! There are a wide range of exciting events this month to celebrate the New Year. We have an outstanding line-up of events and master classes for all spirit enthusiasts and avid collectors alike. Tickets are limited so don’t miss this opportunity to learn from industry experts and knowledgeable brand ambassadors!

BC LIQUOR STORES WEEKLY WEDNESDAY TASTINGS
Every Wednesday
3:00pm to 5:00pm | Multiple locations
Excite your palate with something fresh every week! Each week will feature an exciting theme with products hand-picked by our experts.
January 8 – Low Calorie Options
January 15 – New & BCL Select
January 22 – 90 Point Wines
January 29 – New & BCL Select

A GRAND GIFT WITH GRAND MARNIER
Friday, January 10
Friday, January 17
Friday, January 24
4:00pm to 8:00pm | 39TH & CAMBIE
Saturday, January 11
Saturday, January 18
Saturday, January 25
4:00pm to 8:00pm | PARK ROYAL
Experience the taste of Grand Marnier, an alchemy of fine aged cognacs and exotic wild oranges, while having the opportunity to engrave your purchased bottle with a personalized message, perfect for the Lunar New Year.

CAN MUSIC MAKE WINE TASTE BETTER?
Saturday, January 18
3:00pm to 7:00pm | 39TH & CAMBIE
Friday, January 24
3:00pm to 7:00pm | PARK ROYAL
Does music make wine taste better? Learn about Frontera wines while listening to some live music.

GLOBAL RELEASE OF BRUICHLADDICH OCTOMORE 10.4
Monday, January 20
6:00pm to 8:00pm | 39TH & CAMBIE
On the Global Release day for Bruichladdich Octomore 10.4, Reed Pettit, Remy Cointreau National Brand Ambassador, will conduct a master class featuring Octomore 10.1, 10.3, and 10.4. Reed will walk you through the philosophy of Bruichladdich Progressive Hebridian Distillery and the production of Octomore peated whisky.
Tickets are $25

LUNAR NEW YEAR: PREMIUM SELECTION OF SPIRITS
Tuesday, January 21
6:00pm to 8:00pm | 39TH & CAMBIE
Welcome the 2020 Lunar New Year with a lineup of premium spirits including Courvoisier, Glenrothes, and Macallan. Try the newly released Courvoisier Sherry Cask Finish and the highly-awarded Glenrothes 18-Year-Old. The night will conclude with a draw for the chance to purchase select Macallan products.
Tickets are $50

THE MACALLAN 72-YEAR-OLD IN LALIQUE
Tuesday, January 21
8:00pm to 10:00pm | 39TH & CAMBIE
Join us for the release of the highly sought after Macallan 72-Year-Old. A draw for the chance to purchase the oldest whisky ever released by Macallan will be held at 8:00pm. Limited quantities of the Macallan 25-Year-Old, 30-Year-Old, and the 12-Year-Old Double Cask Year of the Rat will also be available. Draw tickets will be handed out starting 5:30 p.m. Customer must be present at the time of the draw to purchase.

CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION WITH THE DALMORE
Wednesday, January 22
6:00pm to 8:00pm | 39TH & CAMBIE
A walk through elevated tasting and education session of The Dalmore’s history and Principal Collection with Louis-Jérôme Doise; Dalmore’s Single Malt Specialist for Canada. Each Scotch will be paired with a selection of small bites.
Tickets are $35

CELEBRATING AN AUSPICIOUS NEW YEAR WITH THE 2019 PENFOLDS COLLECTION
Thursday, January 23
5:00pm to 8:00pm | 39TH & CAMBIE
Join us for an elevated tasting experience showcasing the new Penfolds vintage released in the Penfolds 175th anniversary year. Edward Lee, Luxury Wine Ambassador will share his passion and wine knowledge with international audiences in both English and Chinese. Customers looking to gift wine this Lunar New Year will have the opportunity to taste and create a personalized message for your purchased bottle.

LUNAR NEW YEAR BAIJIU INTRODUCTION
Thursday, January 30
6:00pm to 8:00pm | 39TH & CAMBIE
Explore Chinese Baijiu (including Chinese rice wine) in this first ever Baijiu educational seminar. Learn about the history, major varieties, production process and the culture behind one of the most popular spirits in the world. Guests will be introduced to the unique aromas and tastes of Baijiu as well as their food pairing potentials. The event will also be an introduction to Chinese drinking culture. Food pairings will be provided by Peninsula Seafood restaurant. Guests will receive a special gift with every purchase. Tickets are $20

*Events are free unless otherwise specified. All event tickets include a complimentary transit pass and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

The Magnum Party at Taste of Tulalip – Totally Awesome

I waited on pins and needles for the Magnum Party at the Taste of Tulalip. The line up of wines was outstanding. In case you didn’t see my earlier blog article, here is the lineup.

Wines at the Magnum Party

  • Opus One 1998 – Magnum
  • Penfolds Grange 2003 – Magnum
  • Shafer ‘Hillside Select’ Cabernet 3 liter
  • Domaine Leflaive Batard Montrachet 2003 & 2008
  • ZD Abacus XII
  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild, 2005
  • Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon – Magnum
  • Betz Family La Serenne Syrah,
  • Pere de Famille Cabernet – Magnum
  • Molly Dooker ‘Velvet Glove’ Shiraz
  • Gaja Barbaresco ‘Sori Tilden’
  • Louis Roederer Cristal- Magnum
  • Levy & Mcclellan Cabernet

The event was held in the mPulse Lounge.  Sheik furniture, amazing wines, and food to enjoy the wines with.  What else could you ask for?  I didn’t take any detailed notes; it was just not possible.  It was a time to just live in the moment and experience these wines.  So enjoy the following few pictures and the tidbits of notes by me.

Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 2005

Chateau Mouton Rothschild is an iconic wine maker from Bordeaux.  And 2005 was a great year for wine in Bordeaux (and Burgundy BTW).

Batard Montrachet Grand Cru 2008

If you are a Burgundy lover, here is one for you, Batard Montrachet Grand Cru.

Penfolds Grange 2003 Magnum

Penfolds Grange 2003; One of my favourite wines at the Magnum Party.  An iconic Shiraz from Australia.  Velvety smooth and full bodied. Did you notice it is in a numbered bottle?

Shafer Hillside Select 2007 Magnum

Shafer Hillside Select is a big Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the 25th vintage from the Stags Leap District. “… one of the New World’s most profound Cabernet Sauvignons …” – Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate

Molly Dooker Velvet Glove Shiraz

The Molly Dooker “Velvet Glove” Shiraz was also exceptional.  Great ripe fruit flavours.  This is the wine you may have heard about having a palette accident in Australia, destroying many of the bottles that were on route around the world.

Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Magnum

The Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon is from Washington State.  This was another big Cab.  Napa doesn’t have big Cabs cornered in the USA.  Give this wine a try.  It’s very high quality.

Rochioli Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009

If you like Pinot Noir, the Rochioli Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009, is full bodied, silky with black cherry and spice.

I hope you enjoyed these wines vicariously and hope you have a chance to try them in person some day as I did. Enjoy!

Taste of Tulalip: What to Expect at the Magnum Party

Below is a sampling of the wines that will be poured on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Taste of Tulalip. During the Magnum Party you can nibble on some of Kathy Casey‘s dishes from her latest book Sips and Apps. From what I’ve seen, these wines, amongst others, will be poured.  Many iconic wines in this list.  It could be a chance of a lifetime to try these wines together in one place! Champagne, an Australian icon, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Napa, Italy; they are all here.  I am really excited about this lineup and can’t wait to taste them myself.

Wines at the Magnum Party

  • Opus One 1998 – Magnum
  • Penfolds Grange 2004 – Magnum
  • Shafer ‘Hillside Select’ Cabernet 3 liter
  • Domaine Leflaive Batard Montrachet 2003 & 2008
  • ZD Abacus XII
  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild, 2005
  • Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon – Magnum
  • Betz Family La Serenne Syrah,
  • Pere de Famille Cabernet – Magnum
  • Molly Dooker ‘Velvet Glove’ Shiraz
  • Gaja Barbaresco ‘Sori Tilden’
  • Louis Roederer Cristal- Magnum
  • Levy & Mcclellan Cabernet

Who is Kathy Casey?

Kathy Casey

I mentioned that Kathy Casey will be serving food to accompany these wines.  In case you don’t know, Kathy Casey is a celebrity chef, mixologist and pioneer in the bar-chef movement.

She played a key role in bringing Northwest cuisine and women chefs to national prominence and, as one of the first female executive chefs in the United States, she was named one of Food & Wine’s “hot new American chefs.” She has also been touted as being the original Bar Chef.

Take the short drive to Tulalip in WA state and have a fun time trying wine and tasting food for a weekend. To buy tickets to a Taste of Tulalip, follow this link.

Bottles & Bangers Wine Tasting – Get Your Tickets

Liberty Bottles and Bangers wine tasting

I recently received an email from Liberty Wine Merchants about their upcoming Bottles and Bangers Southern Hemisphere wine tasting. You may not know, but I was the president, then co-chair, and the cellar master for the South World Wine Society here in Vancouver for many years.  I’ve turned over the reigns to other exec members, but I still have a soft spot in my heart for southern hemisphere wines. South Africa, the Old World of New World wines, has many food friendly wines.  Try a Syrah or Chenin Blanc.  For Chile, maybe try their signature red grape, Carmenere.  Argentina has Malbec, which has been very hot in BC for a while. New Zealand Pinot Noirs or Sauvignon Blanc wines are well-known around the world.  Central Otago in the South Island in particular has very interesting Pinot Noir. And don’t forget Australia.  The Coonawarra, Margaret River, Eden Valley, and the Barossa Valley, to name a few vineyard regions, produce exceptional wines. Jacob’s Creek, Yalumba, Penfolds, and Henschke are just a few names that you may recognize.  Australian shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, riesling and many more wonderful wines.  With that, check out the details for Bottles & Bangers, and buy your tickets before they sell out.

Bottles and Bangers Event Details

Thursday, August 18 | 7:30 – 9:30pm
Vancouver Rowing Club, 450 Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver

Taste the sensational wines of the Southern Hemisphere accompanied by an artisanal sausage. All proceeds to benefit amateur sports.

Tickets $29.99 Available at all Liberty Wine Merchants stores.

My Wine Picks from the Australian Regional Round-Up Tasting #apluswines

January 28, evening at the Bushlen Mowatt Gallery. It was raining outside, but warm and bright inside the Gallery. This evening’s tasting was a regional round-up of Australian wines. The regions, and subregions, covered in this tasting were:

  • South Australia
    • Eden Valley
    • Clare Valley
    • Barossa Valley
    • Padthaway
    • Langhorne Creek
    • Coonawarra
    • McLaren Vale
    • Adelaide Hills
  • New South Wales
    • Hunter Valley
    • Mudgee
    • Orange
    • Riverina
  • Western Australia
    • Margaret River
  • Victoria
    • Mornington Peninsula
    • Goulburn Valley / Nagambie Lakes
    • Heathcote
    • Yarra Valley

There was at least one wine from each sub-region that evening.  I tried to sample every wine but there were too many, so if a wine you liked did not make my list, it could be that I did not have a chance to try it that evening.

South Australia produces most of Australia’s wines, and have many of the best known regions such as the Barossa Valley and the Coonawarra region.  My picks from SOUTH AUSTRALIA are:

Jim Barry ‘The Cover Drive’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Clare Valley) $28.99 – This wine was deep purple in the glass.  Ripe cassis fruit aroma.  Round mouthfeel with medium acidity and raspberry flavour.  A full bodied Cabernet that is more well-known in my opinion for riesling.

Yalumba “Patchwork” Barossa Shiraz 2008 (Barossa Valley) $25.99 – Another deep purple wine.  Rich cassis aroma.  Full body with coffee, black fruit and spice. Medium tannins.

Peter Lehmann “The Futures” Barossa Shiraz 2007 (Barossa Valley) $29.99 – More deep purple shiraz in the glass.  Meaty and chocolate on the nose. Spicy, chocolate and very fruity with firm tannins.

Bleasdale “Potts’ Catch” Verdelho 2009 (Langhorne Creek) $15.99 – Verdelho is a white grape that is originally from Portugal and used in making Madeira wine.  Wine produced from the Verdelho grape can be lemony, crisp and refreshing. It’s character can vary from herbaceous, when grown in cooler vineyards or picked earlier, to tropical fruit, when coming from warmer vineyards or when picked at full maturity. This wine was watery in colour. Some light lime and lees on the nose. Good acidity with apple, lime and spice.  Think about this one for summer.

Penfolds Bin 128 Shiraz 2007 (Coonawarra) $40.99 -Vanilla and ripe plum aromas.  Soft and round in the mouth with sweet ripe cherry flavour and nice pepperiness. A highlight wine.

Chapel Hill Parsons Nose Shiraz 2008 (McLaren Vale) $19.99 – McLaren Vale is a bit cooler climate area in South Australia, but it seems to still be putting out quite full-bodied wines that also have good acidity to them too. This wine was deep purple in colour.  Lots of cassis fruit on the nose.  Good acidity with spiciness and cassis flavour.  Medium tannins.  The cassis just jumped out of the glass at you.  Quite nice and a great price.

Wirra Wirra “Dead Ringer” Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (McLaren Vale) $58.99 – This one might have been my overall favourite for the night. Capsicum upfront then some meatiness on the nose.  Tarry, espresso and capsicum and dark fruit on the palate.  Very full bodied.

d’Arenberg The Custodian Grenache 2008 (McLaren Vale) $21.99 – It was nice to have a lighter bodied grenache after so many big Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine was light garnet in colour.  Smoke and raspberry on the nose. Petrol, cassis, raspberry flavours.  Low tannins. Very refreshing.

Petaluma Chardonnay 2007 (Adelaide Hills) $35.97 – Light lemon in colour with a tinge of green. Light spice, citrus and oak on the nose.  Light body but full of flavour.  Spicy on the palate with long length.

My NEW SOUTH WALES wine picks:

Brokenwood Semillon 2008 (Hunter Valley) $23.99 – Semillon is a classic grape for the cooler climate Hunter Valley.  It can age for a long time and develop an oaked profile eventhough no oak has been applied.  I’ve become quite a fan of Brokenwood’s Semillon since I first tried it a few years ago.  Young, it is bright and refreshing.  Lovely to go with some shellfish.  The 2008 vintage was watery with a slight green hint in colour. Light citrus nose. Green pepper and jalapeno on the palate. Clean with great acidity.  Highly recommended.

Robert Oatley Chardonnay 2007 (Mudgee) $19.99 – Medium lemon in colour.  Vanilla and slight vegetal aromas. Round mouth feel with medium acidity.  Off dry with apple, oak and spice.

From the VICTORIA region, my wine picks:

De Bortoli Estate Grown Pinot Noir 2006 (Yarra Valley) $33.99 – Light red colour with slight bricking.  Burgundian nose with some cherry too. Earthy, meaty, and strawberry flavours.  Low tannins and a bit of spice.  I’d like to try this with some nice French cheese.

Upon reviewing my notes, it looks like Shiraz was the big winner for me at this tasting, and I hope it will be for you too. Enjoy!

has been cultivated in Portugal since at least the 1400s. It is one of the grapes long used in the making of Madeira.

What’s my favourite wine?

People ask me quite often, what’s my favourite wine, or what is my favourite wine from a specific region or country.  Do you get that too?  What do you say?

My response is that I have too many favourite wines, which is true.  The thing about wine, is that every vintage is different.  Some years are hot and dry, others are cool and wet, and everything in between.  This makes every vintage unique.  So one year I may like a cabernet sauvignon from one producer, but next year, I may prefer a cab from a different producer.  That’s the beauty of wine.  In this case, I do have a few wineries that I enjoy their wines each vintage.

Some countries have less variability in climate, so the wines are closer in style, body, flavour each year.  Examples would be the Barossa Valley in Australia, or the Colchagua Valley in Chile.  Some producers are Haan, Penfolds, and Thorn-Clarke in Australia, and Montgras, Casa Lapostolle, and Montes in Chile.

Most places do not have the luxury of a predictable climate with a long growing season.  Most areas in France, Canada, and the Pacific Northwest have significant climate variability each year.  So I could list just about every winery I know in this category.  Some wineries do seem to produce better quality wines, due to their vineyard management and their fermentation process and aging.  Those would be a good bet to try for each new vintage.  Other wineries can have an exceptional year and those are the unique finds that are fun to hear about and try, because it would only be around for that vintage.  Some wineries in BC that I really like are La Frenz, Quails’ Gate, Le Vieux Pin, La Stella, Osoyoos LaRose, Tantalus, Mission Hill, Tinhorn Creek, and many more.

So for the cooler climate wines, I’d say the best is to check with the www.MyWinePal.com website for my wine reviews, and check other well-known wine bloggers for their reviews, then go try out some wines.  You may also want to  consider attending wine tastings put on by wine societies in your city.  Here in Vancouver we have the South World Wine Society, the BC Wine Appreciation Society, and many others. Enjoy!