BCWAS 8th Generation Vineyard Event April 21

Come out to the BCWAS 8th Generation Vineyard wine tasting on Thursday April 21 and experience more BC wine.  There are so many BC wineries around now.  I am in particular VERY interested to try their Riesling and Pinot Noir, as I did a BC Riesling Review last year, and this year I am now starting my BC Pinot Noir Review. Here is the tasting announcement from the BCWAS.


Join us for a fun tasting with Stefanie Schales of 8th Generation Vineyard!

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        Photo credit 8th Generation.

When Stefanie and Bernd Schales decided to call their winery “8th Generation” they really meant it. Their families have been making wine in Germany since 1783 – that’s a lot of history!

Stefanie studied architecture while Bernd followed the family tradition by becoming a winemaker. He studied at the State Academy for Viticulture & Oenologie of Weinsberg in Germany, and went on to make wine in Germany, New Zealand and South Africa.

After immigrating to Canada from Germany, Stefanie and Bernd purchased their first vineyard, in OK Falls, in 2003. In 2007, they bought the winery in Summerland. Our BCWAS September bus tour has been there twice, and each time the stop was one of our highlights!

8th Generation makes Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Meunier Rosé, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Syrah as well as two frizzante-style bubblies and their flagship Riesling.

Stefanie and Bernd with the 9th generation.                  Photo credit www.spiegel.de.

Stefanie is bringing 12 wines with her, so we’ll get to taste almost everything! 

Wines being poured include:

·         2015 Integrity frizzante

·         2014 Confidence frizzante

·         2014 Chardonnay

·         2015 Riesling Classic

·         2014 Riesling (Best Riesling in Canada at the All-Canadian Wine Championship)

·         2013 Riesling Selection

·         2015 Riesling Selection tank sample

·         2015 Pinot Meunier Rosé

·         2012 Pinot Noir

·         2014 Cabernet/Merlot

·         2013 Syrah

·         2015 RedOne


And because we know how much you love your wine and cheese, we’re also going to have a few platters from Les Amis du Fromage.

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The beautiful new tasting room at the winery..             Photo credit: 8th Generation

Date:  Thursday April 21, 2016

Time: 7:30-9:30

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

Price:  Members: only $39/ Guests: $55

Click here to sign up: http://www.bcwas.ca/latest-news/join-us-for-a-fun-tasting-with-stefanie-schales-of-8th-generation-vineyard


Transit:  It’s a short 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.

2016/2017 BCWAS membership: Join us now, and your membership is good until the end of March 2017. Only $40 for a whole 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 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.

Caviar and Champagne for New Years Eve?

Last year I made this original post and thought that it would be of interest to you for this upcoming New Years eve.  I’ve added some additional text and champagnes for you.  Hopefully you will be able to find these more recent sparkling wines.

I recently watched The Social Network and thought if I was Mark Zuckerberg, what could I have for New Years eve with my friends?

I think the ultimate indulgence would be sturgeon caviar from the Caspian Sea and vintage French champagne. The four most prized caviar are the Beluga, Osetra, Sevruga, and Sterlet. I did a quick check on the internet and saw that the price for Osetra caviar is around US$500 for 2 oz.  2 oz of Sevruga caviar is US$400.  2 oz of Beluga caviar is US$350.

How to Serve Caviar?

I’m not a caviar expert, so I checked with www.igourmet.com. This is their recommendation: “To allow the delicate flavor of the caviar to come through, serve the caviar on a plain base, such as the traditional buckwheat blini. Plain crackers, toasted brioche, or challah bread are all perfect substitutes. You can then top with a small dollop of crème fraiche on the blini, then add the caviar. For the purist, just enjoy the caviar by the spoonful will no adornment, pressing the eggs against the roof of your mouth with your tongue until they pop.

On the subject of serving Caviar, never use metal. The delicate nature of Caviar is so fragile that using a metal bowl or spoon will give the caviar an “off” flavor of a metallic tang. In haut cuisine, Caviar should be served in a bowl made of ice with a pearl or bone spoon. If you don’t have the luxury of such serving wear, glass will work fine. If all else fails, use plastic before you ever consider using metal serving ware.”

Fish may shine though with a squirt of lemon, but do not apply acidic liquids to caviar, as this can neutralize any flavor…”

If you cannot afford sturgeon caviar (yet), you can try salmon or trout caviar this New Years eve.  Being in Vancouver, I think salmon caviar should be really easy to find.

Champagne for Caviar

Assuming you have your 2 oz of beluga caviar to share with a friend(s), which champagne to enjoy it with?  Most champagne is non-vintage.  It is a blend of wines from different years, bottled and fermented a second time.  The blending of different vintages allows Champagne houses to design a house style, which people enjoy.  James Bond‘s favorite champagne house is Bollinger.  Some champagne is labelled “Blanc de blanc” and is made solely from Chardonnay grapes.  Other champagne may be labelled “Blanc de noir” and would be made with Pinot Noir and maybe Pinot Meunier.  Blended champagnes are usually a mix of wines from all three grapes varieties.

From what I’ve read about champagne and caviar pairings, the saltier the caviar, the younger and fresher the champagne to pair with it.  The bone dry finish of a champagne can stand up to the complex oily, fishy and salty flavors of caviar.  As a champagne ages, it mellows and brings on it’s own flavours and character, so choose a less salty caviar.

Doing a quick check at www.everythingwine.ca, I came up with the following French champagne:

Armand de Brignac Brut Champagne 750 ml Sparkling $399.99
Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois Brut 1998 750 mL Sparkling $225.99
Bollinger Special Cuvee Champagne 750ml Sparkling $74.99
Champagne Boizel Brut Reserve 750ml Sparkling $91.99
Champagne Salon96/97 Le Mesnil Blanc de Blanc 750ml Sparkling $424.99
Cordon Rouge Brut (Mumm) Champagne 750ml Sparkling $58.99
De Venoge Cordon Bleu Brut Select 200mL Sparkling $21.99
De Venoge Cordon Bleu Brut Select Sparkling 750 mL Sparkling $57.99
Delamotte Blanc de Blanc Champagne 750ml Sparkling $78.99
Delamotte Rose Brut Champagne 750ml Sparkling $86.99
Deutz Brut Classic NV Champagne 750 mL Sparkling $64.99

There are many more. There was 101 sparkling French wines listed from my query. Some are not Champagne from the 101, and could be a cheaper alternative. A Cremant would be something you may want to select.

Some champagne and sparkling wines that I’ve rated last year:

Cuillier Pere et Fils,  Brut Selection (France)  Pinot Noir / Chardonnay  NV.    Fine bubble with green apple and pear aromas. Fine bubble with lemon and pear flavour. This wine was like enjoying a fresh pear. Very tasty!

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.   Light orangy pink in colour. Light strawberry aroma. Very bracing in your mouth, with strawberry and raspberry flavours.

Villa Rinaldi Rose di Barriciaia 1998 (Italy). This is a Pinot Noir based sparkling wine that has some oak aging. Peachy, orange colour in the glass. Nutty, lemony and creamy / lees on the palate. Very small, fine bubbles.

A few favourite Champagnes and other sparkling wines from this year:

  • 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.
  • Roederer Estate L’ermitage 2002. This sparkling wine is made by the famous Roederer Estate Champagne house from France. It is a blend of 52% Chardonnay and 48% Pinot Noir. Pale lemon in colour.  Toast, lees, and caramel aromas. Tiny bubbles in the glass.  High acidity with lots of citrus flavour and some toastiness on the finish.  Nice.
  • Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose, France ($24.99). This Cremant is produced from the Pinot Noir grape. Watery pink colour. Light strawberry aroma. High in acid with small bubbles.  Dry with apple, cherry and strawberry flavours to tickle your tongue.  Elegant.  Easy to enjoy.

Enjoy and have a prosperous New Year!

can stand up to the complex oily, fishy and salty flavors of caviar

Pinot Rama at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Fest

March 30, 2009 09:29:45
Posted By Wine With Karl

In this seminar we tried a lineup of different “Pinots“, which covered Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Pinotage. For those that don’t know, all the Pinot varietals come from Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir grapes tend to mutate, giving rise to different “clones” of Pinot Noir, and in other cases caused the creation for Pinot Blanc for example.

Our first wine was the Champagne de Venoge Blanc de Noir 2005 (Champagne). In Champagne-speak this is champagne made from red grapes, in this case 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier. A nice bubble, lemon colour, bready and dried fruit nose and flavours.

2nd was the Santa Margherita Valdadige Pinot Grigio (Italy). This winery is known to produce the most pinot grigio of any winery in the world. From this grigio you get good acid, peach and lime flavours.

3rd was the Sandhill Pinot Blanc 2007 (BC). This wine was a star for me. Vanilla, pineapple, pear and ripe fruit flavours. Round mouthfeel, some spice, tropical fruit flavour. Long finish.

4th was the Burrowing Owl Pinot Gris 2007 (BC). Light, bright, lemon colour. Stone fruit nose. Banana, lemon, and pear flavours.

5th was the Pierre Sparr Pinot Gris Grand Cru Mambour 2000 (Alsace, France). Another star! Note that is a 2000 vintage. Most people say white wines don’t age well. This wine was spectacular. Deep lemon colour. Lychee, peach and apricot nose. Lush, roundess, some spicy, fruit, honey.

6th was the Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Pinot Noir 2007 (Loire, France). Nice strawberry aroma with light oak. Light bodied, cherry and spice, some apple flavour.

7th was the Hacienda Araucano Humo Blanco Colchagua Valley Pinot Noir 2007 (Chile). Made by a French wine maker. Masculine with a meaty, smoky aroma. Medium body, red fruit, spicy finish.

8th was the Sokol Blosser Estate Pinot Noir 2006 (Dundee Hills, Oregon). From 100% certified organic grapes. A bit of bricking at the edges, but nice strawberry and vanilla aroma. Red fruit and spice with a round mouthfeel.

9th was the Saintsbury Carneros Pinot Noir 2006 (California). Not as big as the Sokol Blosser, but still showed cherry, vanilla and strawberries.

10th was the Quails’ Gate Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2005 (Okanagan, BC). Very deep red coloured, with some brown. Cherry, vanilla and some spice. Very fruity.

11th was the Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2006 from Martinborough, New Zealand (North Island). When I drink Pinot Noir I love violet aroma, and this was have lots of violets and strawberry. Flowery, violet, and apple flavours.

12th was the Maison Albert Bichot Pommard Clos des Ursulines Domaine du Pavillon 2006 (Burgundy, France). My OVERALL favorite of this tasting. Pommard is known for more masculine pinot. Cherry, vanilla, apple, spice. Light and elegant.

13th was the Gevrey Chambertin Les Evocelles 2006 also (Burgundy, France). More body than the previous wine. Cherry, vanilla, apple and spice. The grapes from this vineyard are also 100% organic and biodynamic.

14th was the Spier Private Collection Stellenbosch Pinotage 2006, (South Africa). This wine was opaque purple in the glass. Vanilla and black fruit on the nose. Full bodied, spicy, sweet tarry finish.

Last was the Sumac Ridge Pinot Blanc Icewine 2006, (Okaganan, BC). This was deep lemon coloured. Honey and apricots on the nose. Unctus with honey and apricot flavour. Not much acid which could have helped it be a bit more refreshing.

You can see that Pinot has many different styles. If you buy a pinot noir, please chill it for about 30 minutes before serving to bring out it’s flavours. Enjoy!

Thornhaven Winery – A small gem

I enjoy discoverng small wineries that are producing quality wines, then letting other people know about them. Thornhaven winery in Summerland, BC is one of those wineries. I came across this winery two years ago doing an Okanagan tasting weekend. Each wine in their portfolio was very well made, full of fruit, but with structure. Two wines stood out for me at the time. The first was their pinot grigio. Most grigios have a variety of citrus, peach, mango flavour with soft acidity, not as much as you would get on a Sauvignon Blanc. Thornhaven’s pinot grigio tasted like a juicy red grapefruit. It was so refreshing and would have been a great pairing with grilled seafood. The other wine I really enjoyed was their Pinot Meunier. This is a red grape, that is used in the Champagne region, in the blend with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to produce Champange. It is fruiter than pinot noir. Thornhaven’s pinot meunier had a nice cherry and red fruit aromas and flavours. There was also some coffee flavour. This wine is hard to find, outside of going to the Thornhaven winery.

The last wine of note, which I have not yet tasted, is their 2006, Gewurztraimer, as it won double gold at the Canadian Wine Awards. I was able to buy a bottle, but am waiting for the right occasion, to open it with friends. For those that haven’t tried Gewurztraimer, think of lychee fruit with some sweet spices. This is known as the spicy grape in Germany. Try pairing it with a light blue cheese, chicken satay, pate, or chinese food. Enjoy!