Celebrate Europe Day, May 9 With BC Liquor Stores

I didn’t know May 9 was Europe Day, but now I do.  BC Liquor Stores is showing off some very interesting European wines to help you celebrate Europe Day on May 9 as well as throughout the month of May.  Here is their announcement. Cin cin.


The EU Chamber of Commerce in Canada-West, together with BC Liquor Stores and local wine importers, is organizing during the month of May the second edition of “Emerging Wines of Europe” in-store promotion of selected European wines in 30 BC Liquors Stores.
Celebrate May 9th Europe Day savouring “Old World” wines during the entire month of May! Explore a dozen of delicious European wines – recently emerged and gaining popularity in BC Liquor Stores – selected for us by a Master of Wine, Barbara Philip.
The promotion comprises special displays and features in 30 selected BC Liquor Stores and advertising on BC Liquor Stores, EUCCCW websites and in social media channels.
Please find below more details, including the names of wines, tasting notes and the list of participating stores.
Rueda Verdejo
SKU#: 28100
Vintage: 2018
Winery: Menade
Varietal: Verdejo
Region: Rueda
Country: Spain
Price: $22.99
Tasting notes
Brimming with white fruits on the nose. The palate is a sea of citrus, lime, mango and nectarine in a medium-rich style. Think of this as an upscale Sauvignon for the senses with the perfect yin and yang for the palate. 

EM BIO Mavrud & Rubin
SKU#: 169436
Vintage: 2016
Winery: Edoardo Miroglio Ltd. Varietal: Mavrud 75%, Rubin 25% Region: Thracian 
Country: Bulgaria
Price: $18.99
Tasting notes
A certified organic wine from Bulgaria, made from indigenous grapes of Mavrud and Rubin. Aromas of cherry and eucalyptus, with flavours of tart cherry, cranberry and pomegranate. 
Chateau Dereszla – Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos 2013
SKU#: 285643
Vintage: 2013
Winery: Chateau Dereszla
Varietal: 75% Furmint, 25% Harslevelu
Region: Tokaji
Country: Hungary
Price: $48.99
Tasting notes
This pale gold dessert wine displays notes of honey, ripe pear, apricot and spice. The palate is smooth with intense flavours of honey, peach, lemon, dried apricot and orange zest. With a long, mouth-watering finish, the Tokaji Aszu has refreshing, lively acidity to balance the sweetness.
Monograph Assyrtiko by Gaia Nemea  
SKU#: 214120   
Vintage: 2018
Winery: Gaia
Varietal: Assyrtiko    
Region: Nemea
Country: Greece
Price: $ 21.99
Tasting notes
A youthful, intensely fruity 100% Assyrtiko, with a bouquet of honeysuckle and citrus fruit and a refreshing acidity on the palate. A classic pairing with fresh seafood. Unoaked. 
Bollicini Sparkling Rose
SKU#: 155116
Vintage: NV
Winery: Bollicini
Varietal: Glera ( Prosecco)
Region: Veneto
Country: Italy
Price: $19.99 Retail
Tasting notes
Crisp and fragrant notes of strawberry and red berry. Delicious on its own or with appetizers, shellfish, salads, grilled veggies, or fruit desserts. 
Tokaji Muscat Late Harvest
SKU#: 057802
Vintage: N/A
Winery: Grand Tokaj Zrt
Varietal: Yelow Muscat
Region: Tokaj
Country: Hungary
Price: 18.99
Tasting notes
Black locust and fresh flowers with a hint of botrytis on the nose. Smooth citrus and floral taste with botrytis notes and apricot with mint appearing at the end. 
 Finca Cuarta Mencia
SKU#: 30000
Vintage: 2018
Winery: Prior de Panton, MGH Wines Group
Varietal:  Mencia
Region: Ribera Sacra, Galicia
Country: Spain
Price: $21.99
Tasting notes
Intense aroma of red fruit on a backdrop of complex toasted notes of wood aging. Smooth and well-structured on the palate with hints of coffee and ripe red fruit followed by a long finish.
 Vinho Verde Maria Bonita
SKU#: 185986
Vintage: 2018
Winery: Maria Bonita
Varietal:  Loureiro
Region: Vinho Verde
CountrY: Portugal
Price: Whl. $11.20 – Ret. $14.99
Tasting notes
This is a dry style of Vinho Verde, attractively perfumed with a herbal edge. The wine has a touch of spice that highlights the smoky citrus flavors. The wine is crisp and intense and has a long lingering finish.
“Labrusca” Lambrusco
SKU#: 030163
Vintage: NV
Winery: LINI910
Varietal:  Lambrusco
Region: Emilia-Romagna
Country: Italy
Price: $21.99
Tasting notes
Dry and tangy, with ripe black cherry fruit, candied current, balsamic and spice box notes. Enjoy this dry Lambrusco chilled with rustic Italian food like pizza, pasta, antipasti, & charcuterie.
Teodosio Aglianico del Vulture
SKU#: 783498
Vintage: 2015
Winery: BasIlisco
Varietal:  Aglianico
Region: Basilicata
Country: Italy
Price: $21.99
Tasting notes
A full bodied and textured wine with soft fruit aromas of plum and Morello cherry. Well balanced and full bodied with a long-lasting finish.
Laurenz V. Singing Gruner Veltliner
SKU#: 458034
Vintage: 2017
Winery: Laurenz V.
Varietal: 100% Gruner Veltliner
Region: Kremstal, Weinvertel
Country: Austria
Price: $18.38 Whls, $23.99 Est. Retail
Tasting notes
A very attractive fruit bouquet yields apple, peach and citrus aromas along with a typical Veltliner spiciness and a touch of white pepper. The soft and juicy palate is supported by fine acidity. It sings on the palate!
Stina Cuvee Red
SKU#: 997742
Vintage: 2018
Winery: Stina
Varietal: Plavac Mali and Merlot
Region: Brac
Country: Croatia
Price: $18.09
Tasting notes
Dark red in color, the wine is dominated by spicy notes and red and black fruits. Supple tannins, it also offers notes of dried plums and cherry. 
Find these wines at the following participating
50 Sidney
76 Richmond Brighouse
77 Northgate
79 Kam. Columbia Pl
90 Jericho Village
98 Tsawwassen
102 Dunbar
107 Westview
 111 Commercial Drive
117 Broadway & Maple
120 Richmond Ironwood
125 Victoria Westshore
129 Alberni & Bute
148 Kel. Mission Park
158 Langley
 160 39th & Cambie
163 Westwood Centre
167 Kel. Orchard Park
175 Caulfeild
177 8th & Cambie
179 Whistler Market Pl
181 Broadmead Village
183 Peninsula Village
191 Yaletown
208 Squamish
218 Fort Street
224 Solo
228 Park Royal
233 Robson Street
247 Lynn Valley

Being Impressed at the G7 Wines of Portugal Tasting – Part 2

In my last blog I introduced you to some white wines from Portugal. I didn’t mention, but should have, that the white wines of Northern Portugal, are well-known by the name Vinho Verde. (There are also some red Vinho Verde, but maybe I’ll talk about that another time).

In Part 2 of Being Impressed at the G7 Wines of Portugal Tasting, I would like to talk about the red wines made from the Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Baga grapes, and some food and wine pairings we enjoyed. I mentioned in Part 1 that there are approximately 256 different vitis vinifera grape varieties in Portugal. I wondered with this much variety, how many of the French vitis vinifera (e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay) are planted in Portugal. I was pleased to hear that in the past it was about a 50/50% split, but now, 80% of the grapes planted are indigenous Portuguese varieties. I do like variety in wines and trying wines that are particular to a specific place in the world. Maybe you can say that these particular grapes express the terroir of the land.

Tinta Roriz is also known as Aragonez in Portugal. To confuse you even more, this grape is known as Tempranillo in Spain. The wines made from this grape provides elegance and also some mintiness to a Portuguese blend. The wine I tried was deep purple in the glass with some mintiness and black fruit aromas. It was medium in body, with low tannins. Black cherry and oaky flavours. It is also one of the grapes that go into making port wines.

The second red wine we tried was from the Touriga Nacional grape. This is another port wine grape, but also can be blended or on it’s own for still wines. We tried Touriga Nacional from the North (Douro), the Central (Setubal), and the Southern (Dao) parts of Portugal to see the differences in the wine produced from each region. Overall I would say that the wines had more tannic structure in the north, and became softer and smoother as you went south. Touriga Nacional has similar aromas to shiraz. The Douro wine was opaque purple in the glass. An amazing aroma. Very fruity, black fruit and vanilla on the nose. Ripe purple fruit flavours with some spice and round mouthfeel.

Touriga Franca was the next variety that we tasted. Touriga Franca (also known as Touriga Francesca) is another port wine grape, but also great as a still wine for drinking. It is a very difficult grape to grow. It does not like humidity and is prone to botrytis. It is happy with little rain and is late to mature. BUT can produce a wine with exceptional flavours and aromas if kept to low production. The wine we tasted was opaque purple in colour. Meaty, stewed / dried black fruit, vanilla, and leather aromas. Black fruit, spice and chocolate flavours. Medium acidity and tannins. I was really impressed by this grape variety.

Baga was our last grape variety to try, but not the last red grape that I will talk about. Baga I was told has great aging potential. It is widely planted in Portugal. This wine was opaque purple in colour. Some mint, oak, and black fruit on the nose. Ripe black fruit, a hint of spice on the palate. It was full bodied, with medium tannins and a long length.

The last grape variety that I would like to tell you about is the Moscatel de Setubal. This is the same as Muscat of Alexandria from around Egypt. I saved this one to the last as this grape is used for fortified wines, and we tasted wines from this grape when we enjoyed the dessert portion of our food and wine pairing. We tried a Moscatel de Setubal 1999 and Alabre 20 Anos (years) with our dessert. The Moscatel de Setubal 1999 is aged in oak malt whiskey barrels. The barrels are stored in a building which is not temperature controlled so the wines are exposed to hot summer heat and cold winter temperatures. The wine oxidizes and evaporates in the barrels to provide additional complexity and concentration to the wines. This wine had a wonderful orange and flowery nose. The Alabre 20 Anos, is a blend of 20 different vintages of this grape from 20 years old to 80 years old! This wine has sweet aromas with orange and some nuttiness. Sweet on the palate with spicy and orange flavours. Very round mouthfeel. These two wines, plus a port were paired with an orange creme tart, toasted almond, apricot garni and dark chocolate. It was an unbelievably good pairing.

Back to the still red wines. After going through the flight of white and red wines, sans labels, we then tasted five labelled red wines. The first was the Quinta da Garrida 2007 from the Dao region. A blend of Tinta Nacional and Tinta Roriz (50/50%). Opaque purple colour. Pruple fruit and oak on the nose. Medium body with dry tannins. Chocolate, black fruit, oak and spicy flavours on the palate. Long length a wonderful wine.

Next was the Tinto da Anfora 2007. This is a blend of many grapes, but primarily Tinta Roriz and Tinta Nacional. There is 5% Cabernet Sauvignon in this blend which adds a bit more structure to the wine. Medium garnet in colour. Some earthiness, black cherry, oak, and mint aromas. Medium body, smooth mouthfeel and medium acidity. Lots of ripe black fruit flavours with some spice.

One of my stars of the tasting for me was the Periquita Reserva 2007 (~$15). This is a blend of 3 varietals. Pencil lead aroma. Medium body with purple fruit, more pencil leads, violets, and vanilla flavours. Round mouthfeel with low tannins.

My other star wine was the Follies Cabernet Sauvignon / Touriga Nacional (30/70%) 2008 (~$16). Opaque purple in colour. Lots of aroma in the glass. Violets, black fruit, spice and mint aromas. Full bodied. Good fruit / tanning balance. Purple fruit flavour with a dry tannic finish.

The last wine in the flight of five wines was the Dados Reserva 2008. This is a blend of Tinta Roriz (60%), Touriga Franca (30%), and Touriga Nacional (10%). This wine is made from a very dry vineyard. The wine was opaque purple in colour. Purple fruit and vannila on the nose. Vanilaa, and purple fruit flavours. Smooth mouthfeel and medium body.

I think I need to do a Part 3 to this tasting. As I have 8 wines to go for the food and wine pairing. So stay tuned for Part 3. I hope I’ve enticed you a bit to go to your nearest wine shop to check out some Portuguese reds. Enjoy!

Vinho Verde tasting at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

March 31, 2009 05:05:33
Posted By Wine With Karl

This was my last official tasting of the wine festival, and I would say it was a very interesting and tasty tasting! Our speaker was DJ Kerney a wine educator, caterer, chef, sommelier and more. DJ talked to us about Vinho Verde, “Green Wine” from the northwest corner of Portugal. These wines were all very refreshing, good acidity and fruit. If you like Sauvignon Blanc, but want something slightly different with a bit of bubble then try Vinho Verde.

The wines were tried on their own first, and then with some excellent appetizers, skillfully produced by Blair Rasmussen, the executive chef for the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Our wines were:
1. Vinho Verde Gatao N/V ($10.99 in BC)
2. Arca Nova Rose 2007
3. Arca Nova Loureiro 2007
4. Quinta de Simaens 2007
5. Quinta de Linhares Avesso 2007
6. Alvarinho Quinta do Regueiro 2007

Our appetizers were:
1. Sake Braised Japanese Eggplant Salad, with Crispy Garlic and Handmade Fresh Wasabi
2. Steamed Island Scallop with Portuguese Chorizo Piperade and Scallop Roe
3. Lemon Grass Chicken with Wild Prawn Sate and Thai Red Curry Sauce
4. Salt Cod “Bolinhos”, Roma Tomato and White Truffle Oil

The first wine was a non-vintage wine, but was quite refreshing and a great deal at $10.99. A great patio wine and one that went well with the eggplant, scallop and lemon grass chicken. The Vinho Verde Gatao had lemon, orange, yeast and some sweetness on the nose. Good acidity with more bright orange and lemon flavour.

The Arca Nova Rose is a “rose”. Most people think of white wine from this region but it also produces red and rose wines. This rose had citrus, strawberry and raspberry aromas. Good acid as well, with apple and citrus flavours.

Also from Arca was the Lureiro (Lureiro is a native grape variety. Portugal has LOTS of native grape varieties with hard to pronounce names). I enjoyed this one as it had a tangerine and lime aromas, which continued on the palate, and good acidity. No flabby wines anywhere in this lineup. This paired nicely with the lemon grass chicken and the eggplant.

The Quinta de Simaens was a blend of a few white grapes; arinto, avesso, and trajadura. Pale lemon green colour. Flowery, apple, and citrus aromas. Less acid than the others, but nicely smooth, with apple and citrus flavours. This wine paired best with the eggplant as the eggplant was very smooth and this wine was smooth. Similar with the Salt Cod Bolinhos.

The Quinta de Linhares Avesso had a light aroma, bright acidity with apple and flower flavours.

Our final wine was the Alvarinho Quinta do Regueiro. If you like sauvignon blanc, this one smells and tastes very similar. On the nose you get lots of gooseberry and lemon aroma. On the palate, good acid, some smoothness and oiliness. I thougt it went well with the scallop and the salt cod.

The nice thing about Vinho Verde not being too well known as you can buy them for all probably under $20 according to the people speaking at the event. Enjoy!