Author Archives: Ronald Wilson

Gold medal winning B.C. Wines

The recently announced WineAlign National Wine Awards are further evidence of how far B.C wines have come. I shared four examples on Global B.C. Noon News that illustrate that point. The Coolshanagh Chardonnay 2016 is made from grapes grown just north of the Naramata Bench. Crafted by winemaker Matt Dumayne at Okanagan Crush Pad this is a wine I loved from first sip. A creamy flavour of apples and pears with great acidity, this is an Okanagan chard that can stand up to the world’s best. Available at coolshanagh.ca.
Rose is a massively popular wine category and Blue Grouse Estate Winery is fully deserving of the gold medal for their Quill Rose. Winemaker Bailey Williamson relies on Gamay grapes for his pink and the result is a knockout! Bone dry, juicy and fresh with a beautiful tartness and bracing acidity this Rose is the perfect partner for your favorite seafood. Blue Grouse is located in the beautiful Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island and the winery offers a warm welcome in their gorgeous tasting room. You can find Blue Grouse at Marquis Wine Cellars and Firefly Wines.
Singeltree Winery Pinot Noir offers more proof that B.C. is a great place to find a wide range of styles of Pinot. Located in the Fraser Valley, daytrippers from Vancouver take note, Singletree delivers a terrific wine for the price. This is a dark, intense Pinot with a lovely toasted finish that reflects eleven months aging in oak. At $22.00 this may be the best buy Pinot you’ll find for the price so jump in the car with your best #winelover and head to Singletree.
Time Winery Meritage 2016 is a wonderful wine to celebrate the late Harry McWatters. One of the true pioneers in B.C. wine, Harry played a leading role in bringing this style of red to our province. His final vintage is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Decant this beauty and take in the beautiful aroma of cherries and herbs. A deep and delicious red, loaded with rich flavour but soft on the palate and pairs beautifully with steak. Available at Save-On-Foods Wines across B.C.

Quails’ Gate Chasselas Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris B.C. 2018

When it comes to a B.C. winery with an established pedigree it’s difficult to find one more impressive than Quails’ Gate. With decades of wine making behind them you simply learn to trust what’s in the bottle. There’s no better example or introduction to what they do best than the very popular white blend of Chasselas, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. I’ve recommended this wine to friends and family for years. Have a glass and you’ll taste why I’m so bullish about this well priced gem. Dry and crispy with flavours of apple, pear and a touch of citrus. Incredibly food friendly and the perfect wine when hosting a house full of thirsty guests.

Price: $17.99 plus tax
Available: B.C. Liquor stores
Price: $21.25 plus tax
Available: Firefly Fine Wines in Cambie Village and Maple Ridge

Road 13 Honest John’s Rose 2018

For me, summer doesn’t officially begin until I open my first bottle of Road 13 Rose. Vintage after vintage delivers a style of Rose that seems to tickle my palate. The 2018 isn’t the very pale pink of the last few years. But have no fear, the taste is note perfect. When I drink pink I look for something similar to what France has made famous. So good acidity, minerality and juicy. Road 13 ticks all those boxes for me. I love the flavours of cherries, strawberries and watermelon. So whether you’re looking for the perfect patio sipper or to pair with a picnic or BBQ Honest John’s is honestly the right choice. It’s also easy to find for a last minute beach visit. Happy Summer Vancouver!

Price: $16.49 plus tax
Available: B.C. Liquor stores and Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley
Price: $19.99 plus tax
Available: Save-On Foods Wines at Pemberton plaza in North Vancouver

Stag’s Hollow Cabernet Franc B.C. 2014

From my first taste of B.C. Cab Franc I’ve been a fan. At least with the bigger bodied, more robust style that I can pair with a steak off the BBQ. Stag’s Hollow answers the bell with this wine which i thoroughly enjoyed. Loved the aroma of blackberries and cherries. The flavour of blackberries with soft tannins and a smoky finish was really appealing. It has a splash of Merlot and Petit Verdot and spent a year in the bottle before it was released. All that adds up to a more interesting wine for me.

Price: $23.89 (plus tax)
Available: Save-On Wines at Pemberton plaza in North Vancouver
Price: $28.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown

Fort Berens Rose B.C. 2018

The massive growth in the popularity of Rose means there’s one for every taste. Fort Berens has crafted a Rose much in the style of France. Salmon pink in colour the Lillooet winery is using a blend of Pinot Noir (66%) and Gamay Noir (26%) with a dash of Muscat on the finish. Lots of summer berries on the nose. I tasted strawberry and cranberry with the latter adding a nice tartness to the finish. Good acidity in this medium bodied Rose too. An easy drinking wine on a warm day and I look forward to pairing it with grilled salmon too.

Price: $21.99 (plus tax)
Available: Save-On Wines at Pemberton Plaza in North Vancouver

Hester Creek Cabernet Franc Rose 2018 B.C.

If you needed more proof that Rose is a year round wine look no further than Hester Creek. Already known for the excellence of their Cabernet Franc they’ve given pink lovers another reason to enjoy their wines.
A darker pink than you’ll be familiar with if France is your country of choice for Rose. In this wine, the colour is a hint of what’s to come. A bolder Rose that your nose will pick up before first sip. I loved the aroma of fresh strawberries and the taste was medium to full bodied and quite intense. Paired with Brazilian BBQ it handled the sausage, chicken and beef with aplomb.
The winemaker described the wine as off-dry but i found it dry and very fruit forward. Another terrific B.C. rose to add to your list.

Price: $18.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores
Price: $19.47 (plus tax)
Available: Save-On Wines at Pemberton plaza in North Vancouver
Price: $19.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown

Santa Carolina Reserva Sauvignon Blanc Pinot Noir Cabernet Sauvignon Chile 2017

When you’re having a big party and you’re on a budget you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality. This trio of Santa Carolina Reserva wines more than delivers the goods and they’re on sale until the end of December. The Pinot Noir is medium bodied with loads of cherries and very food friendly. The Sauvignon Blanc is a crispy, fruit forward style with a touch of lemon. The Cabernet Sauvignon is remarkably deep for such a young wine with loads of black fruit and a hint of spice. Don’t miss this triple threat of tasty wines at a bargain price.

Price: $11.49-$12.49 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. liquor stores

Evolve Pinot Gris B.C. 2017

From its first vintage I’ve been an unabashed fan of Evolve wines. I’d be hardpressed to think of another B.C. winery that has a better price to quality ratio than Evolve. Nobody should be surprised considering its DNA can be traced back to Harry McWatters. This Pinot Gris is another example of how Evolve delivers the goods. The nose is an Okanagan orchard in summer with aromas of apples, peaches and nectarines. For Gris fans you’ll enjoy a crisp, fresh wine with a good balance of citrus and mild acidity. This is the perfect holiday party sipper because it’s a good match for most any appy. As you’d expect from Pinot Gris the lemon cries out for seafood too. Well done Evolve, again!

Price: $18.49 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley
Price: $18.59 (plus tax)
Available: Save-On Wines at Pemberton Plaza on Marine Drive in North Vancouver
Price $18.99 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA wines in Kitsilano

Road 13 Seventy-Four K 2016/17 B.C.

There are many reasons why Road 13 was named Winery of the Year in Canada. Rather than read about it, can I suggest you open a bottle and let your taste buds tell you why. The Seventy-Four K is the perfect introduction. This delicious red blend combines Merlot and Syrah in a silky, dry wine that’s a perennial favorite. One of the reasons I’ve enjoyed Road 13 wines for so many years is the sense of place. From the moment you enjoy the beautiful aroma it’s as if you’ve been transported to their south Okanagan vineyard. The flavour is bold and spicy, plum and cassis with a lingering finish. I’ve paired this wine with steaks, roasts and turkey. You can also get it on sale until the end of December at several retail outlets so shop carefully. Both the 2016 and 2017 vintages are on the shelf depending on where you buy your wine.

Price: $23.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores, Save-On Wines on Marine Drive in North Vancouver and Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley
Price: $28.73 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano
Price: $28.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wine Store in Yaletown

Rust Wine Co. Gamay 2017 B.C.

I am a huge fan of Gamay and in B.C. there’s no shortage of excellent options. Road 13, Joie and Desert Hills are among my favourite examples of this varietal. If you haven’t discovered Rust Wine Co. make sure you add their Gamay to your list. From the nose to the palate this is one beautiful wine. The aroma of cherries with spicy notes is impressive but wait until the first sip. There’s so much depth to Rust’s Gamay with plenty of cherries in an earthy, savoury wine that demands a second glass. If you’re accustomed to lighter bodied Gamays, Rust will surprise you with a much deeper flavour. It’s lovely as a sipper but a very food friendly red too. Pair it with Brie or smoked salmon at any festive gathering. Another reason to love this wine is the price. Stock up for the holidays. It’s also available by the glass at TWB-The Wine Bar in Yaletown.

Price: $22.00 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley and Village VQA in Kitsilano
Price: 22.49 (plus tax)
Available: Save-On Wines on Marine Drive in North Vancouver
Price: $22.52 (plus tax) at Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Burrard street
Price: $22.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown