Author Archives: Ronald Wilson

Goats Do Roam Red Blend South Africa 2016

There are times when you run across a wine that’s surprisingly complex given its price. Such is the case with this much loved red blend from South Africa. The blend is dominated by Shiraz (syrah) at 66%. It also includes the popular Rhone varietals Mourvèdre and Grenache. In fact you can taste some similarities in the popular Rhone valley blends and what you’ll enjoy in Goats Do Roam. This is a smooth, fruit forward red that’s easy drinking and very well priced. It’s great on its own but another reason to buy this wine is because it goes so well with everything from stew to pizza. This would top my list for a grab and go red that delivers plenty of flavour for the money.

Price: $15.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Haywire Pinot Gris 2017 B.C.

There’s enough Pinot Gris being produced in our province to make it B.C.’s official white wine. Most fall into two categories. Lip smacking acidity or softer, more fruit focused. To my palate Haywire falls into the latter category. It’s often the Gris I pour with crab cakes or a simple, grilled fish. Flavours of peaches and pears with a great underpinning of citrus. A lovely sipper on its own but a perfect partner with your favourite seafood dish. This is a white I enjoy regardless of the season because of its consistency and authenticity. A tribute to Haywire’s team.

Price: $21.98 (plus tax)
Available: Save-On Wines on Marine Drive in North Vancouver
Price: $21.65 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street
Price: $22.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wine Store in Yaletown
Price: $23.99 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley

Monte Creek Ranch Pinot Noir 2016 B.C.

For a Winery that’s so young I can’t help but be impressed by the quality and maturity of their wines. This Reserve Pinot Noir is perhaps the best example. A Platinum winning wine at the Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards in the spring and a Brinze medal in this summer’s All Canadian Wine Awards. So this is another splurge buy for those of you who’ve saved money on my lower priced wines. From start to finish this is a terrific Pinot…made with polish and finesse. Beautiful floral aroma followed by a silky smooth wine tasting of strawberries and blueberries with some hints of nuttiness and a long finish. This medium bodied Pinot paired perfectly with grilled sockeye. In the fall I’m going to try it with mushroom risotto. Congratulations Monte Creek on the wine and the awards.

Price: $29.99 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano and Swirl Wines in Yaletown

Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay South Africa 2016

I’m always on the lookout for an everyday wine that you can count on and this Chard fits the bill. I had the pleasure of sipping through a number of wines from Boschendal and all of them hit the mark. This is their entry level white. An uncomplicated Chardonnay that has an aroma of stone fruit…peaches and apples with a touch of citrus. The lemon is what stood out to my palate with some buttery notes. It’s a rich and full bodied wine that works well on its own. I also paired it with grilled chicken kebabs and it gets full marks as a food wine.

Price: $19.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Moraine Vineyards Meritage 2014 B.C.

If we’re celebrating B.C. on Canada Day I want to open a big, bold red. Meritage is the name given to the Bordeaux blends that have become the premium wine from our vineyards. Moraine has crafted an award winning Meritage that belongs on your table. Moraine combined Merlot (45%), Cabernet Franc (33%) and Malbec (22%). The result is a sturdy, full bodied blend that is truly the sum of its parts. Once I decanted the wine for an hour the aroma of dark fruit started to emerge. The taste of cherries and plums is deep and delicious. A great long finish completed a truly exceptional wine experience. Don’t forget to decant. You’ll be glad you did. Pair this with a rib-eye steak for the perfect holiday BBQ. Shop wisely though because the price for this Meritage starts at $25 and hits the mid-thirties at some stores.

Price: $25.13 (plus tax)
Available: Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Burrard street
Price: $29.00 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano
Price: $29.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown

Quails Gate Chasselas Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris B.C. 2017

I’ve discovered many B.C. wines that deliver a consistent product to enjoy vintage after vintage. One of my absolute favourites is this white blend from Quails Gate. While the price has increased over the years (what hasn’t) I still think it represents terrific value. Plus it’s easy to find. Whether you’re looking for a wine to sip after a hard day of work, to pour for company or to enjoy on the patio this ticks all the boxes. The blend is note perfect, fresh, crisp and delicious with a savoury finish that begs for a second glass. Although I’m writing this as part of a Canada Day salute I enjoy this wine year round because it’s so easy drinking. A reminder not to overchill white wine. It often means you’ll miss out on the true flavours and that would be a shame.

Price: $17.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores
Price: $18.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown and Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano

Dirty Laundry Hush Rose 2017 B.C.

To the long list of top flight Rose produced here at home you have to include Dirty Laundry Hush. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this beauty is their top selling wine. For me this was love from first sip. A crisp, dry style that’s becoming the rule rather than the exception in B.C. Flavours of strawberries and a hint of watermelon with a balanced acidity that’s note perfect. It’s a blend of Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Merlot so there’s good structure in this pink. A fresh, food friendly Rose that will have you adding Dirty Laundry to your #drinkpink list.

Price: $17.49 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley
Price: $17.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores
Price: $19.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown and Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano

Drink Pink!

There’s no place in Vancouver with a more impressive wine list than the dynamic duo of Provence Marinaside/The Wine Bar. Imagine having your pick of 240 different wines by the glass? You read right…two hundred and forty! The latest additions are more than forty Rose offerings to make your spring and summer special.
You can #drinkpink from the home of Rose, France along with B.C., Sicily, California, Germany and to my great surprise..England. No matter which pink pleases your palate there’s a Rose that’s a great fit.
Don’t feel overwhelmed because the gracious and informed Sommeliers lead by Wine Director Joshua Carlson can guide you through the choices. I’ve made The Wine Bar my second wine home because of the exceptional choices available at every price point. It was no surprise to me that the Vancouver International Wine Festival awarded Carlson and the Provence/Wine Bar team Gold for their wine program.
Did I mention the food? The judges at VanMag named Provence the best restaurant in Yaletown. So in addition to the dozens of red, white, bubbles and now Rose Wines on offer you can enjoy some of the best seafood in the city.
Make sure you check out their exclusive offerings too so you can boldly go where no Rose has gone before. This is where quality cuisine meets excellent wines. Need I say more? Drink pink!

Provence Marinaside and The Wine Bar overlook Yaletown Marina

Haywire Gamay Noir Rose 2017 B.C.

There’s as many styles of Rose emerging from B.C. as there are wineries. This Gamay Rose from Haywire is among the very best. When I first tasted the wine at the BCVQA spring release I sought out winemaker Matt Dumayne to offer congratulations. He’s crafted a beautiful Rose for those of us who favour the French style. It’s in NO way an attempt to copy Provence because this wine is true to B.C. As the name suggests it’s made entirely from Gamay grapes and that influences both the nose and palate. Plenty of red fruit in the glass with savoury herbs and a bracing acidity that’s just so right. A dry, medium body wine that carries its full flavour through to the finish. On its own this is a perfect patio sipper but pair it with charcuterie and invite wine friends over because this Rose deserves to be shared.

Price: $22.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown
Price: $25.99 (plus tax)
Available: Kits Wines on 4th Avenue
Price: $26.00 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street
Price: $26.99 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley

Villa Sandi Rosato Prosecco Italy

Every #winelover I know is a huge fan of Prosecco and Rose so here’s a chance to combine the two. For the price you’ll be hard pressed to find a better value than this gem from Villa Sandi. Whether it’s for a celebration or just because put this Prosecco on your list. From the moment I poured this pale pink wine into a flute I was a fan. The aroma was a mix of flowers and fruit. The feeling of the bubbles in your mouth was full and creamy with apple flavours. This is a dry, refreshing sparkler that has a long finish. Perfect on its own but a great wine to pair with any cuisine.

Price: $16.45 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street
Price: $16.49 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley