Author Archives: Ronald Wilson

Wine Country Lottery

If you’re a B.C. winelover here’s an opportunity to sip and savour some incredible wine experiences. At the same time you’ll be supporting the important work of the B.C. Hospitality Foundation. The Wine Country Lottery offers prizes you can only dream of and here’s the proof.
Two nights at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery in Oliver that includes your own penthouse suite, breakfasts plus a three course dinner with wine pairings in the outstanding Sonora Room Restaurant.
Or you can hop aboard the sold-out Grand Sommelier Express evening train ride. This prize package includes dinner at Local on Lakeshore, a Bottleneck Drive Tour and two nights accommodation at the Summerland Waterfront Resort and Spa.
These are just two of the outstanding prizes that will delight the winelover in you.
To get more information and buy your tickets head over to B.C. Hospitality Foundation website. Proceeds from the Wine Country Lottery support hospitality workers facing financial crisis due to a health issue. Good luck!

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

Le Vieux Pin Petit Rouge 2016 B.C.

I’ve had so many good experiences with wines from Le Vieux Pin. Their Syrah has been a favourite for years. The Petit Rouge is a solid addition to your everyday wine list. A Merlot dominant blend rounded out by Syrah and Cabernet Franc. The nose is earthy and loaded with black fruit like plums and currants. Make sure to give this wine some air and the payoff will be obvious with each sip. It’s full bodied, spicy and shows off all three grapes. A perfect companion for comfort food like a hearty stew or with any grilled meats. I’d pair this with charcuterie too.

Price: $21.49 (plus tax)
Available: Save-On Wines on Marine Drive in North Vancouver
Price: $26.99 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley
Price: $27.99
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown

Lot 185-Cafe and Wine Bar

When you’re a #winelover like me, the arrival of a new place to enjoy your favourite libation is a reason to celebrate. Lot 185 offers a cafe to start your day and a wine bar to wind down after work. It’s two levels on the west side of the Vancouver Convention Center beside Jack Poole Plaza. If you’ve been to the Vancouver International Wine Festival you’ll recognize the 2nd level as the former coat check location. It’s a bright and airy space that will offer patio seating next summer. For now you can enjoy breakfast sandwiches or pastries from the in-house bakery. Later in the day the 2nd level Wine Bar will offer a great place to drop in for a glass or two accompanied by interesting small bites. Check out my social media feeds for plenty of pictures. Pizza, duck confit sliders and and freshly shucked Kusshi oysters are just some of the choices. The wine list includes Burrowing Owl Pinot Noir, Quails’ Gate Dry Riesling and Culmina R&D Rose to name a few. You’ll also find wines from France, Spain, Italy and New Zealand so something for every palate. I’m told they hope to work with smaller B.C. wineries in the future. For example I’d welcome seeing Lock & Worth, Blue Grouse and Rust wines to help grow our exposure to newer and smaller wineries in our province. For now though I’m happy to see our city’s wine culture grow with Lot 185 Cafe and Wine Bar.

Location: Vancouver Convention Center with access from Jack Poole Plaza