Author Archives: Ronald Wilson

Harper’s Trail Riesling 2018 B.C.

One of the best examples of B.C. winemakers pushing the envelope of excellence is the incredible array of rieslings made in our province. This Silver Mane Block riesling from Harper’s Trail is a great example. One of the few Platinum medals awarded in this year’s WineAlign National Wine Awards went to Harper’s Trail riesling. If you dismiss this varietal as “too sweet” I bet one taste will change your mind. This is a rich yet crisp style that balances the fruit with perfect acidity. There’s impressive minerality in wines from the Thompson river valley and that’s what makes this wine stand out from the crowd. I paired it with yellow curry and it became incredibly savoury. If you’re looking for a white to match holiday feasts give this riesling a try.

Price: $19.99 plus tax
Available: Save-On-Foods wines at locations across B.C. and Swirl wines in Yaletown

Singletree Siggy 2018 B.C.

The wine world is infamous for grapes that are impossible to spell let alone pronounce. It appears Singletree Winery in Abbotsford has given up trying to convince fans of the proper name of this well made wine. Opting for the nickname Siggy for the aromatic white officially known as Siegerrebe. I’m happy to default to the short form because i want to give this wine a big thumbs up. It was the first wine I tasted at Singletree’s inaugural portfolio release. It’s still my favorite. From aroma to flavour this a quintessential B.C. wine. It’s like a walk through an orchard with lush flavours of peaches and apples. A rich wine with a lovely aroma, you can enjoy it as an easy sipper or pair it with big feasts like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Already a great buy at the store, you can get it for $16.00 at the Winery and enjoy the beauty of the vineyards for free!

Price: $17.29 plus tax
Available: Save-On wines across B.C.

Haywire The Bub 2016 B.C.

B.C. winemakers are justifiably proud of the amazing array of sparkling wines made in our province. My first experience with our bubbles was in 1999 at Blue Mountain winery. Since moving to Vancouver seven years ago Haywire “The Bub” is the sparkling wine I come back to time and time again. In case you’re wondering the wine gets its name from the winery’s first daughter, Alison, who was known at Bub, the Bubster and Alibubba when she was a youngster. If you’ve never tasted B.C. bubbles here’s the perfect introduction. A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this is a crispy sparkler with citrus flavours and brioche, or toast if you prefer, that you’ll also pick up in the aroma. The wine spent time in both concrete and stainless steel tanks and then a second fermentation in the bottle. The Bub is a remarkably well made sparkler that’s the perfect pour at any celebration from Thanksgiving to an anniversary or graduation.

Price: $28.29 plus tax
Available: Save-On-Foods wines across B.C.
Price: $29.99 plus tax
Available: Swirl wines in Yaletown
Price: $31.98 plus tax
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley

Luccarelli Primativo Puglia Italy 2017

When you promise to recommend great wines at a great price you become familiar with regions that over deliver. Puglia is an excellent example and this wine is proof positive. The Primitivo grape is described as the father of Zinfandel by winemaker Luccarelli. This is a red that ticks all the boxes for easy drinking, fruit forward and smooth flavour. It begins with a beautiful, fruity aroma that leads to a delicious taste of berries, chocolate and a bit of pepper. Great on its own or pair with pizza, pasta or charcuterie. On sale until the end of October so load up for Thanksgiving because this red will go very well with turkey.

Price: $13.99 plus tax
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

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