Author Archives: Ronald Wilson

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

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