Joie Farm Rose B.C. 2017

When I’m asked to name my favourite B.C. wineries Joie Farm is always on my list. There’s a confidence and a consistency to their winemaking that has me looking forward to each new vintage. Their Re-Think Rose is a sharp contrast to the style made famous in Provence. Joie Farm looks to the Loire Valley to influence their Rose. It’s 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Gamay so you’ll taste a more fruit forward style. Flavours of strawberries and cherries along with a hint of spice in a medium bodied wine. Rose remains one of the most food friendly wines and I’ve paired Joie Farm with everything from seafood to sticky ribs. It’s also a perfect sipper whether you’re on the patio or at the beach. The perfect companion for a Vancouver summer.

Price: $20.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores and Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley
Price: $21.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown
Price: $23.99 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano

Bisquertt Sauvignon Blanc/Cabernet Sauvignon Chile 2017

Every month Sutton Place Wine Merchant selects a white and red wine as their wines of the month. I often recommend them to my followers because we all need a great wine buy. April’s offering is a Sauvignon Blanc and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile’s Bisquertt Vineyards in the world renowned Colchagua Valley. These wines are an absolute steal at $12.95 each. The Sauvignon Blanc is an easy drinking, fresh white with flavours of lemon, lime and grapefruit. Great on its own or paired with lighter dishes. The Cabernet Sauvignon is medium bodied with flavours of plums, pepper and spice. A perfect match with meat off the grill…from hamburgers to ribs. The wines of the month are on sale until the end of the month. Fun fact, the little bird on the label is called a Petirrojo and is a regular visitor in the vineyard.

Price: $12.95 (plus tax)
Available: Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Burrard street

Road 13 Honest John’s Rose 2017 B.C.

The more B.C. Rose I taste, the more I notice it falls into two distinct camps. Some seem to get their DNA from France and Italy. So light pink in colour and milder in flavour. Others are more robust and loaded with fruit. Road 13 is an example of that style. You’ll notice a deeper shade of pink in the bottle and glass. That intensity carries over in the taste with flavours of strawberries and cherries but it remains dry with balanced acidity. It’s easy drinking and a terrific match for any of your favourite patio dishes from appies to BBQ. I like having the variety of choices when I drink pink because variety is the “spice of life.”

Price: $16.49 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Poplar Grove Pinot Gris 2017 B.C.

Living in Vancouver means enjoying seafood regularly. One of my favourite wines to pair with seafood is Pinot Gris and Poplar Grove makes one of the best in B.C. Their latest vintage is exactly what I want from this varietal. From aroma to flavour this wine ticks all the boxes. Your nose will pick up hints of limes and nectarines. Then comes a rich melange of apples, peaches and apricots backed by citrus and a lip smacking acidity. This is such a well balanced wine that I know it’ll again have a regular place in my cellar. I paired the Gris with crabcakes but any seafood dish will do.

Price: $18.49 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores
Price: $19.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown
Price: $22.52 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street

Bartier Bros. Rose 2017 B.C.

There’s as many varieties of Rose in B.C. as there are wineries. Until recently many were dark ruby red and loaded with fruit. The proverbial fruit bomb. From my exploration it seems now that many winemakers are favouring the French style. Don and Michael Bartier have crafted a Rose that would feel at home in Provence. It’s pale pink with a lovely, mild aroma of rose petals. The flavour seems to follow the less is best rule. Subtle, understated and delicious with a mild tartness that reminded me of cranberry. There’s a crispness to the wine and I loved the long, savoury finish. Hello spring!

Price: $17.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Narrative Cabernet Franc B.C.

Hundreds of wines were poured at the Vancouver International Wine Festival which meant your palate gave out long before the wine ran out. One of my favourites was this Cab Franc. Winemaker Matt Dumayne has carved out a deserved reputation for the less is best style of making wine. By that I mean a pure representation of the vineyards where the grapes are grown. The result is an authentic, true taste of the Okanagan. You’ll enjoy flavours of blackberries and plums with subtle herbal notes. This is a savoury wine that needs decanting to release its full flavour. If you aren’t familiar with Cab Franc let Narrative be your introduction. A very well priced wine you can taste at the Okanagan Crush Pad booth at VanWineFest.
Price: $21.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Johnny Q Shiraz Australia

It’s always fun to happen upon a wine that is such a terrific buy you want to pull an Oprah. You get a bottle, you get a bottle and so on and so on. Johnny Q has a richly deserved following because this is so much wine for such a good price. It touches all the right buttons for an everyday tipple. Loaded with fresh fruit along with liquorice and spice in a soft, long finish….what’s not to like? It’s a lovely sipper on its own and a remarkably food friendly with everything from burgers to pizza, charcuterie to beef kabobs. I bet you can’t say no to a second glass.

Price: $13.95 (plus tax)
Available: Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Burrard street
Price: $16.49 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley
Price: $17.30 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie Street

Torres Grand Coronas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Spain 2013

I’m so glad the Vancouver International Wine Festival turned the spotlight on Spain and Portugal this year. The two featured countries are delivering some fantastic wine at a great price. This Torres Cab is a prime example. After decanting the wine for about an hour I could already get a hint of what’s to come from the aroma. This is a bright, sunny glass of Spain. Flavours of blackberries and liquorice with some smoke and spice to add to the taste. This is a lush, balanced Cab that’s great with charcuterie or rack of lamb. We need more Espana in my opinion!

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

Sarmentero Tempranillo Spain 2015

I review Spanish wines regularly because they offer a lot of bang for the buck. So I’m more than a little excited to share this review particularly after the Vancouver International Wine Festival where Spain was a featured country. This Tempranillo is a beauty. There’s plenty of fruit and spice in the aroma along with vanilla. The flavour is rich and juicy, soft and smooth and medium bodied. A great wine on its own but really food friendly too for everything from charcuterie to burgers. If you haven’t tried Spanish wine here’s a great introduction to an old world producer with a new world sensitivity.

Price: $21.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Road 13 Honest John’s Red 2016

I think of this Road 13 red blend as an old friend. We’ve known each other for more than a decade and it’s always a pleasure to open a bottle. There’s a half dozen grapes used in the blend but it’s Merlot and Gamay that provide its signature flavour that’s so evocative of the southern Okanagan. It reminds me of a hot summer day with juicy fruit, some spice and black pepper. A lovely wine that’s rich and soft and pairs well with so many dishes. In winter it’s my go to for savoury stews and in the summer for any grilled meats. For the price you’d be hard pressed to find a better value in B.C. reds.

Price: $19.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores and Everything Wine in North Vancouver. South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley.
Price: $22.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown and Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano