Fort Berens Rosé B.C. 2021

The B.C. wine industry is full of stories of wineries that have begun modestly and developed into first rate producers. From my experience Fort Berens is a prime example. I’ve enjoyed their progression with each vintage and I heartily recommend you give them a taste. Why not start out with their Rosé? This is largely driven by Pinot Noir and fleshed out with dollops of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Think strawberries in summer in a delicious pink that’s perfect for the backyard, deck or cottage. A food friendly wine that you can pair with ANYTHING or just gulp down a glass or three. It’s that good.

Price: $22.00 plus tax
Available: Select Save-On-Foods stores across B.C. or winery direct at www.fortberens.ca.

Monte Creek Chardonnay B.C. 2020

There’s much to admire when you taste the wines from the Thompson Valley and my introduction to this region was Monte Creek Winery. I’ve always thought their wines delivered great value. My opinion was reinforced again when I tasted the 2020 Chardonnay. This is a delicious white that benefits from spending time in stainless steal tanks and oak barrels. The taste of pears grabbed me at first sip but then you’ll notice citrus flavours and a light toasty finish. The quality of the fruit is allowed to shine but the oak adds complexity that’s normally found at higher priced chards. Monte Creek is a winery to be taken seriously and I recommend you try their wines because there’s much to enjoy from the Kamloops region.

Price: $21.50 plus tax
Available: Select Save-On-Foods wine stores across B.C.

Spier Chenin Blanc 2021 South Africa

I’m always on the hunt for a good buy and year after year South African Chenin Blanc delivers the goods. In spite of its youth this offering from Spier surprisingly has more than enough body for a reliable summer sipper. There’s plenty of apples to taste along with hints of pear and tropical fruit. Good acidity along with lemon gives you a lot of wine for a great price. Pair it with seafood, appies, a summer salad or just pour a glass while lounging on the deck. If you aren’t familiar with Chenin you need to give it a try. I’m willing to bet you’ll become a fan.

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

Haywire Gamay 2019 B.C.

The more I taste Gamay, the more Gamay I want to taste. This beauty from Okanagan Crush Pad/Haywire needs a place in your wine rack. As temperatures warm, ever so slowly, our palate turns to lighter body reds and Gamay is the perfect fit. My style of gamay is savoury, earthy, with good acidity and flavours of red and black cherries. Haywire checks all those boxes and thats why this wine caught my attention at the Vancouver International Wine Festival. I’d pair this wine with your favorite summer nibbles or with grilled B.C. salmon.

Price: $28.00 plus tax
Available: Select Save-On-Foods wine stores across B.C.
Price: $29.00 plus tax
Available: Winery direct at www.okanagancrushpad.com

Cedarcreek Rosé B.C. 2021

It’s still early in the rosé release season but I’ve had the chance to taste 6 so far and Cedarcreek is the runaway winner for me. Made from 100% Pinot Noir this an elegant, light bodied example of how B.C. can match up to the wine world’s best pink. The light colour is often an indicator of a style of rosé that emulates what you’ll find in Provence.
Take in the beautiful aroma of strawberries that carries through on the taste. A long finish and balanced acidity completes this wine like none other I’ve tasted this year. Paired with grilled salmon you may need a second bottle. In a word Cedarcreek rosé is “delicious. Get it before it’s gone!

Price: $25.00 plus tax winery direct at www.cedarcreek.bc.ca
Price: $26.00 plus tax
Available: Select Save-On-Foods stores across B.C.
Price: $28.00 plus tax
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street

Malbec World Day Wines Argentina

Every spring the wine world takes stock of the power of malbec. Largely because Argentina dominates the category at virtually every wine store on the planet. Here’s two I’ve tasted recently that show off its appeal and its potential to rival other top shelf red varieties.
The Decero is 100% Malbec and this is much more than a fruit bomb. A medium to full bodied wine with its signature notes of violet giving way to a toasty, rich wine with good acidity keeping it all in balance. An elegant red available at Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street for $28 plus tax.
The Altosur Red Blend is 50% Malbec, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah and celebrates the style of jammy reds that made Malbec famous and the go-to wine for pizza parties everywhere. This wine is on sale for $17 plus tax at B.C. Liquor until the end of the month. No better time to celebrate Malbec World Day!

Evolve Momento B.C. 2018

I think I’ve just found my new favorite red to pair with the BBQ this year. This red blend from Evolve Cellars is 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot and 7% Syrah. I like the structure the Cab provides because I think it makes the wine more interesting and enjoyable. The Merlot gives the aroma decidedly plum notes and a juicy texture. A splash of syrah brought some pepper into the glass which pleased my palate. An easy drinking, fresh red that’ll match almost everything off the grill from steak, ribs or sautéed vegetables. This is a well made, medium bodied wine that I recommend you try during B.C. wine month!

Price: $23.00 plus tax
Available: Select Save-On-Foods wine stores across B.C.
Price: $25.00 plus tax
Available: Winery direct at www.evolvecellars.com

Bonamici Cab Franc/Merlot B.C. 2018

The Cab/Merlot blend is the bedrock of B.C. red wine. Many are juicy fruit bombs while others offer structure and complexity. Bonamici falls into the latter category. Much of that is due to a better balance of the two grapes. This vintage is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabfranc which gives it more body. That’s a sharp contrast to many others in this category that are heavily skewed to Merlot and tend to be a softer red. The Bonamici is fruit forward, medium bodied with great acidity and a lovely dash of spice. I paired this with bolognese and the spice in the wine worked well with that dish.

Price: $27.00 plus tax
Available: At select Save-On-Foods wine stores across B.C.
Price: $28.00 plus tax
Available: Winery Direct at www.bonamicicellars.com
Price: $30.00 plus tax
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley

Portillo Pinot Noir Argentina 2021

From the land that gave us Malbec comes this lovely Pinot Noir that’s an absolute steal. The nose and flavour is loaded with cherries and strawberries. A lovely ruby red, this light bodied wine has a surprisingly long finish given its price. Quality pinot has moved well past the $25 mark in recent years so you’ll get a lot of bang for the buck with this wine. At this price I’d recommend buying two or three bottles.

Price: $14.99 plus tax
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris B.C. 2019

In a province awash in Pinot Gris this beauty from Okanagan Crush Pad stands out. The name Switchback refers to the organic vineyard where this wine began its life. The dirt truly is reflected in what you’ll taste in the glass. It has the traditional Pinot Gris characteristics of citrus and stone fruit but what really grabs my attention is the more subtle notes of herbs and minerality. There’s also a hint of salinity too that just adds to the complexity of a well made wine. I paired it with lemon chicken and you’ll also want to pour this Pinot Gris with your favorite seafood dishes.

Price: $29.00 plus tax
Available: Select Save-On-Foods wines stores across B.C., Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street and Winery direct at www.okanagancrushpad.com