Wild Goose Vineyards Pinot Gris B.C.

Here’s a home grown hero that was chosen as the best in show at the Cascadia Wine Championships. That’s an impressive achievement given the excellence of wines produced in the Pacific Northwest. I was drawn in by the beautiful aroma of flowers and stone fruit. The flavours of peaches and pears with a subtle spicy undertone is complimented by a long, lingering finish. If Pinot Gris is B.C.’s signature grape this is one of the best examples. Easy to see why the judges chose Wild Goose as best of the best. Pair with all your favourite seafood dishes or on its own with family and friends.

Price: $17.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores
Price: $18.00 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano
Price: $18.25 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wine Store in Yaletown

Escorihuela 1884 Family Reserve Malbec

Since Malbec stormed the wine world more than a decade ago there’s been a dramatic improvement in quality and consistency. The 1884 makes that point with this impressive vintage. I always like opening and decanting Malbec because it adds so much to the experience. So after giving this an hour of breathing I poured my first glass. It’s a deep purple loaded with aromas and flavours of dark fruit. Think blackberry and plum with a long, smooth finish that speaks to the excellence of the winemakers. Another reason I enjoy Malbec is that it’s a perfect pairing with burgers, steaks or BBQ chicken which are all on my list of favourite dinners. This wine is on sale until the end of April so great time to stock up for patio season.

Price: $16.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Santa Ana Reserve Malbec Shiraz Argentina

The world wide popularity of Malbec will only be enhanced with this blend that adds Shiraz (Syrah) to the mix. This is a dark and delicious blend that shows off the best characteristics of both varietals. A basket full of black fruit to taste along with some great spice to compliment each sip. Yet it still comes in at a great price even though it’s a very polished wine. Whether you like a glass of red while relaxing or need a good BBQ wine you’ll be hard pressed to find a better bargain. I think I’ve found my new house wine.

Price: $13.49 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Trumpeter Malbec Argentina

With spring comes warmer weather and what better time to roll out the BBQ and its best friend, Malbec. The Trumpeter Malbec has many of the characteristics of this varietal with a noticeable difference. It’s more subtle, softer but still loaded with ripe, dark fruit. The flavours of cassis and cherries dominate with some mild spicy notes. So while you still get the Malbec experience that’s so popular with many you’ll also think of this wine as its younger cousin. I’d pour Trumpeter as an after work sipper but still open a bottle when I’m grilling ribs. This Saturday Marquis Wines will pour an assortment of Malbecs at a free tasting that includes Trumpeter. It’s an early start on #MalbecWorldDay and gives winelovers a chance to compare the many options of this famous varietal. Go to the Marquis website for details.

Price: $20.78 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie Street

Sperling Vineyards Market Red B.C.

The Vancouver International Wine Festival is like Christmas morning. So many presents under the tree and sometimes you have to wait a few weeks before you can find the wine on a store shelf. It’s always worth the wait though and here’s a prime example. Sperling Vineyards has earned a reputation for making superb sparkling wine but you shouldn’t overlook their Market Red. This is a well crafted, flavourful red blend that is a perfect companion for a day on the patio. This blends Old Vines Foch and Pinot Noir and I was impressed by the soft, impressive taste that had me thinking Burgundy even though it’s 100% B.C. I think this is one of the best value red blends I’ve tasted from our backyard. I hope once you taste it you’ll agree.

Price: $17.38 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wine Store in Yaletown
Price: $18.00 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA wines in Kitsilano
Price: $19.99 (plus tax)
Available: Liberty Wines-Ladner and check with other Liberty stores

Pascual Toso Limited Edition Malbec Argentina

When Malbec exploded onto the wine scene more than a decade ago, the name Pascual Toso was front and centre. The familiar orange label is a staple of many a restaurant wine list. It’s been flying off the shelf at wine stores for years. But for just a few dollars more, the Limited Edition grey label is worth every penny. This is a more sophisticated Malbec, aromatic, loaded with black fruit, that carries a long rich finish. There’s a hint of spice and smoke in the wine which just adds to the complexity. Pair this with your next roast beef or steak off the BBQ.

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

Gray Monk Pinot Auxerrois B.C.

I’ve posted reviews of Pinot Gris (Grigio), Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir but rarely do you see Pinot Auxerrois. Gray Monk has produced this varietal for years but most white wine fans have never opened a bottle. If you’re looking for something fresh and fruity give this wine a try. It’s such a versatile white. I enjoy Auxerrois on its own while curling up for a night of Netflix. It’s a great patio sipper on a hot summer day. Plus it’s a great companion with your favourite salad or appies. It’s also a terrific buy at less than $15!

Price: $14.79 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores and Everything Wine in North Vancouver and South Surrey
Price: $16.99 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA in Kitsilano

Poderi dal Nespoli 1929 Sangiovese Italy

I love charcuterie and tomato based pasta dishes so it’s not surprising that I drink a lot of Italian wine. Thanks to the always solid recommendation of Peter Harlos at Sutton Place Wine Merchant I have another red to add to my website. This 100% Sangiovese is an earthy, fruity and aromatic wine. Aromas of dark fruit with flavours of black cherries, plums and spice. A solid, everyday table wine that makes a good companion for pizza too. Make sure to decant or aerate this red beforehand to fully enjoy the wine.

Price: $18.22 (plus tax)
Available: Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Burrard street

La Vieille Ferme Ventoux Rose France

This is one of the most beautiful rose wines in the glass. A pretty salmon pink that delivers a classic, dry and tasty rose that everyone should keep on hand. The aroma of flowers will make you think spring. The flavour of fresh fruit, a hint of spice along with a good balance of acidity reminds me why rose is my go to food wine. I paired it with wild sockeye salmon burgers and what a match. This is an absolute bargain for the price and I’m going to enjoy it year round. Drink pink!

Price: $12.49 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Louis Bernard Cote du Rhone Blanc France

I’ve often pointed out that wines from the Rhone Valley are some of the best buys on the planet. Here’s another example from the Vancouver International Wine Festival. This is a blend of five grapes and it’s much more complex than you’d expect for a wine that’s less than $15. The aroma is a bouquet of flowers and the taste is apples and peaches. The finish is impressive and lingers in a way that’s more common in expensive wines. Whether you enjoy this as your everyday sipper or as a go to table wine at a dinner party I promise you won’t be disappointed. An absolute bargain!

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