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

Drink Pink!

There’s no place in Vancouver with a more impressive wine list than the dynamic duo of Provence Marinaside/The Wine Bar. Imagine having your pick of 240 different wines by the glass? You read right…two hundred and forty! The latest additions are more than forty Rose offerings to make your spring and summer special.
You can #drinkpink from the home of Rose, France along with B.C., Sicily, California, Germany and to my great surprise..England. No matter which pink pleases your palate there’s a Rose that’s a great fit.
Don’t feel overwhelmed because the gracious and informed Sommeliers lead by Wine Director Joshua Carlson can guide you through the choices. I’ve made The Wine Bar my second wine home because of the exceptional choices available at every price point. It was no surprise to me that the Vancouver International Wine Festival awarded Carlson and the Provence/Wine Bar team Gold for their wine program.
Did I mention the food? The judges at VanMag named Provence the best restaurant in Yaletown. So in addition to the dozens of red, white, bubbles and now Rose Wines on offer you can enjoy some of the best seafood in the city.
Make sure you check out their exclusive offerings too so you can boldly go where no Rose has gone before. This is where quality cuisine meets excellent wines. Need I say more? Drink pink!

Provence Marinaside and The Wine Bar overlook Yaletown Marina

Haywire Gamay Noir Rose 2017 B.C.

There’s as many styles of Rose emerging from B.C. as there are wineries. This Gamay Rose from Haywire is among the very best. When I first tasted the wine at the BCVQA spring release I sought out winemaker Matt Dumayne to offer congratulations. He’s crafted a beautiful Rose for those of us who favour the French style. It’s in NO way an attempt to copy Provence because this wine is true to B.C. As the name suggests it’s made entirely from Gamay grapes and that influences both the nose and palate. Plenty of red fruit in the glass with savoury herbs and a bracing acidity that’s just so right. A dry, medium body wine that carries its full flavour through to the finish. On its own this is a perfect patio sipper but pair it with charcuterie and invite wine friends over because this Rose deserves to be shared.

Price: $22.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown
Price: $25.99 (plus tax)
Available: Kits Wines on 4th Avenue
Price: $26.00 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street
Price: $26.99 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley

Villa Sandi Rosato Prosecco Italy

Every #winelover I know is a huge fan of Prosecco and Rose so here’s a chance to combine the two. For the price you’ll be hard pressed to find a better value than this gem from Villa Sandi. Whether it’s for a celebration or just because put this Prosecco on your list. From the moment I poured this pale pink wine into a flute I was a fan. The aroma was a mix of flowers and fruit. The feeling of the bubbles in your mouth was full and creamy with apple flavours. This is a dry, refreshing sparkler that has a long finish. Perfect on its own but a great wine to pair with any cuisine.

Price: $16.45 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street
Price: $16.49 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley

Road 13 Honest John’s Rose 2017 B.C.

The Honest John tier of wines are aptly named. For years they’ve represented an honest return on your money. This Rose is a case in point. The 2017 vintage begins with a beautiful aroma reminiscent of a warm day in an orchard. Beautiful scent of berries that hints at what awaits once you take the first sip. The darker pink colour of the newest vintage hints at the intensity of the flavours too. It’s a rich and enjoyable mouthful of cherries and strawberries that’s terrific on its own but with enough body to handle any summer dish. In fact you’re missing out if you don’t drink this wine year round. It’s a terrific companion no matter the season.

Price: $16.49 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores and Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley

Quails’ Gate Chardonnay B.C. 2016

While spring brings flowers for many, it also brings new wines including this beauty from Quails’ Gate. Winemaker Nikki Callaway has made a big impact in less than five years at the helm of the West Kelowna winery. This Chardonnay should be on the radar for everyone who enjoys the varietal. It’s a crisp, refreshing wine that speaks to the use of stainless steel. A small amount spent time in oak which brought structure to the Chard without overwhelming the palate. On the nose was an aroma of lemon and apples. I tasted apples and peaches in a rich, flavourful wine that’s really food friendly. I paired the Quails’ Gate with salmon risotto and it was a perfect match.

Price: $21.99 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano and Swirl Wines in Yaletown
Price: $22.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Anciano Gran Reserva Tempranillo Spain 2008

One of the joys of the Vancouver International Wine Festival is that it’s the gift that keeps on giving. This Tempranillo from Anciano is a perfect example. I couldn’t wait to share this discovery on social media and now on my website. Partly because it’s damn tasty but just as importantly is the remarkably low price. I was so impressed with this elegant wine that won me over with the first sip. The aroma is a subtle melange of red fruit…notably raspberry. I tasted black cherries and vanilla along with a touch of balsamic. A medium bodied wine that’s lovely on its own but I paired it with a grilled ribeye steak and know it’ll be a BBQ staple.

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