Haywire Gamay Rosé B.C. 2021

It’s June and I’m “In the Pink” this month. My posts will be all about rosé and what better way to start off this pink celebration than with Haywire Gamay Rosé. I’m an unabashed fan of this B.C. winery and often recommend their wines. Particularly to newcomers unfamiliar with the excellence of what’s being produced in our province.
This vintage also features Haywire’s new look which is a sharp contrast to their original label. One thing hasn’t changed though and that’s the quality of the winemaking.
It begins with the colour…a beautiful salmon pink in the glass and an attractive nose that sets you up for a dry, savoury style of rosé. Flavours of summer berries along with a creamy finish adds up to terrific wine.
I paired it with Maui ribs but it’ll be in my glass when salmon is on the BBQ too. Enjoy!

Price: $26.29 plus tax
Available: Save-On-Foods wines across B.C.
Price: $27.99 plus tax
Available: Winery direct at okanagancrushpad.com

TWB-The Wine Bar-Yaletown

If there’s a better place to enjoy a glass of wine and tasty bites than TWB-The Wine Bar in Yaletown I’ve not been there. So I was delighted to join Wine Director Josh Carlson (pictured) along with executive chef J-F Quaglia for the return of TWB. With over 100 wines by the glass and Provence inspired nibbles it adds up to the perfect pairing. Its False Creek location makes sipping al fresco another big draw. Prior to the pandemic forced closure TWB was my reliable go-to because their Happy Hour is such a great way to while away a few hours. The opportunity to taste so many wonderful wines and learn from the excellent wine team always brings me back again and again. So whether you’ve never visited TWB or, like me, have longed for its return that time has come. Just think of all those glasses of wine waiting for you.

Haywire Pinot Gris B.C. 2021

There’s a new look to Haywire wines but after tasting the new vintage of Pinot Gris I can say without a doubt it’s still one of the best in B.C. Haywire prides itself on letting the fruit speak for itself with as little intervention as possible. That experience begins with the nose and mine picked up a mild barnyard aroma. That gave way to a delicious Pinot Gris that’s aged in cement tanks which adds nuance and complexity. Flavours of stone fruit abound and makes this an ideal wine to pair with everything from stir fry to seafood. In short, a new look but the same great wine.

Price: $24.49 plus tax
Available: Select Save-On-Foods wine stores across B.C.
Price: $29.99
Available: Winery Direct www.okanagancrushpad.com

Malbec World Day

I don’t remember the exact date but I certainly remember the impact of malbec entering the marketplace in Vancouver. Over the last 15 years it has taken the affordable wine world by storm and rightly so. It’s the three A’s of red wine. Approachable. Affordable. Available. Who among us hasn’t made malbec our go to red on pizza night. This Saturday, April 15th you can taste these two gems at Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street. The city’s oldest private wine store will be pouring the above malbecs along with many others from 2-5 p.m. There’s no charge but Marquis would like you to register on their website. Malbec World Day is not to be missed winelover.

Bartier Brothers Rosé B.C. 2022

Spring is here and that means new releases of rosé. First out of the gate is the always popular Bartier Brothers Rosé. This never disappoints as you’ll discover with the first taste. Bone dry, with good body, terrific fruit on the palate and a lingering finish to keep you coming back for another glass. A perfect companion on its own but more than enough structure to pair with summer favorites like bbq salmon, salads or charcuterie. Drink in the aroma, savour the crispy notes crafted by one of B.C.’s best winemakers. Take a bow Michael Bartier!

Available: B.C. Liquor stores
Price: $18.99 plus tax or winery direct at bartierbros.com for the same price.

Chronos Cabernet Franc B.C. 2020

Every wine lover deserves a special bottle. The one that stands out from the crowd. The one you pour to celebrate a birthday or anniversary or another important day. The Chronos Cabernet Franc is in that category. Winemaker Lynzee Schatz has crafted a beautiful, full bodied red that shows all of us how good the fruit is in the southern Okanagan. I decanted this wine to allow it to reveal the complexity that I expect in a premium B.C. red. There’s raspberry and a bit of pepper on the nose with flavours of plum and cherry and herbs that linger on the finish. It spent 16 months in oak to provide the final polish you’ll enjoy with each sip. Don’t hesitate to leave this wine in the cellar because it will age beautifully.

Price: $38.00 plus tax at select Save-On-Foods stores across B.C.
Price: $40.00 winery direct at www.timewines.ca

Monte Creek Cabernet Franc B.C. 2020

There’s so much to enjoy with B.C. Cabernet Franc. Some wineries produce a robust, full bodied style while others opt for a more reserved, understated Franc. Put Monte Creek in the latter category. This is a medium bodied, subtle style that’s a lot of wine for the price. Lovely aroma, cherry flavours with herbal influence and good acidity. I’ve often mentioned how much value you’ll get when buying Monte Creek wines and the Cab Franc is another example. It’s available now at select B.C. Liquor stores but don’t delay. I think it’ll sell out quickly.

Price: $23.50 plus tax
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Blue Mountain Chardonnay B.C. 2020

Of the many quality wines produced in B.C. this Chardonnay from Blue Mountain Vineyard is among the best. Elegant and complex this wine would probably cost much more if it had California on the label. A crisp style that doesn’t go big on the buttery chards that are popular for many lovers of this white varietal. To my palate this Estate Cuveé is all about the gorgeous fruit that shines through with flavours of peach and lemon and a beautiful finish. A perfect match for your favorite seafood and I also enjoy pouring this chard with turkey.

Price: $35.00 plus tax
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street

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