Wine category: RED

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

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

Moraine Pinot Noir B.C. 2019

B.C. Pinot Noir is on a roll. I’ve tasted pinots from across the province and there’s so many delicious examples of this varietal. Moraine is the latest and I can heartily recommend this wine. From the get go you’ll be drawn in by the beautiful aroma. To me it evoked images of black cherries picked at peak ripening. The first taste revealed a juicy, fresh red, perfectly balanced acidity with a long finish. There’s complexity to this wine that I’ve usually only found with more expensive pinots. The 2nd and 3rd sips reveal all.

Price: $26.89 plus tax
Available: Save-On-Foods wines across B.C. (please note some stores have the 2020 vintage)
Price: $29.99 plus tax
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown

Hillside Merlot B.C. 2018

I make no apologies for writing about wines that over deliver for the price. Wines like the Rust Gamay, Haywire Pinot Gris, Evolve Pink Effervescence come to mind. From my first taste of the Hillside Merlot I knew this wine belonged on the list. Silky smooth, richly flavoured and a long finish for less than $20? Thanks, I’ll take two! The nose and taste are beautifully integrated…jammy, chocolate and cassis all come to mind. It’s just a delicious wine that can hold its own against other B.C. Merlots at a higher price point. A perfect pairing for any big feasts in the near future. (hint, hint)

Price: $19.89 plus tax
Available: Save-On-Foods wines across B.C.
Price: $23.89 plus tax
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, Surrey and Langley.
Price: $23.99 plus tax
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown

In-house Wine Tasting

There’s nothing I enjoy more than introducing winelovers to something new and seeing their instant reaction. We’re all curious about adding to our individual wine lists and I like pouring something new to an appreciative audience. It’s one of my major goals at www.cheapandcheerful.ca. Many clients and friends are keen on discovering something new from B.C. Others like to sample the world or find a selection of great wines at a great price. If that sounds like you please get in touch. I’d love to pour for you.
Email: ronaldkwilson52@gmail.com
Phone: 604 842.0750

Haywire Pinot Noir & Pinot Gris B.C. 2019

This my fellow winelovers maybe the perfect summer daily double. A white and a red that’ll make your backyard get together absolutely sing. The Pinot Noir is subtle, aged in clay amphoras which creates a unique and fresh flavour that has quickly become a favorite for me. There’s several layers you’ll discover which speaks to quality winemaking. Flavours that include black cherries and a lovely, savoury finish.
I drink the Pinot Gris year round…often paired with grab and go suishi. But with abundance of seafood in our province this white can be a reliable partner with a summer BBQ. I love the fresh, lush, lemon flavour, balanced acidity and hint of herbs. Haywire wines always deliver quality and consistency which is why i recommend them so often.

Pinot Noir Price: $25.00 plus tax
Available: Save-On-Foods wines across B.C.
Price: $28.00 plus tax
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street
Pinot Gris Price $23.00 plus tax
Available: Save-On-Foods wines across B.C. and Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street

Wolf & Grouse Light Aperitif B.C.

I love when imaginative people come up with a new idea yet it retains a B.C. ethos. The Wolf & Grouse Aperitif has Blue Gouse Winery at its core. Their delicious Quill White Blend that I’ve reviewed earlier this year. But then add flowers, fruit and roots and suddenly you’re transported from the Cowichan Valley to a piazza in Italy. You can make it your own by adding a splash of your favorite gin, sparkling wine or tonic water. What you’ll discover is a remarkably fresh aperitif with Italian aromatics that’s also low in alcohol. Perfect as a starter before dinner or as a backyard sipper on a summer’s day. If you’re visiting Vancouver Island drop into the winery for a taste.

Price: $34.00 plus tax
Available: Winery direct at Blue Grouse Estate Winery