Wine category: RED

Hester Creek Merlot 2015 B.C.

Fall and winter should be renamed the “comfort food” season. So if stews and similar dishes are in need of a “comfort” wine grab this B.C. beauty. Hester Creek is doing a superb job with their red wines, no matter the price point. The Merlot is a personal favourite for me and not just because it’s so well priced. The nose and flavour is loaded with dark fruit. From the first sip you’ll get a rich and savoury Merlot that’s easy drinking to the last drop. I’d put this wine up against more expensive Merlots and I’m confident it would hold its own. Don’t hesitate to add this to your holiday wine list.

Price: $17.35 (plus tax)
Available: Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Burrard street
Price: $18.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown and Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano

La Posta Pizzella Malbec 2015 Argentina

There’s a lot of Malbec to choose from when you walk into your favourite wine or liquor store. It ranges from OK to very good. I think La Posta belongs in the top tier as a fine example of quality and value. From the world renowned Laura Catena, this is her tribute to the small vineyard owners who provide the grapes for her wines. This Malbec is enjoyable on so many levels, from the beautiful aroma of dark fruit with a hint of cocoa, then the rich flavour of black cherries, plums and a little spice. Couple that with a long finish and the experience is complete. This full bodied red will reward you even more if you open it an hour before pouring. If I haven’t convinced you yet to try this Malbec here’s one more reason. The price! It’s on sale until November 25th.

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

Perez Cruz Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2014 Chile

Is it any wonder so many wine lovers turn to Chile when they’re looking for value and quality? Perez Cruz has crafted a well balanced, juicy Cab that’s an absolute steal. Beautiful earthy aromas combined with black fruit hints at what’s to come with first sip. Plums and blackberries in a medium bodied, smooth red that’s great as an everyday wine. I’d keep a couple of bottles around when company is coming or to pair with savoury stews, pot roasts or root vegetables like squash or sweet potatoes. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better bang for your wine buck.

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

Blue Mountain Pinot Noir B.C. 2015

When the temperature drops and I hunker down for fall and winter my wine choices turn to more reds. I also tend to eat more savoury dishes which compliment red wines. If this sounds like you here’s a splurge wine to add to your autumn wine list. Blue Mountain has won many raves for its Pinot Noir and it’s easy to see why. While this Pinot is a light red in the glass that’s not what I tasted. A beautiful rich mix of red and black fruit, loads of flavour in a polished wine that can stand on its own against the best from France and California. I loved the subtle hints of spice and lingering finish. Make this your special occasion Pinot. Please note the wide price range so shop around.

Price: $30.39 (plus tax)
Available: Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Burrard street
Price: $34.70 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars
Price: $39.85 (plus tax)
Available: Legacy Liquor store in Olympic Village

Alamos Cabernet Sauvignon Argentina

Here’s more evidence that Argentina is more than Malbec. This is a meaty, earthy Cabernet Sauvignon that impressed both the palate and the pocketbook. A beautiful aroma of blackberry and tobacco leads you to a full bodied, juicy cab. It’s loaded with flavours of dark berries and cocoa and has a long, lingering finish. This is a perfect companion for grilled veggies or your favourite meat off the BBQ. Plus it’s on sale until the end of September. Sounds like a win/win to me.

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

La Mascota Cabernet Sauvignon Argentina

When a winelover searches for a country that delivers quality and value many choose Argentina. The enormous popularity of the country’s most famous wine, Malbec, is proof positive. But Argentina is much more than a one wine country and this Cabernet Sauvignon is a great example. I absolutely love this wine. It’s full bodied, earthy and smooth as silk. Delicious flavours of cherries and plums with a touch of mocha. A complex, well made cab that’s an absolute steal for the price. Pair it with pizza, pasta or your favourite grilled meats.

Price: $16.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores and Everything Wine in North Vancouver. River District in South Vancouver and South Surrey

Moraine Syrah 2014 B.C.

The more B.C. Syrah I taste, the more impressed I am. One sip of Moraine and I was heading to the patio to fire up the BBQ. It’s everything I enjoy about this varietal. Rich and juicy with a hint of spice and pepper that makes Syrah such a crowd pleaser. Loaded with the flavour and aroma of dark fruit, think plums and cherries. A full bodied red that needs decanting to release all of its potential. Pair this with any grilled meat and you won’t find a better match.

Price: $23.50 (taxes in)
Available: Village VQA wines in Kitsilano
Price: $25.17 (plus tax)
Available: Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Burrard street

Haywire Secrest Mountain Pinot Noir 2015 B.C.

One of my favourite wines to pour on a hot summer day is this beautiful Pinot Noir. Whether you chill it slightly or not is entirely up to you but rest assured you’ll enjoy each and every sip. This Pinot puts to rest any idea that the varietal can’t be rich and full flavoured. Haywire has crafted a wine loaded with fruit, textured and so true to its Okanagan roots. The aroma is authentic and sets you up for a wonderful wine experience. The long, lingering finish is note perfect. What better way to enjoy a summer evening on the patio or deck. Add grilled salmon to the evening and you’ll be inviting Haywire back again and again.

Price: 23.99 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, the River District in South Vancouver and South Surrey
Price: $25.11 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie Street
Price: $25.13 (plus tax)
Available: Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Burrard street
Price: $25.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wine Store in Yaletown

Noble Ridge Meritage 2014 B.C.

Meritage is usually reserved for B.C.’s most expensive wines. The beautiful Bordeaux style blend that’s full bodied and typically priced at $35 and then goes up from there. So imagine my delight when I first tasted the Noble Ridge Meritage and discovered it costs far less. This blend is dominated by Merlot (81%) with lesser amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Perit Verdot. This is a wine that needs to be decanted to get the full Meritage experience. The aroma is beautiful with blackberry and coffee notes. It’s loaded with rich flavours of black fruit and hints of chocolate and I loved the long, lingering finish. This is the perfect match for steak or ribs off the grill. Or head to the patio and pour it with your favourite charcuterie. An absolute steal for the price!

Price: $19.91 (plus tax)
Available: Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Burrard street
Price: $24.99 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano
Price: $25.95 (plus tax)
Available: Legacy Liquor at Olympic Village

Tom Gore Cabernet Sauvignon California

With the Canadian dollar trading at .70 cents versus its American counterpart there’s been an impact on any winelover who likes a California Cab. So I was pleasantly surprised by a recent tasting of this affordable red. I gave it about a forty five minutes in a decanter to help open it up. Even then I couldn’t help but notice a pleasant aroma of cherries before pouring the first glass. This is a medium bodied Cab with plenty of cherry flavours along with a hint of blackberry and chocolate. There’s a bit of sweetness on the finish but nothing like what you find in manufactured wines popping up far too often on store shelves. This is a likeable, easy drinking wine that’s great for a backyard BBQ. Hello summer!

Price: $19.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores