Wine category: RED

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

Fort Berens Camels Red&White B.C.

We’d all like to be able to drink high end wine but most of us don’t have that big of a wine budget. I love it when wineries focus on creating a “house” white and red too. Fort Berens has done just that with their two Camels. Both are easy drinking blends that are very well priced.
The red offers a burst of red cherries off the hop thanks to the Pinot Noir while the two Cabs add good structure and Merlot adds a taste of blackberries. Perfect for burgers.
The white leads with Pinot Gris and smaller portions of Pinot Blanc, Gruner Veltliner and Riesling. A beautiful aroma in the glass in what is a full bodied wine. I tasted citrus from the PG but also some orange and apple. A lovely backyard sipper that’s a great companion with summer salads.

Price: Camels White $17.19 plus tax
Camels Red $18.49 plus tax
Available: Save-On-Foods wines across B.C.

Finca El Origen Cabernet Sauvignon Argentina 2018

From the land that popularized Malbec comes this wine that’s a not to be missed, terrific buy. From start to finish it delivers a full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon with a lovely nose and flavours of blackberry that reminds me of cassis. There’s good acidity, lush mouth feel and a balanced finish that had me reaching for a second glass. The perfect companion for a backyard BBQ when steak is on the grill. Keep this wine in mind when we’re allowed to have friends over again because you can’t beat the price.

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

Luigi Bosca Malbec Argentina 2018

Years ago when Argentinian Malbec made its debut it was the quintessential cheap and cheerful wine. A little rough around the edges but the perfect red to pair with Friday night pizza. Now you’re just as likely to discover the polish and finesse of a fine wine. Luigi Bosca is a perfect example. This juicy wine is loaded with red fruit, medium bodied with a hint of blueberries and liquorice. It’s a balanced, well made tribute to the excellence of the wines of Argentina. Fire up the BBQ and pair this Malbec with everything from burgers to steak or ribs.

Price: $23.99 plus tax
Available: B.C. Liquor stores and Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley.