Wine category: ROSÉ

Quails’ Gate Rose 2016 B.C.

I know the sunny weather will arrive at some point in this dreary spring so here’s my antidote to the grey skies. A glass of Okanagan summer from one of B.C.’s most reliable wineries. From the beautiful pale pink colour to the last sip in my glass I can’t say enough about the current Quails’ Gate vintage. This Rose is 70% Gamay (which won me over quickly) 20% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Gris. It’s a bone dry wine loaded with strawberry jam and beautiful lip smacking acidity. It’s impossible to stop after one glass. I’m recommending Quails’ Gate Rose as a prime example of a wine that really overdelivers for the price. Always keep a couple of bottles on hand to share with friends or to pair with anything and everything. Food meet Rose. You’re a perfect match.

Price: $16.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores and Everything Wine in North Vancouver and South Surrey
Price: $17.52 (plus tax)
Available: Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Burrard street
Price: $17.99 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano

Road 13 Honest John’s Rose 2016 B.C.

As the B.C. wine industry matures I’ve noticed continued improvement in both quality and consistency. That means you can develop your own list of favourites that always deliver year in and year out. Road 13 has been on my list for a decade. If you would like an introduction to their wines pick up a bottle of the Rose. It’s a delicious blend of Merlot, Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Viognier, Syrah and Cabernet Franc. A deeper pink in colour than other examples of this popular wine I think it’s a hint of what to expect in the glass. It’s more complex while retaining familiar flavours of cherries and strawberries. It’s a mouthful of southern Okanagan summer that pairs well with all of your favourite patio dishes. From burgers to seafood, salads to BBQ ribs this is a food friendly wine. Drink Pink!

Price: $16.49 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores and Everything Wine in North Vancouver and South Surrey
Price: $18.39 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano

La Vieille Ferme Ventoux Rose France

This is one of the most beautiful rose wines in the glass. A pretty salmon pink that delivers a classic, dry and tasty rose that everyone should keep on hand. The aroma of flowers will make you think spring. The flavour of fresh fruit, a hint of spice along with a good balance of acidity reminds me why rose is my go to food wine. I paired it with wild sockeye salmon burgers and what a match. This is an absolute bargain for the price and I’m going to enjoy it year round. Drink pink!

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

Mission Kitsilano Happy Hour

I’m such a fan of restaurants that offer interesting wine with their Happy Hour. Mission in Kits is an exceptional food experience complimented by an enjoyable wine companion. Both the red (pictured) and white are French. Each costs $5.00 during Happy Hour when they offer appetizers at 50% off. The red is a traditional red blend, think Rhone valley, while the white from Gascogne was a pleasant, medium bodied and food friendly wine. Speaking of the food, it was superb. The pork terrine (pictured) came with crackers, chutney and mustard and all are house made. They also offer artisanal cheese from Farmhouse cheese in Agassiz which is not to be missed. Other snack choices include beef croquette and hummus. Once you visit for Happy Hour you’ll want to come back for dinner. Another reason to add Mission to your dining out list is their weekend brunch where every bottle of wine on their impressive list is 50% off! That includes Champagne. Enjoy.

Mission Kitsilano
2042 West 4th Avenue
Happy Hour M-F 5:30-6:30

Chewie’s Happy Hour

I’m on a mission that speaks to the winelover in me. Find restaurants and bars where their Happy Hour wine offerings are front of mind and not an afterthought. Chewie’s is one of those places. On a recent visit to the Coal Harbour location their white wine was Lock & Worth Sauvignon Blanc Semillon and the red was The Hatch Pinot Noir. Both are relatively new entries to the B.C. wine scene but they should be on your radar. Given that Chewie’s Happy Hour has some of the freshest oysters available in the city the Lock & Worth white is the perfect choice. The food options reflect the restaurant’s Cajun inspired menu. I also tried the crab cakes and the house made sausage which is not to be missed. The Hatch Pinot Noir worked so well with the sausage. Their Kitsilano location was pouring different B.C. Wines but they too were quality choices. What also caught my wine eye was the modest mark-up on premium pours like Nota Bene, Caymus Zinfandel and Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin. No 150% gouging that’s commonplace at many restaurants. That reflects a wine forward approach that I support. I like saving at Happy Hour so I can go back on special occasions and splurge. Chewie’s makes that option less expensive too. Well done!

Chewie’s Steam and Oyster Bar in Coal Harbour and Kitsilano
Happy Hour daily from 3-6 p.m.

Fort Berens Estate Winery Rose B.C.

There’s always a healthy debate about B.C’s signature wine. I’ve heard many weigh in on the side of Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc and Meritage. But this year I’ve become a convert to Rose which seems to get better with every vintage. Let me add Fort Berens to the list of wineries turning out an absolutely first rate rose. This wine is a blend of Pinot Noir and Merlot. So you’ll taste plenty of strawberries along with some pomegranate and a hint of spice. An absolutely pure expression of B.C. winemaking that’ll have you pouring a second or third glass. As for a food wine you can’t do better because I’ve tried this rose with everything from spicy grilled sausages to a salmon salad. Well done Fort Berens!

Price: $19.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wine Store in Yaletown

Price: $20.11 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA in Kitsilano

Provence/The Wine Bar “Tappy Hour”

There’s a very good reason for the playfully named “Tappy Hour” at The Wine Wine Bar which is adjacent to Provence Marinaside. The restaurant and wine bar have dozens of wines on tap including the largest list by far for Happy Hour. Many are on tap, just like beer, hence “Tappy Hour.” Equally important for the quality of the wine you’ll enjoy is the relationship building of Rachelle Goudreau who runs the wine program. She works with some of B.C’s best wineries to create blends unique to The Wine Bar. The white wine pictured on this review comes from Evolve. It’s a delicious blend of Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Absolutely note perfect with the chilled seafood salad. That’s just one example of how “Tappy Hour” raises the bar in Vancouver. Each of the wines on offer are $5.00 a glass. The accompanying bites are $5.00 or $6.00. For variety, quality and taste of wine and food I think The Wine Bar at Provence Marinaside is, in my opinion, the best Happy Hour of the dozens I’ve visited in YVR.

The Wine Bar/Provence Marinaside
Tappy Hour 3-5 daily

Monster Vineyards Rosie B.C.

The amount of rose wine being produced and purchased in B.C. grows year after year. No surprise really. It’s easy to drink, affordable and pairs with anything and everything. Now Monster Vineyards has added a new twist to their lineup with Rosie. Essentially a sparkling rose. It’s absolutely the perfect wine for your next party or reception. I love the strawberry aroma in the glass. The taste of strawberries carries through with your first sip and there’s also a touch of cranberry. Grab this fizzy pink and let the fun begin!

Price: $19.12 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wine store in Yaletown
Price: $23.39 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars

Jules Bistro Happy Hour

It’s been less than two years since B.C. allowed bars and restaurants to offer Happy Hour promotions. The results have been decidedly mixed. As much miss as hit. For the record a cheap highball and deep fried pickle is NOT my definition of a proper Happy Hour. Jules Bistro in Gastown gets it with classic French cuisine paired with three quality wines. A white, red and rose. The three wines are pictured in this review. At $5 a glass these wines are what I expect from a restaurant that takes wine seriously. I’ve been a fan of Jules Bistro’s food for years. For Happy Hour you can enjoy classics like Moules and Frits or Beet Salad with warm goat’s cheese at $8 each. Don’t miss the cheese plate. Quality and value make this Happy Hour a Cheapandcheerful pick.

Jules Bistro
216 Abbot Street
Happy Hour daily 3:30-5:30

Monte Creek Ranch Rose B.C.

When the weather heats up my wine fridge fills up with rose. I love this variety year round but particularly in the summer when I’m on my patio, glass in hand. There are so many quality rose wines being produced in B.C. and I think the province’s newest winery can be proud of their 2015 vintage. Monte Creek Ranch makes their rose from the Marquette grape which is a descendent of Pinot Noir and tends to be much hardier than pinot. From the opening sniff to the first sip I got a beautiful bouquet of strawberries. It was full-flavoured and rich and I couldn’t wait for a second glass. Last summer’s intense heat in B.C. is really evident in this rose….big, bold and perfect to pair with salmon or your favorite appies. This wine is widely available at private liquor stores across the lower Mainland. Price varies. Here’s the best price I was able to find.

Price: $19.20 (plus Tax)
Available: Value on Liquor SW Marine Drive