Wine category: SPARKLING

Haywire The Bub 2016 B.C.

B.C. winemakers are justifiably proud of the amazing array of sparkling wines made in our province. My first experience with our bubbles was in 1999 at Blue Mountain winery. Since moving to Vancouver seven years ago Haywire “The Bub” is the sparkling wine I come back to time and time again. In case you’re wondering the wine gets its name from the winery’s first daughter, Alison, who was known at Bub, the Bubster and Alibubba when she was a youngster. If you’ve never tasted B.C. bubbles here’s the perfect introduction. A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this is a crispy sparkler with citrus flavours and brioche, or toast if you prefer, that you’ll also pick up in the aroma. The wine spent time in both concrete and stainless steel tanks and then a second fermentation in the bottle. The Bub is a remarkably well made sparkler that’s the perfect pour at any celebration from Thanksgiving to an anniversary or graduation.

Price: $28.29 plus tax
Available: Save-On-Foods wines across B.C.
Price: $29.99 plus tax
Available: Swirl wines in Yaletown
Price: $31.98 plus tax
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley

Lot 185-Cafe and Wine Bar

When you’re a #winelover like me, the arrival of a new place to enjoy your favourite libation is a reason to celebrate. Lot 185 offers a cafe to start your day and a wine bar to wind down after work. It’s two levels on the west side of the Vancouver Convention Center beside Jack Poole Plaza. If you’ve been to the Vancouver International Wine Festival you’ll recognize the 2nd level as the former coat check location. It’s a bright and airy space that will offer patio seating next summer. For now you can enjoy breakfast sandwiches or pastries from the in-house bakery. Later in the day the 2nd level Wine Bar will offer a great place to drop in for a glass or two accompanied by interesting small bites. Check out my social media feeds for plenty of pictures. Pizza, duck confit sliders and and freshly shucked Kusshi oysters are just some of the choices. The wine list includes Burrowing Owl Pinot Noir, Quails’ Gate Dry Riesling and Culmina R&D Rose to name a few. You’ll also find wines from France, Spain, Italy and New Zealand so something for every palate. I’m told they hope to work with smaller B.C. wineries in the future. For example I’d welcome seeing Lock & Worth, Blue Grouse and Rust wines to help grow our exposure to newer and smaller wineries in our province. For now though I’m happy to see our city’s wine culture grow with Lot 185 Cafe and Wine Bar.

Location: Vancouver Convention Center with access from Jack Poole Plaza

Villa Sandi Rosato Prosecco Italy

Every #winelover I know is a huge fan of Prosecco and Rose so here’s a chance to combine the two. For the price you’ll be hard pressed to find a better value than this gem from Villa Sandi. Whether it’s for a celebration or just because put this Prosecco on your list. From the moment I poured this pale pink wine into a flute I was a fan. The aroma was a mix of flowers and fruit. The feeling of the bubbles in your mouth was full and creamy with apple flavours. This is a dry, refreshing sparkler that has a long finish. Perfect on its own but a great wine to pair with any cuisine.

Price: $16.45 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street
Price: $16.49 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley

Haywire “The Bub” 2015 B.C.

Sure we’d all like to drink champagne but who’s got a wine budget big enough to shell out $60-$70 a bottle when we need a bubbly fix. Thankfully we live in B.C. where winemakers are producing superb sparkling wines like “The Bub.” This comes from the dynamic duo of the Okanagan Crush Pad…winemaker Matt Dumayne and sparkling wine specialist Jordan Kubek. I’ve been a fan of this wine since its first vintage. Made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the champagne method you’re drawn in with the first sip. It’s a dry, well balanced, crisp bubbly that captures the taste of orchard fruit that made the Okanagan famous. What I love is the brioche or toasty notes I associate with France but which carry this B.C. beauty. There’s citrus flavours too, good acidity and lovely, tiny bubbles. At a fraction of what you’ll pay for champagne this is a lot of wine for the price.

Price: $27.64 (plus tax)
Available: Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Burrard street
Price: $28.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown
Price: $32.09 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street

Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut B.C.

Blue Mountain has earned much acclaim for their bubbles and the Gold Label is the perfect introduction for sparkling wine lovers. From the glass full of tiny bubbles to the toasty, crisp flavour this is a delicious wine that delivers on every level. The aroma of berries and lemon draws you in but the mouth feel will capture your taste buds. It’s creamy, medium bodied and with great acidity and a lingering finish. A complex wine made in the traditional method found in Champagne but at a fraction of the price. A perfect companion for celebrations of all kinds or pair it with seafood.

Price: $26.01 (plus tax)
Available: Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Burrard street
Price: $28.99 (plus tax)
Available: Liberty Wine (various locations)
Price: $29.00 (plus tax)
Available: Kits Wine Cellar on 4th avenue

Gray Monk Odyssey Rose Brut 2015 B.C.

I’ve always believed Gray Monk Winery has been a leader in delivering great bang for the buck. There’s no better example than this beautiful pink bubbly. This is a blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunière which delivers a solid, easy drinking sparkling wine that’s good to the last sip. This is filled with the flavours of the Okanagan….strawberries and cherries in a smooth, creamy wine that’s clean and crisp. Pour with any occasion, parties, weddings, on the patio or with suishi and you’ll discover an approachable B.C. bubbly that keeps on giving.

Price: $19.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown and Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano

Bubbles by the Glass-The Wine Bar

I thought The Wine Bar-Provence Marinaside couldn’t top their wines by the glass program but then I hadn’t met Joshua Carlson. The affable wine director wanted to build on the city’s most expansive “by the glass list” by adding bubbles. Thanks to modern technology you can pop the cork and pour a glass and restore the fizz! Who knew? Joshua did the research for us and now we can enjoy twenty-four sparkling wines up to and including Champagne! All because of the Le Verre de Vin system that keeps the bubbles without affecting the flavour. No longer do you need to buy an entire bottle to enjoy your favourite bubbly. The price per glass ranges from $8 for prosecco to $110 for a glass of Cristal if you feel the urge to party like a rapper. The wines Joshua has chosen include B.C. favourites from Bella and Evolve, prosecco and cava that offer tremendous value and Champagne from some of the best houses including Lanson, Bollinger and Moët et Chandon. Something for everyone and in all price points. Plus, drop in for Sparkling Saturday at The Wine Bar and all day you can save 25% on your bubbles of choice. What a deal! Save room for me please.

Price: $8.00-$110.00 per glass
Available: The Wine Bar adjacent to Provence Marinaside in Yaletown

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

Poema Cava Brut Spain

Since first trying this beautiful bubbly a couple of years ago, I find myself returning time and time again to Poema. For wine lovers Cava is to Spain what Prosecco is to Italy and Champagne is to France. In fact this Cava is made in exactly the same way as Champagne but costs a fraction of its French cousin. The aroma is full of apples and citrus. The flavour offers more of the same along with a lovely toasty finish. This is a deeper bubbly than others I’ve tasted so it pairs well with any dish or serve it to celebrate the New Year!

Price: $18.99 (plus tax)
Available: Kitsilano Wine Cellar and Dunderave Wine Cellar in West Vancouver
Price: $19.04 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street

Vaporetto Prosecco Italy

When it comes to value and flavour Vaporetto is one of the best sparkling wines available in B.C. You can’t help notice there’s plenty of choices at your favourite wine store but not all Prosecco is created equally. This sparkling wine wins you over with the beautiful aroma of fruit and flowers. I tasted peaches and pears with a nice toasty finish and a touch of citrus. This is the Prosecco to pour when company drops by during the holidays. Or with the first course at a family feast. While you’ll find Prosecco that’s priced the same I think Vaporetto offers an elegance missing with others on the shelf.

Price: $17.49 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores