Wine category: SPARKLING

Ruffino Prosecco Italy

From the first time I tasted this gem of a sparkler I was a fan. It won me over from the citrus aroma bursting out of the glass. Then came a beautiful flavour of apples and pears with a lemon mousse that compliments this first rate Prosecco. Italy has really focussed on cornering the sparkling wine market. Ruffino has hit it out of the park at a price that’s hard to beat. If you’re looking for a bubbly to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or a new job grab a bottle or two of their Prosecco. Or if you need a great food wine don’t overlook Ruffino.

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

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.

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
Yaletown
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

See Ya Later Sparkling Brut B.C.

When it comes to getting great bang for your wine buck look no further than SYL bubbly. This is a consistent winner you can pour on any occasion. The first aroma reminds me of a fresh loaf of French stick and then a walk through an orchard. You’ll taste fruit, cream and toast along with some citrus flavour. This sparkling wine is really complex for the price. It makes a great starter or to compliment a mimosa or Kir Royale. Plus it’s on sale until the end of March! Stock up now.

Price: $17.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. liquor stores and Everything Wine in North Vancouver and South Surrey

Bottega Petalo Moscato Italy

When the Vancouver International Wine Festival chose Italy as the featured country I was excited at the opportunity to add more Italian wines to Cheapandcheerful.ca. Here’s another sparkling wine from Bottega that re-inforces my opinion that they’re one of Italy’s most reliable wine-makers. The rose on the bottle is a hint of what you’ll experience when you open the bottle. A beautiful aroma of roses. Moscato is a sweet desert wine with layers of fruit flavours. You can pour this wine with your favourite desert or on its own and enjoy the pleasant experience of a bubbly that over-delivers for the price.

Price: $15.49 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. liquor stores

Rosa di Sera Spumante Italy

This is one of the most pleasant sparkling wines I’ve tasted recently. Made mostly of prosecco it offers a fresh take on bubbles. Call it “Pretty in Pink” with a hint of sweetness. A lovely aroma of roses, peaches and cream and a touch of citrus. The flavour is full-on fruit…from pink grapefruit to summer berries. I’d recommend you pour this wine with chocolate ganache cake or a tray of chocolate truffles. It’s a perfect compliment for a desert social.

Price: $18.49 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. liquor stores

Real de Aragon Cava Spain

When wine guru Robert Parker awards 90 points to a wine priced under $15 I sit up and take notice. Here’s another of the Spanish Cavas you should check out. On the nose is a toasty, creamy lemon aroma. The intense flavours of apple and pear within the tiny bubbles is more complex than I expected for a value wine like the Aragon. Another example of how you don’t need to sacrifice quality for price. I’d pair this bubbly with any appetizer and it’ll be an enjoyable match.

Price: $13.49 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. liquor stores

Bottega Il Vino dei Poeti Prosecco Italy

So much choice. So much value. That nicely sums up the choices in my #10daysofbubbly series. Including this light and fruity Prosecco from Bottega. A very pale yellow with tiny bubbles and a lovely fragrance of flowers and apples. I tasted Granny Smith apples with citrus and loved the mousse on the long finish. This hits all the right notes as an aperitif or pair it with chilled salmon or shellfish. A great value bubbly!

Price: $17.29 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. liquor stores

Veuve du Vernay Brut France

The perfect party sparkler. The perfect brunch sparkler. The perfect sparkler for Kir Royale. In other words the bubbly for all occasions. That’s what you’re getting with Veuve du Vernay. A light and refreshing sparkling wine that offers great bang for the buck. Pears and apples in both the aroma and taste. Beautifully dry with a great creamy finish that’s hard to top at this price. I paired this bubbly with candied smoked salmon and goat’s cheese. It was yummy!

Price: $14.29 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. liquor stores