Wine category: WHITE

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

South African Chenin Blanc

I don’t know if I can think of better value wines for the buck than these two whites. Both are under $15 and while that warms my frugal heart, I’m equally impressed by the taste. Rarely will you find as much flavour in your glass at this price.
Chenin Blanc’s home is France but full credit to South Africa for making it their own. For centuries winemakers in S.A. have crafted a tasty, crispy white that’s gulpable on your patio or as a companion for grab and go suishi. Chenin has certain characteristics that make it one of my go-to white wines. Flavours of peaches, grapefruit or tropical fruits are what you can expect along with zippy acidity and a touch of lemon. At this price you can grab a couple of bottles, give them a chill and get your friends together for a picnic at the beach.

The Wild Olive Old Vines Chenin
Price: $12.99 plus tax
Available: B.C. Liquor stores
Spier Chenin Blanc
Price: $13.99 plus tax
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Tastings are back!

Now that B.C. has entered Step 2 it means that I’m free to pour again. The pandemic shut down wine tastings over a year ago but the new protocols have allowed me to “free the grapes!” If you’re interested in a backyard or patio tasting I’d be happy to help create the winelist that suits both your taste and budget. Whether it’s BC wine or wines from another region I can find quality and affordable bottles that overdeliver for the price. You can email me at ronaldkwilson52@gmail.com. Cheers!

Roche Pinot Gris B.C. 2020

I’m like many B.C. winelovers when it comes to Pinot Gris. It can be the best of times or the worst of times. Some P.G. seems to lack substance, more an afterthought rather than a wine that gets your attention. Roche is NOT that kind of gris. I loved this wine from aroma through tasting. Lots of Granny Smith apples to my nose leading to a lovely, luscious style loaded with apples and pears and a lemony finish. Good acidity too which just enhanced the experience. It’s medium bodied and the perfect match for seafood or pasta in a cream sauce. Roche is celebrating their 10th anniversary too so what better time to explore their wines. Congratulations on your 10th!

Price: $23.99 plus tax.
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, Langley and White Rock

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.

Homer Street Cafe Happy Hour

Dining out at your favourite restaurant or cafe was one of the first casualties of the Pandemic. It seems Vancouver has managed the impact much better than elsewhere in Canada. I’ve noticed Happy Hours have returned and decided to check out the offering at Homer Street Cafe. They’re following the direction of Dr. Henry with Covid-19 protocols in place. Contact tracing, staff wearing masks, appropriate spacing which I found reassuring. It’s important to remember your dining companion must be part of your individual bubble! The wine offering for HH is a reliable trio of French red, white and rose from the Languedoc. At $6 a glass you can pair that with everything from steak tartar to brussel sprouts bagna cauda and charcuterie. Service was excellent and prices affordable which encouraged me to seek out other options to add to my website. Stay tuned!

Homer Street Cafe Happy Hour is from 2:30-5:30 daily.

Blue Grouse Estate Winery Quill White 2019 B.C.

It’s always a good day when you can find a favorite wine in your own backyard. Blue Grouse Estate Winery has twice been named winery of the year on Vancouver Island. Now you can taste for yourself and see why I’m such a big fan of what’s going on in the Cowichan Valley. The Quill White is a magical blend of Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Schonburger and Siegerrebe. There’s a delightful fragrance on this off-dry white and flavours of lemon, peaches and orange peel. In a world awash in white blends this offering from Blue Grouse really stands out for being balanced and delicious. It is a lovely sipper on its own or pair it with your favorite seafood dish. I bet you’ll be pouring a second glass…the true test of wine enjoyment.

Available: Save-On-Foods wines across B.C.
Price: $19.99 plus tax
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown
Price: $21.99 plus tax

Fiore Mercato in South Granville

Apparently it was the Greek philosopher Plato who authored the phrase “necessity is the mother of invention.” If ever there was a time for invention in the wine world it’s now. The pandemic has closed restaurants and bars while others have pivoted with creativity to meet difficult times head on. Credit Matthew Landry (pictured) and the team at Fiore Mercato with an impressive reinvention that speaks to the winelover in me. There’s several options, dine-in, takeout, or buy all the ingredients from the market at the front of house and make in yourself. House made pasta, sauces, a focacia kit, olive oil, balsamic vinegars and WINE, glorious wine. Somm of the year Landry has a well chosen selection that pairs perfectly with the cuisine. It’s for sale at retail pricing that starts at under $20.00 a bottle. No need to stop off at your local bottle shop. The pasta and pizza menu shouldn’t be missed and discover that the wines of Italy go far beyond Pinot Grigio. The Vernaccia paired with squid ink spaghetti and prawns in garlic butter was note perfect. Given the difficult times facing the hospitality industry here’s an example of how they’re fighting back. All they need is our support. Cheers!

Fiore Mercato is on West 12th Avenue in the South Granville neighborhood.

Haywire Pinot Gris B.C. 2019

I’ve made no secret of my love of the wines from Okanagan Crush Pad. Haywire was my introduction but I’ve also enjoyed Narrative and Free Form that are also produced at the Summerland winery.
The Pinot Gris has always been a favourite and the 2019 vintage is hitting all the right notes for me. In the glass it’s a beautiful pale yellow which is a hint of what you’re about to enjoy. This is a wine of subtlety and restraint. Yet one that rewards you from first sip.
The aroma of stone fruit gives way to flavours of pears and peaches. There’s a tinge of lemon and a little toasted note and a medium finish which i really enjoyed. For those who seek out acidic styles of pinot gris this is a refreshing alternative. To me it’s all about the fruit and Haywire has used grapes from four different vineyards in the 2019 vintage. This should be your go-to summer white whether it’s to sip on the deck or pair with sockeye salmon off the grill.

Price: $21.99 (plus tax)
Available: Save-On wines across B.C.
Price: $24.26 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street
Price: $24.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl wines in Yaletown