Wine category: WHITE

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

Haywire Pinot Gris 2017 B.C.

There’s enough Pinot Gris being produced in our province to make it B.C.’s official white wine. Most fall into two categories. Lip smacking acidity or softer, more fruit focused. To my palate Haywire falls into the latter category. It’s often the Gris I pour with crab cakes or a simple, grilled fish. Flavours of peaches and pears with a great underpinning of citrus. A lovely sipper on its own but a perfect partner with your favourite seafood dish. This is a white I enjoy regardless of the season because of its consistency and authenticity. A tribute to Haywire’s team.

Price: $21.98 (plus tax)
Available: Save-On Wines on Marine Drive in North Vancouver
Price: $21.65 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street
Price: $22.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wine Store in Yaletown
Price: $23.99 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver, South Surrey and Langley

Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay South Africa 2016

I’m always on the lookout for an everyday wine that you can count on and this Chard fits the bill. I had the pleasure of sipping through a number of wines from Boschendal and all of them hit the mark. This is their entry level white. An uncomplicated Chardonnay that has an aroma of stone fruit…peaches and apples with a touch of citrus. The lemon is what stood out to my palate with some buttery notes. It’s a rich and full bodied wine that works well on its own. I also paired it with grilled chicken kebabs and it gets full marks as a food wine.

Price: $19.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Quails Gate Chasselas Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris B.C. 2017

I’ve discovered many B.C. wines that deliver a consistent product to enjoy vintage after vintage. One of my absolute favourites is this white blend from Quails Gate. While the price has increased over the years (what hasn’t) I still think it represents terrific value. Plus it’s easy to find. Whether you’re looking for a wine to sip after a hard day of work, to pour for company or to enjoy on the patio this ticks all the boxes. The blend is note perfect, fresh, crisp and delicious with a savoury finish that begs for a second glass. Although I’m writing this as part of a Canada Day salute I enjoy this wine year round because it’s so easy drinking. A reminder not to overchill white wine. It often means you’ll miss out on the true flavours and that would be a shame.

Price: $17.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores
Price: $18.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown and Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano

Quails’ Gate Chardonnay B.C. 2016

While spring brings flowers for many, it also brings new wines including this beauty from Quails’ Gate. Winemaker Nikki Callaway has made a big impact in less than five years at the helm of the West Kelowna winery. This Chardonnay should be on the radar for everyone who enjoys the varietal. It’s a crisp, refreshing wine that speaks to the use of stainless steel. A small amount spent time in oak which brought structure to the Chard without overwhelming the palate. On the nose was an aroma of lemon and apples. I tasted apples and peaches in a rich, flavourful wine that’s really food friendly. I paired the Quails’ Gate with salmon risotto and it was a perfect match.

Price: $21.99 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano and Swirl Wines in Yaletown
Price: $22.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores

Poplar Grove Pinot Gris 2017 B.C.

Living in Vancouver means enjoying seafood regularly. One of my favourite wines to pair with seafood is Pinot Gris and Poplar Grove makes one of the best in B.C. Their latest vintage is exactly what I want from this varietal. From aroma to flavour this wine ticks all the boxes. Your nose will pick up hints of limes and nectarines. Then comes a rich melange of apples, peaches and apricots backed by citrus and a lip smacking acidity. This is such a well balanced wine that I know it’ll again have a regular place in my cellar. I paired the Gris with crabcakes but any seafood dish will do.

Price: $18.49 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores
Price: $19.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown
Price: $22.52 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street

Fort Berens Chardonnay 2016 B.C.

There’s no better way to cast off the gloom of fall and winter in Vancouver than to open a wine that reminds you of summer. Fort Berens captures the floral aromas of peach and apple trees in bloom and it jumps out of the bottle. Although this Chard spent time in oak it doesn’t overwhelm the flavour, it enhances it. Another example of the wine making talent evident at Fort Berens. Lots of tropical and B.C. fruit to taste…from pineapple to peaches. There’s a fresh, creamy style that makes this wine very food friendly. I paired it with grilled pork but salmon would also be a good match.

Price: $21.99 (taxes in)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano
Price: $21.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown
Price: $25.15 (plus tax)
Available: Marquis Wine Cellars on Davie street

Campo Maccione Vermentino 2015 Italy

The world is awash in Pinot Grigio. You’ll find it on many wine lists and much of it is bland, unremarkable and little more than a delivery system for alcohol. Italy is so much more and let me suggest you discover the beauty of Vermentino. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be good as Rocco delle Macie proves with their Campo Maccione. This is a surprisingly complex wine considering its price. That means another reason to give it a try. You’ll taste peaches and pears with some lime and a hint of nuttiness. This is the perfect wine to pour at your holiday party. It’s also really good friendly whether you’re eating tacos or sushi.

Price: $14.95 (plus tax)
Available: Sutton Place Wine Merchant on Burrard street

Monte Creek Ranch Riesling 2016 B.C.

For a young winery Monte Creek has made impressive strides with their Riesling. This vintage hit all the right notes for me. There’s a hint of petrol on the nose followed by flavours of peaches and apples and plenty of lime. The citrus and acidity really stood out in this dry Riesling. The long finish surpassed my expectations because of the very attractive price. A great Riesling to keep on hand when you need the right pairing with your favourite spicy dish. Well done Monte Creek.

Price: $17.99 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver and South Surrey
Price: $17.99 (taxes in)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano

Wild Goose Pinot Gris B.C. 2016

Everyone has a favourite varietal or three and near the top of my list is Pinot Gris. When made well it offers a complexity that far exceeds its modest price. Among my picks for B.C. Pinot Gris is this gem from Wild Goose Vineyards. What stands out is the rich fruit flavour of peaches and pears. Add in notes of honey and spice and there’s almost a sense of a late harvest style of wine. This Pinot Gris has it all, a lovely aroma, great balance and a lingering finish that is an absolute bargain at less than twenty dollars. Pair it with salmon or other seafood dishes.

Price: $17.99 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores
Price: $19.00 (includes tax)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano
Price: $18.99 (plus tax)
Available: Swirl Wines in Yaletown