Wine category: WHITE

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

Calliope Sauvignon Blanc 2016 B.C.

The Wyse family helped put B.C. on the wine map with their award winning Burrowing Owl wines. They’re also aware that many a winelover is price sensitive so they added Calliope wines to their portfolio. This is a perfect example of quality meets value. Wines meant for every day drinking at a great price. The Sauvignon Blanc is a steal at less than $16.00 a bottle. You’ll love the aroma of passion fruit and lime and expect more of the same when taking your first sip. This wine is loaded with fruit while keeping the crisp, dry style that makes SB such a fave for many of us. Keep a couple of bottles on hand to share with friends or take it to a party and spread the word of Calliope.

Price: $15.90 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano
Price: $16.99 (plus tax)
Available: Kits Wine Cellar on 4th Avenue

Moraine Riesling 2016 B.C.

It seems B.C. is fast becoming the home of world class Riesling. From Tantalus to Synchromesh and Orofino to this gem from Moraine Estate Winery on the Naramata Bench. Wine judges are in love with this Riesling. Bestowing medal after medal on this remarkably well priced white. The aroma is subtle and suggests a dryer style of Riesling. But the flavour is true to the varietal, crisp and balanced, citrus notes with a lovely sweetness that’s entirely natural. While you can enjoy Moraine Riesling on its own you’ll find it’s a perfect match for your favourite spicy dishes.

Price: $19.96 (plus tax)
Available: Sutton Place Wine Merchant
Price: $21.00 (plus tax)
Available: Village VQA Wines in Kitsilano

Michel Torino Cuma Torrontes Argentina

Argentina is hoping Torrontes will become the white wine equivalent of Malbec…the massively popular red that’s everyone’s favourite pizza wine. My experience with this palate pleasing white is that we should all add it to our wine list. The reason I find Torrontes so enjoyable is the obvious from the first sip. It’s bright and fresh and loaded with tropical fruit flavour. Mandarin orange is what jumped out for me. I like the depth and balance in the wine particularly at this price. It’s a steal! Pair it with spicy cuisine and you’ll find Torrontes is a great match.

Price: $12.79 (plus tax)
Available: B.C. Liquor stores and Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver and South Surrey

Haywire Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris B.C.

I’m introducing a new feature to my website and I’m calling it “splurge.” With all the money you save by buying wines I review on CheapandCheerful.ca you deserve a reward. So these wines are above my $25 limit but worth every penny. The first “splurge” pick is this beauty from Haywire. I love seafood and this Pinot Gris is the perfect companion. It’s a complex, medium bodied wine with depth and polish. Flavours of peach and apple plus a touch of tropical fruit that’s enhanced by aging in the concrete tanks at Okanagan Crush Pad. There’s a lot to this white which reflects quality winemaking. Add in the creamy finish and it means each sip is a treat on so many levels.

Price: $26.99 (plus tax)
Available: Kits Wine Cellars on 4th Avenue
Price: $28.99 (plus tax)
Available: Everything Wine in North Vancouver, South Vancouver and South Surrey
Price: $30.65 (plus tax)
Available: Legacy Liquor in Olympic Village