Archive for the 'Wine Event' Category

Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival Tickets on Sale Tomorrow

Just a quick shout to tell you folks that tickets for all public events for the annual Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival go on sale tomorrow, February 2, 2010 at 9:30am.

Pretty much everything sells out each year, so make sure you head over to their site and plan your week. I’ll see you there.

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Wine and Food Event: Taste of BC 2010

Attending the “Taste of BC 2010” event, put on by Liberty Wine Merchants and benefiting B.C. Children’s Hospital – Oak Tree Clinic, this year for the first time was a really great decision. We’ve had lots of conversations about “palate shift” of late, and I can honestly say I have been seeking the rustic and mineral driven wines versus the over concentrated wines I have been finding locally. The event was a pleasant reminder, if not a reawakening for me about some of the excellent wine being produced in BC. Pair that with some tasty snacks and you have decent evening all around.

In terms of wine, the highlights were:

  • 8th Generation Vineyard – We first tasted their wines at last year’s Playhouse International Festival, and knew we had to seek them out. They had a full spectrum of wines including Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, two Rieslings, Pinot Noir and a Syrah. The whites stole the show, with delicious Rieslings being highlights. The Pinot Gris was also interesting, having spent some time on oak – unusual in my experience for a BC Pinot Gris, but really elegant and tasty. At an average price of about $22, these are real benchmarks for local wine quality/price ratio.
  • La Stella Winery – These were some of the real standouts in my mind. Their Vivace Pinot Gris had amazing grapefruit zest on the nose and some pear and peach. The two reds they were sampling were also superb. The Allegretto Merlot was full and tasty, and the Fortissimo Cab Merlot had excellent pepper and dark fruit. Definitely need to find the Vivace to include in the under $30 challenge.
  • La Vieux Pin Winery – Another highlight. I was cautious upon approaching these wines, as I wondered if they could live up to some of the preaching I had faced on a trip into a local cold beer and wine store. The salesperson there proclaimed them “the best out there, from some of the best Merlot vines in the world” and on and on… Hyperbole aside, these are some excellent wines. The Petit Sigma Blanc was perhaps the highlight of the whites at the event for me. Beautiful floral and citrus, this is an amazing deal at $22. The Belle Pinot Noir was dark and full or earthy plum – an excellent BC Pinot.
  • Meyer Family Vineyards – Brand new for me, I wondered if the hype would live up to the reality. We tasted an excellent Chardonnay (the best BC Chardonnay of the event) and a couple of quality BC Pinot Noirs. The Chardonnay was well balanced and full value for it’s $35 price tag. The pinots were quite different from each other, both with nice structure and red fruit. They’re definitely worth a try if you find them.
  • Tantalus Vineyards – Their 2008 Riesling and 2009 Rosé were both very good. Keep an eye out for them in your local stores.

Other good sips included the Seven Stones Winery Meritage that had a really nice Cabernet Franc backbone and Vista D’Oro’s Walnut Port was a delicious way to end the evening – so tasty!

On the food/pairing front, the smoked sablefish with horseradish cream from Bridges was superb with the Wild Goose Stony Slope Riesling. The oysters from Rodney’s were fantastic and would have been great with the Focus2 Sauvignon Blanc from Twisted Tree (couldn’t carry them over there). Central City Brewing had a maple cheesecake with beer-brined bacon on top. It paired fantastically with a nice breath of air.

A good night full of new tastes and a much more optimistic view on the future of BC wines.

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Best Damn Tasting Ever! presented by the Seacove Group and New World Wines

OK, so I’ve been really bad with posting lately… and rightfully so. I’ve got a life and a full-time, outside wine job. I’ve been feeling badly about the lack of posts, so I’ve resolved to writing at least a few of ’em a week for the next while. Not only does that accomplish the more-posts-in-a-month goal, but it also makes me document the wine I drink, which was the original idea behind this site.

Well, now that that’s out there, I’ll get down to the task at hand. A few weeks ago, I received an invite from my friend Paul Watkin, who works with the Seacove Group, a wine agency in town for a tempting-sounding trade tasting being held at the Metropolitan Hotel.

The tasting was put on by the Seacove Group and the New World Wines agencies – and featured a diverse selection of wines from pretty much everywhere. There were wines from Italy, France, Spain, New Zealand, Portugal and the USA. Graham and I made our way around the room and I can honestly say there wasn’t a single wine we didn’t enjoy. Both agencies have some stunners, so I’m just going to give you our top 5’s from each.

Graham’s picks from Seacove:

  • Champagne de Venoge Brut Milliesime 1995 – Stunning length with beautiful citrus and lees.
  • Livon Braide Alte 2006 – Loved this wine.  Superbly crisp with nice pear and lime and solid mineral finish.  I imagined this with mussels or clams.  Mmmmm….
  • Egelhoff Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 – A gorgeous Napa Cab with great black fruit.  This wine was like someone ground a pepper mill over the glass.  Excellent stuff.
  • Chateau des Graviers AOC Margaux “Quintessence” 2001 – Delicious.  Great nose of tea, marker and ground coffee.  Finishes up with some nice graphite and green leaf.
  • Moncellior Pinot Noir 2008 – I really liked this one.  Nice full raspberry nose with great acidity and some nice green stalk on the finish.  This is a great value in the Otago Pinots for $35.

My picks from Seacove:

  • 1995 Champagne de Venoge Brut Millesièmme -Wow. Just wow. So graceful and tasty.
  • 2006 Signorello Winery Padrone – OK, it’s expensive, but it’s also really bloody tasty. Massive black fruit and pepper are followed by equally massive tannins. This one needs time.
  • 2005 Van Zeller Douro CV “Curriculum Vitae” – Elegant dark plum and berry fruit lead to a loooong finish. Pretty wonderful stuff.
  • 2003 Egelhoff Wines Cabernet Sauvignon – Great dark fruit and black pepper flavours made me want to go back for more.
  • 2006 Quinta do Crasto Touriga Nacional – Dark fruit and chocolate with a finish that lasted minutes. I love this wine.

Graham’s picks from New World Wines:

  • Barnett Vineyards Merlot Spring Mountain 2006 – Amazing spice on this wine.  Anise and Cinnamon with gorgeous red fruit.  Loved it.
  • Darioush Winery Signature Series Shiraz 2005 – Deep intense black fruit with nice black pepper and firm tannins.
  • DeLille Cellars D2 2006 – This was soft and sexy goodness.  Gorgeous red fruit and silky finish.
  • Betz Family Winery Clos de Betz 2006 – Beautiful dark chocolate, black fruit and some nice mint on the finish. – Loved it.
  • Flowers Vineyard & Winery  Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2006 – Elegant, with beautiful cranberry and currant.  Great length with a bit a brown sugar on the finish.

My picks from New World Wines:

  • 2005 Darioush Winery Signature Series Shiraz – So good! Immense dark fruit, dark chocolate and black tea flavours lead out to a long-long finish.
  • 2006 Barnett Vineyards Merlot Spring Mountain – Dark chocolate and plum fruit with a toasty edge. So good.
  • 2006 Betz Family Clos de Betz – It may be starting to sound like a record on repeat, but dark chocolate and blackberry flavours made me want more.
  • 2006 DeLille Cellars D2 – Mouth-filling dark fruit. Yum.
  • 2004 Lail Vineyards Blue Print – This had a hint of bell pepper to its dark fruit and spice. Bloody good.

Event: Liberty Wine Merchants presents Taste BC 2010

11022009On January 19th, 2010, Liberty Wine Merchants is putting on Taste BC 2010 at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver. The event runs from 4:30pm until 7:30pm and is a great event that raises  money for the BC Children’s Hospital – The Oak Tree Clinic (the last 2 annual events have raised more than $159,000)… and raises awareness of everything BC.

You’ll get to taste samples from some of the finest restaurants, wineries, breweries and cheese purveyors in BC. Sounds good, no?

Tickets for the event are $49.99 and will be available at all Liberty Wine Merchant locations starting on November 20th. Go get ’em folks. It’ll be a lot of fun and is for a good cause. I’ll see you there.

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