March 22, 2016 § Leave a comment
2015 is the most anticipated vintage in recent memory. The world over 2015 was one of the best vintages, so as I was strolling through the ‘candy’ store looking for a Pinot Noir I spied a 2015 and grabbed it.
The reason we are seeing 2015 light bodied red wines from South America, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia is because the growing season is opposite to ours in the southern hemisphere. Medium and full bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz & Malbec will likely appear in a couple of years. Expect to see 2015 whites and rosés from the northern hemisphere in the next few months.
The Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir has consistently over delivered for as many vintage as I can remember, so my expectations were kind of high. Not only was I expecting a strong showing due to consistency, but add on the 2015, and I was expecting a lot.
The good news this wine does totally over deliver for the price. Amongst Pinot Noirs of this price range, this would easily be in my top 2. I’m not so sure the quality of the vintage showed through as much as I was expecting, but given my overall enjoyment of the wine I would say the 2015 is a testament to the truly high quality for the price of previous vintages.
Price ~ $11
Score ~ 7.7/10 Over Delivers
The nose shows cherry, cola and strawberry, while the palate has a lovely silky texture. As for the finish there is some fresh cherry and black pepper just to entice you into a second glass.
I would pair this with a nice gouda cheese, grilled or roasted poultry, pasta marinara.
Grapes ~ 100% Pinot Noir
Store Section ~ Chile
Availability ~ Both Private and Public Stores.
the Dork UnCorked
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December 31, 2015 § 1 Comment
The last in the Picks of the Pros Sparkling Wine series comes from Jami Wood. Jami runs the James Bay Spinnaker’s Store and has her finger on the pulse of the industry. She always has some magic in her store and these are items that she would pick for herself for New Year’s 2016.
Joie Plien de Vie Brut $24.34 +tax
A Rosé bubble from BC. What could be more fitting for issuing in 2016. Made in the classic method using Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, this bubble is all about fresh strawberries, citrus and living life like there is no tomorrow.
Adami Credazzo Prosecco $36.39 +tax
The top of the line when it comes to Prosecco.
Fresh melon and peach are displayed with vibrant abandon and finish refreshing and clean. Ideal for prawns, lobster or fresh salads.
Deus Brut des Flandres $32.47 +tax and includes 2 Champagne Glasses
Guess what this is a beer! Yup a very unique and wonderful beer. It is first crafted in Flanders Belgium then shipped to the winery that makes Dom Perignon to be finished.
The bubbles are very much like champagne; tiny, vibrant and almost creamy. The flavour shows citrus, brioche and some hops. A great description is Duvel meets Dom Perignon.
December 30, 2015 § 1 Comment
Pamela is not only an accredited Sommelier, but was the Sommelier at the Empress prior to becoming the General Manager of Cascadia Liquor Stores. She is indeed an influencer and has a keen palate for value.
Montelivini Prosecco ~ $14.99 +tax
I Love this Prosecco for both quality and value, doesn’t hurt that it comes in a nice package.
Nicely balanced, fresh with a hint of tree fruit character make this a staff favourite at Cascadia.
Unsworth Charme De L’lle ~ $21.99 +tax
From the Cowichan Valley, delicious Charmat Method sparkling from Unsworth Vineyard.
Our local look alike to a good Prosecco….
Cave de Lugny Cremant de Bourgogne Rose ~ $25.35 +tax
Traditional method from Bourgogne, France. Made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Gamay.
Perfect balance of soft fruit flavours and fresh acidity, total crowd pleaser.
Thanks again to Pamela Anderson of Cascadia.
the Dork UnCorked
Tune in each Saturday between 2 & 3pm on CFAX 1070 for the Dork UnCorked Radio Hour.
December 29, 2015 § 1 Comment
Stacey has been the General Manager of the Hillside Liquor Store since it opened and has justifiably earned the reputation as being on the best buyers and palates in BC. What follows are her picks for New Year’s 2016.
Tsarine Cuvée Premium Brut Champagne ~ $64.99 +tax
Tsarine Cuvée Premium Brut Champagne (beautiful bottle!) champagnes second oldest house,
It was made in honour of the Russian Empire in 1730, the swirl bottle represents the St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. Decanter World Wine Awards Gold Medal Winner 2010. “Fine and delicate bubbles with notes of lime flowers and lemon balm, bitter orange and quince- fresh and crisp!”
Summerhill Winery Cipes Brut ~ $23.49 +tax
Summerhill Winery Cipes Brut- Gold BC Wine Awards 2015 & sparkling wine of the year All Canadian Wine Awards 2014. “Aromas of Apple, lime, pear, almonds, and grapefruit. Crisp acidity, a soft creamy mousse and long finish.”
Dom Perignon David Lynch Limited Edition 2003 Champagne ~ 199.99 +tax
Dom Perignon David Lynch Limited Edition 2003- “aromas start sweet, bright, mineral and floral- followed by candied fruit, plants, camphor leaf and dark hints of spices and licorice root. The palate is at first mild and delicate, then confidently mineral and persistent with a refined bitterness and saline tang” $199.99 + tax
December 28, 2015 § 1 Comment
What the pros would pick for themselves for New Year’s 2016. Today’s installment comes from Ernest Sargent the Vintage Room Consultant at Everything Wine in Langford.
Here’s my picks – not a Champagne among them…
Muga Conde de Haro Brut Cava ~ $28
For me, as I was only allowed to pick one (close runner up is the Henriot Rosé Champagne ($80)), it would be the Muga Conde de Haro Brut Cava. This is the best Cava I’ve tasted in a long time. Beautiful balance between the apple, apple skin and citrus flavours with a touch of honey thrown in. What puts this one over the top for me is the long and complex finish. An absolute winner!!
Road 13 2011 Sparkling Chenin Blanc ~ $40
For my family (because they deserve the best), my favourite of the many quality sparkling wines that are now coming out of BC, the 2011 Road 13 Sparkling Chenin Blanc. I love the fresh fruit on this wine that pairs so nicely with the acidity and the slight touch of yeast. A top quality wine from one of BC’s best wineries and if I give it my family, chances are I’ll get some too.
Blu Giovello Prosecco ~ $21
For my friends – the Blu Giovello Prosecco from Piera Martellozzo. This Extra-Dry Prosecco, beautifully presented in its unforgettable blue bottle, has just a touch of fruity sweetness but carries enough acid to give it balance. It showcases the classic peach and citrus flavours you get from the Glera grape. A fun wine to share with fabulous friends.
Ernest is an ISG accredited Sommelier and all round brilliant guy. For me Ernest has proven his eye for real value on a number of occasions.
December 26, 2015 § 1 Comment
Episode 10 is all about Sparkling Wine as New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. The show was broken into 4 segments. In each segment we speak to a category of sparkling wine starting with Champagne and ending with Budget or Value options.
What would a New Year’s show be without touching on famous hangover cures. I have added some bonus content here given that we were a little pressed for time on the show.
Episode 10 ~ Link to Podcast
Segment 1 ~ Champagne
Sparkling wines are made all over the world often using the same methods as they do in Champagne, however unless the wine is made in the appellation (AOC) of Champagne the wine can not bear the most famous of sparkling names. Below is a list of recommended champagnes that can be found in most stores.
Veuve Clicquot ~ $62-$65
One of the first global businesses run by a woman, Madame Clicquot’s champagne is bright and crisp, filled with apple and citrus flavour along with the taste sensation of lightly buttered toast.
DYK – the orange/yellow colour of the label reflects the colour of yolks of the eggs laid by the wineries chickens. Each morning Madame Clicquot would have two eggs and found that the colour of the yolks were unique to her farm, thus the colour would clearly distinguish her champagne.
Bollinger ~ $70
Bollinger is made famous by being the champagne choice of James Bond.
Flavours leaning more to fresh pear, melon and citrus, this is a very clean and lively wine with a texture of velvet. The finish show hints of walnuts and baking spice.
Taittinger ~ $57 (currently on sale)
Delicious scents white peach, pear and acacia flowers greet the nose, while the palate is treating to refreshing, almost creamy, wash of fruit and brioche.
Moet and Chandon ~ $62-$65
Makers of the world famous Dom Perignon, the Moet and Chandon Champagne features apple, pear, white peach with floral tones and some delicious brioche on the finish.
Segment 2 ~ BC Sparkling Wine
Perseus Sparkling Chardonnay ~ $21-$22 (Private Stores Only)
Fresh, alive and an incredible value. Bright apple and citrus greet the nose while the palate is velvety and fresh with hints of honey and white flowers. I really loved this wine.
Cipes Brut ~ $23-24
A classic BC Sparkling wine that is aged with energy of a pyramid (if you haven’t visited the Summerhill Winery you really should). Baked apples and pears, hints of caramel and honey, with a wonderfully vibrant yet creamy mousse (bubble).
Stellar’s Jay Brut ~ $27-$29
Crafted originally by one of the true pioneers of the BC Wine industry, Harry McWatters, this wine is bright, lively and shows pear and white peach with just a hint of brioche.
Blue Mountain Brut ~ $30 (Private Stores Only)
Citrusy aromas and palate with a wonderfully elegant mousse. The finish is bright and citrusy with just a kiss of honey toast.
Segment 3 ~ Prosecco
Lamarca ~ $17 (currently on sale, Dec. 2015)
Sweet apples, grassy, pear are the hallmarks of this very approachable, straightforward Prosecco. In many ways this embodies the reason why Prosecco is so popular – it is simply about enjoyment and simple carefree lifestyle.
Nua Prosecco ~ $16-$18 (Private Stores Only)
Harder to find but a deliciously crafted Prosecco that should be on more shelves than it is.
Apple, pear, orange blossom with a whimsical, refreshing bubble that delights every time.
Terre Prosecco ~ $17-$19 (Private Stores Only)
Pear, citrus and acacia flower with a wonderful kiss of honey on the finish. The palate is lively and vibrant. This is a classic Prosecco that makes a great Aperol Spritz as well as a crowd pleasing pop for New Year’s Eve.
Segment 3a ~ Global Sparklers
Here are some brilliant Sparkling wines from all over the world.
Wolf Blass Yellow Label Sparkling Wine (Australia)~ $13 (On Sale Dec. 2015)
This is sunshine in the glass. Primarily Chardonnay this is bright and feels like a summer morning. Baked apple, bright pear and melon, with a honeyed finish. Perfect for a New Year’s Eve BBQ.
Zinck Cremant D’Alsace (France) ~ $21-$24
Made primarily with Pinot Blanc, then some Pinot Noir and Chardonnay this wine shows biscuits, apricots and white flowers. The palate shows an elegant mousse and a honey toast finish. Delish!
Mumm Napa Prestige Brut (California) ~ $21-$24
This wine is at the top of my list and I have to thank Roger Kershaw for that. If there is a man on the island that loves ‘champers’ and sparkling wines more, I don’t know who that is.
The wine shows baked apple, fresh pear and white peach with hints of acacia flowers. The palate is fresh and alive and the finish has toasty hints with a touch of baking spice.
Toso Brut (Argentina) ~ $16-$18
Did you know that Argentina is one of the world’s largest producers of sparkling wine? Well it is and only a few have the production necessary to be able to export. Toso is one.
Bright fresh apples, pear and melon, with a crisp palate of refreshing finish. This wine is all about vibrant expression.
Segment 4 ~ Value Bubbles
New Year’s is often associated with sparkling wine, but if all you need is a bottle pop for the sake of popping here are some great wines all under $15 that are delicious and great buys.
Henkell Trocken ~ $13 (On Sale December, 2015)
As much as people like to downgrade well known brands in terms of quality, Henkell Trocken has stood the test of time and is still one of the most enjoyable, affordable, bubbles on the market.
Bright pear and baked apple, a well balanced palate that finishes clean and alive.
Jean Louis ~ $12-$13 (Private Stores Only)
This little french bubble is ideal for mimosa’s and any time you need a toasting wine. I have literally recommended this wine to hundreds of wedding clients.
Baked apple and pear, delightful refreshing palate, with the kiss of honey on the finish.
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva ~ $13 (On Sale December, 2015)
A classic Cava from Spain. Baked pear, with melon and a hint of orange blossoms. Crisp, lively and very refreshing, this wine is be used to toast the New Year in more countries around the world than almost all others on this list.
Segment 4a ~ Hangover Cures
The fact is that there is not perfect hangover cure although one has been sought for thousands upon thousands of years.
What we do know is that hangovers are caused by 1) your body coming off of alcohol, 2) dehydration, 3) a significant reduction of Vitamin B in your system.
Some people swear by a greasy breakfast the next morning or what is called the hair of the dog (a Caesar like cocktail). Neither really do much more than make the symptoms a little less painful.
It used to be said that if you have a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil prior to drinking that you would slow the absorption of alcohol into the system. Partially true but the alcohol is still going to get in.
The best practices are preventative. First drink in moderation and make sure you eat and hydrate throughout the session. Second is to limit sugary drinks and foods as sugar causes inflammation and just makes a hangover a truly nasty experience. Third, and this is a tip from the pros, take a multivitamin prior to the session. Make sure it contains Vitamin B. Then take one the morning after. Doing all three of these things limits the pain and suffering of ringing in the New Year and anytime a session gets out of hand.
Best Buy of the Week ~ Perseus Sparkling Chardonnay
I trust you have a safe and wonderful New Year and please send us any comments or feedback you have.
Happy New Year
the Dork UnCorked
December 24, 2015 § 3 Comments
Truth be told I am a bubble head (as if you didn’t know that already), and I firmly believe that the world would be a better place if everyone enjoyed a glass of sparkling wine a day.
I was in a bit of a funk the other day and my spirits needed lifting so I endeavoured to find a sparkling wine that would put a smile on and in my mouth and a skip in my step. Enter Perseus Sparkling Chardonnay.
Price ~ $21-$22
Score ~ 8.6/10 Over Delivers
The packaging isn’t all fancy and it comes with a classic beer cap instead of a big cork with a cage around it. Simply pop the cap off and immediately your spirits will lift.
The aromas (scent) is brimming with fresh apples, bartlett pears and hints of citrus. Isn’t this the combination aromatherapy uses to bring one’s energy up… I see a trend here, alas I digress.
The mousse (the head if you are a beer drinker) is made up of thousands of tiny bubbles that dance upon the palate while also making the texture a little softer and creamier. The juicy, citrus flavours come alive and heighten the senses.
As you can tell I truly loved this wine and will be making a regular around the house.
Grapes ~ 100% Chardonnay
Store Section ~ Sparkling Wine
Availability ~ Limited, Private Stores including Everything Wine, Metro Liquor, Spinnakers, Cork & Barrel and Caddy Bay Liquor.
the Dork UnCorked
Tune in Saturday’s from 2-3pm on CFAX 1070 for the Dork UnCorked Radio Hour.
December 22, 2015 § Leave a comment
When I say the word Shiraz what do you think of? Probably Yellow Tail right? I have a very clear recollection of the Aussie wave that hit our shores in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Every Shiraz coming into the market seemed to fit a very thin taste spectrum. I remember thinking that could be a big mistake. As it turned out, like most things, people tired of the same flavour and body and started to migrate to Malbec thus insuring the rapid decline of Australian wine fortunes in BC.
The fact is that only those Shiraz’s manufactured to taste the same year after year do. 99% of Shiraz made in Australia is not manufactured and actually reflects the region and winery it comes from.
I know that the Grey Label is outside of the $20 but holy crap does it represent a great value. Close your eyes here comes some dorky terms – very well balanced, bright acidity, dense flavours and aromas from start to finish. This is the whole package and thoroughly enjoyable.
Price ~ $29-$33
Score ~ 9.3/10 Best Buy
Unscrew the cap and let this wine breathe for a few minutes (10-15) and you will be well rewarded. Stick your nose right in the glass and take a deep breathe. What you will notice is the scent of blueberry, blackberry, ripe plum, black cherry, black pepper, violets, lavender, and just a hint of cured meat. I know, I know it seems like there couldn’t be all that, but there is.
The palate is bright yet full and ripe and the finish is juicy with just a kiss of spice and sultry smoke.
Grapes ~ 100% Shiraz
Store Section ~ Australia
Availability ~ Both government and private stores.
Food ~ Roasted or grilled lamb, Duck, even Turkey, Aged Cheddar.
Acknowledgements: Stacey Brennan, Pam Sanderson, Ernest Sargent, Brianna Kirby, Jami Wood, Karin Kallio, Angela Phillips, Patti Raffle.
the Dork UnCorked
December 19, 2015 § Leave a comment
Episode 9 – Link to Podcast
Segment 1 ~ Grannies Shortbread.
Chef Travis from the Pendray Restaurant at the Gatsby Mansion talks about what is new including his Grannies shortbread recipe, Christmas afternoon tea, and the grounds surrounding the Gatsby Mansion.
Segment 2 ~ Christmas Morning
Recommended Cream Liqueur for 2015 Christmas is the Forty Creek Cream. Made in Grimsby, Ont. with real Canadian Whisky & real Canadian Cream.
Recommended Brandy for Brandy & Egg Nogg is the Torres 5 Year. In my opinion it is the best brandy of the entry level brandies.
Recommended Rum for Rum & Egg Nogg is the Kraken Black Spiced Rum.
Segment 3 ~ Christmas Breakfast
Here are a few choice Prosecco for your Christmas morning Mimosa.
Terre Prosecco ~ $18 (private stores only)
La Marca Prosecco ~ $16
Some Budget sparklers for Mimosa.
Henkell Troken ~$12
Segura Viudas ~ $13-$15
Jean Louis ~ $11-$13
Segment 4 ~ Christmas Dinner Wine Pairings
Gehringer Brother’s Ehrenfelser (BC)~ $13-$14
Prospect Winery Riesling (BC) ~ $12-$13
Selbach Oster Riesling (Germany) ~ $16
Blue Grouse Gamay Rosé (Vancouver Island) ~ $15
Hester Creek Pinot Gris 3L (BC) ~ $45 (bottle equivalent $12)
Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay (BC) ~ $19-$20
Casa Viva Pinot Noir (Chile) ~ $14-$16 (private stores only)
Simple Life Pinot Noir (Italy) ~ $13
Gabbiano Chianti Classico (Italy) ~ $17-$20
Seven Deadly Zins (California) ~ $20
Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel (California) ~ $18
Ca’ Montebello Barbera (Italy) ~ $18 (private stores only)
Buy of the Week
Thanks for listening. Tune in next week when it is all about Sparkling Wines and the best known hangover cure.
the Dork UnCorked
December 17, 2015 § Leave a comment
There are loads of wine choices on the shelf, the hard part is actually deciding which one is the right one.
What are some ‘pairings’ based on the personality you are buying for. I hope this helps and Merry Christmas.
Gentle, quiet, pensive
Must be soft, but not to soft. Quiet in its unfolding of it personality and much more to it if you let it wash over you.
R Wolf Blass Grey Label 2012 McLaren Vale Shiraz ~$30 (Australia)
W Cameron Hughes Arroyo Secco Chardonnay ~$25 (California)
Doesn’t hold back in terms of fashion, or desire for flavour. Seeks out and loves to stroll down the path less travelled.
R Seven Deadly Zins ~$23 (California)
W Tahbilk Marsanne ~$19 (Australia)
Always a smile and loves to dance.
R Ca’Montebello Barbera ~$17 (Italy – private stores only)
W Aveleda Vinho Verde ~$15 (Portugal – private stores only)
Brooding and Reserved
A little stormy, angst, a classic brooding artist struggling to find their voice.
R Apollonio Squinzano ~ $22 (Italy- private stores only)
W Lurton Les Fumees Blanches ~$13 (France)
Strong Silent Type
Person of few words but those few words, and resulting actions convey calm strength in the face of adversity.
R Fabre Montmayou Malbec Reserve ~$24 (Argentina – private stores only)
W Guigal Crozes Hermitage Blanc ~$28 (France)
Witty, funny great with one liners and can be counted on to add comedic levity to any situation.
R Borsao Garnacha ~$12-$13 (Spain)
W Sileni Sauvignon Blanc ~16 (New Zealand)
Methodical, Reserved, Sophisticated
Stylish, quiet, worldly and never, ever quits.
R Chateau Pey La Tour ~$17-$19 (France)
W Chateau La Gravelle Muscadet ~$16 (France)
An Old Soul
Seems to have wisdom beyond their years.
R Lopez de Haro Rioja Crianza ~$20 (Spain – private stores only)
W Charton Et Trebuchet Bourgogne Chardonnay ~$22 (France)
Inspiring Through Action
Doesn’t really need to say too much, leads by example.
R Tinhorn Creek Cabernet Franc ~$23 (BC, VQA)
W Blue Grouse Gamay 2014 Rosé ~ $15-$17 (Vancouver Island)
Doesn’t really walk, kind of glides. Confident and has a gentle, silky voice.
R Bodega Atamisque Pinot Noir ~$30 (Argentina- private stores only)
W Mission Hill Reserve Chardonnay ~ $18-$20 (BC, VQA)
If there is someone that I haven’t really covered please let me know either through the comments or via e-mail at email@example.com
Tune in every Saturday between 2 & 3pm for the Dork UnCorked Radio Hour.