June 2, 2017 § Leave a comment
Did you know that this year is the 25th Anniversary of the Great Canadian Beer Festival?
Gerry talks with me and Ryan about the history and stories that have built the Festival to being one of the world’s best. Enjoy!
May 14, 2017 § Leave a comment
Pick of The Week – May 13, 2017
We were crashing at my mother-in-law’s as we had put the house up for sale and it was open house weekend. My mother-in-law is more like a big sister to me and she happily indulges my adventurous streak when it comes to wine.
Armed with validation and freedom of having an hour to shop, I went looking for something I had never had before.
I strolled through the aisles of Everything Wine and saw many labels that seemed to want to convey the same thing – tradition. However they all said the same thing on the back; passion, quality, family, character. It was almost as if the back labels were all cut and pasted by the same person. Then I came upon the Envyfol.
At first I was a little suspect giving the weight of the bottle. It was a huge thick glass bottle normally associated with either top end wines ($40+), or really crappy wines that are desperately trying cover up the quality of the wine.
I read the back label and it was different from the rest. There was an element of authenticity that I may have read into it, but got me to trust that I was not about to be ripped off. Couple that with the playful, mischevious characters that, at the moment, I identified with, I happily grabbed the bottle and proceeded to check out.
The Envyfol is a GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) from the south of France, specifically the Languedoc region. As many of you know, this region is one of my favourites when it comes to finding wines that over deliver for the price. The Envyfol was no exception.
Pours black in the glass and shows generous aromas of black cherry, raspberry, and cassis fruits with hints of dried herbs, pepper and a delicate smokiness as if from as small, petite, fire of dried rosemary branches.
The palate was bright and brimming with ripe, fresh fruit. The finish was juicy and showed soft, well balanced tannins.
Overall this was a great find and something that not only over delivers but also a wine that I will happily buy again… even if it was $5 more.
Where: Everything Wine, French section
October 23, 2016 § Leave a comment
The data shows that household spending drops well below the annual average in the weeks following Thanksgiving up until the 3rd week of November.
The fact is that you don’t have to give a good glass of wine with dinner or after a hard day, you just have to find the best of the ones that fit your budget.
What follows is a list of 3 whites and 3 reds that provide great value and don’t break the bank.
Jean Louis Blancs de Blancs (Sparkling) – An everyday Sparkling wine. Yeah that’s right an everyday sparkling wine to celebrate life’s small victories. Delightful ripe apple and pear, a very decent mousse for the price. Just a fine glass of wine for the price. ~ Score 8.2/10 ($12.99-$14.99)
Cono Sur Gewurztraminer – For those who enjoy a lighter style wine that is a touch sweeter. This is a light bodied quaffer that shows flavours of lychee nut, white peach and pear. ~ Score 7.9/10 ($9.99 – $11.99)
Lindemans Bin 65 Chardonnay – A richer wine that embodies the sun of the country it comes from. Tropical fruit flavours with a touch of caramel on the finish. I love this wine as it has not really changed its price since the wine came into the market back in the early 90’s. ~ Score 7.8/10 ($10.99-$12.99)
Giacondi Sangiovese Merlot – Buy this one by the 1.5L (Magnum) as it works out to being about $6/Bottle. This wine is one of the most consistent and best values on the Market. Cherry, berry and plum flavours with a medium body. Do me a favour, let this wine breathe for 15-30min. before enjoying. If you do you will be handsomely rewarded. ~Score 7.9/10 ($11.99 1.5L)
Tocado Grenache – This is a super juicy, ripe wine and it will be tough to stop at one glass. Ripe raspberry, currant and blueberry flavours with a gentle soft palate. I know you can get this at Cascadia stores for $11.99 and $9.99 if you buy it by the case… and it is worth buying by the case. ~ Score 7.8/10 ($9.99-$11.99)
Terra Andina Carmenere-Syrah – I would be hard pressed to find another wine of structure that provides better bang for the buck. The Tocado above is all about juicy-ness and a soft palate, this wine has some structure and is filled with plum, blackberry and cassis. ~ Score 7.6/10 ($9.99- $12.99)
September 8, 2016 § 4 Comments
After a bit of a summer ending break I am back it and will have a number of posts in the coming weeks.
First will be my take on a new release wine out of the Okanagan (yeah, you want to get on this wine). Followed by some notes on tasting aged wines and then a review on a wine that you likely all remember, but have likely forgotten.
Anyway I will talk to you all soon.
July 20, 2016 § Leave a comment
Rock the Shores happens again this weekend and my long term colleague Glen Barlow has put together some great bevvie choices.
Among them is one of my favourite Rosés on the market right now, the 2015 Quill Rosé from Blue Grouse. Think of how beautiful it would be to listen to so awesome music while being warmed by the sun all with a glass of Rosé in hand- heaven and a little touch of what life is like in many other parts of the world.
Outside of the Quill Rosé, here is the list of beverage options this weekend.
Blue Grouse Quill White
Blue Grouse Quill Red
Blue Grouse Quill Rosé
Merridale House Apple
Merridale House Dry
Phillips Brewing Blue Buck
Phillips Brewing Analogue Kolsch
Phillips Brewing Pilsner
Phillips Brewing Bottle Rocket ISA
Phillips Brewing Shortwave
Phillips Brewing Raspberry Wheat
Phillips Brewing Electric Unicorn
Ready To Drink
Palm Bay Red Ruby Grapefruit
Jim Beam Bourbon & Lemonade
Jim Beam Green Apple & Soda
June 24, 2016 § Leave a comment
Wow! I don’t know about you but I was surprised and quite disappointed that the UK has voted last night to leave the European Union. There are lots of arguments on both sides but my disappointment lies in the inevitable increases in the prices of wine, beer, spirits and ciders; and yes I include locally produced products as well.
To put you at ease I don’t suspect that price increases will be see until the fall, but you can expect anywhere from a 5% to 10% increase on the shelf. It is not that the cost brewing or making wine has gone up, it is because the Canadian Dollar has dropped in value in relation to the Euro and the US Dollar meaning that our money doesn’t go as far.
It wasn’t that long ago that prices took a big increase when the price of a barrel of oil dropped, now Brexit will add to that pain.
Not only will that great buy at $10 become $11, but the selection with drop. Once a bottle of wine goes over $20 there is a 40% drop in its volume and that usually means an eventual #vinexit or #vexit from the market.
My advice is to find your favourite bottle and start buying up.