Scrap Book 2012 Red Blend

February 25, 2015 § 1 Comment

imagePrice: $13.99

I recall the days where the majority of BC’s wine consumers considered that BC couldn’t make red wines. Then came the criticism that BC wines were to expensive. With that in mind I was eagerly anticipated tasting a VQA wine that I found at Everything Wine called Scrapbook Red Blend.

The wine provided me with an interesting conflict. It is not a style that I like, however I know that there is a ton of consumers out there that love this type of wine especially when it is compared to California wines likes Apothic.

For me this wine is dead average, however it is every bit as good as Apothic which is priced at $16.99. My recommendation is that if you are a lover of Apothic, Cupcake Red Velvet, Carnivore, Insomnia, etc. then save yourselves a few bucks and enjoy Scrapbook, however if you are like, and are looking for more than sweet fruit in your glass, then give this wine a pass.

Tasting Notes Sipping: The colour is dark, blood red and the aromas are of crushed berries with a hint of vanilla. The palate is juicy, of medium weight and finishes with sweet juicy fruit.

Tasting Notes with Food: I had this wine with grilled steak and it was a decent match. The wine held up and certainly didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the meal.

Value: As I mentioned, this wine is a decent value in relation to the likes of Apothic, Cupcake, etc. and I would suggest seeking this out as an alternative to those.

Added Value: This wine has added value as a Crowd Pleaser and perhaps a BBQ Wine.

Score: 6.8 – Dead Average

Service: Twist off the cap and off you go.

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot

Store Section: BC/VQA

Appellation: Okanagan Valley

Available: Everything Wine

Alcohol: 13.5%

Grilos 2012 Dao

February 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

Price: $14.99 IMG_0726

Have you ever done this? Gone into the Liquor Store with a specific purpose like “Washington, red between $12-$16”, and come out with something completely different? That was me this past weekend. I thought I would get something ‘SuperBowl-ish’ from Washington State to show my support for the Seahawks (can you believe that last play call!?). I can’t say what grabbed my attention about this wine, maybe it was the packaging, maybe it was because it looked a little lonely being the only Portuguese wine in a sea of others. Perhaps it was the underdog and I always cheer for the underdog (yes, I’m a Canucks fan. To be one you have to cheer for the underdog).

As I got home doubt had crept in. It was Sunday night, special dinner, had I just wasted $14? How was I going to explain this to my wife and kids if I had. Oh my god what have I done!?

Finally, after a crappy end to the game, the moment of truth arrived.

Tasting Notes Sipping: The colour is medium ruby red and the aromas feature plum, black cherry, just a hint of oak and spice. The palate is of medium weight, fresh, with just a touch of tannin or grip on the finish. Flavours of plum, cherry and some dried herbs. Not very complex for $14.99 hence the dead average rating.

Tasting Notes with Food: Being Super Bowl Sunday dinner was a mish mash of a number of things. There was some proscuitto, some English & Irish cheddar, Spinach Salad, and some leftover pork tenderloin. I tried the wine with each of the ‘tapas’ and I have to say the wine kind of cowered from the food. Given its ‘okay-ness’ as a sipping wine, I really hoping to see it shine through some more, at least with the pork tenderloin and cheese.

Value: This is an okay wine, but I think there are better values in the same price range. In fact if you want Portugal I would go after the Periquita for $9-$10.

Added Value: Given that the wine is a blend of only Portuguese grapes, this is a great wine for the Foodies or to explore. Although for $14.99 it didn’t blow me away, it is well made, there is varietal character and it would interesting for those looking to explore.

More To The Story: The verdict is that the wine was pretty average, thus I don’t feel that I threw my money away, I’m glad I had the experience, however like you I want more for my money, especially as the price of gas seems to be on the rise again.

One thing this wine did do that I have to give it credit for, it was able to transport me to a cafe in Porto that overlooks the Douro river and the many Port houses on the south bank. I saw myself sitting across from my wife on a pleasant late spring day. We were enjoying the sun on our faces, the pleasure of the moment that wrapped together the flavours of the olives, local cheeses, small plates of fish and meats, the view, the pace of the river and of course each other. For this I am greateful to the Grilos.

Score: 5.6  – Dead Average

Service: Pull the cork and let it breathe for 30 minutes or run it through your Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator
a couple of times.

Grapes: Touriga Nacional. Tinto Roriz, Joen

Store Section: Portugal

Appellation: Dao

Available: BC Liquor Stores

Alcohol: 13.0%

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One Chain ‘The Wrong’un’ 2013 Shiraz-Cab

February 3, 2015 § 2 Comments

Price: $14.99IMG_0725

As you know I am a cork dork, so one of my favourite things to do is walk down the aisles of various liquor stores and pick a wine solely on the quality of the label. Part of the reason I like to do this is because sometimes you hit a home run, where the beauty and attractiveness of the label are matched by what is inside. Sadly, this wine showed itself to be less than what the label promised, especially when you consider it gave itself an A+ for quality (bottom right of the label).

Tasting Notes Sipping: The colour is medium crimson with dark ruby in the center. The aromas are simple spicy red and dark fruits with some hints of oak. The palate is lighter than expected and featured many of the same flavours as were on the nose. This wine is pretty straight forward and not very complex, certainly not the complexity that is good to great value at $14.99.

Tasting Notes with Food: I had this with roasted Pork Tenderloin basted with a very simple, mustard & taragon mixture (the trick is to add some maple syrup so that you get some caramelization). The wine was over powered by the dish and it wasn’t because of the mustard. It seemed to shy away from showing itself.

Value: The value here is to save yourself some money and pick up either the Rosemount Grenache-Shiraz or trade up to Penfold’s Shiraz-Cabernet (previously reviewed).

Added Value: I’m not sure when this wine would shine best, perhaps as a BBQ wine.

More To The Story: Did you know that there have been numerous studies that show that 98% of people choose their wines based on the label? Certain colours convey different emotions. Classic ‘french’ style labels show higher perceived value. High contrast labels are primarily created for retail shops, whereas minimalist labels are ideal for the restaurant table. There is a ton of psychology that goes into each label, sadly, this, sometimes is at the expense of what is in the bottle.

Score: 5.8  – Dead Average

Service: Twist the cap and let it flow.

Grapes: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon

Store Section: Australia

Appellation: South Eastern Australia

Available: BC Liquor Stores

Alcohol: 14.0%

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Voga Pinot Grigio

January 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 5.9 – Dead Average2015/01/img_0711.jpg

Price: $14.99

This wine sits at the top end of Dead Average (high praise indeed) as it has improved from the wine flavoured water that it was a few years back.

Tasting Notes Sipping: The nose shows some lifted lime and lemon which are to be expected from Italian Pinot Grigio. The palate shows some additional flavours of peach, apple and pear. It is a clean and fresh wine, but I expect this at $14.99+.

Tasting Notes with Food: I had this wine with what my daughter calls Veal Style Chicken, which is simply substituting Chicken breast for veal in a Vitello al Limone recipe (relatively light meal). The palate became muted and only showed hints of fruit. The good news is that the acidity was up to the task which allowed my palate to remain fresh, thus the whole experience was made better.

Value: I think there are better values out there. I would trade up in price to Villa Theresa Organic Pinot Grigio at$15.99, it’s worth it. I also think a lateral move to the Gabbiano Pinot Grigio (Private Stores $14.99) is a better choice. The Montalto Pinot Grigio is not as good a wine but the $4 savings makes it a better value.

Added Value: Where this wine might offer some added value is as a Wedding Wine as the packaging is pretty damn good.

More To The Story: Pinot Grigio, until recently, was an everyday white wine commonly drank in the northern half of Italy (North of Tuscany). Following the massive move by the consumer from big rich opulent Chardonnays, Italian Pinot Grigio’s saw a huge up swing in popularity as did New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Both wines offer clean, crisp, zippy flavours and texture, but Pinot Grigio is commonly a couple of bucks less.

What happens when there is a huge upsurge in a product? There are millions of copy cats trying to tag along for the ride. As it turns out the market is now filled with pretenders, so be careful.

Service: Chill it down to close to cold and let it rip. Serve with light olive oil pastas, Tilapia and lighter chicken dishes.

Grapes: Pinot Grigio

Store Section: Italy

Appellation: Northeast (Alto Adige, Trentino, Fruili)

Available: BC Liquor Stores

Buy Online:

Alcohol: 13%

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El Bar Argentino 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

January 18, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 5.3 – Dead Average2015/01/img_2212.jpg

Price: $8.99

About the Wine: A very light nose, even after waiting a few minutes. Some crushed red berry and a hint of mocha. The palate is what I would have expected from an $8.99 wine; simple, one-dimensional, uninspired. All in all this is a pass for me; there are better options under $9.99 with which to spend my money.

The wine did show much better with food, in this case Spaghetti Bolognese.

Value: This wine is apart of BC Liquor Stores Savvy Shoppers displays and with that in mind, I would strongly suggest spending the extra $1 and get the La Vuelta Malbec.

Added Value: As I noted above this wine is at its best with a Comfort Foods meal. Specifically one that has lots of carbs and protein.

Service: Twist off the cap and let it flow.

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon

Store Section: Savvy Shoppers Displays

Appellation: Mendoza

Available: BC Liquor Stores

Alcohol: 13.5%

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Copper Moon Pinot Grigio

January 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 5.0 – Dead Average2015/01/img_0679.jpg

Price: $9.69

About the Wine: Take a can of fruit cocktail out of the cupboard, add a 1/2 ounce of vodka and you will have duplicated this wine. The reason that I gave this a Dead Average rating is simply because of its popularity. It is a hugely popular wine and I’m a firm believer that the ultimate value of a wine is on the palate of the beholder.

Value: The value here is that there are others out there that give you better value for your money. For $1 more you can get some really good Pinot Grigios, a good example  is the Dunavar Pinot Grigio from Hungary. If you only want to spend $10 then get the Obikwa Sauvignon Blanc (South Africa), Robertson Sauvignon Blanc (South Africa), or Hardy’s Chardonnay (Australia). It’s a buck more but offers more fresh fruit, character and flavour but the Hardy’s Riesling-Gewurztraminer, is a much better spend.

More To The Story: Clearly not one of my favourites or something that I would suggest people spend their money on. Part of the reason for this is that I don’t believe in a wine like this. This is a blend of Pinot Grigio juice that is imported in bulk bladders from around the world, poured into bottles or boxes with a ‘Canadian’ label and called Canadian. To give the consumer the perception that this is a Canadian wine is false. A standard should be created where a minimum percentage of the wine must be from Canadian grapes in order for a wine to be called Canadian or Cellared in Canada.

Service: Chill it down… a lot

Grapes: Pinot Grigio

Store Section: Cellared In Canada

Available: BC Liquor Stores, Everything Wine, Cascadia Liquor Stores, Beverly Corners Liquor Store, Liquor Express, Most Private Liquor Stores

Buy Online: Everything Wine, Metro Liquor Stores

Alcohol: 12.0 %

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Apothic Red

January 5, 2015 § Leave a comment

Score: 5.7 – Dead Average/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/4dc/16438419/files/2015/01/img_0646.png

Price: $16.99

About the Wine: A total juice bomb. It is the quintessential hedonistic wine and it was designed to be. So popular that it has become the standard by which an ocean of also-rans are measured. The nose is blackberry, black plums and vanilla, with some significant oak underpinnings. The palate is round, soft, juicy and filled with sweet fruits and pie pastry. The finish is sweet and juicy and that is about it. This wine sacrifices complexity for sweetness and there are many wines on the market that show ripe juicy fruit and offer complexity for the same or better price, therefore this wine is dead average… at best.

Value: The real value in this wine is its social value. Its popularity attracts more to the crowd with each passing year.

Added Value: Where this wine shines is as a crowd pleaser. Its simple straightforward juice bomb nature makes it an easy quaffer whiles its popularity means easy acceptance.

Service: Nothing too complicated here, just twist the cap and start to pour. For food I would suggest milk chocolate or big thick steak with potatoes.

Grapes: Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon

Store Section: California

Appellation: California

Available: BC Liquor Stores, Everything Wine, Cascadia Liquor Stores, Hillside Liquor Store, Liquor Planet, Private Liquor Stores, Liquor Express, Metro Liquor, Beverly Corners Liquor Store

Buy Online/Deliver To Your Door: Everything WineMetro Liquor

Alcohol: 13.1%

 

 

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