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Sea Star Spreads its Wings on Saturna

By |August 22nd, 2017|

Sea Star Rising A handful of wineries has sprung up on BC’s Gulf Islands over the last few years. Yet, none have impressed as much as Sea Star Estate Farm & Vineyards. The picturesque winery is perched on a bluff on North Pender Island (between Vancouver and Victoria). Its vines seem to march right down [...]

Argentina: Work Horse Wines Deliver Value

By |August 17th, 2017|

  Argentina in the spotlight Argentina is this month's focus at BC Liquor Stores. Special deals and free tastings celebrate the South American producer through September 2nd. It’s interesting how Argentina continues to broaden its appeal beyond Malbec—although, there’s no arguing with the success of the country’s favourite grape. Known for producing soft and supple [...]

Amovino: It’s How to Say ‘I Love Wine’

By |April 14th, 2017|

Amovino is the name of a new agency making its mark on the BC wine scene. It’s the brainchild of Jessica Luongo and Marisa Varas. They're a couple of smart, young women who decided to pool their experience and resources. I’ve been following this new enterprise with interest. I got to know Jessica Luongo during [...]

6 Good Value Wines to Celebrate Malbec World Day

By |April 4th, 2017|

Malbec is emblematic of Argentina. Every wine region has its own, ‘signature’ wine or style, blend or variety. The Germans remain Riesling champions of the world. Italy’s Veneto lays claim to the uniqueness of apassimento and Amarone. The Chileans still care about Carmenere (though less so, perhaps, these days). And the French have a lock [...]

Mirabel Vineyards Debuts its Premium Pinot

By |March 2nd, 2017|

Mirabel makes its mark A few months ago I was sitting in a corner by the cozy fireplace at Vancouver's Bacchus Lounge. I was there to meet Doug and Dawn Reimer. They were in town to preview their (inaugural) Mirabel Vineyards Pinot Noir 2015. In many ways the couple epitomize the new wave of Okanagan [...]

Icewine: Is it Worth it?

By |November 16th, 2014|

Icewine was in the news this week as the cold snap had wineries springing into action for the second earliest icewine harvest on record—the earliest being Nov 5th, 2003. Judging by comments from the Okanagan, this may well prove also to be one of the largest icewine harvests on record. That begs the question, is [...]

Casual Wine Tasting in a Toulouse Market

By |November 12th, 2014|

Casual tasting and wines by the glass at the market wine shop Travel, they say, broadens the mind. It also sharpens your perspective at home. A recent tasting in France found me thinking, once again, despite some progress, just how outdated BC’s liquor laws really still are, outdated—and ridiculous. We were in the Victor Hugo [...]

Which Wine Label Would You Choose ?

By |November 9th, 2014|

A spectacular vista of Rias Baixas Val do Salnés  coastline Bodegas Vionta (Rias Baixas) sports an impressive view (above). You can see that most of the vineyards in Val do Salnés are quite small, in fact the average size for all of Rias Baixas is .59 ha. There are 4,759 growers in this [...]

(oops) wine – A Cautionary Tale of Typography

By |October 1st, 2014|

(oops) wine label documents in detail the improbable but true story of how most of what used to pass for Merlot in Chile was actually Carmenère.

A chat with KWV Winemaker Izele Van Blerk 

By |August 8th, 2014|

Izele Van Blerk One thing about the wine biz: it’s always changing—and usually for the better. It’s been a few years since I was in South Africa. But I vividly recall a visit to KWV’s hallowed Cathedral Cellar, for so many years the heart of the ‘old’ South African wine industry. At the [...]

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