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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 [...]

5 Good Reasons to Re-think (and Drink) Portugal

By |June 1st, 2014|

Portugal's stunning Douro Valley. These days, though, there's a whole lot more to Portugal than Port. Portugal is back in the table wine game with a vengeance. No better proof of that than a recent Vancouver  visit by a couple of score of key producers. Judging by the excitement in the room the [...]

Hail Mary: Making the Most of Adversity

By |May 23rd, 2014|

The View's Hail Mary white blend. More than just a wing and a prayer Yesterday’s BC Bloom spring release tasting yielded up a wealth of wines, especially in the category of decent white blends, which I’m gearing up for summer. (We also judged a whole bunch of them at the All Canadian Wine [...]

7 Wines to Rekindle Your Love Affair with Kiwi Pinot Noir

By |May 7th, 2014|

A range of great Pinots from around New Zealand One of my most memorable moments in New Zealand came when Peter Yealands proudly assured me there were now more vines than sheep, which seemed a good thing. Peter knows a thing or two about sheep: he brought in the first Baby Dolls—Australian miniatures [...]

Brent Marris: Renewing an Old Acquaintance over Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc

By |March 20th, 2014|

The last time I met Brent Marris—the man behind Marlborough’s The Ned, The Kings series, and a whole lot more—was almost exactly 20 years ago. He was part of a New Zealand trade mission that came to Vancouver. At the time, Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc was in the early stages of its remarkable ascent and the [...]

Toasting the New Year in The Right (Riedel) Glass

By |January 4th, 2014|

Waterford's pretty but ... Does the right glass really matter? You bet it does! Because we have a such a busy holiday season and Christmas, over the years, a restful, decidedly lazy New Year’s Day has become our tradition. Often we move little more than from the couch to the fridge—to extract more [...]

10 Fizzy Faves for the Holidays: Hired Belly’s Best Bubbles

By |December 14th, 2013|

Champagne flutes await at Cornucopia Bubbles forever!    © Tim Pawsey photo  Over here at HB's swank, granite and glass adorned, soaring corporate HQ, we’ve been busy popping a few corks, drafting our list of go-to holiday bubbles. Sparkling wines (and Champagne for some a few  most occasions) are a must-have this time of year. [...]

The Must-Have Value List: 2014 Vancouver Magazine Wine Awards

By |December 3rd, 2013|

  The rosé flight. Every home should have one! I’m working on a redesign for hiredbelly.com wine recommendations, which will include all of the Belly’s Best selections as they run elsewhere. It’s time consuming but I think will be worth the wait and effort. In the meantime, here’s a link to the best [...]

Kamloops’ first winery, Harper’s Trail Releases Inaugural Cabernet Franc

By |November 19th, 2013|

Harper’s Trail has released its inaugural Cab Franc—and my guess is it will get plenty of attention. Well, it should anyway. In fact, you could file this under “One more reason why Cab Franc could be BC’s defining red variety.” I do think this is a ground-breaking wine. If you had asked people a decade [...]

What’s in a Blend? Don’t Ask Kevin Grant!

By |September 22nd, 2013|

What’s in a blend? Why worry? One of the many interesting people I met at Beautiful South in London last week was winemaker Kevin Grant. He and his wife Hanli own Ataraxia in Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, on a ridge overlooking the stunningly beautiful, cooler coastal region—whose name (which means "Heaven on Earth") kept popping up during [...]

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