Posts Tagged ‘British Columbia wine’

Ooooooo Canada!

Posted by Julie

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Everyone is gearing up to celebrate Canada Day.  Across the country on July 1 there will be loads of free musical concerts, fireworks, carnivals, on BBQs and outdoor events of all sizes. Those of us spending the long weekend at a cottage, on a sailboat, on a golf course or on the backyard deck, here’s my suggestions on what to drink July 1 – all-Canadian of course!

Did you know…

….that Canada’s first commercial estate winery, Vin Villa, was established on Pelee Island (the southern most wine region in Ontario) in 1866?

….that 6 provinces in Canada have their own wine regions?

…that VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) on a bottle of Ontario or British Columbia wine means that it is the province’s “appellation of origin” system which define the grape-growing regions and set standards for the wines.


Let’s pop open some bottles!

The recent Vintages release at the LCBO has several suggestions for Canada Day. I was lucky to sample some & have also included my top picks of the LCBO’s General List products that you can enjoy on Canada Day…and for that matter all year round. My selection will take you from brunch to dinner with choices in between for a burst of invigoration.  Our Canadian wines and beer make us very proud!

Happy Canada Day,



From Nova Scotia…

Benjamin Bridge Nova 7  Sparkling 2016
(LCBO #256289)  $26.95

Aromatic and fresh with soft orchard fruit flavours, this sparkling wine with golden mousse offers lively acidity. Instead of a traditional champagne cork, the screwcap opens like a regular bottle of wine with a treat of effervescence flows into the glass. It is a perfect wine for brunch or mid-afternoon thirst quencher or to serve as an aperitif.  From quiche to seafood, it goes with everything.


From British Columbia….

Quail’s Gate Rose 2017
(LCBO #275842)  $19.95

If you like fresh rhubarb & strawberries, this rose wine tastes just like that!  It reminds me of the aromas & taste of the juicy ripe strawberries that have just been picked.  The problem  with this tangy & delicious wine is that it goes down too smoothly. I could sip this summertime wine all afternoon.


From Ontari-ari-ariooo…

These outstanding wines are always available & always reliable.

Kacaba Vineyards Unoaked Chardonnay VQA
(LCBO #326975)  $15.95

Mea culpa, I always encourage people to try something new but I confess…this is my go-to white wine. Pale in colour, loads of tropical fruit flavours, always crisp, always delivers. As I write this I am already thinking how nicely it will taste with my grilled chicken, some crusty bread and my everything salad for dinner tonight – how Canadian is that ?


Trius Sauvignon Blanc VQA
(LCBO #221804)  $15.95 (on sale for Canada Day weekend for $1 off)

If you are a fan of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, here is a home-grown Sauvignon Blanc that you definitely should to try. Zingy grapefruit, some lemon-lime flavours, it is crisp and light-bodied, a perfect afternoon sipper.  A great price point for this Canadian gem.


Featherstone Cabernet Franc VQA
(LCBO #64618)  $19.95

A few months ago I was looking for something different and an LCBO product consultant introduced this red wine to me. (Don’t ever underestimate the knowledge of LCBO consultants) I admit that I hesitated since Cabernet Franc is not a varietal I would normally seek out, however with every sip of this wine, I was NOT disappointed. Slightly floral on the nose, this is an impressive, smooth red wine with generous lively berry flavours.  Medium-bodied, this wine has enough weight to partner with grilled meat but light enough you could easily place it beside grilled salmon.

I’ve long been a fan of Featherstone wines, ever since I visited the winery along the Beamsville Bench (in Niagara) & saw sheep nibbling at the grape leaves in the vineyard.


The Foreign Affair Winery – The Conspiracy VQA
(LCBO #149237)  $19.95

This medium-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc is berry-rich. Made in the Ripasso style (grapes are air dried) increases volume and depth of flavour. It provides absolutely lip smacking goodness with steak or hamburgers, lamb burgers or a rack of ribs – sheer yum.


Heading to The County?

For those of you who are lucky to be visiting Prince Edward County on the Canada Day weekend, here’s my tips on where to go, because there are now over 40 picturesque wineries that it is next to impossible to visit them all – even during a long weekend.

Casa-Dea offers a lovely patio for lunch overlooking the vineyards with many of their wines not readily available at the LCBO.

Neighbouring winery, Rosehall Run Vineyards also has some award winners – especially their Pinot Noirs – there are always a collection of medallions hanging around the bottle’s neck.  And down the road there is the stunning country setting of The Grange Winery. This former cannery is one of the first wineries in The County. The huge barn is now a tasting room with views of a nearby stream and fields, you feel like you’ve have been transported back into pioneer days.

Finally, while idyllically meandering about The County, pop into Lighthall Vineyards in Milford & say “Hi” to a long time Savvy fan & friend – Glenn Symmons. He is the one-man-show running this winery with his top selling Progression sparkling wine made of 100% Vidal grapes.  That wine alone is worth the trip to The County just to pick up a few of those bottles. When you are down that way you, visit County Cider for a splash of something different and fill up at Fifth Town Artisan Cheese. Your taste buds will love you for it and with the wine you pick up while on tour, it will be one delicious Canada Day.

Check out our 101 Things to do in The County tips too!


Featured wines available at the LCBO…






















You’ll want to buy 2, 3 or 5 bottles of this wine!

Posted by Eva

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Brothers Kal and Nirmal Gidda opened Mt. Boucherie Family Estate Winery & recently celebrated their 10th anniversary. They are a true family business success story!  Located in West Kelowna’s Lakeview Heights area, this winery is only a five minute drive from downtown Kelowna, British Columbia across the scenic Okanagan Lake floating bridge.

Winemaker Jim Faulkner and his team, have grown Mt. Boucherie over the years to produce a total of 21 reds, whites and Icewines amounting to 25,000 cases!  Semillion is a rare grape variety in British Columbia vineyards, yet Jim has created a stunning wine.

Cheers & Enjoy!

Mt Boucherie Estate Collection Semillion VQA 2008, British Columbia

LCBO # 279364

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Full bodied white wine with smooth texture & aromas of fresh apple tart with a shortbread crust, beeswax with some refreshing acidity. Smooth texture in the mouth with a full bodied nutmeg & white pepper finish that goes on forever.

Food Pairing Suggestions: Serve with paella, blackened catfish, pan fried scallops or smoke salmon.

Want to buy this wine?  

Run. . . don’t walk to your nearest LCBO as this wine is now on the store shelves in Vintages.  We would strongly recommend to buy two or three or five! bottles because this wine will sell quickly. Once it is gone at the LCBO, you will have to contact the winery directly to arrange an order.  Enjoy!





If I only had $100, I would buy these wines at Vintages

Posted by Susan

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

If I only had $100, I would buy . . .
LCBO Vintages Release as of Saturday, March 19, 2011

The wines of the Iberian peninsula are featured in the March 19 LCBO Vintages release, including wines from Portugal’s Douro, Ribatejo and Alentejo appellations,  the well-known Rioja of Spain, as well as less familiar Spanish regions such as Rías Baixas and Toro. I found that there are some intense flavourful value-laden wines from both countries. Iconic wines of California are also featured, including such legends as Opus One, Dominus, and Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon – wines to contemplate and to cellar. A personal favorite is Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon – I had the opportunity to hear him speak about his philosophy of winemaking, and appreciate his focus on varietal character and terroir.

The main release includes a couple of fine wines from Ontario’s great 2007 vintage, some tasty Shiraz from Australia, a great Cabernet/Carmenère blend from Chile, as well as a very flavourful Perrin & Fils from the Rhône. I couldn’t resist adding an optional wine from B.C., Mission Hill’s Quatrain. An embarrassment of riches, but we’ve stayed within (just) our self-imposed limit of $100. I hope you enjoy my wine recommendations.


Cistus Reserva 2007
DOC Douro, Portugal
$18.95 (Vintages #145052) 14.5% alcohol
Aged 15 months in French, American and Hungarian oak, this is an old-vines blend of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional. Enjoy lifted aromas of sun-ripened berries, plums and notes of toffee and licorice. Approachable yet structured, harmonious and flavourful, this is a dry, delectable, medium-bodied wine displaying sweet ripe berry fruit, spice box and vanilla. Delightful notes of sweet cocoa and toast ripple through the fruity finish. To be savoured with hard cheeses or with robust meat dishes.

Leira Albariño 2009
DO Rías Baixas, Spain

$17.95 (Vintages #115816) 13.0% alcohol
A pale golden-green gem, this varietal of the Spanish northwest displays lovely fragrance—floral, citrus, mineral, and nuances of sweet stone fruit. Sweet stone fruit and citrus predominate on entry, the soft silky texture in counterpoint to lively acidity. Dry, medium bodied and tangy, the lasting finish offers a faint refreshing note of pithy citrus rind. Enjoy it with paella.


East Dell Sauvignon Blanc ‘Reserve’2009
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
$17.95 (Vintages #222174) 12.5% alcohol
Here’s an appealing, fresh, vibrant wine, offering lifted aromas of citrus, tree fruit, tropical notes and a whiff of nettle. Smooth in texture and sweetly fruity on entry, it’s an invigorating mouthful of tangy acidity and clean citrus, gooseberry and tree fruit flavours, wrapping up in a lengthy lively finish. A great choice with smoked fish or a salad garnished with goat cheese.


Inniskillin ‘Winemaker’s Series Montague Vineyard’ Pinot Noir 2007
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario

$24.95 (Vintages #997353) 13.0% alcohol
Cherry red, this is an impressive well-crafted wine with impact on the nose and palate, a fine expression of the 2007 vintage. The aromas are alluring and complex—earth, spice and ripe cherry/berry fruit. Dry, medium bodied, and smooth in texture, the tannins are ripe, the acidity lively. The intense fruit replays and persists through the dry finish with notes of sweet spice and toast, the earthiness a subtle presence. Savour a glass on its own, pair it with mushroom risotto, or cellar short term.


The Watcher 2008
Barossa Valley, Australia

$19.95 (Vintages #219196) 14.5% alcohol
This is a dense inky Shiraz, dry yet fruity, loaded with spice and dark berry fruit– blueberry and blackberry. Mid-weight, soft in texture and generous, the flavours are reminiscent of favorite jams—blackberry, cassis and raspberry—yet it displays good balance. There’s a dollop of pepper and toast layered on the rich fruity finish. 

Grand Total: $99.75



Wine worth the splurge:

Mission Hill Quatrain 2006
VQA Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
$44.95 (Vintages #218636) 13.0% alcohol

Named due to its blend of four varietals—Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon—this is a dry powerful full bodied wine, the grapes hand picked and sorted, then fermented and aged in French oak. Almost black, it’s so dense, there’s great depth and complexity of aroma and flavour—cassis, blackberry, plum, sweet spice. It all comes together with subtlety and finesse, well integrated tannins, subtle acidity balancing the intense fruit, a smooth and velvety texture. Enjoy the persistent aftertaste, savoury notes of dark toast and chocolate complementing the deeply flavourful fruit. Beautiful now and a candidate for medium-term cellaring.



More about my blog post: If I only had $100, I would buy…
There is a myriad of wines out there, so it’s often a challenge deciding what to select when the LCBO Vintages catalogue comes out every two weeks or so. Like a kid in a candy shop, your attention darts from one treat to another, but what to choose . . . Something to serve to your guests this weekend? Something to put away for a special occasion?

I recognize that each person’s tastes and preferences are unique. “If I had $100 . . .”, will be posted just prior to LCBO Vintages releases and will highlight unique wines I have tasted that provide good value; the selection will total no more than $100.

Occasionally, I may include an optional wine – you can substitute or add it for a little more or a little less! Print this off as your shopping list knowing that these wines have been selected by a Savvy Sommelier who has sipped, savoured & swirled countless wines before they arrived on the shelves in Vintages.  Hopefully you too will find a new favorite wine.  And when you do, quickly save your pennies to buy a bottle or two more.  Warning that once a wine is gone from a particular Vintages release, that vintage, and sometimes that wine, is gone for good!