Great food, great friends, great wine. What else IS there??

Last weekend we attended a fabulous wine event at some friends’ house. Everyone brought a bottle of wine (or several bottles in some cases) and we all got to taste some excellent wine. Included was an Amarone that was born in the last decade of great music: The 80’s!!

Also included is a BC wine from a grape that I had never heard of until this evening. I had to Google it.

That’s a pretty great lineup!!

To start, I brought a couple bottles of a wine that I have tried several times and have never been impressed with. I left the other bottle behind for anyone who liked it more than I did. It’s the first and only vintage of this wine, and for good reason, IMO.

So now we come to the bizarre portion of the evening. My old high school friend, who owns Blasted Church winery, brought a bunch of his wares including almost every one of their lesser-known wines. This one, in particular, sent me to Google to look up the grape:

<<A family of closely related varieties found Northern Italy and neighboring Slovenia with genetic links to the grapes of Valpolicella. Wines range in body and style but usually feature deep color and elevated acidity.>>

So, OK, let’s see what it’s like!

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming of grapes I have heard of 🙂

Next up, my choice for wine of the night. It so happens to be one of the wines I brought. We picked this up at auction during the Vancouver International Wine Festival in 2021; there was no actual festival that year, of course, but they still held the auction and I paid $800 for a lot of 6 well-aged wines from Chile. Four of them were just terrific, one was corked, and this was the last of the lot. This lot was a real treat, worth every penny.

And the last table wine of the night, an Australian beauty that our host picked up at a recent auction. It’s usually Grenache-heavy but this particular vintage had more Shiraz.

To finish up a beautiful evening, a little dessert wine that I brought along!

What a fabulous night of great food, friends, and wine. Nights like this are tough to beat!

Next up! Still have to finish off last month’s Okanagan trip, and also have to give the scores for the rosés from my latest vlog. Stay tuned!!

Next stop on our Okanagan trip features one of the best Pinot Noirs you will EVER have, @FoxtrotVineyard !

As we wind down our first day, we pay our first visit to a new tasting area at Foxtrot Vineyards. It’s a hot one today, and we are greeted by a lovely patio area and an impressive wind, which helps to cool us down without causing any real issues (but there had been issues earlier in the day with the wind blowing down their umbrellas!)

Let’s get right to the delicious wine!

As I said in my video (click here to watch if you have missed it), that’s what Pinot Noir is supposed to taste like, folks!

To the hotel for the evening, and we are starting tomorrow with a morning tasting, our first, at Roche Wines! Stay tuned!

The second stop on our Okanagan tour is our inaugural visit to @VanWestenWine!

Our first appointment of the day takes us to an area we’ve never visited before, and after some confusion driving (seriously, a sign or two wouldn’t hurt??) we arrive at our destination: Van Westen Vineyards! We are the only ones in the tasting room (although another group would join us halfway through our tasting) and our guide is friendly and knowledgeable. OK, also so talkative that it was impossible to include this tasting in my vlog, but this will just have to do!

Next up! Another ‘first’ for us, as we head up the hill to a newly-opened tasting room at Foxtrot Vineyards! Stay tuned!

Okanagan Trip report begins at a winery we haven’t visited in a few years, @8th_Generation !

Last weekend we had a little whirlwind trip to the Okanagan. Just two nights, but we fit some nice tastings into those two days! We started with an impromptu stop at 8th Generation. For a full look at the tasting, check out my YouTube channel, as the video is uploading as we speak. I’ll have full reviews of the wines here as well.

That’s it for today! Check out the video on my YouTube channel, and stay tuned for the rest of the reviews. Next up: our first visit to Van Westen!

2021 Roses, Part III! Full reviews and scores from all the wines enjoyed in my last vlog!

If you missed my last YouTube video (check it out here), I tasted through a bunch more 2021 roses; several from France, and a bunch from BC. Some were really good, some were not. Below are the full reviews and scores.

And I’ll finish this off with two that should NEVER have been released to the public, IMO.

That’s it for today! Hope you go out and try one of these that you might not be familiar with (uh, the good ones, obviously!).

Next up! Lots more good stuff we’ve been drinking recently to report on, and the fourth and final installment of my 2021 roses vlog and blog will come in the not-too-distant-future. Stay tuned!

My series “Various Varietals” Volume 4 is up, and here are the reviews! You may have heard of the grape: Cabernet Sauvignon

Of course you’ve heard of it, it’s the most widely planted grape in the world. Last week, I tasted through NINE different examples from all over the world, and you can check out the video here, if you have not already. Here are the scores, including a real doozy at the end!

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That was quite a tasting! Not a bad wine in the bunch, and that Quilceda Creek is one I am going to remember for a lonnnnnnnnng time!

Up next: Episode three of my annual 2021 Rose reviews! Stay tuned!

Random update of some great stuff AND I AM FINALLY COMPLETELY CAUGHT UP!!!

Well, who knew there would be such an advantage to being up at 5 AM on a Sunday? Time to hop into a nice, long soak in the tub and bring along my notes and my computer and finally get caught up on everything I had not yet got around to reviewing. Here they are!

Let’s start here, in BC, with some real treasures and a couple that perhaps didn’t live up to expectations.

And here’s a very tasty, very reasonably priced gem from Bordeaux!

Now let’s hop down the coast to California, for some really great stuff, as usual!

And, to finish up today’s big update, a somewhat rare varietal from Washington State!

That’s it for today! Finally all my notes have been exhausted, and I can keep up with reviews of wines as we drink ’em!

Up next: I have two vlogs underway; the third installment of my 2021 rosé reviews, and Episode 4 of my “Various Varietals” series where I talk about, and taste a bunch of, a varietal you might have heard of: Cabernet Sauvignon.

As for the blog, those reviews will show up here as well after the vlogs are posted, and of course, everything else we drink this summer that doesn’t necessarily make the YouTube channel will appear here as well. We are hoping it’s going to be a great summer of wine! Stay tuned!

In the Fraser Valley we ask the age-old question: If a horse whispers in the woods, does it make good wine??

If I am not mistaken, the first time I heard there was an Estate winery in Chilliwack (technically in Yarrow, which is a little town just a few minutes West of Chilliwack), my reaction was something along the lines of “good luck with that”. That was probably 5-6 years ago. But, a couple of years ago, a fellow wine enthusiast whose palate I respect mentioned on a Facebook wine group that she had been to this winery, and the wines were good. At that point, I moved it from “good luck with that” to “I’ll have to check those out”. Well, that day was last weekend.

On the 10th Anniversary of the planting of the first grapes that would eventually feed Whispering Horse Winery, the wife and I made the 10-minute drive to check out a special “new release” event. They were releasing three new wines, all made from hybrid grapes which thrive in a cooler climate and are planted at the Estate. They have only two vinis vinifera varietals planted: Dornfelder (which originates in Germany) and Pinot Gris. Neither of those were available to taste on this trip, so I guess we’ll just have to go back and try those next time they are available!

We are introduced to Melissa, who, along with her husband, are the whole damn show, running the winery from top to bottom. That’s not to say they don’t have friendly and knowledgeable staff helping them out, and we met some of them at the tasting event, but make no mistake, it’s a small, family-run operation. Melissa was delightful, and clearly very passionate about her product. So, let’s get to the wines and see just how good they are!

First up, a sparkling made from the only one of these hybrid varietals that I had ever tasted before, L’Acadie. I tasted some of these wines from Nova Scotia at the Vancouver International Wine Festival a few years back. I don’t remember them at all, which generally means they weren’t great and weren’t terrible. I tend to remember wines that fall into either of those categories!

Next up, a grape called “Epicure” that is normally found in Europe. Created by a Swiss geneticist.

Now here is the still version of the L’Acadie.

Last, but certainly not least, the “off-dry” member of the family, from a grape called La Crescent that was developed in Minnesota and is often found in the Eastern United States, particularly the Finger Lakes region of New York.

We bought a bottle of this and, along with the charcuterie box that we had pre-purchased (which was just fantastic, BTW), headed outside for a little picnic along with our pooch. They are dog-friendly, as all wineries SHOULD be by now. We were certainly very impressed with the quality of the wine, and the people. If you are in the Fraser Valley, you have to go check these guys out, and if you live elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, I recommend you make a day of it and pay them a visit. You won’t be sorry!

Next up: I’m starting to compile more 2021 rosés for the third installment of my annual rosé reviews, including a couple new ones from France! Also, we have been enjoying some good stuff lately that I will report on shortly. Stay tuned!

Full reviews and scores from SEVEN BC rosés features in my last vlog!

Last week I posted a vlog where I tasted through seven more 2021 rosés, all from BC. If you missed it, you can watch it at this link.

Below, I’ve given my full reviews and scores of all seven wines!

That’s it for today! There will be at least one more rosé blog and vlog (I haven’t had ANY from Provence yet, not to mention there are lots of BC ones still to come), but next up I have reviews of new wine from an Estate winery here in my hometown of Chilliwack! OK technically it’s in Yarrow, which is a few minutes West of Chilliwack, but close enough. Stay tuned!

Reviews of three NEW BC wines, plus a bunch of other good stuff we’ve been drinking!

Last week I posted a vlog where I tasted through three current vintage BC wines. If you missed it, you can find that video at this link.

Below, I’ve given my full reviews and scores for those three wines. All are of excellent quality, as expected.

I enjoyed making that video, and expect that I will do more of that in the future.

As a bonus, here are a bunch of reviews of wines we’ve been enjoying recently that I have not yet reported on:

That’s it for today! Coming up: The full reviews from part 2 of my “2021 BC rosés vlog” (if you haven’t yet seen that video, you can find it at this link) will be up shortly! Stay tuned!