Three new releases from an underrated BC winery, @liberfarmwinery!

If you missed my YouTube video, you can see it here.

Full disclosure: I really enjoy this winery. The wines are good, the prices are reasonable, and the owners are outstandingly friendly. What’s not to like?

They are embarking on a new journey; moving from their previous home in the Similkameen Valley to Osoyoos. For this year, you can book tastings on their website using this link, which will be outdoors at the new location. They are hoping to have the new location open fully next year.

Just to clear up any confusion: Their new address is 14000 BC-97, Osoyoos. When I type that address, it comes up correctly, just up the road from Blue Sky winery and also very close to La Stella. If I type in 14000 Highway 97, Osoyoos, Mapquest gives me an address North of Penticton, which is clearly not correct.

In addition to the three wines I reviewed, they have an extensive portfolio of delicious wines, including a drop-dead gorgeous Chardonnay that sees some oak, and a big, fat, delicious Bordeaux-style blend called “Rebil”, available to Wine Club members.

Here are my full reviews of the three wines tasted in the latest video:

That’s it for today! We are hoping to visit the new locale during our upcoming trip to the Okanagan, and if we can make that happen, there will be quite a few more reviews from this winery, you can bet on it.

Up next: Part two of our Rosé series is still ongoing, shouldn’t be too much longer now. Stay tuned!!

Cheap and Cheerful (mostly), Episode 2!

Cheap and cheerful, or cheap and pretty crappy, depending on which wine from my latest YouTube video (link is here if you missed it) we are talking about. Here are my reviews.

And, man, did that Monastrell ever collapse into itself during the three hours it was decanting. It was drinking fine after a half hour (my score is based on that timeframe), but at the three hour mark, it was barely palatable. So, I would recommend the ol’ “pop and pour” if you happen to drink one of those.

That’s it for today! Up next: Part 2 of the Rosé reviews. It’s underway, but I still have another 7-8 to taste before wrapping it up. Stay tuned!

Disney says “It’s a small world”, but that doesn’t seem to apply to the world of wine!

Admit it, you’ve got that song in your head now, dontcha?? You’re welcome.

So, this blog post is dedicated to that whole, huge world of wine far from our doors. OK not necessarily THAT far, but nothing from Canada in this report (I’ll do that separately).

This is the great stuff we’ve been drinking in the past few months that I have not yet reported on. We’ll take you down the coast to California, across the ocean to France, Germany and Italy, and finish up way down in Chile, with (spoiler alert), the best wine of the report.

Let’s get to it!

And….drumroll please……last, but certainly not least, the best of the bunch (and it’s a pretty good bunch):

That’s it for today! Not a bad bottle in the bunch, and some really special stuff.

Coming up! The BC stuff…yes, I still have lots of that to review! Stay tuned!

Everyone knows you can’t get amazing Bordeaux-style blends in the Fraser Valley, right? Not so fast.

***SPOILER ALERT*** This post started out being about this one wine, but before I got to post it last night, we enjoyed something that was EVER BETTER. I’ve left the original post intact, and added on to the bottom.

I first tasted this wine in 2013. That seems like a lifetime ago; so long ago that I was rating wine on a 10-point scale. It wasn’t until later that I moved to the more-traditionally 100-point rankings. At the time I gave this wine 9.5/10, which was more than likely a tie for the highest score I ever gave ANYTHING during my /10 days.

Last night on #BCWINECHAT, someone was asking about the best wineries in the Fraser Valley, and I mentioned that my favorite was Blackwood Lane, specifically for their high-end reds. This bottle was $99.99 when I bought it in 2013, and I believe the current vintage (which is 2013) sells for over $150 now. It’s a big ticket for a BC wine, and even more-so for a wine from the Fraser Valley.

And OMG it’s worth every penny.

Today, a prominent BC wine judge and writer who’s opinion I value mentioned to me that he had opened this very bottle about a month ago and although he thought it was still good, it wasn’t as good as it had been previously. He felt it had passed it’s peak a bit. So, it seemed like I’d been waiting for a good reason to open this beauty, and he had just given it to me!

Thankfully, my bottle had not (IMHO) passed it’s peak. It’s one of the best bottles of BC wine I have ever had. It’s going on my “best of the best” list (it was actually already there, based on the original 9.5/10 rating) officially now, and is tied with a handful of other top BC reds with the highest score I have ever awarded to a BC red wine. Ironically, the 2009 version of this wine, of which I have a bottle in my cellar, is also on the same list.

***UPDATE***

So, last night, we cracked open this incredible bottle of grape juice. At 22 years old, it could go to Vegas, bet all it’s money on Red 7, and then have to stay in a friend’s hotel room because it can’t afford it’s own room. Not that I would know anything about that particular confluence of events or anything.

This bottle came from a parcel I won at this year’s Vancouver International Wine Festival Bacchanalia auction. Due to the pandemic, the 2021 Festival was cancelled, and their annual Bacchanalia gala and auction went virtual. For $880 (including tax), I won 6 bottles of very well aged Chilean wine. This was the first one we have opened.

Wow. Just. Wow.

The only review I can find of this online was from Wine Enthusiast who scored it 90 points, way back in 2002. Let me tell you, the nineteen years since have made QUITE a difference. My wife and I were blown away. Not only is the fruit still singing, it was in a decanter for about four hours and it didn’t lose it’s edge. This bottle might not improve any further, but I believe it would still be drinking well in another decade.

Hoping that at least a couple of the other bottles from that parcel are as good as this one!

That’s a pretty good 1-2 punch of wine over the course of two days!!

BC Rosé reviews, part 1!

As an accompaniment to my latest YouTube video which you can see here if you missed it, here are reviews of the three wines tasted in the video and a bunch of other BC rosés we’ve tasted so far this year.

Last year, I did three separate blog entries on BC rosé, there were so many to try. We’ll see if this year brings us as many, but this post certainly won’t be the only one. Let’s get to it!

That’s it for today! There will be lots more Rosé to come, including a couple that are perennial contenders for “Best-BC-Rosé-of-the-year” honors, like Quails’ Gate Lucy’s Block and Cedarcreek’s Platinum Home Block.

Stay tuned!

Let’s talk about Albariño, a new favorite of ours. Three very different examples from three very different parts of the world!

Further to the video I posted a couple days ago which you can watch here if you have not yet seen it, here are my reviews of the three wines from the video, as well as one bonus review of a wine we enjoyed a little while ago.

My favorite one was actually none of the three from the video; it was this one.

Now, the three from the video:

That’s it for today! Up next, part 1 of my series on Rosé, focusing on but not exclusively wine from BC. Lots of other good stuff upcoming too. Stay tuned!

YAY for Chardonnay! A great weekend of Chard, including the best BC Chardonnay I have ever tasted!

For the ABC crowd out there……stop. Just stop. This isn’t 1995, and Chardonnay is generally not the big-huge butter bomb from California that started the ABC movement. You can still find those if you look, but it is so, so, so much more. There are beautiful expressions of this grape coming in all shapes and sizes, from all parts of the world. It’s inconceivable to me that there could be anyone who enjoys wine that cannot find a Chardonnay they love.

This past weekend, much good wine was enjoyed, but I am focusing this post on three Chardonnays in particular. OK, the first one isn’t a single-varietal Chardonnay, but it’s a Chard-heavy blend so that counts, dammit!

Next up, a reliable producer from South Africa, who never gets it wrong.

And, the pièce de résistance of this little blog entry, a spectacular Chardonnay from the Okanagan.

Next up: The rosé blog entry is underway (I will likely pair that with a video), and a video and blog entry regarding some very different styles of Albariño is also coming up. Stay tuned!

Cheap and Cheerful! Three bottles for under $30 each (including BC taxes). Were they good?

Last night I posted a new YouTube video that you can watch here if you have not already. Here are my full reviews of these wines.

Next up! Part 1 of my “BC Rosé” reviews, a video about Albariño, and lots of other random reviews of stuff we’ve been drinking over the past few weeks. Stay tuned!

An exciting 5-year vertical of Kitsch Wines Maria’s Block Riesling!

Last week, I posted a video where I tasted all 5 vintages of Maria’s Block Riesling from Kitsch Wines in Kelowna. If you missed it, here is a link to that video.

Below are the full reviews of these wines. In the video I ranked them “2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2019” but that’s not right, the 2015 was better than the ’16 for me.

Here they are!

That’s it for today! Coming up soon, the first installment in my usually-three-part series on BC Rose, as well as a lot of other good stuff. Stay tuned!

Who takes Oscar home in the weirdest year of movies in history??

I miss going to a movie theatre. There is no question about it. Having said that, it’s been pretty nice to be able to see almost every nomination-worthy movie from the comfort of my own home. And over the past year, these movies have been very therapeutic.

Here are the nominees for the 93rd Annual Academy Awards in all the major categories. Any nomination in BLUE indicates that I have not seen it. I present my predictions on who will win, along with who SHOULD win. Here we go!

Best picture

  • “Mank”
  • “Judas and the Black Messiah”
  • “The Father”
  • “Nomadland”
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
  • “Minari”
  • “Sound of Metal”
  • “Promising Young Woman”

Who will win: Nomadland has absolutely dominated the awards season and as much as I’d love to call for the upset here, I think it wins this one too. It’s very worthy.

Who should win: Minari. Nomadland was brilliant, my #2 movie of the year. But Minari was as close to perfection as a movie gets.

Best director

  • Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
  • Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
  • Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
  • David Fincher, “Mank”
  • Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round”

Who will win: Zhao has cleaned up, winning every prize available to her. No reason to overthink this, she’ll take this one too.

Who should win: Zhao. Directing a bunch of amateurs, with a script that featured a bunch of ad libbing, and creating this masterpiece? Give her a trophy.

Best actor in a leading role

  • Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
  • Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
  • Gary Oldman, “Mank”
  • Steven Yeun, “Minari”

Who will win: If it’s not Boseman, this would be the upset of the night.

Who should win: Hopkins’ transcendent performance as a dementia patient hit every note. It was a perfect performance. But Boseman was perfect too, and since we can’t cut the award in half, I’ll be one of the ones tearing up when Boseman’s wife accepts the award on his behalf.

Best actress in a leading role

  • Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • Andra Day, “United States vs. Billie Holiday”
  • Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
  • Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
  • Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”

Who will win: Davis, in the closest of votes. This is really a tossup, as Mulligan and McDormand were equally brilliant, and Day won the Golden Globe.

Who should win: Davis. The exclusion of “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” from the Best Picture nominees was a travesty, but if it wins both major acting awards, that’s a pretty good consolation prize.

Best actor in a supporting role

  • Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
  • Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
  • Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night in Miami…”
  • Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal”
  • LaKeith Stanfield, “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Who will win: Kaluuya has won everything this awards season. It’s possible he may split some votes with his screen mate Stanfield, who was equally as good. And maybe the fact that Kaluuya’s performance doesn’t belong in a supporting category (neither does Stanfield’s, to be honest) will hurt him and we will see a huge upset? But I am sticking with Kaluuya.

Who should win: Cohen’s portrayal of Abby Hoffman was so spot-on, and so vital to the success of the film, he’s my choice. But every one of these performances was fantastic.

Best actress in a supporting role

  • Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
  • Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
  • Olivia Colman, “The Father”
  • Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
  • Youn Yuh-Jung, “Minari”

Who will win: If there were any doubt a few weeks ago, when Yuh-Jung accepted the BAFTA award and called the Brits “snobby” (which she undoubtedly didn’t mean as an insult), that would have cemented it.

Who should win: I love Amanda Seyfried in an almost-inappropriate way, and she deserves to be recognized for her brilliant work here; but her lack of screen time and the tour-de-force performance by Yuh-Jung in the best movie of the year is my pick. Side note: Barring a major upset, Glenn Close is going to tie Peter O’Toole with the most Oscar acting nominations without a win. She will be 0-for-8.

Best original screenplay

  • Will Berson and Shaka King, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
  • Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
  • Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari”
  • Darius Marder and Abraham Marder, “Sound of Metal”
  • Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”

Who will win: Everyone, and I mean everyone, is predicting Emerald Fennell wins here. If there is an upset, it will be Sorkin, they say. Nobody has given Chung a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning this. They are all wrong.

Who should win: Chung, and it’s not really that close.

Best adapted screenplay

  • Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman and Lee Kern, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
  • Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller, “The Father”
  • Kemp Powers, “One Night in Miami…”
  • Ramin Bahrani, “The White Tiger”
  • Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”

Who will win: Hampton and Zeller get rewarded for a beautiful screenplay that at once confuses and invigorates the audience. Zhao gets her award in the directing category, and the screenplay isn’t the key to her film.

Who should win: Hampton and Zeller.

Best cinematography

  • “Judas and the Black Messiah”
  • “Mank”
  • “News of the World”
  • “Nomadland”
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Who will win: Nomadland by a mile.

Who should win: Ditto.

Best film editing

  • “The Father”
  • “Nomadland”
  • “Promising Young Woman”
  • “Sound of Metal”
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Who will win: Sound of Metal

Who should win: Sound of Metal

Best animated feature film

  • Onward”
  • “Over the Moon”
  • “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”
  • “Soul”
  • “Wolfwalkers”

Who will win: Soul

Who should win: Soul. Wolfwalkers was cute, but not in the same league.

Best animated short film

  • “Burrow”
  • “Genius Loci”
  • “If Anything Happens I Love You”
  • “Opera”
  • “Yes-People”

Who will win: If Anything Happens I Love You

Who should win: If Anything Happens I Love You. It’s beautiful, it’s tragic, it’s heartbreaking…sure, it goes over the top to manipulate your emotions, but that’s not always a bad thing. This is available on NETFLIX, seek it out. You won’t be sorry.

Best live-action short film

  • “Feeling Through”
  • “The Letter Room”
  • “The Present”
  • “Two Distant Strangers”
  • “White Eye”

Who will win: Two Distant Strangers

Who should win: See my comments about the animated short, and double them here. All of these short films were worthy, but this one will kick you in the nuts repeatedly and it’s something everyone should see. It perfectly encapsulates the world we currently live in.

Best production design

  • “The Father”
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • “Mank”
  • “News of the World”
  • “Tenet”

Who will win: I’ll have to go with Mank here. It’s an excellent film, it had the most nominations, I can’t imagine it goes home with absolutely nothing, does it?

Who should win: Mank.

Best costume design

  • “Emma”
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • “Mank”
  • “Mulan”
  • “Pinocchio”

Who will win: As much as the Academy loves big frocks in period pieces like Emma, the dazzling costumes in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will prevail.

Who should win: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best documentary feature

  • “Collective”
  • “Crip Camp”
  • “The Mole Agent”
  • “My Octopus Teacher”
  • “Time”

Who will win: This is a tough call between Collective (which is only the 2nd film in history to be nominated here and also in the Best International Film category) and My Octopus Teacher, which has rightfully become a Netflix favorite. Collective is an important watch; My Octopus Teacher is a feel-good delight of nature. I will lean towards the feel-good here and go with the Octopus.

Who should win: Collective

Best documentary short subject

  • “Collette”
  • “A Concerto is a Conversation”
  • “Do Not Split”
  • “Hunger Ward”
  • “A Love Song for Latasha”

Who will win:

Tough one for sure. Difficult to go against the Academy’s affinity for Holocaust stories, so Collette.

Who should win: A Concerto is a Conversation. But Collette was also fabulous.

Best sound

  • “Greyhound”
  • “Mank”
  • “News of the World”
  • “Soul”
  • “Sound of Metal”

Who will win: Sound of Metal. I mean, it has Sound right in the title.

Who should win: Sound of Metal. It’s really what the entire movie is about, and it’s very, very well done.

Best visual effects

  • “Love and Monsters”
  • “The Midnight Sky”
  • “Mulan”
  • “The One and Only Ivan”
  • “Tenet”

Who will win: By all accounts, this is Tenet’s to lose.

Who should win: Of the two I saw, The One and Only Ivan made a bunch of animals look pretty life-like.

Best makeup and hairstyling

  • “Emma”
  • “Hillbilly Elegy”
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • “Mank”
  • “Pinocchio”

Who will win: Oscar loves a period drama like Mank, but Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a shoo-in here I think. If you’ve seen Viola Davis in it, you know why.

Who should win: Ma Rainey.

Best international feature film

  • “Another Round”
  • “Better Days”
  • “Collective”
  • “The Man Who Sold His Skin”
  • “Quo Vadis, Aida”

Who will win: Another Round is the consensus, has the most recognizable star (Mads Mikkelson) and is really, really good.

Who should win: Quo Vadia, Aida is just as heartbreaking as you might imagine a movie about Serbia in 1995 might be. I actually loved every movie that I saw in this category.

Best original score

  • “Da 5 Bloods”
  • “Mank”
  • “Minari”
  • “News of the World”
  • “Soul”

Who will win: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have two chances here, having scored Soul and Mank, and I believe they will win for Soul (along with co-nominee Jon Batiste).

Who should win: Soul

Best original song

  • “Fight for You,” from “Judas and the Black Messiah”
  • “Hear My Voice,” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
  • “Husavik,” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”
  • “Io Sì (Seen),” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)”
  • “Speak Now,” from “One Night in Miami…”

Who will win: I literally have no clue, there are no great options here. I’ll say that the Academy finally gives the award to Diane Warren (currently 0 for 12) just because there are no better options? Even though it’s in Spanish and nobody saw the film? I’ll go with that, Io Sì.

Who should win: Husavik. I mean, it actually takes place in the film, and the other four all start at the beginning of the closing credits. Plus, it’s a decent enough song, in a year without a really good one.

Well, that’s it, let’s see how I do!

GO MINARI !!!!!!