Archive for February, 2018

Wineries and Wines to Look For At the Evening Tastings

February 28, 2018

The popular International Festival Tastings are up next at the Vancouver International Wine Festival!

But with over 170 wineries and over a thousand wines to choose from, let me give you a few safe bets for the evening.


As co-host country, lots too choose from, but don’t ignore the obvious – Vintage Port! All the major producers are there, including Fonseca, Nieport, Dow’s, Warre’s, Graham’s and Taylor Fladgate. With at least one Vintage Port per, you can’t go wrong!


The other host country, and I would go ‘old school’, which means Rioja! Two solid producers – Marques de Murrietta and Marques de Riscal – are with some of their old Gran Reservas. A different style perhaps – lots of wood – but smooth, baby!


Not as many of my favourite local wineries this year, but one to definitely ty is Moon Curser! In particular, their Syrah – a Cotes du Rhone clone that is a killer value at $25.


Similarly, fewer producers than normal, but a couple of notable Rhone wineries to check out. Domaine de Cristia has their 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape to taste, a good wine from a great vintage. And northern Rhone specialist Jean Luc Colombo has at least one single vineyard Cornas, so make a bee-line for his booth.



Finally, our wine friends to the south! A couple of old reliables are there – Beringer and Robert Mondavi – so go taste some Cabernet Sauvignons.


But the ‘find’ may well be the Washington State winery K Vintners. They make amazing Syrahs, some of which are achieving cult status.


So there you go – a Wine Festival cheat sheet. Enjoy!




February 15, 2018

It’s almost here…the 2018 Vancouver International Wine Festival!

Lots to talk about and choose from, but today I am going to focus on a few events to go to (and will talk about wineries/wines to taste next week).

First off, with Spain and Portugal the “focus” countries, I hoped there would be Port tastings…and there are three great ones to choose from! “The Fladgate” will focus on the vintage Ports of both Taylor Fladgate and Fonseca, two of the top Port houses. “Graham’s: A Port Dinner” is actually a dinner, which is something I wouldn’t normally expect, so should be interesting especially since it is at La Bodega on Main Street (the best Tapas restaurant in the city).

But “Dow’s: A Legendary Producer” is the tasting I am going to and will review. The line up of vintage Ports looks amazing, which includes wines from 2011, 2003, 2000, 1985 and 1970 (can’t wait for the last one – how many times do you get to try a 48 yr old wine!).

My next recommendation is actually from France…a wine dinner with producer Jean Luc Columbo! He is a noted negotiant and producer in the Northern Rhone, particularly famous for his single vineyard Cornas. The fact that the event is at West Restaurant doesn’t hurt either!

Finally, I love Barolo…so an event called “The Night of Barolo” at Frederico’s Supper Club caught my eye! I’m not familiar with the producer (Sordo), but given the title of the evening I can’t help but think it will include multiple vintages of one of my favourite wines!

So that should get your started…lots more to choose from at

See you next week with my wineries – and wines – to check out at the International Tastings!