Archive for July, 2019

“Other” White Wines to Drink in the Summer

July 25, 2019

Summer is definitely here in Vancouver, and that means – because of the warmth – it is mostly white and Rose to drink (although the odd Gigondas does get opened…but that is another story…).

I have written about Rose already this summer, but what about whites? The usual choices are Chardonnay (oaked and unoaked), Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling (dry or off dry) and – if you are lucky – Viognier and Semillon (shout out to La Frenz on those ones!).

But there are others out there as well, and they won’t break the bank!

First, south of France. I mentioned Viognier already, but those are usually too expensive from France (Condrieu starts at $60 Canadian…). But there are blends out there, mixes of Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc, and they can be really refreshing! No oak (usually), crisp, clean, full bodied! One of my favourite producers in the South is Chapoutier and they make a great Cotes du Roussillon called Bila Haut that you can get here for about $17…I imagine it is under $10 in many other places without our taxes!

And how about Italy? Not known for its white wines usually, I have started to drink wines from the Falanghina grape, and they are very tasty! Again, super crisp and dry, no oak that I can see – although they are often a beautiful gold colour – and lots under $20. My favourite right now is Falanghina Sannio La Guardiense by a producer called Janare.

Last but not least my wine find of the year so far! Vinho Verde – literally “green wine” – is from Portugal and my past experiences have been that is not worth the bother. Then I saw one called Loureiro by Quinta do Ameal. What attracted me at first was the rating and review by the Wine Advocate for the 2017 vintage – 93 pts and a drinking window until 2030!

Now, that is ridiculous for a white wine (and even most reds), so I bought one – and it was crazy good! Again, no oak at all (notice the trend here), but beautiful gold colour, crisp, dry, citrus, quite big body. And it was $17!!! A bonus – I found a couple of older vintages in another store (2012 and 2013), same price, same kind of rating, and tried them – stunning! Super fresh, like they had just been bottled!

So there you go…some white wine options for the summer. If you can check them out!



Rose…cold, dry and cheap…and in a box!

July 11, 2019

Okay, its summer…or supposed to be (still waiting on the weather)…but it is definitely Rose season!

And let’s keep it simple with Rose…it should be cold, dry and cheap…and you can even buy it in a box!

Let’s back track a bit…I just got back from Europe, and even though it was a June vacation, there was still lots of Rose available in restaurants in Belgium, Holland and Denmark! Only a couple of euros a glass in restaurants, and in the supermarkets? How about the same price…for a bottle!

Meanwhile, back in my home town…all these beautiful looking bottles of French Rose for over $25 and $30 a bottle, plus tax? And our local wines are still in the $18 – $20 range.

Sorry, but no way!

Fortunately, I have found the solution…or two solutions!

There are two 1 litre bottles available for $12.99…one from the south of France (Cotes Mas) and one from Chile (Cono Sur). Both are crisp and dry!

Even better? A box! La Vieille Ferme, a great value French producer, makes a 3 litre 2018 vintage Rose for $33.00!

I just bought a box, put it in the fridge…and it is great! Just like being in the south of France (although still twice the cost).

So don’t give in to the expensive wines! Buy Rose, but buy it dry and cheap!