Friday, November 4, 2016

Wellbrook Winery

Ken and I decided to visit the Delta wineries while our wives took a trip into the  heart of Vancouver . Our first stop was at Angel Estate Winery located  on Westham Island. To reach the Island you have to cross a hundred-year-old wooden swing  bridge  between the Fraser River Estuary and the Pacific.

Angel Estate is the former Westham Island winery specializing in fruit wines. It would be our first visit to the winery since it was purchased by new owners. However, upon arrival we found the winery closed. Their website clearly indicated they would be open, as did the street sign and the sign in the window.

So we left the Island heading back through Lader and  towards the Boundry Bay Airport and Wellbrook Winery.  The winery was open and we found ourselves in the tasting room greeted by a charming Lady with a lovely Irish brogue.

The focal point of our 55-acre heritage farm is The Old Grainery Store, lovingly restored by owner Terry Bremner. Surrounded by century-old beams and antique furnishings and fixtures, guests are invited to sample from our unique selection of table and dessert wines. However, despite the appealing interior, it may have been more impressive  if the tables and chairs from the previous night event had been removed.

Their cooking classes with guest chefs have been very popular. The meals prepared by the chefs are served to you along with wine.

Kris ( the Irish Lass) directed us through a very enjoyable tasting experience. Wellbrook is a fruit winery having originally starting business as a fruit juice company under the name Bremmer. Their Blueberry and Cranberry wines are rather good. We also enjoyed their fortified wines I though their Iced Apple was the best

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

From Sandwich to Wine

 A good husband's number one objective in marriage is to please his wife. With that in mind, I asked my lovely wife if she would like a sandwich. It is well known a man can make himself a sandwich in 30 seconds, bread, meat and bam it's done! Making one for your wife is another story!

We had fresh french bread from the bakery along with Tuscany ham that I was anxious to make into sandwiches for our lunch. I asked her what she would like on her sandwich; her reply "Coconut butter." I gave her the sandwich to which I had added lettuce.  After thanking me, she asked if I had put mayo on it.  "No, I replied you asked for coconut butter."  She came back with "But I always have mayo on my sandwiches." back to the drawing or should I say sandwich board for me.  "Won't make that mistake again" I mumbled to myself.

However, that was minor compared to the one I made a few nights ago. I felt I wanted something different, a something little more exciting than a glass of wine so I took a bottle of Chaberton Estate 2014 Siegerrebe Dessert Wine, Fraser Valley BC VQA from the wine rack and chilled it for a couple of hours before settling in front of the TV with my wife. I asked if she wanted to try some. "I better not" was the reply: "I just finished the last of my antibiotics."

The following evening I took the bottle from the fridge to again enjoy.  I didn't offer any to Barbara remembering her comment of the night before about the antibiotics. Noticing the bottle was not the usual shape of white wine she asked, "What are you drinking?" when I told her the response was; "Why didn't you offer me any. I am no longer on antibiotics."  Again my mind reading skills needed fine tuning.  Out came another dessert wine glass.

She sipped the wine and was immediately impressed; she loved it! Each sip warranted a comment such as "This is like sipping something from heaven, the texture, the aroma, the flavour is exquisite!"
Like her hearing Barbara's taste buds are very astute so when she raves about a wine you can take her word for it.  I suggest that you swing by Chaberton Estate Winery located at 1064 216th Street Langley and try a taste along with their other fine wines.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner 2016

Barbara and I had a very pleasant Thanksgiving this year.  Due to illness last year, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were not to be so it had been awhile since we enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

We hosted our Ladner friends Ken and Jane who had just returned from a month-long visit to the UK the day before. Ken is our unofficial marketing director and chief supporter of Wines of Canada.

Our meal consisted of turnip, brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy and of course turkey, which was cooked to perfection. We tasted some of British Columbia's best wines which helped to make the meal even more enjoyable.

Our pre-meal wine came from The View Winery in Kelowna,  a 2014 Silver Lining Estate Rosé. We managed to empty the bottle quickly. Thank you, Jennifer.

Ken and Barbara are both dedicated red drinkers, they switched to Chaberton Estate's 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon after the Rose` The winery used grapes from three vineyards; one in Oliver, one in Naramata and one in the Similkameen to create this very full bodied wine.

After the Cab Sauv next came the Chaberton Estate 2012 AC, named after owner Anthony Chang. A very tasty wine with dark fruit flavours and hints of spice. A favourite with Barbara.

Jane and I opted for white wine, Fraser Valley Singletree Winery's 2015 Homestead. We found this to be a very good wine, it went well with the turkey.

A simple dessert of homemade banana bread along with coffee and a little LA Frenz Winery NV Liqueur Muscat finished off a meal that was filled with good food, good wine and lots of catching up!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Benjamin Bridge is Nova Scotia’s ultra-premium sparkling wine house located in the beautiful Gaspereau Valley. The winery is located on White Rock Road near Wolfville. It is owned by Gerry McConnell, the winemaker is Jean-Benoit Deslauriers.

Canadian author and wine authority Tony Aspler refers to them as the best  sparkling wines I have ever tasted. That is amazing praise. The sparkling wines are made in the Methode Classique method using Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

Consulting with Deslauriers are Raphael Brisbois and Peter J Gamble.

Although their signature wines are sparkling the winery has  achieved  success with its Nova 7. Conceived by Canadian wine making icon Peter J. Gamble, Nova 7 is a proprietary blend of signature aromatic whites, highlighting select Muscat grape varieties. Nova Scotia’s iconic wine is gently handcrafted from grapes grown along the Bay of Fundy. A category unto itself, its lively spritz, inherent acidity and elegant aromatics combine for a seductive expression of coastal terroir.

Getting back to the Sparking Brut, John Szabo of Winealign wrote "Brut Reserve  reaches new heights of class and quality… I’m confident in stating that this is very likely the finest sparkling wine to have yet been issued from Canadian soil."

Winemaker Jean-Benoit Deslauriers and winery manager Kielty McNeil

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

All Things French

We have a friend who travels quite extensively in Europe, especially France. She loves all thing French including the wines. We have on numerous occasions attempted to persuade her to try Canadian wines, especially the BC ones. She will not!

One day we hosted a  tasting event at our home featuring BC wines and she was invited to join us. She arrived with a friend who was visiting with her from a Canadian Government at an Embassy in Europe. He declared himself an expert in wine and shared our friend's opinion that Canadian wines were not good on the world's standards. He loudly shared this opinion at our wine event. I thought to myself "for someone who did not like our wines you consumed a great deal."

Our friend left our event still convinced that French wines were simply the best. We planned a little trick to see if we could change her mind. We invited her to dine with us at a local 5-star restaurant. The owner also a friend of ours helped with the plan to change her mind.

We ordered her favourite French wine. The restaurant owner had emptied the bottle, refilled it with a BC wine and re-corked the bottle. She was impressed with our selection and raved about the wine.

At the end of the meal we told her about our trick and provided video to show her what we had done. She laughed it off saying the wine was French and you are just trying to fool me into thinking it was a BC wine.

We thought the battle was lost until one day we were invited for dinner at her home I accidently discovered a number of BC wines in the kitchen cabinet. Me thinks she is a closet BC wine drinker!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Kimberley's  Mini Bistro

It was a perfect summer evening for the first Pizza Night at Blackwood Lane Vineyards in the Fraser Valley (Langley). We and our friends Ken and Jane looked forward to trying the new ideas winery   Manager Kimberley had designed to compliment the quality wines of the winery.

We were greeted warmly by staff member Julie, whose bright smile and hospitality made us feel welcome.  The news that the winery was now open until 9:00 pm (Fridays only) has spread, and the turnout was larger than expected. All the staff was hands on, including owner Carlos in keeping up with the table service. We enjoyed the ambiance of the patio; sipping wine, chatting and watching the horses in the fields beyond.

We did a tasting of white and red wines before ordering pizzas, a ham and pineapple, as well as a margarita pizza with locally grown ingredients.  Kim, your skill as a pizza maker is outstanding, they were delicious.  We hope you will have them on the menu often.  Barb and Ken chose the Merlot while Jane and I ordered the Reisling to accompany the pizzas

Winemaker Carlos found time to join us, bringing out his newly released fortified wine, Portance Merlot. I have a feeling that it is going to be on Barbara's Christmas wish list, she loved it! 

The dessert of the evening was a delicious flour free chocolate cake Kim had prepared, it complimented the Portance Merlot perfectly.

Fine weather, great service by friendly staff, exemplary food and wine plus fabulous friends all made for a very pleasant evening in BC's Fraser Valley.  We highly recommend a Friday Night on the Patio!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Annual Wine Tasting Party

This year our annual tasting was held on July 26th. This very exciting event is so special it is not held every year. It was a smaller than normal; everyone is so busy these days and we have a much smaller yard. However, we were blessed by having some close friends enjoying the quality wines.

We began the event with a sparkling wine from The View Winery in East Kelowna 2014 Distraction Frizzant. A dry sparkling, made from Pinotage, Gewurztraminer, and Ehrenfelser grapes a nice patio wine on a warm summer day.

After the sparkling wine appetizers were served, what a feast! We then did a wine challenge comparing Rieslings from British Columbia, Ontario, and Washington State. Our guests were not told which wineries they were tasting. The majority favoured the Blackwood Lane 2009  Riesling from BC,  while others preferred the Tawse Winery 2014 Sketches Riesling from Ontario

It was now on to an open cellar where you could select any wine on hand. Reds were added to the mix. Not surprised to find the favourite was the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from Blackwood Lane, my entire stock was consumed.

Winemaker and owner Carlos Lee of Blackwood Lane provided us with a tasting of his yet to be released, port style wine. What a treat!

The tasting began at 2:00 pm with the last guests leaving at 9:30 pm. All had a most enjoyable time looking forward to the next one.