Monday, March 27, 2017

Five Wineries to Visit in the Similkameen Valley

The beautiful  Similkameen Valley is just a 3 hour scenic drive from Vancouver and only 35 minutes from Osoyoos. There are now 18 wineries in the Valley. There is also Twisted Hills Craft Cider and numerous fruit stands.

Here are five very popular wineries in the region

Clos du Soleil  which started in 2005 opened new facilities in 2015. The name means vineyard enclosed in the sun.The winery is known for it's consistent quality. The winemaker is Ann Sperling, who came to the winery with proven experience and knowledge.

Robin Ridge was established in 1997 by owners Tim and Caroline Cottrill. They use the Geneva Double Curtain Trellis system to allow more light on the fruit in the vineyard producing greater flavours. They practice organic farming.

Orofino Vineyards was Canada's first strawbale winery. Orofino means Fine Gold. Owners John and Virgina Weber's dream began in 2001 when they purchased 6 acres in the valley. The tasting room is powered by Solar power. They have established a reputation for outstanding wines.

Upon reaching the town of Cawston you must stop in at Forbidden Fruit Winery. They have proven over the years (35) to be one of Canada's best fruit wineries. They are certified Organic, you will enjoy visiting their winery. Steve Venables and Kim Brind'Amour are the owners, their son Nathan produces Dead End grape wines.

Corcelettes Estate Winery will start the 2017 season with a brand new tasting room. The tasting room is built right up against the cliff and will provide an amazing view of the valley.  The winery has found success based on the quality of their wines.

These are only five of the wineries in this beautiful underrated wine region. One needs to spend a couple of days here discovering the valley's exceptional wines.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Life's too Short to Drink Bad Wines

Apparently not!

It may surprise you but when it comes to my e-mail the #1 question is "Why can't I find Brights ____ wine anymore"   Apparently Brights labelled wines are still a bigger seller in eastern Canada, and they are cheap! This 4000 ml sells for $35.00. The Brights wines are a Cellared in Canada product of Constellation Brands. The Brand is slowly being discontinued  with wines made under different brands.

Maria Christina  seems to be among the most popular of the Brights wines selling for $7 to  $10 depending on the province. I have never tasted the wine so it may be okay! But people do seek out cheap wines.

I will just ignore  Jesus Juice; whoever produces that is after the profit and has no passion for true wine. Schloss Laderheim is a cheaper but popular wine a little bit better in my humble opinion than Baby Duck. There is also Hochtaler and a few others first made back in 60-70s that are still around today.
Really Australia, why?  Labels like this are common in the USA seems people buy them for the label.

Okay it says Francais but no real French winemaker would do this, but it sells. So much for the idea that Life is too short to buy cheap wines.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Wine and Dine at the Family Chain Restaurant

They are everywhere, easy to find, and offer reasonable pricing  along with menu items that suit the entire family. Therefore we often find ourselves dining at White Spot, Matches, Swiss Chalet or Applebee's.

We may decide that a glass of wine will enhance the meal. The prices look okay. The question is when the menu says Jackson Triggs pinot grigio are we getting a Cellared in Canada wine or a VQA wine.

I will not order a known Cellared in Canada wine such as the one pictured above. I do not buy a Cellared in Canada wine for enjoyment at home. However, in some chain restaurants, there is often no other choice for wines listed from Canada. Restaurant chains usually do not have high-end wine lists.  In many establishments you're lucky to find any Canadian wines, but that is changing.  You can probably for $6.00 a glass, trust a name like Sumac Ridge or Jackson-Triggs to provide a good wine, even if it is their Cellared in Canada selection.

Chances of finding  wine in these restaurants or a bar like the quaility of Painted Rock is  almost zero. There are some, like Catus Club that actually have a very good wine list. What you have to do is ask the server to show you the bottle or ask if the wine is  VQA.

There are people that like and enjoy boxed wines from those early days. They are often served in small family owned restaurants. All I can say is, "I hope the food is good!" :}