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January 28th, 2023: A Spirits Special – The Five Bottle Bar Book and Single Malt 006 from Eau Claire.  

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A Spirits Special – The Five Bottle Bar  and Single Malt 006 from Eau Claire.

 

THE SHOW

 

Eau Claire Master Distiller Caitlin Quinn.

Caitlin Quinn

 

This edition of TRR started with the arrival of a handsome  bottle of  Eau Claire Single Malt Whisky 006 (Bottle 1681)

 

It’s the sixth single malt release from Eau Claire Distillery’s award-winning whisky program and their  first six-year-old batch release.

Aged in New European Oak (Hungarian), Ex-Bourbon (American) & Ex-Sherry(French)barrels. They made 3000 bottles total. $109 in Tasting Room.

This is such a sip to celebrate.

Caitlin and I talk about the aroma notes of caramel, berries and Granny Smith Green Apple

Taste of Butterscotch,  Cloves and spice.

Think about it – Caramel and Butterscotch in a sip.

With a long finish.

There’s also a reference under style I Liked – Moreish.

I thought it referred to the historical  Moors.  Caitlin replied  

“No. It means more please!”

 

Two interesting points Caitlin makes…

This Single Malt won Best Canadian Single Malt Whisky of the Year –

New York International Spirits Competition – 2022

And

Because of the extremes of cold in Winter and heat in Summer in Turner Valley, the cellaring of these spirits makes them age more rapidly.

I think the Turner Valley malted barley helps.

Thank you Mother Nature.

 

Caitlin also tells us about what’s coming later on this year.

 

www.eauclairedistillery.ca

 

The Five Bottle Bar – Reference Book from Author and Ampersand co-founder Jessica Schacht

When the book arrived I knew we had another spirits feature show.

Jessica presents  a collection of cocktail recipes that rely on just five bottles to build your bartending style with ease and confidence.

Five bottles around which your inner bartender can emerge with skill, savvy and a little flare for the dramatic when it’s called for.

Jessica Schacht believes with a little curation and mastery of the basics, we can succeed at elevating the everyday and cultivating a good cocktail hour.

Jessica Schacht – Author

The bottles? 

Gin, Whiskey, Sweet and Dry Vermouth, and Campari (plus bonus recipes for Bubbly). The setting: living room, backyard, window seat, and the wild beyond.

The mixologist? You!!

In this beautifully photographed collection, Jessica Schacht, co-founder of Ampersand Distilling Company, presents her take on classics (like the G & T, the Old Fashioned, the Martini, and the Negroni), collections (sours, punches, and such), and contemporaries (a few inventive new drinks to pique your creativity).

There’s a chapter of zero-proofs in part inspired by the abundance of new alcohol-free spirits on the market now, and another dedicated to keeping your vacation drinks game classy, from the airplane to the B&B to the beach.

In addition to the recipes The Five-Bottle Bar supplies a solid foundation in bartending basics. Tools, techniques, suggestions on glassware and garnishes, the condensed history of spirits, and tips for setting up your minimalist bar cart.

 

Jessica also recommends The Five Bottle Bar – by region.

For British Columbia:

Ampersand Gin

Stillhead Rye Whisky

Imperative Dry vermouth

Esquimalt Wine Co. Sweet Vermouth

The Woods Amero

 

Jessica Schacht is the cofounder of the multigenerational family-run Ampersand Distilling Company and author of the History Glass column in the Cowichan Valley Voice. She is grateful to live in the Cowichan Valley in the home she shares with her husband and sons.

This is a fun, engaging read.

We intend to reconnect with Jessica when the heat of The Sun finally returns to our lives.

 

www.ampersanddistilling.com

www.touchwoodeditions.com

www.cowichanvalleyvoice.com

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

 

Fort Berens new releases

Okanagan Wine Festivals

Lt. Governors Awards

Vancouver Wine Festival

Fat Mao Downtown

Angus An and Kurtis Kolt

 

 

 

 

 

January 21st 2023 Kimberly Hundertmark – New GM at Okanagan Wine Festivals

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Kimberly Hundertmark – New GM at Okanagan Wine Festivals/Winter Festival events start Sunday

THE SHOW

It was perhaps 12 years ago when Jason Priestley and I were shooting Hollywood and Vines TV with producer Chad Oakes. Our journey took us to Niagara and their yearly wine festival.

Our host was Kimberly Hundertmark, Executive Director of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festivals. Immediately,  we were hitting the ground running, just to keep up.

While Kimberly watched over our television interviews and necessary production, she was also leading the team members who were running her festival events.

We were much impressed with Kimberly’s drive and leadership. She had created a framework that turned Niagara’s Wine festivals into “don’t miss” events.

Kimberley Hundertmark

We also got to meet her husband, winemaker Jeff Hundertmark.

Between events we answered questions they had about BC Wines and how the future was looking out West.

Something clicked because in 2017  they said a long goodbye to their friends in Niagara and showed up in the Okanagan Valley.

Geoff to continue making wines and Kimberly taking on wine and hospitality teamwork.

It was only a matter of time before the valley realized what they had in these two delightful and driven people!

Jeff is now the head winemaker at Mt Boucherie and Rust Wine Co and Kimberly had been named the new GM of Okanagan Wine Festivals.

Boom!!

 

This feature interview with Kimberly is more like a celebration.

Not only is she going to make the Okanagan Wine Festivals better than they’ve ever been, she’s going to lead the reimagining of what those wine and food festivals will look, smell, sound  and feel like.

 

2023 starts with the reimagining of the Winter Wine Festival

 

The Okanagan Wine Festivals will partner with Predator Ridge to deliver  a Burgundy inspired event Sunday  January 22  featuring festival partners well known for their  Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.

 

The Grande Finale takes place January 27 and 28 with event partners in Penticton and Oliver.

 

SensationAn Eve for the Senses on January 27th  at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre and will feature wine and culinary pairings!

 

On Saturday, January 28th,  the Okanagan Winter Wine Festival will move south to The District  Wine Village in Oliver.

The afternoon’s programming will include District partners as well as festival wineries  showcasing curated experiences as part of the TASTE Passport.   

Each TASTE Passport includes six vouchers which are redeemed for an elevated tasting  experience from the participating beverage partners. This is a one stop tasting experience  unique to the Winterfest program.

“The launch of the Okanagan Winter Wine Festival is long overdue. The Okanagan Valley’s  wine industry is positioned to help build shoulder season visitation alongside our partner  stakeholders.

Extended visitation and audience reach has a substantial impact on local  economy, particularly during the winter months. The time is right, and the Okanagan Wine  Festival is committed to a festival re-imagined” says Kimberly Hundertmark, General Manager.

 

All tickets are available through thewinefestivals.com.

 

www.thewinefestivals.com

We welcome Kimberly Hundertmark (and the guy she brought with her)

 

Mark deVere Mondavi Ambassador/ Master of Wine

Second guest is Mark deVere.  Master of Wine representing Robert Mondavi Wines at the 2022 VanWineFest

For those who may not know, the very first winery that signed on for the very first VanWineFest was Mondavi.

Robert himself attended.

Whoever speaks on behalf of this world famous winery had best  come equipped with stories,  insights and deep history.

These days the storyteller is Mark deVere Master of Wine and Mondavi Ambassador.

Enjoy!!

https://robertmondaviwinery.com/

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

Crush Pad becomes Haywire –

New Releases

 

Five Bottle Bar

Fort Berens

Black Swift and Jason Parkes Customs

Van Wine Fest

 

 

 

January 14th, 2023 New Releases from Township 7 and Hester Creek

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New Releases from Township 7 and Hester Creek

 

THE SHOW

We have several friends on board this week.

Mary McDermott – Winemaker at Township 7 (Naramata and South  Langley)

Mary McDermott

Mark Hopley and Adair Scott – Winemaker (Hester Creek) and Executive Chef (Terrafina Restaurant – Golden Mile)

They bring with them tales of the 2022 vintage season and the resulting harvest. How can we forget the miserable Spring? Wet, foggy, windy, and with no sign of Sun. I kept hearing cautionary remarks that “if we don’t get Sun soon there will be no growing season”.

The Sun did show itself in a big way and the season turned out to be over the top. Depending on where you were growing.

 

Mary McDermott brings three of her new releases today

 

  • New winter releases
    • 2020 Provenance  Series Chardonnay SRP $25.97 (half in French Barriques and half in Stainless Steel) Rich. Intense. Vanilla/Peach/Spice
    • 2020 Provenance Series Cabernet Sauvignon SRP $33.97 2 vineyards. (French Oak. 1/3 new) ripe black fruit  and cherries, caramel.
    • 2020 Benchmark Series Pinot Noir SRP $41.97 Handpicked in OK Falls. (Neutral French Oak) Dark fruit and tannins. Earthy.

  • New for Township 7 in 2023 – planting more Pinot Noir at their South Langley vineyard for the popular Seven Stars sparkling wines.
  • new releases coming out – seven stars 2019 Polaris Blanc de Blancs, plus several others this spring and later this summer
  • new events coming up: Love is Blind Valentine’s weekend (Feb. 11 & 12th) at both South Langley and Naramata Bench wineries
    • blind wine tasting of four wines (choose from sparkling, all white or all red) includes charcuterie and sweets,
    • only $36.97/person, contact is  [email protected] for reservations or bookings available online shortly)

www.township7.com

 

Mark Hopley Winemaker at Hester Creek Estate  (Golden Mile)

Adair Scott – Chef at Terrafina Restaurant at Hester Creek

 

Chef Adair Scott Hester Creek

 

Any opportunity I get to pair food and wine in an engaged conversation is a good day.

As Mark was taking us through the growing/vintage  season I had a thought to ask Chef Adair about how that same season affected his menu and recipe choices.

Many guests have talked about how the best pairing is if the grapes, fruit and vegetables are all grown in the same soil it’s a win/win.  Well,  these two artists get to pair like that every season.

As Mark took us through the wines, Chef paired his menu choices to create a seamless dining experience.

Winemaker Mark Hopley presented his next three releases

Mark Hopley Hester Creek

2021 Character Red. Handpicked Oliver fruit. A much-loved blend of Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. There’s a unique Merlot clone in there as well, originally from Italy. (Thank you Joe) 8 months in American and French Oak. Blueberries, blackberries, white pepper, and sage on the nose.

Palate bursts in your mouth with a  blend of cherry, acidity, smoke, and vanilla.  Here’s the best part – priced under $20 (BC + taxes)

 

2020  Old Vines Merlot.  A Golden Mile Estate Exclusive. Handpicked, hand sorted, soaked on the skin for 3 days, aged 18 months in French barrels.

The result? On the nose cocoa, cherries, and plum. The palate combines dark fruit and cocoa. Layers of “everything”. Lots of tannin, acidity, and texture.$27.99(BC + taxes)

2020 Old Vine Cabernet Franc.  These over 50-year-old vines have established what they are and what they’ll produce. Those roots have grown deep in the Golden Mile soils which produce beautifully concentrated fruit.  Aged 8 months on mostly French Oak. Anise and ripe blackberry on the nose. The palate presents ripe blackberries, vanilla, toast, and a beautiful balance. All elements get a chance to shine. An amazing $27.99 (BC+ taxes)

My thanks to Mark and Chef. See you in the Spring.

 

www.hestercreek.com

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

The Five Bottle Bar

Eau Claire Distillery

Blue Grouse

Victoria Whisky Fest

Kimberly Hundertmark – New GM

At Okanagan Wine Festivals

January 7th, 2023-Q&A with new wine called….Q&A!

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A Q&A with new wine called….Q&A

 

THE SHOW

It’s a really great story.

Jason Priestley and I co-hosted/co-produced Hollywood and Vines TV for a number of years with our pal Producer Chad Oakes.

It was shown in over 90 countries via Travel Channel UK (London)

One of our Okanagan shoots was seen in Slovakia by winemaker Michael Mosny and his wife  Martina.

They liked what they saw and heard, came to Canada, checked out the Okanagan Valley, and loved it.

They said goodbye to their friends in Europe, moved to Oliver, and started a winery,  a very successful label called Winemakers Cut.

Several years later I’m doing interviews for Tasting Room Radio in Victoria.  I was impressed with a new winery that had seemingly appeared overnight and could be found in most wine stores and restaurant wine lists. I introduced myself to Michal at the Winemaker’s Cut table and he said

“you have no idea why I’m here, do you?”

To my amazement, Michal told me the whole story of how Winemakers Cut ended up on that table in front of him.

We became good friends.

Several years later Michal suggested we make a wine together – to celebrate.  He happened to have the makings of a Bordeaux-inspired blend sitting on oak in his cellar. I asked Jason and he loved the idea. We came up with the name Q&A and things started to roll from there. Well, here we are..

 

Jason and I have stepped into the world of wine.

The difference is, we’re not consumers. We’re partners with winemaker Michal and Winemakers Cut in Oliver BC

Jason for several years had been an investor in Black Hills Winery, the maker of the iconic Nota Bene.

After the sale of Black Hills, I continued to search for exceptional terroir capable of producing a peerless Bordeaux-style blend. Throughout this journey, I merged paths with Terry and then Michal. Together, we questioned what we already know, over and over again,” said Priestley“After looking everywhere, all roads lead to one answer and the answer is once again in the Okanagan. This time, the difference is in the details, with a focus on elegance and finesse.”

Q&A “I heard about Canadian wine for the first time from Terry and Jason’s international television show, Hollywood and Vines TV, and it quickly became my passion  They are the reason why I decided to move here with my wife in 2012 and make wines in the Okanagan Valley.”   Slovakian-Canadian Michal Mosny is the proprietor of Winemaker’s CUT, an acclaimed winery based in the District Wine Village in Oliver, BC.

 

Q&A started rolling out in November of 2022. It’s just now beginning to show up on select wine store shelves and restaurant wine lists.

Check out qa.wine for more information

It’s a Bordeaux-inspired blend ..

45% Cabernet Sauvignon

38% Merlot

13% Cabernet Franc

4% Petit Verdot

100% Yummy!

Here’s the first Q&A gabfest on Tasting Room Radio

The complete Zoom interview can be heard on Mulligan Stew Podcast and the video on terrydavidmulligan YouTube Channel

www.qa.wine

www.winemakerscut.ca

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

Jackson Family buy another Cowichan Winery (Blue Grouse)

Hester Creek Releases

JPCustoms new releases

Eau Claire Single Malt Whisky 006

Winemakers Cut New Releases

Five Bottle Bar –  Book by Jessica Schacht

Township 7 – New Releases

 

 

December 31st, 2022 The Last Wine List from Wine Diva: Top 50 –  91 Points or better

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Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

The Last 2022 Wine List from Wine Diva: Top 50 –  91 Points or better

 

THE SHOW

This End of the Year Special started like many ideas do.  Over a glass of wine.

I was tasting wines  in preparation  for a winemaker interview.

My thought was “let’s do an end of the year “best of” wine special.

My very next thought was “ this calls for the Wine Diva”

I taste 100’s of wines a year.

Daenna Van Mulligan – The Wine Diva tastes 1000’s a year.

www.winediva.ca

www.winescores.ca

So off I went in search of Deanna and her tasting notes and memories of 2022.

I’m so thankful I found her and she agreed to look back at the wine year.

All three weeks can be found  on Tasting Room Radio at www.mulliganstew.ca

Here’s how it all rolled out…

 

Daenna and Jace    (Google Jace’s Journey)

 

Dec 17th

Gift Bottles

Sparkling Wines

 

Dec 24   (Christmas Eve)

The Top 100 – Under $20 and 88 points or better.

 

Dec 31  (New Years Eve)

Top 50 Wines of 2022 – 93 points or better:

Wine List _top 50 93 pts or better Wine Reviews & Tasting Notes from WineDiva

 

Once again, we can’t talk about every wine listed on the Top 50  but we certainly tried.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! – See you in 2023

 

Yalumba ‘The Tri-Centenary’ Grenache, Basrossa Valley, Australia $85.00
Monte del Fra Amarone della Valpolicella Classico ‘Lena di Mezzo’, Valpolicella, Veneto $47.99
Painted Rock Syrah, Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley BC $52.99
Sperling Vineyards Old Vines Riesling, Okanagan Valley BC $35.00
Culmina Family Estate Winery ‘Susser No.18’ Riesling, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
Township 7 Vineyards & Winery ”Benchmark Series’ Gewurztraminer, Okanagan Valley BC $30.00
Hester Creek Viognier, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
Liquidity Wines Reserve Pinot Noir, Okanagan Falls, BC N/A
UpperCase Winery Chardonnay, British Columbia N/A
Falernia Pinot Noir Gran Reserva Single Vineyard Aaron, Elqui Valley Chile $26.00
SpearHead Pinot Noir ‘Golden Retreat Vineyard’, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
Winemaker’s Cut ‘Bohemian’ Petit Verdot, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
Ricasoli ‘Castello di Brolio’ Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, Tuscany, Italy $75.00
Castello di Ama San Lorenzo Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, Siena, Tuscany, Italy $64.99
Moon Curser ‘Contraband’ Syrah, Okanagan Valley BC $40.00
Gold Hill Syrah, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
Clos du Soleil ‘Signature’, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia $60.00
Cantina Tollo’ MO’ Riserva, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo $24.99
Red Horses Vineyard Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvgnon, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Estate Riesling, Okagan Valley, BC N/A
CVNE ‘Cune’ Gran Reserva, Rioja, Spain $50.00
Nederburg ‘Heritage Heros The Anchorman’ Old Vine Chenin Blanc, South Africa $25.00
Gemtree ‘Dragon’s Blood’ Shiraz, McLaren Vale, South Australia $30.00
Yalumba ‘The Virgilius’ Viognier, Eden Valley, South Australia $70.00
Fort Berens Estate Winery Pinot Noir, British Columbia $35.00
Vina Chocalan Gran Reserva ‘Origen’ Carmenere, Maipo Valley, Chile $26.00
Vina Cobos ‘Bramare’ Malbec, Lujam de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina $45.00
Catena ‘High Mountain Vines’ Malbec, Mendoza Argentina $24.99
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley BC $36.00
Phantom Creek Estates Kobau Vineyard Cuvee No.15, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
Rust Wine Co. Syrah Lazy River Vineyard, Similkameen Valley, BC N/A
Domaine Zind Humbrecht ‘Clos Hauserer’ Riesling, Alsace, France $100.00
Stag’s Hollow Limited Edition No.05 ‘Cachet’, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
Meyer Family Vineyards Pinot Noir, McLean Creek Road Vineyard, Okanagan Valley BC $36.00
Lakeside Cellars Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
Pentage Winery ‘GSM’, Skaha Lake, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A

Stories we’re working on:

 

Jackson Family buy another Cowichan Winery (Blue Grouse)

Q&A Bordeaux Blend is released

Hester Creek

JPCustoms new releases

Eau Claire Single Malt Whisky 006

Winemakers Cut New Releases

 

December 24th, 2022 The Wine Diva has delivered another End-of-the-Year Wine List.

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Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

2022 Top 100 Wines under $20

And 88 Points or Better

 

THE SHOW

17,732 Christmas Wine Illustrations & Clip Art - iStock

As promised Daenna van Mulligen – The Wine Diva has delivered another End-of-the-Year Wine List.

I like this one a lot.. Keep in mind Daenna tastes 1000’s of wines a year. That’s what makes these wines special.

All of these wines have been tasted, judged and found to be well made wines. All were $20 or Under and 88  points or better.

 

Daenna Van Mulligen

 

Bang for the buck.

Aside from being affordable, these  wines are all crafted with passion and skill.

We can’t go through all 100 but we’ll do our best.

Find all of the Wine Diva’s lists at www.winediva.ca

For a deeper dive check out

www.winescores.ca

Here we GO:  

 

  •  Grow Wild ‘Rapturous Red’, Okanagan Valley, BC $16.99
  • Monte del Fra Bardolino DOC, Custoza, Verona Italy $17.99
  • Oops ‘Spicy Splendor’ Carmenere, Central Valley Chile $12.99
  • Gil Family Estates ‘Zagalin’ Monastrell, Jumilla, Spain $13.49
  • Petrichor Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley BC $19.99
  • Grow Wild ‘Enchanting White’ Okanagan Valley, BC $16.99
  • El Petit Bonhomme, Jumilla Spain $17.99 12. Chateau Dereszla Harslevelu, Tokaji, Hungary $20.00
  • Augey Merlot~Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, France $15.00
  • Crudo Nero d’Avola~Cabernet Sauvignon, Sicily, Italy $20.00
  • Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards ‘The Lookout’ Riesling, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Santo Cristo Garnacha, Campo de Borja, Spain $17.00
  • Escorihuela ‘1884’ Estate Grown Malbec~Cabernet, Mendoza Argentina $19.99
  • Les Vignerons du Castelas Rose Rose, Rhone Valley, France $16.99
  • Les Vignerons du Castelas Cotes du Rhone Rose, Rhone Valley, France $20.00
  • Rupert Wines ‘Protea’ Dry Rose, Western Cape South Africa $15.99
  • Harper’s Trail ‘Pioneer Block’ Thadd Springs Vineyard Riesling, Thompson Valley, BC $20.00
  • Stag’s Hollow ‘Tragically Vidal’, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Nicosia Grillo, Terre Sicilane, Sicily, Italy $19.99
  • Bartier Bros. Rose, Okanagan Valley, BC $18.99
  • Gnarly Head Chardonnay, California $20.00
  • Undurraga ‘8 Rios’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile $12.99
  • Stag’s Hollow Syrah Rose, Okanagan Valley N/A
  • Quails’ Gate Dry Riesling, Okanagan Valley $19.99
  • Sperling Vineyards Pinot Noir Rose, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Harper’s Trail Rose, British Columbia $20.00
  • Fort Berens Estate Winery Rose, Lillooet BC $20.00
  • Harper’s Trail ‘Field Blend White’, British Columbia N/A
  • Sasso dei Lupi ‘Sestavia’ Viognier~Chardonnay, Umbria $19.21
  • Cantine Leuci Primitivo, Salento, Puglia, Italy $19.99
  • Lakeside Cellars ‘Portage White’, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Fort Berens Estate Winery Pinot Gris, British Columbia $20.00
  • Sandhill Sovereign Opal, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Sandhill Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Spier ‘Signature’ Merlot, Stellenbosch Western Cape, South Africa $13.99
  • Escorihuela ‘1884’ Estate Grown Syrah, Mendoza Argentina $17.99
  • Domaine De L’Olivette Rouge, Pays d’Oc, Southern France $17.99
  • Spier ‘Signature Collection’ Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch South Africa $13.99
  • Luigi Bosca ‘La Linda Private Selection’ Old Vines Malbec, Mendoza Argentina $19.99
  • Gray Monk Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley BC $19.99
  • Terranoble Pinot Noir, Casablanca Valley, Chile $18.99
  • Gray Monk Rose, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Quails’ Gate Rose, Okanagan Valley BC $20.00
  • Pere Ventura Primer Reserva Brut Cava, Penedes, Spain $20.00
  • Pere Ventura ‘Chic’ Barcelona Brut, Penedes Spain $18.00
  • Rupert Wines ‘Protea’ Chenin Blanc, Western Cape South Africa $14.49
  • Falernia Carmenere Reserve Single Vineyard Pedriscal, Elqui Valley Chile $19.99
  • Grand May Grenache & Cinsault Rose, France $14.00
  • Falernia ‘Gran Reserva’ Syrah, Elqui Valley Chile $19.99
  • Vina Chocalan Sauvignon Blanc Reserva, Maipo Valley, Chile $15.99
  • Vina Chocalan Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Maipo Valley, Chile $17.99
  • El Petit Bonhomme Blanco, Rueda Spain $17.99
  • Pascual Toso ‘Limited Edition’ Malbec, Mendoza Argentina $20.00
  • Bottega ‘Il Vino dei Poeti’ Prosecco Rose Brut, Italy $19.99
  • Luigi Bosca Malbec, Mendoza Argentina $24.99
  • Zorzal ‘Terroir Unico’ Malbec, Tupungato Valley, Mendoza, Argentina $19.99
  • Finca Sophenia ‘Altosur Red Blend’ Gualtallary, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina $18.99
  • Finca Los Moras Barrel Select Tannat Reserve, San Juan Argentina $16.99
  • De Bortoli ’17 Trees’ Shiraz, Australia $19.99
  • Hester Creek Pinot Gris~Viognier, Okanagan Valley BC $17.00
  • Hester Creek Cabernet Franc Rose, Okanagan Valley BC $20.00
  • Norton ‘Perdriel Series’ Cabernet Franc, Mendoza, Argentina $19.99
  • Yalumba ‘Y Series’ Viognier, South Australia $16.99
  • Yalumba ‘Organic’ Viognier, South Australia $20.00
  • Grow Wild ‘Ravishing Rose’ Okanagan Valley, BC $16.99
  • El Esteco ‘Blend de Extremos’ Cabernet~Cabernet, Argentina $19.00
  • Hester Creek Pinot Blanc, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, BC $18.00
  • Seven Terraces Pinot Noir, Canterbury New Zealand $20.00
  • Two Tradesmen Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles California $20.00
  • See Ya Later Ranch Gewurztraminer, Okanagan Valley, BC $17.99
  • O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Gewurztraminer, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Two Tradesmen Red, Paso Robles California $20.00
  • Two Tradesmen Chardonnay, Central Coast California $18.00
  • See Ya Later Ranch Riesling, Okanagan BC $16.99
  • Seven Terraces Pinot Rose, Marlborough New Zealand $20.00
  • Seven Terraces Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough New Zealand $19.99
  • Pentage Winery Rose, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Kono Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand $18.99
  • Bartier Bros. Gruner Veltliner Okanagan Valley, BC $17.99
  • Undurraga ‘Sibaris’ Gran Reserva Carmenere, Colchagua Valley Chile
  • Aldegheri Custosa “La Rune” Veneto Italy

 

Find all of Deanna Van Mulligen’s lists at www.winediva.ca

Thank you Daenna

Thank You Corey Wood

Thank you Meg Foster Mulligan

Thanks John DeVries

Thank you Duke

Thank you Damian and Dano

 

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

Wine Diva Top 50 Wines of 2022

Jackson Family buy another Cowichan Winery(Blue Grouse)

Q&A Bordeaux Blend is released

Hester Creek

JPCustoms new releases

Eau Claire Single Malt Whisky 006

Winemakers Cup New Releases

 

 

 

December 17th, 2022-THE WINE DIVA YEAR END LISTS –Wine Gifts and Sparkling Wine

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THE WINE DIVA YEAR END LISTS – This Week. Wine Gifts and Sparkling Wine

Daenna van Mulligen

We are taking an epic journey to  The Wine Diva’s Palace.

Thing is – she lives in the basement.

It really belongs to Daenna van Mulligen who created the Wine Diva Web Site. www.winediva.ca and it’s partner site www.winescores.ca   Plus wrote the book Jace’s Journey

Daenna van Mulligen is an accredited sommelier, wine judge, wine writer and reviewer, public speaker and a long time friend.

Daenna tastes and makes amazing notes on 1000s  of wines  each year. When possible she travels to vineyards all over the World.  She writes stories and reviews for Vines , TASTE, Montecristo and Vitis Magazines.

We have been celebrating her Wine Diva  end of the year wine lists for at least 10 years. To experience all of her year end lists just go to

www.winediva.ca

This year is going to be like a Wine Super Bowl.

Are you ready?

This week Daenna starts things off with two lists for 2022.

GIFT BOTTLES 2022

Special bottles that someone might not buy for themselves. Singular and expressive bottles that are perfect for a special occasion.

Christmas Wine Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

 

THE LISTS!

  • Robin Ridge Gamay, Similkameen Valley BC
  • Monte Del Fra ‘Ca Del Magro DOC Custoza Superiore,Veneto Italy $24.99
  • Township 7 Vineyards & Winery ‘Benchmark Series’ Syrah, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Duoro, Portugal $72.99
  • Painted Rock ‘Red Icon’, Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley BC $80.00
  • Massimo Rivetti Family Farm ‘Aurelia’ Arneis, Langhe, Italy $26.99
  • Upper Case Winery Chardonnay, British Columbia N/A
  • Quails’ Gate ‘Stewart Family Reserve’ Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley $49.00
  • Clos du Soleil Fume Blanc, Okanagan Valley $22.00
  • SpearHead Pinot Noir ‘Saddle Block’, Okanagan Valley BC $40.00
  • Winemaker’s Cut ‘Bohemian’ Riesling, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Familia Zingarelli ‘Rocca della Macie’ Chianti Classico Riserva, Tuscany, Italy $30.00
  • Mazzei ‘Ser Lapo’ Chianti Classico Riserva, Tuscany, Italy $32.99
  • Ricasoli ‘Castello di Brolio’ Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, Tuscany, Italy $75.00
  • Hester Creek Semillon, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Bartier Bros. Grenache~Syrah~Mourvedre, Okanagan Valley BC $45.00
  • Lakeside Cellars Cabernet Franc, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Gold Hill Syrah, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Domaine Gayrard Loin de L’oil, Gaillac, France $34.99
  • Barone di Valforte Montepulciano d’Abbruzzo, Italy $23.00
  • TerreLab by Gold Hill ‘Winemakers Series’ Tempranillo, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Stag’s Hollow Pinot Noir, Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard, Okanagan Falls, BC N/A
  • Clos du Soleil ‘Winemaker’s Series’ Middle Bench Vineyard Pinot Blanc, Similkameen Valley, BC N/A
  • Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Estate Cuvee Chardonnay, Okangan Valley BC $30.00
  • Moon Curser Viognier Okanagan Valley BC $25.00
  • Township 7 Vineyards & Winery ‘NBO’, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Estate Riesling, Okagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Estate Blanc de Noirs, Okagan Valley, BC N/A
  • CVNE ‘Cune’ Gran Reserva, Rioja, Spain $50.00
  • Bellingham ‘The Bernard Series’ Old Vine Chenin Blanc, Coastal Region South Africa $27.00
  • Umani Ronchi ‘Fonte del Re’ Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Marche, Italy $20.99
  • Vina Cobos ‘Felino’ Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $24.99
  • Bodega Y Vinedos Nicolas Catena ‘La Marchigiana’ Malbec, Mendoza Argentina $40.00
  • Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley BC $36.00
  • Phantom Creek Estates Becker Vineyard Cuvee No.27, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Rust Wine Co. Syrah Lazy River Vineyard, Similkameen Valley, BC N/A
  • Domaine Zind Humbrecht ‘Clos Hauserer’ Riesling, Alsace, France $100.00
  • Liquidity Wines Estate ‘Dividend’, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Peak Cellars ‘Broken Granite’ Gewurztraminer, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Kitsch Wines ‘5 Barrel’ Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Culmina Family Winery ‘Unicus’, Gruner Veltliner, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley BC N/
  • SPARKLING WINES 2022 

  • Glorious Bubble

While bubbles are ubiquitous year-round, the Holidays are their season to shine. Here is the 2022 Sparkling list. From Prosecco to Cava

  • Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery ‘The Pink One’, Okanagan Valley $40.00
  • Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Gold Label Brut, Okanagan Valley BC $30.00
  • Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Brut Rose, Okanagan Valley $45.00
  • Township 7 Vineyards and Winery ‘Seven Stars Equinox’, Okanagan Valley N/A
  • Township 7 Vineyards and Winery ‘Seven Stars Rigel’, Okanagan Valley N/A
  • Township 7 Vineyards and Winery ‘Vega, Okanagan Valley N/A
  • Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery ‘The One’ Brut, Okanagan Valley N/A
  • Sperling ‘Speritz’ Pet Nat, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Moon Curser Vineyards ‘Moonlit’, Okanagan Valley, BC $27.00
  • Bailly Lapierre Reserve Brut Cremant de Bourgogne, Burgundy, France $27.99
  • Hester Creek Estate Old Vine Brut, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards ‘Fitz’ Brut, Okanagan Valley BC $34.99
  • Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards ‘Fitz’ Blanc de Blancs, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Hester Creek ‘Ti Amo’, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Gold Label Brut, Okanagan Valley BC $30.00
  • Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Brut Riesling, Okagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Pere Ventura Primer Reserva Brut Cava, Penedes, Spain $20.00
  • Pere Ventura ‘Chic’ Barcelona Brut, Penedes Spain $18.00
  • Medici Ermete ‘Concerto’ Lambrusco Reggiano Frizzante, Emilia-Romagna, Italy $19.99
  • Medici Ermete ‘Phermento’ Lambrusco Frizzante, Emilia-Romagna, Italy $29.99
  • Bottega ‘Il Vino dei Poeti’ Prosecco Rose Brut, Italy $19.99

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

NEXT WEEK / CHRISTMAS EVE

The Top 100

Under $20.00 and 88 points or better

 

 

TWO WEEKS/NEW YEARS EVE

The Top 50

91 Points or better

 The release of Q&A Wine

Hester Creek

Winemakers Cut

Eau Claire Single Malt Whisky Batch 006 

 

 

December 10th, 2022 Brad Royale – Kitten Swish . It’s for your Mouth

hello

Brad Royale –  Sommelier and Micro-Negotiant. ( Kitten Swish, Tomato Wheels, latest crushing list)

 THE SHOW

 “Like the first bottles released in 2012, all are limited-production, with quirky names and labels derived from photos taken by Royale. There’s Call Me, a 2016 Zinfandel from the renowned Stuhlmuller vineyard in Sonoma, California; the label features a rotary phone.

… and Below the Surface, a 2013 Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain, which features a photo of entwined bodies and is a tribute to the unsung heroes behind every bottle: the growers, printers, graphic designers, shippers, importers. “It’s about all that effort that we forget about when we just grab a bottle off the shelf,” Royale says. “This is a tip of the hat toward what goes into making a great bottle of wine.”

Shelley Boettcher  •  Swerve/Calgary Herald

(Cab Franc-Here and Gone)

 

 

Brad Royale is Head Sommelier for the Concorde Calgary restaurant group with venues ranging from pinball bars, to bbq smokehouses to very fine dinning at  Model Milk,  Bridgette Bar,  to the restaurant  of the year, Major Tom.  Just this week he was part of the team that opened a new restaurant Barbarella.

Brad Royale

Kitten Swish

Brad started ‘Swish in 2012 as a micro-negotiant company.  He works with small quantities of wine from estate producers They make the wine,  Brad makes a blend from their stock,  the team bottles it at the winery under the Kitten Swish label. Brad has wine imported into BC and Alberta.

 

The most recent was Piquette with Rhys Pender MW from Little Farm but he has bottled wines from Hungary (with John Szabo MS), USA, Spain, Germany, France, and British Columbia ( hopes to make a wine from the island next year).  And has a hand in designing the label artwork.  www.kittenswish.com

Little-Farm-Kitten-Swish-Piquette

Tomato Wheels

A brand new project with a partner based in Vancouver, Moirae Choquette.   She heard the Kitten Swish story on a podcast and reached out to  Brad to help her design her own label.  She wanted Lambrusco!  (Don’t we all)  Brad helped her find a fourth-generation vineyard in Emilia Romagna, Italy and the wine began it’s journey.

A brand new order of that Lambrusco is landing right now in Alberta. www.tomatowheels.com

 

 (Little Farm/Kitten Swish  Piquette)

Kitten-Swish

Brad talks about his current  “been crushing”  list

 – Belargus Anju Blanc (bought the Jo Pithon estate and making hard  Chenin)

Marchesseau Bourguiel (been crushing Loire Valley a lot in general lately…wicked value)

Domaine Wachau Gruner Veltliner Kellerberg (available in BC to, sick stuff)

– Aubert Chardonnay (recent visit to Vegas my mission was to taste as much as possible…it’s good to have goals)

 

We cover a lot of ground over the course of this TRR – some of these wines will be harder to find or access from outside Alberta BUT they are well worth the seeking!!

Unlike anything else, you’ll see and taste in your local store.  Promise.

  

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

The Launch of Q&A wines.

Holiday Wine Gifts

Wine Diva List Time

Hester Creek

The Five Bottle Bar

December 3rd, 2022- Luke  Whittall – The Sipster’s Pocket Guide to 50 BC Wines

hello

Luke  Whittall – The Sipster’s Pocket Guide to 50 Must-Try BC Wines

Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

THE SHOW

Confession Time. I’m half  a year late in getting this story to you.

Then one day, not too long ago a book arrived. Quietly.  On  a Tuesday!

It was smaller than most because it’s a pocketbook. Meant to be carried in a shoulder bag, glove compartment or back pocket.

The author is Luke Whittall. His first books were Valleys of Wine: A Taste of British Columbia’s Wine History and The Okanagan Tour Guide with John Schreiner.

 

He’s currently a wine instructor at Okanagan College and is involved with a valley wine.

Personally, Luke continues his own wine training with WSET.

Luke Whittall author

The Sipster’s Guide will surprise you.

It contains none of the usual tasting notes,  growing season info,  cellar hacks or wine scores.

It speaks to all in a language they can understand. Without dumbing down the knowledge.

And pairing?

You can choose a wine to  match your attitude. From happy to herbal.  From rock star to romantic.

The front inside cover has 50 choices.

Luke’s writing is such a surprise. For example, he doesn’t just sip and spit…

After opening a bottle, Luke lets it breathe while he cooks dinner or lunch to match the wine. Smart!

It’s a great read and a perfect gift for giving.

To yourself and those wine fans around you.

Sipster’s Guide Vol 2 comes out in the Spring!!

 

Luke has started a podcast.

You can find him on line at

www.winecountrybc.ca

@winecountrybc

 

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON:

 

The Launch of Q&A wines.

Tony Stewart and Winemaker Jamie Dowell

Lake Sonoma and Plume

Holiday Wine Gifts

Wine Diva List Time

Hester Creek

November 26th, 2022-Meet the Makers

hello

Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

Meet the Makers

Culmina & Laughing Stock

 

THE SHOW

It was just another Friday morning when the happy invitation came in from the delightful  Lindsay Kelm.

Come celebrate the harvest season with Culmina Family Estate and Laughing Stock Vineyards.

Join Winemakers Jean-Marc Enixon and Sandy Leier for an elegant afternoon sampling their latest releases and chatting about the 2022 harvest. We also have a couple of special sneak peeks in store, including the unreleased 2020 vintage of Laughing Stock’s signature Portfolio, and 2017 vintage of Culmina’s flagship Bordeaux blend, Hypothesis

 

Sandy Leier–Winemaker Laughing Stock (Naramata)

Here’s what I knew. I hadn’t spoken to Sandy Leier for years. At the time she was working with the legend Howard Soon at Sandhill and Calona. In 2018, after 15 years as a great team,  she took over from the departing  Howard.  Then a series of projects with Andrew Peller, Gray Monk and Gretzky Wines. Then, this year, a major move to Senior Winemaker at Laughing Stock on the Naramata Bench.  It’s the home of seriously great wines including a Syrah that makes hearts flutter and their red blend Portfolio.  Sandy brings six wines to taste and discover.

(List below)

 

(tdm and Sandy Leier)

Jean-Marc Enixon – Culmina Winemaker – (Oliver)

(tdm and Jean-Marc)

 

Jean-Marc Enixon’s wine career took flight in Toulouse, France. JM gained international experience in Sonoma County, China, then  back to France at Chateau Puy Guilhem in  Saillans as senior winemaking director.

At the suggestion of his wife saying something to the effect of   “how about making some new world wine”

Jean-Marc joined the Culmina Team  as Vineyard Manager and Winemaker in 2016.  Today he pours 7 wines.

As good as he is, perhaps his greatest accomplishment is welcoming two new children to the family while in the Okanagan.

“they’re taking French and I’m taking English”

 Sandy, Jean-Marc and I  tasted and talked about Laughing Stock Vineyards.

2021 Viognier

2020 Chardonnay

2020 Pinot Noir

2019 Syrah (new release)

2019 Portofino (new release)

2020 Portofino (unreleased)

 

Culmina Family Estate Winery

2019 Decora

2021 Unicus

2018 Dilemma

2019 Malbec

2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Hypothesis

2017 Hypothesis (unreleased)

 

www.laughingstock.ca

www.culmina.ca

 

STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON

 

Hester Creek

Sipster’s Pocket Guide

Holiday wine gifts

(for you and maybe someone else)

The launch of Q&A Wine.

Tony Stewart and Winemaker Jaime Dowell  Lake Sonoma & Plume