Today, I watched Fanny Kiefer on Studio 4 she had Mireille Sauvé, Sommelier & President, The Wine Umbrella, www.thewineumbrella.com as a guest. I found this show particularly interesting as I am a wine lover and enjoy trying and tasting different varietals. Did you know that Spain is becoming the new France for wine touring? I know countless people that booked their vacation time to go to France for just this reason, to tour and taste. Perhaps France will now have to share some of the tourism and dollars that tourists bring to go on wine tours to out of country destinations.
It seems of late that every month there is a new wine event, I am not complaining especially if the event planners put on “free” events from time to time. Vancouver, Canada just had the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival in April and this event featured some great wines from New Zealand and Argentina, you can read http://www.firstserviceshospitality.com/blog for the review! With so many choices and places to visit is can be very daunting where we choose to spend our money. It is fabulous that we have so many opportunities living in Vancouver, Canada, that we have access to all the wines from different countries available for us to try and purchase right here. You can also find some of these wines showing up on some wine lists in restaurants and they usually give you the option of purchasing a glass this way you do not have to buy the bottle. I am not mocking a trip to one of these beautiful locations though and the experience that you would have just from being there would be memorable! If you have the resources definitely go and have the total experience if you can not make the trip at this time some of these fabulous wines are available at your Government Signature Liquor Store.
Some wine facts that you should know: All reds should be uncorked and left for about one hour to “breathe”, not all reds need to be decanted but the more heartier reds like Cabernets that are robust should be decanted. The lighter reds like the young Merlots and Shiraz can be left open and in the bottle is fine. White wines need to be chilled and typically served cold(between 8ºC and 10ºC ) sometimes even a little higher, which is very close to the temperature in many underground cellars. White wines should not be served colder as they will lose some of their character, whites do not need to be decanted or left to breathe. Most wineries are now considering and some making the leap to screw caps. Before most people related a screw capped wine with inferior quality. This is not the case it actually preserves the wine longer than the traditional corking. If you get a corked wine it will smell like “dirty, smelly socks” this can happen in all wines from champagne, white and red. What happens is the cork has a bacteria that leads to this process, it can be from a small particle that was incorporated in the cork at the time the cork was being produced to the tree that the cork came from may have had the bacteria. It is very unlikely to come from an Oat barrel, but this can happen on very rare occasions.
Wine regions and the country of Spain is the feature for June in all Government Signature Liquor Stores in BC and there are approximately 20 of these stores around British Columbia, Canada. I am going to list a couple of wines that Mireille and Fanny reviewed during this interview and a couple of “Free” events taking place where you can go and try some of these wines. If you like what you try pick up a bottle or two to take home with you, but please remember not to drink and drive! Like the Spanish say ” feliz gustando”
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva $15.99 (Cava)
A dry sparkling wine made in the traditional ‘Champagne’ method, this bottle is one of BC’s best buys in a bottle of bubble. It’s very nice on its own and also makes a perfect base for any Champagne Cocktail.
Burgans Albarino $24.45 (Rias Baixas)
Dry with exotic aromas of honeysuckle, peaches, pears and citrus, this is an inviting white wine which sips well on its own or with food. Made from the Albarino grape, this is a benchmark example of the wine styles coming from the Rias Baixas region (also known as a “D.O.” or Denominacion de Origen) in north-western Spain.
Viña Albali Gran Reserva $22.99 (Valdepeñas)
This bottle is from the 2001 vintage, making it’s concentrated black fruit flavours soft and approachable on the palate. Made predominantly from Spain’s signature Tempranillo grape, this is a spicy red wine with hints of black plum, cherry and vanilla. Grown in the Valdepenas D.O.
Free Events June 5 and June 19 :
3:00PM-6:00PM Saturday June 5th at the Cambie and 39th Signature Liquor Store (complimentary food and flamenco guitar to add to the flavour of the event)
2:00PM-5:00PM Saturday June 19th at the Everything Wine Store in North Vancouver and Victoria ( complimentary food and flamenco guitar at this event)