B.C. VQA, Bartier Bros., Blue Grouse Estate Winery, British Columbia Wine, CedarCreek Estate Winery, Chardonnay, Little Engine Wines, Narrative Wines, Okanagan Crush Pad, Optima, Ortega, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris, Quails' Gate, Riesling, Singletree Winery, Stag's Hollow Winery, Tightrope Winery, Viognier, Wayne Gretzky Estates
It is that time of year again! While this year looks entirely different, I choose to focus on the good things; like family, friends and good wine.
I am a ‘make a list and check it twice’ kind of girl who actually enjoys compiling this list each year to make your holiday shopping decisions more straightforward and less stressful. Your selections this week feature beautiful British Columbia wines. I have a few that are great for entertaining (when we can actually do that again!), some for gift giving and others to secretly purchase for yourself and savour when you have some well-deserved ‘down-time.’
GGG’s 2020 WHITE Wine Shopping Guide:
- Wayne Gretzky Estates Pinot Grigio 2019 Okanagan Valley B.C. VQA $11.49 currently on sale at the BCLDB stores. Quite honestly, I purchased this wine for my weekly ‘Wine Wednesday’ Happy Hour group. The theme was ‘Celebrity Wines’. I was impressed, more than I thought I would be, and for the price, I felt like I was Number 99 on a breakaway to a game-winning goal! Fruity, fun and loaded with flavours of ripe peach and nectarine.
- Singletree Winery Sieggie Siegerrebe 2017 Fraser Valley B.C. VQA $13.47 – Let’s start from the very beginning with the pronunciation of this German-variety grape (zee-geh-RAY-buh). I have become quite smitten with this grape over the past year, and Singletree’s ‘Sieggie’ is a tasty example of how well this unique grape can taste in British Columbia. Floral top notes alongside pear and lychee flavours.
- Cedarcreek Estate Winery Chardonnay 2019 Okanagan Valley B.C. VQA $16.99 – You know you can count on me to offer at least two Chardonnay selections on my shopping list! I was introduced to the 2019 vintage at the Vancouver International Wine Festival – just before the world shut down. I enjoyed this wine and the price point so much that I made it my mission to tell others about it. Think citrus, not too much oak, and great acidity.
- Tightrope Winery Riesling 2018 Naramata Bench B.C. VQA $21.00 – I am a huge fan of Lyndsey O’Rourke’s winemaking; her approach is restrained and elegant; case in point is Tightrope Winery’s 2018 Riesling. This is one of the best Riesling wines I tasted this year with flavours of cantaloupe, Granny Smith apple and mandarin orange. It is a structured, yet elegant wine with a tantalizing finish.
- Okanagan Crush Pad Narrative Viognier 2018 Okanagan Valley B.C. VQA $22.90 – This is an impressive Viognier. OCP’s succulent wine bursts with ripe pineapple and mango flavours and a floral top note. It is a beautiful find and a beautiful wine from impressive winemaker, Matt Dumayne. http://www.GirlsGoGrape.com Wine Score – 91 Points
- Stag’s Hollow Winery Pinot Gris 2019 Skaha Bench B.C. VQA $22.99 – With an homage to Alsace, this off-dry Pinot Gris is delicious with flavours of pear crumble, cantaloupe, ginger and a hint of honeysuckle on the finish. This is one of my favourite wines I enjoyed this year. http://www.GirsGoGrape.com Wine Score – 93 Points
- Bartier Bros. Vineyard and Winery Chardonnay ‘Cerqueira Vineyard’ 2018 Okanagan Valley B.C. VQA $23.49 – Another Chardonnay, and this time by the talented winemaker, Michael Bartier. Charming and refined. Loaded with both citrus and stone fruits, this mouthwatering Chardonnay will please the palate. http://www.GirlsGoGrape.com Wine Score – 90 Points
- Blue Grouse Estate Winery and Vineyard Ortega 2019 Vancouver Island B.C. VQA $23.99 – The unique grape variety, Ortega, is synonymous with the Cowichan Valley as Vancouver Island’s signature grape. The organically farmed Ortega vines used to craft this delicious wine are over 25 years old. Bailey Williamson, Blue Grouse Estate’s winemaker and one of my favourite people, suggests pairing this aromatic wine with local B.C. shellfish and seafood. Believe me, he knows what he is talking about!
- Quails’ Gate Late Harvest Botrytis Affected Optima 2018 Okanagan Valley, B.C. VQA $34.99 – For the very first time, I am including a ‘Desert Wine’. When you try it, you will understand why I wasn’t going to leave it off the list. Unctuous and appealing, you will want to have this special bottle on hand for a celebratory tipple. With notes of honeysuckle, marmalade and ripe peach, this sweet wine is intoxicating. Pair with blue cheese or paté, and you will be in heaven.
- Little Engine Wines ‘Gold’ Chardonnay 2018 $57 – Located on the beautiful Naramata Bench, Little Engine Wines is one of my favourite spots for an excellent wine experience. Steven and Nicole French, the proprietors, alongside winemaker Scott Robinson all share something in common with me. They are all #chardcore and adore Chardonnay as much as I do. Their 2018 ‘Gold’ series Chardonnay is swoon-worthy, incredible and something to savour. This is a wine you buy yourself for well-deserved treat. It is layered, balanced and complex and exceptionally delicious.
Check out the B.C. Liquor store website to see if these wines are available in your area. Others, are available through the winery direct or private stores.
Also, if you are searching for the perfect cookbook for the wine lover on your list, look no further than Jennifer Schell’s ‘The B.C. Wine Lover’s Cookbook’ available at Indigo and Amazon. I am working my way through the recipes (well, David is and I am pairing the wines and loving the meals) and it is by far the favourite cookbook in our home.
I wish you a healthy and beautiful holiday season. Your red, rosé and bubble shopping lists will be out shortly!