Effingham Oysters Love BC Sparkling Wine at Tofino Oyster Fest 2023
"With a delicate balance of brininess, sweetness, and a subtle cucumber-like finish, Effingham Pacific Oysters showcase the terroir of their cool, coastal region. These oysters are renowned for their exceptional taste imparted by the nutrient-rich Barkley sound, and the waters in which they are grown. As a wine gal and East Coast oyster lover, I was pleasantly surprised by these West Coat gems. To learn more about Effingham oysters and a couple of wine pairings, read on.
Are you keen to live a great wine life? If so, read on. In my experience, some of the most memorable moments come from the spontaneous and imperfect happenings. While I can't accept imperfect bubbles, I have fun ideas to spark more pleasure. On February 14th, why not shuck Effingham oysters or cook and eat prawns in their shells, together with your love. Turn meal prep into a Valentine's Day feast that is tasty, funny and collaborative. If you look after the entrée, I've got you covered with pink champagne recommendations.
Think Pink for a Perfect Valentine's Day Bubble
Love doesn't just happen on February 14th. It's everyday in everyway. But if you miss the opportunity to shower your loved one with love, you might end up getting the cold shoulder or worse, ghosted. It won't take but a few minutes and a little effort to make your lover feel special and isn't that the key to a happy life? If you are looking for the perfect sip to celebrate your love, check out these beauties. Paired with a few oysters on the half shell and boom - perfection. My advice, don't skip over or skimp on Valentine's Day.
The sun came out from behind the clouds. The sky went from dark to light, the temperature from chilly to warm, and suddenly it all came together. As the breakers crashed on the beach in front of the Best Western Tin Wis the mood lifting effect was immediate. There I was, with a skewer of grilled Humboldt squid and a sip of Anthony Buchanan’s Pinot Blanc in my glass and this "good wine" gal was in gourmet heaven at the Tofino Wine & Dine in Tofino, B.C.
Trip to Tofino, B.C.
When was the last time you visited Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park? A road trip in 2023 rekindled my love for this amazing beach destination. If you need a reason to visit, read on. Attending the Tofino Wine & Dine in June and the Tofino Oyster Fest in November were highlights in 2023 for this wine gal.
Famous Hungarian Furmint
Furmint, (pronounced "For-Mint") is a white wine grape variety indigenous to the Tokaj region of Hungary where it is grown predominantly and used in the making of sparking, sweet and dry white wine. February 1st marks #furmintday, the social media online celebration and the first of the World Wine Days in 2024. Join the conversation by grabbing a bottle, inviting a friend and sampling the best that Hungary has to offer. Take a few pictures, and upload to Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #furmintday. Join the conversation and meet other wine lovers as the World Wine Days celebrations kick off 2024. If you haven't downloaded the calendar, click for your copy.
5 "Champagne Lover" Destinations for 2024
Whether you are heading to Italy, France, Spain, South Africa or Australia this year or planning a staycation in BC, this list is for you. Here are my top 5 destinations for bubbles for 2024.
43 Reasons to Celebrate Wine
You don't have to give me a reason to sip my favorite beverage for I'm a passionate wine gal. But I have studied and am fully invested in the wine business. What if you are just beginning to advance your wine life? Could I offer 43 reasons to join me? Check out the 2024 World Wine Days Calendar. It makes learning about wine fun and easy. It's also a free and instantly downloadable file that anyone can use. The only other steps: get a bottle; invite a friend; and post a picture with the appropriate hashtag to meet up where wine lovers will be celebrating on Facebook and Instagram. If at first you don't succeed, there are 42 more reasons to try again. Celebrate and learn about the wine world's favorite varieties with the 2024 World Wine Days Calendar. It's a low cost and easy way to move the needle on your wine education.
Good Wine Gal's 5 Wine Predictions for 2024
Happy New Year Wine Lover! How was your holiday? I was surrounded by family and friends, playing games, hiking in the woods, sipping good wine and noshing all kinds of deliciousness. I'm optimistic about 2024 as a result. This year I am celebrating my decade in the wine industry. To kick things off, I'm going to share my bold predictions which are: continued growth in sparkling wine; winery efforts to reduce environmental impacts; the continued interest in Italian Wine; rise of non-alcoholic beverages; and wines from lesser known regions. Let me know what you think by leaving your comments below. If you like good wine, good food and good friends, keep in touch and I'll look forward to sharing it all with you in 2024.
Wow with Sparkling Wines Under $25
Let's wrap 2023 up in a neat bow and toss into the past. It's time to take stock of all that has transpired. The wine cellar is a bit more depleted, the friends are more scattered around the globe than I would prefer and travel is confounded by wars and tensions. Whatever the case, its time sip something to raise our spirits. Why not bubbles!?! Some might argue I'm addicted to champagne, but I could think of worse things. Truth is, I'm addicted to the occasions that can be celebrated with a white wine glass full of a elixir of dry, racy aromas and flavours supported by tiny, delicate pearls. I like the effervescence that bubbles bring to my palate and mood. Add a few oysters on the half shell and we've got a party. Because I like to share, here is my short list of bargains to help you ring in the New Year.
December 4th is Cab Franc Day
On International Cabernet Franc Day, wine enthusiasts around the world come together to celebrate this grape's unique qualities and the wines it produces, from the vibrant Okanagan Valley to the historic vineyards of France's Loire Valley and so much more. Thanks to Lori Budd of Dracaena Wines for establishing this day. Let’s raise a glass to Cabernet Franc, its history and style. Sip, sip, hooray! If you need recommendations read on.
It's Beaujolais Nouveau time!
Beaujolais Nouveau, known for its youthful fresh and fruity character, became a global phenomenon in the 60s and 70s. For wine enthusiasts across the globe, the third Thursday in November (this year November 16th) was and is a day to celebrate the end of harvest with a drink of young wine - so young that it went from vine to bottle in eight weeks. Despite it's lack of complexity, it symbolizes joy and the culmination of a year's hard work in the vineyards. While the excitement of Beaujolais Nouveau Day is no longer as raucous as it once was, the raison d’etre remains. Beaujolais Nouveau, if you can find a bottle, is not meant for aging. It is best served chilled at 13 degrees Celsius. It is perfect for a casual sip or pairing with soft mild cheeses. Raise your glass wine lovers and join the online conversation with the Beaujolais Nouveau Day. Use hashtag #BeaujolaisNouveauDay and post your style on Facebook & Instagram.
It's time to take a time out but not from wine!
Can you believe it's Canada Day already? We are at the halfway point of 2023. That begs the question: what's next winelover? Are you planning a trip to wine country, stocking a cellar or plannign a party? Please don't hestitate to reach out for support. That's why I'm here doing what I do. I love wine and I like to help.
Is there a definitive meaning to sustainability?
Ray Anderson’s rule "leave the planet better than we found it!"
Read about Cedar Creek Winery and how they are doing just that.
The Metamorphosis at Cedar Creek Winery!
The unpredictable weather patterns of 2022 didn't bypass Cedar Creek Winery. In fact, -26C for a few December nights caused serious bud damage. This spring, to address bud damage, more canes were laid with more spurs to increase the chances of leaves, flowers and fruit. “It could have been worse had it not been for the influence of the lake," says Graham Nordin, GM of Iconic Wineries of British Columbia. Cedar Creek has been going through a metamorphosis since 2017.
Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, said "change is the only constant in life." How right was he..
Haywire, Garnet Valley, Solvero & More
When the sun rises over the eastern mountains of the Okanagan Valley, it showers warmth across the western shore and brings life to West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland and Kaleden. The sounds of bees, birds, babies and tractors signal the return of life and another growing season. The question on everyone's mind is “will there be grapes?’ Here in the heart of wine country the answer is yes. There will be grapes. There are also new wineries to visit and new styles of wine to taste. In Summerland, with it's recently established sub-appellations, the new winery beginnings include the re-visioned Haywire Vineyards and Winery, (previously Okanagan Crush Pad), Garnet Valley Ranch and Solvero Wines. Did you know that Bottleneck Drive touring routes include all of these? The excitement is real and tasting rooms are ready to welcome visitors.
La Crema de la Crema - the best of the best - showcased South America wine like never before. The event kicked off Saturday April 29th at 5:15 pm with hometown wine guy Anthony Gismondi and South American wine expert Evan Goldstein MS (@evangoldsteinems) who lead us on a journey travelling from Chile and Argentina to Uruguay and Brazil.
Top Wines of South America Tasted at VIWF 2023
The "La Crema de la Crema" panel was complete with winemakers, brand ambassadors and business leaders who provided insights and experiences from a fine wine perspective that countered the $10 wine bargain - somewhat synonymous with this region over the past decade. In fact, there was a definite wow factor and tasting proved it. The conversation got off on the "dulce de leche" foot and despite the popularity of football and empanadas, passions flared. It seems that Uruguay's dulce de leche is the best.
The Vancouver International Wine Festival 2023 kicked off the week with a renewed sense of vibrant celebration. It feels like Covid never happened. The celebration of food, wine and theater kicked the doors of international wide open counting down in Portuguese as South America features as the wine region of focus. Not to be overshadowed, Brazil makes wine too!
The Global "Cru" Seminar Wine Review 2023
The traditional Grand Tastings and seminars are back and totally switched on to what’s new and what’s happening in the wine world. Seminars are a great way to continue your wine education and discover the best wines of the event. In this seminar, The Global Cru, the discussion focused on meaning. Is a "cru" wine something more delicious? Or more expensive? Cru is a French word with no real translation and it refers to a site or single vineyard that is unique in some way making extraordinary wine versus the plot of land just around the corner.
My taste buds sense vibrancy and energy. This is “good wine”.
Passion, Tradition & Music
At Winemaker’s Cut melodious tones echo through the vineyard and winery. Classical masterpieces play filling air as well as the vines and wines with energy and vibrancy. Without Michal and Marina Mosny, originally from Slovakia, finding joy in their work and bringing their passion for music with them, this would never have happened. The team of Michal as winemaker and Martina viticulturist, demonstrate the power of teamwork, attention to detail and impact a delicate touch of tradition can have. This ethos has shaped the last 11 years in the Okanagan Valley for this dynamic duo. The wines offer a distinct BC character and a sense of place here in the heart of the Okanagan Valley. If you haven’t yet visited Winemaker’s Cut or tasted their wines, check out the modern tasting room at District Wine Village in Oliver, where you can experience the Winemaker’s Cut portfolio from vibrant and fresh sparkling whites and roses to bold flavourful red.
The Best Wines of South America or "La Crema de la Crema" at the Vancouver International Wine Festival 2023
La Cream de la Crema was the final seminar of the Vancouver International Wine Festival Saturday evening from 5:15 pm to 6:45 pm. It featured a 10 member panel and two fabulous moderators demonstrating that power and profile of wines from South America. This show stopper was not only tasty but funny and familial as these vignerons brought favorite topics to the room including football, empanadas and "dulce de leche". Summed up, it was fantastically insightful and of an unanticipated calibre. South America is producing world class wine at a fraction of the price. See the wines tasted below.
The Best of the Best of South America
The best of the best showcased South America wine like never before. The event kicked off
Saturday April 29th at 5:15 pm. Hometown host Anthony Gismondi and South American wine expert Evan Goldstein MS (@evangoldsteinems) lead the discussion traveling from Chile, Argentina to Uruguay and Brazil.
To say that I am jealous of my wine friend Alena is an understatement. She studies, works and lives in the greatest wine region in Italy, maybe the world! Where is that you ask? Tuscany? One might think so, but no. She calls Mussotto home and is busy with research for her PhD thesis in the vineyards of La Morra, 10 kilometers south east of Alba in the hills of Bricco Rocca. This story introduces Alba, the International White Truffle Festival of Alba, a couple of fine restaurants and E. Molino wines made by one of Italy’s top enologists, Sergio Molino. If you are planning to visit Italy, make sure you have Alba on your list of stops. You’ll need a week and still not be ready to leave.
A Reason for B.C. Riesling!
In British Columbia, Riesling calls Lillooet in the north to Similkameen Valley in the south, home.
"To reach the end - or the final result of something" is only part of the meaning behind "culmina". In fact, aiming for the highest achievement is the other layer to this story. While the Culmina Family Estate Winery marked the final hands on wine chapter for the Triggs family, it marked some firsts for BC. The Culmina legacy continues today under the Arterra Wines Canada umbrella. If you want to know more about the interesting naming conventions, BC's first sub-appellation and the family behind it, keep reading. Why not pick up a bottle for some added pleasure to your afternoon?
A Wine LIst from Tasting Valtellina Wines in Sondrio
Without a doubt, visiting the vineyards of Valtellina was one of the highlights of 2022! This small, under the radar, quality wine region, located in the alps of northern Lombardy, produces stunning Nebbiolo wines from steep terraced vineyards left by the Romans more than 1500 years ago. The breathtaking views, the pristine mountain air and the fantastic wine and food will inspire you to put a pin in your travel map on the village of Sondrio. If you want to know more, keep reading. If you missed part one, here is the link.
I had the chance to visit Valtellina this fall. This story and these pictures were captured October 2nd & 3rd of 2022, on the last excursion that was part of the Wine Media Conference 2022. The stunning views, breathtaking vistas and fantastic food and wine were second only the our Valtellina hosts. These winemakers and proprietors were humble, generous and hard-working folks who have a big mission and vision - to share the story of Valtellina with wine lovers around the world.
But where is Desenzano del Garda?
When Zephyr Adventures announced that the Wine Media Conference 2022 would be hosted on the shores of Lake Garda, I was like - yes please! After 2 years of no travel, all I could think about was four glorious weeks in Europe with three of them dedicated to Northern Italy - a place I had never visited. Desenzano del Garda here I come! But where is Desenzano del Garda?
"To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it." -- Kurt Vonnegut
Do you have a creative outlet? Do you dream of bringing your inner desires into reality? When I was young, my mom encouraged me to write. Whether a travel journal from a trip to Disneyland or personal diary of daily observations, there was a culture in my family about writing things down.
I'm Good Wine Gal.
I blog about "good wine" and how to find it!
Join me on my adventures of finding beautiful wine loving places, people and those special bottles we all get excited about.