Recommendations for your sipping and tasting pleasure!
The following is a list of the wines, cheeses and dishes that suit our upcoming live Zoom session with Mark Shipway on the red wines of North East Italy. You will find some useful links to further your enjoyment food and wine of the regions. All of the wines mentioned are available in the BC market either at the BC Liquor stores, or Marquis Wine Cellars. Private wine stores may have additional offerings. If you have any questions, please let us know.
From Amarone with Love!
Style of the Red Wines from the Veneto
It’s a memory that never leaves me. It was after a celebratory meal at a legendary steakhouse in Calgary. A bottle of Masi Amarone was ordered. It has pre-2000 vintage. Along with the bottle, a cheese plate was served. It was love at first sip and deep passion at the first bite of a blue cheese (maybe Castesllo Blue or Cambozola) to pair with this sip. I was smitten and forever dreaming of this label and the flavour experience.
Meet the Wine Whisperers!
Give it up for Mark, Cynthia, Van Doren & Robert!
DimSomm? Four styles of wine to go with the best of Dim Sum
presented by Vancouver's top Sommelier - Robert Stelmachuk.
Tickets are $39 and on sale here for April 13th at 7:30 pm on Zoom.
What is Dim Sum?
Is there a better long lunch than DimSum? Influenced by "nouvelle cuisine" in the 70s, trends in Hong Kong quickly crossed the Pacific arriving in Vancouver. Succulent petite portions of super fresh prawn, scallop, and pork dumplings in a variety of shapes and sizes with fillings that could transport you places that you'd never been. Flavours that you'd never tasted before exploded onto your palate and all you wanted was more texture, flavour and slurpy goodness. Then there were sauces - smooth spicy red chili, yellow mustard, oily hot chili flakes, salty soy, sweet umami hoisin and sweet vinaigrette that could shift sweet succulent Sui Mai into a fiery salty mouthfilling explosions. Pass me a glass of water, green tea or Coca-cola.
Now add Robert Stelmachuk and voila - mind blowing! It's DimSomm - four styles of wine paired with the main styles of Dim Sum and the celebration just moved to a whole new level. Who would have thought? Yet imagine champange with Har Gow? Pinot Noir with steam rice in tea leaf with minced meat? But don't listen to me - find out what Robert recommends.
DimSomm Wine List
90+Wines Highlights the Best of BC Wine
SommWine and Good Wine Gal in collaboration with Swirl Wine Store in Yaletown, Vancouver, Canada are highlighting top BC Wines for you!
Who is 90+Wines?
Barb Wild, DipWSET and Joanne DiGeso, DipWSET
are passionate wine professionals here to help you find and enjoy BC wine. Thanks to Jeff Wong at Swirl Wine Store, these wine sleuths are uncovering hidden gems from BC's wine country.
It's gotta score...
All wines are evaluated on a 100 point scale. The tasting notes are converted to word clouds that reference the key highlights of each wine. The top scoring BC Wines then go into wine packs of 2, 3, 4 and 6 bottles. These packs are posted on 90+Wines and can be ordered online for pick up or delivery.
Sláinte Mairin Ui Mhurchu, DipWSET
Meet amazing Mairin - a passionate Irish wine woman!
There are winelovers and then there is Mairin. She's the type of winelover who gets up at 2:30 am Irish time to show up to our 7:30 pm evening session in Vancouver. Her bottle would be breathing and glasses polished. No moss under this gal's feet.
Not only is her Irish accent totally lovely, but her love of wine is second to none. We appreciate her spirit of community and can vouch for her of arriving a stranger and leaving a friend. We love you Mairin! Thanks for being a a part of the Good Wine Gal community and an inspiring winelover! We all look forward to seeing you again soon. Stay safe!
Il Molino di Grace – Il Margone Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013
Tenuta Argicole Il Molino di Grace is a 62 hectare property is just south of Panzano half way between Florence and Sienna. Here grapes are carefully selected from organic vineyards that rise to elevations 350-400 metres on hilly slopes. Elevation and exposure ensure perfection for late ripening Sangiovese. In the winery, the wine is blended and aged for 16 months in new and used French barriques and tonneaux followed by three years of bottle age.
How to read the Chianti Classico wine label?
Rivera ‘Il Falcone’ Castel del Monte Rosso Riserva 2014
Puglia (or Apulia in anglicised form) is one of southern Italy’s lesser known but up-and-coming viticultural regions and one that every wine lover should have on their radar. Geographically speaking, Puglia is the high heel on the boot of Italy, jutting out into the Mediterranean, the Adriatic sea to the east and Ionian to the south. However, the region is somewhat unique within the typical mountainous terrain of the south, as it boasts a very sizeable proportion of flat agricultural land; a fact that has enabled a recent surge in the total acreage under vine which has catapulted Puglia to become Italy’s second largest wine producing region. Historically less fortunate, the region was characterized for a large part of the 20th century by anonymous bulk wine; a stigma which has confined Puglia until recently to the cheap and cheerful category. However, now is the time to view Puglia’s vinous output through another lens; a lens that focuses on quality rather than quantity with an increasing number of wineries creating authentic wines from a vast variety of native Puglian grapes.
Meet Wine Lover Leanne Quirk
Wine is her passion. If you ask Leanne, she’ll tell you she's over the moon to have found a second career - one she absolutely loves! The happiness shows. It never fails when I see Leanne in the wine crowd, she's wearing a big smile with her acknowledging warm eyes, swirling and sipping with focus and interest. She is loved by many for her ease, natural curiosity and passion for good wine. Thanks for being a part of our wine community Leanne. We appreciate the energy you bring.
If you want to catch up with Leanne you can find her at West Coast Liquor in Kerrisdale. She'd love to help you shop!
Italy is known as land of vine and wine! They say over 1000 grape varieties can be found growing in diverse micro climates and ancient soils over a landmass where wine growing has existed for thousands of years. Most of us are familiar with Tuscany, famous for Chianti from the Sangiovese grape, but there is so much more just under the radar. When it comes to Southern Italy there are three cool influences that make it stand out. These influences are unique grape varieties, the wine regions and the active volcanoes.
Monte Cascas Colheita 2019 - Vegan & Bio
Monte Cascas Colheita 2019 is a blend of Aragonez *85% & Rufete. It is a full bodied, fruity and smooth red that would make any red wine lover happy.
Appearance is deep ruby in the glass. On the nose ripe red fruits with black fruit undertones (red raspberry, red plum, black berry, black currant) with toasted biscuits, warm sweet spice, mineral salts, and dried chives. On the palate the flavours of stewed plums and sweetened black currant compote even cherry pie with pastry complete with sweet vanilla spice and chocolate flakes. There is so much freshness and vibrancy in this wine that I couldn’t resist taking another sip. The finish lingers juicy and fresh to the end. Smooth soft tannins on this wine supports the good balance of fresh acidity moderate alcohol. Available at Marquis Wine Cellars for $29 before tax.
"It's all about the enjoyment of wine," says Maggie
About a year ago, life as we know it changed. Change inspires and so here we are gathering weekly on Zoom to learn about grape varieties and wine regions of the world. One of the first ladies to get on board and show her support was Margaret "Maggie" Robinson. Maggie loves food, wine and family and I think she considers the Good Wine Gal community - family. Click to read more about Maggie.
Portugal Por Favor
There are three things that you should know about Portugal beyond the hospitality fame of excellent wine, delicious food and friendly people everywhere you go. The reason you should be aware of these three things is, this series of events had a huge impact on the wine world, changing it forever. The first was a series of catastrophic events that took place starting on All Saints day, Sunday, November 1st 1755. The second was the installment of the Minister of State Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, the Marquis de Pombal to reconstruct Lisbon and the third was the establishment of a classification system for Port wine from the Douro Valley.
Aroa Bodegas ‘Le Naturel’ 2019
Spain is one of Europe’s (and hence the world’s) three largest wine producing countries and the one which is currently undergoing a very marked stylistic revolution in terms of its vinous output. Spain has a long and rich viticultural history that includes a well-established production and export of some very famous wines (think sherry and Rioja) which has provided Spain with all the necessary tools for success in today’s global wine market. However, it is a rejuvenation of mindset amongst an ever increasing number of the nation’s producers that makes this country one of most exciting to explore for today’s adventurous drinker. Gone are the days of the quantity over quality dynamic that typified the industry for a large part of the 20th century during the Franco dictatorship; likewise what came next - the desire to make wines to purely to satisfy the mass market demands of the high volume importers is thankfully now being reassessed. New Spain is all about the journey to discover authentic wines of place.
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I blog about "good wine" and how to find it!
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