Meet Winemaker Stephanie Stanley.
Stephanie Stanley, a seasoned winemaking professional originally from the Okanagan, is shaping the future of whites, roses and sparkling wine in Lake Country. Having trained under Howard Soon, after many years with Peller Estates along with several winters in the southern hemisphere, she found her path leading back to the Okanagan Valley where she commissioned the new Fitzpatrick winery and ultimately arriving here at O'Rouke's Peak Cellars.
So what is happening in Lake Country? Hear Stephanie tell the story of Carrs Landing, new initiatives and plantings at Peak Cellars Winery. She's making single varietal wines from Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gruner Veltliner and Gewurztraminer. It's starting to sound like Alsace, non?
What does you wine glass say about you? Does it say "I like the finer things in life"? Does it say "I know my wine"? If you prefer a flute then you are looking for streams of fine bubbles. If you tend towards a coupe or the shape of Marie Antoinette's breast, then you are looking for fun. If it's unique shape for each grape variety then congrats - you appreciate the sensual elements of wine. If it's generic suiting all wine and washable in the dishwasher, then way to save money and time. For the record, here is my short take on wine glasses.
Where are the wine recommendations for BBQSomm? I can't find them!! Here you go. We've got six styles to choose from and all at a great price point. These are wines that drink above their price - isn't that what 'good wine' is? The wines listed below have automatic links that connect directly to our friends at Marquis Wine Cellars. Check it out!
Cheers to you for your interest in Moldova. Our next live session is this Thursday at 7:30 pm on Zoom. To register, follow this link. It's free to attend. If that doesn't fit your schedule our last session is June 22 at 11 am. Sign up here.
Welcome Back! It's Part 2.
This is Part 2 in our series on Moldova - a country that you have never heard of, that is until now. If you missed Part 1 here is the link. It introduces the history of Moldova from 10 million years BCE to present day which sheds light on why you may not be aware of this amazing wine country.
If you are interested in the wine story of Moldova, please join us June 10th at 7:30 pm by registering on Zoom. Use this link to reserve your place.
Moldova. Moldavia. Bessarabia. Today it is the Replublic of Moldova. It is a land far far away. But it's not the Disney story with the happy ending. Moldova was the wine gem of Russia, kept behind the iron curtain and turned into a wine factory making vast quantities of low quality wine. In the last decade, with a complete about face, Moldova is coming out and facing the West. There is an incredibly long history of grape growing and wine making. You'll find a sunny and favorable climate, unique soils, a long list of both international and indigenous grape varieties. You'll witness a number of development agencies working with Moldova to turn the tide in it's favor away from its dark past and towards modern production techniques and export markets. This is Moldova's chance to rewrite, revamp and revitalize it's industry and you can be a part of it. If history is a teacher then we have much to learn about the tenacity of Moldovan people and Moldovan wine.
BBQ tastes better with "wine"! Just sayin'
BBQSomm is a live Zoom event with VanMag's sommelier of 2020, Robert Stelmachuk and your host Good Wine Gal, Barb Wild. Join Robert and me as he shares his secrets for the best wine pairings to accompany Vancouver’s favorite BBQ. It might be southern, it might be Chinese, Japanese or Korean but one thing for sure - it's going to be tasty.
A few years back, when visiting Napa City, I found myself noshing on pork ribs that had been smoked for 24 hours and sipping some of Napa's best red wines. The meat was compact along the bones, the flavours were not just coating the surface. This was smokey, meaty California star power perfection. The place was called the Bounty and it turns out they also have the California star power wine list too. Ya, that's right. Wine and BBQ. You've heard it said a lot of beer goes into making good wine - I grateful for that. Everyone needs a cleansing ale from time to time but for me, when it comes to BBQ - I'm wine - all in.
5-Week Series on Rose All May | Week Five
Join Alison Kent of the Home Kitchen and me, Barb Wild of Good Wine Gal, as we explore the world of Rosé Wines throughout the Month of May.
Week Five ... The Finale!!!
Welcome back to Rosé All May! Hi, it's Barb. This is our final week and wow, we are having so much fun I'm not sure we can stop this train. How about you? Have you been following along? In case you missed our previous Rosé posts here are the links: Week 1 - Cinsault, Week 2 - Grenache; Week 3 - Bordeaux Varieties; Week 4 - Red & White grape blends.
5-Week Series on Rosé All May | Week Four
Join Alison Kent of the Home Kitchen and me, Barb Wild of Good Wine Gal as we explore the world of Rosé Wines throughout the Month of May!
Welcome back! It's Week Four.
To chill or not to chill?! NOT being an absolute wine enthusiast like my good friend Barb, I used to be less fussed about whether wine was served chilled or at room temperature, because by mid-glass it was always room temperature anyhow so why bother. HOWEVER, Barb’s wisdom has definitely been rubbing off on me, and I often DID appreciate that first sip of cool liquid on my throat enjoyed right away.
5-Week Series on Rose All May | Week Three
Join Alison Kent of the Home Kitchen and me, Barb Wild of Good Wine Gal as we explore the world of Rosé throughout the Month of May.
Welcome back! It's Week Three
Welcome back to Rosé All May! It's Alison. Rosés used to be too sweet for my taste. But they - like White Wine - can also be dry (= not sweet), light, bold, sparkling … Old World (think centuries old European vineyards where the ways of wine-making were developed) Rosés tend to be more dry, with New World styles (typically non-European vineyards that have taken the old styles of wine making and adapted them to suit new technology and the evolution of taste preference) can be sweeter. Of course, there are exceptions, and then there are the Ancient World wines - the true OG’s.
If you want to learn about food and wine pairing from the best - join us. You can buy wine and order take out or improvise to suit your budget, time and energy. There are no "requirements" other than signing up for the session by following this link. The session is $30 and supports everything you desire for a great date night. See you May 19th at 7:30 pm on Zoom.
Which wines pair well with BC's Bounty?
Our second session with Vancouver Magazine's 2020 Sommelier of the Year, Robert Stelmachuck is happening on Zoom May 19th at 7:30 pm. It's promising to be a tasty night of eye opening wine and food pairings garnished with excitement, stories and laughs.
5-Weeks of Rose-All-May | Week Two
Join Alison Kent of the Home Kitchen and me, Barb Wild of Good Wine Gal as we explore the world of Rosé. Share in this 5-week blog series as we explore the South of France, Italy, BC and more. In case you missed our inaugural Rosé post, here's the link.
Rosé All May! Week Two - Sud de France
A great place to start with Rosé is France - Provence, the Rhone Valley, the Languedoc or even the Island of Corsica. Here you will find Rosés in various shades of pink deliciousness. France produces more Rosé than anywhere else in the world. Prices vary but generally $20 is a good price point from which to start your tasting adventure.
Week One | Provence & Sud de France
Join Alison Kent of The Home Kitchen and me, Good Wine Gal as we explore the world of Rosé Wines throughout the Month of May. Follow us here, on Facebook and Instagram for more on this 5-week Series!
Winery Website Superheros!
The pandemic has been a catalyst for change. It's thrive or die. To show it's true colors and ability to think outside the box the Hungarians wine industry has taken a new approach to wine awards with the addition of winery website awards. The goal is to inspire and engage with it's industry to spur on adaptation and success in the global wine market.
The Top 5 Recommendations for Wine Touring & Tasting
Whether you are traveling to the wineries of British Columbia or the vineyards in the south of France for wine tasting, there are a few key recommendations that will guarantee a brilliant time.
Recommended White Wines
The following is a list of the wines that are recommended for this session. You will find bottles at the BC Liquor Store or private stores like Marquis Wine Cellars.
Love is ...Italian White Wine
When discussing Italian white wine, many think of Pinot Grigio and venture no further. Maybe it is the language barrier or maybe it’s just a lack of wine experience. Who can be sure? Did you know that Pinot Grigio is not even the most widely planted white grape in the country! When you lift the lid on the Pandora's box of white wines of Italy, you’ll discover - wow - a lot of freshness, flavour and affordability often sitting on the shelf right next to “reliable” Pinot Grigio. These styles can offer up crisp, fruity freshness that pairs perfectly with seafood, salads or patio sipping to richness and elegance perfectly suited to roasted Mediterranean chicken and pork dishes. Are you ready for some excitement and adventure in the discovery of many characterful and quality native Italian grapes? If so, read on.
On Thursday, April 8th we will gather with Mark Shipway on Zoom to travel the world of wine – this time in one of the most iconic wine regions of the world – North West Italy and home to Piemonte, Liguria, Lombardy and Valle d’Osta (Italy’s smallest wine region). The following list is our recommended list of wines available from BC Liquor Stores & Marquis Wine Cellars.
Piedmont borders France and Switzerland and sits at the foot of the Alps. Here the terrain rises to elevations of 1500 feet and drifts south to the fertile Po River Valley. The Alps protect the hills of Piedmont but can bring weather events like hail, frost and winds. The boom of air cannons reminds those in the vicinity of the on-going efforts to protect the vineyards from hail. Temperatures are monitored closely as are forecasts. Frost in the spring and fall are problematic in this hilly region. Fogs cling to the vineyards offering sometimes protection and sometimes death. Mists keep humidity in and breezes keep disease out. It’s miraculous that vintages succeed here in Italy famous gastronomic paradise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.