Tune up for the annual Wine and Blues Fest

Wine Wise with Doug Sloan

Planning to attend the Rotary Wine & Blues Fest on Saturday June 11?

The much anticipated 7th annual Daybreak Rotary Wine and Blues Fest by the Sea happens at the Campbell River Maritime Heritage Centre, the evening of Saturday, June 11 from 7-9:30 p.m.

“We have over 12 winery representatives with wine from regions all over the world and craft beer tasting,” said Theresa Marson, one of the coordinators of the event. “The wine tasting is complemented by a special selection of cheeses, cold cuts, breads, fruit dishes, spreads etc. all generously provided by Thrifty’s Food, Super Mario’s Bar & Lounge, Rocky Mountain Chocolates, Natural Pastures Cheese, and Grieg Seafood.

Not to be entirely outdone by the selection of fine British Columbia wines that will be available for sampling, Red Dog Wines & Spirits will be pouring some imports from Chile and France.

Albamar wines are the entry level from Chile’s Willian Cole Winery. Albamar Merlot (554535) $11.25 is a soft cherry red colour. Notes of dark chocolate, cinnamon, leather, and subtle spices tantalize the nose. This easy drinking wine offers gentle tannins, balanced acidity and medium persistence. Ripe cherry and plum flavours tease the taste buds.

From the south of France the cuvee of Les Soleillades Rosé (320069) $15.99 is a selection of the best fruit from the Coteaux d’Aix en Provence –  a blend of 50 per cent Grenache, 40 per cent Cinsault and 10 per cent Syrah. With its bright, light pink colour and subtle fruity aromas, it tastes of crisp watermelon and delicate strawberries with a citrus twist over a delicious raspberry base.

Offering exceptional value at an affordable price, Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon (76067) $16.49 oozes aromas of blackcurrant, mint and sage with a twist of fresh cut tobacco on the nose. Full of fruit on first sip, it carries through into a remarkably full-bodied mouthful of classic Cabernet Sauvignon blackcurrant and earthy mint flavours.

Down home wine lovers will be overwhelmed by the quality of the British Columbia whites and reds that will tantalize their taste buds.  Much as we are somehow reluctant to admit it, BC’s best wines can easily challenge our stale preconceptions, today. Get with the program!

New from The Hatch winery B.Yanco (772285) $16.90 is a lip-smacking blend of approximately 67 per cent Pinot Blanc grown in West Kelowna with 33 per cent Viognier from the hotter southern hinterlands of Osoyoos. The initial aromas and flavours of lemon and green apple are enhanced by the peach and honeysuckle influence of ripe Viognier.

Thornhaven Gewurztraminer (73661) $17.85 is rich and fleshy with classic lychee, potent floral perfume and sweet tropical aromas and flavours. With a wisp of candied tangerine peel, it is rich and confidently off-dry with an obvious twist of orange marmalade in the finish.

Many of these difficult to find wines will be available to buy on-site at Metro Liquor’s ‘pop-up’ store!

Luscious and masterfully balanced Tinhorn Creek’s Oldfield Series 2Bench White (307157) $21.49 is a blend of 29 per cent Chardonnay, 31 per cent Sauvignon Blanc, 28 per cent Semillon, 9 per cent Viognier and 3 per cent Muscat. It’s a fruit-cup of melon, pears, guava and peach with rose petals, honey, wildflowers and exotic citrus flavours.

Made entirely from Cabernet Franc – currently far and away the trendiest red varietal in the Okanagan Valley – Hester Creek Block 3 Reserve Cabernet Franc (467332) $30.00 clearly spent some time – 12 to 16 months in French and American oak. Complex aromas of cherry, raspberry and toasty vanilla are followed by vibrant flavours of cherry and bramble fruits with a lingering finish of spice and chocolate.

On loan from the Daybreak Rotary Wine and Blues Fest’s primary sponsor – Metro Liquor – WineWise’s own Doug Sloan will be offering a pair of structured lightning tasting seminars during the evening.  Seating is limited.  Consider signing up for one or both of the seminars when you arrive – before you become distracted.  The first seminar will feature Proseccos.  The second seminar will feature a range of Cabernet Sauvignons.

The ticket price of $50 – available at the Tidemark Theatre in Campbell River – also includes attendance at wine pairing seminars, samplings of specialty wines, door prize and a silent auction and – of course! – free taxi service home within the Campbell River area after the event.

Reach WineWise by emailing douglas_sloan@yahoo.com