Warm up with fruit-driven red wines!

Need a resolution that you will enjoy immensely?

Resolve to attend the 41st Annual Vancouver International Wine Festival which will run from February 23 through March 3, 2019 at numerous venues in Vancouver.

Meanwhile, moving into the New Year, there’s a red wine for almost any wine lover’s taste or budget.

As close to being as affordable as Canadian wine ever gets to be,The Winemaker’s House Merlot comes from the same multifaceted wine manufacturing enterprise that brings us Screw It!, Painted Turtle, Kindle, Pendragon, Mission Ridge, Mission Hill, Prospect, Road 13, Cedar Creek, Checkmate, etc… Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits!

Merlot is the most widely planted red wine grape in the Okanagan Valley. Formerly categorized as CIC – ‘Cellared in Canada’ – now known an ICB – ‘International Canadian Blend’ – The Winemaker’s House Merlot $6.99 likely has some home grown grapes in its juicy, plummy, berry blend.

Fowles Wine is based in the one of the coolest regions in Australia – the Strathbogie Ranges of Victoria. Fowles line of ‘Farm to Table’ wines are deliberately on the leaner side, dialed-back from that typically Australian over-the-top fruitiness, better suited to the dinner table.

Created to pair with farm raised meats – as opposed to hunted/game meats – Farm to Table Cabernet Merlot 2015 $15.99 features subtle cherry and blackcurrant notes over fresh cut green pepper and a sprinkling of mint and toasty oak in the finish.

Malbec is Argentina’s flagship red variety. If you just discovered Argentine Malbec in 2018, there’s no need to end your explorations of this elegantly unassuming wine grape in 2019. New examples continue to arrive almost weekly.

Grupo Penaflor S.A. is a consortium of Argentine wineries that includes well known producers like Trapiche, Mascota and Santa Ana. New to BC from Penaflor, Finca El Camino Malbec $15.99 is a medium bodied red that combines lush, juicy, dusky cherry and blueberry fruit flavours with silky ripe tannins, earthy olive and nutty almond notes.

French reds continue to evolve and fascinate us. East of famed Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the southern Rhone Valley, Ventoux was recognized with Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status in 1973.

Beyond simply organic, Terra Ventoux Les 5 Terroirs Vieilles Vignes Rouge 2015 $16.99 embraces biodynamic principles – “respecting the rhythms of nature and promoting harmony between the cosmos,

the plants, the life of the soil and the gestures of man”. Primarily Grenache, ripe plums, prunes and blackberry fruit flavours dominate this mouthful with the spiciness of Syrah adding weight to the finish.

Some of the oldest Vitis Vinifera vines in the Okanagan Valley were planted by Joe Busnardo in Divino Estate Winery’s 70 acres of vineyards in the early 1980s. Today those are the vineyards of Hester Creek Estate Winery.

A complex blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet Franc , Hester Creek Character Red Blend $18.99 is aged for 8 months in American and French oak barrels. This gorgeous red oozes red and black berry and currant fruit flavours from first sip. Cappuccino, dark chocolate, coffee, licorice and clove notes simmer along beneath the fruit.

South of France’s famed Bordeaux in Gascony, tucked under the Pyrenees, Madiran is a little known wine village where the edgy, tannic Tannat grape is the basis of most reds. In 1980 there were only 15 acres of vines in Madiran. Now there are 3,200 acres, and fine red wines are emerging.

Needing a year or two in the cellar or 24 hrs in a decanter to really shed its stuffing, Château Peyros 2013 Madiran Tannat-Cabernet $19.99 is a sturdy mouthful of dry red wine. Intriguingly dusty dried cherry and raspberry fruit flavours are enhanced by the plum, blackcurrant and mint nuances of the Cabernet and the peppery, earthy ‘structure’ of the Tannat.

Tannat from Uruguay’s Bodega Garzon will be featured at VanWineFest in February. Don’t forget to attend the 41st Annual Vancouver International Wine Festival. Details available at VanWineFest.ca!

Reach WineWise by emailing douglas_sloan@yahoo.com or visit dougsloanwinewise.com online.

Just Posted

No injuries after collapsed floor traps worker at former mill in Campbell River – fire chief

Company says it’s investigating after incident at decommissioned Catalyst facility

Jolly Giant convenience store robbed in Campbell River

Campbell River RCMP asking for public’s help in identifying suspect

MARS seeing influx of sick, injured eagles from north part of Vancouver Island

Factors for increase in eagle cases can be anything from lead poisoning to vehicle strikes

Bowl for Breath on Feb. 2 and 3 supports work on cystic fibrosis

School registration forms for Campbell River event are due Jan. 18

Campbell River Storm blow away Glacier Kings on the road

Team remains well in the lead league-wide and a whopping 23 points up on Nanaimo in the division

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Suspect allegedly armed with handgun robs Island gas station

Incident occurred Sunday night in Nanaimo

Most Read