A little Wine and Blues Fest with a luscious off-dry Lake Breeze.

Got the Blues? A little wine can help with that

Wine Wise with Doug Sloan

If you like discovering a good wine you are almost guaranteed to find just the wine that matches your palate at the 7th annual Day Break Rotary Wine and Blues Fest by the Sea.

This much anticipated event happens at the Campbell River Maritime Heritage Centre, the evening of Saturday, June 11th 2016 from 7-9:30 p.m.

“We have winery representatives with wine from regions all over the world – as well as craft beer,” 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 and a variety of tasty treats provided by Super Mario’s Bar & Lounge, Rocky Mountain Chocolates, Natural Pastures Cheese, and Grieg Seafood.

As difficult as it may seem, don’t spritz up with perfume, cologne or aftershave before heading out for an evening of nibbling and sipping at the 38th annual Vancouver International Wine Festival.  Even the subtlest of scents can confuse your sensitive nose and baffle your taste buds… not to mention the evil glares you’ll get from fellow wine enthusiasts standing next to you.

Start with a sipping sample of 40 Knots Whitecaps (8243) $21.45 from Comox. Clean fresh fruits, hand harvested and whole bunch pressed. Slow and cool fermentation in stainless steel helps it retain its gorgeous aromatics and zingy finish. Spicy, floral, tropical, apple and pear flavours predominate!

There will be music by Tim Williams the 2014 International Blues Challenge Award Winner in Memphis as best Solo Artist, a string of Maple Blues Award nominations and three JUNO award nominations. Tim blends passionate, soulful vocals and awe-inspiring chops on a number of instruments including finger-style and slide guitar, mandolin and Hawaiian guitar.

Move on to the lusciously off-dry Lake Breeze ‘The Spice Jar’ (9472) $19.10 from Naramata in the Okanagan Valley.  A blend of 45 per cent Gewürztraminer, 30 per cent Ehrenfelser, 15 per cent Schönberger and 10 per cent Viognier, it shows a medley of apple, pear, mango and pineapple flavours in a marvellously soft white wine.

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.

Start tasting reds with Cabriz Colheita Seleccionada (623918) $14.25 from Portugal. This well-structured, muscular red adds a sprinkling of peppery spice to the wild plum and dried raspberry flavors.  Notes of beef and earth mark the finish.

This year’s wine representatives include: Mark Anthony Brands, Peller Estates, Peacock & Martin, Constellation Brands, Storied Wines & Spirits, Lone Tree Cellars, 40 Knots Estate Winery, Vibrant Vines, Red Dog Wine & Spirits, Trialto, The Bacchus Group, Blue Moon and Phillipe Dandurand Wines. Each representative selects a cross section of wines for tasting, often featuring a new or unique selection to be sampled.

Keep a record of your favorite wines rather than trying to quaff down more of them. If you find a wine you really like, write it down and stick the information in your pocket. A quick pic on your cell phone is an excellent way to truly capture your favourites if you don’t buy them at Metro Liquor’s on-site ‘pop-up’ store to enjoy in the comfort of your home.

Track down a sample of Montes Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon (322586) $26.35 from Chile.  Aged for 12 months in fine-grained Alliers oak barrels from France it is a blend of 90 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon and 10 per cent Merlot exuding aromas of red fruit – strawberries and ripe cherries. Classic blackcurrant, ripe plum flavours finish with toast, caramel, cedar, mint, coffee, fresh-cut tobacco, and creamy vanilla.

And don’t be surprised if you discover a couple of BC’s finest craft breweries offering samples of their best brews, too!

Regardless of your intentions, when you’re sampling even a small fraction of the many wines that will be available for you pleasure and enlightenment, you’ll start to get a little light-headed. Drink lots of water before you go and keep sipping as you work your way through the evening. You’ll feel better for it in the morning!



Reach WineWise by emailing douglas_sloan@yahoo.com