WINE WISE: Never too early to start thinking about Vancouver’s wine festival

Enthusiastic wine lovers might want to consider marking their calendar and saving the date to attend the 40th Vancouver International Wine Festival which takes place February 24 to March 4, 2018.

Next year’s Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF) is moving across the Atlantic to the Iberian Peninsula for 2018’s feature countries: Portugal and Spain.

They expect 60 wineries from these two neighbouring nations to participate, plus 100 additional wineries from around the world.

It is still much too early to know just which Iberian wineries will be pouring their finest wines at the VIWF.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t get a head start and do a little research on our own in the meantime.

Let’s focus on Spain.

A surprise hit at the last Campbell River Rotary Wine &Blues Fest was the inexpensive Spanish white Jana Chardonnay (858399) $10 with oodles of ripe mango and pineapple notes over a rich base of candied lemon rind flavours.

Think about keeping a few bottles of this great little white wine from Catalunya on hand for impromptu guests to enjoy on the deck this summer.

Red wine doesn’t have to be dry and tart.

Sangria is a traditional and popular drink in many Spanish towns, an integral part of the country’s history and tourism, synonymous with the beach, the sun, and a nice beach bar.

Recipes vary from region to region and even from house to house but Lolea Sangria (612440) $16.50 is a perfect pre-mixed combination of red Spanish wine and fruit juices that just needs to be chilled and poured over ice.

The eye-catching red bottle with large cream coloured polka dots stands out.

After the dissolution of the Roman Empire, the Tarragona region in northeast Spain started producing wine again in the Middle Ages, when vines were introduced by monks, who had migrated from the Burgundy region of France and Germany’s Rhine Valley.

Declared its own appellation in 2001, Montsant is known for rich red wines made from Garnacha.

Baronia del Montsant Flor d’Englora Garnatxa (667667) $17.99, the 2011 Flor de Englora ‘Garnatxa’ is made from grapes from 35-year-old vines.

It has a ripe plum and cranberry bouquet that presages the dusky flavours of sun-scorched cranberry, pomegranate and wild strawberries.

Situated in Castilla-La Mancha, southeast of Madrid, Bodegas Y Vinedos Familia Conesa makes a wide range of wines including the coveted D.O. Pago – Denomination of Origin.

A blend of 65 per cent Tempranillo and 35 per cent Syrah and Merlot, Conesa’s La Doncella Rosado (4262) $22.99 is a richly coloured rosé with floral notes and rich candied cherry and strawberry flavours.

This is a very full-bodied rosé that comes on sweet and fruity and finishes distinctly dry.

Paco &Lola is a wide-ranging cooperative based in Rias Baixas in the northwest corner of Spain. Like the clever folks who make Lolea Sangria, Paco &Lola has a fascination with polka dots that permeates the packaging of the entire range of their wines.

Paco Garnacha Tempranillo (625087) $25.05 is a fully fruited blend of Spain’s two best-known red wine grapes grown in the Navarra region east of Rioja.

Dry jammy strawberry flavours lead the medley with ripe red currant and blackberry filling out the back palate and finishing with a sprinkling of peppery liquorice.

One of the few wines available in B.C. from the highest layer of Denomination of Origin appellations – D.O. Pago – Finca La Sabina Cabernet Sauvignon (34252) $37.99 is a well-structured red wine reminiscent of the Bordeaux it emulates.

Aged in French oak, it has nuances of dark fruit, leather and spicy cedar over a core of dry earthy plums and prunes.

Burgundy red of medium intensity with brick-red and ruby rim. Dense tears.

Complex aromas with very good integration of French oak, with a ripe fruit compote, spices and floral notes reminiscent of violets. In the mouth it is pure equilibrium, mature and expressive tannin that adds body.

Tickets for the 40th Vancouver International Wine Festival will be for sale on an early-bird basis as of December 1. They make great gifts for wine lovers. Save the date.

Reach WineWise by emailing douglas_sloan@yahoo.com

 

These wines are just some of the offerings at the Vancouver Wine Festival.

Just Posted

Campbell River fire chief urges residents to respect fire ban

Prohibition on recreational fires comes into effect today at noon

Falling tree kills hiker near Campbell River

Woman dies on Ripple Rock Trail

Island hospitals test our their new helicopter sites

Tests included in-the-air analysis and on-the-ground exercise

City of Campbell River proposes pot shop restrictions

City intends to limit retailers to ‘primary service nodes’ and impose buffers from schools

Beating the heat: Island Health issues tips to combat complications of heat wave

The health ramifications of not being prepared could be disastrous

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hells Angels celebrating 35th anniversary party on Vancouver Island

Additional police resources will be in Nanaimo this weekend as roughly 300 members and hang arounds are expected

New campaign aims to tide food waste at home

About 2.2 million tonnes of edible food is discarded in Canada every year

B.C. couple reunited with dog three years after disappearance

A purebred Pomeranian is back with his parents, likely after years in a puppy mill.

BC Nurses Union calls for decriminalization of opioids

BCNU president wants the federal government to do more to reduce preventable deaths

Kitten OK after being rescued from underground pipe in B.C.

An adventurous feline has been rescued after getting trapped in an underground pipe in Kamloops, B.C.

A day after back-tracking, Trump defends summit performance

Amid bipartisan condemnation of his embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy, Trump at first sought to end 27 hours of recrimination by delivering a rare admission of error Tuesday.

Thai soccer players rescued from cave meet the media

Members of the Thai youth soccer team who were trapped in a cave have left the hospital where they have been treated since their rescue.

Elon Musk apologizes for calling cave rescue diver a ‘pedo’

Musk called a British diver involved in the Thailand cave rescue a pedophile to his 22.3 million Twitter followers on July 15.

Most Read