April Wine Selection


Finally!  This is the month when Val & Anthony head to Europe with the Epicureans, touring Crete and Tuscany!  Here’s hoping they find some great wines that we can start carrying on our shelves!  While they’re away we’ll stay busy with our usual Saturday tastings, the wine club, beer club, and now the Wine Workshop.

Domaine Reine Juliette

Picpoul de Pinet

I’ve been waiting months to have this one back in stock.  We had it through summer last year but I had mostly overlooked it.  Then in November at my WSET 3 course it came up in the curriculum as a gem of Languedoc, where cooling Mediterranean sea breezes help preserve a high degree of acidity in the grapes.  How high?  Well “Picpoul” translates to “stings the lip”, so consider that when you serve this one.  Along with that acidity there is a distinct saline-like minerality.  My suggestion? Wait for an afternoon in the sun, have this chilled nicely, and pair it with some oysters or calamari for the perfect scenario.  Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long…

Monte Creek

Hands Up White Blend

Lets figuratively close the book on winter with a white blend featuring a number of hybrid grapes, noteworthy for their cold weather resistance.  Those being Frontenac Blanc, Frontenac Gris, and La Crescent.  As well in the blend there is Riesling, Gruner Veltliner, and Gewurztraminer, all long established German grapes which do well in the cool northern Europe areas.  The cold weather resistance means these vines have a better chance of surviving winter frost, which has been a serious problem for B.C. the past couple winters.  Perhaps the future of Okanagan wine will be in these Hybrid grapes?  If that is the case I think we’ll be in for some really cool wines, like this one!  It’s slightly off-dry, but balanced with great lively acidity.  There is a ton of tropical and citrus notes like melon, mango, lemon, and lime.


Celler de Capcanes

La Nit de les Garnatxes

Last month we presented to you both a red and white wine made from the same grapes, this month we have a similar but different feature!  The Night of Grenache is a terroir focused release from Celler de Capcanes, which features different iterations of the Grenache grape produced from different soil types!  Geeky, I know, but also cool.

I had some friends over to taste these wines side by side to see if we could notice a difference, and I encourage all of you to host your very own “Night of Grenache”!

Taquito wasn’t sold on either of the wines, but he is a connoisseur of potato chips

Last Friday we hosted our second Wine Workshop, diving into the topics of Alcohol & Tannin in wine.  I wanted to give everyone a better look at what we’re doing at the Wine Workshop, and with that in mind I thought I would pull back the curtains on the wines we tasted last week!


In order to dive deep into the concept of alcohol and tannin in wine I got to have some fun sourcing some really unusual and obscure wines.


Cinsault is generally a blending grape in southern Rhone and Provence where it lends fresh red fruit flavours without adding much tannin or colour.  In South Africa it has more significant history, having been crossed with Pinot Noir to create Pinotage, and cultivated on its own.  These wines are as light in tannin as it comes while still being visibly red, and drink with an easy fruitiness.  This bottle from Testalonga is unfined and unfiltered, so expect some cloudiness when you pour it.  It shows some cranberry, apple skin, and a funky fennel kind of note.  Have it with some salty charcuterie or antipasto on a hot day, maybe even with some ice cubes and a splash of soda water in your glass.


To contrast that, we went to Uruguay for Tannat.  Tannat, as it sounds, is an intensely tannic grape originally from Southern France.  Like Malbec and Carmenere, it is finding new footing in the hot climate of South America.  Anthony jokes that this is a wine that is so dark you cant see through the glass, even after its empty!  In spite of its imposing name and appearance, the wines can actually be quite inviting, just give them an hour or two to open up before you enjoy, and pair it with fatty red meat to put those tannins to work.  The fruit of this wine in not the focus, but, there is some blackberry and plum, oak is the bigger influence here - vanilla, mocha, and earth.


Now that’s just the wines from the Wine Workshop, at the event I spend time covering the actual topics of what alcohol and tannin are, how they get into your wine, and what they do to wine.

The big reveal at last weeks Wine Workshop

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