Everything Wine

Wine-lovers rejoice: Clever hacks to see you through summer

Wine on patio

Sunny summer days call for kicking back on a patio, cracking open a bottle of wine, and toasting the season with good friends.

It also calls for genius wine hacks — little tricks that every wine lover needs.

“With summer, there are the classics: how to chill wine quickly and keep it cool in the sun,” said Kady Smith, an assistant manager at Everything Wine. “To chill wine, dampen some paper towels or a tea towel and wrap it around the bottle, then put it in the freezer. It only takes about 10 minutes. To keep it chilled, place the wine in a bucket of ice and keep it cool by adding salt to your bucket. Salt will lower the freezing temperature of the ice.”

Smith, who has studied wine and has been in the industry for 10 years, shared a few other hacks to make your summer sipping delicious:

Fantastic Frosé

Also known as frozen rosé or a rosé slushy, this cool drink is having its moment in the sun.

The simplest way to make it is to pour rosé into popsicle or other freezer moulds; the wine won’t freeze completely, and after about 25 minutes will be ready to transfer into glasses.

You could also pour a bottle of rosé into a blender along with two cups of strawberries, one-half cup superfine sugar, one-third cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, and ice and blend until slushy.

For any version of the pink drink, Smith recommends Barton & Guestier Cuvée Speciale Rosé ($16.99): “It’s fresh, it’s crisp, and it has lots of cherry characteristics, and it has a little bit of sweetness on the finish,” she said.

Wine picnic

Chill out

What to do when you’re going on a picnic but don’t happen to have a wine insulator on hand?  Head to your clothes drawers.

“Being a true Vancouverite, I have those insulated hiking socks,” Smith said. “Any sock for outdoor activity will work. Throw a cold bottle of wine in one of those when you pack your picnic, and you’re good to go.”

You can also use frozen green or red grapes to keep your wine cold, without adding ice cubes which would only water it down.

Cool reds

When it comes to chilled wine, most people might think of crisp whites or those fruity rosés. In fact, some reds work nicely on ice, too. “Anything on the lighter-bodied side or more fruity side in its profile actually tastes better slightly chilled,” Smith said. “A lot of red-wine drinkers don’t like white wine, but want something more refreshing in summer. A lighter, really fruity red wine really does benefit from a little bit of time in the fridge.”

Try Les Valentine Carignan Syrah from France ($18.99), a fruity, approachable red with hints of plum and baking spices that would go beautifully with a charcuterie plate for those summer evenings when you don’t feel like cooking.


Useful cubes

If you happen to find yourself with leftover wine, pour it into ice-cube trays. You can use it for cooking, to make sauces — or, if it’s a favourite wine that you often have on hand, the next time you open a bottle, plop a few cubes into your glass so you can cool it down with the same wine.

Quick cocktails

Wine-based cocktails are becoming more popular, but you don’t need a fully decked-out bar to make some delicious ones at home. Simply pour a fruity red wine over ice with lemon or lime soda. Try Cappo Shiraz from Spain ($11.99): “It’s got lots of ripe and juicy fruit characteristics and has a nice, lush finish,” Smith said.

If you’re making sangria, instead of triple sec, consider a splash of bourbon for a little edge. A fuller-bodied red like California’s Blackstone Merlot ($18.99) is a great pick for this classic summer evening drink. Interested in experimenting with some new wine cocktails? Try one of these.


Everything Wine’s River District store, opening soon at 8570 River District Crossing in South Vancouver and other locations — at 998 Marine Dr. in North Vancouver, 112-15735 Croydon Dr. in Surrey, and 31 – 2401 Millstream Rd. in Langford on Vancouver Island — will have their tasting bar open daily from 2-6 p.m. and offer free delivery on orders of $200 or more. Visit www.everythingwine.ca for more details, to order online or for some happy summer sippers!

The best way to learn more is to talk to Everything Wine’s approachable, friendly staff, who are eager to answer any questions and can suggest wines to suit every taste, occasion and budget. Samples are available at the tasting bar daily from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Visit in person at 998 Marine Dr. in North Vancouver, 112-15735 Croydon Dr. in Surrey, 31-2401 Millstream Rd. in Langford on Vancouver Island or shop online at everythingwine.ca.

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Everything Wine and first published on the Vancouver Sun's website.

Article by G Marion Johnson.

Wine 301: How to perfectly pair food and wine

Lisa Giovanella, assistant to the buyer at Everything Wine, explores the famous wine-making region of Burgundy, France. 

Lisa Giovanella, assistant to the buyer at Everything Wine, explores the famous wine-making region of Burgundy, France.

Once you learn how to taste wine like a pro, you’re ready to take it to the next level. Pairing wine with food can turn a great meal into an unforgettable one, and discovering exactly how to come up with winning combinations is part of the fun.

Lisa Giovanella, assistant to the buyer at Everything Wine, remembers the first class she ever went to through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), a globally recognized certification program.

“We were all handed a plate with a cluster of grapes, a block of brie, a slice of lemon, and a spicy Dorito chip,” Giovanella said.

Granted, corn chips — never mind nacho-flavoured ones — may not be the first thing that come to mind when it comes to food-and-wine pairings. But the Dorito made sense once Giovanella learned more. “It was a really good way to explore a spicy flavour and how that affects the taste of the wine,” she said.

It turns out that to balance and contrast spiciness, you want a wine with a bit of sweetness. The point of pairing food and wine is to bring out the best of both, making each one taste better.

“There’s a saying that goes: ‘One plus one equals three’,” Giovanella said. “Both the wine and the food may be really good on their own, but when you can find that perfect match, it enhances the whole experience.”

While the best matches ultimately come down to your own personal taste, there are basic rules to follow.
The flavours of both food and wine can be enhanced with the right pairings.
The flavours of both food and wine can be enhanced with the right pairings.

“The initial idea everybody has is that you would have a white wine with a white meat or fish, and a red wine with red meat, but there are a lot of things to consider beyond that,” Giovanella said.

A key consideration is body. Also known as weight or heaviness, this refers to the way a wine feels in your mouth — whether it’s light, medium, or full. If you’re eating something light and delicate, you want the same qualities in your glass so that neither the flavours of the dish nor the wine are going to overpower each other.

“If you have a really robust red wine, you want a really robust structured meal to go with it,” Giovanella said. “You want to match the weight or intensity of the dish to the wine.”

Here are a few basic guidelines to get you started on your gastronomic adventures:


Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc — On the lighter spectrum of white grape varietals, these are terrific pairings for lighter white fish, such as cod or halibut. “You want something simple, not overly flavoured — no heavy sauces, but rather delicate, lemon, light herb flavours,” Giovanella said. “You don’t want anything too oily or heavy, because then you’re going to be out of balance.”

Chardonnay and Viognier — Whites with some oak or aging are a bit heavier and go nicely with cream sauces or foods with buttery, oilier, richer textures. Great with roasted chicken or salmon. These full-bodied whites work nicely with richer foods, but can’t handle the extra structure behind red meats.

Riesling — With a little bit of sweetness, this wine works beautifully with spicy foods or those with intense flavour. Cajun, Thai, and Indian foods are classic matches.

A robust red such as a Malbec or Shiraz will enhance the flavours of a red meat dish.
A robust red such as a Malbec or Shiraz will enhance the flavours of a red meat dish.


Pinot Noir and Merlot — On the lighter spectrum of reds, these wines are fresh and versatile. They can be enjoyed with bold, flavourful white meat such as roast chicken, duck, or pork, as well as with red meat and salmon.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Malbec and Shiraz — These reds tend to be heavier and more robust, pairing well with steak, roast beef, venison, and ribs.

Sparkling wine

“Sparkling is really nice and refreshing on its own, but it also pairs really well with a wide variety of foods throughout a meal. Try a white sparkling with starters, popcorn, and even deep-fried foods,” Giovanella said. Sparkling rosé pairs nicely with chicken, salmon and mushrooms.

There’s another simple trick that experts turn to: “What grows together, goes together.” Think of Italy, home to some of the world’s most flavourful tomatoes, for example. That fruit has naturally high acidity, just like wines from Tuscany. No wonder, then, that Sangiovese or Chianti works so well with pizza or a tomato-based pasta dish. More broadly, wines from the Mediterranean go beautifully with Mediterranean dishes.

While the pairing of food and wine may be a world unto itself, at the end of the day it all comes down to personal preference. “It really is a kind of trial-and-error exploration,” Giovanella said. “Just because something is a classic match doesn’t mean it’s the best match for you. You have to go with your preferences and instincts.”

If you’re still not sure of your instincts, staff members at Everything Wine are there to help you. Each and every one of them has completed the WSET Level 1, meaning they can help you pick a perfect bottle for your next dinner party or family gathering. Questions about wine and food pairings are the most common ones they get. “That’s one of our favourites,” Giovanella said.



This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Everything Wine and posted on Vancouver Sun.

Wine 201: Four steps to mastering the art of wine tasting

The world of wine doesn’t need to be intimidating.

If you’re new to wine tasting, some of the terms that come up in pros’ notes to describe it can seem downright weird. When Lisa Giovanella was just starting to study wine a decade ago, she came across a few creative descriptors, like “aromas of horse saddle or crushed ants” and “flabby” or “woolly” that initially threw her for a loop.

“Descriptors like this all come from our own personal experience with the wide range of aromas, flavours and textures that can be applied to one’s wine vocabulary,” says Giovanella, assistant to the buyer at Everything Wine.

She has gone on to acquire the Level 4 Diploma from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), the world’s leading provider of wine knowledge courses. While she’s able to grasp wine tasting vocabulary, Giovanella understands how the world of wine can be intimidating to people just beginning to discover it. She has some tips for novices.

“When you’re just starting out tasting wine, you don’t have to identify every single flavour,” she says. “It’s a lot easier to start out with the bigger picture, with general terms. Instead of saying you like wine that tastes like plum, you might say: ‘I like something really light.’ The more practice you get, the easier it is to identify smaller details.”

 Wine tasting can be broken down into four steps: appearance, aroma, taste and conclusions

Ready to start tasting?

The WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine is a basic breakdown of the process, with four key steps:

    1. Appearance
      Look at the colour of the wine to get a sense of its style. For example, in red wines, “a bright, purply hue for red tends to indicate the wine is younger,” Giovanella explains. “A more bricky or reddish colour indicates that wine has had some age.”

    1. Aroma
      The reason you swirl the wine around in the glass before sniffing it is to “agitate” it — to bring oxygen into it. This will lift its aromatic compounds. “Start thinking of different components of aroma when you put your nose into the glass,” Giovanella suggests. “How intense is the aroma? Is it really light or faint, or do you immediately smell all kinds of flavours? Are those flavours fruity, spicy, floral, or savoury? From there, you can get more specific: if it’s fruity, what kind of fruit is it: citrus, stone, black, red, or tropical?”

    1. Taste
      You may have seen experts slurp their wine on first sip. It’s not that they’re lacking manners. The gesture is another way of aerating the wine. Increased oxygen helps release the flavour compounds in your mouth. When you swish the wine around, you hit all the different taste sensations on your tongue — sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami.From there you can start to think about things like sweetness, acidity, tannin and body, Giovanella says. Ask yourself: “Is this wine sweet or dry? Does it make your mouth water, or is it so dry that there’s no moisture left in your mouth? On the next sip, think about the weight: how does the wine feel in your mouth? Is it very light or is it rich and creamy?”This is when you think back to the aromas you noticed and whether, in fact, you can taste them. Can you identity any individual fruit flavours from the broad categories you noted? Finally, you want to consider what’s known as “length.”“If the flavour of the wine lasts for a long time, that can indicate a good quality wine,” Giovanella says.

    1. Conclusion
      Here’s when you put it all together and reflect. Then you can decide the most important aspect: Do you like it? Why or why not? “A professional would be using this time to decide if it’s a good quality wine or not, but for a novice, determine whether or not this is the wine for you,” Giovanella says.

If you’re still feeling unsure of how to describe a wine you like, don’t worry; all of the staff members at Everything Wine have WSET Level 1 qualification. While they have the knowledge to help you find something you’ll enjoy, they welcome questions from newbies, and they don’t judge.

“You don’t have to be worried about saying the wrong thing — we’ve all been there,” Giovanella says. “You’re talking to experts, but we’ve all had to learn to describe what we like and what we want in wine. Our job is to help you discover the things you like.”

A great red wine to start practising your wine-tasting skills on is Malbec. “It often has a good intensity of aromas and flavours, which helps novice tasters identify those characteristics,” Giovanella says. “It is often fuller-bodied and typically has medium to higher acidity and tannins, which makes it a good reference point.”


Still need to brush up on the basics? Check out our Wine 101, to help you savour while you sip.

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Everything Wine and first published on Vancouver Sun.

Wine 101: A few basics to help you savour while you sip

Understanding which wine is suited to which dish can take your dinner party to the next level.

With terms like bouquet, brix, and cuvé, the world of wine can seem dizzyingly complex. Some people might be tempted to throw up their hands and keep things as simple as “red” and “white.” But with a corkscrew and a little guidance, learning about wine can be a fun and fascinating adventure.

“The whole world of wine can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be,” says Lisa Giovanella, assistant to the buyer at Everything Wine, B.C.’s largest wine store. “There’s a lot of vocabulary that people may be wary of using or that’s tricky to grasp. But that shouldn’t deter people. Even for experts it’s a journey of constant learning.”

While you don’t need to be an expert to enjoy wine, acquiring some basic knowledge is easier than you may think, and it may help you savour what you’re sipping even more. At the very least, you’ll be able to hold your own at dinner parties when the glasses are being filled.

Wine 101 – A few key terms

    • Tannins – Naturally occurring compounds found in fruit skins, seeds, leaves and plants. They create the dry sensation you feel in your mouth after taking a sip of wine.

    • Body – Whether it’s light, medium or full, this describes the way a wine feels in your mouth. Also referred to as “weight,” it can range in texture from water to milk to cream.

    • Acidity – Defines a wine’s tartness or “pucker.” “It’s the same sensation you feel in your mouth when you bite into lemon or green apple, that fresh or crisp mouth-watering sensation,” says Giovanella, who has her Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) diploma.

Common red grape varieties

    • Pinot Noir – A lighter-bodied wine with raspberry and red-berry flavours.

    • Malbec and Merlot – Medium-bodied, these typically have dark fruit flavours, such as plum and cherry with a smooth finish.

    • Cabernet Sauvignon and ShirazTypically full-bodied and on the drier side with dark fruit flavours such as blackberry and blackcurrant. Shiraz tends to have peppery, spicy notes.

Common white grape varieties

    • Pinot Grigio – This light, crisp variety has mellow, easily identified flavours like apple, pear and lemon.

    • Sauvignon Blanc – A bit more intense than Pinot Grigio with tropical fruit flavours; some, such as those from New Zealand, can be grassy and herbaceous.

    • Chardonnay – a dynamic white grape that can do anything. It can be fuller-bodied, with a vanilla, buttery texture and ripe-fruit flavours; often aged in oak barrels. Or it can be more crisp and clean, with notes of citrus and green apple.

 There are thousands of varieties of grapes found all over the world to make the perfect glass of wine.[/caption]

Age is often considered a sign of a “good” wine, but if you’re just beginning to discover wine, younger bottles allow for easily identifiable, fresh, fruity characteristics to shine through. “When wine ages, it develops more dried-fruit flavours, as well as earthy, rustic and nutty characteristics,” Giovanella says.

Price is another indicator of a wine’s calibre, but it can be misleading; a higher price doesn’t necessarily guarantee a superior bottle. Chile and Spain, for example, offer some top-quality wines at a lower price point than some from California. Different varieties of grapes yield varying prices as well; Pinot Noir can be more challenging to grow than hardier Shiraz, for instance.

If you’re still not sure what kind of wine to pick up, Everything Wine can suggest some safe bets. Among them:

Tolten Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile ($12.99) “Chile offers really good value for its single-varietal wines,” Giovanella says. “This is a classic style of Cabernet Sauvignon: nice and fruity; dark fruit flavours with a nice, smooth finish; not too dry.” Goes well with roast beef, stew or other hearty dishes.

The Shy Pig Shiraz, Australia ($13.99) Well known for its dark-fruit style and black-pepper notes, this Shiraz would pair nicely with lamb or anything barbecued.

Santa Rita Winemaker’s Lot Sauvignon Blanc, Chile ($12.99) “This is a lighter wine but intensely flavoured,” Giovanella says. “It has tropical fruit flavours and an herbaceous style; its nice and crisp and refreshing.” Pair it with seafood or poultry.

Il Padrino Pinot Grigio, Italy ($12.99) Smooth, crisp and dry, this is one of Everything Wine’s top sellers, with lemon, apple and pear flavours. A neutral wine, it would suit seafood or anything light, like an appetizer.

Santana Rosé, Spain ($13.99) “Rosé is making a comeback,” Giovanella says. “It’s nice for summertime, but it’s also a good year-round option because it tends to have a little more strawberry, red-berry and raspberry flavours but still has a nice and crisp balance with lemon or citrus flavours.” Serve it with ham, pork tenderloin or roast chicken.

The best way to learn more is to talk to Everything Wine’s approachable, friendly staff, who are eager to answer any questions and can suggest wines to suit every taste, occasion and budget. Samples are available at the tasting bar daily from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Visit in person at 998 Marine Dr. in North Vancouver, 112-15735 Croydon Dr. in Surrey, 31-2401 Millstream Rd. in Langford on Vancouver Island or shop online at everythingwine.ca.

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Everything Wine and first published on Vancouver Sun.


Choose the Perfect Wine

Marinda Kruger-van Eck

Marinda Kruger-van Eck earned a PhD in enology and now makes a living as a winemaker in South Africa’s Swartland wine growing region.

With a background in science, Marinda Kruger-van Eck never imagined she’d one day be creating some of the world’s finest wines. After working in a research lab at a South African winery and earning a PhD in enology – the study of wines – Kruger-van Eck swapped her microscope for pruning shears. Today, she sees winemaking as a delicate balance of science and art.

Kruger-van Eck strikes that fine balance in her work in South Africa’s Swartland, a coastal wine-growing region unlike any other on the planet. While the sun’s intense heat is tempered by cool Atlantic breezes, the area is home to prehistoric soils and hardy old-world bush vines. Perched on a small plot of land high up on a hillside, the untrellised vines are left to grow naturally with minimal human manipulation – the way nature intended. Kruger-van Eck then harvests the grapes herself by hand.

The result is a fine bush-vine wine called Aquifer Semillon, a sensational white that Kruger-van Eck is proud to pour. Contributing to its uniqueness is the fact that Kruger-van Eck uses a wild yeast to allow the wine to ferment naturally, giving it extra dimension and bold flavour.

“It has a very refreshing, high acidic backbone that carries through for such a long finish; it’s so refreshing,” says Megan Cole, Canadian manager of Boutinot Wines, which produces the Aquifer Semillon. “The wine has got a great silky concentration on the mouth. It’s one of those grapes that is special.”

Aquifer Semillon – which would pair beautifully with seafood, slow-roasted pork belly, and spicy Asian flavours – is exclusive to Everything Wine, B.C.’s premier destination for wine and the province’s largest online wine store. Always exploring new wine regions, flavours, and varieties, the store carries more than 4,000 wines, hundreds that are exclusive, and has selections to suit any budget.

Samantha Bailey

Samantha Bailey is a winemaker in the Pontbriand winemaking region in southeastern France.

Take the Domaine Pontbriand. It is also produced by Boutinot. Domaine Pontbriand comes from a family-owned 10-hectare estate in the Vaucluse region of southeastern France. More than three decades ago, the Merle family planted innovative varieties such as Caladoc and Marselan alongside Grenache in their land’s clay and limestone soils. Now in their prime, those vines have been crossed with Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon to create the robust, aromatic Domaine Pontbriand, prized for its full, round and juicy flavours and its savoury, smooth finish.

With so many exceptional wines being produced worldwide, many with intriguing stories like that of the Merles, it’s no wonder that the time-honoured beverage’s popularity just keeps increasing. Just as the farm-to-table philosophy has grown in recent years, so to has the grapes-to-glass movement. While more people want to know where the food on their plate came from, consumers are keen on learning about the origins of the wine they’re drinking. Origin stories like that of the Merles are almost as important as wines themselves.

“Over the last five to seven years we’ve seen the exponential increase of consumers taking it upon themselves to learn where their wine comes from; it’s a really exciting time,” Cole says. “People are increasingly willing to try new wines. We’re seeing more and more adventure and exploration.”

With a buying team that travels the globe (including a stop at the international ProWein Trade Fair in Germany), and is always eager to find wines that honour the grapes-to-glass movement, Everything Wine has the selection to suit wine enthusiasts – beginners and experts alike. But it’s not just the buying team that has wine expertise. Store staff are approachable, friendly and knowledgeable, keen to help customers find just the right pick.

Domaine Pontbriand comes from a family-owned 10-hectare estate in the Vaucluse region of southeastern France.

Domaine Pontbriand comes from a family-owned 10-hectare estate in the Vaucluse region of southeastern France.

Rob Carras, assistant manager of the Surrey location, notes that all staff members, including cashiers and web fulfilment staff, have acquired, at the very least, Level I of Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a globally recognized certification program.

Carras himself has his WSET Diploma, the highest level possible, while Everything Wine is the only approved WSET retail-level program provider in Canada for more formal training.

“We do staff training on our exclusive wines on a weekly basis,” Carras says, adding that the store encourages people to “try before you buy.” Every day from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., each location has its central tasting bar open so that customers can sample new wines, deciding for themselves if they want to put a bottle in their basket. It’s a casual, welcoming space that allows people to ask questions, learn and experience the world of wine and beyond.

“Customers come in and say, ‘I’m having this for dinner; what would you recommend to go with it?’” says Carras, who loves helping people find wine to complement their food. “If someone’s having poached halibut with a lemon sauce, we know what that acid is going to do to any of the wines in the store.

“With our exclusive program, the first question is ‘I’ve never seen this label; where is it made?’” Carras says. “Wine tourism has played a role in that. If we know what you’ve enjoyed in the past, we’ll typically have something new that you can try that exemplifies your tastes.”

Everything Wine’s online store also makes new wines easily accessible and shopping for them extremely convenient. “Our website and free delivery on orders of over $200 make it really easy,” Carras says. Plus, order any 12 bottles and customers receive five per cent off.

Visit Everything Wine online at www.everythingwine.ca or in person at 998 Marine Dr. in North Vancouver, 112-15735 Croydon Dr. in Surrey or 131-2401 Millstream Rd. in Langford on Vancouver Island.


This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Everything Wine and was first published on Vancouver Sun.

MasterClass Review: Burgundy

Yasmine Chancy

It's nearly impossible to forget some of your "firsts". Your first job, your first concert, and of course your first love. Those moments are impactful. Through the years they have stayed with you; they have even possibly shaped you. The beautiful thing about life is, there are still so many "firsts" left to experience.

On January 19, 2017 I was privileged to experience a new first. At 6:30pm, I sat down for my first masterclass on Burgundy with the brilliant Wine Connoisseur

Jordan Carrier. Now don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of good Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in my lifetime....but this was different. Why you ask? Not only was this a scholastic experience, it was a gastronomical one as well. For each wine, there was a perfectly paired morsel as delicious and unique as its counterpart. You may have came just for the wine but you leave trying to plan your next dinner party. Seven fantastic wines and seven beautiful hors d'oeuvres later, how could you not! Now let's talk about these Burgundian beauties.

We started tasting in an untraditional manor, red to white. Between you and I, I was just so excited to try the wines, I didn't even bother to ask why. Yet, if I were to guess, I'd say it has to do with Chardonnay's full bodied nature vs. Pinot Noir's delicate profile. Anyway I digress.

We started off with Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Sentiers, 2007. With a price point of $117.99 I had very high expectations, and all I can say is "I get it." This was one of my highlights of the evening. It was as if I had just been hugged. It had this subtle, understated yet undeniable beauty. It had the classic sour cherry and forest floor, with a finish that was gentle and smooth. The pure definition of terroir was in my glass, and memorable it will always be. It was paired with beef tar tar, mandarin oranges, and fennel on a rice cracker. Simply wonderful.

Onto wine #2. Camus Pere et Fils Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, 2005 The price tag of $124.49 may seem hefty but believe it or not, that's a steal for a Grand Cru from Burgundy. The price may be "cheap" but the quality sure isn't. When they normally start at $300, I understand why one may feel apprehensive, but worry not! There are notes of riper fruit coupled with aromas of intense candied cherries that have been coated in dirt. It was slightly more tannic than the 1st wine but could easily lay down for a few more years. This was paired with organic beet carpaccio.

Wine #3 was A.F. Gros Vosne-Romanee Mazieres, 2011. The beauty of having a flight of wines of the same varietal in front of you is the ability to compare. This vintage seemed to have more tannins and higher alcohol levels, with aromas of cherry cola. It's still a young guy, so I'd be interested to see him man up in a few years.

Wine #4 was Daniel Rion Nuits-St-Georges Grandes Vignes, 2013. Now this would be the more affordable of the bunch (red wines) at $68.99. It was paired with a dark chocolate truffle that contained a core of lavender infused white chocolate. It stood up to the earthy mint finish of the wine. Now I have a confession to make...I used to be a Chardonnay hater (Don't judge me, I didn't know better!). I have now seen the light, have embraced it entirely, and urge you other Chardonnay haters to give it a chance! However, my only stipulation is to start in Burgundy.

Which brings me to wine #5 Olivier Leflaive Meursault Narvaux, 2013. If this was high school and there was a vote for prom king, this would win. It was bright, had a stunning nose of lemon and golden apple with pleasant minerality. It was paired with a delicious almond sweet pea mascarpone soup.

Wine #6 was Louis Jadot Savigny-les-Beaunes Clos les Guettes ,2012. Louis Jadot has yet to steer me wrong and this was no exception. At $50.99, picking up this bottle of wine for a special occasion would be highly advised. Very fruit driven, with notes of apricot and white peach. This was paired with a French classic, coq-au-vin.

Last of all, wine #7 was Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Embazees, 2013. I'd say this wine has potential at $121.99 but still 5 years too early. Still has fruit but I found the acid rather high. It was great that it was it was paired with crispy pork belly, bocconcini and honeydew. The acid in the wine cut right through the fat resulting in perfection.

I don't know about you but I'm getting pretty thirsty and hungry talking about all of this food and wine. I implore you to find a class at Everything Wine, sign up and enjoy your next "First Experience". You will come away equipped with more knowledge and confidence, all while having had a memorable night.
- Yasmine

Exploring the World of Higher Altitude Wines

Heighten your senses with this high altitude red blend.  Coming from vines in the sky, 1750 meters above sea level in Cafayate Argentina, El Porvenir’s Malbec, Cabernet, and Syrah blend provides a unique alternative to your traditional Mendoza selection.  With the combination of high altitude, desert climate and diverse diurnal temperatures, the wine produced has great concentration and structure with a refined elegance that proves to pour harmonically and balanced.

I tried this wine last night paired with a juicy steak and it was to die for.  I was happily surprised by its sophistication that cannot usually be found in a wine at this price.  This style is not like the jammy, mass produced reds that have come out of Argentina and is a must try with your favorite red meat or firm cheese.

It has rich red and black fruit with earthy undertones of dried herbs and cracked black pepper.  Leather and sweet oak round the palate and the lingering finish will have you coming back for more.

High altitude wines are really unique and intriguing.  Let your palate explore into the mountains of Salta and let your taste buds be tempted!

Try something new today!
- Megan

My Recent Bordeaux Wine Tasting Experience

Hello Fellow Wine Lovers and Connoisseurs,

My name is Sydney, I have being working at Everything Wine in Morgan Crossing for close to 6 months now and when the opening arose for me to attend a Masterclass taught by Jordan Carrier I jumped at the opportunity! My knowledge of wine ever since starting here has greatly expanded and I just want it to keep growing, so what better way to do that then to attend a class?

The class I attended was all on Bordeaux. How fitting as I myself am French. I recruited my Dad to join me for this class as well, being quite the wine lover himself. We spent the night trying 6 different wines from the Bordeaux region, whilst snacking on some appetizers paired with each wine. What a night!

We started off the night learning a lot of history about the region of Bordeaux. The first wine that we tried was the Chateau Bel-Air Lagrave 1989
Medoc Red Blend, a 1989 wine priced at $70.99. This was the oldest wine that we tried all night (older than me!) This wine was a very interesting wine, as I will explain. When inspecting the colour of the wine I noticed how complex it was. While holding the glass over a white sheet of paper and just slightly tilting the glass you could see the different colour rings. This wine was a deep burgundy purple colour in the middle, which then faded to an orangish colour (is organish even a word?) which then faded into a clear watery rim around the top. It was quite neat to be able to observe the colours like that! My first initial smell of this wine was a crushed gravel, leathery smell. I found this wine to be semi-dry, but probably my least favourite of the night. Not because I did not enjoy this wine, just simply because we had so many other wonderful wines! I kept in mind this is the oldest wine I have ever tried, and the taste of it is not something my pallet is typically familiar with.

The next wine we moved onto was the Lafon Rochet, a 2000 wine priced at $175.99, the most expensive of the night. This wine was my second favourite wine of the night, and I very much enjoyed it. This wine had a beautiful bouquet, it smelled of licorice, and lots of fruit. I would say this wine was quite dry, with a touch of spice to it. This wine was paired with a mushroom, goat cheese Crème Brule (yes, you heard that right, Crème Brule) different and delicious! The richness and the cream of this dish really softened the tannin's of the wine and made it just that much more enjoyable than it already was!

The third wine of the night, and my favourite was the Haut-Milon, a 2009 wine priced at $59.99, and it was incredible. This wine was a very deep burgundy colour, and when I first smelt this wine I couldn't quite pick up on what I was smelling, as I am still learning and trying to develop my nose for wines and their bouquets. I continued sniffing determined to pin point what it was I was smelling and I finally discovered it.. Chocolate! It's no wonder this one was my favourite. I found this wine to be so smooth and overall just a wonderful wine. This wine was paired with a puff pastry wrapped meatball, which complimented the wine nicely. I highly recommend giving this wine a try, especially for a nice special occasion. The price point is definitely affordable, especially for a special occasion wine, and it is one you are going to want to try!

Moving onto the fourth wine of the night, and my third favourite was the Branaire Ducru, a 2010 wine priced at $153.99. This wine is a 4th growth, and it was rated 98 points. If you are not familiar with the point system. know that 98 points is an exceptional and almost perfect rating, 100 being perfect. This wine was a very dark and deep red colour. It smelled of fruit, plum in particular. This wine was a very dry wine, and I found it to have a spice to it. This wine had high tannin's and it was paired with a cracker topped off with a slice of rare beef and blue cheese drizzled with a red wine reduction, which nicely accompanied the wine and softened its tannin's.

The fifth wine of the night was the Chateau Domaine de l'Eglise, a 1996 wine (the same age as myself) priced at $105.99. This wine was 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc. This wine was my Dad's favourite of the night. His pallet is much more developed than mine so it made sense that he enjoyed this one more than myself. This wine had a similar colour ring to the first wine, the Bel Air Lagrave, where it was a deep burgundy colour in the middle, which faded to an orange. This wine smelt of cayenne pepper, and other spices. I found this wine to be very very dry, hence why my Dad enjoyed it so much. This wine was paired with a tomato bisque, along with a piece of baguette with melted Brie cheese, Very delicious. I highly recommend trying this wine if you have a developed pallet and are a fan of dry wines, this will be a wine you will deeply enjoy.

Finally, the last and final wine finishing off the night was the Lassegue, a 2006 wine priced at $67.99. I really enjoyed this wine, it was quite nice. Its bouquet smelt of different fruits, such as cherry and plum. This wine was very smooth and a nice wine to finish off the night. It was paired with some dark chocolate brittle, which was truly a match made in heaven. A perfect end to the class.

Overall I found this class to be a wonderful experience. I learnt many different things about the history of Bordeaux, and the wines that come from this region. I left the class with a greater knowledge and understanding than I had when I first started the class, which was the exact reason I wanted to attend it. Whether you have newly found your love for wine, or you are just wanting to expand your knowledge and try some incredible wines I highly recommend you attend one of the many classes Everything Wine has to offer, I promise you they will not disappoint! Come in to Everything Wine today and check out our extensive collection of wine!

90 Point Gift Wines

The season of GIVING is here!

And we have our best selection of holiday gift-giving 90+ point wines ever! Here are just a few of the many amazing accoladed wines we searched the globe for this year to take to dinner, give as a gift, or to simply enjoy at home by the fire - you won't be disappointed!

Zorzal Terra Unico Pinot Noir
91 Points, Wine Advoctate, 2013 Vintage

Mendoza, Argentina - $22.99
Christmas is all about gathering together with family and friends over tables of delicious food paired with the perfect wines. Here we find a Pinot Noir that is very intense on the nose, a result of the terroir. It presents aromas of blackberries, strawberries and earth, with mineral notes. The flavours are direct, clear, and vertical, and flows with plenty of life and smoothness. It has good volume and great acidity, making it very fresh with a long, sweet finish. As noted by the Wine Advocate "The 2013 Terroir Unico Pinot Noir follows the idea of the Terroir Unico range, to show the pure expression of the grape and the place in a line of unoaked wines. This was 20-30% whole-cluster fermented and is very pale colored, almost a rose, very perfumed, with aromas of red fruit and flowers opening to a light to medium-bodied palate, high acidity (blood orange), and a pure, fresh finish. Highly drinkable." One thing to note is that there are only 120 cases of this limited edition Pinot in BC, so be sure to stock up on a few before it’s too late!

Bolla Creso Red Blend
90 Points eRobertParker.com, 2010 Vintage

Verona, Italy - $39.99
Next up, we have a beast of a bold red that is screaming to be paired with food! The colour is intense, dark, and deep ruby. On the nose are aromas that are ample, complex, elegant and fruit-filled with notes of toasted wood. The palate is powerful and persistent with ripe berries, cocoa, plum and offers sweet, silky, velvety tannins. The wine was aged in French barrique (new and one year old) for about 12 months. Creso is then further matured in the bottle for about six months. This gorgeous wine received great praise when panel tasted with team members of Everything Wine, and is a fantastic Spanish red to gift this holiday season. Enjoy with grilled meats such as steak, pork tenderloin, as well as with a variety of cheeses!

Santa Rita 120 Hero's Salute Red Blend
90 Points Wine & Spirit's Magazine, 2013 Vintage

Central Valley, Chile - $13.99
Another one of our favourites this holiday season comes from Chile, and is our best valued 90 point wine we’ve ever had! It’s an intense ruby-red coloured wine, with violet hues supplied by Carmenère. There are intense aromas of red and black fruit that are elegantly intertwined with wood provided by Cabernet. On the palate it is a medium-bodied wine, with soft tannins and a long finish. Best yet, this wine was rated 90 points Wine + Spirits and it’s only $13.99! This wine is ideal to pair with pastas, soft cheese, and tender meats like chicken and veal. Superb quality and craftsmanship are the hallmarks of Santa Rita, one of Chile’s most admired and innovative wine estates. This is a fantastic entertaining wine we know you and your guests will love this holiday season. Be sure to try one of our latest favourite discoveries today!

Famille Perrin Cairanne Red Blend
90 Points eRobertParker.com, 2012 Vintage

Rhone Valley, France - $23.99
Back again by popular demand, we have an amazing French Red Blend back in stock! Robert Parker said it best in his review of this gorgeous French collector wine! “This is an outstanding blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. The wine has wonderfully sweet cherry fruit with some blacker currants, dusty, loamy soil notes, garrigue and licorice. It is full-bodied, rich and certainly one of the best Cairannes I’ve tasted.” - Robert Parker, Wine Advocate. The Cairanne is showing juicy acidity and excellent overall purity, it has outstanding potential and will deliver the goods over the coming 6-7 years. Drink now-2020. This is the perfect gift for the French Rhone wine collector. Don't miss out one grabbing a few of these wines this year!

Pascual Toso Barrancas Toso Red Blend
90 Points James Suckling, 2013 Vintage

Mendoza, Argentina - $26.99
Here we have another staff favourite! Arriving just in time for the holiday season, this award winning Red Blend received rave reviews from our management team last month when they first tasted this Limited Edition Red Blend. Once again, this wine is exclusive to Everything Wine. With only 42 cases in the province, this is a fantastic rare gift option to give to your wine collectors on your list! It is a gorgeous blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon
This Red Blend is complex and well-balanced. It presents lingering and gentle tannins while being elegant in style with lovely boysenberry and raspberry fruit flavours. There are plenty of vanilla, spice and chocolate aromas on the nose and palate, which end with a lengthy, focused finish. This would be a fantastic wine to pair with beef burgers, steaks, or bold cheeses. Be sure to get your hands on a few of these bottles before they’re gone!

Cubo Seleccion Tempranillo
90 Points eRobertParker.com, 2011 Vintage

La Mancha, Spain - $17.49
Another one of our customer and staff favourite Spanish Tempranillos is back in time for holiay git giving! Cubo Seleccion Tempranillo has a slight toasted coffee flavour with a hint of milk chocolate, and a delicious smooth vanilla finish.  “…La Candelaria’s 2011 Cubo Seleccion is 100% Tempranillo aged in French and Bulgarian oak barrels for 11 months and 5 months in the bottle. Cedar, fragrant berries, and incense compose the bouquet of this tasty red. In the glass, a hint of milk chocolate adds a note of complexity. Smooth, savory, and well-balanced, it will deliver enjoyment for another 4-5 years.” – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Tempranillos are generally versatile when it comes to pairing with food and Cubo is no different – try a creamy mushroom risotto while you warm up in this chilly weather. Also delicious with hamburgers and steaks. Don’t forget the garlic mashed potato! Rich, juicy, and all things decadent, I know you're going to love this wine. Grab a case of this staff and customer Spanish favourite today!

Orestiadi Ludovico Red Blend
90 Points Wine Spectator, 2008 Vintage

Sicily, Italy - $34.99
This in an incredible wine that is new and exclusive to Everything Wine. With roughly 70 cases available in the province, this unique and rare 90 point gem is a fantastic option to gift your boss, friends, or to treat yourself. It’s an Italian blend of Nero d'Avola and Cabernet Sauvignon, and is a gorgeous premium gift wine that we discovered this year and had to bring in! Even though it's a 2008, there's still a couple years of ageabilty left for this wine. Notes of mint chocolate and hints of spice on the nose and pallet. Wine Spectator called it, "Dark and meaty, with layers of game, olive and smoke to the dark cassis and black plum skin fruit. Rich and chewy, with a long smoky finish." I recommend you pair this staff favourite with a nice Italian dish with spice, red sauce and/or red meat. I can’t wait for you to try this wine!

So there you have it - a few of the amazing 90 point wines that we've brought in for the holiday season that are great for entertaining or gifting. Be sure to check out our 90+ POINT WINE SECTION on the home page, too! Let us help you find the perfect gifts to give this holiday season at Everything Wine. We're quite proud to say, this is our best selection of wines and we can't wait for you to try them! Let us know you think of them by leaving a comment on the product's home page.

Here's wishing you all a safe & Happy Holidays filled with laughter and cheer, and of course, delicious wines.

- Craig

Thanksgiving Wines 101

Can you even believe that Thanksgiving weekend is already here? Bust out the stretchy pants and loose-fit tops because epic dinners are on the horizon this weekend.Since wine and turkey go together like–well, wine and turkey–I thought I’d recommend a few go-to wine options to make it easier for you to impress your family and friends.

Here are a few wine varietals to pick up this weekend:

Sauvignon Blanc – The primary fruit flavours of Sauvignon Blanc are lime, green apple, passion fruit and white peach. You may even hear the term “green grass”, especially in wines coming fom New Zealand. What makes Sauvignon Blanc unique from other white wines is the herbaceous flavours like bell pepper or gooseberry. “Sauv Blanc” is an ideal white wine to pair with turkey and the buttery, rich delicious dishes you’d typically be served at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. If you like a crisp, clean white with a hint of zest on the finish, then this is a perfect wine for you.

Fat Bird Sauvignon Blanc – $16.99
Fairhall Cliffs Sauvignon Blanc - $17.49

Viognier – “Vee-On-yay”, is a beautiful lesser known varietal that happens to be one of my favourites all year long. This varietal has notes of apricots, blossom, honeysuckle, ripe peaches and honey. Viogniers have a delightful floral aroma to them, as well as a crisp acidity on the finish, which lends itself to being the ideal turkey or ham wine pairing. Viognier is a wine to serve to your guests as an aperitif, to enjoy on its own or along with a light/mild cheese platter.

Perseus Synergy Viognier – $17.99
Black Hills Estate Viognier – $28.99

Chardonnay – The over-oaked, over soaked and over-the-top Chardonnays from the 90s are LONG gone, and it is my mission to prove to people that Chardonnay & the holidays are the best pairing out there. An oaked Chardonnay will have flavours of tropical fruits like pineapple, guava and mango, even so far as notes of butter, vanilla, and butterscotch. Meanwhile, and UN-oaked Chardonnay will have green apple and lemon flavours with a rich, yet crisp finish. It’s all about your personal preference.

Shopping tip: the richer, oaky wines typically come from California or Australia, whereas a French Chablis (code name for Chardonnay) or even BC Chardonnays from Kelowna or further north will be much lighter in style.

Les 5 Vallees Chardonnay – $15.49
Two Tone Farm Chardonnay – $13.99

Pinot Noir – Pinot Noir is the most highly prized wine in the world. But why? It’s not as rich or big as its noble cousins, in fact it’s quite the opposite. The grape itself is weak, as it’s one of the most fragile wine grapes to produce. But when it comes to turkey or ham dishes, it should be your go-to red wine. You’ll taste notes of cranberry, cherry, raspberry and cola with hints of vanilla licorice and even caramel. This varietal is lighter in body which lends itself to being a great dinner wine, as your meal will likely be so rich, a lighter-bodied red is the best.

Tip: upon arrival, suggest to your host to chill the wine for 10-15 minutes before serving. Unlike most reds, Pinot Noir thrives when chilled down to a few degrees lower than room temperature to ensure the best experience.

Terrapura Pinot Noir – $17.79
Layer Cake Pinot Noir – $27.99

Merlot – If you’ve seen the cult classic “Sideways”, you’ll find it odd that I mention Merlot AFTER Pinot Noir. It is a bolder wine for food pairings but the tannins tend to be gentle enough to partner with turkey or ham and are a surprising pairing with rich dishes like a roast, beef or lamb. Merlot has notes of darker berries, plum, spicebox, green leaf and blackberry and a BC Merlot is my favourite, as well as a French Bordeaux. Merlot wine is first class and commands the highest respect in the wine world–and it really does taste great with food.

Albae Esencia Syrah Merlot – $17.99
9 Acres Red Blend (Merlot-dominant) – $13.49

So there you have it! A quick and simple shopping guide to help make your wine shopping that much easier. From all of us at Everything Wine, we wish you all the happiest of Thanksgivings with your family and friends.