Tagged with 'food pairing'

Season's Rieslings!

**A Quick Word From Your Holiday Turkey**

Gobble, everyone! Hope you’re having a gobbly-great holiday season! I’m not particularly, I’m sitting in your freezer waiting to be baked and eaten, but no hard feelings – Gobble knows if I were bigger than you and had thumbs and could recognize my own reflection, well, y’all would be on my plate too. Before all that happens, though, I’d like to ask a question that me and the other Turkeys in the yard have been wondering:

Why don’t you drink Riesling with me?

Whether it’s dry or sweet, Riesling pairs with me and my fixin’s, like gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce, in fact it’s one of the only wines that can check all of those boxes. The fruit balances the saline notes and the tartaric acid cuts through the fat. It’s so perfect it’s almost like turkeys invented it (except we woulda called it Gobble), but every Christmas y’all show up with Apothic and J. Lohr and the like… I’d shake my head disapprovingly if my neck weren’t, you know, right over there.

Riesling, folks. It’s really quite gobble.

**A Quick Word From Your Christmas Ham**

Oink, folks. I don’t often agree with my fine feathered friend there, but everything the bird just said about Riesling also applies to me. Baked ham and Riesling, guys. It’s oinking delicious.

**I am so sorry, here are some yum Rieslings**

Pegasus Bay, Waipara, New Zealand. I’m very excited to offer these unique and ultra-rare Rieslings – in fact I’m the only retailer in BC to offer these, they were imported at my request. The Donaldson family farms the vineyards in Waipara, north of Christchurch on the South Island, and differ from their Marlborough counterparts by inviting Botrytis into the mix. Often employed in sweet late-harvest and Spätlese/Auslese Rieslings, the Noble Rot concentrates the sugars in the shriveling grapes and increases phenolics, and the Donaldsons render those grapes two ways:

Pegasus Bay “Bel Canto” Dry Riesling 2017. An electric, statuesque, Botrytis-affected Riesling vinified dry, to an austere 5g/l residual sugar. Ginger, apricot and orange peel on the nose precede a stratified, richly structured body that calls to mind Smaragd Riesling from Wachau, Austria (but with way more fruit weight). The Botrytis adds waxy texture and depth, the acidity is considerable but completely in balance, bolstered by a very slight effervescence that adds the last few volts to the long finish. An altogether new Idea, I’ve never quite tasted anything like it. 95 points Cameron Douglas MS*, 94 points Bob Campbell MW*, 2 6-packs available, $59.98 +tax

Pegasus Bay “Aria” Late Picked Riesling 2016. Pushes the Pleasure Buttons faster and more frequently than a caffeinated squirrel playing Call of Duty, like someone dunked a plugged-in toaster into a Gold Capsule Auslese. Key Lime pie, jasmine and melons swirl around a lemon-yellow body of sweetness and delight. 50% Botrytis, 83g/l residual, 11% Alcohol, this is powerful, heady stuff, but the shining streak of tartaric acid saves the day and brings a fresh zing to the finish – this pairs with Foie, Crème Brulée and Stilton, not pancakes. Simply gorgeous, drink this and try not to smile, it’s impossible. 95 points Bob Campbell MW, 93 points Robert Parker, 2 6-packs available, $59.98 +tax

August Kesseler “530,3” Riesling Spätlese 2006, Rheingau, Germany. Put simply, this wine is having more fun than you. This wine is eating nougat and you are not. This wine smells like honeyed grapefruit with slate and you don’t. This wine is 13 years old and I truly hope you are not. Exclusive to Everything Wine, this is a perfectly-aged Rheingau Riesling that’s just off-dry enough to be naughty but structured enough to go a further decade if you can wait (you can’t). August Kesseler took over his family’s winery in the ‘70s and has been at the forefront of the qualitative renaissance that the Rheingau region – previously known for jug-filling – has enjoyed over the last few decades. This 2006 is a staff favourite for very good reason. 3 6-packs available, $59.98 +tax

Jim Barry “The Florita” Riesling 2018, Clare Valley, Australia. Built like an arrow, The Florita (means “wee flower”) has always been one of Australia’s Tent Pole Rieslings, showing the bright, linear purity of the Clare Valley, and serving as an antidote to the Barry family’s spine-crushing reds. Brilliant citrus and stones on the nose, business-like and fresh on the palate with a miles-long finish. Decades of cellaring potential, here, it’s like Grand Cru Alsace with blinders on. 96 points James Halliday, 6 bottles available, $71.98 +tax

Until next time, Happy Drinking!!

*Cameron Douglas MS is New Zealand’s only Master Sommelier, reviews NZ wines more than most, and should have picked a different domain name than camerondouglasms.com. Likewise, Bob Campbell is one of two NZ Masters of Wine, specialises in that country’s wines, and his domain name is fine.

NAPA NEXPLOSION: Unicorns and Stallions

Hi Everyone!

So many Cabs have snuck up on me in the Vintage Room that I have to tell you about all of them at once, apologies. We begin:

Colgin IX Estate Proprietary Red 2015, Napa. One of the most polite cult wines in Napa, Colgin has risen to the top of the heap without ever raising its voice or breaking a sweat. With her husband Joe, Ann Colgin has, over 25 years, made bottomless Cab-based wines (and great Syrahs) of quiet power and regal elegance. This 2015 IX Estate (named after the vineyard parcel) is two thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and one third Magic. Meaty blackberry with shorn pencils baking on a new road – it’s a little pro-tannin right now, the window opens in about 5 years and it closes… man, I don’t know, when the robots take over, I guess. 4 3-packs entered the province, I got one of them. 100 points Robert Parker, 100 points Jeb Dunnuck, 1 wooden 3-pack available, $873.99 +tax

Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 One-Liters, Napa. Holiday-sized Caymus in a brand new vintage, just in time. I haven’t tried it (just arrived) and there aren’t any major reviews yet, but here is my prediction: Delicious, round, thick Cab in a bottle size that will make you feel slightly smaller. 3 9-packs available, $120.99 +tax

Bond Quella 2014, Napa. The Quella vineyard sits in the hills, as all Bond vineyards do, with southwest exposure and steep angles. While it’s a tad bougie to call your vineyards “Grand Crus” (1. That’s not how it works and 2. Wow, and they’re all YOUR vineyards? What luck!), their output is simply undeniable. Bill Harlan’s terroir-driven cult winery has become one of the hardest unicorns to capture – I can’t tell you what I had to do to get this 3-pack, but the Centaur I defeated can’t tell anyone anything now. An infinite number of berries baked into an infinite chocolate cake. Intense minerality, drinking now despite the considerable tannins – the fruit is that intense. 97 points James Suckling, 96 points Robert Parker, 96 points Vinous, 1 wooden 3-pack available, $949.99 +tax

Raymond Generations Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa. Great bang-for-buck in this top-line Napa Cab, I mean it’s a big buck, but an even bigger bang. The Raymond family dates back in Napa to 1933 and the winery was founded in 1970, but it has seen a bit of a renaissance since its acquisition by French Winery Collector Jean-Charles Boisset, owner of Bouchard, Monmessin and Louis Bernard, among many others. The change injected energy and innovation into the quiet family winery, expanding their range and depth, and it seems to have also injected a not-insignificant dose of hallucinogens – visiting the winery is like stepping into Moulin Rouge on Mars. In full disclosure I don’t love everything they do, but I WAY love this. The Generations Cab – a tribute to the 5 generations of the Raymond family, puts the Class in Classic: winemaker Stephanie Putnam – formerly of Far Niente – has made a tribute to the Napa styles of old. This wine lets Cab be Cab – it’s full bodied, naturally, but still contains all the rough edges of a ripe Medoc and is bone dry, not round. Gorgeously angular. This is the style that made those French judges in the ‘70s think they were drinking good Bordeaux. 97 points Robert Parker, 2 cases available, $139.99 +tax

Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Napa. Another “classic” style from the grounds of the former Silverado Equestrian Center (hence the name) in the Oak Knoll district. Herbed cherries and cassis precede a lovely, graceful body that’s full but not fat, towards a bright but balanced finish, gulpable but far from facile. Far more graceful and complex than most contemporaries in its price point. About that: I often rant about my inability to find a good $50 Napa Cab…. Thanks Santa!! On sale until Christmas, 92 points Wine Enthusiast, 6 cases available, Reg price $54.99, Sale price $49.99 +tax

Joseph Phelps Insignia 2015, Napa. Another Napa legend that is having something of a moment in 2015, Insignia drinks like a coiled snake, currently, but will get itself elected President Of Your Cellar, in time. Berries and stones and pencils and flowers are all holding magnifying glasses, concentrating their beams on your face, the power on the nose can almost be seen. Wears its new oak like Cruella DeVille wears Dalmatians: proudly and impervious to opinions – the fruit is that intense. Tight right now but will blossom into a balanced, beautiful hand grenade. One of the greats. (97-100) points Robert Parker, 1 wooden 6-packs available, $409.99 +tax

Dominus 2014, Napa. What can I tell you about Dominus, the Petrus of Napa, that I’ve not yet uttered? The Mouiex family’s Napa venture is now safely baked into that region’s story, although the valley’s general style has, writ large, veered away from this austere, Bordeaux-ish Cellar Star. Dominus’ soul mate is Opus One (more on that below), they are two wines that eschew ripeness in favour of forever. That said, this 2014 will open its doors rather sooner than most other issues, in keeping with the sheer drinkability of the vintage. Not for the impatient soul but man, these guys know how to build a wine. Blackberry, cigar and baking spice on the nose. 97 points Robert Parker, 2 wooden 6-packs available, $399.99 +tax

Opus One 2010, Napa. Given the international frenzy surrounding this original collab between Mouton-Rothschild and Robert Mondavi that evolved into its own sentient being, I maybe should have opened this email with “I have Opus One 2010”? Still drawing from the best valley floor vineyards in Napa (a good portion of To Kalon goes in here), Opus One is titanic in many ways beyond its own legend: aromatic potpourri blends with herbs and black fruits – the nose is more generous that Dominus but the frame is just as bulletproof. This vintage is already a classic and yes, I have the original wooden box (although I did open it). 97 points Vinous, 96 points Robert Parker, 1 wooden 6-pack available, $849.49 +tax

Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa. The same vintage I’ve offered previously, but when Peter came for our Collectors Tasting we were sold out, and everyone was sad. Be not sad, for it has returned. 2 wooden 6-packs available, $199.99 +tax

Until next time, Happy Drinking!

Wines for Turkey, Tofurkey and Pumpkin Pie!

Whether you're celebrating Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving this year, we think we can all agree that the anticipation for delicious food (followed by a fantastic food coma) is running high. It's about this time when we start to strategically plan out where to put each festive dish, so you can have as much food on that plate as possible, knowing you'll be feeling as stuffed as that turkey you just ate.  You know not to fill up on salad... you've got the rest of the year to eat those leafy greens.

With so many different flavours from earthy Brussel sprouts to creamy garlic mash potatoes to that sweet, cinnamony pumpkin pie, it's hard to choose that perfect bottle of wine to pair with your meal. But fear not, pumpkin-spiced enthusiast, here is our Thanksgiving pairing guide to make sure those flavours are amplified by the wine you're sipping and the food you're eating.

Turkey & Chardonnay:
First off, let's start with the true star of every Thanksgiving dinner, turkey or tofurkey! We recommend pairing the bird (or the tofu bird) with a lightly oaked Chardonnay! A Chardonnay that has been lightly oaked will be bright, acidic and juicy with just a hint of richness to compliment a rich and buttery turkey.
Recommendation: R Collection Chardonnay!

Roasted Root Vegetables & Pinot Noir
Nothing says fall like a colourful plate of buttery roasted root vegetables. If these find their way onto your Thanksgiving plate, we recommend pairing it with a juicy red with balanced acidity and notes of sweet spices that will complement the strong vegetable flavours.
Recommendation: Meiomi Pinot Noir

Stuffing & Merlot: 
Something guaranteed to take up nearly half your plate? Stuffing - the food that seems too good to only eat once a year. We'd recommend a wine with soft tannins that won't over-power the medley of flavours found in stuffing. Try this Thanksgiving favourite with Merlot!
Recommendation: Curious Incident Merlot

Smoked Ham & Tempranillo
A big smoky ham deserves a big, bold and full-bodied red wine! We'd recommend a Tempranillo. Since a smoked ham is juicier, less sweet and less salty and offers more texture, a wine with sweet spices and berry flavours would compliment the dish quite nicely!
Recommendation: Alceo Tempranillo 2015

Pumpkin Pie & Prosecco
We need to take back what we said about Turkey being the star of Thanksgiving, we all know it's really pumpkin pie. This year, pair the sweet treat with a glass of fruity Prosecco. The chilled effervescence in the bottle of bubbly will elevate and lift the pie's spiced filling and denseness of the crust.
Recommendation: Cecilia Beretta Prosecco

Want to know where to find these wines? Check them out on our sale page here. Or, stop by any of our locations on Saturday, October 6th to taste these fantastic Thanksgiving-worthy wines!

Everything Wine Expert Suggestions with Nick Blewett!

Our Vintage Room Expert picks continue with our Victoria Vintage Room Expert, Nick Blewett! Read the full transcript of the video below, or check out the video on our YouTube channel!

You can find Nick's pick here. 


Hello everyone!

I'm Nick, Vintage Room Expert from Everything Wine in Victoria. I'd like to talk to you today about a 91-point wine from Secret Indulgence in St. Helena, California! It's a 2015 American Vintage red blend. It contains 65% Zinfandel and 35% Petite Syrah, most of which is sourced from Sonoma County, but some as well from Livermore in the central coast.

The body is big and dark and bold with dark flavours black cherry, blackberry, as well as some spices and mineral notes. Both Jeb Dunnuck as well as Robert Parker's Wine Advocate have scored this bottle 91 points! I would pair this with smoky BBQ ribs or a nice rib-eye steak!

Wine & Food Pairing: Sushi

Three words best describe summer dining: light, fresh, and delicious. For me, nothing satisfies these criteria better than a casual lunch on the patio of my favourite local sushi joint. After a quick glance at the menu, I’ve decided on an assortment of nigiri sushi and cucumber rolls. But the question remains: what to wash it down with?

The first and simplest principle of wine and food pairing is that wines, and other beverages, from the same region as the cuisine usually best complement it. Quality cold sake and light Japanese beer are among the best choices for my sushi lunch. While these options are certainly delicious, this is a wine blog after all, so let’s consider another approach to wine and food pairing by matching the weight, or richness, of the food with the weight, or body, of the wine. This rule of wine and food pairing opens up a world of palate-pleasing options. The crisp, clean profile of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, or the mineral characteristic of a Chardonnay from Chablis, for example, complement the lightest fare, and the fresh cucumber rolls on my plate. Foods of a medium richness, such as the lighter yellowfin tuna, demand a richer, more full-bodied wine – an oaky California Chardonnay or a viscous Mosel Riesling – and the meatiest fish, like salmon or the richer, fatty tuna belly, not only stand up to a Burgundian Pinot Noir, they share the wine’s Umami taste. But pairing wine and food isn’t always about identifying similarities; in fact, finding the right contrast can highlight flavours and enhance both the food and the wine. An aromatic white wine, with just a touch of sweetness, for instance, pairs exquisitely with many spicy and savoury dishes. Like to go heavy on the wasabi? I certainly do, so today I will opt for an off-dry and aromatic white, an Alsatian Gewürztraminer, but an Argentine Torrontes or a BC Ehrenfelser would also do nicely.

If you would rather not bother fussing over the wine list, go for a nice sparkling wine. Bubbly is refreshing and lively, and it pairs well with the variety of flavours your sushi platter may offer. Extra-dry or Brut Champagne are best, if you have deep pockets, but if you’re looking for something more affordable, choose a fruity BC bubbly or an Italian Prosecco. Perhaps the best approach of all, when it comes to food and wine pairing, is to be courageous and experiment. Have fun with it, and you might discover something amazing. Cheers!

Pierre Sparr Gewürztraminer – France $20.99

Gunderloch Fritz's Riesling – Germany $16.99

Ochagavia Sauvignon Blanc – Chile $12.99

Planning your own sushi party?  Come in and let us help you choose from a wide variety of wines and sakes that will perfectly accompany your favourite sushi dishes.