Wine Reviews via Instagram

I’m passionate about enjoying wine and learning everything about why it tastes as it does. Although I’ve taken several courses, I recently received my WSET Level Two certification. The more I know, the more I appreciate it. Join me on a journey of wine discovery through my Instagram feed.

2017 Quails Gate Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay. 

Chardonnay is the second most planted white grape globally, with around 500,000 acres worldwide. By comparison, Canada’s entire vineyards of all varieties equal about 30,000 acres. As a result, Chardonnay can come in many different styles, from bright green apple Chablis to heavily oaked Californians. 
So what is this one? Think buttered toast with sliced green apple and a hint of lime. It’s bright and cheerful with a smooth delivery. It’s the perfect complement to whitefish in a cream sauce. 
If you’ve given up on Chardonnay, this one might make you a believer again. This is a very good wine. 

#chardonnay #quailsgate #quailsgatewinery #quailsgateestatewinery #okanaganwine #okanaganwineries #okanaganwinery #okanaganwines #bcwine #bcwines #bcwineries #bcwinecountry #vqa #vqawine #vqawines #vqawinesofbc #vqawinescanada

2017 Quails Gate Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay.

Chardonnay is the second most planted white grape globally, with around 500,000 acres worldwide. By comparison, Canada’s entire vineyards of all varieties equal about 30,000 acres. As a result, Chardonnay can come in many different styles, from bright green apple Chablis to heavily oaked Californians.
So what is this one? Think buttered toast with sliced green apple and a hint of lime. It’s bright and cheerful with a smooth delivery. It’s the perfect complement to whitefish in a cream sauce.
If you’ve given up on Chardonnay, this one might make you a believer again. This is a very good wine.

#chardonnay #quailsgate #quailsgatewinery #quailsgateestatewinery #okanaganwine #okanaganwineries #okanaganwinery #okanaganwines #bcwine #bcwines #bcwineries #bcwinecountry #vqa #vqawine #vqawines #vqawinesofbc #vqawinescanada
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2019 Tom Gore Cabernet Sauvignon 

While it's not a personal favorite, this is a very approachable, easy-drinking wine. In the $20 price range, it's a pretty typical California cab sav. Lots of ripe blackberry and black cherry with hints of spiced chocolate and vanilla. Light on tannins. Refreshing acidity and a medium king finish. 
You’ll probably find yourself refilling your glass a time or two. It's that kind of wine; it goes down easy. Enjoy with friends. My wife says she thinks it’s pretty good 😃

#cabernetsauvignon #californiawine #californiawines #tomgorevineyards #tomgorewine #tomegore #tomgorewines #budgetwine #budgetwines

2019 Tom Gore Cabernet Sauvignon

While it's not a personal favorite, this is a very approachable, easy-drinking wine. In the $20 price range, it's a pretty typical California cab sav. Lots of ripe blackberry and black cherry with hints of spiced chocolate and vanilla. Light on tannins. Refreshing acidity and a medium king finish.
You’ll probably find yourself refilling your glass a time or two. It's that kind of wine; it goes down easy. Enjoy with friends. My wife says she thinks it’s pretty good 😃

#cabernetsauvignon #californiawine #californiawines #tomgorevineyards #tomgorewine #tomegore #tomgorewines #budgetwine #budgetwines
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2017 Quails Gate Pinot Noir Stewart Family Reserve

I wouldn’t hesitate to drink this, but honestly, I was a little underwhelmed. Red cherry, blueberry with spice, and cinnamon, but it isn’t quite enough. The tannins are a little overpowering for how delicate the fruit is,  and it just doesn’t linger on your taste buds.  The lower acidity means it’s not refreshing or fruity. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice; not what I would expect with a Stewart Family Reserve wine though. If you choose between the regular Pinot and the Stewart family reserve, skip the reserve on this vintage and save some money. 

##quailsgatewinery #quailsgateestatewinery #okanaganwine #okanaganwineries #okanaganwines #okanaganwinery #bcwine #bcwines #bcwineries #bcwinery #pinotnoir #westkelowna

2017 Quails Gate Pinot Noir Stewart Family Reserve

I wouldn’t hesitate to drink this, but honestly, I was a little underwhelmed. Red cherry, blueberry with spice, and cinnamon, but it isn’t quite enough. The tannins are a little overpowering for how delicate the fruit is, and it just doesn’t linger on your taste buds. The lower acidity means it’s not refreshing or fruity. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice; not what I would expect with a Stewart Family Reserve wine though. If you choose between the regular Pinot and the Stewart family reserve, skip the reserve on this vintage and save some money.

##quailsgatewinery #quailsgateestatewinery #okanaganwine #okanaganwineries #okanaganwines #okanaganwinery #bcwine #bcwines #bcwineries #bcwinery #pinotnoir #westkelowna
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2015 Nk’mip Cellars Talon

Wow!! Outstanding. This is amazing! 👏👏👏
So much fruit, blackberry, black cherry, black plum with notes of black pepper and green pepper. This wine is intense. Well balanced and a finish that just doesn’t stop. There’s a little bit of tobacco and cedar in the finish too. 
Genuinely this is an outstanding wine. At less than $30, snap this one up anytime you see it. 
Since it’s so intense you will want an intense food to go with it. Probably not steak but a tomato stew (not spicy) will be good. Let me know what works for you. 
#talonwine #nkmip #nkmipcellars #nkmipwinery #okanaganwine #okanaganwineries #okanaganwinery #okanaganwines #bcvqa #bcvqaokanaganvalley #bcvqawines #bcvqawine #cabernetfranc #malbec #shiraz #merlot #pinotnoir

2015 Nk’mip Cellars Talon

Wow!! Outstanding. This is amazing! 👏👏👏
So much fruit, blackberry, black cherry, black plum with notes of black pepper and green pepper. This wine is intense. Well balanced and a finish that just doesn’t stop. There’s a little bit of tobacco and cedar in the finish too.
Genuinely this is an outstanding wine. At less than $30, snap this one up anytime you see it.
Since it’s so intense you will want an intense food to go with it. Probably not steak but a tomato stew (not spicy) will be good. Let me know what works for you.
#talonwine #nkmip #nkmipcellars #nkmipwinery #okanaganwine #okanaganwineries #okanaganwinery #okanaganwines #bcvqa #bcvqaokanaganvalley #bcvqawines #bcvqawine #cabernetfranc #malbec #shiraz #merlot #pinotnoir
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Frind Estate Winery 2019 Pinot Noir Cuvee 

At a little over $20 a bottle this is a very good bargain Pinot Noir. My wife brought it home as a surprise gift. Had with cheese, sausage and crackers. Totally killed the pairing!
Nice cherry and vanilla aromas followed by raspberry and red current. The tannins are just a tad strong but not overwhelming and the finish is long enough to be enjoyable. It’s a little lower alcohol at 11.4% so it’s a great afternoon sipper. 
Oh yeah and the winery itself is in a fabulous location in West Kelowna right by Okanagan Lake. Maybe stop by for a tasting then grab a bite at Annie’s Beach Cafe and enjoy your new bottle with some great food. 
Fun Fact: Frind is the brainchild of the founder and former owner of Plenty of Fish. 

#okwine #okanaganwine #okanaganwineries #okanaganwinery #okanaganwines #frindestatewinery #frindestatewine #pinotnoir #vqa #bcwine #bcwines #bcwineries

Frind Estate Winery 2019 Pinot Noir Cuvee

At a little over $20 a bottle this is a very good bargain Pinot Noir. My wife brought it home as a surprise gift. Had with cheese, sausage and crackers. Totally killed the pairing!
Nice cherry and vanilla aromas followed by raspberry and red current. The tannins are just a tad strong but not overwhelming and the finish is long enough to be enjoyable. It’s a little lower alcohol at 11.4% so it’s a great afternoon sipper.
Oh yeah and the winery itself is in a fabulous location in West Kelowna right by Okanagan Lake. Maybe stop by for a tasting then grab a bite at Annie’s Beach Cafe and enjoy your new bottle with some great food.
Fun Fact: Frind is the brainchild of the founder and former owner of Plenty of Fish.

#okwine #okanaganwine #okanaganwineries #okanaganwinery #okanaganwines #frindestatewinery #frindestatewine #pinotnoir #vqa #bcwine #bcwines #bcwineries
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2019 Quails Gate Winery Queue

Bias alert!. I have more wine in my collection from Quail’s Gate than any other winery. 

Okay so now that’s done let’s talk about Queue. A benchmark Bordeaux style wine in its first year of release. I’ve opened two bottles so far and my recommendation would be to wait a few more years if you can. Right now, it’s still harsh and tart. Tannins are very strong and finish is quite tart. However, the black fruit is quite impressive and given some time I hope it will hold up. One thing I’m just not sure about is whether the oak which currently comes through as a very strong cedar will settle down with the tannins. If it does, this could be very nice. If not well…

My conclusion is it’s likely a good bottle of wine but not quite. I’m going to try it again in…2025?

#okanaganwine #okanaganwineries #okanaganwines #quailsgateestatewinery #quailsgatewinery #bcwine #bcwineries #bcwinery #bordeauxwinelovers

2019 Quails Gate Winery Queue

Bias alert!. I have more wine in my collection from Quail’s Gate than any other winery.

Okay so now that’s done let’s talk about Queue. A benchmark Bordeaux style wine in its first year of release. I’ve opened two bottles so far and my recommendation would be to wait a few more years if you can. Right now, it’s still harsh and tart. Tannins are very strong and finish is quite tart. However, the black fruit is quite impressive and given some time I hope it will hold up. One thing I’m just not sure about is whether the oak which currently comes through as a very strong cedar will settle down with the tannins. If it does, this could be very nice. If not well…

My conclusion is it’s likely a good bottle of wine but not quite. I’m going to try it again in…2025?

#okanaganwine #okanaganwineries #okanaganwines #quailsgateestatewinery #quailsgatewinery #bcwine #bcwineries #bcwinery #bordeauxwinelovers
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2017 Rodney Strong Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 

Full disclosure! Not usually a big fan of California Pinot Noir but I’m prepared to make an exception for this one. 
Silky smooth and bursting with flavour. It actually reminds me a little of my favourite Beaujolais. Lots of red raspberry and cherry. A little blueberry, coconut and vanilla too. The finish is quite long so I find I wait longer between sips. About the only downside in my opinion is it’s a bit off dry with just a little residual sugar. At under $30 I think it’s a fantastic bargain. A comparable BC Pinot would be considerably more. If you see this one on the shelf definitely buy it. You can thank me later 😊
#pinotnoir #pinotnoirwine #sonomacounty #russianrivervalley #rodneystrong #russianriver #californiawines #bargainwines #rodneystrongvineyards #rodneystrongwinery

2017 Rodney Strong Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Full disclosure! Not usually a big fan of California Pinot Noir but I’m prepared to make an exception for this one.
Silky smooth and bursting with flavour. It actually reminds me a little of my favourite Beaujolais. Lots of red raspberry and cherry. A little blueberry, coconut and vanilla too. The finish is quite long so I find I wait longer between sips. About the only downside in my opinion is it’s a bit off dry with just a little residual sugar. At under $30 I think it’s a fantastic bargain. A comparable BC Pinot would be considerably more. If you see this one on the shelf definitely buy it. You can thank me later 😊
#pinotnoir #pinotnoirwine #sonomacounty #russianrivervalley #rodneystrong #russianriver #californiawines #bargainwines #rodneystrongvineyards #rodneystrongwinery
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2018 Van Westen Winery Pinot Noir 

You know those times when you discover a winery and you like absolutely every wine they have? Yep! Van Westen Winery. And you’ve probably never heard of them. 

We literally accidentally stumbled on this place and couldn’t believe it. Love the wine and the winemaker was in the tasting room explaining and demonstrating everything too. Way cool. If you get a chance go there on the Naramata bench. I’ve actually never seen a single bottle of wine from them in any store. 

Okay, on to this Pinot Noir. At over $40 it’s not a deal but it’s not overpriced either and it’s a solid wine. Ripe bing cherry, raspberry and maybe a little plum accented by licorice and clove. Lots of acidity and smooth tannins. It’s not as subtle or sophisticated as a great burgundy but the fruit gives it a lot of pairing possibilities. We paired it with roasted pork shoulder. Mmmmmm good. Can’t find the right emoticon 🍷😊

#vanwestenvineyards #vanwestenwinery #vanwesten #naramatabench #naramatabenchwineries #naramatawine #pinotnoir #bcwine #bcwineries #bcwinery #okwine #okwineries #okwinery #okanaganwineries #okanaganwinery #okanaganwines #dibello

2018 Van Westen Winery Pinot Noir

You know those times when you discover a winery and you like absolutely every wine they have? Yep! Van Westen Winery. And you’ve probably never heard of them.

We literally accidentally stumbled on this place and couldn’t believe it. Love the wine and the winemaker was in the tasting room explaining and demonstrating everything too. Way cool. If you get a chance go there on the Naramata bench. I’ve actually never seen a single bottle of wine from them in any store.

Okay, on to this Pinot Noir. At over $40 it’s not a deal but it’s not overpriced either and it’s a solid wine. Ripe bing cherry, raspberry and maybe a little plum accented by licorice and clove. Lots of acidity and smooth tannins. It’s not as subtle or sophisticated as a great burgundy but the fruit gives it a lot of pairing possibilities. We paired it with roasted pork shoulder. Mmmmmm good. Can’t find the right emoticon 🍷😊

#vanwestenvineyards #vanwestenwinery #vanwesten #naramatabench #naramatabenchwineries #naramatawine #pinotnoir #bcwine #bcwineries #bcwinery #okwine #okwineries #okwinery #okanaganwineries #okanaganwinery #okanaganwines #dibello
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2014 Quails Gate Stewart Family Reserve Old Vines Foch

Although Marechal Foch is a French hybrid grape you mostly find it in Canada. It tends to benefit from cooler growing temperatures and can withstand our Canadian winters. 
Even though it is getting to be more difficult to find, Quails Gate continues to produce it. 
This particular bottle is a 2014 Family Reserve. I generally find their (Quail’s Gate) family Reserve to be higher quality across the entire product line. 
This bottle has aged well. I suggest you decant it for awhile before you drink it. Mushroom, meat and forest floor aromas. Tannins are still strong but not overwhelming. Well balanced. The flavour itself is tart black currant, with a little bit of cigar. Try it with rack of lamb. 
#quailsgatewinery #quailsgateestatewinery #quailsgate #marechalfoch #bcwine #okanaganwines #westkelowna

2014 Quails Gate Stewart Family Reserve Old Vines Foch

Although Marechal Foch is a French hybrid grape you mostly find it in Canada. It tends to benefit from cooler growing temperatures and can withstand our Canadian winters.
Even though it is getting to be more difficult to find, Quails Gate continues to produce it.
This particular bottle is a 2014 Family Reserve. I generally find their (Quail’s Gate) family Reserve to be higher quality across the entire product line.
This bottle has aged well. I suggest you decant it for awhile before you drink it. Mushroom, meat and forest floor aromas. Tannins are still strong but not overwhelming. Well balanced. The flavour itself is tart black currant, with a little bit of cigar. Try it with rack of lamb.
#quailsgatewinery #quailsgateestatewinery #quailsgate #marechalfoch #bcwine #okanaganwines #westkelowna
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2017 Pentage Winery Pinot Gris

You may not have heard of Pentage Winery. I hadn’t before we happened upon it while out tasting in the Penticton East Bench. Great tasting experience even during COVID and the wine is good too. 
At about $18, this 2017 Pinot Gris is a bouquet of flavour. Both Pinot Gris and Pinto Grigio are made from the same grape variety. If it’s grown in France it’s called Pinot Gris and in Italy Pinot Grigio. So what do we call this when it’s grown in Canada? 😀I typically find Pinot Gris to be somewhat subtle and subdued but not this one. Lots of stone fruit, pineapple, tropical fruit flavours with just a little bit of lime and honey in the background. It is just a touch off dry so I imagine pairing it with fish tacos and mango salsa could be delicious. 
My wife asked for something refreshing this evening and this fit the bill exactly. 
If you like Pinot Gris give it a try. I think you will like it. 
#pinotgris #pentagewinery #bcwines #okanaganwine #skahabench

2017 Pentage Winery Pinot Gris

You may not have heard of Pentage Winery. I hadn’t before we happened upon it while out tasting in the Penticton East Bench. Great tasting experience even during COVID and the wine is good too.
At about $18, this 2017 Pinot Gris is a bouquet of flavour. Both Pinot Gris and Pinto Grigio are made from the same grape variety. If it’s grown in France it’s called Pinot Gris and in Italy Pinot Grigio. So what do we call this when it’s grown in Canada? 😀I typically find Pinot Gris to be somewhat subtle and subdued but not this one. Lots of stone fruit, pineapple, tropical fruit flavours with just a little bit of lime and honey in the background. It is just a touch off dry so I imagine pairing it with fish tacos and mango salsa could be delicious.
My wife asked for something refreshing this evening and this fit the bill exactly.
If you like Pinot Gris give it a try. I think you will like it.
#pinotgris #pentagewinery #bcwines #okanaganwine #skahabench
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2014 Nk’mip Merriym Meritage

I really enjoyed this wine. At around $60 it’s not a great bargain but it’s also not unreasonable. To me it’s worthy of Valentine’s Day for sure. 
A Meritage is a new world name for a Bordeaux style wine. That makes it a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet France. In this case there is a little Malbec thrown in as well. (Little known fact. Malbec originated in France too) 
Really well balanced. The flavour lasts for a long time. Tannins were strong but really mellow.  Mostly it was lots of fruit. Great dark cherry, blackberry with some hints of spice and cedar. 
We paired it with thick juicy sirloin heavily salted and barbecued. It was a great pairing. Big wine with a big protein. Truly a great wine. 
#meritage #nk’mip #bcwines #okanaganwine

2014 Nk’mip Merriym Meritage

I really enjoyed this wine. At around $60 it’s not a great bargain but it’s also not unreasonable. To me it’s worthy of Valentine’s Day for sure.
A Meritage is a new world name for a Bordeaux style wine. That makes it a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet France. In this case there is a little Malbec thrown in as well. (Little known fact. Malbec originated in France too)
Really well balanced. The flavour lasts for a long time. Tannins were strong but really mellow. Mostly it was lots of fruit. Great dark cherry, blackberry with some hints of spice and cedar.
We paired it with thick juicy sirloin heavily salted and barbecued. It was a great pairing. Big wine with a big protein. Truly a great wine.
#meritage #nk’mip #bcwines #okanaganwine
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2020 50th Parallel Riesling

This is a great example of a German kabinett style. You can smell the wet stone at the top of the glass and it’s all tart lime and green apple in your mouth. 
I haven’t found a lot of good rieslings like this in the Okanagan so it’s a winner. 
Honestly though at this price point you could consider a German Riesling from Mosel. 
While a lower alcohol slightly sweeter Riesling would be a good choice for Chinese or Thai food, this is too tart for that. Try it with a lemon chicken pasta or a citrus based salad. This wine is tart enough to stand up to most citrus dishes. Bon appetit!!

#okanaganwine #okanaganwineries #50thparallel #riesling

2020 50th Parallel Riesling

This is a great example of a German kabinett style. You can smell the wet stone at the top of the glass and it’s all tart lime and green apple in your mouth.
I haven’t found a lot of good rieslings like this in the Okanagan so it’s a winner.
Honestly though at this price point you could consider a German Riesling from Mosel.
While a lower alcohol slightly sweeter Riesling would be a good choice for Chinese or Thai food, this is too tart for that. Try it with a lemon chicken pasta or a citrus based salad. This wine is tart enough to stand up to most citrus dishes. Bon appetit!!

#okanaganwine #okanaganwineries #50thparallel #riesling
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2020 Louis Latour Beaujolais Villages

Love Love Love Beaujolais. #beaujolais 

In my opinion, Beaujolais is a festive wine. Made primarily with Gamay grapes but that’s not the whole story. If it says Beaujolais on the bottle it can be made from grapes grown anywhere in the Beaujolais region of France. However a few places in the region get their own special designation and this is one of them. I find that wine from the Beaujolais Villages designation usually have much more intense fruit flavours. This one certainly does. 

This wine is like a blackberry tart that really wants to dance. Plum jam with a certain amount of effervescent energy. Joie de vivre. It seems to whisper ‘let’s party’. Best served slightly chilled and with a smile. Enjoy!!

2020 Louis Latour Beaujolais Villages

Love Love Love Beaujolais. #beaujolais

In my opinion, Beaujolais is a festive wine. Made primarily with Gamay grapes but that’s not the whole story. If it says Beaujolais on the bottle it can be made from grapes grown anywhere in the Beaujolais region of France. However a few places in the region get their own special designation and this is one of them. I find that wine from the Beaujolais Villages designation usually have much more intense fruit flavours. This one certainly does.

This wine is like a blackberry tart that really wants to dance. Plum jam with a certain amount of effervescent energy. Joie de vivre. It seems to whisper ‘let’s party’. Best served slightly chilled and with a smile. Enjoy!!
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2009 Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva

Check this wine out. It’s a Rioja so that means it’s from the Rioja region of Spain. Probably one of the better known areas for Spanish wine. At least you are quite likely to find a Rioja in most liquor stores. 
This beauty is categorized as a Gran Reserva. That means the wine has been aged for a minimum of two years in oak barrels and three years in the bottle before it can be sold. With these minimum requirements you can normally expect to pay more and get a better quality wine. 
So this bottle was very good. Produced by Beronia from the 2009 harvest of Tempranillo grapes primarily with some Graciano grapes as well, this is delicious. Raspberry, blackberry, black plum and orange zest. Some cedar notes under all of it as well. The tannins are there but not overwhelming. The only thing keeping this wine from being outstanding is the finish is pretty short. But honestly at around $45 I could drink this all day long. Have it with tapas or charcuterie. 
Personally I’ll scoop up some more bottles next chance I get. 
#beronia #rioja #granteserva #2009

2009 Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva

Check this wine out. It’s a Rioja so that means it’s from the Rioja region of Spain. Probably one of the better known areas for Spanish wine. At least you are quite likely to find a Rioja in most liquor stores.
This beauty is categorized as a Gran Reserva. That means the wine has been aged for a minimum of two years in oak barrels and three years in the bottle before it can be sold. With these minimum requirements you can normally expect to pay more and get a better quality wine.
So this bottle was very good. Produced by Beronia from the 2009 harvest of Tempranillo grapes primarily with some Graciano grapes as well, this is delicious. Raspberry, blackberry, black plum and orange zest. Some cedar notes under all of it as well. The tannins are there but not overwhelming. The only thing keeping this wine from being outstanding is the finish is pretty short. But honestly at around $45 I could drink this all day long. Have it with tapas or charcuterie.
Personally I’ll scoop up some more bottles next chance I get.
#beronia #rioja #granteserva #2009
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