Judging by the Juice: 2014 Okanagan Preview

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:15+00:00 October 15th, 2014|Uncategorized|

Grapes being harvested in Oliver, BC. (courtesy BCWI) Fancy yourself a wine geek? How about this? This week I went to one of the more unusual tastings in which I've participated. The idea was to bring the excitement of the harvest right to Vancouver—for those of us city slickers who aren’t able to make [...]

A chat with KWV Winemaker Izele Van Blerk 

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:15+00:00 August 8th, 2014|Wine, Wine Reviews|

Izele Van Blerk One thing about the wine biz: it’s always changing—and usually for the better. It’s been a few years since I was in South Africa. But I vividly recall a visit to KWV’s hallowed Cathedral Cellar, for so many years the heart of the ‘old’ South African wine industry. At the [...]

5 Good Reasons to Re-think (and Drink) Portugal

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:16+00:00 June 1st, 2014|Hired Belly's Best Wines, Wine, Wine Reviews|

Portugal's stunning Douro Valley. These days, though, there's a whole lot more to Portugal than Port. Portugal is back in the table wine game with a vengeance. No better proof of that than a recent Vancouver  visit by a couple of score of key producers. Judging by the excitement in the room the [...]

BC wines Show Well at All Canadian Wine Championships

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:17+00:00 May 20th, 2014|Hired Belly's Best Wines, Wine|

A plethora of rosés It’s always interesting to see what pops out at the end of major competitions. And this past week’s All Canadian Wine Championships proved no exception. Fourteen judges from across Canada (plus one from Michigan) were hunkered down in cosy 100-year-old Angeline's hotel, in Bloomfield, Prince Edward County. It’s the [...]

7 Wines to Rekindle Your Love Affair with Kiwi Pinot Noir

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:17+00:00 May 7th, 2014|Wine Reviews|

A range of great Pinots from around New Zealand One of my most memorable moments in New Zealand came when Peter Yealands proudly assured me there were now more vines than sheep, which seemed a good thing. Peter knows a thing or two about sheep: he brought in the first Baby Dolls—Australian miniatures [...]

Synchromesh Wines: Shifting Gears in Okanagan Falls

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:17+00:00 May 3rd, 2014|Hired Belly's Best Wines|

Powered by Riesling, indeed! The wonderful thing about wine is, if you taste enough, when you come across something truly new and noteworthy, it can hit you like a ton of bricks. In a good way, that is. I remember quite vividly the first time I tasted Synchromesh. It was at Okanagan Falls [...]

Brent Marris: Renewing an Old Acquaintance over Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:18+00:00 March 20th, 2014|Hired Belly's Best Wines, Wine, Wine Reviews|

The last time I met Brent Marris—the man behind Marlborough’s The Ned, The Kings series, and a whole lot more—was almost exactly 20 years ago. He was part of a New Zealand trade mission that came to Vancouver. At the time, Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc was in the early stages of its remarkable ascent and the [...]

8 Tasting Tips (and more) for the Vancouver International Wine Festival

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:18+00:00 February 20th, 2014|Hired Belly's Best Wines, Top Drops, Wine|

Next week’s Vancouver International Wine Festival will be one of the most well attended  in the festival’s 36 years. How come it’s so popular? There are a couple of key reasons: Arguably North America’s most important combined consumer and trade wine gathering, it’s a great opportunity for wineries to meet their customers face to face—in [...]

10 Fizzy Faves for the Holidays: Hired Belly’s Best Bubbles

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:20+00:00 December 14th, 2013|Hired Belly's Best Wines, Wine, Wine Reviews|

Champagne flutes await at Cornucopia Bubbles forever!    © Tim Pawsey photo  Over here at HB's swank, granite and glass adorned, soaring corporate HQ, we’ve been busy popping a few corks, drafting our list of go-to holiday bubbles. Sparkling wines (and Champagne for some a few  most occasions) are a must-have this time of year. [...]

Kamloops’ first winery, Harper’s Trail Releases Inaugural Cabernet Franc

By | 2018-01-21T15:05:22+00:00 November 19th, 2013|Hired Belly's Best Wines, Wine, Wine Reviews|

Harper’s Trail has released its inaugural Cab Franc—and my guess is it will get plenty of attention. Well, it should anyway. In fact, you could file this under “One more reason why Cab Franc could be BC’s defining red variety.” I do think this is a ground-breaking wine. If you had asked people a decade [...]

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