December 2021

Today on CTV Morning Live Vancouver, CTVs Krissy Vann, and Sommelier Matt Steeves showcased some great wines for gifting this season as well as enjoying with family and friends over the holidays. Wines that will suit every palate and budget, including white, red, and fortified wines too. And whether you’re celebrating in-person with your bubble, or dropping off some holiday cheer for a virtual gathering, these are some great options to check-out this season.

Life is too short to drink bad wines so this holiday season why not treat yourself, and those around you, to some Sommelier recommended fine wines. We’ve scoured the local shops to curate a short list of delicious wines from all over that are sure to impress.

We’re starting off today with a Pinot Grigio from New Zealand. Pinot Grigio is a great choice for those that are looking for a refreshing white wine at a great price. I always recommend having a variety of wine styles on hand from big juicy reds to light and fresh whites like Pinot Grigio to ensure you have something for every palate and preference.

Matua’s Pinot Grigio from Marlborough region of New Zealand is aromatic, with fresh and intense nectarine, nashi pear supported by hints of honeysuckle and spices adding wonderful depth. Try soaking some chicken in a splash of this wine, a dash of lime, and a dollop of honey – toss it on the grill and cook to perfection.

Available at BCLiquor for $15.99

The holidays and throughout the winter is a great time to enjoy big juicy red wines and I’ve got a few wonderful options here from some unique places too.

Starting off with a big red wine that if you like Cabernet Sauvignon I’m certain you’ll enjoy this wine too. It’s Bodega Garzon’s Reserva Tannat from Uruguay in South America. This juicy, full-bodied wine is rich purple in colour with very fresh aromas reminiscent of red and black fruits such as blackberries, plums and raspberries, with a delicate spicy nose. In the mouth, it presents a strong personality, showing its power, however, with great finesse. Its mature tannins and minerality transform it into a wine with great soil identity, it is totally a terroir-wine! Pair with Grilled Steak, Roast Beef, Rack of Lamb, Lamb Shank, Osso Bucco, and Sharp Cheddar. Tannat has become known as Uruguay’s national grape, and Bodega Garzon’s Tannat Reserva is a spectactular example of this finely textured, full-bodied, and harmonious wine.

Available at BCLiquor stores for $25.49

Sticking with full-bodied wines, our next two are bid, bold, and delicious California wines.

Starting with Caymus’ Suisun (‘su-soon’), which comes from a small valley southeast of Napa Valley, the Suisun Valley AVA, which is like Napa was 50 years ago, largely undiscovered but recognized as having ideal grape growing terroir. This Petite Sirah, or termed ‘Durif’ in the Valley, is opulent, luxuriously soft and very enjoyable especially when paired with BBQ fare, braised dishes, or aged cheese. They call this “Grand Durif” for its grand style of wine that’s anything but petite, and I concur, this is a big and very smooth red, and one that’s sure to please!

Some red wines benefit from a bit of time in Bourbon casks to impart a bit of extra flavour and body in the wines, such as Beringer Bros. Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Wine Blend. This blended red (75% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petite Sirah, 1% Zinfandel, 2% other) wine form California saw 20% of the wine aged for 60 days in second-pass charred American oak barriques which previously held Bourbon. The result is a red wine with an extra layer of vanilla-y richness and creaminess on the nose and palate. This wine bursts with aromas of ripe blackberry, roasted hazelnuts, and caramel.
With intense concentration, this full-bodied wine has a creamy mouthfeel and integrated acidity. The lingering finish boasts notes of toasted coconut, violet, and black cherry.

After a nice meal it’s a real treat to enjoy a fine dessert wine, like Tawny Port, with dessert or on its own. Graham’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port is a great choice for enjoying with cheese platters, dried fruit, chocolate desserts, pastries such as apple pie with cinnamon, and Cuban cigars too. Founded in 1820 in Porgugal’s Douro Valley, for over 200 years Graham’s has cultivated its reputation as one of the greatest names in Port.

Available at BCLiquor for $36.99 until January 1.

The holiday season is a precious time to enjoy with family and friends, and what better than some delicious wines to complement your holiday cheer! Here’s wishing you a safe and enjoyable holiday season!