Stained – Great Wines at Great Value

Published January 17, 2013

While the start of 2013 may indeed be the beginning of a Happy New Year, in our business they call this time of year the “doldrums”. It’s the time of year where people tend to watch what they are drinking in light of their New Years resolutions and other soon to be forgotten promises. It’s also the time of year when people are saving a few pennies from having melted their credit cards beyond recognition. So with that in mind your intrepid writer has brought forth a couple of lovely whites and reds for your consideration that will surely offer both tremendous value in their palette pleasure and their ease on the old pocketbook (or purse).

Emotivo Pinot Grigio
$12.99-$14.95 (prices may vary)

Very refreshing Pinot Grigio with plenty of zesty pear and peach fruit, this has good zip too it yet remains a very easy drinking style. This wine is perfect for salads, fish or antipasti.


Terre de Neptune Picpoul
$11.99-$13.99 (prices may vary)

The name Pique-poul translates literally as ‘stings the lip’, and is a reference to the grape’s naturally, mouth-wateringly high acidity. Picpoul’s most famous incarnation is in the white wines of Picpoul de Pinet AOC that bears its name. This is one to try with light pastas and salads with light acidy dressings or just on its own as a palette cleanser.

On the red front there have been a number of new entrants into the market place where the best description in terms of varietals is everything and the kitchen sink! Primarily juicy Zinfandels, these wines often include a dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Petit Syrah and other blending grapes. The result is a jammy, easy drinking style that is sure to please.


Apothic Red
$17.99-$20.99 (prices may vary)


Folie a Deux
$17.99-$20.99 (prices may vary)


Colby Red
$13.99-$16.99 (prices may vary)

All of these wines have the stuffing to be paired with grilled meats or hard cheeses and due to their jammy, almost sweet raspberry and dark berry fruitiness, they can also pair surprisingly well with tomato based pasta sauces. I however find they are best enjoyed on there own in the accompaniment of friends.

For many people the start of the wine season is the Playhouse Wine Festival held at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The event runs from February 25th – March 3rd 2013 with the theme region being California and the wine varietal being Chardonnay. For those who have side stepped Cali Chard in the last while might give themselves a bit of a refresher, as like the Australians, today’s Cali Chardonnay is being treated with a lighter hand meaning less oak without short changing the ripe, voluptuous fruit typical of the California style. While there are many events over the course of the week to entertain your taste-buds, the feature attraction is the Consumer Tasting Nights (Thursday, Friday & Saturday 7-10pm) where over 100 wineries from around the world present their wines for you to try. Tickets are $95 and are well worth the price of admission. My only advice is once you have tried a few Cali Cabs…take a cab!

Once the event is over I will be highlighting those tasty treats that I have uncovered and hope that you too will find some new and exciting wines to enjoy in the coming year. Until the next time, remain curious and try something outside your normal comfort zone. You’ll be glad you did!