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#VPIWF: The 2010 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival in Tweets

21 Apr

How much has the (Vancouver) wine world really embraced twitter? This post is a bit of an experiment in the matter, and depends wholly on Twitter users for the quality of its content.

I’ve added a new feed (right sidebar) so you can follow along in real-time with all the action of the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival (#VPIWF), courtesy Vancouver’s most hardcore wine-geek tweeps.

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Please note, this post is a WIP: I will compile interesting tweets from various VPIWF events in this post as the festivities continue.

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» Diva(s) at the Met

What happens when a group of women get together? They talk wine, of course! Host Daenna Van Mulligen (aka Wine Diva) will introduce you to an international group of winemakers, proprietors and industry principals, who will share not only the wines they represent, but also the stories of their journey as a woman in the grape trade. After, schmooze and enjoy a selection of small bites prepared to match each wine by Diva at the Met Chef Dino Renaerts. Diva(s) at the Met

TheWineDiva Trying to get to my Divas at the Met event #vpiwf but the 4/20 pot protest has shut down traffic- great- come early. You’ll be stuck too

rtay Heading to the Metropolitan Hotel for Diva(s) at the Met, my first official @PlayhouseWine fest event of what will be a very boozy week.

lfroese Food porn: canapes from Divas at the Met MMMMMMMMM #vpiwf #wine @thewinediva http://tweetphoto.com/19277394

TheWineDiva Divas at the Met 2010 has wrapped. Inspiring women, stories and wine. I am awed-thanks to all you wine divas out there!! #vpiwf

» Canadian Wine Summit as interpreted by @yaffler

The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival is pleased to announce a very special dialogue about Canadian wine issues as part of the Trade Days Conference.  What is Wine Brand Canada?   Is it Icewine internationally?  How does Cellared in Canada fit in?  How relevant are issues regarding sustainability?

Master Sommelier John Szabo moderates the morning, in-camera Strategy Session (9:30 – 11:30 am) featuring presentations by Mike Weir Wine, Tinhorn Creek, LCBO, Vincor, Brock University, Flat Rock Cellars, Andrew Peller and Mark Anthony Brands. The Canadian Wine Summit

Yaffler Interesting perspectives in this morning’s Canadian Wine Summit. Although As in all things, the big producers dominated proceedings #VPIWF

Yaffler Purpose of this morning’s Canadian Wine Summit: define winebrand Canada. Initial ideas: focus on diversity & sustainability. #VPIWF

Yaffler But before understanding & defining winebrand Canada, should everyone agree on just what it means to be Canadian in a general sense #VPIWF

Yaffler Key Canadian #wine asset is wine tourism. Vital to building the brand & creating emotional ties #VPIWF

Yaffler The big 3 want cooperation in building winebrand Canada. But only on their terms… #VPIWF Continue reading

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Reviewed: Wolf Blass Gold Label Shiraz Viognier (2005)

13 Apr

The iconic producer Wolf Blass has been making some of Australia’s best, and most-awarded, wines since its inception in 1973.  Early on, Wolf Blass recognized the marketing value of a range of wines in distinct tiers, from everyday to luxury.  Right in the middle of the 8-tier range lies the Gold Label:

The wines created for the Gold Label range are an ever-evolving proposition: emerging varieties, groundbreaking techniques, and the most progressive regional styles are incorporated into the range as they become available. All vineyard parcels are kept separate until final blending and bottling and production levels are dictated by vintage quality. [1]

I recently tasted the 2005 Adelaide Hills Shiraz Viognier from the Wolf Blass Gold Label series of wines:

Wolf Blass Wines
Gold Label Shiraz Viognier 2005

Adelaide Hills, Australia
15% alcohol/volume
$33.99 at Everything Wine (not available at BCLS)

Beautifully bold colour in the glass with a black cherry core and a ruby/violet meniscus.

The nose is intense and Shiraz-dominated, with big, bold blackberry pie filling, cassis, wood smoke, and cured meat. The Viognier offers only a touch of a violet/floral component and hints of dried peach and apricot jam.

The palate is full-bodied and lively, with brambly berry jam, spicy sausage, cherry cola, anise, menthol and white pepper. The finish is long and sweet, with subtle tannins and good acidity. It has the structure to age longer, but must be very near its peak at this point.

I greatly enjoyed this wine with wild mushroom, herb and sherry soup, but it would also be delicious with lamb dishes, duck sausage, and other earthy, rustic fare.

For more information on Shiraz/Viognier blends, from Côte-Rôtie to Australia, check out the new post by Bitch Casserole‘s Ruby Bricks.

What Joe’s Digging: Aussie Grenache

6 Feb

Grenache Noir grapes

Every so often I get on these kicks where I get a bit obsessive about a particular grape or region or producer.  These days I can’t get enough Grenache. More specifically, I’ve been sipping a number of Australian Grenache wines – and enjoying them quite a bit.

While not considered a “Noble” variety, Grenache is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world and an integral part of wines from the Southern Rhone, especially Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas.  Grenache is also widely planted in Spain, where its known both as Garnacha and as Alicante, and also pops up in Italy as Cannonau.  Australia is the only New World wine region where Grenache has taken a serious hold, and where some of the world’s best examples are now produced.

In the glass, Aussie Grenache wines often take the appearance of Pinot Noir: pale strawberry-red with subtle violet hues.  Aromas, too, lean towards the light, and delicate.  Bright red berry, floral notes and hard candy are common.  The palate, however, is another story: big, rich mouthfeel is commonplace, and alcohol contents above 14% is the rule.  This dichotomy is what currently attracts me to these wines.  Light, bright and elegant for summer barbeques, but with enough fullness and complexity to stand up to grilled meats and the hardcore red-wine drinkers that eat the grilled meats. Continue reading

Drink Wine. Help Haiti.

21 Jan

Live in British Columbia? Love wine? Then listen up:

Everything Wine
will donate $1 from EVERY bottle sold Saturday, Janunary 23 to Red Cross Haiti relief!  Great specials and free tastings all day.  Our target is 5,000 bottles.

Drop by the store at 998 Marine Drive in North Vancouver, BC or buy online for shipping in BC.

Visit Everything Wine on Twitter

Drink wine. Help Haiti. It’s win-win!

Holidays are over :(

11 Jan

Madi enjoying a walk on the beach. Victoria, BC - January, 2010.

Yes, you haven’t heard from me in a while, but for good cause.  A crushingly successful December at work followed by a short vacay on the Island and suddenly I’m 6 weeks behind on posts! New stuff soon…

It’s Twasting Time

9 Jun

twitter_logo_headerTwitter has defined the future of the tasting note. A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle introduces the new phenomenon of Twasting.

“Twitter’s virtue is brevity,” writes Jon Bonné, “forget pain grillé and 92 points”.

Indeed, to post tasting notes on Twitter, one must be as crisp as the NZSB being reviewed.

“Do we really need to know that last night’s Cabernet had notes of blackberry, cassis and tobacco? Aside from being obvious – the curse of old-fashioned tasting notes – it’s merely a litany of the senses. No qualifications, and therefore no closer to truth. The glory of 140 is in shoving you, hard, toward that truth.”

Read the entire article.

Check out my twasting notes by following me on Twitter @joecorkscrew.

Everything Wine blog

7 Jun

EWblogEverything Wine, BC’s biggest wine store, has launched a new wine blog featuring contributions from a variety of wine geeks including Tasting Room Confidential blogger Mari Kane and yours truly.  Along with a seachable inventory database and online purchasing (launching soon), the blog is a great addition to the increasingly-useful website.  I’m very pleased to be a part of it and I encourage you to bookmark the blog or better yet, subscribe to the feed. Watch for my first post early next week. I’ll have a teaser link from this site.

V I N O | V A L O R E {issue 5}

6 Mar
joe attended the california wine fair march 3 in vancouver

joe attended the california wine fair march 3 in vancouver

download issue 5.pdf

Issue five of vino valore has a double-focus: the great-value wines of Chile and the premium offerings of California. I’ve assembled some recent tasting notes from some standout Chilean reds under $20 and summed up highlights of the California Wine Fair, held March 3rd in Vancouver. Cheers!

~Joe Corkscrew

download issue 5.pdf

please note, issue five is extra long!  print on legal sheet.

joe must love wine

2 Mar

mlw-logo

Love social networking (or just online time-wasting) as much as you love wine?  Sign up and check out joe corkscrew’s profile on mustlovewine, a new social network for wine lovers to chat and share knowledge about their favorite wines. From polls to reviews and online tastings, if it’s about wine, it’s on mustlovewine.com.

must-love-wine

new feature: vino faq

30 Jan
blind-glass1

questions like: "what the hell is with the black glass?"

I’ve added a new feature to the blog: VINO FAQ
Here’s how it works: send me your wine questions and I’ll post answers on my new page VINO FAQ.  As it grows, it will become a great resource for everyone looking for straightforward answers to their wine queries.  So the more questions you send, the more useful the feature becomes. So ask away:  beginner or wine pro, I’ll find what you need to know.
Grapes, regions, styles, service or food pairings, I’ll give you the goods. Cheers!
~ Joe

send questions to vinovalore@gmail.com