Feteasca Alba Jidvei Sec

Feteasca Alba Jidvei Sec – The Wine Of The Week


feteasca alba jidvei sec wineFor The Avid Wine Explorers

The Feteasca Alba wine is ideal to be enjoyed at any occasion, especially with friends and family at home or in the city with barbecue food and picnic. This wine is full-bodied, fresh and has aromatic characters.

Feteasca Alba Grape
This is an ancient Romanian grape with more than 2000 years of history. The Feteasca Alba (White Maiden in English) is grown especially in Banat, Moldova and Transilvania. The wines are either dry or semi-dry, with a balanced alcohol content (11.5-12%), good acidity, and feature a velvety, natural finesse. It is the most popular Romanian grape variety, over 23000 hectares of land being cultivated with it.

Jidvei is the most famous Romanian producer of premium dry and medium dry white wines. Based in the heart of Transylvania, Jidvei’s vineyards spread on more than 2500 hectares alongside the Tarnave River, which gives its wines their Denomination of Controlled Origin. Situated at an altitude between 300 and 500 meters above sea level, most of the plantations have a Southern exposition, thus the sun rays and chalky soil, make up the perfect conditions for vine-growing.

Area Of Production: Romania, D.O.C Tarnave
In the heart of Transylvania, at Jidvei, there is an ancient castle, built between 1570 and 1580, that became the symbol of some of the best Romanian D.O.C (Denomination of Controlled Origin) white wines.

Shelf price: $12.99 + tax (price may vary) – Now on sale for $10.49 until Sept 5th.  – BC#410845  &  Available at BC Gov’t liquor stores.

Santé! Cheers! Salute!

The Bone people by Keri Hulme

Wine and Book Pairing

The Bone People book and wine pairing









Twenty years in the writing, ”The Bone People” was turned down by virtually every major New Zealand publisher. The book won the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction, the Mobil Pegasus Prize for Maori Literature and Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize in 1985.  An unusual story of love. It is brutal, touching, emotionally complex, and above all captivating. A powerful read, and perhaps an exhausting read. I recommend it.
Set in a rural town along the coast of the North Island of New Zealand, The Bone People follows three main characters—Joe, a Maori man; Kerewin, a part-Maori woman; and Simon, a child of European heritage. The three are first brought together when Simon, after injuring his foot while playing truant, sneaks into Kerewin’s house-tower. A mute child of indeterminate age (Kerewin guesses somewhere between five and seven), Simon wears a pendant stamped with his name and address, and is able to communicate via hand gestures and writing. Inclined at first to throw him out, a sudden storm softens Kerewin’s heart, and she ends up allowing him to stay while she attempts to reach his family. The local telephone operator tells Kerewin that Simon’s father is “a nice bloke” but “won’t be home till late. … If he gets home, that is” (the suggestion being that he’s out drinking). As Simon’s other relatives are also unavailable, the operator suggests Kerewin call the police if she wants to be rid of the child right away: “They know what to do….” Despite her professed desire for isolation, Kerewin lets the child stay. There is something about him she likes.
”The Bone People” is most effective when it is not trying to address large social and spiritual questions, but when it is simply chronicling the complicated relationships that develop among three outcasts brought together by chance: Kerewin, a painter, who leads a hermetic, solitary life, convinced that art, not people, is sufficient to sustain her and that friendships can only lead to pain; Simon, a mute child of 6, who apparently has suffered some terrible wound in the past, and his adoptive father, Joe, a laborer with a nasty temper.


Toscana , Mosdus Ruffino – Italy
A blend casually known as a “Super Tuscan”. This combo of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot is delectable. Medium-bodied, with enticing aromas and flavours.
Cabernet Sauvignon , Edge Winery , Alexander Valley – California 
Edge is a big, lush, complex Cabernet Sauvignon produced from grapes which were carefully selected from the great old vineyards in the heart of Napa Valley. Simply a delicious wine.
Chenin Blanc , V & T Careme Terre Brulée , Swartland – South Africa
It is produced from 40 years-old plus vines and making great wine as a result. Impressive white, delightful, nicely balanced with a zippy mineral finish.
Happy Reading while Swirling!


G.S.M. – The Strapper Yalumba Barossa Valley

Wine Of The Week

g.s.m. the strapper yulumba barossa valley wineG.S.M. The Strapper Yalumba Barossa Valley, 2015, Australia

Barosa Valley

The Barossa Valley was formed by the North Para River and was named by Colonel William Light in 1837. The area of Barossa Valley, often referred to as the valley floor, is approximately 13 km long and 14 km wide and stretches from Williamstown in the south almost to Kapunda and Truro in the north. It averages less than 400 metres above sea level. Within Barossa Valley, there are numerous unofficial sub-regions: from north, south, east and west they include Gomersal, Williamstown, Lyndoch, Rowland Flat, Barossa foothills, Vine Vale, Light Pass, northern Barossa Valley, Greenock, Seppeltsfield and Marananga. The red brown soils in Barossa Valley are more fertile than Eden Valley, rainfall is up to 50% less and temperatures are up to 2 % warmer.

Yalumba Winery

Yalumba is a winery located near the town of Angaston, South Australia in the Barossa Valley wine region. It was founded by a British brewer, Samuel Smith, who emigrated to Australia with his family from Wareham, Dorset in August 1847 aboard the ship ‘China’. Upon arriving in Australia in December, Smith built a small house on the banks of the River Torrens. He lived there less than a year before moving north to Angaston where he purchased a 30-acre (120,000 m2) block of land on the settlement’s south eastern boundary. He named his property “Yalumba” after an indigenous Australian word for “all the land around”. In 1849 Samuel Smith, along with his son Sidney, planted Yalumba’s first vineyards, beginning the Yalumba dynasty. Today Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family-owned winery. (via wikipidia)

Tasting Notes

The GSM Strapper blend is a stalwart of the Barossa. The three red varieties have been planted in the region for nearly 170 years, and in the past were commonly blended to make fortified ‘tawny port’ style wines. After World War II the same blend started to become popular in table wines. ‘Grenache Shiraz Mataro’ is a bit of a mouthful – hence the birth of the colloquial ‘GSM’.Garnet red in colour, this wine leaps from the glass with strawberry compote, potpourri, nutmeg and fennel seed. The palate has juicy raspberry, ironstone and a long savoury line that finishes with talc like tannins.

Seek & Sip!

Shelf price $23.99 +tax SKU# 354050 – LTO of $4 at BC liquor store until July 27th.

Available at BC liquor Stores and private stores.

Games Of Thrones Wines



A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge.”  Tyrion Lannister





Small Gully Mr Black Little Book Shiraz, Australia 

Full-bodied, easy drinking style. SKU #556100  –  $19.99 + tax

That’s what I do, I drink and I know things.” Tyrion Lannister





Amarone Classico Negrar 2015, Italy 

For people who like big wine. SKU #44784  –  $44.99 + tax

Everything is better with some wine in the belly.” Tyrion Lannister

gruner vetliner domaine wachau terraces




Gruner Vetliner Domaine Wachau Terraces, Austria

Med-bodied, aromatic with rich texture.  SKU #583955  –  $19.99 + tax

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who doesn’t read lives only one.” Jojen Reed

cabernet sauvignon game of thrones wine




Cabernet Sauvignon Games Of Thrones, California

A rich, juicy mouthfull of dark berry flavours. SKU #55759  –  $33.99 + tax

A wise man once said that you should never believe a thing simply because you want to believe it.” Tyrion Lannister





Bonarda Chayee Bourras, Argentina

Delightful flavours and pleasantly easy to drink. For wine lovers who like something different.  SKU #772897  –  $25.99 + tax


An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears


Wine & Book Pairing

An Instance of the Fingerpost book and wine









An Instance of the Fingerpost is a historical mystery.
An absorbing thriller set in 17th century. It is a tale of murder, political, faith, and betrayal.

A murder in 17th-century Oxford, England The setting of the novel is 1663, just after the restoration of the monarchy following the English Civil War, when the authority of King Charles II is not yet settled, and conspiracies abound. A young woman is accused of his murder, and the incident is recalled from the point of view of four witnesses: an Italian physician, the son of an alleged Royalist traitor, a master cryptographer who has worked for both Cromwell and the king, and a renowned Oxford antiquarian. Each tells his own version of what happened, but only one reveals the truth.

Wine Pairing

Pays d’Oc Viognier – Paul Mas, Southern France
Elegant flavours of pear, tropical fruit peach and citrus with a hint of vanilla. Smooth texture with a decent finish.Price range $13.00

Campofiorin Ripasso – Masi, Veneto, Italy
Jammy raisin, spicy black cherry, cedar and toasty vanilla dominate the palate and the finish is round and harmonious.Price range $20.00

Segredos de Sao Miguel, Alentejano, Portugal
Medium-bodied with plum and currant notes; quite an understated bold wine. It has a Velvety mouth feel. Price range $15.00

Happy reading & swirling!





Sipping Sustainably



Sustainability, perhaps a buzz word for many, but  more growers, winemakers, and breweries around the world are exploring best-practices to create products with true-expression of their terroir.

MADE  web site “We want to fundamentally change the way people think about buying things”.

Guest Post Sipping Sustainably.  It is a great piece about the reality of the consumption of resources.

Green Breweries and Wineries

Americans consume 9.4 billion gallons of alcoholic beverages a year: 87 percent beer, 8 percent wine, and the rest spirits. The environmental impact of producing, packaging, and selling all those beverages could make an environmentalist reach for a drink. Breweries and wineries consume large quantities of water, raw materials, and other natural resources.But there’s good news: Green beer is no longer something people drink just on Saint Patrick’s Day. With the rise of the craft beer movement and growing consumer interest in local and sustainable food, more breweries and wineries are working to reduce the beverage industry’s environmental footprint. As a result, it’s easier to stock the home bar with sustainable, organic brews.

Moving Toward Sustainability

Sustainability is a buzzword these days, but what does it really mean? Ideally, it indicates a company uses resources in non-depleting ways while fostering the health of the company, workers, planet, and future generations. No beer and wine companies are entirely sustainable—at the moment they all use more resources than they return—but many mitigate environmental damage in several key ways.

sipping-sustainably-001 Slash water use

Beverage companies are particularly reliant on water, one of our most critical natural resources. Conscientious businesses work to be its responsible stewards. According to a 2008 report, viticulturists on California’s North Coast use an average of 75 gallons of water to grow the grapes for just one gallon of wine, and in the state’s drier Central Valley, they use 430 gallons of water per gallon. Turning the grapes into wine uses six more gallons of water. To reduce that footprint, many wineries have installed low-flow nozzles and filtration systems, and reuse gray water from the production process. A minority employ dry farming, which means growing grapes without irrigation, a practice that can save millions of gallons of water a year. A gallon of beer requires five to 10 gallons of water to produce. Craft brewers are leading a movement to reduce that ratio (Oregon’s Full Sail Brewery boasts a 2.5 to 1 ratio) and even the world’s largest brewers, including Anheuser Busch, MillerCoors, and Heineken, are cutting water usage.

Power down

From heating water vats and refrigerating beverages to lighting tasting rooms, the mass production of beverages is energy intensive. Eco-minded companies make their systems more efficient, install solar panels and solar hot water heaters, and utilize technologies such as fuel cells, geothermal heating, and carbon dioxide reclamation.

Manage waste streams

The majority of waste in the brewing process is spent grain. Breweries have a long history of passing spent grain on to farmers to feed cattle, chickens, pigs, and other livestock. Some are coming up with other innovative ways to use leftover grains, including making bread and composting. One brewery developed a biomass steam boiler that allows them to power brewery operations with spent grain. Conscientious vintners recycle pomace—spent grape seeds, pulp, and skins—in the winemaking process, compost it, or sell it to manufacturers of grape fruit oil, cream of tartar, or spirits. Many beer and wine companies have installed on-site wastewater treatment plants and/or reuse cardboard, pallets, and other packaging waste.

Farm sustainably

Beer and wine are agricultural products, so to make a sustainable beverage, the ingredients must be grown in ways that contribute to the health of ecosystems, wildlife, and workers. Unfortunately so far organic beer and wine have constituted a small share of the beverage industry. Brewers cite the expense and shortage of organic hops and barley. And wine consumers have equated organic with low quality. But that seems to be changing. According to a recent study, the organic beer and wine market is expected to grow at a rate of 24.5 percent from 2013 to 2019.

Source local ingredients

Wineries have a long history of growing grapes on site. Now a farm-to-pint movement is making waves in the craft beer industry. From Oregon to New York, local economies are springing up around craft beer with a new crop of farmers at the base. By localizing supply chains, beverage companies cut down on the transport of raw ingredients—a large portion of most companies’ carbon footprint. They can also more easily reuse resources that would leave the facility—including water and packaging—in the production process. For instance, they can use gray water to irrigate fields.

Reduce packaging

It doesn’t get much greener than a reusable jug, so it’s promising The Wall Street Journal called the warm months of 2013 “the summer of the growler.” Sure enough, grocery, drug, and discount stores in many cities now sport growler stations stocked with local craft beer. Wine growlers are cropping up in some states as well. Many breweries and wineries sell beverages in bottles, cans, or boxes for wider distribution. The most sustainable of them use lightweight containers with high-recycled-materials content.

In 2011, University of California Davis opened a state-of-the-art center to research and share the best sustainability practices for breweries and wineries in the above areas. It will eventually house the country’s first self-sustaining winery, which will feature a rainwater collection system and will have a cutting-edge filtration and recirculation system as well as a system to sequester carbon dioxide. According to the university, it will be the most “environmentally sophisticated complex of its kind in the world.” But what does stepping toward sustainability look like for companies already involved in the day-to-day business of beverage making?

It’s always a good idea to choose the least packaging when possible. For beer, kegs or growlers are best, and cans may beat bottles. For wine, boxes are better than bottles, and magnums beat smaller bottles. Don’t forget to recycle those containers. And CEOs say consumer preference drives the trend toward more eco-friendly products, so let beer and wine companies know you’re thirsty for sustainable beverages.

How to Decipher Environmental Claims on a Wine Label

sipping-sustainably-002Read the entire article Sipping Sustainably. If you enjoyed this article on green breweries and wineries, check out these reclaimed wood wine racks for your home — http://www.custommade.com/gallery/custom-wine-racks/


Kuei Hua Chen Chiew – Feng Shou – Chinese Happy Wine

Kuei Hua Chen Chiew – Feng Shou – Chinese Happy Wine

Kuei Hua Chen Chiew - Feng Shou - Chinese Happy Wine

Happy Wine – Dessert Wine

A wine lover is not satisfied with drinking the same wine every day, no matter how expensive and precious it is. Variety is the spice of life! I am a wine explorer, I like to sample products that are not main stream and that  I never heard of, and sometimes you can find some unusual, surprising, and enjoyable wines… Kuei Hua Chen Chiew Feng Shou –  Chinese Happy Wine. It is a dessert wine infused with the Osmanthus flowers.  It is made from the indigenous Longyan grape variety grown in the  Zhuolu County in China. It has an interesting light, bright orangy/pinkish colour.  The nose is fragrant with sweet apricot, peach, and a hint of flowery Jasmine from the Osmanthus flowers with some minerally notes. On the palate, it offers a mix of sweet and bitterness mouthfeel, ripe dried apricot flavours with good acidity. It is simple, unique, enjoyable, and fun!  Enjoy it chilled after the end of a nice meal. This wine is well-suited as an apéritif cocktail such as a ‘Happy Spritzer’. Recipe: fill a wine glass halfway with ice cubes, pour 3oz of Happy Wine and top-up with 4oz of soda water, et voilà!

SKU #897397  –  $10.99 + tax – Available at BC Liquor stores and selected private stores.


Longyan Grape

It is a late ripening variety. Its firm pulps and steady stems mean that berries won’t fall off that easily during storage. Due to this reason, in ancient China, when the storage conditions of fresh fruits were not as satisfactory as today, Longyan was favoured by producers and consumers. Similar to Gewurztraminer, when Longyan grape matures, its skin turns a shade of red. The average weight of each berry is 7 to 8 grams (5 times heavier than that of Cabernet Sauvignon) with a good sugar and acid balance that gives Longyan grape a pleasant taste as a table grape. This variety is widely planted and easy to source, in 1979, China Great Wall Wine (which belongs to COFCO) chose Longyan to produce the very first dry wine in China, the ‘Great Wall Dry White’. The wine was produced in Huailai, Hebei Province, which is an important producing region for the grape. Excerpt  from China Decanter emag. For more information visit ChinaDecanterMag page.

China has emerged on to the global wine scene with unprecedented speed in recent years, both in terms of production and consumption. Currently, it is one of the top 10 wine-producing countries in the world, both in terms of area under vine and of volume produced. It is a good time to explore and discover the wide range of Chinese alcoholic beverages.


Perfume by Patrick Süskind

Wine & Book Pairing

Perfume by Patrick Süskind – The Story Of Murder

perfume book and wine pairing

In the slums of eighteenth-century France, the infant Jean-Baptiste Grenouille is born with one sublime gift–an absolute sense of smell. As a boy, he lives to decipher the odors of Paris, and apprentices himself to a prominent perfumer who teaches him the ancient art of mixing precious oils and herbs. But Grenouille’s genius is such that he is not satisfied to stop there, and he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of objects such as brass doorknobs and fresh-cut wood. Then one day he catches a hint of a scent that will drive him on an ever-more-terrifying quest to create the “ultimate perfume”–the scent of a beautiful young virgin. Told with dazzling narrative brilliance, Perfume is a hauntingly powerful tale of murder and sensual depravity. One of my top 10 books that I have read in the last 10 years.


Super Tuscan – A blend of Cabernet, Merlot, and Sangiovese that will please the most discerning wine lovers. Average price $22.99 + tax


This wine capture the distinctive elegance, finesse and vibrant fruit flavours of one of the world’s most celebrated wine regions. Welcome to the Barossa Valley. Average price $22.99


Full-bodied, rich with perfumed apricot nectar, ripe peach, quince jam and a voluminous buttery texture. Average price $23.99

Happy reading & swirling!


Protea Chenin Blanc

Protea Chenin Blanc – Western Cape – South Africa

protea chenin-blanc - western capeThis is one of the most popular wine from the region. A great quality wine for the price. The Protea Chenin Blanc has a pale lemon colour, and shows aromas of fresh, crisp fruit. On the palate, you’ll find hints of pear, green apple, and honeysuckle. This Chenin Blanc is created in a dry light style to be an accessible  wine for everyday drinking enjoyment.
SKU # 777953
Shelf Price: $14.49 + tax
Available at BC gov’t stores, EverythingWine stores, and selected private wine stores.