Category Archives: Spain

Vintage Veracity



Rod breaks down which wine regions see a lot of variation from year to year and which ones don’t. Here are a few wine regions discussed that produce consistent wines year after year (with the caveat that there are always exceptions):

Italy: Calabria, Sicily and Puglia
France: Languedoc, Provence
Spain: La Mancha
Portugal: Anything from the Douro Valley and further south
Chile: Anything
Argentina: Anything
South Africa: Anyting

A few of the specific wines discussed:

Lopez de Haro Crianza (Spain), Cal y Canto Tempranillo/Merlot/Syrah (Spain) and the Pick of the Week is the Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir from Chile, which you should find for around $10.99.

We also start the show with a review of the entry level Alamos Malbec from Chile.


The problem with California Wines. Plus, Tempranillo and Blue Grouse



0:00 – 24:50: This show’s mission is to find great wine for affordable prices, usually under $20. But the California section of the liquor store is proving to be a challenge for co-host Ryan. The under $20 range is filled with big brands from huge producers that — while safe and consistent — aren’t knocking our socks off. The Dork tries to help.

24:50 – 36:27: A listener question about the Radio Boca Garnacha in the 3-litre box (recommended in the wedding episode) gets us into the Radio Boca Tempranillo. And THAT gets us into the tempranillo varietal in general, and the Rioja and La Mancha wine regions of Spain. We specifically mention this Spanish blend from La Mancha, found at private stores: “Cal Y Canto” Tempranillo-Merlot-Syrah

36:27 – 40:33: The Dork is blown away by two white blends from Vancouver Island’s Blue Grouse winery in the Cowichan Valley. Under their “Quill” label, look for the “White” and “Off-Dry White” blends.

40:33 – 47:46: PICK OF THE WEEK! It’s the 90-point Porca de Murca red blend from the Douro region of Portugal. We found it for $13.99.


Vancouver Island Sparkling Wine. Plus, why is everything so expensive?



0:00 – 14:13: A trip to the baseball game at Royal Athletic Park leads to a quick review of Spinnakers’ “Original Pale Ale,” which in turns leads to a good old fashion bitch session about why alcohol costs so much at restaurants and… well… ball parks. Resident cork dork Rod Philips gives us answers.

14:13 – 23:40: Wine gifting etiquette. When giving, or receiving, a wine at a dinner party of other function, is it expected that the wine be used as part of the night? Don’t do what Ryan did and horde the good stuff when he gets a wine gift, like he did with a bottle of 90-point “Monasterio de Las Vinas” Garnacha-Tempranillo from Spain (which we review, since it came up).

23:40 – 38:26: We feature Vancouver Island sparking wine. Apparently, the region’s climate is perfect for this style and some wine makers are trying to capitalize on that with under the name “Charm de L’ile.” We try the Averill Creek “Charm de L’ile” from Duncan. Thumbs up! And, hot tip, buy it as a farmer’s market for $18.

38:26 – 44:25: Pick of the Week! It’s the Cote Mas Rosé from France’s Languedoc region. $13.99 for 1-litre at BC Government Liquor Stores.


Election booze update. Plus, 2017 weather woes



0:00 – 20:30: Booze in the news! First, both leading parties in the B.C. election propose a change to liquor rules that might improve the drink menu at some restaurants. Second, we learn that many of the world’s wine regions are suffering from terrible spring weather.  What will that mean for the 2017 vintage?

20:30 – 34:30: Buying by the case update.

34:30 – 41:48: Pick of the Week! Mission Hill’s 2015 Five Vineyards Pinot Noir from the Okanagan. We also get a follow up review of the 2015 Tinhorn Creek Chardonnay and try a Spanish Garnacha from El Circo.