deVine Thoughts

May 16, 2017

Bordeaux Futures 2016 – Update #2

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 8:38 pm

bord_2016_2smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

The 2016 Bordeaux Futures Campaign is now underway with over a dozen offers open. A lot has happened since our first blog, predominantly a huge spring frost not only in Bordeaux, but Champagne, Burgundy and Cognac all suffering damage. The right bank of Bordeaux was hard hit with already formed flowers shoots destroyed anywhere from 10-90%.

The affect of all this was a rise in prices for the 2016 Bordeaux releases that had just started releasing their futures. The offshoot is we’re seeing an increase of 10-15% across the board in prices. This coupled with the slumping Canadian dollar has made it very difficult to keep pricing the same as last year. With the Petit Chateaux and Cru Bourgeois, we’ve held pricing pretty much with only small increases, and we’ll see next week when a lot of the Grand Cru Classés will start to be released.

The buzz is it is a slightly better vintage overall than the already spectacular 2015’s, with all appellations excellent. It is nice to have some St. Estephe wines on offer this year, as they were largely missing last year as the only not-up-to-par region in 2015. We will not likely have a third consecutive Futures campaign as the 2017 crop will be very small due to the devastating frost and likely very expensive.

Here are four great 2016 Cru Bourgeois to consider, they represent excellence at a reasonable price and good for short-term cellaring. Quantities are limited and can be purchased online, get some before they are all gone! Pictured left to right:


2016 Ch. Siran (Margaux) – $64.99

2016 Ch. Lanessan (Haut-Medoc) – $37.99

2016 Ch. Lilian Ladouys (St. Estephe) – $49.99

2016 Ch. Labegorce (Margaux) – $70.99

To see all the current offerings, click here.. Come back often as this page will be updated as new purchases are made.

Also, learn about Bordeaux Futures and taste some wines from seven different appellations in our Bordeaux Futures Tasting, scheduled for Saturday, June 3rd – you can register here….

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May 3, 2017

Bordeaux Futures 2016

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:46 pm

Author: Dirk Chanbordeaux_futures_2016_small

Bordeaux is one of the few wines in the world where they present their wines for sale long before it is even finished or bottled. It is called En Primeur (or Futures). deVine has had a tradition of offering the great wines from great Bordeaux vintages in our Futures program since the store’s inception. We have presented large Futures offerings for the heralded 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2015 vintages, with smaller offerings in 2008 and 2011. The 2016’s will rank with 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2015 as the best since the new millennium, so those of you wanting a great Bordeaux vintage in your cellars will want to participate in this years Futures offerings that we will be offering very shortly. Where the Northern Medoc was not at its best last year, the 2016’s are uniformly excellent in both left and right banks – St. Estephe is excellent in 2016 while St. Julien is the star.

The pair of 2015 & 2016 is being compared to other great pairs of the past, namely 2009 & 2010 and before that 1989 & 1990 – that’s pretty awesome company. This is early yet, but it looks like prices will be very close to 2015 pricing with perhaps a small (<10%) increase. That's good news when compared to the extravagant 2009 & 2010's. Open tastings for critics has just finished and offers have begun with the small so called Petit Chateaux. The Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate scores are out now and the the entire campaign will run till mid June.

Our process will be the same as last year, we will be consulting with you beforehand to get a good idea of what wines and appellations you’re interested in and purchasing only what has been committed by you. Thus please email us or drop in to the store to speak with us, and we’ll help you pick wines and offer our opinions in whatever budget or classification of wines you are looking for. Thus, we are asking you to contact us as soon as possible to let us know:

1) what your total budget is
2) what your average price per bottle
3) class of wine (First Growths, Seconds, Third-Fifths Growths, Cru Bourgeois or Petit Chateaux)
4) desired appellation(s) (Left Bank – St. Estephe, Pauillac, St. Julien, Margaux, Pessac, Haut Medoc, Medoc) or (Right Bank – Pomerol, St. Emilion, Satellites)
5) if you know of specific Chateaux you definitely want, please let us know ahead of time
6) if you have a vertical of a particular Chateau going, please let us know


Based on our discussions with all of you, we will offer wines to those who we’ve consulted with first (so you have first dibs), with whatever remaining that’s unsold then going onto the website for general sale, thus we offer wines first to those who’ve communicated their requirements to us beforehand.

Beware who you buy futures from – this is like the stock market, wines are purchased years before they are even bottled and a lot can change in barrel – it is wise to consult with experts prior to purchasing and from those with a proven track record in En Primeur. We have been doing this for awhile and have delivered on every single bottle purchased from us En Primeur. Our free consultation will help you weed out from the masses of supply out there and provide you with some great Bordeaux for your cellar at the budget that suits you. Note we only offer wines for sale that we’ve actually purchased, so there is no speculation at play where every chateaux is on sale and are only purchased when someone wants it (at which point in time those wines may be already be sold out or the prices have escalated in second or third tranche pricing).

As last year, we require full payment upfront (this locks the wine in irrespective of exchange rate fluctuations) and the wines will arrive in the store mid to fall of 2019. What is not sold in Futures program will be put on the shelf for sale upon their arrival at a 20% premium thus it is wise to buy now to ensure you get your hands on some and at a better price.

This year, we’re also doing a Bordeaux Futures Tasting on Saturday, June 3rd at 7pm at the store – for those of you who want to learn about the Futures process, but more important to let you taste different wines from seven different Bordeaux appellations and from several vintages.

More information and to register for the tasting, click here….

Also keep coming back to our website for futures offerings real soon.

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April 23, 2017

The War of the Rosés

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:59 am

war_roses_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

As spring arrives, it is time for the pinks to start taking front and center in people’s drinking profile. In this fun stand-up event, we’ll sample seven different roses made from various different grapes (Tempranillo, Grenahe, Zwegelt, Syrah, Touriga Nacional, Sangiovese) and from diverse countries (France, Italy, Austria, Spain, Portugal).

We’ll talk how the wines are made, good food pairings and do a friendly competitive show of hands for who wins this War of the Rosés.

To register for the event, click here….

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April 17, 2017

Veuve Clicquot Yelloweek

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 4:22 pm

veuve_window_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

Charton Hobbs Inc. and Veuve Clicquot is proud to announce the launch of Yelloweek, an annual festival-style ‘tribute to creativity’ showcasing gastronomy, arts, fashion and lifestyle.

This year’s event takes place this year from May 1st to 7th inclusive, Edmontonians are invited to explore and enjoy a series of creatively-inspired events spanning several categories, including: Yellow TABLE, Yellow BY THE GLASS, Yellow NIGHT and Yellow CONTEST (of which deVines is a part of). Check out all the Yelloweek festivities in Edmonton.

deVine will be the place for the Yellow CONTEST, an opportunity to take home a little piece of sunshine – a chance to win a beautiful Veuve Clicquot Bistro Patio Set for two!. Enter your name at the store now, no purchase necessary, contest ends May 31st.

Be sure to drop by the store on Saturday, May 6th from 3-5 pm, as we will be serving up some Veuve Clicquot Brut to celebrate Yelloweek. At the same time, do also check out our brand new Yelloweek decorative window!

Below are what Veuve’s we currently have in stock for your bubbling pleasure:

NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Yellow Label Brut – $74.99

NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Demi-Sec – $79.99

2008 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Vintage Reserve Brut – $104.99

2008 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Vintage Rosé – $109.99

NV Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Yellow Label Brut Magnum – 1.5L – $159.99

2006 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grande Dame Brut – $269.99

Have a great Yelloweek everyone!

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April 16, 2017

Wine Basics Tasting

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 2:57 pm

wine_basicsAuthor: Dirk Chan

Wanting to learn more about wine? Well, it’s time for another session of our ever popular Wine Basics, the introductory wine appreciation themed tasting on Saturday, April 22 @ 7pm – $30.

We will taste three whites and three reds which are typical of their varietals (Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and more). We will touch on wine serving tips, food pairing and wine etiquette all in an informal, relaxed setting. This sit-down event for 30 seats sells out every time, so for those beginners wanting to delve into the world of wine, this is a great starting point.

More information about the wines we’ll be tasting, and to register for the event, click here….

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April 10, 2017

Easter Dinner Wine Recommendations

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:44 pm

turkey_ham_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

Easter is this coming weekend, and you’ll want some celebratory wines to accompany turkey & ham dinner or that special meal you’ll be preparing for your loved ones.

We receive many requests for food and wine pairings for this festive weekend so please contact us sooner than later for the best available selection and recommendations. If you have special needs, please let us know and we’ll be glad to help. Enjoy the long weekend everyone.

Our store hours this weekend are:

Good Friday: 12 -5pm
Saturday: 10-7pm
Easter Sunday: Closed
Monday: 10-6pm

In the meantime, those looking for the classic pairings with turkey, ham and all the regular fixings, please see below some of our current favourites:

Start your evening off with a sparkling wine, followed by whites, reds, a dessert wine and perhaps a little meditation course for digestifs or Port.

Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wines are a great way to start any gathering whether its a greeting aperitif or to pair with appetizers. Lively and clean, these will get everyone’s palate ready for what’s to come next:

2014 Luis Pato Bruto Vinho Espumante (Bairrada, Portugal) – $20.99

NV Domaine Rosier Cuvee Ma Maison Rose Cremant de Limoux (Languedoc-Roussillon, France) – $22.99

NV Laurent Cognard Co. Cremant de Bourgogne Blanc de Noir (Burgundy, France) – $34.99


Now if you serve Champagne, your audience will immediately know you’re here to do some serious partaking and celebrating:


NV Gremillet Brut Selection (Champagne, France) – $49.99

NV Nicolas Maillart Brut Rosé Grand Cru (Champagne, France) – $71.99

NV Ruinart R de Ruinart Brut (Champagne, France) – $84.99

2002 Bollinger R.D. Extra Brut (Champagne, France) – $349.99

Whites & Pinks

Whites with a touch of sweetness is preferred because of the sweetness of some of the fixings – candied yams, cranberry sauce, and honey for the glazed ham. A completely dry white will seem more austere and void of fruit due to the sweetness of the food so I recommend Rieslings (dry or off-dry, both work), Gewurztraminers or other Germanic or Alsace varietals. Having said that, some will always go with a dry creamy Chardonnay or Chenon irregardless and that’s perfectly fine. Also, don’t forget that rosés work really well too!

2015 Hess Family Amalaya Salto Torrontes Riesling (Calchaqui, Argentina) – $16.99

2015 Vina Cobos Felino Chardonnay (Mendoza, Argentina) – $23.99


1995 Weingut Moselschild Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spatlese (Mosel, Germany) – $36.99

2015 Mullineux White (Swartland, South Africa) – $39.99

2013 Ramey Chardonnay (California – Russian River Valley, United States) – $55.99

2014 William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Cote Bouguerots (Chablis, France) – $139.99

2015 Les Vins Breban Mimi en Provence Grande Reserve Rose (Provence, France) – $24.99

2014 Kranz Spatburgunder Rosé Trocken (Rheinfalz, Germany) – $22.99


For reds, try to avoid the big oaky tannic monsters. Oak and tannins are the enemies when pairing with slightly sweet food, try for a red with lots of up-front fruit, little oak and a soft tannins like a Beaujolais (served slightly chilled) or a Pinot Noir.

2014 Montes Classic Series Cabernet Sauvignon (Colchagua Valley, Chile) – $15.99

2014 Torreon de Paredes Reserva Carmenere (Cachapoal Valley, Chile) – $19.99


2015 Dominique Piron Beaujolais-Villages (Beaujolais, France) – $22.99

2013 Byron Pinot Noir (California – Santa Barbara, United States) – $28.99

2012 Chehalem Three Vineyard Pinot Noir (Oregon – Willamette Valley, United States) – $37.99

2015 Marcel Lapierre Morgon (Beaujolais, France) – $41.99

2008 d’Arenberg Sticks and Stones Museum Release (McLaren Vale, Australia) – $44.99

2014 Bodegas Colome Autentico Malbec (Calchaqui, Argentina) – $55.99

2012 Elio Altare L’Insieme (Piedmont, Italy) – $82.99

2013 Beaulieu Vineyards Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (California – Napa Valley, United States) – $134.99

2000 Château Lafon-Rochet (Bordeaux – St. Estephe, France) – $169.99

2012 Domaine Confuron-Cotetidot Vosne-Romanee Premier Cru Les Suchots (Burgundy – Cote de Nuits, France) – $174.99

2003 Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella (Veneto, Italy) – $449.99


As for dessert, remember dessert wine should be sweeter than the dessert itself:

2012 Ciumai Cagor (Moldova) – $21.99

2010 Rudera Late Harvest Chenin Blanc (Stellenbosch, South Africa) – 375mL – $34.99


2008 Barone Ricasoli Castello di Brolio Vin Santo (Tuscany, Italy) – 500mL – $54.99

2005 Château Suduiraut (Bordeaux – Sauternes, France) – 375mL – $81.99

2009 Domaine Huet Cuvee Constance (Loire Valley, France) – 375mL – $167.99

Port, Amaro and Grappa (Post Dinner)

Port is always good for the final touches of a meal, but the digestifs Amaro and Grappa from Italy are also popular:

Amaro Montenegro (Bologna, Italy) – $36.49

2003 Quinta do Portal Vintage Port (Douro, Portugal) – 375mL – $34.99

Ferrochina Amaro Baliva (Italy) – $61.99

2004 Berta Grappa Bric del Gaian (Piedmont, Italy) – $144.99

1967 Taylor Fladgate Single Harvest Old Port (Douro, Portugal) – $264.99

Finally, if you are pressed for time, try out our April Mixed Case – $216.12 where a lot of the wines would pair well with Easter dinner.

Happy Easter all!

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Happy Easter everyone!

April 6, 2017

Sake Tasting with Chris Maybroda

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 3:10 pm

sake_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

Sake, the famous Japanese rice wine is made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran. Unlike wine, in which alcohol (ethanol) is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in fruit, sake is produced by a brewing process more like that of beer, where the starch is converted into sugars before being converted to alcohol.

deVine’s is hosting an evening of Saké with certified sake specialist Chris Maybroda from Calgary. Chris will talk all things sake, the grain of rice, the different grades of bottlings, the brewing process, serving temperature, serving apparatus, food pairing as well as history and etiquette. Throughout the sit-down tasting, guests will experience an array of Sake and dessert Sake’s. A selection of Japanese maki’s will be the food pairing. It’s been two years since Chris was last here, and the
last time was a thrilling experience for the attendees – don’t miss it.

More information and to register for the tasting, click here….

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April 2, 2017

A Papal Tasting for Easter

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dirk @ 10:34 pm

papal_blog_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

The influence of the church in wine has been well documented over the centuries, so for a special Easter weekend treat, we’re doing a Papal tasting to celebrate.

Both white and red Chateaueuf du Papes will be tasted, as well as wines from Basilicata, the Purple Angel Carmenere from Chile, and other wines related to the church.

Wines related to the last two Popes will be presented, and while themes and connections may not obvious from the list of wines, they’re there and you’ll have to attend to find out what they are! Only 18 seats available for this sit-down event.

More information and to register for the tasting, click here….

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March 28, 2017

Teeling 24 Year Old Irish Whiskey

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 10:26 pm

teeling24_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

Teeling Whiskey is an independent Irish whiskey company dedicated to bringing choice and breadth back to the Irish whiskey category through small batch releases of interesting and flavoursome bottlings. Newly established in Dublin’s New Market Square in 2015, it is the first new whiskey distillery to have opened in Dublin, once a world whiskey distilling capital, in over 125 years. The distillery was established by Jack and Stephen Teeling, whose father John Teeling had founded the Cooley Distillery in 1987. The Teeling family name however is embedded in Dublin distilling since 1782, when Walter Teeling set up a craft distillery.

We are thrilled to present a new bottling from Teeling’s Vintage Reserve Collection – the Teeling 24 Year Old Single Malt. First distilled in 1991 and then matured in Bourbon casks followed by Sauterne wine casks produces a wholly unique taste experience, featuring great depth of fruit flavours that perfectly complement that hint of smoke derived from the inclusion of a small portion of Peated malt as part of the original ingredients used in production. This small batch bottling, limited to just 5,000 700ml bottles, were hand bottled in an unique decanter bottle and comes with their own certificate of authenticity. Recently awarded the title of World’s Best Irish Single Malt, this is a whiskey to be treasured and savoured slowly.

This is extremely limited, so act quickly to Experience the Spirit of Dublin:

1991 Teeling Single Malt Whiskey Vintage Reserve 24 Year Old (Ireland) – $499.99

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March 21, 2017

The Final Single-Blind Tasting

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:04 pm

final_blind_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

In this our final Single Blind FaceOff red wine event in the series, we are going to test your palates one last time in a tasting combining all three grapes previously showcased in this series: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, two of each plus a final double blind bottling (completely un-named on the menu) that hopefully you can identify from what you’ve learnt throughout this series – it is the Are You Well Red test.

A single-blind tasting is where you know the identity of all the wines in the tasting, but you don’t know which of these wines are in front of you – the point is to see if you can correctly guess which wine is in your glass. Blind tastings can be serious if you’re going to test for a Sommelier test, but here we’re very light-hearted and more fun focused rather than competitive.

At the end of the evening, we’ll vote for the ‘best of tasting’ to decide on the winner of our FaceOff. Test your blind wine tasting skills in this relaxed yet informative tasting. Only 30 spots available for this sit-down event.

More information about the wines we’ll be tasting, and to register for the event, click here….

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