deVine Thoughts

September 14, 2017

Taylor-Fladgate 325th Anniversary Tawny

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 4:08 pm

Author: Dirk Chan

To mark the 325th Anniversary of the foundation of Taylor-Fladgate, the house has decided to release Taylor’s 325th Anniversary Limited Edition Tawny Port – $47.99.

This unique blend has been made from the extensive reserves of tawny stocks stored in the firm’s lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia. Only the best lots of 10, 20, 30 and 40 Year Old reserve Tawnies have been carefully selected and blended by Taylor’s Head winemaker, David Guimaraens and blended to form this opulent and seductive aged tawny. The etched bottle is based on a unique late 17th Century sealed bottle, first made at about the same time as the foundation of Taylor’s in 1692. It is the earliest example of an intact bottle bearing the merchant’s mark, in this case the ‘4XX’ Symbol still used as the Taylor’s trademark to this day. Tagged at an affordable price, the philosophy is this special bottling can be enjoyed by everyone!

Winemaker Notes: “Deep chestnut brown core encircled by a narrow brick rim. A rich figgy nose with a background of toffee and mocha, notes of plum and apricot, spicy hints of blackpepper, nutmeg and fleeting scents of jasmine, all come together in a heady complex harmony. Dense and luscious on the palate, with a wonderful velvety smoothness. The mellow flavours of butterscotch and molasses merge with rich jammy red berry flavours, a perfect blend of youth and maturity.”

NV Taylor Fladgate 325th Anniversary Limited Edition Tawny Port (Douro, Portugal) – $47.99

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September 10, 2017

2017 Beaujolais Nouveau Pre-Order

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 3:40 pm

Author: Dirk Chan

Every year on the third Thursday of November- on the 16th this year, the famous Beaujolais Nouveau is released with great fanfare to the world. Freshly made, the tradition and hype lead to much merry-making with fireworks and numerous parties where the wine is the star.

As usual, we are offering the Georges DuBeouf Beaujolais Villages in the painted bottle – $26.49, a wine we feel offers the best quality with the requisite beautiful bottle packaging. With better planning this year, we are asking all interested parties to purchase what you need by pre-ordering in advance, specifically pre-purchase deadline is midnight Wednesday, September 20. Please note that due to AGLC regulations, we are not able to (as in the past) go to the St. Albert warehouse on the day it is released but that we will only be able to have the wine in our store on our regular weekly receiving day, which in our case will be Wednesday, November 22nd after 2pm for pickup. Of course, we will have several cases for general sales but we cannot predict demand so we don’t want you to be disappointed – thus this pre-sale.

What is Beaujolais Nouveau? It’s a light, fruity red made from the Gamay grape. Strawberry, raspberry, cotton candy and banana on the nose with a light fruity palate and literally no tannins. Serve this slightly chilled. How is Beaujolais Nouveau made – well the grapes are harvested by hand but do not go thru the typical fermentation process. Rather, they go throug a carbonic maceration – instead of crushing the grapes and allowing the juice to ferment, carbonic maceration allows the whole grapes to ferment. The grapes are put into a vessel and the weight of the grapes will crush some of the bottom grapes which begin to ferment. The remainder of the juice still inside the uncrushed grapes will also ferment. The wine is pasteurized to prevent secondary malolactic fermentation. The whole process can be accomplished in about six weeks. This type of fermentation can produce a drinkable wine more quickly.

Beaujolais Nouveau is meant for current drinking, capturing its freshness and fruitiness, it is not meant for aging at all. So go ahead, place your order, and be comfortable in the knowlege you can send out invities to your Beaujolais Nouveau party and your wines will be there for your event!

2017 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau (Beaujolais, France) – $26.49

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August 28, 2017

Paulaner Oktoberfest to Go

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 4:10 pm

Author: Dirk Chan

Arriving for the upcoming Octoberfest, Paulaner is the best-selling Oktoberfest bier in the world, in the form of the very popular and highly successful Oktoberfest to Go gift set – this is everything one needs to pour a perfect liter of Oktoberfest bier in the glass that complements it best, just as it is done at the world famous Munich Oktoberfest.

The Oktoberfest Mug Set includes an exclusive one-liter can of Paulaner’s Oktoberfest Wiesn, the only beer served in the Paulaner Oktoberfest tents and the best-selling bier at the Munich Oktoberfest, along with the original Paulaner one-liter dimple glass mug in one convenient pack. It doesn’t get much more authentic than this to celebrate a festival that’s been around for over two hundred years!

The Paulaner Brewery is one of the largest breweries in Munich, Bavaria in Germany and is part of the Paulaner Brewery Group. The Paulaner Brewery Group unites the brands Paulaner, Hacker-Pschorr, Auer Braeu, Hopf and Thurn and Taxis. Since 1634, Paulaner represents the finest brewing tradition for top quality crafted beer specialties in Germany and worldwide.

An amber beer style that was developed to celebrate the original Oktoberfest over 200 years ago – this full bodied yet mellow beer with its rich malt flavor, dark toffee note and underlying fruitiness has a masterful hop balance.Very balanced harmonious taste, it finishes with a very pleasant hops. Stock up early to avoid disappointment.

Paulaner Oktoberfest To Go (Germany) – $18.49

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August 24, 2017

1934 Niepoort Colheita Pre-Sell

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 3:47 pm


Author: Dirk Chan

deVine and Artisan Wines Ltd. is offering a pre-sale of the extraordinary and rare 1934 Niepoort Colheita – $1499.99, available in either wood box or metallic box. Niepoort is one of the Douro houses known for its Colheitas, a single vintage Tawny aged in oak casks ranging from 550 to 600L that comes from old vines (around 60+ years).

The following is famous American wine critic Robert Parker’s take on it:

“1934 is an example of a wine in bottle a long, long time (it was botled in 1981). Besides the notable concentration and viscosity, it has powerful acidity to cut through its palate and make it seem bright and vibrant as well, with some brandy in the background. Aromatics, viscosity, acidity, complexity, amazing finish – it isn’t missing much. Well, perhaps elegance isn’t a word you’d use often here. If it seems rich, the amazing nose is so powerful, projecting molasses and dark chocolate, that it promises three times that level of richness. The acidity cuts the viscosity nicely, enlivens the wine and hammers home a deliciously, juicy finish that lingers more or less forever. Embarrassing to admit, but I forgot to brush my teeth after one tasting of this. The next morning, I could still taste it on my teeth, identifiable and rather fresh. With air and a couple of days, this wine loses just a tiny bit of its rich feel and begins to show more of its powerful structure. There is a lot of underlying power here, period. It never lost that rich texture and viscosity. It seemed more or less identical on Day 2 to Day 1,
perhaps even better.

This dense, full throttle Colheita simply takes no prisoners. If you’re looking for gentle and easy, this sure isn’t going to satisfy that urge on opening. It is a good example of how great older Colheitas can be. It’s not just about age, to be sure, but also style and year. All things said, this is simply brilliant. It is at a level of intensity and concentration that must be experienced. 99 points.”

Pre-sale ends next Sunday, September 3rd at midnight, the purchased port will arrive in early October.

Please pre-buy the 1934 Niepoort Colheita (Douro, Portugal) – $1,499.99 here

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August 21, 2017

The Rarest of the Rare

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 4:04 pm


Author: Dirk Chan

Our thanks to Bob Kyle of Rare Drams for bringing an ever changing selection of Aged Single Grain whiskies to our market, including some very rare closed distilleries. Single Grains are really a great value and if left to mature beyond 20 years, these grain spirits draw and develop exquisite flavours from the cask, often notes of honey, raisins, candy floss and butterscotch.

We are thrilled to be the Edmonton exclusive for two very special aged products – from the Scottish inventory of Hunter Laing, here are two of the rarest and oldest Single Grains to date from the Invergordon Distillery, the northern most grain distillery and the only one in the Highlands. Both of these gems are from one single cask that began its life before man touched foot on the moon……so if you get the opportunity to taste this rare and beautiful spirit, remember to hold it in your mouth for 10 or 20 seconds, as it has been in waiting for a long time. Incredibly limited availability of six bottles each, get yours soon, they won’t last till Chrismtas.

Pictured left to right:

1966 Invergordon Sovereign Single Grain Whisky 50 Year Old (Highlands, Scotland) – $1,149.99 – This dark golden coloured whisky has a rich mellow sweet nose of vanilla & fruit, rhubarb, stewed prunes, then chocolate buttered shortbread giving a depth of character. On the palate it has an initial tongue prickle of pleasant fruitiness giving a light effervescent taste followed by notes of dark chocolate, vanilla and walnuts. The finish is long and dry with a sweet fruity aftertaste with just a hint of oak. Single cask strength 50% ABV ….there are only 261 bottles world wide and we have six of them.

1961 Invergordon North British Sovereign Single Grain Whisky 55 Year Old (Highlands, Scotland) – $1,249.99 – This beautiful Golden Grain has a sweet nose with vanilla, sultanas & raisins, and raspberry jelly with lime zest. Smooth and creamy on the palate the flavours just run off the tongue….more vanilla with stewed apples and rich fruit cake topped with marzipan and milk chocolate. The finish is long and dry with a pleasantly sweet aftertaste. Single cask strength 55.1 % ABV, there are only 144 bottles world wide and we have six of them.

Check out Bob’s cute video…

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August 11, 2017

Grower’s Champagne Tasting

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 2:58 pm


Author: Dirk Chan

A plug for our next tasting – Grower’s Champagne, a class of Champagnes without the prestige of the big houses, but offering tremendous value. We are tasting seven of them in total, with a few that are new arrivals as well. We’ll talk how Champagne is made, with some gossip, tidbits and a lot of sparkling conversation in the stand-up event on Saturday, September 9 at 7pm – $55

Pictured left to right are three of the wines we’ll be tasting:

NV Vilmart & Cie Grande Reserve Brut Premier Cru – $71.99

NV Pierre Peters Cuvée de Reserve Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs – $69.99

NV Champagne Philipponnat Royale Reserve – $71.99

See the complete lineup and register for the event

Enjoy the summer!

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July 28, 2017

Mishmash of Spirits

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 2:44 pm

Author: Dirk Chan

Thought we’d highlight a mishmash of spirits new to the store this week, so here are two new gins and a specialty vodka for your consideration. Gin is the perfect hot summer drink, whether neat, on ice or mixed with tonic – so cool and refreshing, while the vodka will blow your mind (palate).

Pictured left to right:

Imea Gineprina d’Olanda Gin (Italy) – $72.99 – Juniper is clearly the main ingredient, together with aniseed, the dominant spice at the time of the original recipe (circa late1800’s), cloves, cinnamon and mace combine to give an exotic yet definitely an Italian feel.

Legend Distilling Black Moon Gin (BC – Naramata Bench, Canada) 500mL – $39.99 – discovered by accident when some wild rosemary smoldering in the fire founds its way into the potstill..

Sons of Vancouver Chili Vodka (BC, Canada) – $49.99 – Made by macerating pounds of Thai dragon peppers for the distilling process.The result is a nuclear orange concoction served behind a very fitting label of a woman on a motocross bike. It is loud, it is dangerous, a great match for a Spicy Moscow Mule or if you wish to make a Caesar with that something extra..not for the meek!

Enjoy the heat!

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July 12, 2017

Four New German Producers

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 1:43 pm

Author: Dirk Chan

We love our German Rieslings, and are thrilled to inform we’ve recevied more than two dozen new wines in our latest shipment, most of them from the much heralded 2015 vintage.

Of special interest are four new producers to our portfolio:


2016 Geil Bechtheimer Rosengarten Riesling Kabinett (Rheinhessen, Germany) – $22.99 – pictured

2016 Geil Bechtheimer Geyersberg Riesling Spatlese (Rheinhessen, Germany) – $26.99

2015 Geil Bechtheimer Hasensprung Riesling Trocken (Rheinhessen, Germany) – $32.99

Weingut Theo Minges:

2014 Weingut Theo Minges Riesling feinherb (Pfalz, Germany) – $25.99 – pictured

2015 Weingut Theo Minges Riesling Gleisweiler Holle Trocken (Pfalz, Germany) – $29.99

2015 Weingut Theo Minges Edition Rosenduft Gewurztraminer (Pfalz, Germany) – $34.99

Schlossgut Diel:

2015 Schlossgut Diel Dorsheim Riesling Trocken (Nahe, Germany) – $37.99 – pictured

2016 Schlossgut Diel Riesling Kabinett Dorsheim Goldloch (Nahe, Germany) – $42.99

2013 Schlossgut Diel Riesling Spatlese Dorsheimer Goldloch (Nahe, Germany) – $59.99

Weingut Moselschild:

1998 Weingut Moselschild Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese (Mosel, Germany) – $30.99 – pictured

1994 Weingut Moselschild Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spatlese (Mosel, Germany) – $29.99

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

Other notable 2015 new arrivals for your consideration include:

2015 Erbes Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese Trocken (Mosel, Germany) – $23.99 – pictured

2015 August Eser Oestricher Doosberg Riesling Spatlese (Rheingau, Germany) – $27.99

2015 Willi Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Spatlese (Mosel, Germany) – $29.99

2015 Georg Mosbacher Forster Ungeheuer Riesling Spatlese (Pfalz, Germany) – $57.99

2015 Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese (Mosel, Germany) – $65.99

2015 Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese Gold Kapsule (Nahe, Germany) – 375mL – $69.99

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July 10, 2017

Introducing Siding 14

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 4:04 pm

Author: Dirk Chan

The latest microbrew to come online is the Siding 14 Brewing Company based out of Ponoka, Alberta. The mandate is to grow a better beer – that’s the idea that brought together a Barley Grower, a Hop Grower, and a Brewer to form Siding 14 Brewing Company. They start with their own craft-grown ingredients, highlighting their quality and character with an expert Brewer’s attention to detail.

Why Siding 14? It’s a nod to the rich Alberta and western Canadian railway heritage. Before the town of Ponoka was named, it was Siding 14 of the Calgary-Edmonton Railway Company. The siding was a supply point for steam locomotives making the run between the two major cities. The railway not only provided transportation between small towns and major centers, it was historically the heart of communication and social interaction in communities across the province.

The two beers new to deVines was a hit with the gang, pictured left to right:

Siding 14 Ten Wheeler IPA (Alberta, Canada) – 6 Cans – $17.49

Siding 14 Brakeman Brown Ale (Alberta, France) – 6 Cans – $16.99


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June 29, 2017

Introducing Fallentimber Meadjito

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 10:18 pm


Author: Dirk Chan

Opened since 2010, the Fallentimber Meadery is located northwest of Water Valley in the foothills of the Rockies.

Their honey is collected from hives placed along a narrow band at the eastern edge of the foothills, giving the bees access to a wide variety of wildflowers and clover that cover the hills, but limits their exposure to the expansive croplands to the east. In addition to careful hive placement, their honey is meticulously handled, and never pasteurized, to ensure that it retains a natural, fresh from the comb flavour. The result is a honey that is ranked among the best in the country.

New to our market is their gluten free hopped mead, the Meadjito – $9.49 in 500mL bottles. Lots of people are asking for this, it is really refreshing with a good balance of flavours, not too sweet. Marvelous for a hot day.

Other Fallentimber products at deVines:

2015 Fallentimber Meadery Traditional Mead (Alberta, Canada) – $25.99

2015 Fallentimber Meadery Saskatoon Mead (Canada) – $24.99

2014 Fallentimber Meadery Pyment (Alberta, Canada) – $23.99

Fallentimber Meadery Hopped Mead (Alberta, Canada) – $9.99

Pictures used by permission.

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