deVine Thoughts

November 16, 2017

New Christmas Beer Advent Calendars

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:12 am

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Author: Dirk Chan

Two more new beer Christmas Advent calendars have arrived at deVines this week. Always among the most trending and popular gift ideas for the fast approaching holiday season, these are wonderful gifts for those who like to be surprised.

For the agnostic or uninitiated, an advent calendar is a specially constructed calendar used to count or celebrate the days in December leading up to Christmas from the 1st to the 24th. The ‘advent’ part comes from Christian tradition, whose 24 day advent season generally starts between November 27 and December 3rd. Each physical advent calendar presents a rectangular “window” front with 24 doors in non-consecutive order to be opened, one each day until Christmas.

The origin of the Advent Calendar can be traced back to the 19th Century where Protestants made a chalk line for every day in December unil Christmas Eve and that has continued to this day.

We will have a few available in the store of all of the below but we are not stockpiling them. Secure yours sooner than later to avoid disappointment.

Also, a reminder the popular deVine’s 12 Beers of Christmas will be available very shortly.

Pictured left to right:

Phillips Snowcase Beer Advent Calendar (BC, Canada) – $99.99

Great White Wonder Adventure Pack (BC, Canada) – $99.99

Other Xmas beer gift packs currently available (while supply lasts) include the following:

Craft Beer Advent Calendar – $169.99

Whistler Brewing Holiday Gift Crate (BC, Canada) – $54.99

Abdij van Averbode Monastery Pack (Belgium) – $24.99

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Le Beaujolais Nouveau 2017 est arrivé!

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 9:13 am

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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 – $25.99, a wine we feel offers the best quality with the requisite beautiful bottle packaging. This will be available for sale Thursday, November 16 after 3pm.

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 through 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. Quite limited in quantity so come in early to avoid disappointment and have a lovely Beaujolais Nouveau party!

2017 Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau (Beaujolais, France) – $25.99

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November 6, 2017

The Wines of Ernie Els & Ken Forrester

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 12:38 am

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Author: Dirk Chan

deVine welcomes Tara Smith of Lanigan & Edwards Wine Merhcants as she presents the wines of two legendarySouth African wine producing giants – Ernie Els and Ken Forrester. You will sample the classic grapes of the Stellenbosch wine region – Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon and as well as a couple of blends.

South African wines are unique in the wine world in that the noses of the wines are very complex with old world terroir character yet on the palate there is plenty of new world fruit. For someone who wants to transition from New World to Old World, I know of no better path than through South African wines! This is a stand-up tasting, don’t miss it as it features some great value wines to boot.

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October 31, 2017

Ruinart Champagne Dinner

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 6:18 pm

ruinart_dinner_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

Charton Hobbs, Café Linnea and deVine’s present A Maison Ruinart Dinner, A Tribute to Chardonnay, featuring a three-course dinner at the award winning (EnRoute magazines top 10 Canadian restaurants) Café Linnea with three matching Ruinart Champagnes – $125/person, scheduled for Wednesday, November 15.

Charton Hobbs is bringing in Brent Sutcliffe, Ruinart Brand Ambassador to speak to the Champagnes. Cocktail reception starts at 7:00pm, followed by a 3-course dinner with Ruinart Champagne pairings at 7:30pm. Order sheets will be available for you to purchase the Champagnes tasted at this event through deVines.

Ruinart is the oldest established Champagne house, operating since 1792. Present day, it is owned by LVMHMoet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA. Ruinart is often called the “chardonnay house” for its reliance on Champagne’s white variety. Former cellar master Jean-François Barot decided to focus on the grape when he redefined the Ruinart style in the early 1990s. Chardonnay-dominant Champagne tends to be fine and linear, thus the house style is finesse driven. The Ruinart bottle is inspired by the first champagne bottles of the 18th century.

Advanced registration is required – you can purchase tickets to the dinner event here... To view the promotional postcard, click here..

Two more new Ruinarts coming to deVines next week – in the meantime, you can purchase the very popular:

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

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October 24, 2017

Advent Calendars Are Here!

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 9:19 pm

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Author: Dirk Chan

Hard to believe but the ever-popular Chrismtas Advent calendars are upon us already. Always among the most trending and popular gift ideas for the fast approaching holiday season, these are wonderful gifts for those who like to be surprised.

For the agnostic or uninitiated, an advent calendar is a specially constructed calendar used to count or celebrate the days in December leading up to Christmas from the 1st to the 24th. The ‘advent’ part comes from Christian tradition, whose 24 day advent season generally starts between November 27 and December 3rd. Each physical advent calendar presents a rectangular “window” front with 24 doors in non-consecutive order to be opened, one each day until Christmas.

The origin of the Advent Calendar can be traced back to the 19th Century where Protestants made a chalk line for every day in December unil Christmas Eve and that has continued to this day. The traditional advent calendars filled with various chocolates dates to 1958.

Well, this year for the first time deVines is offering a Port Advent Calendar from Porto Quevedo – $109.99, consisting of 24x50mL mini-bottles – there are eight different offerings repeated thrice in a random fashion. Quevedo is located in the small town of San João da Pesqueira, right in the heart of the beautiful Douro Valley. Having sold their grapes for decades to Taylor-Fladgate, they decided to venture on their own in 1991. Love the small footprint of the packaging.

For the beer lover, the ever popular and first on market Craft Beer Advent Calendar is already here, this year’s theme featuring an All Star Edition, all we know is there’s great breweries providing beers from all over – countries represented are from Italy, Austria, Norway, Estonia, France, Spain, New Zealand, Germany, Netherlands, UK, US and of course Canada.

We will have a few available in the store but we are not stockpiling them. We are asking you to pre-order these two advent calendars online – purchase by noon monday and we will have it in the store on wednesday. Secure yours sooner than later to avoid disappointment.

2017 Porto Quevedo Port Advent Calendar – $109.99

2017 Craft Beer Advent Calendar – $169.99

Stay tuned, I am sure there will be other Advents showing up very shortly…

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October 10, 2017

Empress 1908 Indigo Gin

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 12:02 pm

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Author: Dirk Chan

The new Victoria Spirits Empress 1908 Original Indigo Gin is 100% authentic and all-natural. It’s infused with the vibrantly tinted butterfly pea blossom, adding a singularly distinct expression – an impossibly lush and vivid indigo blue, with a stunning secret to reveal – with the addition of citrus or tonic, Empress 1908 is transformed from its breathtaking indigo to a soft pink in your glass.

Handcrafted from the same eight organic botanicals (juniper, rose, coriander seed, grapefruit peel, ginger root, cinnamon bark) used in making the famous Empress Hotel (which opened in ‘1908’) tea is used to make this gin. Done in small batch copper-pot stills, this is also gluten-free with phenomenal depth and boldness of spirit. With forward juniper and grapefruit notes, this is gently refined, nuanced and enduring, Empress 1908 is the essence of Victoria.

This color-changing gin is catching on. Fabulous with cocktails.

Victoria Spirits Empress 1908 Indigo Gin (BC – Victoria, Canada) – $54.99

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October 9, 2017

Meritage Reds Tasting

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 3:14 pm

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Author: Dirk Chan

Discover Bordeaux style red wines from around the world in this Meritage wine tasting. Meritage wines are provocative red crafted solely from specific “noble” Bordeaux grape varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Carmenere) and are considered to be the very best wines of the vintage.

Meritage, pronounced like heritage, first appeared in the late 1980s after a group of American vintners joined forces to create a name for New World wines blended in the tradition of Bordeaux. Over the years, many other countries have started to use the meritage descriptor to thir wines as well. In this sit-down tasting event, we’ll sample seven wines from around the globe (Italy, Canada, Australia, United States, South Africa, Chile) made in the Bordeaux tradition. We’ll have a Bordeaux as well. Only 34 spots available.

Book your spot to Meritage Reds tasting here..

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October 4, 2017

Time for Pumpkin Beers!

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 6:56 pm

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Author: Chad Gascho

Once again, we’ve approached that time of year when everything goes pumpkin! Pumpkin glazed doughnuts, pumpkin spice lattes, and of course, our favorite here at deVine…pumpkin beer.

Documented use of pumpkin in brewing beer has been occuring for roughly 400 years, predominantly in the U.S. and Canada due to the pumpkin being a plant native to North America. In earlier centuries, pumpkin was more easily acquirable than the other grains typically used for malt, and many a brew was concocted using 100% pumpkin flesh as the fermentable sugar.

The 18th century was the most popular time for pumpkin beer, but as decades passed, it’s prevalence waned as pumpkins became perceived as old fashioned and unsophisticated. Further, it became more ‘run of the mill’ to have access to quality malts in the 19th century. Since then, the use of actual pumpkin in brewing has lessened, and generally given way to the use of the spices that are used in making pumpkin pie (i.e. nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, ginger) that reminds us of Fall and the familiar flavours of Thanksgiving desserts. Although the pumpkin pie style of brewing pumpkin beer is usually more popular, there are still breweries that use the flesh and meat of the pumpkin itself to make more of a ‘true’ pumpkin ale.

Here’s a few we think you’ll enjoy:

Bridge Brewing Pumpkin Porter (BC, Canada) – $9.99

Parallel 49 Lost Souls Chocolate Pumpkin Porter (BC, Canada) – $7.99

Fernie Brewing Pumpkin Head Brown Ale (BC, Canada) – $7.99 Phillips Crooked-er Tooth Imperial Pumpkin Ale (BC, Canada) – $8.99

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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale (Maine, United States) – $23.49

Alley Kat Pumpkin Pie Spiced Ale (Alberta, Canada) – $18.49

Central City Red Racer Pumpkin Ale (BC, Canada) – $7.49

Yukon Brewing ‘The Angry Hessian’ Pumpkin Spice Ale (Yukon, Canada) – $8.49

Howe Sound Brewing Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale (BC, Canada) – $11.49

St. Ambroise Pumpkin Ale (Quebec, Canada) – $12.49

Epic Brewing Imperial Pumpkin Porter (Utah, United States) – $16.99

Phillips Crooked Tooth Pumpkin Ale (BC, Canada) – $8.99

Russell Breweries Pumpkin Harvest Ale (BC, Canada) – $7.99

Salute!

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September 30, 2017

Thanksgiving Wine Recommendations

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 5:21 pm

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Author: Dirk Chan

Wow…Thanksgiving week is already upon us, where did September go? So here is our annual picks to accompany the classic turkey and/or ham dinner with all its fixings. Start your evening off with a sparkling wine, followed by whites, reds, a dessert wine and perhaps a port to end.

Sparkling Wines

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

NV Cune Cava Brut (Catalonia, Spain) – $19.99

NV La Tordera Saome Prosecco DOC Brut (Veneto, Italy) – $21.99

NV Laurent Cognard Co. Cremant de Bourgogne Blanc de Noir (Burgundy, France) – $59.99

Champagne

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

NV Champagne J-M Seleque Solessence Brut (Champagne, France) – $49.99

NV A. Margaine Rosé Premier Cru (Champagne, France) – $59.99

2005 Nicolas Maillart Blanc de Noirs Premier Cru Les Francs de Pied (Champagne, France) – $149.99

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 irregardless and that’s perfectly fine. Also, don’t forget that rosés work really well too!

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2016 Hess Family Amalaya Salto Torrontes Riesling (Calchaqui, Argentina) – $16.99

2015 Thomas Henry Chardonnay (California – Sonoma, United States) – $21.99

2015 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg “Quarzit” Riesling QbA (Nahe, Germany) – $24.99

2014 Belisario Cambrugiano Verdiccio di Matelica Riserva (Marches, Italy) – $37.99

2014 Domaine Weinbach Cuvée Ste.Catherine Pinot Gris (Alsace, France) – $79.99

2014 William Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos (Chablis, France) – $139.99

2016 Domaine Montrose Rose (Languedoc-Roussillon, France) – $18.99

2016 San Filippo Le Coste Rose (Tuscany, Italy) – $29.99

Reds

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.

2015 Undurraga Sibaris Reserva Pinot Noir (Maipo Valley, Chile) – $18.49

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

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2012 Bodegas Chayee Bourras Bonarda (Mendoza, Argentina) – $24.49

2014 Clos du Soleil Grower’s Series Syrah (BC, Canada) – $31.99

2013 Roche de Bellene Cote-de-Nuits-Villages Vieille Vignes (Burgundy – Cote de Nuits, France) – $49.99

2012 Domaine Lafond Roc-Epine (Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France) – $51.99

2009 Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany, Italy) – $69.99

2013 Quinta do Vale Dona Maria Red (Douro, Portugal) – $74.99

2006 Quintarelli Valpolicella Classico (Veneto, Italy) – $109.99

2005 Domaine d’Ardhuy Corton Hautes Mourottes Grand Cru (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – $149.99

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

2013 Somerston Celestial Cabernet Sauvignon (California – Napa Valley, United States) – $199.99

Dessert

Sweet dessert wines and Port are always good for the final touches of a meal:

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2009 Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos Aszu (Hungary) – 250mL – $24.99

2003 Château Suduiraut (Bordeaux – Sauternes, France) – $59.99

JM Fonseca Trilogia Moscatel de Setubal (Portugal) 750mL – $104.99

2001 Avignonesi Occhio di Pernice Vin Santo (Tuscany, Italy) – $349.99

2011 Porto Quevedo Late Bottled Vintage Port (Douro, Portugal) – $33.99

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

1985 Fonseca Vintage Port (Douro, Portugal) – $389.99

Note our regular store hours are in affect this long weekend, except holiday monday when we’re open from noon-5pm.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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September 24, 2017

Greek with Paul Martzoukos

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 10:32 pm

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Author: Dirk Chan

deVine welcomes Paul Martzoukos of Tannin Fine Wines for a Greek sit-down wine tasting on Saturday, October 14 @7pm – $40.

This is our first Greek tasting for a few years (since Paul came from Calgary last time actually), we’ll taste wines from various regions. You get to taste some retsina, and various indigenous white and red grapes. You’ll be thrilled with the quality and the pricing of the wines.

Only 34 spots available for this special sit-down event. Perhaps Paul’s father will cook us some Greek food with the tasting and there’ll also be a surprise at the end that will bring a tear to your eye!! Don’t miss this one!

Book your spot to Greek with Paul Martzoukos tasting here..

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