deVine Thoughts

May 14, 2018

Introducing the Traveler’s Series on Market Saturdays

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 2:26 pm

erbes_blog_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

The City Market returns this Saturday, 9-3pm – yay!

Be sure to drop by starting at 11am as we introduce the Traveler’s Series of free tastings, whereby one of the partners of deVines will be serving and talking about wines, beer or spirits from our extensive travels to wineries, breweries and distilleries. Sample the wine and hear the anecdotes and stories! Then stay for our ongoing Agent Free Pours from noon-3pm which includes wine and beer pours.

The inaugural tasting wil be hosted by Ed Fong and we’ll take advantage of his recent trip to Germany to sample two Rieslings and a beer.

Pictured is the Urziger Wurzgarten Vineyard from Erbes. We’ll be tasting the following:

1) 2015 Erbes Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett (Mosel, Germany) – $21.99

2) 2014 Fritz Haag Riesling Trocken QBA (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany) – $15.99

3) Fruh Kolsch (Germany) – 500mL Can – $3.99

Do join us this saturday!

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Sour Power

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 2:25 pm

sour_power_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

Sour beer is the rage these days – it is essentially beer which has an intentionally acidic, tart or sour taste – popular styles include American Wild Ale, Berliner Weisse, Gose, Flanders Red Ale, Lambic and Oud Bruin – there will even be a $50 one we’ll be tasting!

The main flavor of a sour beer is tartness, like a strawberry or lemon. But many sours also have a “funky” taste that some say smells like a horse blanket or a barnyard but there is certainly some major pucker power here.

Because of the uncertainty involved in using wild yeast, the sour beer brewing process is extremely unpredictable. The beer takes months to ferment and can take years to mature.

The increasing popularity of sour beers, combined with the fact that they’re challenging to make, available only in limited quantities, and expensive, makes them desirable. And as more beer lovers learn about them, they are sharing their knowledge with other drinkers, further triggering the trend.

We are thrilled to have Jim Phelan of Untapped Craft Imports here to lead our Sour Power tasting – don’t miss this Thursday night stand-up event.

More info and to register for this event, click here

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May 7, 2018

Women In Wine

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 3:56 pm

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Author: Dirk Chan

It’s Mother’s Day week, thought I’d do a tribute to Women and Wine featuring prominent women winemakers and owners. The seven ladies featured here are leading performers in their regions so a big salute to them.

Featured wines pictured left to right:

1) 2016 El Petit Bonhomme (Jumilla, Spain) – $17.99

Nathalie Bonhomme for whom this wine is named is a frequent visitor to Edmonton and has a close association with deVine’s. She is not only the owner and winemaker, but she also creates her own labels. Those of you who remember in 2013, we offered the Promenade Red, under our own label, well – Nathalie made that wine!

2) 2015 Château de la Font du Loup Cotes du Rhone (Rhone Valley, France) – $28.99

Chateau de la Font fu Loup (translates to Fountain of the Wolf, when wolves drank from the natural springs around their property) owner Anne-Charlotte Melia-Bachas comes from a long line of talented winemakers, like her father Charles before her. Aiming to express the uniqueness of their terroir, the family has holdings in the famous Le Crau, not too far from Vieux Telegraphe. Their wines are organically farmed and very pure. Love their Chateauneuf du Pape as well.

3) 2015 Noble Ridge Reserve Pinot Noir (BC – Okanagan, Canada) – $44.99

Noble Ridge owner Leslie d’Andrea has degrees in Biology and Health Administration and she and her husband Jim found their land in 2001. Since then 22 hectares have been planted to vines with all the grapes grown on their Okanagan Falls property. Having found her love and passion to make world-class premium wine and along with a lot of hard work, its starting to pay off with a budding reputation. The jouney continues..

4) 2014 Mullineux Syrah (Swartland, South Africa) – $47.99

Andrea Mullineux, named Winemaker of the Year 2016 by Wine Enthusiast, is co-owner and winemaker at Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, based in the Swartland region at Roundstone Farm. Since the launch of the brand in 2007, Mullineux, has notched up 18 five-star wine ratings from Platter’s South African Wine Guide as well as being named Winery of the Year in both 2014 and 2016. High praise indeed.

5) 2014 Domaine du Closel Chateau des Vaults La Jalousie (Loire Valley, France) – $52.99

The Comtesse Evelyne de Pontbriand runs this beautiful estate on the north bank of the Loire. There are not many wines from Savennieres that make it to our part of the world, and her Chenin Blancs are like her – aristocratic, high class and finesse driven. Certified biodynamic, we only wish we could get a dessert wine and an amazing Sparkler, but we’ll gladly settle to have three of her classy artisan whites.

6) 2011 Elio Altare Barolo (Piedmont, Italy) – $117.99

More and more these days, daughter Silvia Altare has taken helm as winemaker at the famed Elio Altare Estate while her father Elio ventures off to create a different vision in Liguria. Silvia was here at deVine’s a couple of years ago to promote her vision of elegance, finesse, and balance in her wines, following a strict regime in the vineyards to allow the terroir to come through, adopting new vinification and aging techniques in the cellar. There is a move to a younger generation of winemakers in the Piedmont and Silvia is at the forefront.

7) 2014 Peller Estates Private Reserve Vidal Ice Wine (Ontario – Niagara, Canada) – 200mL – $24.99

Since 2012, Winemaker Katie Dickieson has brought a wealth of experience from her time in New Zealand to Niagara’s Peller Estates. She combines her love of agriculture, an affinity for science and a keen interest in sensory studies into her job that shows on her wines. She is also a self proclaimed ‘foodie’ where great food enhances her well-balanced wines.

Try some of these wines on Mother’s Day, here’s wishing a Happy Day to all Mom’s out there!

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April 23, 2018

Three deVine Staff Picks

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 2:10 pm

staff_picks_small

Author: Dirk Chan

A new biweekly blog will feature two Staff Picks from three deVine Staff. This week, Kandice likes a Vermentino and a rose to urge the arrival of Spring. Cody likes an American Wild Ale (sour) blended with Blackberry and Nectarberry, plus a fabulously good valued GSM (Grenache Syrah Mourvedre) blend. Finally, Dirk likes a great 2015 Bougogne and a terroir driven Montepulciano.

Pictured left to right:

1) Kandice’s Picks:

2016 Aia Vecchia Vermentino Toscana (Tuscany, Italy) – $21.99

2016 Château Gassier Le Pas Du Moine Rose (Languedoc-Roussillon, France) – $25.49

2) Cody’s Picks:

Engine House No.9 Le Visiteur Wild Ale with Blackberries (Washington, United States) – $15.49

2014 Torbreck Old Vines GSM (Barossa Valley, France) – $24.99

3) Dirk’s Picks:

2015 Domaine Goisot Corps de Garde Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) – $39.99

2015 Colle Sereno Casa Petrone Fonte Nova Rosso Terre degli Osci IGP (Molise, Italy) – $22.99

Enjoy!

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April 18, 2018

Sour Power

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 6:27 pm

sour_power_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

Sour beer is the rage these days – it is essentially beer which has an intentionally acidic, tart or sour taste – popular styles include American Wild Ale, Berliner Weisse, Gose, Flanders Red Ale, Lambic and Oud Bruin – there will even be a $50 one we’ll be tasting!

The main flavor of a sour beer is tartness, like a strawberry or lemon. But many sours also have a “funky” taste that some say smells like a horse blanket or a barnyard but there is certainly some major pucker power here.

Because of the uncertainty involved in using wild yeast, the sour beer brewing process is extremely unpredictable. The beer takes months to ferment and can take years to mature.

The increasing popularity of sour beers, combined with the fact that they’re challenging to make, available only in limited quantities, and expensive, makes them desirable. And as more beer lovers learn about them, they are sharing their knowledge with other drinkers, further triggering the trend.

We are thrilled to have Jim Phelan of Untapped Craft Imports here to lead our Sour Power tasting – don’t miss this Thursday night stand-up event.

More info and to register for this event, click here

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April 11, 2018

The Great 2015 Red Burgundies

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 4:38 pm

burgundy_small
Author: Dirk Chan

After the stupendous 2015 Red Burgundy tasting on the weekend, I said to myself I must write a blog. The hype is certainly well deserved, the 2015 Red Burgs are without a doubt the best since 2005 (with even less production) and probably as good as 1990, and some old vigneros comparing it to 1929 that they drank in their youth – high praise all around. We tasted eight wines and they were uniformly excellent yet very expressive o the terroir that they came from. From memory of a similar tasting of the 2005’s, I say the 2015’s are better at this same juncture in time. So elegant yet powerful.

An ‘extraordinary’ vintage throughout the Côte d’Or for the Pinot Noirs – truly great: rich, powerful and statuesque, full of finesse and class (even in the Bourgognes) but almost always underpinned by fine juicy acidity. The distinctive characters of the region’s diverse terroirs are readily expressed. Despite its richness and amplitude, the palates were all quite remarkably dense and complex. These are wines for the long haul, with serious reserves of ripe tannins hidden behind their generous fruit: they will likely shut down and re-imerge at some point with even greater nuances. Availability is extremely limited (in some cases only a few six packs came into the province) so don’t delay and don’t say I didn’ t tell you – “Buy, buy, buy”, all you can afford, you’ll thank me down the road. This is already a legendary vintage, so act quickly to secure your bottles!

Pictured left to right:

2015 Domaine Goisot Corps de Garde Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) – $35.99

2015 Château de Chamirey Mercurey Rouge (Burgundy, France) – $51.99

2015 Domaine Lucien Jacob Pernand-Vergelesses Premier Cru (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – $55.99

2015 Domaine Pavelot Savigny les Beaune Premier Cru La Dominode (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – $79.99

2015 La Pousse d’Or Volnay Premier Cru en Caillerets (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – $124.99

2015 Daniel Rion et Fils Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux-Monts Premier Cru (Burgundy – Cote de Nuits, France) – $129.99

2015 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Chambolle Musigny Premiere Cru (Burgundy – Cote de Nuits, France) – $334.99

Other available 2015’s:

2015 Alain Geoffroy Bourgogne (Burgundy, France) – $27.99

2015 Domaine Roux Pere & Fils Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Beaune (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – $35.99

2015 Domaine Pavelot Savigny les Beaune (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – $44.99

2015 Paul Garaudet Cuvée Paul Monthelie (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – $46.99

2015 Domaine Pavelot Savigny les Beaune Premier Cru Aux Guettes (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – $69.99

2015 Domaine Roux Pere & Fils Aloxe Corton Les Boutieres (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – $77.99

2015 Daniel Rion et Fils Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Vignerondes Premier Cru (Burgundy – Cote de Nuits, France) – $109.99

2015 Domaine Pavelot Savigny les Beaune Premier Cru La Dominode (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – 1.5L – $159.99


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April 4, 2018

Wine & Cheese with Cavern

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 3:19 pm

cavern_wine_cheese_small
Author: Dirk Chan

Cavern is renowned for their expert knowledge and outstanding artisanal cheese selection – It’s been three years since we last co-hosted an event with them so we are thrilled to announce Tricia Bell will be here for this Wine & Cheese with Cavern tasting . So, Dirk will speak to the seven wines and Tricia will choose and speak to the matching cheese pairings. Fun facts and anecdotes will no doubt emerge in this sit-down at deVines! This would be a wonderful pre-Mother’s Day outing.

More info and to register for this special event, click here

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Great Whiskies of the World Fundraiser & Art Show

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

whisky_blog_small
Author: Ed Fong

Last week, a customer asked me “How did you come up with the idea for the November 3, 2018 Great Whiskies of the World Fundraiser and Art Show?” Great question, long story, but I’ll keep it short.

Over the past few years, many people have asked me and the Team at deVine Wines “Why don’t you host a super-premium whiskey tasting that is out of this world?” Great idea! So I set out to assemble a collection of whiskies from around the world that would grab any whiskey lover’s attention.

In the late summer of 2017, I met a gentleman named Travis Watt. Travis worked for a spirits importer named Rare Drams, a company that we have worked with for a few years now. Travis is also the President of the Edmonton Scotch Club, and conducted numerous fundraisers in the past for Edmonton’s Food Bank. Travis and I shared a love for fine whiskey and a real desire to help those in need to obtain one of life’s greatest necessities, food. I asked Travis if he would consider hosting a high end whiskey tasting for us in support of the Food Bank and Neon Sign Museum, and he agreed. I would donate the whiskey, Travis would donate his time and expertise, and deVine Wines would donate the venue, resources and staff to run the event. Game on!

Shortly after I met Travis, I was approached by a local artist and customer named Nosheen Pervez to host a wine tasting and art show. Nosheen is a visual artist and some of her work can be found here on her website: http://www.nosheenp.com/

Then it hit me with crystal clear clarity. We should do the art show in conjunction with the Mother of all Whiskey Tastings! It made perfect sense! Guests attending the Mondo whiskey tasting will have an opportunity to support a local artist, have a great time and raise some money for two very worthy charities.

So that is how our Great Whiskies of the World Fundraiser and Art Show came to be. For more information on our two charities of choice, please visit the links below:

Edmonton Food Bank: https://www.edmontonsfoodbank.com/

Neon Sign Museum: https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/edmonton_archives/neon-sign-museum.aspx

More info and to register for this special event, click here

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March 28, 2018

New Riedel Spirits Stems

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 7:25 pm

riedel_blog3_small
Author: Dirk Chan

New to the store are three new Austrian Riedel spirits stems, featuring (pictured left to right) Grappa, Tequila and Cognac/Hennessy

Riedel  (pronounced Ree-dle) is the industry standard for stemware and decanters for the wine connoisseurs, it has been an illustrious history – family owned in Bohemia since 1756 (the same year as Mozart’s birthyear – it’s been that long!). With expert craftsmanship and a creative design team, their stemware and decanters are in high end restaurants and regular homes alike. It’s claim to fame is that the stemware was specifically and scientifically design so the first hit on your tongue accentuates the qualities of the grape or spirit that the glass was designed for.

Enhance your experience with Grappa, Tequila and Cognac with these highly specialized machine-made crystal stems – it will be an eye opener!

Riedel Vinum Grappa Glass – $29.49

Riedel Bar Vinum Tequila Reposado Glass – $39.99

Riedel Bar Vinum Cognac/Hennessy Glass – $34.99

Salute!

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March 26, 2018

Easter Dinner Wine Recommendations

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 7:23 pm

turkey_ham_small
Author: 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:

2013 Domaine Rosier Cuvee du Rosier (Languedoc-Roussillon, France) – $19.99

NV Luis Pato Bruto Vinho Espumante Rosado (Bairrada, Portugal) – $21.49

2012 Anthonij Rupert Wines L’Ormarins Blanc de Blancs (Franschoek, South Africa) – $38.99

Champagne

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

gremillet

NV Gremillet Brut Selection (Champagne, France) – $54.99

NV Chartogne-Taillet Brut Rosé (Champagne, France) – $67.99

NV Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut (Champagne, France) – $109.99

2005 Bollinger La Grande Année Brut (Champagne, France) – $189.99

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!

2014 Fritz Haag Riesling Trocken QBA (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany) – $15.99

2016 Niel Joubert Chenin Blanc (Paarl, South Africa) – $16.99

gassier_moines2


2016 Domaine Lafage Novellum Chardonnay (Cotes Catalanes, France) – $23.99

2016 Terras Gauda O Rosal (Rias Baixas, Spain) – $34.99

2006 Emrich-Schonleber Monzinger Halenberg Riesling Auslese ** (Nahe, Germany) – $69.99

2015 Domaine Roux Pere & Fils Chassagne-Montrachet Les Macherelles Premier Cru (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – $124.99

2016 Los Vascos Rosé (Calchaqui, Chile) – $18.99

2016 Château Gassier Le Pas Du Moine (Languedoc-Roussillon, France) – $25.49

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.

2016 Azul y Garanza Fiesta (Navarra, Spain) – $16.99

2016 Domaines Paul Mas Malbec Gardemiel Vineyard (Pays d’Oc, France) – $18.99

2015 Jean-Marc Burgaud Beaujolais Villages Les Vignes de Thulon (Beaujolais, France) – $23.99

2016 Misty Cove Pinot Noir (Marlborough, New Zealand) – $25.99

pintia_2012
2016 Ca’Momi Heartcraft Cabernet Sauvignon (California – Napa Valley, United States) – $31.99

2015 Domaine Pavelot Savigny les Beaune (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – $44.99

2013 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco (Piedmont, Italy) – $54.99

2015 Château de la Font du Loup (Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France) – $59.99

2012 Vega Sicilia Pintia (Toro, Spain) – $84.99

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

2014 Sea Smoke Ten Pinot Noir (California – Santa Barbara, United States) – $159.99

2009 Louis Jadot Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru (Burgundy – Cote de Nuits, France) – $209.99

2005 Château La Gaffeliere (Bordeaux – St. Emilion, France) – $249.99

Dessert

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

2009 Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos Aszu (Hungary) – 200mL – $24.99

2013 Tawse Riesling Icewine (Ontario – Niagara, Canada) – 200mL – $42.99

guiraud_2013
2013 Château Guiraud (Bordeaux – Sauternes, France) – 375mL – $59.99

2010 Hexamer Meddersheimer Altenberg Riesling Eiswein (Nahe, Germany) – 375mL – $89.99

2001 Avignonesi Occhio di Pernice Vin Santo (Tuscany, Italy) – 375mL – $349.99

Port and Amaro (Post Dinner)

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

Lucano 1894 Basilicata Amaro (Sicily, Italy) – $39.99

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

2003 Warre’s Vintage Port (Douro, Portugal) – $104.99

Quinta do Portal 40 Year Old Tawny Port (Douro, Portugal) – $134.99

1968 Taylor Fladgate Single Harvest Old Port (Douro, Portugal) – $289.99

Happy Easter all!

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Happy Easter everyone!

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