deVine Thoughts

October 27, 2016

Our Annual Fall Top Drops Scotch Tasting

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:26 pm

scotch_blog_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

deVine welcomes Lee Hanson of Barrel Hunter Import & Brokerage Ltd for our annual Top Drops Scotch Tasting on Saturday, November 3rd at 7pm – $55. Lee will have with him a very special guest – Andrew Laing, Export Director of Hunter Lang & Co, the unrivalled blenders and bottlers of the special First Editions scotches that we will be tasting.

Founded in 2010, the origins of First Editions are rooted in the decades spent growing up in and around the scotch whisky industry, and with the respect and passion for the spirit this history has instilled. With a label inspired by the classic elegance of an antique manuscript, the First Editions brand is the mark of quality which appears across the core range of single-cask bottlings of malt whisky.

They review their maturing stocks on a monthly basis, drawing samples from casks that may be ready for bottling. Always mindful of the benefits of a whisky being from just a single cask, they will bottle it when it is at its best for drinking rather than being influenced by “round” ages such as 18, or 25 years old. The First Editions bottlings are always at cask-strength and, naturally, without artificial colouring or chill-filtration.

We strongly encourage you to attend (and bring a friend), this is a giveaway tasting given the quality of the drams presented. A not-to-be-missed event even if you’re remotely interested in discovery about rare and expensive Single Malts.

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

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October 23, 2016

Spritz – the Drink and the Book

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 6:13 pm

spritz_blog_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

Cocktail culture is seeing a major revival these days, with some of the most enjoyable things involved in sipping spritzes – the Italian wine-based cocktail commonly served as an aperitif in Northeast Italy. The drink is prepared with prosecco wine, a dash of some bitter liqueur such as Aperol, Campari or Cynar and then topped off with sparkling mineral water. It is usually served over ice in a lowball glass (or sometimes a martini glass or wine glass) and garnished a slice of orange, or sometimes an olive, depending on the liqueur. Some have even started substituting real Champagne in place of Prosecco.

Whether its nibbling from little bowls of stuffed olives, pesto or potato chips etc, and watching time pass by, spritz is the way to go.“Spritz”, the book is the perfect introduction to this kind of culture – the book is compact, nicely illustrated, and filled with anecdotes and recipes for classic fizzes as well as more modern iterations from top bartenders. It even has food recipes for pairing.

With Christmas not so far away, this would be a wonderful gift idea and its already flying off the shelves.

Random House “Spritz” – $24.99

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October 18, 2016

It’s That Time of the Year for Pumpkin Beer!

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:32 am

pumpkin_blog_smallAuthor: 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:

1) St. Ambroise Pumpkin Ale (Quebec, Canada) – $11.99

A well-crafted blend of blond and caramelized malts, gentle hops, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and pumpkin. It’s delicate malty character and hint of sweetness will quench the thirst of any creature looking for easy-drinking refreshment.

2) Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale (Oregon, United States) – $15.49

Rogue picks their pumpkins fresh from the patch, loads them on a truck, and drives them 77 miles to the Newport, Oregon brewery, where they are roasted and then pitched into the brew kettle. Delicious notes of orange peel, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, vanilla, ginger & nutmeg compliment the malty pumpkin backbone.

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

Yukon brews this ale with 60 kg of pumpkin, as well as molasses, demerara sugar, crushed cinnamon sticks, pureed ginger, crushed whole cloves, and whole nutmeg – and oats for body. The result is pretty much pumpkin coloured, and very smooth and creamy. Close your eyes at the nose and you’ll think there is a slice of pie on a plate in front of you, but when you fill your mouth, the perception is more like pumpkin cheesecake, full of delicious flavour and mouthfeel.

There are many more pumpkin offerings already in the store such as

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale (New Hampshire, United States) – $25.99

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

Alley Kat Pumpkin Pie Spiced Ale (Alberta, Canada) – $12.99

Fernie Brewing Pumpkin Head Brown Ale (BC, Canada) – $7.99

Canuck Empire Pumpkin Patch Ale (BC, Canada) – $6.99

Epic Brewing Imperial Pumpkin Porter (Utah, United States) – $10.99

Phillips Toothless Pumpkin Sour Ale (BC, Canada) – $8.99

Shipyard Signature Series Smashed Pumpkin Ale (Oregon, United States) – $10.49

Olds College Jack Olds Lantern Barrel-Aged Pumpkin Ale (Alberta, Canada) – $9.99

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


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October 10, 2016

Matteo Correggia & Bruno Rocca Tasting

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 6:03 pm

correggia_rocca_horizontal2Author: Dirk Chan

deVine Wines and International Cellars Inc. are thrilled to be having two famous houses from the Piedmont in Northern Italy here with us on the same evening – Monday, October 17 @ 7pm – $55.

Winemaker Giovanni Correggia from Matteo Correggia and Export Director Luisa Rocca of Bruno Rocca will both be here to talk and present wines from their respective estates. These two young wine guru’s are representing the youth movement ongoing in the region. We visited both estates in April of 2013 during Vin Italy 2013 and were duly impressed and you will be too.

Matteo Correggia is in Roero, a geographical area in the north-east corner of the province of Cuneo in Piedmont, north-west Italy while Bruno Rocca is in Barbaresco proper and whose estate dates back to 1834.

We’ll be tasting three reds from each house – only 30 seats available for this sit-down event. Come and say hello and learn about the history and principles behind these two wonderful estates.

Advanced registration is required for this tasting.

More information and register for the tasting here….

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October 3, 2016

October Case of the Month

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 7:08 pm

october_case_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

Our October Case of the Month – $222.49 is a great sampler case for those wanting diversity, discovery and affordability in everyday drinking wines. We choose wines for this case to showcase their true varietal characteristics from wine regions from all over the world. It is seasonal in nature as well, more whites and pinks and lighter reds during the summer and now more full-bodied reds as fall approaches. It is a great way to discover your palate besides always having some wine on hand.

October features several wines suitable for the Thanksgiving Dinner table. Offerings are from all over the world including Italy, France, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Chile,Argentina and a first for Croatia with a wide assortment of grapes for every drinking occasion.

You can read more information and purchase the October Case of the Month online here..

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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October 1, 2016

Thanksgiving Wine Recommendations

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 3:53 pm

turkey_ham_smallAuthor: Dirk Chan

Wow…Thanksgiving week is upon us, 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 this year add a little meditation course for Amaro or Port.

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.

2013 Domaine Rosier Cuvee Ma Maison Cremant de Limoux (Languedoc-Roussillon, France) – $21.99

NV Cantina Colli del Soligo Prosecco Solicum (Veneto, Italy) – $24.99

NV Domaine du Closel Chateau des Vaults Brut Sauvage (Loire Valley, France) – $59.99


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 Champagne Jacquesson Cuvee 739 Extra Brut (Champagne, France) – $79.99

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!

2015 Spier Signature Chenin Blanc (Western Cape, South Africa) – $15.49

2015 Hillside Estate Unoaked Pinot Gris (BC – Okanagan, Canada) – $23.99

2001 Querbach Library Release Edition Riesling (Rheingau, Germany) – $27.99

2014 Emrich-Schonleber Riesling Trocken (Nahe, Germany) – $34.99

2014 Planeta Chardonnay (Sicily, Italy) – $47.99

2012 Domaine Marc Morey Puligny-Montrachet Les Referts Premier Cru (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – $129.99

2015 Chateau Mourges du Gres Galets Rosé (Rhone Valley, France) – $21.49

2015 Il Feuduccio Cerasuolo Rosé (Abruzzi, Italy) – $23.99


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 Dominique Piron Chiroubles (Beaujolais, France) – $25.99

2013 Jean-Paul Brun Morgon TD (Beaujolais, France) – $29.99

2014 Spinning Top Pinot Noir (Marlborough, New Zealand) – $21.99

2010 Julius Klein Rotwein Trocken St. Laurent (Austria) – $23.99

2012 Glen Carlou Classic Pinot Noir (Paarl, South Africa) – $26.99

2014 Trisaetum Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon) – $44.99

1985 Caves Sao Joao Porta dos Cavaleiros Reserva (Dao, Portugal) – $49.99

2007 Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval Vineyard (Columbia Valley, Washington) – $74.99

2006 d’Arenberg Ironstone Pressings Museum Release Grenache-Shiraz (McLaren Vale, Australia) – $79.99

2004 Domaine d’Ardhuy Cortons Haut Murrottes Grand Cru (Cote-de Beaune, Burgundy) – $124.99

2001 Betts & Scholl Hermitage (Rhone Valley, France) – $139.99

2008 Tenuta di Biserno Biserno (Bibbona, Italy) – $174.99

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


As for dessert, i would recommend a Pedro Ximenez from Spain for that Pecan pie pairing. Others listed below would pair well for fruit based desserts.

Lustau Pedro Ximinez San Emilio Solera (Jerez, Spain) – $25.99

NV Torres Floralis Moscatel – 375mL (Penedes, Spain) – $20.99

2005 Isole e Olena Vin Santo – 375mL (Tuscany, Italy) – $69.99

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

Port & Amaro (Post Dinner)

Port is always good for the final touches of a meal, but the digestif Amaro from Italy is on fire.

Braulio Amaro Alpino (Italy) – $34.99

Nonino Amaro (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy) – $47.99

Ferrochina Amaro Baliva (Italy) – $61.99

1966 Messias Colheita Port (Douro, Portugal) – $144.99

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

Graham’s 20 Year Old Tawny Port (Douro, Portugal) – $74.99

1987 Niepoort Vintage Port – $169.99

Finally, if you are pressed for time, try out our October Mixed Case – $222.49 where a lot of the wines would pair well with Thanksgiving dinner.

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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