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MIRA Wine Club: Staff Favourites

Spring 2015 Staff Favourites WinesFor this edition of the MIRA Wine Club we let a few staff favourites take centre stage. We hope our staff favourites become a couple of your favourites as well.

Cassini Cellars 2012 Sauvignon Blanc
Nominated by: Kelsey Myers, Marketing and Sales Support Manager

Cassini Cellars is a BC-based winery located in the Golden Mile bench between Oliver and Osoyoos. The winery has developed a reputation among BC wine lovers for producing bold and flavourful wines. This Sauvignon Blanc hold true to their signature style. Highly recommended for those who love the tropical flavours and acidity of popular wines like Kim Crawford or Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc’s but want to try something local instead. Beautiful aromas of passionfruit and grass prepare you for flavours of apple, tropical fruits and citrus zest on the palette. It finishes with the crisp acidity classic Sauvignon Blanc’s are known for. This is an easy-drinking wine that would be great on its own or paired with seafood or chicken dishes.

Therapy Vineyards 2011 Freud’s Ego
Nominated by: Kelsey Van Dam, Sales

It’s another Okanagan based winery – can you tell we have a tendency to buy locally? Therapy Vineyard has made a home in beautiful Naramata Beach. Taking cues from the winery name, all the wines are named with humourous references to common psychology terms – freudian, rorschach, ego etc. While the winemaker may have fun with the naming, he is serious about their wines. Freud’s Ego is a blend of grapes harvested from all over the Okanagan. The types of grapes used in the blend are the proprietor’s secret. It boasts an inviting nose of black currant and white pepper. It’s an easy drinking red wine with soft tannins, a smooth finish and a complex blend of red fruit flavours. Therapy Vineyards provides a great technical description of how the wine was made on their website: Freud’s Ego winemaker’s notes

MIRA Wine Review: Holiday crowd pleasers

Winter 2014 WinesDecember marks the beginning of a holiday season calendar filled with work parties, drinks with friends and quality time with family. We have picked two wines to be your go-to’s during the busy holiday season. Our criteria for picking great holiday wines was that they had to be:

a) BC VQA wines to support our local businesses

b) Worthy of serving to friends and family over the holidays

c) Budget friendly to be a last minute gift for the party host

d) Delicious, of course.

Here are the two wines that checked our boxes. Our team tasted them last week during lunch at our annual sales planning meeting.

Grey Monk 2012 Latitude 50 Red

The name Latitude 50 is a nod to Grey Monk’s location in the Okanagan, where latitude 50 and Lake Okanagan meet. Grey Monk keeps us guessing which grapes were used in this stunning blend since the composition is not listed on the bottle or online. From our tasting, we think it’s a blend of gamay and pinot noir grapes. The medium-bodied Latitude 50 is a great table wine, the kind that goes well with a variety of different foods or even none at all. It beckons you with floral, spicy aromas and just a touch of herbal notes. The nose reflects the flavours of raspberry, pepper, spice and a light black cherry finish. This would be especially delicious with a holiday party pot roast or late-night pizza to celebrate the end of holiday gift shopping.

Backyard Vineyards 2013 Nosey Neighbour White

The name Backyard Vineyards is apt since they are located  in Vancouver’s metaphorical backyard at 30 Ave at 232 Street in Langley. The Nosey Neighbour blend is a best seller at the local wine store we purchased it at. From the first taste, it is clear why this wine sells so well. This blend of pinot gris, riseling and gewurztraminer is a pleasant and easy drinking crowd pleaser with just a hint of complexity. Bright citrus and herb aromas greets you before hitting the palette with a fruity blend of stone fruits, pineapple and mango. A refreshing and clean acidity follows you from first taste to the finish. This wine is not available at BC Liquor Stores but you can purchase it direct from the winery or at your local independent wine store. View the full list of stores that carry Backyard Vineyards.

MIRA Wine Review: Pairings for Thanksgiving Turkey

We have picked two wines to grace your Thanksgiving table this fall. Both red and white wines have a place beside the delectable main course, the turkey. For those who prefer red, a classic French Beaujolais pairs nicely with both light and dark turkey meat. White wine lovers don’t have to be left out on Thanksgiving Day. An aromatic white like a Gewürztraminer picks up on the herbs and stuffing of the turkey.

2012 Bouchard Aine & Fils Beaujolais
Our favourite BC liquor store employee steered us toward one of her favourite Beaujolais wines from Bouchard Aine & Fils. For those unfamiliar with the name Beaujolais, grapes for Beaujolais wines can only be grown in precisely defined Beaujolais areas within the wine-growing region of Burgundy. Made from 100% gamay grapes, this Beaujolais is fun, fruity and expressive. The taste is an elegant bouquet of cherries and plums with a subtle flowery finish. This classic French wine was finished off quickly by the members of our team who love red wines.

2013 See Ya Later Ranch Gewürztraminer
Since a holiday in BC is best celebrated with a BC wine on the table, we looked to the Okanagan for a great Gewürztraminer. The one from See Ya Later Ranch does not disappoint. It is composed of blend of grapes that most wine newbies have trouble pronouncing – 90% Gewürztraminer, 5% Shönberger and 5% Ehrenfelser. It has a powerful, alluring aroma of lychee, rose petals and grapefruit. When tasted, the palette bursts with the rich flavours of lychee and melon to pleasantly compliment the crisp acidity and off-dry finish. While many Gewürztraminer’s are overly sweet, this one surprises the palette with a more subtle sweetness. For this reason, the Gewürztraminer was crowned the team favourite for this round of wine tastings.

MIRA Wine Review: Fire up the BBQ

Summer sun has finally arrived in Vancouver! When the rays of sunshine peak out from behind the clouds, it’s time to take the cover off the BBQ. We picked a couple favourite BC wines to pair nicely with your grilled meat of choice. Our two picks are from Cedar Creek, an Okanagan based winery located just south of Kelowna. The winery was recently purchased by Anthony von Mandl, owner of the Mission Hill Family Estate. For those who love this winery as it is – don’t worry, winemaker Darryl Brooker is staying on board. We were so excited to try these two wines that we opened them before getting a photo – oops!

The contenders…

Wines for the BBQCedar Creek 2012 Chardonnay 

The Cedar Creek Chardonnay is not your typical oak bomb Chardonnay. To create a well-balanced oak flavour, the winemaker aged this wine in a 2250 litre foudre instead of the typical much smaller sized barrels. The resulting flavour on the palette is a fresh, citrus taste. As a Double Gold winner at the 2014 All Canadian Wine Championships, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next BBQ.  Pair it with a chicken or fish dish for the tastiest results.

Cedar Creek 2011 Cabernet Merlot

Blended wines like this Cabernet Merlot give winemakers an opportunity to experiment with different aromas and flavours that create a blend greater than it’s individual parts. This Cabernet Merlot is mostly Cabernet Franc grapes blended with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to create a rich, full-bodied red wine. From the array of complex flavours, our team tasted fruity sweetness with a bit of spice, anise and oak. It’s best paired with a simply prepared cut of red meat straight off the grill.

The winner?

Our winner of this round was the Cabernet Merlot by 1 point on our ten point scale. Though the majority of our office typically prefers whites to red, this blend was a resounding favourite.

Do you have a great wine you think we should try for the fall tasting? Let us know in the comments.

MIRA Wine Review: Local Winery Visit

For the Spring 2014 reviews, we decided to take the wine reviews on the road to Chaberton Estate Winery. The MIRA Floors team took a day trip out to the winery located in heart of the picturesque farmland of South Langley.

Chaberton Estate Winery

Before the tour we stopped by the Bacchus Bistro, the onsite French restaurant overlooking the vineyards. As expected, the staff were professional with great suggestions on wines that paired nicely with our chosen meals. Some of the MIRA team favourite were the braised lamb shank and the duck leg confit.


We took a tour of the vineyards and winery to view the process of creating wine from the vines to bottles. The barrels the wine is aged in are made of French oak – more dense than North American oak and only used a maximum of three times. Some enterprising winemakers have recognized that the dense French oak would be good for flooring and have turned the used wine barrels into flooring.  Each wine barrel holds an impressive 225L of wine or 300 bottles worth. The chalkboard pictured below is a diagram of each wine that goes in each barrel. Since wine evaporates over time, the winemaker needs to keep track of the barrel’s for refills.

Chaberton Estate Winery Tour

Chaberton wine tasting

After the tour, we moved to the tasting room to taste four wines. The tasting contenders were:

Chaberton 2012 Valley Chardonnay

This unoaked Chardonnay greets you with a refreshing aroma of lemon peel, pear and citrus fruits and provides complimentary flavours of green apple, lemon and nectarine for the palate. Enjoy this dry white on its own or try it with a goat cheese salad, creamy pasta or fresh seafood.

Chaberton Reserve 2012 Bacchus

Named after the wine god from Greece, this delectable white wine is made from estate grown grapes. The Bacchus grape is hybrid grape, created by cross-breeding three different grapes. Its taste is a bit sweeter, since it is related to Riesling grapes. This off-dry wines features palate pleasing flavours of citrus, nectarines and apricots.

Chaberton  2012 Valley Gamay

This lighter wine is a blend of Gamay Noir grapes from the Okanagan. It offers flavours fruity flavours such as strawberry jam with a bit of sweet spice and vanilla notes. Pair this wine with a meal of barbequed salmon, creamy cheses, and tapas.

Chaberton Reserve 2011 Meritage

The name “Meritage” is portmanteau of the words “merit” and “heritage”. The grapes are a blend of merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon selected from the Okanagan and Similkameen Valley. The nose is strong with scents of black currant, cedar and cassis and brings flavours of blackberries and peppers. This blend is best enjoyed with red meats, duck and hard cheeses.

White wine ready for tasting

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