Victoria International Wine Fest 2016
This event at the Parkside Hotel put together by #VICWF has a great representation of both regions and varietals. Their is literally a wine for every palate on offer, from bubbling, to still whites that are off-dry to dry, red wines from all over the spectrum of light bodied to a dense rich full mouthful. The setting is lovely with both an inside and outside area and for those that like to sample a bold red wines with cheese, you will not be disappointed.
I began with sparkling and whites so that I would not destroy my palate for the reds. A few tips if you attend any event like this is to bring your own glass to use as a spittoon, much cleaner, easier and frankly not as nasty as the communal spittoons. Next never block the spittoon, be aware of where they are located to avoid being sprayed or elbowed out of the way. Start with whites, followed by lighter reds before moving on to bigger reds. The last one is wear a colour that does not show red wine so you will be prepared if at at some point someone bumps you or accidentally splashes you.
Top 5 Sparkling and still White wine picks:
My top pick for Prosecco is Luna Prosecco from Argentina being shown by Select Wines, it is just the right amount of citrus, honey and pear with a clean and crisp finish. The type of Prosecco that would satisfy most palates on it’s own but would pair nicely with lighter seafoods.
My top Sparkling Brut is Ferrari Brut from Italy being presented by Philippe Dandurand Wines it is full of wild flowers and fruity yeasty notes on the nose with ripe apple and toasted french bread in the mouth followed by a lovely balanced finish.
My top Sauvignon blanc is Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc presented by Villa Maria. This wine is a culmination of the top grapes from the Marlborough region of New Zealand. It is fresh herbal and citrusy on the nose followed by gooseberry, herbs and citrus in the glass with just the right amount of acidity.
Top Chardonnay Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay shown by Wagner Family of Wines. Aroma’s of vanilla and citrus with pineapple on the nose followed by a rich mouthful of white peach, vanilla, almond and a buttery lingering finish that is beautifully balanced.
Lastly is Sichel Pellehaut Blanc from the South of France presented by Pacific Wine and Spirits. This perfectly balanced complex white has tropical fruits on the nose with pear, lime, pineapple, honey and just a hint of grapefruit on the end. Drink this on its’s own or pair it with a lime zucchini risotto.
Top Red wines
My picks start from the lighter to the more fun bodied so first up is Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir presented by Villa Maria. On the nose dark cherries, plum and spice, in the glass the flavours of dark cherry and plum with a hint of spice and vanilla come through with a punch of tannin to make you want to take the next sip. Hint, hint BC is the very last place globally that has any 2010 left and I highly recommend this wine.
Getting into more full bodied reds is Maggio Petite Sirah presented by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, on the nose vanilla, dark fruit & licorice and a follow through in the glass of fig, cocoa, liquorice and vanilla with a lingering finish. This wine would be a great pairing for a rich beef stew.
If like me you enjoy a spicy red wine with body to carry it through than definitely sample the PKNT Carmenere 2013 shown by Icon Fine Wine and Spirits on the nose it is dark berry with peppery notes and in the glass exotic spices, dark fruit and a hint of chocolate.
The Cabriz Colheita Seleccionada from Portugal presented by Red Dog Wine and Spirits is a great representation of a classic blend of port based varietals that make this a full bodied wine with rich dark fruit and a lingering chocolate finish. this shot was right after I tried it and I was still enjoying the lingering chocolate notes.
I highly recommend that you try the brie with blackberry jam and make your way over to the malbecs at Wines of Argentina thoughtfully placed directly across from the cheese tables.
My top pick for the Malbecs on offer is a lovely organic El Esteco Cuma Malbec with blackberry and peppery spice on the nose it follows though with pepper, blackberry and coffee. This wine has a long finish and could be enjoyed on it’s own, with a pepper steak or with a dark chocolate.
Next was exploring the wines of Moldova presented by Celestial Wine and Spirits which gave me two picks not just the one. I will start with Pinot Noir de Purcari which has a dense ruby colour in the glass with fruity notes on the nose and a hint of Brett, the taste has hints of strawberries, violets and raspberry with a hint of nutty vanilla and a pleasing finish.
The wine I would love to have a case of is the Negru de Purcari this is a wine with history and has been enjoyed by more than one generation of the Royal family who happen to be visiting Victoria today. On the nose is liquorice, ripe plums, figs and spice. In the mouth this wine is full bodied, full of rich chocolate and dark fruit with a lovely tannin structure that causes the wine to linger on your palate.
PMA is offering tastes of Novas Carmenere Cabernet Sauvignon, on the nose is ripe strawberries combined with peppers and a hint of oak in the glass is red berries, plum, dark chocolate and a long finish. One of the nicest red wines out of Chile I have had this year.
To finish things off is my absolute favourite style of red wine the Tedeschi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2011 from Italy. It fully deserves the 90 points it was given by Wine Spectator. As expected it has notes of currants, cassis, vanilla and dark fruit on the nose, in the glass it is full bodied and dense with raisiny flavours along with cassis, dark chocolate, cigar and a hint of vanilla. This wine is being presented by Stile Brands and should be your last red prior to sampling and finishing with ports.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog post and have the chance to sample some of these wines and share with me your feedback and thoughts on them.
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