Pinot Noir

50th Parallel Estate's 2012 Pinot Noir ft. Winemaker Grant Stanley

As some of you may or may not know, I was in the Okanagan last week checking out a few wineries. One of the wineries that was on the list was 50th Parallel Estate's. I did a video on their Pinot Gris last spring (click HERE if you want to watch & read that post). At that time, I said I believed them to be one of the new big players to hit the BC Wine scene. One thing I do like (maybe even a little more than wine) is to be right (obviously!). 50th Parallel really is up and coming as they are winning awards left, right and centre for their wines already (this is where I take another delicious sip of this pinot noir with even greater satisfaction - because it confirms that I was right about this winery!) So needless to say, I was super stoked to visit this winery! And all of you reading this should be too, not to mention you should also be going out immediately after watching this video and buying yourself a bottle (or several) for your own enjoyment. Not only did I love every one of their wines, the vineyards, views and people who are running the show there are amazing. 

I was lucky enough to do this little tasting with Grant Stanley. Grant is the Director of Winemaking and Viticulture at 50th Parallel. Some of you may already be familiar with his wines  as he use to be the Winemaker at Quail's Gate Winery - also another one of BC's great wineries. And before he worked at Quail's Gate, he was making pinot noir in New Zealand. So his wine making and more specifically his passion for pinot noir has taken him on a journey that started 20 years ago! 50th Parallel specializes in pinot noir but they also produce gewürztraminer, riesling, chardonnay and pinot gris. Their little slogan is "Meet me at the 50th", which I think is perfect because the people who work here, as well as, the owners, are so warm and welcoming. 

50th Parallel is being built from scratch by Curtis Krouzel and Sheri-Lee Turner-Krouzel. Everything has been built on their own. Meaning, no hand-me-downs, no existing vineyard and nothing inherited. Curtis actually has spent the last 16 years visioning, dreaming, and researching how to create a world class wine destination. The winery is up and running but they are not done building. They are just about finished their new wine making facilities, and then they are planning on building  a new tasting room, bistro, events centre, wine bungalow accommodation and a vino-therapy spa! Sheri-Lee's saying is 'Detox & then re-tox!' (I can totally relate to this as many of you probably could tell by my instagram page!) 

Now, you're probably wondering "Where the heck can I try this wine? It sounds so amazing!", I will tell you. It's available at most VQA stores in BC, Vij's restaurant (I think their riesling is by the glass here) and Abigail's Party in Kitsilano. Honestly though, I think you need to go to the VQA stores and buy the Pinot Noir immediately. It's about $32 so it is a bit more than other great options, but seriously, it's worth it. No, I'm not being paid for this post and I even bought my own bottle of pinot noir when I was at the winery last week. So this is an honest post. As a matter of fact, I've never been paid for any my posts. However, that would be nice one day! 

Thanks so much for watching and reading and I hope you enjoyed it. Please let me know if you do try any of the wines from 50th Parallel! I am curious to know what you think of it too!

 

xx.h

 ~ May the beauty you love be what you do ~ Rumi

 

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Holiday Wine Picks for 2013 - How to look like a Wine Superstar!

Just in time for the holidays are my top wine picks! So if you’re going to or hosting a holiday party, I recommend these four bottles of wine. I chose 3 reds and 1 white. I actually hosted a little party and these were the wines that I served.

Watch my video below, or scroll down a bit and you’ll see what I have to say about them as well. (Heck, you should live a little and do both….watch the video AND read my blog…then when you’re done you mine as well share this with all your friends and family too!!!) 

The white wine that I thought would be a great ‘winter holiday white’ is actually a wine I featured in a video awhile back. It’s Astrolabe’s Sauvignon Blanc, you can click here to view that video if you would like: http://youtu.be/CJHcr-nf_lI . In my previous video, I feature the 2011 vintage. This holiday video features the 2012 vintage. I found this particular vintage to have more peachy notes and less mineralaity than the previous year. Still reminds me of summer though and its oooohhhhhh so delicious! I’ve had several other Astrolabe wines and have been impressed by all of them. So if you choose another one from this winery instead, you likely will still be quite happy with your selection and so will your guests. I also think that featuring a New Zealand white wine from the Marlborough region is something a little bit different because I do think there are a lot of people who aren’t really aware of how fabulous these wines are – so you’re likely to impress a few folks too (and lets be honest, who doesn’t like impressing others!?). You will be the Wine Superstar at the party in no time!

For the reds, I selected Belle Glos 2012 Meiome, which is a Pinot Noir from California. Now, I know that some of you are thinking…OMG I HATE Pinot’s…but I urge you to try this one and then tell me if you still hate Pinot’s. I do like Pinot’s, but like many, a good Pinot hard to find at times. This one took me about 2 years to find since the previous Pinot I thought was amazing and noteworthy, so with that alone – this is a MUST TRY wine! It’s elegant and traditionally French/Old world in style (I believe it’s also aged in French oak), so it’s got more earthy, spicy notes rather than some of the other fruiter Pinot’s you might find out there.

The second red I chose is the 2012 Felino Malbec by Vina Cabos. This is from Mendoza, Argentina and I chose this one because it seems like EVERYONE these days are into their Malbec’s. Before it was Shiraz, now it’s Malbec’s, so you definitely need at least one Malbec on hand this holiday season and I think this is a great one. Nicely balanced on the palate and not to tannic, so it’s quite friendly for a variety of wine drinkers over the holidays.

Last but not least, I threw in a little 2011 Freakshow – by Michael David Winery. This winery is the same winery that produces 7 Deadly Zins. I’m only pointing that out because it’s a popular wine out there and sometimes we like to know where things are coming from and support what we may already like. Freakshow is Cabernet Sauvignon with some Petite Syrah blended in. I purely chose this wine because of the label and the name. Being the holiday season…sometimes family get together’s can be a little ‘nutty’ to say the least, so I thought a wine named Freakshow might just be appropriate to throw in the mix this holiday season. Turns out that when I tried it, I loved it! So I don’t think you will go wrong with this wine either. It’s a great medium bodied wine that has nice complexity and structure. The bottle of this wine is likely also going to be a conversation piece because it has a lot going on in the label. I would probably leave this bottle out on display for others to view and let your guest’s converse away. Might be a good bottle to help get over any awkward silences around the dinner table, or help fill any brief gaps in discussions with the in-laws. And on side note, if your in-laws don’t like you, you could perhaps point out one of the ‘freaks’ on the bottle and reassure them, that’s not you so you’re not sure what their hang up is. NO, I’m just kidding DON’T say that because that will most definitely be followed by another (and much longer) awkward silence….

With that said, these are the wines I would recommend this holiday season. If you’re looking for another white wine to feature, Joie’s Noble Blend is good. So is Blasted Church’s Hatfield’s Fuse. Or perhaps a Pinot Gris would be a nice alternative option from the Astrolabe’s Sauvignon Blanc.

Whatever wines you do chose, be sure to have lots of fun and laughter this holiday season and DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!!! Be save everyone and Happy Holiday’s!

 

x.h

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