Canadian Wine

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!



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


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Diary Entry #38 - When "Leftovers" are a good thing...

It’s sure nice to be back in Vancouver! Back to sleeping in my own bed, home cooked meals and of course…partying with my friends again! In fact, I threw a birthday party for my boyfriend just this past weekend and my very awesome friends brought over more booze than they could drink, therefore, leaving some leftover wine for yours truly, me, to enjoy!

So because of my oh so generous and fabulous friends, I’ve decided to vlog some of the leftover wine from the party! We don’t want to anger the wine gods (they are real and not just a figment of my imagination), so this leftover wine must be consumed and not poured down the sink. And what do I often do when I drink wine at home….film it for all to see :-)

THANK YOU for watching and please subscribe to my YouTube channel, like me on Facebook and while you’re at it, follow me on twitter!!

Sending my love to all you beautiful people and may the beauty you love, be what you do <3


Diary Entry #37 - BEES & Blowing Bubbles - Feat. 20 Bees 2011 Cabernet Merlot

Since I’m in Ontario for a couple of weeks, I thought it would make sense to feature an Ontario wine in this video. I chose 20 Bee’s 2011 Cabernet Merlot from Niagara, Ontario. Niagara is another wine region in Canada; unfortunately in BC we don’t get enough Ontario wine. I personally think that’s lame because I would love to be drinking more Ontario wine and supporting other local Canadian wine producers. 

Since I currently know practically nothing about Ontario wines, I chose this wine purely based on the fact it had the word ‘Bees’ on the label. Lately, my boyfriend and I have been watching an Arrested Development marathon so it seemed appropriate. If you have watched Arrested Development you will know exactly why I chose this wine. If you haven’t, I inserted a couple of clips from the show into my video, hope it makes sense but if not you’ll just have to take my word for it. The ‘Bees’ clips from this show are some of my favorites so it just made sense to try this wine. (Yes, I am aware my brain works in funny ways.)

This wine was a bit lighter in color than I had expected for a cabernet merlot. Maybe because this wine was fermented in the skins for only 14 days, which doesn’t seem like a long time to me, but I’m no expert or a winemaker. I found aromas of maraschino cherries, vanilla with some nice sweet notes as well. My friend said it smelled like gasoline and paint thinner (obviously not a wine lover lol!) The palate had nice medium body with red berries. The tannins were medium and I found the wine to have decent structure. I believe this wine cost around $12, so for that price it has really great value! 

This video was filmed at a friends house and the topic of aerating wine came up…so of course it seemed like a great idea to blow bubbles in my wine glass with a straw. I consider this brilliant improvising when a proper wine aerator is not available. I realize this is a professional technique that you guys MUST be thinking ‘why have I never tried this before???’ or perhaps you are cringing at the thought of it. But yes, I did try it and surprising enough, the wine glass that I blew bubbles in, had softer tannins! I totally recommend you give it a try and let me know what your thoughts are!