April 25, 2012 8-9pm PST: The Wines of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands

HERE’S HOW THE CHAT WENT:

THE WINES OF VANCOUVER ISLAND AND THE GULF ISLANDS April 25, 2012

It’s a great chat to find out more about the wines and wineries of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.  From Nanaimo to the Cowichan Valley, from the Saanich Peninsula to Salt Spring Island, the wineries of the Wine Islands Vintners’s Association are uniquely BC.

What varieties grow best?  Which varieties are best purchased from the interior of BC?  How does the ocean influence the characteristics of these wines?  What can you expect when wine touring this quaint and spectacular region?  The BC wine industry is more than what you find in the Okanagan Valley–it’s time to explore the westernmost part of our province and their style of winemaking.

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April 18 8-9pm PST: Open Up a Never-Had Bottle of BC Wine and Tweet

HERE’S HOW THE CHAT WENT:

OPEN UP A NEVER-HAD BOTTLE OF BC WINE AND TWEET  April 18, 2012

Get out to your most-trusted retailer and grab yourself a bottle of BC wine that you have never tried.  Better yet, try one from a winery you are unfamiliar with.  Get you unscrewing hand ready, or your favourite corkscrew, open it up DURING the one hour chat and start tweeting.  You don’t have to know any fancy lingo you just have to convey how you feel about the wine.  If the wine “isn’t working for you” get out some food and try it again (sometimes you need food so that a wine shows its best).

Bonus points?  Find something out about the winery or the wine before you open the bottle and share with the rest of us during the hour.

Super extra bonus points? Bring a friend over and open two bottles.

It is possible that the chat will start out slow (as we all are tasting).  It is also possible the tweets at the start of the hour will be more coherent than the ones at the end of the hour…but we’ll just go with it!

April 11 8-9pm PST: Cellared in Canada

HERE’S HOW THE CHAT WENT:

CELLARED IN CANADA April 11, 2012

Come one!  Come all!  Time to talk Copper MoonJackson Triggs Proprietor’s SelectionLinden BayWild Horse CanyonSawmill CreekPainted TurtleNaked GrapeDomaine D’OrSchloss Laderheim and Similkameen Superior–to name a few.

Wines under the “Cellared in Canada” section of BC liquor stores are available at a lower price than other BC VQA wines. There is a place for wines under $10.  Other country’s lower priced exports are generally made from grapes grown in the export country, but in Canada there is not a lot of extra acreage available for growing grapes to satisfy this price category.  Therefore, commercial wineries are allowed to bring in grapes, juice or wine from outside of Canada, bottle it here and label it “Cellared in Canada”.

Specifically, the labels now generally read “Bottled in BC from Imported and Domestic Wines”.   In British Columbia this means that these wines MAY be produced from 100% foreign content.  In Ontario it means that these wines are produced with NO MORE THAN 60% foreign content (slated to change in 2014 to match BC’s rule so that it does not need to contain any Canadian wine).

How is it allowed that these wines can state on their back labels “Cellared in Canada from Imported AND Domestic Wines” when in BC they do not need any amount of BC content whatsoever? Do these wines fill a niche in Canada?  Producers of Cellared in Canada wines such as VINCOR, Peller Estates and Mission Hill maintain that this category of wines are responsible for a considerable number of jobs in the Canadian wine industry and that they allow Canadian wineries to compete in a category that VQA wines cannot satisfy.  Do these wines get any unfair advantages on wine lists and retail shelves that are not afforded to wines made from BC grown grapes?  Does the average consumer still believe that these wines are made from BC grapes? Should terms such as “Similkameen” be allowed on a product that contains no grapes from BC?

We’re looking for comments from all sectors on this #BCWineChat–BC wineries, retailers, restaurants and, of course, most importantly consumers.

April 4 8-9pm PST: Wine Pairing Everyday Meals

HERE’S HOW THE CHAT WENT:

WINE PAIRING EVERYDAY MEALS  April 4, 2012

For some people, wine is food, not that wine pairs with food.  For many, wine is enjoyed daily, with all kinds of meals.  Not all meals are beautiful works of art that you can find on Fork.ly or in other food porn forums.  Most meals are meals.  Everyday affairs that may consist of 2 to 4 things on your plate, or 2-4 containers from the local take out restaurant.

Spend an hour sharing with others some food and wine combinations that you have found work well with meals you may eat on an uneventful Wednesday.

It would be great to figure out which BC wine goes best with Mac and Cheese.

March 28 8-9pm PST: How to Make Wine Drinkers out of Non Wine Drinkers

HERE’S HOW THE CHAT WENT:

HOW TO MAKE WINE DRINKERS OUT OF NON WINE DRINKERS

A few questions to ponder for this week’s chat:

Not everyone is raised in a family that drinks wine.  How can people who don’t enjoy wine come to enjoy it if they are not exposed to it until they reach their 20’s?  Are there easy ways to educate new wine drinkers that are innovative but won’t alienate other more established fans of BC wines?

Are there some wines that you would suggest to a new wine drinker that would be easier to fall in love with than others–ie: a gateway wine(s)?  Are there other ways to enhance a new wine drinker’s experience so that it will be less intimidating?

If you are a new wine drinker, or can remember when you were one, we would LOVE to hear from you this week!