Chinese Year of the Wooden Horse
According to chinesefortunecalendar.com, “Horse is one of Chinese favorite animals. Horse provides a good and quick transportation for people before automobiles. Horse can give people a ride to their destination. Therefore, horse is not only a symbol of traveling, but also a sign of speedy success.
Horses like to compete with others. They pursuit for their freedom, passion and leadership. Therefore, people will have busy schedule for their goal in the year of Horse. Horse hour of Chinese Horoscopes is from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. Sunshine generates lots of heat during Horse hour. Therefore, horse is connected to heat, hot, fire and red. Horses like the social activities, because horses like show off themselves. Since horse is a social animal and red is also connected to love, therefore. horse is treated as a Romantic Star in Chinese Horoscope…”
So speedy success is hopefully in many people’s future for this Chinese New Year, and maybe romance. Wine is a symbol that is found around success (e.g. Champagne or other sparkling wines), and romance (any wine just as long as you both enjoy it). Are there any wines that are related to the “horse” theme for Chinese New Year? Here is what I found.
Horse Related Wines
There are BC wineries that do have a horse theme; the first being Wild Horse Canyon Wines. It is one of the labels from Mission Hill Family Estate Winery located in the Okanagan. The Wild Horse Canyon label contains grapes that are sourced from along the west coast of the USA and Canada. They have a wide range of wines covering Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The wines are at a very low price point, and you can buy the Shiraz for example for $9.95.
Another horse related wine in BC is from the Inniskillin winery in the Okanagan. They have their Inniskillin Dark Horse Vineyard Meritage ($25.09), which is a Bordeaux blend (which typically has Cabernet Sauvingon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc). I do not have the exact blend for this particular wine, but Inniskillin produces quality wines. This wine won Gold at the All Canadian Wine Championship Awards.
The last winery, Haywire, although not horse related, has produced a special Year of the Horse themed Pinot Noir ($24.90) that it is now releasing to the public. I was told that this is the first wine that they know of in BC that has been produced specifically for Chinese New Year and the Asian market. I tried the wine and it is very nice. Lots of violets and spice, which then leads to cherries and strawberries. You can, or soon will be able to, purchase this wine through the Haywire website.
I had no problem finding wineries that had the word “horse” in their name in the USA with most of the wineries coming from California. I have not seen these California wineries here in BC, but you may be able to find them if you drive to Washington State.
- Dark Horse Wine, California
- Iron Horse Vineyards, California
- Silver Horse Winery, California
- Paint Horse Winery, California
- Baxter Winery, California (Has a wine called Caballo_Blanco, which in Spanish means white horse.)
- Wild Horse Winery, California
Wineries Outside North America
I picked out 3 wines from outside North America. One is quite famous from France, and the other two are from Chile. While you may not have heard of the Chilean wineries, they are very good quality wineries and I do not hesitate to recommend them.
According to Wikipedia, “Château Cheval Blanc (French for “White Horse Castle”), is a wine producer in Saint-Émilion in the Bordeaux wine region of France. As of 2012, its wine is one of only four to receive the highest rank of Premier Grand Cru Classé (A) status in the Classification of Saint-Émilion wine…” The Chateau Cheval Blanc 2001 vintage wine was also featured in the movie Sideways. This I am sure will be a higly sought after wine. I checked with the BC Liquor Stores website. They have the 2000, 2006, and 2010 vintages available. The 2010 vintage is listed at $2800 a bottle and there are 39 bottles in stock. Here is the weblink to the Chateau Cheval Blanc vintages at the BCLDB.
Viña Valdivieso dates back to 1879 in Chile, when they started to produce sparkling wine. Their high end wine Caballo Loco is not produced every year. It is a blend of Cabernet Savuginon, Malbec, Syrah, and Carmenere grapes from their best vineyards in Chile. CABALLO LOCO N° 13, the current release. According to Vina Valdivieso “While the wine does not carry a vintage, it does have a release number. Each edition is unique,containing 50% of the current vintage and 50% of the previous edition, which is kept back especially for blending.” This current wine is a blend of 2008 50%, and 1990 to 2007 50%. I have personally tried previous releases of Caballo Loco and I can highly recommend this wine. I am not sure where you can purchase this wine in BC, but it most likely would be in a private liquor store. I checked the BCLDB website and it is not listed there.
Viña Haras de Pirque features a uniquely designed, horseshoe-shaped winery, the only one of its kind in the world. Built on the side of a hill, the 5,300-square-meter, 1.5-million-liter-production-capacity structure dominates and is a tribute to both the estate’s vineyards and the thoroughbred farm. The wines from this winery are available in BC. I found the Haras de Pirque Equus Carmenere on the Everything Wine website, and I’m sure other wines are available at other private liquor stores.
But I Want a Sparkling Wine
Sorry, I did not find any sparkling wines related to horses, but if you really want to open a sparkling wine on Chinese New Year, here is a link to my sparkling wine selections.
Cheers and enjoy the upcoming Chinese New Year!