Canadian Thanksgiving is going to be very different this year for many of us who are accustomed to getting together with our parents, brothers and sister, and maybe aunts and uncles for dinner. It will be smaller, and may be just you, but you can still enjoy your turkey, ham, or vegan Thanksgiving meal with a glass or two of BC wine. I’ve checked through my BC wine reviews for the past 6 months and think the following wines would be nice to enjoy with your dinner.
My Recommended BC Wines for Thanksgiving
White and Sparkling Wines
Spearhead Pinot Gris Golden Retreat Vineyard 2019 (BC $20) – a medium intensity bright straw colour in the glass. This wine has bright fresh fruit aromas. Medium intensity; mostly stone fruits, peach, and lesser citrus scents. After decanting pear and crisp apple aromas can also be added. This wine is slightly off dry, medium body and semi-round with a light acidic prickle on your tongue. I enjoyed the light salty minerality in this wine. It has a mix of citrus and stone fruit, peach flavours. The stone fruit flavours grow in intensity throughout the sip then as it gets near the finish the minerality becomes obvious again and you get some pepperiness. With decanting the wine becomes rounder and smoother, with the addition of pears, apple, lychee and a touch of roses on the palate. On the finish are the stone fruits, pepperiness and some honey. A tasty wine. Although I enjoyed this wine upon first opening it, giving it some decanting time made it taste even better. I really like the rounder mouthfeel and the addition of the other fruit flavours. It should go very well with many dishes from seafood to a lightly roasted chicken dish. with decanting.
Spearhead Chardonnay Clone 95 2018 (BC $30) – this wine has a bright, medium plus intensity lemon colour. Medium intensity ripe tropical fruit, roasted pears, vanilla and medium toasty oak. Also a whiff of ganja on the nose. With decanting the intensity on the nose was a little bigger and you can add a butterscotch aroma. It is dry, with lower acidity but full bodied to start and lots of flavour. Round and buttery smooth on the mouth. Ripe tropical fruits, butterscotch and light toasted oak flavours. Interestingly it has a lighter mouthfeel mid-palate to the finish. No real changes with decanting other than adding a touch of nutmeg spice on the palate. It has a medium plus length finishing with a mix of vanilla, oak, butterscotch tropical fruit and a little peppery. I think that this wine as-is is great to drink, and that ageing is not needed. If aged, the aromas and flavours I think will just lessen. From my two tastings of this wine, decanting did not make any big differences to the aromas or flavours, so you can drink it upon opening, or let it linger over a day without problem. Definitely a choice for Thanksgiving turkey with gravy and stuffing.
Church & State Marsanne 2017 (BC $34.49) – a deeper, bright golden colour in the glass. This wine has an explosion of aromas; tropical fruit, in particular pineapple, vanilla, oak, some butteriness and pears. With decanting you still get those big aromas and you can add butterscotch and some incense. It is a big wine round with a thicker mouthfeel. Buttery and silky smooth. Lots of pineapple vanilla and oak, but then you also pick up pears and peaches. These flavours go all the way to the end. Wow. With decanting the flavours still hold, but you get a slightly lighter body and no peach flavour; add butterscotch. Whether you drink the wine upon first opening or have some the next day you are getting an excellent wine to enjoy. This should hold up to any big flavours in your dishes. –
Monte Creek Ranch Chardonnay 2018 (BC $19.99) – a medium plus intensity lemony gold colour in the glass. This wine has a lighter intensity, medium minus, nose showing ripe tropical fruits, butterscotch and light toast. There is also a butteriness to the nose. Surely this wine has 100% malolactic fermentation! With decanting the aromas stay the same but the intensity goes up to medium plus. It is dry with lower acidity and fuller body giving you a round, silky smooth, thicker mouthfeel. I get buttered popcorn and very ripe tropical fruit flavours and citrus. Toastiness, ripe tropical fruit and butterscotch on the finish. With decanting there is much more butterscotch flavour, toast, and you can add sweet spices toward the finish. A rich wine for a rich dish.
Harper’s Trail Thadd Springs Vineyard Pioneer Block Riesling 2019 (BC $19.29) – This wine has a medium intensity blend of straw and lemon colours. It has a lighter intensity nose, but has deep honeysuckle aroma along with lesser orange and lemon. With decanting you get lots of stone fruit aromas to complement the existing aromas. This wine is off-dry, medium plus body and flavour intensity. Round with soft, controlled fruit flavours. There is a light acidic prickle at the start but it fades quickly and then you get a smooth mouth feel. Ripe pears, citrus with pith, light peach and toast/flint on the palate. This wine has a medium plus length, with honey, butterscotch lemon, and pith. Steeliness on the finish. There is a BIG change with this wine on the palate after decanting. It opens up so much. Lots of tart fruit flavours, more honey, and a thicker mouth feel. Add stone fruits and crisp apple to the initial fruit flavours. –
50th Parallel Estate Pinot Gris 2019 (BC $22.50) – has a medium intensity bright lemon colour in the glass. A medium plus intensity nose showing lemon and honey, along with lees, pears, some toast and white flowers, and with air a touch of stone fruits. With decanting the aromas become a bit lighter and I picked up some orange scent. This wine is dry, round and smooth, medium thick mouthfeel, higher acidity but no prickle on your tongue. Lots of citrus, apple and white flowers and peppery flavours. Pears and other stone fruits show with air. The wine has a steely finish and flavours of grapefruit pith, other citrus, pears, toast and apples. Decanting has no major changes other than a bit more stone fruit flavours. No need to decant. –
Haywire Pinot Gris 2019 (BC $24.90) – This wine is a medium intensity bright lemon colour. A medium intensity nose with honey and pear aromas primarily along with lesser amounts of peach and some toastiness. Decanting just lessens the aromatic intensity a bit. The wine is dry and round with a thicker mouthfeel and an acidic prickle edge. The wine does have texture to it. Up front you get mainly ripe pears mixed equally with acidic prickle. You can then add some peach, cut apple and toasty oak. It becomes peppery on the mid-palate to the finish. With decanting I caught a whiff of tropical fruits and some minerality, while all the other flavours and textures remained. The wine has a medium length finishing with ripe pears, toast and acidic prickle. A solid quality wine.
Narrative Sparkling XC Method (BC $24.90) – This sparkling wine has a pale peach colour. It has very nice aromas of stone fruits, strawberries a citrus edge along with some lees. It tastes slightly off-dry yet has 22 g/l so it hides it’s sweetness very well. It has a medium-minus body, lower acidity and fine creamy bubbles. Bright tart red fruit, strawberries, red cherries and crisp delicious apple, along with a touch of floral and minerality. Lingering tart red fruit finish. This wine is deceptively easy to drink.
Blue Grouse Estate Pinot Gris 2019 (BC $25.99) – Pear skin and lemon colour in the glass. It has toast and pears on the nose, along with some waxiness and butterscotch. The next day to these aromas I add honey, apples, and a whiff of peach. The wine is dry, medium-minus bodied, mineral, with flavours of butterscotch, toast, pears and roasted apples. It has a thicker silky mouthfeel. Some citrus upon first opening. Medium acid balanced with fruit. Some butteriness on the palate. Very similar the next day. The flavours were maybe a little more subtle, but overall an exceptional wine. On the finish you get some light pepperiness. More pears and less apples on the finish.
Rosé and Red Wines
Harper’s Trail Estate Winery Rosé 2019 (BC $16.99) – this wine is a blend of Pinot Gris and Cabernet Franc. It has a pale bright salmon colour. A wonderfully juicy watermelon nose, along with a hint of red fruit. This wine has a medium plus body, thicker mouthfeel, and light acidity that leaves a little prickle on your tongue. Juicy bright fruit flavours; tropical fruits, red fruits and strawberries. There is also some minerality I detected on the mid palate. A medium plus length finishing with mouthwatering acidity, tart flavours, red fruit and pepperiness. Faint tannins. It is acidity that provides structure to this wine. With decanting the watermelon aroma is not as strong and you get some tropical fruit and bramble. On the palate I think the wine may be a bit smoother, while the flavours stay unchanged. I prefer the wine just opened, poured, and enjoyed.
In case you don’t want the traditional dishes, and prefer roast beef or other similar dishes, here are some tasty red wines to go with them.
Robin Ridge Cabernet Franc – Merlot 2016, BC (BC $22.25) – This is an organic wine from the Similkameen Valley; a blend of 62% Cab Franc and 38% Merlot. It is very deep garnet coloured. It has a medium intensity nose with sweet ripe red fruit, sweet spices, sweet oak, cedar and red cherries aromas. A really juicy ripe fruit nose. With some air I also picked up some red apple aroma. This wine is off-dry with a medium plus mouthfeel, round and very smooth; the acidity and tannins are very light. You get sweet ripe fruits, raspberries, red currant, as well as a touch of apple and floral on the palate. With decanting the wine it is a bit fuller bodied and I picked up some plum and chocolate flavours. The tannins get a little stronger on the finish; the finish gives you more sweet red fruit, pepperiness, a touch of cedar and oak. With decanting the tannins become stronger and chalky. This wine is good with or without decanting, but I may give the decanted version a slight edge.
Gold Hill Cabernet Merlot 2017 (BC $24.99) – is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. This wine is a medium plus intensity garnet; translucent to the core and slightly dull in colour. It has a very aromatic inviting nose with mostly red fruit, some black fruit, tobacco, ripe plums and red cherries, sweet spices and light oak. After a bit of swirling you get noticeable tea leaves or ganja aromatics as well. With decanting you get more black fruit aromas on the nose and the tea leaves / ganja disappear. This wine is dry with medium plus body. It’s semi-round with medium intensity acidity and dusty tannins. Ripe red fruits, cocoa, light capsicum, vanilla, and raspberry flavours. With a bit of air you get a significant amount of tea leaves or ganja as well on the palate. With decanting you get more black fruit flavours, and much less capsicum, tea leaves or ganja. A medium plus length, finishing dry. Sweet red fruits, cocoa and sweet spices, raspberries and some black pepper at the very end. The tannins get stronger with some swirling and continue to be firmer with decanting. I think I slightly prefer the first opened bottle, but both are delicious to enjoy.
Monte Creek Ranch Cabernet Merlot 2017 (BC $21.99)- a blend of 69% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc sourced from three carefully selected vineyards in Oliver, Osoyoos and the Similkameen. It is a deep dull ruby colour in the glass. A medium intensity nose with aromas of red fruit, sweet species, cedar, chocolate, and black berries. Slightly off dry, with a medium plus body. It is round and soft on the palate with light fine tannins. Sweet ripe black fruit, red fruit, cedar, sweet spices, chocolate and oak flavours. A medium plus length finishing with light intensity chalky fine tannins, sweet ripe black fruit and sweet spices. Definitely enjoy with some grilled sausages. –
Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery SUMMIT 2017 (BC $59.99) – This is a deeply coloured garnet wine, almost opaque at the core and about 80% opaque at the rim. It has medium-plus intensity aromas of deep ripe black fruits, blackberries, black cherries, ripe raspberries, sweet spices and cedar, light vanilla and oak. These aromas come in waves of different fruits, spices and oak. Very nice. With decanting there is a lot of ripe cassis flavours and a touch of chocolate. There is less cedar aroma. This wine is dry, with lower acidity and a silky mouthfeel. Soft fine light tannins. You get very ripe and round black fruits, black cherries, black plums, sweet species, vanilla and oak on the palate. Again a nice mix of sweet ripe fruits blending with the vanilla, oak and spices. With decanting the wine has a lighter mouthfeel and the tannins are a bit more prominent. The pepperiness in the wine also now starts at the mid-palate. This wine has a long length finishing with sweet black fruit, a hint of coffee, cedar and black pepper. Also the tannins briefly show up on the finish to dry your mouth. An excellent wine! A holiday splurge. Either decanted or undecanted, both taste very good to me. –
Mt. Boucherie Pinot Noir 2018 (BC $24.99) – This wine is a medium-plus garnet, about 70% solid, but overall translucent to the core. It has a medium intensity nose that are quite enticing with sweet spices, smoky and tasty raspberries and red cherries, sweet red fruit and a touch of oak. No differences in aromas with decanting. The wine is slightly off-dry, medium plus body, round and very smooth. You get a mix of tart and sweet red fruits, raspberries, and sweet spices. Light oak and fine tannins that get a bit stronger toward the finish. I also picked up a hint of salty minerality and chocolate. This wine feels lighter, softer and less tart with decanting. It has a longer finish with smoky, toasty red fruits, a touch of floral and some pepperiness. Decanting is not needed, but won’t harm this wine either.
Dirty Laundry Bordello 2017 (BC $42.99) – a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc sourced from vineyards in the Osoyoos & the Similkameen Valleys. The very best barrels from the vintage were picked to create this blend. This wine is about 98% opaque ruby with a touch of garnet in colour. It has a light nose with aromas of dark fruit with some smokiness and vanilla. Some may say that this is a cigar box aroma. I also picked up raspberries, nutmeg and with swirling some capsicum. This wine is dry but very soft, smooth silky and plush feeling in your mouth. Very seductive. Light acidity and very fine tannins. Ripe black fruit, cedar, oak, vanilla and cloves, with light perfume and red fruit in the mix. The wine finishes with sweet ripe black fruit floral, cedar, some pepperiness and very fine light tannins. A silky wine full of ripe BC black fruits to enjoy. Decanting did not make any major changes in aromas or flavours, so open and enjoy this wine. –
Gold Hill Cabernet Franc 2015 (BC $34.99) – This wine has a deep dull garnet colour. It is about 95% opaque almost to the rim. It has a medium intensity nose consisting of cedar, leather, plum, blackberries and black fruits, floral and a touch of oak aromas. With decanting I also picked up bacon and sweet spice aromas. It does taste a little off-dry, is full bodied, smooth with medium roundness in your mouth. Medium acidity and medium intensity fine tannins. This wine’s flavours cover cedar, capsicum, chocolate, black fruit, plums, and raspberries, plus touches of vanilla and oak. With decanting the wine felt a little lighter in the mouth on the mid palate plus I picked up some minerality. It finishes with black pepper, ripe black fruit, black berries and oak. The medium intensity tannins leave your mouth lightly puckered. This wine has 15.9% alcohol, but surprisingly the alcohol is very well integrated in the wine as I did not get hotness on the wine.
Blue Grouse Estate Pinot Noir 2017 (BC $37.99) – medium translucent garnet to the core. Nice sweet red fruit, raspberries, floral, sweet spices and cedar on the nose. The aromas were maybe more rich and ripe the next day, plus I picked up candied red cherry aromas. It is medium bodied, semi-round with fine grained light tannins. Medium acidity. Quite floral, along with red fruits, raspberries, red cherries, and sweet spices on the palate. Some candied red fruits and a touch of vanilla. Everything nicely balanced; Fruit, acidity and tannins. Tannins do get a bit drying at the end but still very light. This Pinot Noir can age 4-5 years. A very elegant wine. When you ask what style of Pinot Noir I like, this is what I like. –
Where Can I Buy These Wines?
You can order from their respective websites, but you can also try Swirl in Yaletown and Everything Wine. The winery websites:
Gold Hill Winery