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Derek's Picks


Waterloo Craft Lager  Canada

Tasting Notes: If you’re Ontario’s first craft brewery, 35 years old, you make a special beer! To brew Waterloo Craft Lager, they use Pacific Northwest legendary hops, predominantly 2-Row Canadian barley malt and just enough roasted malt for a rich colour and distinctive flavour. The resulting golden lager is refreshing and easy to drink, with a great balance of bitter and sweet. One of the best lagers I’ve had in a long time.

Price: $3.49

 

Derek's Picks


Spier 2007 Frans K Smit  South Africa

Tasting Notes: From Spier Wine Farm (Stellenbosch), this 2007 Spier Frans K Smit Red , a red wine that is made of shiraz, pinotage, merlot, malbec, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc comes in with an alcohol content of 14.36%. It’s dark cherry in colour with complex scents of chocolate and toffee. Where the cork came in contact with the wine it was a very deep black. After opening this wine it kept changing and becoming more delicious the longer it was decanted. Paired well with grilled lamb. By far one of the best wines I’ve had in some time.

Price: $81.99

 

Derek's Picks


Stoneleigh Marlborough Pinot Noir  New Zealand

Tasting Notes: Pale ruby colour; bright aromas of violets, cherries and vanilla with beetroot and citrus notes; extra dry, medium-plus bodied, soft tannins, flavours of cherry, vanilla, and oak spice with balanced acidity. Not too dry and slightly earthy. Paired well with trout and roasted veggies.

Price: $20.99

 

Derek's Picks


Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir  New Zealand

Tasting Notes: The Pinot Noir grapes for Crimson are produced from 5-20 year old Martinborough vines in Lismore, Waiora and Walnut Ridge blocks. The 2017 vintage was cooler than average, delivering wines of complexity and vibrant acid structure. This old world, earthy Pinot Noir has an enticing nose of mulberry and bramble fruits complemented by spicy notes of tamarind paste and crushed sumac berry. The palate is long and textural with a thread of fine tannins. Delicate fruit flavours are more expressive the longer this wine is left to breath, at least an hour. Paired very well with duck confit.

Price: $47.49

 

Derek's Picks


Care Tinto Sobre Lias  Spain

Tasting Notes: CARE is a manifestation of the old Roman word for the region of Carinena but also the fact that these are the hand made wines of the bodegas receiving extra special attention and care. This particular wine is a blend of 75% Garnacha and 25% Syrah and is aged for three months in oak barrels. It has a complex nose with fragrant and ripe red and black fruit. On the palate the wine shows powerful fruit which is perfectly balanced, full and intense. Long finish. Pairs well with white meats such as pork and chicken that isn’t overly spiced or simply as a light afternoon sipper with a meat and cheese plate.

Price: $18.99

 

Derek's Picks


Savian Winemaker Prosecco DOC  Italy

Tasting Notes: This is an organic wine that consists of 100% Glera grapes. This Charmat sparkling wine is obtained by a fermentation without the skins. Pale yellow in colour and soft greenish hues, it’s bouquet is fruity, reminescent of green apples and meadow flowers. Well structured in taste, on the palate it’s harmonious and reveals a pleasantly lingering, slightly off dry flavour. One of the best ballanced proseccos I’ve had in awhile. Ideal as an aperitif before your Christmas meal or easily enjoyed throughout the whole affair. Also pairs well with risottos, mussels and shellfish. Ideal for desserts such as jam-tarts, apple pies and strudels.

Price: $23.49

 

Derek's Picks


Baccolo Rosso Veneto  Italy

Tasting Notes: This Venetian blend of merlot and corvina is medium ruby in colour and has inviting aromas of cherry, dark plum and raspberry, with further notes of nutmeg and vanilla. Flavours of cocoa, almonds and dark berries lead to a medium-bodied palate with silky tannins and a smooth finish. This yummy red starts a little drier and earthier than many with the same grapes but opens with more fruity flavours the longer it’s open. Now a longstanding member favourite from Italy, this popular Veneto red's spicy fruit character is achieved by partial natural air-drying of the grapes to add richness. Enjoy with most tomato based meals, mushroom risotto and grilled white meats.

Price: $14.99

 

Derek's Picks


Blasted Church Syrah  Canada

Tasting Notes: This Syrah features a bouquet of blackberry, blueberry and plum. The palate is similiar to the nose with blue fruit supported by a rich mouthfeel through to the mid-palate where a savoury wave takes over and rides the supple tannin through to the elegant finish. Old world meets new world style makes for an enjoyable drinking experience. Pairs well with duck confit, grilled chicken or hard, aged cheeses. It also was a perfect pairing with grilled lamb chops spiced with herbs de provence.

Price: $33.49

 

Derek's Picks


Seven Falls Cellars  USA

Tasting Notes: The Wahluke Slope is one of the warmest and driest areas in Washington with conditions ideal for producing robust and ripe reds with exceptional varietal purity. This Cabernet is approachable and appealing with generous dark fruit, cherry, cassis, dried herbs, vanilla and chocolate. Silky and rich with caressing tannins. It’s perfect for lamb, steak or grilled ribs.

Price: $24.99

 

Derek's Picks


Grand Marnia Cuvee Louis Alexandre  France

Tasting Notes: Created as an homage to Grand Marnier's founder, this reincarnation of Cuvée Louis Alexandre is a blend of 82% VSOP Cognac and 18% bitter, aromatic bigaradia orange liqueur. Rich and smooth, the palate offers notes of candied orange, vanilla and zesty citrus, before a finish of caramel, bergamot and rich oak notes. To bring it up a notch just add ice and a 1/2 ounce of XO Cognac with a twist of orange.

Price: $83.49

 

Derek's Picks


Play Applause  Canada

Tasting Notes: This bold wine with breakbeats of berries, heavy bass lines of dark chocolate and high notes of tobacco is sure to get a standing ovation. An experienced trio of Cab Sav, Merlot and Cab Franc deliver on the structure, colour and taste of a classic bordeaux style blend. Pair with strong cheeses, beef short ribs, meatballs in hearty tomato sauce, Portabello mushroom burgers, and rare sirloin steak.

Price: $19.99

 

Derek's Picks


Veuve du Vernay Brut Rose  France

Tasting Notes: Nice rose color with a persisitent mousse followed by numerous fine bubbles. On the nose there’s red fruit scents combined with citrus fruit aromas. Well-balanced and fleshy, this beautiful rose shows on the palate the same fruity flavors as the nose. Some pungent notes on the finish give it a pleasant freshness. It's a good candidate to pair with a fruit dessert or to serve as an apéritif.

Price: $18.99

 

Derek's Picks


Game Of Thrones Chardonnay  USA

Tasting Notes: This robust Californian white wine is a blend of 90% Chardonnay and 10% Riesling from the Central Coast region. The wine underwent a partial malolactic and barrel fermentation. Aromas of toasty oak and golden apples. Pair with roast chicken and family entanglements. As the back label reads for this marketing-driven wine branded with the HBO series "Game of Thrones": From the arid climate of Dorne to the lush vineyards of The Reach, the topography of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros is as diverse as the wine we produce. Against the backdrop of the ever evolving struggle for the Iron Throne and amidst the howling winds of winter, nobles raise their glasses and toast to luck in the wars to come. This was priced at $30.99 but with an amazing discount from the company representing it here in Alberta we can offer it at $15.99. Wow!

Price: $$15.99

 

Derek's Picks


Gran Emotivo Rosso  Italy

Tasting Notes: This is an everyday kind of wine with a blend of merlot and corvina grapes. Flavours of ripe fruits, such as plums and raisins with pleasant notes of spices and vanilla. Rich and bold palate with very ripe, red fruit flavours. A solid structure and beautiful balance between soft tannins and lifted acidity. This is a great wine for roasts, red meats and hard cheeses. This wine will improve over the next four years with further bottle ageing.

Price: $21.99

 

Derek's Picks


Quevedo Rose Port  Portugal

Tasting Notes: To make this delicious rose port grapes are crushed, and within a few hours, the juice is decanted to limit contact with the skin to avoid too much color extraction; it fermented at a cold temperature for 10 days. The grapes used are Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Sousão. Quevedo's pink port shows a modest but fresh - floral nose. On the palate, spicy, fresh , integrated notes and round finish. A pleasure to drink.

Price: $24.99

 

Derek's Picks


Three Finger Jack OV Zinfandel  USA

Tasting Notes: A great BBQ wine from the Lodi area of California. This is a luscious full-bodied red wine that combines ripe berry notes and pronounced jammy flavours. On the palate there’s notes of cherry jam mixed with dark plum and fig. On the nose there’s dark berries with hints of chocolate and a touch of vanilla. Ripe tannins add the necessary structure for pairing with food such as BBQ-marinated pork ribs, beef and vegetable skewers or T bone steaks. It would be good to chill this wine a little before serving.

Price: $24.99

 

Derek's Picks


Giusti Rosalia Prosecco D.O.C.  Italy

Tasting Notes: This sparkling shows appropriately evanescent, with fine and lingering perlage. The colour is pale straw yellow with greenish glints. The nose is intense, fruity, with hints of Golden apple and lemon; prevailing floral notes of wisteria and acacia. Flavours are fresh, well structured, pleasant and harmonious on the palate. Excellent both as an aperitif and throughout the meal; always suitable for important occasions. I enjoyed this with east coast oysters.

Price: $16.99

 

Derek's Picks


Ogio Zinfandel Rose  Italy

Tasting Notes: Ogio Zinfandel Rosé is a very refreshing wine with delicious strawberry and raspberry flavours and a slight sweet finish. Specially selected grapes were grown in south east Italy. Ideal with spicy food, fresh fruit desserts or simply on it’s own. At this time, by far one of my faves.

Price: $14.00

 

Derek's Picks


Alvear Criadera “A”  Spain

Tasting Notes: Alvear Criadera A is a “Fino que va para Amontillado”, a very old fino made with Pedro Ximénez grapes with more than 12 years of biological ageing that has already started the oxidative ageing. It keeps the strength and energy of the “flor”, a “flor” that resists to die and that perfectly reflect the character and minerality of the “albariza” soils from the “Sierra de Montilla”. The nose is intense, clean and deep, with emerging hints of a young amontillado (dry fruits) over a classic fino structure (almonds, veil yeast…). The palate is very dry, expressive and powerful, with salinity notes, coming from the concentration of its long ageing process, and a silky finish. Due to it’s being very dry and high in salinity this would pair well with young to medium cheddars, ham, almonds and tapenade.

Price: $30.99

 

Derek's Picks


Wines That Rock The Police Synchronicity  USA

Tasting Notes: A blend of Carignane, Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache and Viognier. Aromas of fresh rose petals and wild berries. Flavors of juicy strawberry, bright raspberry, with a lush lingering finish. Pair with grilled steak, lamb, burgers and brats, lemon garlic angel hair pasta, blue and goat cheeses. And top off with some luscious dark chocolate or black forest cake.

Price: $21.99

 

Derek's Picks


Bender Weissburgunder & Grauburgunder  Germany

Tasting Notes: A complex, harmonious blend of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, grown on steep hillside vineyards with grey and blue slate. After the spontanious fermentation with natural yeasts is complete, the wine is aged for 12 months in neutral oak. Dry, well balanced with depth and typical Mosel minerality.

Price: $23.99

 

Derek's Picks


Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Gin  England

Tasting Notes: Whitley Neill, originating from 1762 is made from a 100% grain spirit that is steeped with botanicals prior to being distilled in a beautiful antique copper pot still called ‘Constance’ who is over 100 years old. A handcrafted gin of exceptional quality inspired by the glory of the English Country Garden. The essence of Rhubarb adds a tart crisp edge, to the smooth English gin base, whilst the real ginger extract warms the palette for a full bodied complex finish.

Price: $49.99

 

Derek's Picks


Cedar Creek Pinot Gris  Canada

Tasting Notes: 2018 was a strong year for Pinot Gris in the Okanagan. This wine saw a small amount of barrel aging and the majority in stainless steel. Excellent fruit and spice with pears, apples, and figs. A hint of struck match quality which tightens the nose up a little. Generous and with lovely ripe fruit on the palate with a round finish. This versatile wine goes with everything, or nothing at all. Try it with seafood, pork, lemon chicken, or hot wings, or sip it on its own.

Price: $21.99

 

Derek's Picks


Laphroaig Quarter Cask  United Kingdom - Scotland

Tasting Notes: Laphroaig Quarter Cask offers an irresistible doubling of flavour, due to the double maturation in two barrels made of American oak. Still-maturing whisky from the standard ex-bourbon barrels is transferred to quarter casks and left to rest at the warehouse just a stone's throw from the Atlantic shore. This process represents Laphroaig breathing new life into a once-defunct tradition: the use of the smaller cask size, which ensures increased contact with the oak, creating a soft and velvety edge to complement Laphroaig's distinctive peatiness. On the nose the sensation is toffee and caramel, caused by the vanillas and tannins of the American oak, plus a dryness from the wood oil. The finish is long and alternates between this sweetness and smoke. Great for someone just starting to try out smokey scotches.

Price: $90.99

 

Derek's Picks


McQueen and the Velvet Fog Gin  Brazil

Tasting Notes: The “revolutionary” small batch gin, called McQueen and the Violet Fog is made in the hills of Jundiaí, Brazil and contains 21 botanicals including lemongrass, pomelo and jasmine. Along with classic gin notes of juniper, citrus and flower, the gin’s six unique ingredients include handpicked basil leaves from India, Portuguese rosemary, Mediterranean fennel seed, calamansi from the South Pacific, star anise native to Vietnam, and acai locally grown in Brazil. This distinctive gin reveals something new with every sip: heat, spice, juniper, herbal, citrus and floral notes, all the touchstones of gin, balanced perfectly. Best served in a martini glass over smashed ice and possibly an olive or two.

Price: $50.99

 

Derek's Picks


Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao  France

Tasting Notes: Classic cocktails demand classic liqueurs and no liqueur is more classical than the Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curaçao. Crafted in consultation with cocktail historian David Wondrich and based on a 19th century recipe, it is a traditional French “triple sec” – thee separate distillations of spices and the “sec” or bitter, peels of Curacao oranges blended with brandy and Ferrand Cognac. The result is a rich, complex and balanced liqueur that will bring new sophistication to your Punches, Slings, Fizzes and, of course Cocktails. It is also delicious straight up or on ice.

Price: $43.99

 

Derek's Picks


Floris Ninkeberry  Belgium

Tasting Notes: Savouring this beer is quite complex, because of the use of various fruit concentrates such as mango, apricot, peach and passionfruit. The predominant taste is peach and apricot. Golden yellow, cloudy because of the wheat beer. A very persistent lacing head. Nice and easy drinking, not too sweet and low in alcohol at 3.6%.

Price: $4.99

 

Derek's Picks


Beringer Bourbon Barrel Aged Chardonnay  USA

Tasting Notes: Beringer Bros. Chardonnay is picked at the peak of flavor development from top sites across California and fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks with 25% malolactic fermentation. 20% of the wine is aged for 60 days in second-pass charred American Oak barriques which previously held Bourbon. This wine has a bouquet of ripe apricot, vanilla beam, and slightly burnt buttered toast. Creamy and mouth-coating, the palate evokes apple pie and vanilla ice cream with caramel coming through on the lingering finish. One would think with the bourbon aging it may come across as a heavier style chardonnay but it's actually lighter in body than some others that have seen oak. Pair with grilled scallops, lobster tail or chicken topped with mushroom sauce.

Price: $16.49

 

Derek's Picks


2015 Napa Valley Marilyn Merlot  USA

Tasting Notes: Milton Greene photographed Marilyn in his New York studio on March 28, 1955 for LOOK magazine. The shoot included Marilyn flowing in her black robe snuggling with a Pekinese dog. This is the label for the 31st Vintage of this remarkable Napa Valley Merlot. This Merlot is a rich ruby wine with purple hues. The aromas exhibit good intensity with a complexity of cassis, blueberries and hints of spice and earthy characteristics. This Merlot is a deep rich scarlet wine with purple hues. Flavours of tart cherries, vanilla and a bright lingering finish. Very enjoyable now but will age well for 4-7 years. A double gold winner that will make almost any meal better —from steaks to pizza.

Price: $49.99

 

Derek's Picks


Rocca delle Macie Sasyr  Italy

Tasting Notes: Rocca delle Macìe has become one of Tuscany's leading wine estates. Sasyr, as its name suggests, is a singular and sublime blend of Sangiovese and Syrah grapes from the Tuscan vineyards of Rocca delle Macìe. Carefully selected ripe grapes are harvested by hand. The two varieties are fermented separately at carefully controlled temperatures to preserve color and freshness of fruit flavors. 15% of the Sangiovese is aged in French oak barriques for six months. Intense red fruit aromas of ripe cherry, blackberry and raspberry. A succulent, supple well-structured palate with a silky smooth finish that gets better if you can make it last. Very versatile; will complement red meats, hearty, robust vegetarian dishes, pastas and risottos with flavorful sauces.

Price: $19.99

 

Derek's Picks


Ogio Rosso  Italy

Tasting Notes: The grapes were carefully selected and handpicked early October to get maximum ripeness. They were then dried on the stalks for about 15 days, making them lose 50% of their weight. This method, called “Appassimento”, gives the wine its richness, complexity and characteristic notes of ripe fruits. Ideal with roasted meats or mature and savoury hard cheeses or on its own with friends and family. Could use some decanting.

Price: $16.99

 

Derek's Picks


Godet Peardise Reserve  France

Tasting Notes: A unique blend of Pear liqueur with old cognac giving birth to a drink balancing the sweetness of the liqueur and the character and strength of the cognac. At first, a golden colour announcing a unique richness, then a surprisingly fresh nose, opening on fruit mingled with delicate elder flower fragrant and to finish, a well rounded, mouth-watering palate, expressing the fine and youthful pear aromas evolving toward a sharp, fresh and expresssive finish, characteristic of cognac. Versatile enough to be drunk as an after dinner digestif, on its own or poured on crushed ice.

Price: $43.49

 

Derek's Picks


The Franc Cabernet Franc Lodi  USA

Tasting Notes: Deep crimson in color with sweet and spicy notes of fresh herbs and cloves on the nose. On the palate, intense flavors of fruit with hints of black pepper on the palate. Ends with great structure and long finish. Super versatile when it comes to pairing with food but try with duck confit and experience a bit of heaven.

Price: $23.49

 

Derek's Picks


Valserrano Rioja Blanco  Spain

Tasting Notes: Toasty melon and peach aromas are oaky but elegant, sort of like nice Burgundy. A round balanced palate definitely suggests quality Chardonnay, but this is 95% Viura and the rest Malvasia. Oak and spice flavors render white-fruit notes secondary, and the finish is more of the same. Stands up on it’s own but try with lobster bisque or oysters in shell.

Price: $23.99

 

Derek's Picks


Emiliana Coyam  Chile

Tasting Notes: It’s name means “Chilean Oak” for Mapuche, the original inhabitants of central and southern Chile. Oaks surround the vineyard where this wine is born. Organic and biodynamic agriculture is the best way to obtain more balanced, healthy and productive vineyards, resulting in a better quality of grapes and, therefore, better wines. This is Emiliana’s philosophy when it comes to vineyard management. This brilliant six-variety blend of mostly Syrah and Carmenère with lesser amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvèdre, Malbec and Petit Verdot is one of Chile's greatest reds. Smooth, subtle and savoury, it's much more than the sum of its parts, with Asian spices, red and dark berry fruit and fine tannins. This is a complex wine that will take your BBQ experience to a higher more flavourful level.

Price: $28.99

 

Derek's Picks


Novellum Chardonnay  France

Tasting Notes: From the Roussillon area of France where Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage have some Chardonnay planted near the Mediterranean, they have developed a remarkably complex and mineral version of the variety. There is no botrytis here so as a result, they resort to aging a small percentage in barrel – usually less than 30%. The remainder of the wine is aged in tank on the lees of Viognier. One of my favourites, this chard delivers soft elegance and creamy butteryness without overpowering your palate. Break out the oysters.

Price: $22.99

 

Derek's Picks


Dirty Laundry Hush Rose  Canada

Tasting Notes: A blend of Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cab Franc gives this Okanagan rose great structure. It’s bold flavours of fresh picked strawberries, red currant & watermelon satisfies big time when the temperatures start rising. It’s definitely meant for the patio to enjoy on it’s own or paired with spicey foods like a chorizo pizza.

Price: $27.99

 

Derek's Picks


Gin Mare  Spain

Tasting Notes: Mare is a Mediterranean gin flavoured with four principal botanicals: basil, thyme, rosemary and, most unusual of all, the Arbequina olive. Alongside juniper, cardamom and citrus, these different botanicals create a strangely satisfying gin. Possibly one of the most smooth and delightful gins I’ve tasted.

Price: $47.99

 

Derek's Picks


Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel  USA

Tasting Notes: The 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel is a blend of 16 different vineyard blocks of old vine zinfandel vineyards with an average age of 86 years. With berries and spice on the nose, dark, sweet fruit fills the palate with just a hint of black pepper. This wine has a long, lingering finish. Whether you pair with a burger, ribs, barbecue or a roaring fire, this wine is sure to please. It goes down easy so a second bottle may be handy.

Price: $28.99

 

Derek's Picks


Las Rocas Garnacha  Spain

Tasting Notes: Las Rocas Garnacha offers vibrant aromas and flavors of dark cherry and blackberry. Well-integrated nuances of oak and round tannins underscore these decadent fruit flavors to create a rich, well-structured wine. Having first tasted this wine at a tapas bar in Canmore, Alberta, I couldn’t get enough. It paired well with the charcuterie and chorizo meatballs. If you don’t mind BBQing in -20C, this wine will go great with most grilled offerings. Great value!

Price: $20.99

 

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