A different kind of wine tasting

Words: Henry Yuen (Chinese post: http://taiyangbao.ca/author/henryyuen/?variant=zh-hans

Making good wine is no doubt the core of a successful formula in getting consumer attention, yet other supporting components have to be intact as well and operating effectively before a wine label or the winery becomes known to a wider audience. Having a good product is essential, but without the marketing, the packaging and labelling, a good story to tell or the lack of passion of the people behind the wine, the level of success will never be the same!

Getting proper media attention takes knowledge and skills; matching the wine to the appropriate venue or setting that is relevant to the consumers requires the same. Besides the winery, the viticulturist and the winemaker, there is a circle of people working together behind the scene to induce product interest amongst different levels of consumers. These efforts may seem trivial to regular folks but are extremely important for a wine label to gain prominence.

Never underestimate the importance of marketing and promotional efforts! Yes, word of mouth is the best strategy when you have a sellable product. However, if you want to accelerate the process, adding appropriate and tasteful promotions will enhance the process of getting your wines known to the marketplace. Hence, the hosts of trade, marketing and media organizations running alongside wineries to promote their wines!

The job of the Export Ventures Group exemplifies the above aptly. I was at a small group tasting they organized where participants were from different backgrounds but all were very interested in what BC wines are all about. The well-orchestrated tasting was designed for wine lovers looking for more focused and hands-on wine-tasting experience in a setting they find more personal and approachable.

That afternoon’s tasting in which participants asked questions freely and sipped their wines under great guidance was indeed very enjoyable.

What we tasted that evening were well-selected spectrum of wines:

The 2010 Stag’s Hollow Heritage Block. A Bordeaux style blends with 63% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon that is aged 18 months undisturbed in both French and American oak. The aroma is of prune and berries with a hint of tobacco. On the palate, the entry is smooth with black current with a touch of prune in the back drop; the soft tannins and hint of spice and smokiness round out the mouth feel.Staghallow Heritage Block

The 2009 Perseus Invictus is a blend of 56% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Malbec. The resulting aroma of prunes and blackberries in the glass with a bit of smokiness was inviting. The entry is smooth with lots of cherries and berries and slightly earthy towards the end.

The Meyer Family Vineyards 2011 Pinot Noir is a classic BC Pinot Noir from the vineyards in the OkanaganFalls region. Typical BC Pinot with the distinct aroma of plum and herbs with a silky mouth feel that gives the wine depth and elegance that rounds off with hint of cedar and barnyard.

The Unsworth Vineyards 2011 Pinot Gris is from CowichanValley in Central Vancouver Island. A refreshing Pinot Gris with citrus and lemon peel aroma. Upon entry, there are lots of green apple and some mineral on the finish. A well-crafted Pinot Gris that best exemplifies the terroir of Vancouver Island if you haven’t tasted wines from that region.

After tasting wines from the Okanagan and Vancouver Island wine regions, we circled back close to home in the lower mainland to sample a port style wine from the FraserValley wine region. The port style wine Doro 2007 from Vista Doro Farms & Winery in Langley is a superb dessert wine crafted from a blend of Okanagan Marechal Foch, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Fraser Valley Green Walnut and Okanagan Brandy. It has lots of substance in the mouth feel with cheery and dry apricot flavour adding to the sweetness. An interesting, unique but versatile dessert wine that is flexible to pair with most desserts, and cheeses!

Doro 2007

Thanks to The Export Ventures Group that offered me a chance to have a glimpse behind the scene of what’re being done to promote BC wines. Without such event organized by them, the attendees would not have tasted such a wide variety of wines sourced from various BC wine regions effortlessly. Beyond the line-up of BC wines that afternoon were lots of research and hard works. They are taking the initiative to showcase BC wines to the world and their efforts should and would not be underestimated.