With summer shining through, it’s time to sip some lighter wines: pretty Rosés, crisp whites and plummy Pinot Noirs. And let’s not forget some vibrant bubbly to toast all the events of what I like to call ‘celebrate everything’ season. (Weddings, birthdays, bridal and baby showers, graduations, barbecues, you name it… It’s that time of year.)
Over the years, I’ve become more conscious of shopping, eating, and drinking local. The reality of this is that it’s not always budget-friendly. But the good news is that there are many quality, affordable BC wines available in the #GetThrifty $20-30 range.
Summertime, and the wine living is affordable and easy.
When you grow up with a foodie father who loves fine wine, and then work as an executive assistant and corporate event planner for executives who like fancy restaurants, you inevitably learn to enjoy the finer things of the culinary and beverage world. But what happens when you’re all of a sudden on a tight budget, dedicating 4.5 years to paying off all your debt? Well, my friends, you adapt. And you learn that — as I’ve said a few times before — things are only as expensive as you make them.
I’m not here to tell you about notes of wild strawberries or vanilla — I’m not a sommelier. (But I would like to take some training. And you should definitely watch SOMM.) But I know what I like, and always want to share ways to enjoy the good things in life without breaking the bank.
The Brit and I had the chance to try out five excellent and affordable BC wines from three award-winning wineries: Blue Grouse Estate Winery (Vancouver Island), Evolve Cellars (Okanagan), and Singletree Winery (Fraser Valley/Okanagan). These are quality, affordable BC wines that you won’t be afraid to crack open ‘just because’ or for a special occasion. (Because wine is meant to be enjoyed!)
Pretty Rosés to while the day away.
Possibly the most Instagrammed varietal of wine, Rosés aren’t just a pretty face. They’re crisp and refreshing, and tend go with everything. While I don’t pay much attention to pairings — I can picture my father rolling his eyes at this — when I read the tech notes for the Blue Grouse Estate Winery Quill Rosé ($22 CAD) I was intrigued that it would “pair perfectly with grilled fish, chicken or pizza.” I’d never thought to pair a blush wine with pizza. So the Brit whipped up some some pizza dough and sauce so we could put it to the to the test. Verdict? 10/10 with pizza, and on it’s own.
Equally versatile in what it pairs with, and a label I recognize from past Vancity Business Babes events, is the Evolve Cellars Rosé ($17.99 CAD). I’m not ashamed to say that I didn’t share this Rosé — and that I enjoyed it over the course of a very warm Victoria weekend. Though if I were to share, at $17.99 this is the perfect bottle of wine to bring to girls’ night or to get several of for a bridal shower.
Chill out with a glass of airy Pinot Noir.
There is almost nothing lovelier than coming home from work on a Friday (or let’s be honest, it could be any day) and having a glass of red wine. Warmer temperatures call for something a bit lighter than a Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah — which is where a Pinot Noir fits in for me. And if you’re naughty and chill it for about 15 minutes in the fridge, a PN is very refreshing. (Please don’t judge me. I blame the Brit for this happy discovery.) We enjoyed the Blue Grouse Estate Winery Pinot Noir ($26 CAD) with a nice salad and tasty pasta bake that the Brit makes.
Raise a glass of bubbly for the everyday milestones.
Sparkling wines are such a happy thing to drink. And how fun is it to say Frizzante (fruh-ZAHN-tei)? It makes me smile every time I say it.
May turned into a month of achievements for both the Brit and I. He finished paying off his student loans, and I got some great news about a few things that I’ve been working on for myself. All worth popping open the bottle of Evolve Cellars Frizzante ($19.99 CAD) that had been patiently waiting in the fridge.
Celebrate summer with a bottle of tongue-twisting white.
Wines made with German-originated grapes tend to have the hardest to pronounce names. But that’s what makes them fun! Singletree Winery’s Siggy ($16.00 CAD) takes the tongue-twister out of its Siegerrebe grape namesake. (That’s see-geh-RAY-buh — say that 10 times fast after a couple glasses!)
Though we enjoyed all the wines we tried, this was the wine that both the Brit and I enjoyed the most. Which was a surprise, simply because he doesn’t usually like white wine, and I am incredibly picky about it. But it was crisp, refreshing, and I need to buy a case! (My theory is that the stainless steel fermentation is the key to this happy surprise. But that involves getting more technical than I actually am!)
“It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine… it’s summertime!” ~ Kenny Chesney
And now that I’ve finished typing this, I need to go restock the wine rack. What are you drinking this summer?
A big thank you to Town Hall Brands, Evolve Cellars, Blue Grouse Wines, and Singletree Winery for partnering with me on this post. As always, opinions are my own.