Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Please Don’t Ask Me

When it come to e-mail the most asked question I get is about Brights or Jordan Wines.
The e-mail usually starts within “In my parent's house, I found an old bottle of” So the question is it drinkable, is it worth any money.

I would like to give a very short answer “no” to both questions but I take the time and provide some historical information.

The T.G. Bright & Company Ltd can trace its roots back to 1874 when Thomas Bright and F.A. Shirriff founded the Niagara Falls Wine Company in Toronto. In 1911 they moved to Niagara Falls and incorporated 1911 as T.G. Bright & Company Ltd.

Brights today is a brand label owned by Arterra Wines Canada., . a leading international producer and marketer of beverage alcohol brands. Brights wines are made at other wineries owned by Arterra Wines Canada.

The first bottle-fermented champagne produced in Canada when the first President champagne was released in 1949. Originally named President because it was made from the President grape, a Munson hybrid, the cuvee eventually came to include Catawba, Dutchess, Delaware, Rosette, and Seyval.

In 1993 Cartier and Inniskillin merge with T.G. Bright to form Vincor.  Constellation Brands bought Vincor changing he name to Constellations Canada. Today the label is owned by Arterra Wines Canada who purchased Constellation Brands Canada in 2016.

Jordan wines, established in 1920. Jordan had a succession of owners including Seagrams and Rothman's tobacco group. In 1973 Jordon took over Growers Winery in Victoria BC and called the new national company Jordan & Ste-Michelle. In 1986 Brights Bought out Jordan and Ste Michells and moved all of its products to its own wineries.

Arterra Wines still owns the Brights label and still produces some wines under that label, including Brights Presidents Sparking wine.

The question I do not want you to ask me, be it b e-mail or in person,(In person, it is peoples favourite question to me) what is your favourite winery? Answer: Anyone that provides excellent hospitality and mighty fine wines. They usually follow that up with "what wineries would you recommend. It is almost the same question. I prefer to believe all wineries are good and all Canada's wines are good and all are worth experiencing.

Oh if a winery wants to bribe me well that's ok too. Can you pay my rent for a year LOL

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Steak and Wine

The majority of us would agree that the best wines to go with red meat is red wine. Even I a devoted white wine fan agree. Having a steak it must be red. Maybe!

What is the best red to enhance the experience of a perfectly grilled steak? Well, not everyone agrees.  The most common answer among the average wine drinker is Merlot. However, most so-called experts who write about wine often go with Cabernet Sauvignon. Malbec is often chosen as the best wine for a rare steak.

The experts, of course, have a wine for every which way you wish to cook your steak or the type of steak or the amount of fat in the steak. Let's not get carried away. If you pile on the sauces or BBQ sauce you, of course, have changed the game. A softer lighter, perhaps even sweeter wine is best.

After the Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon a Syrah makes a good choice. 
Some wine drinkers actually like a Zinfandel  Okay that is their choice.

When it comes right done to it why not just select your favourite wine. 
I have once or twice even been so bold as to order a Bacchus wine with my filet magnon. Maggie Hoffman Managing editor os Serious Eats calls drinking only reds with steak an old and Antiquated way of looking at food pairing.

Many believe the best wine of all is Champagne or sparkling wine.

Please report errors and visit us at www.winesofcanada.com

Friday, August 9, 2019

Wow! You Want to Own a Winery

Wait not so fast owning a winery may sound exciting and luxurious but It is a great deal of work. The major of winery owners are hard-working farmers.. they till the land, grow grapes, harvest the grapes and struggle to make money. If you want to be a successful wine owner its best to start rich and many do.

It also helps to hire an experienced winemaker, even a consultant with a great reputation and vineyard manager is also required. You also require the help of other wineries, especially if you plan on doing all the jobs by yourself.

Then, how are you going to sell your wines where is your market. Most likely its only the province your located in. But even getting your wine beyond your own gate is not easy. There are so many wineries out there.

To become VQA certified you have to pay for this honour. Getting restaurants, pubs ,and liquor stores to carry your wine, a most difficult task. Canadian restaurants don't have a passion for listing Canadian wines on their wine list. Is that the consumer fault?

So what are you left with, selling your wines on site. Can you afford a tasting room? Can you afford to staff it. You cannot sell, your wines outside of your own winery and tend to your tasting bar at the same time.

Winery owners are finding the industry is much more difficult than they anticipated

In the last few year we have seen the number of new wineries triple if not more. However numerous wineries are for sale and some have even declared bankruptcy

So let's support our local Wineries. But wait the majority of the population does not live in Wine Country. In Ontario its only 2 hours to the Niagara Peninsula In BC its five hours ( those of you who say you can do it four your away over the speed limit) from Vancouver to the Okanagan. To the Island wineries a rather expensive Ferry ride.

Also, there is the cost factors, wines in Canada are over taxed and cost too much
You can buy good wine in the USA for $5.00 in Canada finding one under $12.00 good luck. If you wish to bring box wines into the picture and other cellared in Canada wines remember those grapes are not grown in Canada It is economically challenging for Canadian vineyards to grow grapes at the price and quality needed to compete with the low priced imports that are flooding our wine market. Check it out for your self what are people buying in your local store. The big bottles from foreign markets I bet.

Many wineries sell limited quantity wines selling for $35.00 and up. Great but they better be way beyond good. Even if they are you need to find a way to let the consumer know and once again find a way to sell them

For over twenty-seven years now we have promoted the wineries of Canada her wines. Yet many wineries totally ignore our request for information.

AVAs like the Okanagan relay deeply heavily on tourist to purchase wines directly from the winery. That is one reason our website features a tourist section. We also believe we live in a great country and wish to bragg a little.

Icewine is Canadians biggest selling wine product Thanks to a very strong Chinese market. However, only a few wineries have access to this rich market. Due to the high price Icewines do not sell well in Liquor stores. In fact, I could find only three bottles of Icewine in our Local store. Some wineries in Canada produce only icewine. That's a gamble. If the weather is too warm there is no harvest.

Do you still want to own a winery?

and then you have California

California wines continue to grow in popularity with both trade and consumers in the Canadian market," according to Rick Slomka, Wine Institute Trade Director for Canada. "Some of the recent growth comes from new brands with eye-catching labels and clever names. Also contributing to this growth is the ongoing strength of the Canadian dollar which has made California wines more competitive compared to wines from other major wine regions. Our continued success with premium wines in the Quebec market and in LCBO VINTAGES, indicates that Canadian consumers see good value in California at all price points," said Slomka.

Canadian wines are world class yet consumers still flock to the wines of California and the old world.

We would like the hear your thoughts bobbell@winesofcanada.com

February 2012

Saturday, August 3, 2019


Love my icewine. 

There I was roaming around the big mall in Tsawwassen trying to kill time. My lovely wife was attending a function with one of her Women's Organizations. I am not good at killing time.

It was getting late when the text message to come on over. I did so!  The event was almost over when I arrived and many of the ladies were on there way home. It was a very pleasant night and I found my wife sipping wine in the garden.

I knew that Mary the chef and co-host at the event would offer me wine, I decided that been tired I would forgo the wine as we had a long ride home. As expected Mary came carrying a bottle. " Bob would you like some Icewine" I immediately perked up, a smile appeared on my face, there was no way I was refusing Icewine.

I was immediately impressed by the wine. It was smooth and full of flavours The perfect sweetness.
It was a Vidal Icewine from G Marquis in the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario. Oh boy! It was good!!