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Wine Recommendations for the Budget Bride

June 13th, 2012 by Jeannine

Wine Recommendations for the Budget Bride

A wedding celebration calls for a fine wine but which will be best for your budget? I know firsthand how intimidating it is to stroll through aisles upon aisles of bottles at a liquor store, scanning through all the varieties of red and white wine, pondering which vintage you should choose or country of origin… There are a LOT of options so I decided to get some help to narrow it down a bit. I visited Legacy Liquor Store at Olympic Village and had a chat with Cellar Manager John  Bayley. John attained sommelier certification at the International Sommelier Guild and has 6 years experience working in various wineries and stores. He is knowledgeable about BC and international wines at all price points. For our tasting, he pulled a selection of local and international specialty wines that are pleasing to most palates, as well as your budget.

White Wine

Name: Red Rooster Pinot Blanc – 2011

Origin: BC – Okanagan Valley

Price: $16.25

“This is a classic Pinot Blanc with white peach and lily notes, really subtle on the nose. The cool thing about Pinot Blanc is that it’s been touted as one of BC’s key varietals. It grows the best here, produces fantastic wine, and on top of that, the wine you get out of Pinot Blanc pairs well with all the food we eat here.”

Name: Caracter Chardonnay Chenin Blanc – 2011

Origin: Argentina

Price: $12.55

“Chardonnay can be a multitude of flavours and wine, this one they put it over chenin blanc which is a really nice grape from France that has a lot of beautiful texture and some waxy, honey notes to it. Together they’ve made a nice simple wine that’s dry, but juicy and again it’s a crowd pleaser. For $12 for good wine, this is one I always recommend.”

Red Wine

Name: Domaine de Chaberton Cuvée Rouge – 2010

Origin: BC – Langley

Price: $15.05

“This is a beautiful, lighter style red. I get a lot of cherries, vanilla and a bit of oak to it. Again it’s got a refreshing scent as well. It’s a really nice introduction into BC wine. It’s interesting because it’s out of Langley, a different location for wines to be made.”

Name: Nazares Tempranillo – 2010

Origin: Spain

Price: $12.55

“It’s 100% Tempranillo, which is a bit of a different grape. It is classic Spanish, they use a lot of tempranillo. There’s no oak or anything to this wine, it’s just the grapes just by themselves, aged and fermented in stainless steel. It produces really nice soft round style red wines, same kind of style as the Chaberton Cuvée Rouge because it has that kind of lightness and easygoingness about it. It’s fantastic for a large group of people because, let’s be honest, when you’re sitting around the table with a bunch of friends at a wedding, you’re not really getting into the wine. You just want something nice to drink with a variety of foods.”

Rosé Wine

Name: Pink Elephant Rosé – 2009

Origin: Portugal

Price: $11.95

“It has more body, it’s a bit richer than the whites we’ve tasted but it’s still really refreshing and it has this nice spice on the finish, just like strawberries and dried cherries. It’s delicious! For $12 it’s something that I don’t know who wouldn’t like that.”

Name: Hillside Estate Winery Rosé – 2011

Origin: BC – Okanagan Valley

Price: $21.35

“It’s a very similar style rose, it doesn’t have that spice but it’s nice, it’s got a great body, really juicy, it’s dry, and it’s got a lot of that strawberry a lot of this kind of plumminess, another crowd pleaser. For what you get it over-delivers.”

Sparkling Wine

Name: Open Sociable Sparkling – 2010

Origin: BC – Okanagan Valley

Price: $18.85

“This wine is really perfumed, floral, peaches, orange peel, very pleasant and approachable. This is nice because it’s made in a very friendly style in that you can have it with food, you can have it just standing around talking. It’s very flexible and adaptable to anything you throw at it.”

Name: Pascual Toso Brut

Origin: Argentina

Price: $18.85

“This is made very similar to the champagne way, it’s from Argentina and it’s Pascual Toso. It is identical pricing to the Open, just over $18. It’s a bit different, it’s got a bit more of a yeasty, toastiness to it, but not much, it’s still really nice, has the same kind of citrus notes that the Open has, it’s a great value and something that everybody would like.”

Loving the selection so far? I had a taste of some of these and my favourites are the Red Rooster Pinot Blanc and the Open Sociable Sparkling. Both are refreshing, fruity, but not too dry. I’m not a fan of very dry wine, but all the ones I’ve tried here are quite pleasing to my picky palate.

Before you head off to the liquor store, here are a few more tips you should know:

  • BC wines tend to be more expensive to make so if you’re looking to save a few bucks, consider wines from Spain, Argentina or Chile
  • A regular wine bottle contains 25 oz of wine, which yields you around 6 glasses of white or red wine. A typical serving of sparkling wine is 2 or 3 oz so a 25 oz bottle will yield around 12-13 pours.
  • Order early! Liquor stores don’t usually carry a large number of the same product so John recommends ordering 3-4 weeks before event date so you can get the best price for your wine. Leaving it to the last minute may leave you purchasing more expensive wine in order to replace the wine that’s not in stock.
  • Price matters when it comes to wine, you can really taste the difference even if you’re not a wine connoisseur, so find the balance that works for you.

I want to thank John Bayley and Legacy Liquor Store for having me over and sharing some of your fantastic wine with me. If you haven’t been to Legacy Liquor Store yet, you must check it out. They have an impressive selection of specialty wine, beer, and spirits, I could’ve spent a few hours just checking out everything they have. Knowledgeable beer cicerones and wine sommeliers (like John!) are on hand ready to answer any question you may have. Private tastings for up to 36 people can be booked, but check their events page for weekly scheduled tastings at their Olympic Village location… another good reason to stop by! If you’ve decided to order your wedding wine with Legacy, they do offer 5% discounts per case (12 bottles) and you can even take part in their loyalty program.

Have you tried any of these wines? Do you have any other recommendations? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below! Cheers!

All photos courtesy Vancity Bride

Vendor prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are accurate to the date published.

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  • June 13th, 2012 at 4:02 pm
    Beth Stewart says:

    If you want to give that newly married couple a special gift … try our Nk’Mip Mer’r'iym ( pronounced Mur-ee), means Marriage the Okanagan language. Able to cellar well in proper conditions for that 10 year anniversary celebration. A full 5 varietal “Bordeaux style” blend.


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