Shades of Sherry

This year at The Vancouver International Wine Festival, the host countries were Spain & Portugal. And I was able to attend a few trade seminars to learn about terroir, the wines of Rioja (1994 was one of the best vintages, fyi) and a Shades of Sherry masterclass.

Have you explored sherry? I haven’t given it the time it deserves, so I always find these classes fascinating.

Quick side story… several years ago, I travelled through Southern Spain with friends and we were headed right through the “Sherry Triangle” of Jerez (pronounced Hereth), Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto Sta. Maria. I was new to wine back then, but really wanted to learn more. We were about to pass through Jerez on our way to Seville. I was driving our rental and asked “this is where sherry is made! Do you want to stop and do a tasting?”; all 3 of them replied “naw, we’re good”; again I asked “but you guys, this is like the HOME of sherry! We can stop in quickly to just one Bodega?! Or how about you guys wait in the car and I’ll just go in and do a tasting…?”, they replied “naw let’s just go to Seville”. 😦 Note to self: don’t listen to your friends when YOU have the car keys!!!

Anyways, I’ve learned my lesson 😉

Made with the Solera System, sherry has sooo much to offer. I highly recommend you explore the different styles: Manzanilla, Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso, Palo Cortado, or Cream. From dry to sweet, they all offer such a delightful personality!

You can pair the different styles with food, or even have a glass by itself.

What is the Solera System? “Solera is a process for aging liquids by fractional blending in such a way that the finished product is a mixture of ages, with the average age gradually increasing as the process continues over many years.” And trust me, this solera system is amazing to learn about, see in action and taste it’s final product.


Here is a list of some popular brands to try & how to serve them:

Lustau – Manzanilla Papirusa – Sanlúcar de Barrameda – D.O. Manzanilla

(Dry. Serve chilled, with pate, oysters, salads, ceviche, cheese)

González Byass – Tio Pepe – Fino – D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry

(Dry. Serve chilled, as apéritif or with salads, pear dish or briny, umami foods)

Alvear – Fino – D.O. Montilla-Moriles

(Nutty. Pair with Indian, spicy, nutty foods or hot-pot)

Lustau – Los Arcos – Amontillado – D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry

(Light, nutty. Serve with antipasti platter, mushroom risotto, ramen or a tomato based pasta)

Lustau – Don Nuño – Oloroso – D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry

(Oxidative. Pair with osso bucco, smoked meats or couscous)

González Byass – Apostoles – Palo Cortado – D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry

(Rich, hint of sweetness. Pair with foie gras, onion tart or umami foods)

Lustau – East India Solera – Cream – D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry

(Sweet. Serve as apéritif, or with apricot mousse or white chocolate)

González Byass – Noe – Pedro Ximénez – D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry

(Sweet. No pairing needed for this one, maybe just gelato!)


Happy Sherry researching! 🙂


A Rosé that says “HELLO THERE, GORGEOUS!”

Can you sense Spring in the air? I can. It’s delayed, but soooo soooo welcome.

So I thought I’d share my first article written for a friends brand new online magazine called: The Planters Guide.


Here is my article, I hope you enjoy it!

I don’t know about you, but when I start to see buds on trees, and feel the temperature change in the air as Spring arrives, truth be told, I get a little giddy. Do you remember that schoolgirl excited kind of feeling?

If you’ve forgotten what ‘giddy’ looks like, Urban Dictionary explains it: “…as if you just saw a rock star, crush, celebrity, that made you seem speechless or incompetent of acting normal.” So for women, this could be seeing George Clooney at Starbucks; for men, perhaps it could be when Kate Upton says hello and smiles at you on the street.

And if I were to pick a wine style to match that “giddy” feeling, well… it would be Rosé wine every time. To me, it’s like a happy dance from winter to spring, from cozy and cold to fresh and warm. If this wine could talk, it would say “hello there, gorgeous!” And I am definitely drinking a wine that talks to me like that!

So as spring is arriving around British Columbia, it seems only fitting to share a must-have-giddy-inducing-wine that will help you transition from winter rain into buds and flowers. Intrigued?

Just chill a bottle of the 2017 TIME Winery Rosé, made from 100% Syrah grapes, and you’ll get fun notes of candied fruits and red liquorice on the nose; while it dances on your palate with red raspberries, a little citrus, a touch of bramble fruit and hints of orange peel.

It’s refreshing and fruit-driven, all rolled into one little pink package. And you’ll need this wine on hand for when you dust off that patio furniture for the first time; grilled zucchini and red pepper skewers with friends; Serve up an antipasto feast with BBQ’d marinated vegetables; or with a bruschetta platter including fresh tomatoes, fruits (think strawberries, cantaloupe) and pesto. And what’s even better news, it’s a local BC wine that is about to open a brand new downtown winery in the heart of Penticton in the South Okanagan Valley. Can anyone say “road trip?”

What: TIME Winery 2017 Rosé

Where: TIME Winery (opening this spring), 361 Martin Street, Penticton, BC, online at and various private retailers and restaurants across BC

Price: $22.99 / 750ml


To me, this online magazine is a cool new concept.

It’s got three main headings: Ingest – all about vegan and vegetarian foods; Imbibe – about wine and other beverages; Inhale – is about cannabis – from an educational perspective.

What did I just write?! Yes indeed. I said that controversial word – cannabis. But truth be told, we all know about it. It’s about to be legalized in Canada. And we all have pre-conceptions of who uses it too. And yet, I think we know very little about it. I personally don’t use it. But with its pending legalization, there are more products popping up (think body lotions and bath products) and more articles, and I am starting to learn that there are tonnes of health benefits to do with fighting disease (specifically cancer). Who knew?!

So, I believe there IS a place in our society for The Planter’s Guide; it educates, informs and has a very mindful purpose. So I am happy to be the monthly “Rosé Wine Correspondent”!

You can read the article on The Planter’s Guide HERE, and poke around on their website. 😉