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Much to my chagrin I missed last year’s Coal Harbour Spring Patio Tasting because of a stupid moth. Yes, you heard me right. A stupid big fat moth that sat on my ceiling telepathically sending me the message that he would eat all my lovely wool sweaters. And so I got a broom and jumped up and fell and voila, broke my left leg in a thousand pieces.  Okay, I exaggerate but enough pieces that I had to get an operation to put metal in my knee and was housebound for three months. Needless to say, when I received media tickets to this year’s Coal Harbour Spring Patio Tasting which is on the patio of Dockside Restaurant, I couldn’t grab my cane fast enough to beat off all the people with wine glasses standing in front of the wineries. Well, unless, they were young, cute and male and that’s another cougar story. Grrrrr.

Note to readers, I consider myself to be a simpleton when it comes to wine as I only like those that are simply fruit. I don’t include wood, leather or gasoline in my regular diet so the taste of all these things in wine is enough to cause me to not sip and swirl but to snarl and spit. And believe me, I look kinda scary when I do that. So wines full of luscious fruit that are all so refreshing when paired with a bright sunny day are my preferred wines of choices. I should add that the Coal Harbour Spring Patio Tasting notes are written by a person delirious with spring fever as I missed my entire summer last year although my friends might argue that I’ve been deliriously insane ever since they met me. Is that why they drink so much around me?

One of the reasons why I like Pinot Grigio is because it goes down like water. Bonamici Pinot Grigio 2016 is no exception as it’s bright Meyer lemon notes and crisp apple aromas with low acidity make it the adult version of lemonade. The only difference is that it doesn’t sell for five cents a glass.

Coal Harbour Spring Patio Tasting

The BC Tree Fruits Broken Ladder Ciders are so addicting as they have a nice crisp refreshing acidity and are so low in alcohol and that even me the #YouHadMeAtFirstSip gal would need 10 of these before I’d forget my name. Pears and Peaches is my favorite as I love the taste of peaches, although the Apple is a lovely combination of six BC varieties of apples. And listen up girls, there’s no added sugar so that means it’s diet friendly. Apples and Hops comes in third as it’s not that hop-pity at all. But if you’re of a guy, you might find this flavour a bit of a tease if its hops you’re longing for.

I usually don’t like Sauvignon Blanc as many of them make me feel like I’m a cow when I’m drinking them as they tend to have strong grassy notes. But when you blend it with Viognier in the Bonamici Sauvignon Blanc Viognier 2016, its like they took a lawn mower and mowed all the grass out. With fragrant aromas of pink grapefruit and notes of mouth quenching melon, pineapple and peaches coupled with crisp acidity, this is a wine that you should take to all your romantic picnics to pair with freshly shucked oysters, chocolate dipped strawberries and succulent kisses which always follow after consumption of such an aphrodisiac feast – wink wink.

If you love blackberries and wine, then your love for this Elephant Island Blackberry wine will last longer than your last marriage. With clean crisp notes of ripe strawberries, plums and a truckload of blackberries, it’s got enough sweetness to make my mouth do a little dance instead of going into a diabetic coma. Buy a case because you won’t want to share.

Oh sweet sweet wine, how do I make thine mine? Uncork, swallow and repeat. Gancia Prosecco is a prosecco with a rather creamy body and lively bubbles that dance in my head with gorgeous sweet notes of melon, lemon meringue and white cherries. Want a glass? I was just teasing as I’m drinking the entire body by my little ole lonesome!

You won’t care if you see pink elephants after drinking this crisp sparkling Pink Elephant Sparkling from Elephant Island Winery. With lemon zest aromas and crispy green apples on the nose, medium bubbles, plus refreshing acidity and ends with a creamy finish, all these factors make it an easy choice for celebrations. Today I’m drinking it to celebrate the fact that I didn’t see any pink elephants after this tasting event – hic.

Coal Harbour Spring Patio Tasting

Joie Noble Blend is like that exotic complicated woman in your life that piques your interest over and over again. With five varietals of Gewürztraminer 49% Riesling 32% Pinot Auxerrois 9% Pinot Blanc 6% Muscat 4%, this is an aromatic wine that lures you into her arms with aromas of guava and almonds and then closes the deal with lychee and pink grapefruit notes.

Paint me a wagon, paint me an oak tree, but if you had to paint me a perfect bottle of red wine, it would have to be Painted Rock Red Icon which is a luscious blend made from Bordeaux grapes of 45% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, 11% Malbec, 11% Petit Verdot and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon. Ooh la la I say, as its velvet tannins draws me in with its luscious fruit forward notes of blackberry, Cassis and spices.

There’s an urban myth that when you drink Riverlore Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll hear the sound of the sirens calling to you from the river bend because they too want a drink of this pale yellow-green elixir which has aromas of pear, lychee and pineapple and notes of passion fruit and red currants. I can vouch that this myth does occur when you drink five bottles of this wickedly good wine.

I don’t know about you, but there’s only one direction this wine is headed and that’s to my mouth as Seven Directions Pinot Rose 2017 has very intense strawberry aromas and lovely passion fruit and guava notes and a soft dry finish which makes me feel as though I’m drinking a fruit basket.
Coal Harbour Spring Patio Tasting

I’m sorry to break your heart my strange fellows, which more or less describes all of my ex’s, but you’ll never edge sweet glorious wine out of their number one spot in my heart. But to number two you go as Strange Fellows Roxanne Sour Black Raspberry Grisette with its luscious tartness and your Popinjay Dryhopped Sour of citrus madness makes me wonder, will I have enough summer days to drink my fill of your sour elixirs?

Sychromesh Riesling is the reason why I call myself the #WineSweerie as it’s a fruit forward wine that is overflowing with juicy notes of stone fruit, pear, apricot and lime zest with bright acidity. It’s the quintessential wine to pair with any Asian dish and if you’re Asian like me, then buy a case because I bet you’ll want to drink it with your breakfast, lunch, dim sum, afternoon snack, dinner, midnight snack….

What is the colour of green? It’s the colour of ripe green apples dancing with lime zest and bright refreshing acidity with persistent bubbles all designed to tickle my fancy rather my nose. Zanata Glenora Fantasia Brut is that piece of green that you’ll never want to stop drinking.

Because this was the Coal Harbour Spring Patio Tasting, all the above wines are available at where else but the Coal Harbour Liquor Store (you might find them at other wine stores).  I’m not sure of the prices, but despite being frugal, I’ll sometimes spend $25 or more for a wine that I really like. Incidentally, the Coal Harbour Liquor Store has a loyalty program which after you buy 10 bottles of wine, you get to date the owner’s daughter. Kidding as he only has a young son and I have dibs on him. Sign up for their newsletters to be updated on their promotions and tasting events – you don’t want to miss next year’s Coal Harbour Spring Patio Tasting.



Editor in Chief of Fabulously Frugal in Vancouver.

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