Wine Tasting Notes  

The Westside Wine Trail

By: Helene Scott

Mission Hill Family Estate,  Reserve Cabernet Shiraz 2009 - $34.99
A blend of 51% cabernet sauvignon and 49% shiraz. Soft, ripe berries, hint of pepper, subtle smoke and spice on the nose and the structured tannins. Complex, lingering flavours on the palate create a wine that is ready to drink now but promises to improve with further cellaring. This limited edition is perhaps a bit pricey but only available for purchase in the wine shop at the winery.   14% alcohol

Quails Gate Estate Winery,  Chardonnay 2011 - $19.99
This is a wonderful full-flavoured Chardonnay with a very Burgundy-style. Ripe pineapple, tropical fruit, butterscotch, and creamy vanilla custard notes on the nose and nuances of honeyed toast, ginger and nutty flavours on the palate will please lovers of Chardonnay. The undertones of subtle oak and a crisp minerality add to the lovely structure of the wine. Drink it now or lay down for a few years — really complex and a joy to drink.  13.5% alcohol

Little Straw Vineyards,  Sauvignon Blanc 2011 - $16.90
This is an interesting wine made in an off-dry style. Fresh-cut grass, sweet herbaceous qualities, and honey, lime, pear and spice on the nose with a lovely full fruitiness on the finish. Rather beguiling wine and with natural acidity to balance the sweetness. Only 321 cases made. Great paired with spicy food. 11.5% alchohol

Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery, Syrah 2009 - $24.99
Complex aromas and flavours of blackberry, plum dried meat, licorice and pepper. Aged in French and American oak, the ripe but soft tannins and a medium body make this a great wine to have with anything off the barbecue. A very approachable wine that will be a people pleaser even if you are not usually a red-wine drinker.

Volcanic Hills Estate Winery, Rose 2011 - $18.90
A wonderful sipper, this wine is bursting with flavours of pink grapefruit zest, stone fruit, cranberries and it lingers with a bright tangy herbaceous finish. Made from 100% gamay noir grapes and left on the skins for a short time gives the wine a luminous salmon pink colour. Fresh and vibrant with good weight and viscosity it has a crispness that makes it a versatile food wine or enjoy on its own.  13.5% alcohol

Other nearby wineries to visit while touring on the Westside are Beaumont Family Estate Winery, Kalala Organic Estate Winery, and Rollingdale Winery.


Naramata Bench Wine Tasting Notes

Winter Wine Tasting Notes from the Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, B.C.

By: Helene Scott

The Naramata Bench is home to over 20 wineries and boasts some of the most spectacular views in the Okanagan Valley. Please note that during the winter season many wineries are open, by appointment only, so please call ahead before visiting or shop online at their website.


Pale straw and star bright in colour – this is not close to your typical New Zealand style of Sauvignon Blanc.  Nettles, honeysuckle, pineapple and grass aromas follow through on the palate. The crisp acidity and minerality bring refreshment and culminates in an intriguing, lingering aftertaste.

JOIE FARM PTG 2010 $24

PTG stands for ‘Passetoutgrain’ – a classic wine of Burgundy that is a blend of pinot noir and gamay. This wine is juicy, with savoury earth tones and well focused. After whole-bunch fermentation the wine is aged in oak for 10 months. Once bottled, the wine is then aged for a year before release. Plushly textured and flavourful, very approachable and has elegance and finesse.

**** Helene's Pick

You are going to have to trust winemaker David Enns for putting together the best blend for this wine. Rich floral flavours, crisp citrus and tree fruit are enhanced by subtle oak nuances. The three varietals are only unveiled once you remove the capsule on the bottle. Try and guess them before you sneak a peek!!


This is a soft and approachable Pinot Noir. Bright red raspberry and cherry fruit, anise, warm spice and earthy notes are balanced by a great cherry tang on the palate. A well-crafted wine that is easy to drink now but can also be cellared for a few years.


A medium to full bodied Bordeaux style blend but it is showing some browning on the colour. The nose is jammy with hints of mint and sage. The palate has plums and raisins with the richness of Christmas pudding. The wine is smooth and silky and ready to drink.

Let's get tasting

By: Helene Scott

Wines from Kelowna

St. Hubertus Estate Winery Rose Frizzante 2010 $16

  • Pretty pale pink with a gentle sparkle and you have a party in a bottle! Made from gamay noir grapes; it has cherries, strawberries and cranberries on the nose and finishes with hints of citrus and rhubarb with soft tannins on the palate. This lightly effervescent wine is great served chilled on its own or with salads.  11.1% alcohol

Tantalus Vineyards Riesling 2011 $23

  • Star bright and pale straw in colour. Grapefruit, honey and floral notes come through on the nose. This wine finishes with the mouth-watering acidity that you have come to expect from a Tantalus Riesling. The palate is a melange of tropical fruit, kiwi, pear, citrus and granny smith apple and a lovely minerality. A hint of sweetness lingers on the aftertaste and makes this a versatile food wine.   12.4% alcohol

Summerhill Pyramid Winery Alive Organic Wine 2009 $24

  • A brand new line of certified organic BC VQA wines from Summerhill.  The red is a blend of 83% marechal foch, 13% merlot and 4% cabernet sauvignon. Dark and rich, plums and leather, black berries and an opulent, savoury finish. Available for purchase only in BC LDB stores. One dollar from every bottle sold will be donated to the David Suzuki foundation.   12.9% alcohol

Helene's Pick: 

Cedar Creek Estate Winery  Syrah 2008    $25    

  • The grapes for this medium bodied wine are sourced from the Bartsch Vineyard in Osoyoos. Deep and dark in colour with a rich and concentrated texture like crushed velvet. The nose and palate have black pepper, black berries, black currents and plum, bittersweet chocolate. Definitely age-worthy yet also lovely to enjoy now.  14.1% alcohol

Sandhill Wines Gamay Noir 2010  $20

  • A medium bodied wine with a dark, ruby colour.  Pronounced red berry fruit flavours on the nose with nuances of pepper and spice. Lovely juicy fruit on the palate, a hint of violets and firm but soft tannins from age in French oak makes this an easy wine to enjoy. Serve lightly chilled on a hot summer day.  14% alcohol


Tasting notes from Kelowna's Fab Five - East Kelowna Wineries

By: Helene Scott

Vibrant Vines
      Chardonnay 2011 $25

This straw coloured wine was barrel fermented in a combination of older and new French oak barrels, aged sur lie for three months and stirred daily. It underwent malolactic fermentation that adds to the rich mouthfeel. The oak is soft and integrated and the wine finishes with citrus and apple flavours.

Winemaker Tony Lewis recommends this delicate Chardonnay with oysters.

Live music on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4pm. Picnic baskets are available for purchase or bring your own.

Spierhead Winery
    Pinot Noir 2010 $18

This is Spierhead’s first release of Pinot Noir. Three different clones of pinot noir were used, all fermented separately and aged in French oak barrels. A light bodied, voluptuous wine with soft tannins and flavours of dark cherries, forest floor and vanilla spice. Serve slightly chilled on a hot summer day.

Camelot Vineyards
    Merlot 2009 $25

A mellow, smooth and easy drinking light to medium bodied wine. The nose and palate have cherries, plum and liquorice. Eighteen months in French and American barrels adds some soft tannin and complexity. It is well balanced and will pair well with barbecues or vegetarian chilli.

Come and enjoy the Medieval Fair on August 25 from 11-4pm.

House of Rose Winery
     Hot Flash 2011 $19

A wine to celebrate that wild and wonderful phase of life! Lighter style red blend of syrah and marechal foch that is soft and fruity – a great sipper. Brooke Shields ordered this wine to give as gifts during the filming of her movie, The Hot Flash.

Great picnic area – bring your own or pick up something delicious in the wine shop.

The View Winery (Helene's pick)

    Distraction Frizzante 2011 $19

A lightly effervescent rose that is the perfect summer sipping wine. A blend of riesling, gewurtztraminer and pinotage, made in an off-dry style, yet refreshing and crisp.  Aromas of cherries, strawberries and pink grapefruit tantalize the palate. Enjoy with something naughty or nice – guaranteed to put a twinkle in your eye!

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