Three under-the-radar Metro Vancouver wines to try

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      The following is excerpted from “The Sipster’s Pocket Guide to 50 Must-Try BC Wines: Volume 3” (April 3, Touchwood Editions) and is reprinted with permission.

      Here are three great Metro Vancouver wines to try.

      Vancouver Urban Winery Vanbrusco 

      Winery price: $$$

      Body: Medium

      Sweetness: Off-dry

      Attitude: Wild

      Pair with: Nachos, BBQ chicken, speed dating

      Tired of predictable BC wines? Oh look, someone brought another pinot gris to the party. Is that merlot? Just what I’ve always wanted. (Insert awkward but cordial gratitude moment here.)

      If you’re tired of the predictable, you may need to get a little wild. Getting wild has certain connotations in today’s modern culture: get too wild, and there will be repercussions; don’t get wild enough, and you’ll be labelled as boring. Get wild in a really funny way and your social media posts may go viral.

      This is a wine that needs to go viral (in a good, non-pandemic way). It will be appropriately wild, unexpected if not entirely unpredictable. A red wine? With bubbles? Yes, and that’s a very good thing. It will drag you out of the boring and into the excitement. No more ho-hum wine varieties and styles. 

      Get ready to be wild. (Just be sure to check your socials the next morning.)

      Township 7 Chardonnay

      Winery price: $$$

      Body: Medium

      Sweetness: Dry

      Attitude: Memorable

      Pair with: Fish tacos, popcorn, scrapbooking

      This wine reminds me of why I got into wine in the first place, although not for any ephemeral reason like the aromas reminding me of a place or time in my life. If you were to taste the wine, you wouldn’t be able to experience it in exactly the same way.

      Township 7 was one of the first places I learned about wine when I volunteered to pick grapes in their Langley vineyard for three seasons. I helped replant part of the vineyard, replacing the ortega vines in front of the house with chardonnay. I hung out in the wine shop and asked co-owner Gwen Coleman ques-tions. A band in which I was playing bass guitar performed at their anniversary party three very hot and humid Julys in a row. I took friends there when they came to visit.

      Absolutely none of that will be apparent to you when you taste this wine, though. What it does for me is not what it will do for you. However, wine is a great way to create new memories and bring you back to a time in your life when things were exciting and full of possibilities.

      Cannon Fleur Bleue 

      Winery price: $$$$

      Body: Light

      Sweetness: Dry

      Attitude: Intriguing

      Pair with: Light cheeses, baguettes, a cravat

      Meeting new people takes practice. Some people are naturally good at it and need less practice than others. They always know what to say at just the right time. Other people are less adept in social situations and come off as a bit awkward. I think that a lot of it has to do with circumstances. Some people work in places where they have to meet new people every day, while others have more solitary jobs. Working in the wine industry, for example, means that new people are part of the daily routine. Writing a book about wine is a far more solitary experience that requires inward focus. 

      Too meta? Maybe. I find the experience of meeting new people exhilarating; it’s a big reason I love working in the wine industry. When I meet a new wine from a new winery, I get a similar sense of exhilaration, and the questions I ask are oddly similar. “Where are you from?” I asked this wine. Abbotsford, it turns out, although I already knew that much. “Yes, I’ve been to Abbotsford many times, and not just through it on the highway. A close high school friend of mine lives there.”

      For me, meeting new people is only fun if I get to know something about them. This wine’s delicate aromas and flavours are a little reserved, a lot like a person who leaves out revealing details during conversation. Only after a few sips and swirls does this wine start to tell you more. Over time, it will undoubtedly become a beautiful conversation.