With most of Whistler hunkering down
for an economically challenging ski season, visitors and operators alike are
looking for deals. So I’m thinking, what about wine?
If you haven’t noticed, wine is big
business in Whistler, and while some of the world’s greatest bottles have been
flowing effortlessly in many local restaurants for a decade, this may be the
winter best-value wines make their return to wine lists and wine shops.
Whether they do or don’t, you can
save some big dollars and still drink some terrific wines just by checking out
the list below the next time you go wine shopping.
But the question remains: where is
the real value?
Each year I taste somewhere between
2,000 to 3,000 wines, record their notes and keep track of my scores. It’s all
recorded in my database at
But this year I’ve gone one step
further in search of great value wines. Recently, I’ve developed a new program
that allows me to determine which of all the wines I’ve reviewed in a single
year represent superior value. The complex calculation takes into account the
score (out of 100) awarded the wine, its retail price, as well as when it was
last tasted and how long it has been on the market. The resulting e-valuator
numerical quotient measures and then ranks all the wines tasted in 2008.
So to herald the Christmas holiday
season and wrap up the year, here are my picks for the current top 10 most
valuable wines tasted in 2008. Each sells for less than $25 and most are sold
in government liquor stores. It’s a great holiday shopping list for wines and
unlike any other, this one really does over-deliver.
Mission Hill Sauvignon Blanc Five Vineyards
from Okanagan Valley makes the
list with this ultra-fresh and zippy white. The latest edition is creamier
— a fine offset to the lime rind, kiwi fruit, pear, gooseberry and
mineral flavours. Think white meats, white sauces, white fish when you reach
for this very good white wine.
Chile is capable of turning out delicious syrah as
evidenced by this
Chono Reserva Syrah 2006 ($18)
from the Elqui Valley, the home of Pisco. I love its
smooth, supple, forward style and liquorice, menthol, black cherry, meaty,
white pepper flavours. Attractive style for current drinking.