It seems appropriate that in a week
when Whistler’s two magnificent mountains were joined at the tips, adding
increased value to any alpine tour, Canada’s national wine magazine,
, released its annual value list
highlighting many of the best wines selling for $25 or less in the country.
The judging for 2008 International
Value Wine Awards (IVWA) was held this summer in Calgary and involved just
under 1,000 listings, tasted blind, by some two dozen wine experts from across
To be clear, you should know that in
another life I’m the editor-in-chief of
magazine and responsible for heading up the IVWA competition
and its panel of judges. As someone who is constantly bombarded by results from
foreign wine competitions it is a pleasure to delve into the results of a
competition with which I’m intimately familiar.
Given how much I know about the
wineries who entered, how the competition is run and the final results, it’s
much easier for me to say that the results are the most valuable information
available to wine drinkers anywhere in the country.
In all, the magazine released results
for best varietal wine and best of country boasting 26 varietal category
champions and 11 winners by country. It also released a list of the best red
and white wines in Canada available for less than $15. You can get the full
report on the more than 1,000 wines entered from 16 different countries in the
October/November issue of
magazine, now on newsstands.
While every wine entered in the IVWA
must sell in at least one Canadian locale for less than $25 it goes without
saying that here in B.C., where we pay the most for wine in the country, not
all the winners can be bought for less than $25 — but what else is new
for locals? We continue to pay the most for wine in North America, making the
IVWA results even more important.
Today, I’ll walk you through some of
the major values you can find in and about Whistler and the Lower Mainland.
Let’s begin with the big four
varietals: cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz.
Many will know the
J. Lohr 2006
Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon $23
Paso Robles. The hearty red stood tall amongst almost 100 cabernet sauvignon
entries. Rich and glossy with a touch of spice, it is still a very reliable
cab. Other top picks include: Painter Bridge 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon $14, Galil
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon $18 or the Michel Torino Don David 2005 Cabernet