Shanyn Ward is a WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Diploma graduate and wine buyer for Cask & Barrel Liquor Store. (Photo: Carmen Weld)

Shanyn Ward is a WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) Diploma graduate and wine buyer for Cask & Barrel Liquor Store. (Photo: Carmen Weld)

Wineology: Italy and Portugal

Check out Okanagan sommelier Shanyn Ward’s wine column

With the holiday season around the corner, I like to start my Festive Season planning early.

Yes I am definitely one of those people who start my Christmas shopping months before – because the feeling of being overwhelmed with decreased funds in my bank account, all the dinner parties and gift giving is too much anxiety! I also happen to work in a retail shop, and lately, with all the issues with the Liquor Distribution Branch giving us no guarantee we will receive anything in a timely fashion, I figured I would roll my personal motto over into my buying position.

I have been on the hunt lately for good quality wines which won’t break the bank for me and my customers.

Two of my favorite countries to look at for these kinds of wine are Italy and Portugal. While I will not take it away from France and Spain as they also have some bargains; Italy and Portugal have been catching my eye more and more. The challenging thing about these countries, however, is the unrecognizable grape varieties and obscure labelling terms.

One thing is for sure though, with volume of juice produced in this particular part of the world we will always find an abundance of wines which will keep you with extra dollars in your wallet as the holiday bills build up.

What I am loving this week:

Italy is a country that has always ranked in the top three worldwide for litres of wine produced. They make everything from ultra-premium priced, collector wines such as Barolo and Amarone from the north, to the mid-high price tiers of Sangiovese and Montepulciano from the central area, to the southern Italy’s more cheap and cheerful Nero d’Avola, Negroamaro and Primitivo.

Last month I came across a couple of wines new into our province. The winery name is Catine Faliesi and they are a smaller producer from Campania; located in the foothills of Mt. Faliesi and in close proximity to Naples. The vineyards here are special in that they are planted in the volcanic soils which formed when Mount Vesuvius erupted. The soils create wine with structure and uniqueness.

The Faliesi Abrosto Rosso is a blend of Montepulciano and Aglianico. The Aglianico gives body and structure, as well persistent tannins, while the Montepulciano gives it a vibrant ruby/ purple color with blackberry and rustic flavors. It is a steal at only $15!

Portugal, who secured themselves in history and fame by their Port industry actually make amazing still wines as well.

The very rainy north western corner of the country produces light white and refreshing Vinho Verde. Douro Valley and Bairrada produce powerful, long lived reds made from grapes such as Touriga Franc, Tinta Roriz and Baga. It is the southern region just north of the city of Lisbon that has caught my attention over the past few months. Agricola Sanguinhal was created in 1926 and farmed organically since its conception. The vineyards are planted with over 30 different varieties, most of which are native to this part of Portugal.

The Quinta de San Francisco Tinto is made from a blend of Castaleo, Touriga Nacional and Aragonez. If you like deep full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon blends you will love this wines. It has depth, complexity and layers of dark fruit and mocha. This wine will run you $25 and is worth every penny.

Cheers!

shanynward@gmail.com

To check out past Wineology columns, click here.

wineology

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Farmer Bob at the Farmers Market in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Kelowna farmers’ market manager wins BC Farmers’ Market Award

The awards were given out via a virtual conference in mid-February

Kelowna Olympian Malindi Elmore has been honoured locally for her contributions to the sport of running. She is one of five Okanagan athletes who received an athletic excellence award from PacificSport Okanagan, this week. (Contributed/UBC Okanagan)
Kelowna athletes, coaches, businesses honoured for achievements during pandemic

Among them, Kelowna’s Malindi Elmore and Jacob Rubuliak named Community Sport Heroes

The City Park dock in Kelowna was underwater due to rising Okanagan Lake flooding in 2017. (OBWB photo)
Okanagan facing extreme flooding risk

Water board calls for updated Okanagan Lake level management

On June 23, 2020, Sunrise Rotary announced it will be donating $50,000 in support of the Bridge Youth and Family Services for the construction of the “Okanagan Youth Recovery House” project for young people under the age of 19 who are experiencing addiction. (Contributed)
Interior Health adds 10 youth substance-use treatment beds in Kelowna

The Bridge Youth and Family Services will operate the beds

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News file)
COVID-19 exposures on two Kelowna flights

The BCCDC announced two Pacific Coastal Airlines had potential COVID-19 exposures

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

The restart of the program means seniors can receive affordable meals delivered five days a week Photo by Scott Suchman for The Washington Post.
Princeton Meals of Wheels one year trial will cost $92k

Program restarts, and volunteer drivers are needed

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Two Vancouver police officers were struck by a car when the driver learned he was being arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to pay for food. (Vancouver Police Department)
Driver being arrested for alleged food order fraud rams Vancouver police with car

Two officers are in stable condition, suffering with soft tissue injuries following the incident

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

From left to right, Slackwater Brewing’s assistant brewer Carri Kemp, co-founder Kelsey Peyton & shareholder Lyndi Cruickshank. Slackwater Brewing is releasing their second annual brew for International Women’s Day on March 8. (Submitted)
Penticton female brewmasters are “Making Waves” with their latest beer release

Making Waves is available across B.C. on March 8 in honour of International Women’s Day

Most Read