Why Is This Wine Expensive?

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Dating back to when I was studying to become a Sommelier, the #1 question has always been ‘What makes a good wine’?  My answe?  A wine that you like.  Question #2 has always been ‘Why are some wines more expensive than others’?  Now that answer is a lot tougher to answer.  Maybe not tough, but it definitely has more factors to it.

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Location, Location, Location!

Like real estate, the location where the grapes are grown play a huge role in the price of a wine.  Cabernet Sauvignon grapes coming out of France’s famous Bordeaux region are going to be more expensive than those coming out of Chile or Argentina.  When a region has hundreds of years of history of producing fine wines, they get to charge premium.


Chateau Lafitte Rothschild was awarded #1 Vineyard in Bordeaux in 1855 and has never lost that status.   In damp conditions they are known to hire helicopters to hover over the vineyards to dry them out!  They will not always put out a vintage to boost the price of next year’s vintage.   Thats money!  And that is reflected in the price, as this bottle sellsfor about $1000.   Be careful though, because in 2012 police in China seized 10,000 bottles of counterfeit wine, with this label, but ir was counterfeit.

If you would like a taste of Bordeaux but don’t have $1000 to shell out for a bottle of wine, try this one.


Vited one if the best Bordeaux wines under $30; this wine is $16.50, affordable for every wallet.  Chateau Courteillac was really turned around when Dominic Menert bought it in 1998,  and although he sold it in late 2016 to a large wine retailer in China, all the staff have stayed on to make this quality wine.


Certain  vineyards in parts of the world are situated so that it is impossible to get equipment in to reap the harvest.   When that is the situation, you need to hire workers to go in and get the grapes.


Check out the slopes on this Vineyard in Lombardy, France.  You’re not getting equipment to harvest those grapes!   As I said, champagne has many slopes.   Mini wine makers feel slopes are ideal for growing grapes because of drainage and light.


It’s probably why this Ace of Spades Champagne starts at about $300 and can be as high as $650.

Now for my wine of the week….


My friend Amber  had me taste this with her this past week, and I’m in love.  Vivino, the wine app, calls it one of the Top 25 Syrah wines in Chile.  Sometimes wines from Chile get the label of affordable, drinkable quaff at reasonable prices.  And don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of fine wines that come out of Chile under $20.  This wine sells for $52 here in Halifax, but it is so good, it is worth every penny.   We are actually getting a good deal, as the average price for this wine in the United States is $60 a bottle, and while doing research online about this wine, actually found a place that sells it for $85 a bottle.  So $52 is a bit of a steal, and the flavors are fantastic with a great finish that stays with you.

Well, thats it for me this week

Till next week, Cheers


Wine A Little, Wine A Lot

0FFEB635-A4E5-4D50-BDB1-16676F76A8C4My apologies to my family and friends who have had to endure me complaining about the high temperatures over the past few weeks. I’m sorry, but extremely high temperatures are no different than extremely low temperatures. They both suck!  I have been vacationing with family in town and there have been times I have missed the air conditioning at work.  I’ve still managed to enjoy a glass of wine here and there.



My parents and I were invited to supper at the place of fabulous friends, the Golden Girls, some of my favourite people in the world.  We bought this wine and my Mom loved it, so we bought it again. My mom loves Chardonnay and this fabulous find is from Chile’s most established and well known Vineyard, Concha y Toro,   It’s a triple white blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Blanc. A fantastic wine for under $17 and super food friendly.  Because of the three different grape varietals, it would pair well with a wide range if foods.  We enjoyed it all on its own, playing a few ganes of cards.


While visiting the Anapolis Valley with my parents, we stopped into the beautiful Lightfoot and Wolfville Vineyard.  It was my first time visiting the location but not the first time enjoying their spectacular wines.  I did however try their version of Tidal Bay fir the first time later that day.


Tidal Bay is a wine that many Nova Scotia Vineyards produce with guidance from the Wine Association of Nova Scotia, and each Tidal Bay is a little different.  They do, however, reflect the terroir of Nova Scotia and is designed to pair well with seafood.  It also pairs well with a wide variety of tapas and appetizers.  This is a wonderful version of Tidal Bay from a wonderful organic Vineyard.


My nuece surprised us all with a visit from Ontario, with her twins Abigail and Quentin.  It was great for my parents seeing their great grandchildren and we had a fantastic week.


And now for my wine of the week…


When I was in California, visiting the Coppola Vineyard was one of the highlights.  Getting 95 points at the California State Wine Fair, thus fantastic wine is under $20.   When Francis Ford Coppola was growing up, wine was a part of their daily life, so he designed this wine meant to be enjoyed every day.  Gorgeous flavours of plum, mocha and cherries, it’s so good I went back and bought two more.


That’s it for this week

Till next week, Cheers


It’s Wine-Thirty Folks

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It’s a long weekend here in Nova Scotia, with Monday being the Natal Day holiday.  Do you find in the Summer everything feels like a reason to get together and enjoy a beverage?  It’s like Summer is one big patio party, and I’m OK with that.  One of my favorite things about Summer, and life in general, is getting together with friends and family and enjoying a glass of good wine.  Here’s a few you may want to try.


How about a great valued Malbec from Argentina?  90 Points by many wine critics including Robert Parker and priced under $18.  Yes, please!

Saint Clair Riesling

I had the opportunity to recently try this Riesling from the Saint Clair Family Estate, and it was one of the best I’ve had in a while.  Other wine critics seem to agree as it has been awarded as high as 93 Points.  I had the pleasure to meet Saint Clair winemaker Kyle Thompson a couple of years back.  A very sweet and very talented guy. He is the Senior Winemaker at Saint Clair and I enjoyed trying a few wines with him.

And now for my wine of the week….


Would you look at all the golden circle surrounding this wine bottle!  Those are awards.   This beautiful baby was a birthday gift from one of my best friends, Sandra   Voted the mist admired wine brand in the world, Concha y Toro celebrates 135 years in business this year.  This robust Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied with distinctive tannins and notes of leather and cedar.  This 2015 is a keeper with lots of aging potential.


Enjoy the weekend, dont drink and drive, and play it safe in the heat

Till next week, Cheers