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Column: Wine recommendations for January

Wines for upcoming holidays and celebrations in the next couple months.

A new year brings new excitement.  With the Lunar New Year, Valentine’s Day, Family Day and St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, there are plenty of reasons to stock up on wine.  With the new year, B.C. Liquor stores has brought in a lot of new wines, so this month, some of my recommendations are not on sale.  But there are plenty of interesting wines in stock this month.  So here are my wine recommendations for January 2022:

Cline 2018 Zinfandel Old Vines

Cline is a California wine producer established in 1982.  This wine is produced from grapes from the Lodi region in Sonoma.  Some of the grapes come from vines that are over 70 years old.  Using old vines produces grapes that give off more complex flavors.  2018 was another hot vintage for California and Zinfandel is an often-overlooked grape varietal that produces fruity, bold, high alcohol content wines.  It’s on sale this month from $18.99 to $16.49.

Trivento 2020 Malbec Reserve

Argentinean Malbec does not have to be expensive to give you tremendous drinking pleasure.  Malbec grapes produce very nice wines as long as you have hot weather, and 2020 was a hot year in the Mendoza region.  Expect to find black fruit and violet aromas with fruit, oak and tobacco on the palate.  It’s an exceptional value this month, as it is on sale from $14.99 to $12.99.

Piper Heidsieck Ice Cream Gift Set

With all the occasions I mentioned above, you may need a bottle of champagne as a gift or for a celebration event.  This month, B.C. Liquor stores have a gift set at $69.99 which consists of a bottle of Piper Heidsieck Non Vintage champagne in a cooler that is shaped like an ice cream cone.  It’s very festive and useful in keeping your champagne chilled. 

La Crema 2019 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

La Crema is a California winery that just celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2019 and specializes in producing wines from cool climates.  The wine is aged in oak for 7 months to give the wine a creamy and buttery texture; you should find citrus and green apple notes too.  It’s reduced this month from $32.99 to $30.99.

Le Vieux Donjon 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape

It seems that every year is a great year for Chateauneuf du Pape wines.  Wines from this French region are a blend of several different grape varieties (mostly Grenache) which gives the wine its complex and diverse flavors. Le Vieux Donjon is a relatively small, family-run winery that was established in 1966.  Its attention to detail has allowed them to create some spectacular wines at very reasonable prices.  Chateauneuf du Pape wines can be enjoyed right away but will benefit from four to five years of ageing before drinking.  This wine is priced at $68.99, but you are getting a top-shelf wine for that price.

I will also mention that there are many 2017 and some 2016 Bordeaux wines on sale.  Generally, these wines will need a few more years of ageing before they can enjoy but it is never a bad idea to buy quality Bordeaux when they go on sale.  For more recommendations, check out my YouTube channel

Until next time, happy drinking!

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