Column: Red hot Christmas wines for inflationary times

Column: Red hot Christmas wines for inflationary times

It’s that time of the year when you’re probably keen to celebrate the Christmas holidays with some good food and tasty wines that hopefully won’t break the bank. Here’s my list of recommended red wines and I’ve double-checked it!

Most of my items can be found in BC Liquor Stores: Richmond Brighouse (RB), Richmond Ironwood (RI) and Richmond Seafair (RS).

1. 2019 Quid Pro Quo, Alentejano, Portugal ($15.99)

89 points (Eric), 90 points (wine lover). This blend of four Portuguese strains and Syrah is one excellent purchase! Plenty of ripe red fruit on the nose and plums and blackberries on the palate.

Available from: RB, RI, RS

2nd Escudo Rojo 2020 Reserve Carmenere Baron Philippe de RothschildChile ($15.994 off)

92 points (Erich). Generous flavors of vanilla, plum and black cherry with rich plum, raspberry, cassis and strawberry on the palate. Supple round tannins in a medium body with green pepper and peppercorns. Decant overnight.

Available from: RB, RI, RS

3. Les Terrasses 2020 Pesquie Ventoux, France ($21.99)

91 points (Eric), 90 points (Wine Spectator). Generous nose of black cherry, vanilla and tobacco with plum aromas that give it complexity and freshness.

Available from: RB, RI, RS

4. Côtes du Rhône Halos de Jupiter 2020, France ($23.99 $3 off)

90 points (Jeb Dunnuck). Charming, complex and elegant with red and blue fruits, violets, candied oranges and spicy notes with black pepper.

Available from: RB, RI, RS

5. Chateau Belair Coubet 2019 Cotes de Bourg, France ($17.99 $2 off)

91 points (Eric), 90 points (wine lover). A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, this Bordeaux has aromas of black and red fruits and earthy notes. It reveals plum and cassis aromas and medium tannins. It’s drinkable now, but there’s still more aging potential.

Available from: RB, RI, RS

6. Molly Dooker 2019 The Boxer 2019 Shiraz, South Australia ($34.99)

92 points (Wine Spectator), 92 points (Eric). A rich, powerful yet smooth Shiraz with ripe blackberry, boysenberry and blueberry flavors. There are medium tannins and accents of liquorice, vanilla and milk chocolate. What’s not to love?

Available from: RB, RI, RS

7. Beringer Knight’s Valley 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, California ($44.99, $7 off)

90 points (Wine Advocate). There is an attractive floral presence that adds a touch of complexity to the cassis fruit, while the medium to full-bodied palate is silky and elegant.

8. Tinhorn Creek – Oldfield Series Merlot 2019, Okanagan ($29.99)

90 points (Erich). Wine Align Gold Medal Winner! This blend of Merlot with 9% Cabernet Sauvignon delivers flavors of freshly baked cherry pie, plum jam, redcurrant and raspberry with toast, vanilla and liquorice. Expect a vibrant acidity of juicy red fruit with hints of chocolate and well-integrated tannins.

Available from: RB, RI, RS

9. 2016 Country Vines Hot Pursuit, Okanagan ($18.99)

91 points (Erich). This eight year old full-bodied red wine is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah that has aged gracefully. It is a dark, opaque red with aromas of black, red and blue fruits and the floral scent of violets.

The Hot Pursuit shows medium tannins with some grip to give the wine structure against a background of black cherry, cassis, plum, blueberry and cigar box. All this and a wonderful acid-fruit balance that ends in a savory finish.

Available from: Country Vines Winery Richmond

10. Chronos 2018 Cabernet FriNC, Okanagan ($39.99)

91 points (Erich). Abundant fresh flavors of raspberry, white pepper, vanilla, violet and red fruit along with red plum, cherry and hints of herbs on the palate with a fresh, spicy finish. Decant for several hours to enjoy the complexity.

Available from: Ironwood Save-on-Foods

11. Lafage Bastide Miraflors 2017 Cotes Catalanes Syrah Grenache, France ($24.99 $2 off)

93 points, (Jeb Dunnuck). This 74 percent Syrah and 26 percent Grenache blend has flavors of cherry, black raspberry, forest floor, wild fennel, white pepper, and hints of black licorice chocolate, leather flavors and aromas. Silky and medium-bodied. It is delicious!

Available from: RB RI

12. Monte del Fra 2016 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Italy ($55.99 $2 off)

92 points (Wine Spectator), 95 points (James Suckling): “A complex and rich red with lots of dried orange peel and plum character. So tight and focused. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a nice finish.”

13. Meyer 2020 Pinot Noir, Okanagan ($26.99)

90 points (Erich). A generous aroma of black cherry, cherry and hints of earthy barnyard. Cranberries and rhubarb and soft tannins on the palate, plus a long, slightly bitter finish with a pinch of cinnamon.

Available at: Save-on-Foods Ironwood ($26.99) and Everything Wine Vancouver ($31.99)

Next week a list of delicious white wines for Christmas and the holidays.

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