Up until recently, virtual parties were reserved for catching up with your friends and family living on the other side of the world. However, with social distancing measures in place, our hangouts are now exclusively online.
It’s not all bad, either. Since nobody is commuting to a restaurant or bar, everyone arrives on time. The dress code — whether it’s casual apparel, pyjamas, or both — is entirely up to you. But most importantly, you can plan a virtual wine tasting with minimal effort.
Now is the perfect time to do this because Vancouver’s Marquis Wine Cellars is running a promotion throughout May to benefit St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation. When you purchase wine from their hand-picked selection of BC Local Heroes, $2 per bottle will be donated. All other BC wines will generate a $1 donation.
To give you some background, John Clerides, the owner of Marquis Wine Cellars, was the first to bring wines like dry rosé, organic, and biodynamic blends to Vancouver before they were available at government liquor stores. While in-store events are currently on hold, the retailer is offering virtual tastings via their e-newsletter.
Without further ado, here are some local wines to choose from ahead of your next virtual tasting, with notes to guide you through each memorable and unique bottle.
Aromatic and classically floral, this malbec boasts aromas of garden mint, violet, and black cherry — finishing with subtle notes of sweet cinnamon and cocoa. This wine is normally only available through Culmina’s wine club.
Embodied by a deep yellow hue, this riesling carries aromas of pink lady apples, dried banana chips, and white orchard flowers with notes of ripe apricot and spring honey (AKA spring in a bottle).
Red lovers, rejoice. This dark, fruity red has been raised in neutral French oak barrels for 12 months, and it has an undeniable palate of sage and savoury berries.
Crisp and dry, this citrus-inspired sauvignon blanc offers flavours of honeydew melon, gooseberry, and green bean finishing with lingering notes of fresh cut grass and thyme.
This balanced pinot noir can do no wrong with notes of cherry, vanilla, toast, and spicy velvety tannins. It also flows with infusions of rich black and red fruits.
A delicious and fruity white, this pinot gris opens with its signature cool, creamy textures and understated leesy fruit. One is rarely disappointed by Blue Mountain Winery’s Reserve Gris, especially in a great year like 2016 (which explains why it’s currently sold out at the winery). Pair it with a pesto pasta for the perfect meal!
Comparable to summer in a wine glass, this vibrant white has aromas of green pepper, peach blossom, and orange, with finishing notes of vanilla, and, wait for it… crème brûlée.
As an award-winning white, this pinot gris is a thirst-quencher that finishes with perfection. Flavours of apricot and nectarine, with a tropical essence of citrus and pineapple, add to the magic.
The first sip of this pinot noir greets you with notes of cranberry and dried fruit, and aromas of cherry, fig, and star anise. It has a lingering finish with subtle acidity, making it a match for sunset-gazing from your balcony.
At CedarCreek Winery, the pinot noir for this wine is grown exclusively for rosé and picked earlier than it would be for pinot noir. Fermentation takes place in 100% stainless steel casks for a crisp and fresh finish. Pair it with smoked salmon for the perfect bite!
Bright cherry, black plum fruit, floral violet, orange zest notes — while it may sound like it belongs on a dessert menu, this merlot promises elegant tannins and complex dried spice notes befitting a gourmet dinner. Pair with a grilled leg of lamb (seasoned with rosemary), braised rabbit, or portobello mushrooms rubbed with tapenade.
The aforementioned wines and more are available to order online or in-store at Marquis Wine Cellars in the West End.
If you visit in person, you’ll notice a hand sanitizer station upon entry where shoppers are encouraged to self-sanitize. Extra measures are also being taken by staff at the store, with surfaces wiped down multiple times per day.
Prefer contactless delivery? Marquis Wine Cellars offers that to residents of Vancouver, and you can work out social distancing procedures with the driver to ensure you’re comfortable. Plus, wine enthusiasts can anticipate their order to arrive within approximately two business days, with free delivery on all orders over $200 + taxes.
For more information and to shop the vast selection of unique wines available, visit marquis-wines.com.
Address: 1034 Davie Street, Vancouver
Hours: 11 am to 7 pm daily