Wine 101

Whether you are a novice wine drinker, or an expert, tasting is fun. Everyone can be a wine expert. In essence all you have to know is what you like or not like. The price of the wine shouldn’t be looked at as a rule in finding good wine. The bottom line is, you have to like it.

When planning a winery visit, there are some guidelines to follow. These are not hard rules, just hints to give you a head start. There is only one hard rule for wine tasting: Have fun!

If you know the date and time you’re coming, let us know. It’s not a necessity but a good practice, especially if you are traveling in a group (6+). It will give us time to get ready for you, even, if we already have a booking for the time of your anticipated arrival. We will never turn anyone away, but why wait if you can avoid it. And please no perfumes or heavy aftershave lotion as it interferes with the experience of wine tasting!

As much as we like you to taste our wines and have fun, we want you to be safe on the road. So please drink responsibly or have a designated driver. Or even better: hire one of the many wine tour companies.

Our portfolio is extensive, from light, crisp whites to heavy, bold reds to succulent dessert wines. We offer four complimentary wines, of your choice, to taste and an Icewine tasting for a small fee. So have a plan. Try something you like, or be adventurous and try something you otherwise wouldn’t have. You never know, you might be surprised and go for that unusual blend or varietal.

Swirl the wine around the glass. It will help to release more aromas. When smelling the wine, do not be afraid to put your nose into the glass. Take a deep breath. We can smell thousands of aromas. Try to discern what it is that you smell. It is loads of fun.

Finally, take a small amount in your mouth, swirl it around, swallow or not, but do not pay too much attention. This is just to prime your mouth for the real deal. Take a second sip and swirl it around again. Slurp it a bit. Now you can taste the wine for real. Sweetness comes from the tip of your tongue, bitterness at the back, acidity on the side. Do you still taste it five, ten, or more seconds afterward?

When tasting wines, the feel is how the wine touches your tongue. Is it rich and full? Lean and light? Are there bubbles? Does it tingle at the edges of your tongue? Tannins, for example, will feel dry on your tongue, like biting into a grape seed or drinking very strong tea.

It’s okay to spit. The bucket is always within reach. Winemakers spit, too. Don’t forget, your goal is to taste wines, not to get inebriated (we hope!). If there is wine left in your glass after tasting, feel free to finish it off or simply dump it. It is okay with us, one way or the other.

Confused? Ask the tasting room staff to describe the wine for you and see if you can match their description to what is floating around in your head. Sometimes it will. Sometimes it won’t. Wines are very personal.

Our wines are available throughout BC; however, none of the retail outlets carry our entire portfolio. So if you like one (or more), buy it. If you need an empty case, we’d be happy to provide one. And remember, the Okanagan weather can be quite hot, so once back in the hotel, don’t leave the wine in the trunk of your car. Excessive heat can spoil the wine. Also, hard as it may be, after a long drive, let the wine rest a day or so before drinking it.