Apple Pear Wine 2008 – Rustic Roots Winery (Cawston, BC, Canada)

Apple Pear Wine 2008 (apple cider and plum wine blend) – Rustic Roots Winery, 12.0% ABV, 750 ml., (Cawston, BC, Canada

description from the Rustic Roots website:

“This fresh crisp acidic wine has deceiving aromas of sweet baked apples with a surprisingly big midpalate with a dry and fresh palate of green apples, quince, spice and a touch of pineapple.  Made with 5 Varieties of Organic Similkameen Apples (Ambrosia, Gala, Macintosh, HoneyCrisp, Golden) and 3 Varieties of Organic Similkameen Pears (D’Anjou, Bartlett and Comice) This wine mimics an Unoaked Chardonnay with a bit of a Gewurztraminer, with its fresh green apple, pear, spice and pineapple nuances.”

  • Style: Apple-Pear Wine
  • Taste: Fruity juicy off-dry tangy mild tannic green/red apple mild pear hints of spice-pineapple
  • Where I got it : Liberty Wines (?) / Vancouver
  • How much: $22 CAD – 750ml., sometime in 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados: not raving

Visual: (cellared for 9 years). Pours clear light golden yellow, pristine clarity.

Nose: apple juice with a some dank woody peel, slight pear influence. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: bright fruity entry, juicy dry apple impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-3-sweetness), tangy juicy acidity, slightly dank apple wine, green apple, woody apple peel

Finish: hints of cinnamon/nutmeg spice, perfumey pear-red apple exhale, off-dry palate, pineapple notes.

Summary: It has the advertised flavours, solid quality and composition. The fruitiness helps offset the dryness and together they create an appetizing and sippable combo. All around clean, medium body, good complexity and transitions.

Blueberry Dessert Wine 2007 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: C+

Blueberry Dessert Wine 2007 – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)

on the back label:

“Overlooking the historic Fraser River in the heart of blueberry country, Isabella Winery balances blueberry characteristics in this off-dry dessert wine. Delicious drizzled over vanilla ice cream”

  • Style: (Blueberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Dense sweet juicy rich blueberry-blackberry tangy firm acidic mild alcohol
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $17 (after 15% off) – 375 ml., January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: decent if untainted

Visual: (cellared for 10 years), a bit of mold on top of the cork. Pours deep purple, a bit of sediment.

Nose: light acidic alcoholic blueberry juice (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: slightly syrupy, dense sweet blueberry impression

Mid-palate: tangy firm acidity, (lvl-8-sweetness), rich blueberry-mild blackberry juiciness

Finish: residual sugars, berry exhale, trace amounts of mold in the aftertaste (from the cork I suspect)

Summary: Isabella Winery sure is hit and miss. While the majority of their products are mediocre at best, this one is actually above average. It’s a shame that there was just a touch of mold in the aftertaste. Can’t say I would but this again, but I’m certainly glad I didn’t feel ripped off. The sugars make my sensitive teeth tingle.

Mure Oh! – Merridale Ciderworks (Cobble Hill, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [C+]

Mure Oh! Fortified Blackberry Wine – Merridale Ciderworks Corp., 19.5% ABV, 375 ml., (Cobble Hill, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine)

on the front-left label:

“A delicate blend of our own blackberry brandy and blackberry juice gives this dessert drink a full fruity richness with a deep colour”


  • Style: (fortified blackberry wine) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Forward alcohol very tart deep blackberry wine slight smoky alcoholic warmth
  • Where I got it : Brewery Creek (?)
  • How much: ~$25 CAD – 375ml., sometime in 2012-2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: 50/50

Visual: (cellared for at least 3 years). Synthetic cork, really stuck in there. Pours

Nose: deep luscious tangy blackberry wine, soft alcoholic background (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: tart berriness, almost immediate alcohol

Mid-palate: more alcohol presence, luscious tangy blackberry wine, slight smokiness, eau-de-vie

Finish: very tart, blackberry wine exhale, moderate throat warmth

Summary: A lot of depth to the blackberry, but with it comes a rather forward alcohol presence. The blackberry flavour itself has the dark berriness but lacks the bright, tangy juiciness you find in the fresh fruit; thus after a glass the taste becomes predictable and overly tart. Too much alcohol, not enough complexity.

Fortified Raspberry Fruit Wine – Wellbrook Winery (Delta, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: B

Fortified Raspberry fruit wine (Non-vintage) – Wellbrook Winery, 16% ABV – 375 ml., (Delta, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)

  • Style: (Fruit – Raspberry) Fortified Fruit Wine
  • Taste: Rich tangy-zingy sour raspberry juice integrated alcohol
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $22 (after 5% off) – 375ml., November 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: yep!

Visual: Real cork. Pours blood red, ultra clear and thicker viscosity.

Nose: bursting tangy raspberry juice with some currant and alcohol in the backend – awesome. (lvl-10)-pungency

Attack: tingly-tangy, dense fruity raspberry

Mid-palate: (lvl-7-sweetness), big tangy-zingy-sour alcohol, tangy raspberry juice,

Finish: fruity tart, red/black currant/raspberry depth, soft alcoholic throat warmth, lingering tangy acidity.

Summary: Consistent with their Blackberry [B] and Cranberry [B-] fortified wines, this raspberry is also full of authentic berry depth and a structured alcoholic body. It gets somewhat more aggressive at is warms, but is still very engaging.

Pippin 2011 – Rustic Roots Winery (Cawston, BC, Canada)

Pippin 2011 – Rustic Roots Winery, 11.5% ABV, 750 ml., (Cawston, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)

description from the Rustic Roots website, and a photo of a cox orange pippin apple:pippin-apple

“This Crisp, Clean White Sparkling Wine made with 100% Similkameen Valley Fruit, contains 70% Pippin Apple and 30% Organic Nectarine.  This wine has beautiful Aromatics with a clean, light and crisp palate, displaying aromas and flavors of green apple, floral, a touch of nectarine skin on the finish and creamy bubbles.”

  • Style: (frizzante, Iced Orin apple) Sparkling Fruit Wine
  • Taste: Crisp refreshing dry tangy light sour green apple light nectarine exhale
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $29 CAD (after 10% off) – 750ml., September 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados: 1x is okay

Visual: (cellared for 6 years). Quality frosted hefty bottle & sturdy cap. Pours clear bright apple juice yellow with lots of soda-like activity, big bubbles hugging the glass, champagne-like streams.

Nose: very faint nectarine candy. (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: fizzy-crisp, fruity

Mid-palate: tingly, dry (lvl-1-sweetness), light green apple, light apple wine, tangy-sour-acidity

Finish: soft tart, light nectarine exhale

Summary: Lots of fizzy activity in this one along with a dry-tangy acidic backbone to keep things going. Not a ton of apple nor nectarine flavour, thus not leaving much of an impact. Goes down easy and hits pretty stealth, but ultimately forgettable.

Strawberry Dessert Wine – Sanduz Estate Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [B]

Strawberry Dessert Wine (NV)- Sanduz Estate Winery (now named Canada Berries), 16% ABV, 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)

  • Style: (strawberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Eau-de-vie alcoholic soft prickly strawberry throat heat
  • Where I got it : @Winery / Richmond
  • How much: $26 – 375 ml., October 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: worth a try if they still sell it

Visual: (cellared for 2 years). Real cork. Pours dark ruby red with a hint of purple, clear and thicker viscosity.

Nose: fragrant luscious tangy strawberry juice – Immaculate. (lvl-10)-pungency

Attack: background off-dry alcohol

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), mild strawberry jam, eau-de-vie alcohol, prickly tangy acidity

Finish: throat heat alcohol attack, strawberry exhale

Summary: An incredibly inviting real strawberry nose starts it off nicely. Its sweetness is rather tame of a dessert wine; I suspect this has been fortified because I detect a prominent eau-de-vie presence in the mids that carries through to the finish. About 60/40-alcohol/fruitiness ratio. Not your typical syrupy sweet dessert fruit wine, quite sippable.

Iced Orin Frizzante – Rustic Roots Winery (Cawston, BC, Canada)

Iced Orin Frizzante (NV) – Rustic Roots Winery, 11.0% ABV, 375 ml., (Cawston, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)

Notes about the Orin Appleorin-apple

  • originated from Japan, phonetically the same: 王林 = “Ou-rin”
  • a hybrid of Golden Delicious and Indo (印度)
  • high sweetness and low tartness despite it’s Granny smith green appearance

-description from the Rustic Roots website:

“Western Canada’s First Sparkling Iced Apple Wine!  This wine is made with the rare Organic Sweet Orin Apple and displays amazing apple concentration with a rich palate.  There is a beautiful balance on this wine with a sweet front of the palate with rich intense apple.  The finish has a ton of granny smith apple notes combined with soft creamy bubbles, leaving this wine very clean on the palate without the cloying richness of most iced wines.   This is the perfect wine for a very special occasion.”

  • Style: (frizzante, Iced Orin apple) Sparkling Fruit Wine
  • Taste: Rich tangy dense rich lengthy red apple
  • Where I got it : West Coast Liquor / Vancouver
  • How much: $31 CAD, January 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: YES
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados: yes

Visual: (cellared for 3 years). Pours deep golden yellow with a very small dissipating head, bubbly ringed retention, active single and clustered streams.

Nose: tangy sweet clean filtered apple juice. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: dense tangy-sugars

Mid-palate: gentle-fizzy-zingy, fruity (lvl-8-sweetness), icewine-like richness, a bit of woodiness, pleasant tangy alcohol

Finish: Granny smith apple exhale, lingering rich red apple exhale

Summary: Immediately approachable and easily finished. No longer sold according to their website (12/2016), but they are taking pre-orders. Overall it has a superbly clean tangy apple flavour with bits of interesting nuances to tickle your palate.