Blueberry off-dry Dessert Wine 2011 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: FAIL

Blueberry off-dry Dessert Wine 2011 – 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” (same description as their Blueberry Dessert Wine [C+])

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  • Style: (Blueberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Sour tangy acidic muddled short blueberry vinegar cloying rough tannic
  • 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: you’re joking
  • What made an impression: crap quality

Visual: (cellared for 4.5 years). Pours deep dark purple, suspended large bits of sediment.

Nose:  (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: big sour, medium acidic cloying

Mid-palate: (lvl-1-sweetness), tannic rough, tangy blueberry juice, berry vinegar,

Finish: tart rough palate, dry

Summary: It is way too sour acidic-vinegary and lacks counterbalancing sugars to make it enjoyable as a dessert wine; Total waste of time and money, not recommended at all.

(a “why would anyone drink this?” moment…)

Red Salmonberry Wine – Kermode Wild Berry Wines (Dewdney, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [A-]

Red Salmonberry Wine – Kermode Wild Berry Wines, 12% ABV, 375 ml., (Dewdney, BC, Canada) (*local BC Wine*)


on the back label:

“Red Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis). Sweet Flavour, exceptional color and a truly lovely bouquet, are the signatures of this delicate wine. Salmonberries are harvested from the south coast of BC to as far North as the mystic Queen Charlottle Islands. These berries turn from a fun childhood treat found on walks in the woods into a very grown-up dessert wine perfect for sharing with that special someone.”

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  • Style: (fruit – Red Salmonberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Cherry-cranberry-pomegranate red fruity controlled sugars short tangy clean sippable
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot @Cambie / Vancouver
  • How much: $25 CAD – 375 ml., sometime in ’11-’12
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados: yes!
  • What was most impressionable: big depth of berry flavour

Visual: (cellared for at least 5 years). Pours clear dark plum, a few bubbles in the glass.

Nose: fruity tart grape-raspberry, alcoholic backdrop. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: fruity sweet impression

Mid-palate: controlled (lvl-6-sweetness), cherry-cranberry-pomegranate blend, light tart, tangy short acidity

Finish: residual fruity sugars, mild alcohol warmth

Summary: Super red fruity while having a solid depth, controlled sugars and acidity, and a pleasant and clean finish. Supremely sippable. This would do wonders in a cocktail. I would buy another bottle if I ever see it again.

Himalayan Blackberry Wine – Kermode Wild Berry Wines (Dewdney, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [B-]

Himalayan Blackberry Wine – Kermode Wild Berry Wines,12% ABV, 750 ml., (Dewdney, BC, Canada) (*local BC Wine*)


on the back label:

“Served slightly chilled, this wine is sure to please one and all with its exceptional body and full-flavored finish. These blackberries are harvested in BC’s lush Fraser Valley where the mountains meet the meadows, by dedicated locals who hand pick these voluptuous berries at the peak of ripeness. Enjoy this complex off-dry wine with any occasion.”

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  • Style: (wild blackberry) Fruit Wine
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot @Cambie / Vancouver
  • How much: $21 CAD – 750 ml., sometime in ’11-’12
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to fruit wine aficionados: no, too plain

Visual: (cellared for at least 5 years). Pours clear dark magenta.

Nose: super fruity bright tangy blackberry juice, superbly clean. (lvl-10)-pungency

Attack: tangy fruity bright

Mid-palate: alcoholic zingy, (lvl-2-sweetness), background light alcoholic warmth, deep rich tangy blackberry, big tangy-firm acidity, building tartness

Finish: berry exhale, tart gums

Summary: Very drinkable with a clean and welcoming fruity entry displaying authentic blackberry depth and juiciness. As with most fruit wines, it becomes predictable after a glass.

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.

Full Moon Kerner Icewine 2005 – Sonoran Estate Winery (Summerland, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [B-]

Full Moon Kerner Icewine 2005 – Sonoran Estate Winery, 13.6% ABV, 200 ml., (Summerland, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


on the back label:

“The grapes for this delicious Ice Wine were harvested in Eric VonKrosigk’s vineyard by the light of a full moon. Rich honey, peaches and apricot aromas blaanced with flavours of lychee and pear. Hints of fresh mandarin oranges and citrus linger on the finish…”


  • Style: (Kerner) Icewine
  • Taste:
  • Where I got it : Liquor Depot / N. Burnaby
  • How much: $35, sometime in 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados:

Visual: (cellared for 12 years, 2005 bottle). Composite cork with hard wax top, still intact. Pours

Nose: tangy syrupy grape-plum, hints of toffee. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: slight thicker

Mid-palate: sweet crisp-tangy acidity, (lvl-7-sweetness), apricot, lychee, honey, peach, subdued alcohol

Finish: subtle throat warmth, red apple exhale, lingering apricot notes,

Summary: Quite juicy and complex flavourful, well done for a 13.6%. Wishing for more length in the mids and more flavour on the side palates. I like this more than their 13 Moons Oraniensteiner [C+].

Chardonnay Icewine 2010 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: D+ (bad P:E, price:enjoyability)

Chardonnay Icewine 2010 – Isabella Winery, 13% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC icewine*)


on the back label:

“This fresh Icewine Chardonnay is buttery and smooth nectar of richness demonstrates good balance, and exhibits flavors of ripe apple, apricot, melon and lemon zest. A hint of oak vanilla, toasted marshmallow aromas round out the robust yet gentle mouthfeel.”


  • Style: (Chardonnay) Icewine
  • Taste: Tangy red apple apricot soft sour crisp short length basic flavour
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $71 (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: never

Visual: (cellared for at least 7 years), real cork partially disintegrated upon uncorking. Pours apple juice yellow with a slight orange shade, crystal clear.

Nose: apple juice, Welch’s white grape, light sweet acidity. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming sweet juicy tangy

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), red apple, almost salty, tangy alcohol, very mild heat, apricot, watery viscosity

Finish: soft sour, residual medium tangy apricot-grape

Summary: Lol this is what you call impulse spending on liquor – buy the whole 20+ bottle lineup, review them all for blog, and check the bill later. In any case, another DNB, waste of money dessert wine from Isabella. Way too thin and basic apple flavour straight out of the fridge; Luckily the acidity kicks in as it warms and you get more tangy apricot in the backend. Still, a turd is a turd even if you cellar for 7 years it. Drinkable, but after feeling swindled.

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”

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  • 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.