Cranberry Wine – Sanduz Estate Wines (Richmond, BC, Canada) 

  • My Rating: [B]

Cranberry Wine (NV)- Sanduz Estate Winery (now named Canada Berries), 11% ABV, 750 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC wine*)


on the back label:

“Cranberries from Richmond, B.C. One of the world most unique areas for growing this fruit. Harvested, then gently pressed to yield a rich colorful juice. Cool fermented to yield this wonderful sweet tart wine…”

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  • Style: (Cranberry) Fruit Wine
  • Taste: Big fruity balanced tangy soft cranberry light raspberry juicy
  • Where I got it : @Winery / Richmond
  • How much: $19 CAD, October 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: yes
  • What made an impression: easy fruity drinking

Visual: (cellared for 3 years). Real cork, intact. Pours clear pale scarlet with barely visible suspended micro sediment.

Nose: candied cranberry juice with perfumey nuances. Quite appealing. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: tangy tart fruity

Mid-palate: (lvl-5-sweetness), big tangy fruity acidity, juicy cranberry juice, controlled alcoholic tang,

Finish: hints of raspberry & cinnamon, residual tart fruit cranberry

Summary: A very, very drinkable and approachable fruit wine that is rounded enough on its own in addition to being a good meal companion. The acidity and tartness does get somewhat cloying after a glass or two, but still recommended.

Red Racer Smore Stout – Central City Brewers (Surrey, BC, Canada) 

Red Racer Smore Stout – Central City Brewers & Distillers, 6.0% ABV, 650 ml., (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


printed on the front-left label:

Like a delicious smore, this craft beer creation is infused with marshmallow flavour, chocolate, fall spice flavour and has a smooth, creamy centre.

Ingredients: water, malted barley, chocolate, vanilla, lactose, hops, spices, natural flavours.

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  • Style: (flavoured – chocolate, vanilla, lactose) Sweet Stout
  • Taste: Sweet nutmeg chocolate barley malt vanilla extract bittersweet dull profile
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $6.30 CAD – 650 ml., December 2017
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: nope
  • What made an impression: big spices, dull flavour

Visual: Pours dark brown without much of a head, thin ringed retention w/ half island, several slow micro streams.

Nose: chocolate, vanilla sweet malt (lvl-8)-intensity

Attack: crisp-tingly, nutmeg

Mid-palate: toasted liquid barley malt, (lvl-5-sweetness), mild milky, chocolate malt

Finish: soft roasted bitter, vanilla extract, lingering bittersweet malt

Summary: A prominent but dull spice presence; The vanilla flavour is rather basic and tastes of the inexpensive extract variety. The malt backbone lacks length and carry but the overall spice + malt combo is at least drinkable, although not the least bit memorable. It has a bit of lingering and compounding astringency – this beer doesn’t taste at all like a s’more.

Full Patch Pumpkin Ale – Longwood Brewery (Nanaimo, BC, Canada)

Full Patch Pumpkin Ale – Longwood Brewery, 9% ABV – 650ml., (Nanaimo, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the front-left label:

“This seasonal Belgian style saison is not for the faint of heart. Born in a pumpkin patch and rasied in the brewery, this 9% bad boy is not your grandma’s pumpkin pie. Eight slaughtered pumpkins and a whole lotta spice were boiled in a cauldron of barley, hops, and anything else we could find lying around. Fly orange with full patch.”

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  • Style: (pumpkin, spices) Spiced Ale
  • Taste: Sweet pumpkiny brown sugar barley malt mild ginger light clove
  • Where I got it : High Point / Vancouver
  • How much: $7.30 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 650ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Recommended: nah
  • What made a impression: big brown sugar sweetness

Visual: (cellared for 1 year). Pours dark brown with a smallish 1mm lasting creamy head, lots and lots of singular steady micro streams.

Nose: brown sugar, ginger, clove, biscuity barley malt (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: crisp, thicker tingly

Mid-palate: pumpkiny (lvl-7-sweetness), ginger, brown sugar barley malt,

Finish: residual brown sugar sweetness, clove exhale

Summary: Not terribly complex but at least the 9% ABV is well hidden. The sugars become heavy on the palate after half a glass – there’s not enough depth to round it out.

Raspberry Dessert Wine 2011 – Isabella Winery (Richmond, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: B

Raspberry Dessert Wine 2011 – Isabella Winery, 11% ABV – 375 ml., (Richmond, BC, Canada) (*local BC fruit wine*)


on the back label:

“This raspberry dessert wine displays intoxicating aromas of fresh picked raspberries and a little plum pudding. On the palate it is richly layered with fresh picked raspberries and a little plum tart. It has just enough sweetness and acidity not to make it tiresome to the palate and the delicate fresh stays in the mouth for minutes after you sip it. Enjoy it with black forest cake, blueberry tart or just by itself.”

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  • Style: (Raspberry) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: Tangy authentic raspberry light sour tangy slight cloying
  • 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
  • Recommendable: yes
  • What made an impression: rich raspberry

Visual: (cellared for 4.5 years). Pours dirty dark magenta with runny legs.

Nose: tangy raspberry juice (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: rich fruity, zingy subdued alcohol

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), big tangy, juicy tart authentic raspberry, firm sour acidity, slight jammy cloying

Finish: raspberry juice exhale

Summary: Finally after almost 10 misses, an above average and enjoyable dessert wine from Isabella Winery that has flavourful depth and a drinkable balance.

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…)

Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter – Powell Street Craft Brewery (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter – Powell Street Craft Brewery, 6% ABV – 27 IBUs, 650 ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft beer*)


on the back label:

“We’ve aged a robust porter for six months in American whiskey barrels. Notes of cherry and vanilla enhance the subtle dark fruit and coffee flavours of this limited edition beer.

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  • Style: (whiskey barrel aged) Porter
  • Taste: Heavy sweet caramel toffee malt alcoholic vanilla
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N. Bby
  • How much: $9 CAD (after 12.5% off) – 650 ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: nah, not enough balance
  • What made an impression: aromatic vanilla from barrel aging

Visual: (cellared for 1.5 years). Pours heart of darkness black with a small 1cm frothy head, 1mm retention, lots of fast tight clustered streams.

Nose: brown sugar molasses malt, vanilla (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: crisp-fizzy-airy, sweet impression

Mid-palate: tingly-bloated, sweet cocoa, cloying heavy (lvl-7-sweetness), light woody, sweet caramel-toffee malt, tangy alcohol

Finish: vanilla, cherry-dark fruit, mild bittersweet

Summary: Decent body, but too much persistent sweetness that becomes cloying and heavy on the palate. The whiskey barrel influence is certainly there, but it’s lacking in creaminess and finesse to balance it out.

Joy (Sparkling Mead) 2008 – Meadow Vista Honey Wines (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

Joy – Sparkling Honey Wine 2008 – Meadow Vista Honey Wines, 12.2% ABV, 750 ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada) (*local BC mead*)

-Best Winery @ Winefest 2010 Edmonton & Calgary


printed on the back of the bottle:

Crisp bubbles and elegant fruit flavours with just a hint of honey are a joy to savour. It is the beverage environmentally savvy Champagne lovers choose to celebrate their joyous occasions.

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  • Style: (sparkling) Mead
  • Taste: Lively CO2 off-dry tart blackberry-apple mild honey
  • Where I got it : Hotel Eldorado / Kelowna
  • How much: $39 CAD – 750 ml., Summer 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to mead aficionados: yes
  • What made an impression: easy sipping, great meal companion

Visual: (cellared for 7 years). Twisty steel top with real cork. Pours light straw yellow with a very, very lively Champagne-like CO2 activity.

Nose: tangy blackberry-apple preserve, rich. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: lively crisp, bright acidity

Mid-palate: (lvl-2-sweetness), tangy-tart green apple, mild honey

Finish: blackberry, burpy, dry tart

Summary: This has a very generous, fizzy-bright entry that is very welcoming to the palate. The alcohol is stealth-like and compounds like interest with every sip. Moderate berry notes with honey providing a decent backdrop. The body at the finish could be bolder.