Serenity Cidre Blanco – Howling Moon Craft Cider (Oliver, BC, Canada)

  • My Rating: [B-]

Serenity Cidre Blanco – Howling Moon Craft Cider, 9.5% ABV, 750ml, (Oliver, BC, Canada) (*local BC craft cider*)

the description from their website:

“Made with a blend of 50% Swiss sharp cider apples and 50% late-harvest old-growth Pinot Blanc grapes, this lightly effervescent sparkling cider exhibits notes of melon and apricot. With a beautiful bouquet and a long lasting finish, this well balanced sparkling cider, goes great with shellfish, other seafoods as well as other light salads and main courses.”

  • Style: (flavoured – pinot blanc) Apple Cider
  • Taste: White wine acidic crisp tart sour green apple off dry hint melon stealth alcholic
  • Where I got it : Libations / Vancouver
  • How much: $21.85 CAD (after 5% off) – 750ml., February 2016
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: yes, an interesting hybrid

Visual: Quality hefty bottle. Pours clear very pale light sunshine yellow with some fizzy activity, no head.

Nose: white wine musky, light red apple juice. (lvl-2)-pungency

Attack: bright white wine richness

Mid-palate: tingly CO2, green apple, background sour, tart crisp-airy acidic, (lvl-2-sweetness), alcoholic bitter

Finish: light notes of melon, residual white wine acidity

Summary: Lots of big textural mouthfeel in this one – crisp/sour/tart/acidic/alcoholic, coupled with a structured body – this one drinks fuller than your typical ‘made with apples only’ cider. The acidity compounds with each sip so this is better with a meal. Super stealth alcohol hit as well, be careful.

White Bear Riesling 2010 (Oliver, BC, Canada)


  • My Rating: [C-]

Riesling 2010 – White Bear Wines, 12.5% ABV, 750ml, (Oliver, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“BC’s Great Bear Rainforest is 21 million acres and is the largest coastal temperate rainforest in the world. It is home to grizzly bears, coastal wolves, salmon and the rare white Kermode or ‘Spirit’ Bear, which exists nowhere in the world besides this rainforest. Protecting habitat of this ‘umbrella’ species will protect many other species. A globally significant conservation effort is underway so that this rainforest can thrive for future generations.”


  • Style: (White wine) Riesling
  • Taste: Sour sustained dry acidic green apple lime
  • Where I got it : Legacy Liquor Store (Van)
  • How much: $14 (after 10% off) – 750ml., May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados:

Visual: Screw-top cap. Pours clear light yellow, lots of micro bubbles clinging to the side of the glass.

Nose: green apple, honey dew, tingly acidity (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: mouth-flooding acidity

Mid-palate: (lvl-2), (MAIN) green apple, lime

Finish: sustained sour-acidity, thicken saliva.

Summary: Too much acidity and not enough inviting fruitiness. There are many other Rieslings I’d much prefer to have than this.

Calliope Riesling 2010 (BC, Canada)


  • My Rating: [C]

Riesling 2010, 13% ABV, 750ml, (Oliver, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“Calliope (ka-LIE-oh-pee) wine embodies the freedom a beauty of its two namesakes: B.C.’s tiniest hummingbird, and the Greek Muse of Eloquence. Calliope is an escape from tradition; winemakers are empowered to utilize their creative talents to explore new taste profiles and expressive, fresh characteristics in each variety. The nose on this lively Riesling smacks of luscious orange blossoms, with hints of peach and pear. Bright acidity and ripe grapefruit refresh the palate. The perfect choice with Lemongrass BBQ Pork.”


  • Style: (White wine) Riesling
  • Taste: Sour acidic tangy fruity apple/pear
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $18 (after 10% off) – 750ml., May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: can’t say I do

Visual: Screw-top cap. Pours clear light yellow.

Nose: Acidic tangy, pear, light muscat. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: fruity acidity

Mid-palate: medium puckery sour, (MAIN) lime, stonefruit, apple/pear, (lvl-3)-sweetness covered by the acidity.

Finish: grapefruity semi-sweet acidic finish.

Summary: Pretty standard, nothing that notable. Decent body and acidity.

Blueberry Dessert Wine – Silver Sage Winery (Oliver, BC, Canada)


  • My Rating: C-

Blueberry Dessert Wine 2009 – Silver Sage Winery, 20% ABV – 375ml, (Oliver, BC, Canada)

On the back label:

“Intensely rich and fresh with a deep purplish red colour and the unique natural blueberry flavour. This outstanding wine has a distinct perfume, very fine depth and length. A great wine, even majestic-good on its own or is an excellent cheese cake companion.”


  • Style: (Blueberry) Fruit Dessert Wine
  • Taste Profile: Mellow fruity/off-dry alcoholic blueberry-black currant eau-de-vie
  • Where I got it : Port Moody Liquor Store
  • How much: $32 ($25 online) – 375ml, August 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: no, it doesn’t scream ‘blueberry’

Visual: Pours deep maroon, with thicker than water viscosity.

Nose: mellow blueberry aroma, vodka-like alcohol detection (lvl-3)-pungency

Attack: incoming berry fruits, light oily viscosity

Mid-palate: (lvl-2)-super mellow sweetness, eau-de-vie alcohol detection, (MAIN) true blueberry flavour but without the tangy+sweetness, black currant

Finish: residual fruitiness, off-dry fruit brandy alcohol sweetness.

Summary: I wouldn’t say this is much of a dessert wine due to the fact it lacks the robust sweetness most dessert wines have. This drinks more like a less-alcoholic yet fruitier Eau-de-vie/fruit brandy, in that it lacks any tangy/tart/acidity that fruit wines almost always contain but retains the essence of the natural fruit in the spirit.


The Flame (Late Harvest Gewurztraminer) – Silver Sage Winery (Oliver, BC, Canada)


  • My Rating: D

The Flame 2008 – Silver Sage Winery, 14% ABV – 375ml, (Oliver, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“A very unique combination of sweet and spice to create an aperitif wine. A true challenge for any wine lover. This wine has a rich bouquet of peach and apricot natural aromas and the unique hot pepper spice. Serve ice cold. A true seafood and meat companion. The taste that leaves you wanting more.”

  • Style: (cayenne pepper spiced) Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Aperitif wine
  • Taste: Aggressive flaming hot veggie pepper peach with stomach gurgle
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $25 – 375ml., summer of 2009
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: no

Visual: Inside the bottle is what my best guess appears to be a cayenne pepper, still retaining most of it’s red colour except for the discoloured pale green/gray stem. Pours clear medium golden yellow, no sedimentation.

Nose: dominant pepper vegginess, with some sharp peach (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: fruity + spicy hot

Mid-palate: immediate burn, (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) peach

Finish: tension on the face, minor sweats, unsettling stomach, long lingering intense spicy burning finish.

Summary: This one is a tough one to sip without a meal. Perhaps allowing the pepper to infuse for 6 years was a bad idea since the heat is way to powerful and unbalanced. I don’t recall the spiciness to be this aggressive when I tasted it at the winery. As it stands though, I can’t say I would ever have this again.

Silver Sage Gewurztraminer 2008 (Oliver, BC, Canada)


  • My Rating: B-

Silver Sage Gewurztraminer 2008, 12.1% ABV – 750ml, (Oliver, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“A very distinct mild-gold color wine, with a unique TROPICAL FRUIT aroma and an elegant wild rose fragrance to balance this peachy summer supper or seafood and white meat companion.”


  • Style: (gewurztraminer) White wine
  • Taste Profile: medium bright sweetness -> chocolate orange/pineapple/sour peach -> warmth/tang/acidic finish.
  • Where I got it : @Winery
  • How much: $18, Spring 2009
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: yes, interesting flavour profile

Visual: (I picked this up during an Okanagan winery tour in the Springtime of 2009; Finally I’m getting around to trying it again, including the tasting at the winery. And after the first sip, I remember why I bought it…) Pours light-medium golden yellow, clear as water.

Nose: chocolate orange (you read that right), and red apple

Attack: medium-dense 6/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: (MAIN) chocolate orange (candied variety), pineapple, medium sourness, (HINT) sour peach

Finish: mild alcohol warmth, medium tang, medium-sharp acidic crisp finish

Summary: Chocolate orange and pineapple; this is the most interesting Gewurztraminer I’ve had to date. Nicely balanced though I wish it were more complex and had a bit more depth.

Apple Cinnamon Cider – Growers (Oliver, BC, Canada)


  • My Rating: D-

Apple Cinnamon Cider – Growers, 7.0% ABV – 1Litre, (Oliver, BC, Canada)

  • Style: (Cinnamon) Spiced Apple Cider
  • Taste Profile: cloying -> alcohol/cinnamon/tangy red-green apple -> tart/puckery/cloying finish.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: ~$5, December 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no way

Visual: hmm.. plastic bottle and cheap price tag, probably not the best. Other growers stuff are pretty sub-par as well. Oh well this is seasonal so I gave it a go. I bought it awhile back but never got around to cracking it open. Pours almost clear pale yellow with a light pinkish hue, absolutely NO carbonation (could be due to it been having sat for 2 years).

Nose: pressed apple juice with hints of cinnamon. Quite a weak nose.

Attack: immediately 9/10-sweet cloying

Mid-palate: alcohol, cinnamon notes, med-high tangy sour red and green apple,

Finish: med-high tartness, puckery sour, medium cloying sugary finish.

Summary: All the textures and flavours come at once, without much balance or finesse. Too much sugar, too sour, non-aromatic, weak spice, no carbonation, all bad. Borderline fail but at least it still tastes like apple and cinnamon, somewhat.

Strawberry Rhubarb flavoured Apple Cider – Growers (Oliver, BC, Canada)

Strawberry Rhubarb flavoured Apple Cider – Growers, 7% ABV – 330ml, (Oliver, BC, Canada)

  • Style: Flavoured Apple Cider
  • My Rating: C
  • Taste Profile: Cloying sugar rush -> strawberry/apple juice -> sticky finish
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $9.50/6pack, Spring 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear light pink, no head, just a few slow-moving CO2 streams. Candied strawberry on the nose. First sensation is a hit of cloying sugar, followed by tartness, strawberry candy, apple juice, detectable alcohol, finishing with a light stickiness. Low complexity, low depth, okay transitions, okay carry, okay drinkability (with food). Sugar from start to finsih.