Wards Picker’s Hut Winter Spice Cider – The View Winery (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

 Wards Picker’s Hut Winter Spice Cider – The View Winery, 6.0% ABV – 650ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)


printed on the back of the bottle:

“As harvest comes to an end and snow flakes begin to fall, at Wards Cidery our thoughts turn to cozy gatherings around the fire with hearty food and spicy handcrafted cider. Pickers Hut Winter Spice is made with apples grown on our family’s fifth generation orchard in the Okanagan Valley. Fruity aromatics with a touch of soul warming spice are followed by a crisp, medium dry finish. Enjoy chilled, or for a real treat, heat and serve steaming hot with a cinnamon stick.”


  • Style: (flavoured – winter spices) Apple Cider
  • Taste: Cloying sticky soda sweet apple-ginger ale cinnamon-nutmeg
  • Where I got it : Liquor Bard /N. Bby
  • How much: $7.25 (after 10% off) – 650 ml., December 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: more for casual drinkers

Visual: Pours very light straw yellow with big soda-like CO2 bubbles clinging to the side of the glass, clusters of active streams, no head.

Nose: apple juice-Canada Dry ginger ale hybrid, cinnamon (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: fizzy, immediate sweet

Mid-palate: sticky (lvl-8-sweetness), ginger ale, elderflower, background apple juice

Finish: lingering apple-white grape, cinnamon, nutmeg, tart sticky gums.

Summary: A pleasant and soda-like sweet flavour (if you like soda which I do) with decent complexity, but the sugariness and cloying texture feel cheap and unsophisticated.

Wards Picker’s Hut Premium Cider – The View Winery (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

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 Wards Picker’s Hut Premium Cider – The View Winery, 6.0% ABV – 650ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

printed on the back of the bottle:

“Robust and full of Character! Words to  describe this cider and the people who harvest the apples too. Wards’ Picker’s Hut is handcrafted on our historic site in honour of the hardworking men and women who handpick every apple in our premium apple cider. For five generations our family has grown apples in the Okanagan Valley. Nestled in our age old orchard is Picker’s Hut Lane which comes alive during harvest.”

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  • Style: (Apple) Cider
  • Taste Profile: Aromatic dense red/green apple asian pear tart sour puckery
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5.25 – 650ml, July 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to cider aficionados: 50/50

Visual: Pours very light white wine yellow, no head with dissipating big bubbles, lots of active streams, big bubbles hug the side of the glass.

Nose: very aromatic, almost perfume-like red/green candyesque apple, asian pear, hints of lime (lvl-9)-pungency

Attack: dense fruitiness, fizzy

Mid-palate: (lvl-3)-sweetness, med tangy, (MAIN) asian pear, most green apple, minor red apple, lime

Finish:medium tart, off-dry, sour green apple acidity, crisp clean fruity apple finish.

Summary: The asian pear element in the taste profile is very unique. Good body, inviting nose, crisp texture make this one worth trying once. On the dry side.

Temptation Frizzante – The View Winery (Canada)

Temptation Frizzante – The View Winery, 7.5% ABV – 750ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

From the “The View” website:

Tasting notes:

This lightly effervescent wine, made from European Cider Apples, is delightfully unique, but far from sinful. With aromas and flavours of bright apples, it will remind you of a crisp harvest evening. Enjoy with anything naughty or nice…minus the serpent.

Varietals- Belle de Boskoop, Jersey Chisel, Porters Perfection, Bulmer and Bramley English Cider Apples.”

  • Style: (sparkling) Apple Cider
  • My Rating: A-
  • Taste Profile: fizzy-creamy -> red apple/cinnamon/wood -> off-dry/crisp/clean finish.
  • Where I got it: Liberty Wines Granville Island
  • How much: $23, November 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: maybe
  • Would I recommend this to friends: yes

Tasting notes: pours light golden yellow and highly effervescent. Aromatic pressed apple juice on the nose. Drinks with a very nice balanced fizzy/tingly/creamy mouthfeel, off-dry 2/10 sweetness, piercing fresh red apple, cinnamon, light woodiness, finishing fruity, off-dry, crisp and very clean. Medium complexity, medium depth, excellent transitions, decent carry, excellent drinkability.

Optima 2010 – The View Winery (Canada)

Optima 2010 (botrytis affected) – The View Winery, 11.2% ABV -375ml, (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

on the back label:

“Hand selected at harvest, the Optima varietal shines brightest when affected with botrytis, also known as “Noble Rot”. A succulent dessert wine which shows warm notes of sun-kissed figs, raisins and ripe apricots on the nose and on the palate.”

  • Style: (Botrytis) Dessert Wine
  • My Rating: B-
  • Taste Profile: sweet red apple/green apple -> apricot/raisin/fig -> clean finish
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $18 (clearance sale), Sept 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to friends: yes

Tasting notes: pours clear medium-dark golden yellow. Red apple juice on the nose. Drinks with thicker than water but thinner than ice wine viscosity, 8/10-sweetness, pungent red apple, green apple tartness , apricot, light-medium tang/sourness, white raisins, hints of fig, finishing clean without much cloying. Medium complexity, medium depth, good transitions, good carry, quite good drinkability. Quite refreshing and never heavy.