Wine of the Month – August 2016

Unsworth 2015 Rose

We started a beer of the month post in July, but then all the great local Vancouver Island wine got jealous. So here we go with Wine of the Month! We have so much wonderful wine here on Vancouver Island that many people don’t even realize we have. Hopefully we can help bring to light some of the delicious, approachable wine that we have to offer so that next time you’re in the liquor store or wine shop you feel confident to branch out and try something new.

Our first wine of the month just happens to be perfect for summer patio sipping on a beautiful August afternoon or even for pairing with a nice barbecue dinner. It also happens to be a rosé. Now don’t worry, I know that years of sweet, syrupy white zinfandels have scarred many human beings along the way. This should not be a reason for you to stay away from rosés! Most Vancouver Island rosés are crisp and dry wines that have amazing notes of strawberries or cranberries. Very easy drinking and approachable, yet all sorts of complex flavours coming through.

Unsworth Vineyards produces one of my favourite rosés anywhere and to me is a perfect expression of the wines we can consistently create right here on Vancouver Island. Theirs is a provencal style rosé that has a beautiful colour created by leaving the wine on the skins for just enough time to extract a bit of colour from the pinot noir grapes they use to make it. Pairs beautifully with cheese, grilled fish, or just good friends on the patio. Enjoy!

Beer of the Month – August 2016


When at the liquor store trying to figure out which craft beer to buy, sometimes you need a little help. Lucky for you, we’re committed to trying lots of craft beer so that we can help you choose a solid beer that you will hopefully find just as enjoyable as we did.

This month’s choice is a seasonal beer from Longwood Brewery. The One That Got Away is a red wheat ale that I find both delicious and refreshing. This unique style was originally created for a tuna fishing derby out on the west coast of BC and has continued to be produced each summer due to its popularity. Its copper colour, rich flavour and surprising lightness make this a nice beer for boating or just sitting on the shore yet also pairs nicely with seafood.

This summer the folks at Longwood decided to use this beer as the base beer for their limited release beer creation for Longwoodstock Music Festival. Combining the red wheat ale with grapefruit juice to create Pulp Friction, their radler was the perfect drink for a scorching hot summer day listening to some great artists such as Daniel Wesley, Dope Soda and Wil.

It’s definitely a beer I look forward to each year and will be savouring the last few I have sitting in my fridge as summer begins to wind down.

Soren – Harvest Time at Chateau Wolff


Vancouver Island is a place to visit for people of all ages. Join Soren as he tells us about some of his amazing adventures right here on Vancouver Island!


Papa knows that I love grapes.  All summer he brought me grapes from his house.  They are so sweet and yummy.  So when daddy asked if I’d go with him to pick some grapes at Chateau Wolff Estate Winery I thought I’d spend the whole day eating grapes!  I was excited to see soooo many grapes on the bushes. BUT we weren’t allowed to eat them, I tried one, and spit it out because it had seeds in it!  Papa makes nicer grapes to eat.  I guess these ones are for wine.  I don’t drink wine as I’m not tall enough.  Maybe when I’m taller I can go on one of daddy’s tours!

IMG_8316Daddy picked a lot of grapes and threw them into a big bin.  Where are they taking all those grapes?  Who is going to eat them?  The tractor came to pick up the big bins.  I LOVE TRACTORS.  The man asked me if I wanted to ride the tractor but I was so stunned I just stared and didn’t answer back.  Look at those wheels!  Later I saw where the tractor was going: to the processing plant!  They were throwing the grapes into a machine that spit out twigs.  It was really loud.

IMG_8332The grapes went downstairs into another machine.  This place is fun!  Lots of shiny bits and electrical cords (and lots of things I wasn’t supposed to touch).
We were all hungry and ate lunch outside on a big long table.  We even got juice boxes!  I played with some other kids for a bit, running around.  Juice always makes me a little silly!  Then it was time to go.  We had fun, I know we’ll be back.  I sure hope I get to see the tractor again!

Favourite Vancouver Island Wine Releases – 2015

Spring time to some means flowers blooming, trees waking up from their long winter naps, and the return of warmer weather. To me, it means one very exciting thing: New wines to try!

Now that we are just getting our first taste of this year’s wines, I wanted to do a quick post about some of my favourite releases from 2015. In no way am I a professional at judging wines nor do I have a broad knowledge of all there is to know about wine. With that said, I do know more than the average person about British Columbia wines, and more than most about Vancouver Island wines.

You see, to make sure that everybody I take on a tour gets a chance to taste the best that Vancouver Island has to offer, I have to do a lot of painstaking research. I have to drive up and down the island and go to every winery, brewery, distillery & fine restaurant to make sure that my guests are only getting the best. I do the work so that you don’t have to. Aren’t I nice? Tempest-Ortega-2014Now on to the list! (please note that these are just wines that were available/released in 2015, not wines from the 2015 vintage)

Enrico – 2014 Ortega

This award winning wine was one of my favourite white wines to ever come from Vancouver Island, and the judges for the Lieutenant Governor’s Award apparently agreed with me. Very fruity with a slightly sweet finish made this the perfect patio sipping wine, although still paired nicely with food. This wine sold out very quickly due to the press it received, so if you’re considering buying some of the 2015 vintage (which is just as good in my opinion!) then you better act fast!

Chateau Wolff – 2014 White Blend2015_11_ExploreNanaimo_GRANDPRIZE-0822

This was also a beautiful, patio sipper of a wine. With a predominantly Viognier blend, this medium-bodied, fruity wine also pairs well with spicy foods such as Thai curries or even Indian cuisine. There are still some bottles left at the winery, so stop by and check out one of Vancouver Island’s first 5 wineries dating back to the early 90’s and say hi to the wonderful new owners, Matt & Natalie.

Cherry Point – 2012 Estate Pinot Noir

Also one of Vancouver Island’s first 5 wineries, Cherry Point tends to produce wines that are very different in style from the rest of the region. And nothing shows this off better than their Pinot Noir. This wine was grown exclusively on their estate vineyard and aged in old oak barrels for nearly 3 years, making this a true estate wine. I loved pairing it with any red meat, but it was also versatile enough to pair with salmon.

Unsworth+WineryUnsworth – 2013 Symphony

I absolutely love this red wine produced solely from Vancouver Island grapes. This blend is comprised of Cabernet Libre and Petit Milo grapes, both varietals that most have never heard of. They are hybrids that have been designed specifically with climates like ours in mind. The result is a beautiful, medium-bodied red wine that makes my water just thinking about it. There is quite the following for this wine, so it sold out quickly and will likely do so again in the future. So if you see it anywhere on a shelf, just buy it. If you find that you don’t want it, please feel free to send it my way and I will happily finish it off for you!

Glenterra – 2014 Natural Orange Pinot Grisglenterra-natural-orange

I’ll finish my list off with one of the most unique wines around. This natural orange wine is made in an ancient method dating back from Georgia (the country not the state). This is essentially a white grape made with red winemaking procedures. By letting the wine ferment on its skins, this normally white wine becomes orange. After a short aging in neutral French oak barrels it is bottled for all of us to enjoy. So if you’re up for trying something different that is sure to be a conversation starter, then I definitely recommend this wine.


Thanks to all these wineries for helping make the Vancouver Island wine region what it is today!

Now how about you? Were there any wines that stood out for you in 2015? Which wines are you looking forward to trying in 2016? Leave us a note in the comments about wines that really tickled your tastebuds!



Soren – Something's Brewing at Longwood Brewery


Vancouver Island is a place to visit for people of all ages. Join Soren as he tells us about some of his amazing adventures right here on Vancouver Island!

IMG_0085Mommy and Daddy drink beer, I don’t like beer it smells funny and it’s for adults only. They make lots of beer in Nanaimo, where we live and Daddy takes people on tours to show them how it’s made! Did you know that at Longwood Brewery their beer likes to ride in a hammock? So funny. Beer doesn’t belong in a hammock, it has to stay in the fridge!!

It was real loud in the beer making room. Everywhere you looked there were about shiny, clean tanks that I could see myself in! And there were water sounds everywhere, and beeping noises and “chhhhuuuuu” like a steam engine! IMG_0101I got to climb a great big ladder to look inside one of the shiny containers. It was dark. I got a little scared but Daddy picked me up so everything was okay. Then they showed me a machine that spins cans of beer around and puts lids on them. It was pretty cool!

The best part of the tour was the air plane! So small but it looked so real. I wanted to fly it all over ALL DAY but Mom said “don’t touch, it’s for looking only” I still don’t understand why I can’t play with that plane ALL DAY!IMG_0112

We filled up daddy’s great big glass beer containers from the big beer taps. I took them to the car to help Daddy out, but boy were they heavy! Luckily I am a big boy now, I can help with everything. My brother is a baby, he can’t help yet. One day me and my brother will be REAL BIG and we can drink beer with Mom and Dad. And go on waterslides. And rides at the amusement park. I can’t wait until I’m bigger!IMG_0121

Soren – An afternoon at the Teafarm

Vancouver Island is a place to visit for people of all ages. Join Soren as he tells us about some of his amazing adventures right here on Vancouver Island!

This month I got to spend some time at the Teafarm!  I love Teafarm for so many reasons!

7-IMG_4519I thought tea came from the cupboard but apparently it comes from a farm!  But if you visit the tea farm in Cowichan you’ll learn that tea actually grows on a bush and then the farmers turn it into nice smelling tea by plucking and drying it!

There was a list of all the teas and we choose one to try.  The nice people at the tea farm brought us a teapot and special cups to drink from.  My cup was small, just the right size for me to sip from. 2-IMG_4558 The tea was much better than drinking water from my sippy cup – it was warm and a little sweet too but mommy said there was no sugar in it.  Neat, eh?  There was a really nice place to sit outside with big wooden chairs – perfect for climbing all over!  There was even a fireplace inside just in case it’s cold outside and lots of places to sit.  I could have brought some friends with us too!

In the house at the tea farm there’s lots of tins to choose from. I took them off the shelf and put them back on the shelf.  Off the shelf and then back, I could have done this all day!  This is what I did when everyone else was learning about how teas are made and the different type of teas.

At home when we have tea I don’t get treats!  At the tea farm they bring chocolate and other goodies for you to pair with your tea.  And the shortbread was the best I have had in my entire life!  I6-IMG_4542 smiled really big at the nice man so maybe that’s why we got treats?  The chocolate tasted like flowers, prettiest chocolate I’ve ever eaten.  My girlfriend would have loved this place!  I’ll definitely smile at him again when we go back to get more treats.

Yummmmmy!  I really like that there’s so many different types of teas to choose from.  Before we left Mommy said I could take a couple tins of tea home with us.  I hope we can go back to the tea farm again soon to try more teas and goodies!