Wine for the Weekend

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A recent comment from a reader asking me to write about more wines that were around $20 made me realize that I’ve never talked on this blog about why wine prices are so high in B.C. In fact, I’d bet most of you don’t even know that they are. The reason is that B.C. has the highest wine tax in North America and one of the highest in the world at 117%. Bottles of wine here routinely cost 60-100% more than they do in the United States. This makes finding that great value bottle I feel comfortable recommending an extremely difficult task.

While I’ll direct you to read www.winelaw.ca if you are interested in learning more about our liquor taxation structure here in B.C. (I also wrote about this on my blog), right now I am happy to say that today’s wine sits just at the sweet spot in terms of price and quality. In fact, this wine beats out many that cost up to $10 more.

I’m talking about the Prado Rey Verdejo 2008. This is another Spanish wine, made from a grape indigenous to Spain called Verdejo. Basically this is kind of like a Sauvignon Blanc, but it is less fruity and, in my opinion, a lot more interesting. I like indigenous grapes because they usually represent greater biodiversity and a local touch that is often lost with the big famous international grapes like chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. This particular wine is very clean and crisp and has what I like to call “bright” citrus flavours and an almond finish. When I took this home the other day, it was perfect for pairing with salmon pate, any other sort of seafood, and even quiche. Or, on a summery note, as my friend Sean likes to say, this wine pairs perfectly with air.

$20 at Kitsilano Wine Cellars

*Shea Coulson is the author of Justgrapeswine.com, a Vancouver based wine blog focusing on wine and beer reviews, education, and wine industry trends and developments.

Last modified: May 13, 2010

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