Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wine & Media at the 2010 Olympics !

I could not resist doing a follow up on my March 4th post on 'Wine & Sponsors at the 2010 Olympics'. On March 12th our national television broadcaster, the CBC, picked up on the Girls Hockey team and their celebration with the Sigura Viudas sparkling wine. It is now enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Permanent inexpensive advertising for Sigura. By the way, the girls have good taste. For the price, it is a delightful bubbly.
On a more serious note I did encounter a lot of misinformation by the foreign media about our outstanding Icewines. Back in 1994 I started a wine shop in downtown Victoria, British Columbia called The Wine Barrel. In 2005 I sold the shop and it is now in the capable hands of Bruce and Merrilee Stuart. During my tenure I sold a lot of BC Icewines and picked up a fact or two about them. But my mentor about Icewines was John Schreiner, the world expert on anything to do with Icewine or the original German version called Eiswein. John is the author of "Icewine The Complete Story" and I had the pleasure of hosting John for a book signing in my shop when his book was first released. I treasure my autographed copy. I have featured John on my blog a few times and here is one entry.

The image on the left is of the 2008 Paradise Ranch Merlot Icewine boasting a residual sugar of 218 g/l and the right image image is of the 2008 Paradise Ranch Riesling Icewine with a residual sugar of 134 g/l. As always be sure to click on the image to get a close up look. I had to give the images a framing of hot and cool. The Merlot is outstanding and will be a 'hot' selling Icewine. The Riesling is such an elegant Icewine that it gave the impression of a really 'cool' fresh and clean Icewine.
But now to the point of picking on the international media. Two write ups in different newspapers drew my attention and I just had to send them a message with the correct version. One writer stated that 'Icewines are often sweet'. NO, they are always sweet! And as my two above Icewines show, they may have different sweetness levels but please they are 'always' sweet. Another writer claimed that they were high alcohol dessert wines. NO again! The high sugar levels dehydrate the yeast cells and kills them before they get a chance to convert more sugar into higher alcohol levels. So they will range from a low of 9% to 12% at the higher level. Both of the above Icewines clocked in at 12%.
The Olympics have come and gone and are part of history but great BC Icewines will be around for a little longer and we might as well get it wright when we write about them.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Wine & Sponsors at the 2010 Olympics !

The 2010 Winter Olympics have been a great success in spite of the lack of snow. The sponsors of course, have been very happy with the huge exposure of their products. But wait a minute here. What was that Canadian Women's gold medal winning hockey team up to? Two of the major sponsors at the Olympics were Molsons Canadian Beer and Vincor Canada's Sumac Ridge Winery in the Okanagan. Fittingly the gold medalists were treated to a three litre sized Molson Canadian beer that looked very much like a Champagne bottle and Sumac Ridge's Tribute Gold sparkling wine. The Tribute Gold and Silver were created in honour of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.
Click on these pictures courtesy Alex Livesey/Getty Images and Surprise !!
That ain't no
Tribute going down that gullet. Looks suspiciously like Sigura Viudas to me. Sigura Viudas was rated as one of the top 100 wines by the Wine Enthusiast. And yes that is a cigar in the picture on the right. Now cigars and beer maybe. But cigars and sparkling wine? That is a no no. Especially when it is not even from one of the official sponsors. Oh well, at least the ladies'?' won't be at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Vincor Canada is again one of the sponsors. Its not cheap to be a sponsor and Vincor did not get their money's worth at this event. But Viudas received a bonus and how do you suppose that happened? Oh the joys of being a sponsor and the politics in wine!