Anthony Gismondi: B.C. wine for the week of Nov. 24, a bottle to cellar and calendar items

Opinion: The latest B.C. wine country buzz.

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The Courtney Room in Victoria’s Magnolia Hotel is holding a special Beaujolais dinner Tuesday, Nov. 29, in partnership with World Wine Synergy distributors.

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The evening will feature all ten Beaujolais Crus, served side-by-side.

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In the spirit of Beaujonomie, Chef Brian Tesolin will prepare a family-style feast to accompany and complement. Presented in four courses, share plates will include Acadian Smoked Sturgeon, Crispy Duck Confit, Roasted Wild Mushrooms and a chef’s selection of desserts.

The dinner will be compèred by Dr. John Volpe, professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, who specializes in Eco-gastronomy research in food and wine production.

The $225 ticket price includes tax and gratuity. To reserve your seat, visit

British wine-writing icons Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson have signed on to an open letter spearheaded by Wine Traders for Alternative Formats (WTAF) calling for a shift to alternative packaging for wine. It is all about the carbon footprint of the glass bottle and Alternative formats such as boxed wine, canned wine, kegs, paper bottles and pouches, all of which have a much smaller carbon footprint.

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The letter urges consumers to ‘seek out wines in alternative packaging’ wherever possible and calls on the U.K. government to introduce consumer tax incentives for carbon-friendly alternative packaging that already exists.

B.C. wine of the week

Tantalus Blanc de Blancs 2019, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada 

$31.30 I 93/100

UPC: 626990332053

The Blanc de Blancs comes off a single Chardonnay block in East Kelowna that dates back to the Pioneer Vineyard days of the Dulik family, and some original clonal selections were chosen to produce sparkling wine. I love the creamy opening textures, green apple nose, and palate that signal something special. Candied citrus peels, a touch of pie crust, anise, and sea salt combine to add intrigue to this delicious sparkler. Tightly strung but delicately preserved, this is a winner at a terrific price.

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Wine for the cellar 

Rivera Il Falcone Castel del Monte Rosso Riserva 2015, Puglia, Italy 

$29.99 I 91/100

UPC: 8000715000502

Il Falcone is a local legend among Apulian reds, and one sip of this wine will tell you why. What an exciting, refreshing 70/30 mix of indigenous Nero di Troia and Montepulciano that leaves a favourable impression on your palate. The fruit is grown in the Murgia hills in the Castel del Monte DOC at 200 metres on deep porous rock and chalky soils. Post ferment, the wine ages for 14 months in French oak casks and barriques, followed by another year in bottle before release. The result is complexity and elegance that is a delight to sip. Look for spicy tobacco, blackberry that doesn’t quit through a long persistent finish, with highly agreeable tannins. Rich menu items are the ticket here, with even more decadent sauces. There is no rush to drink this wine. You could even serve it after dinner with mature old Italian cheese.

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