Is buying local wine really a thing in a pandemic market?


In a recent interview, asked Constellation Brands if buying local was really a thing in a pandemic market.

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In a recent interview, asked Constellation Brands if buying local was really a thing in a pandemic market.

They said yes and that they were dealing with a consumer shift toward understanding the importance of betterment in their total lifestyle and sustainability. They referenced the significant trend toward meat alternatives within the meat categories, such as the Impossible Burger or Beyond Meat.

“A couple of years ago, they were getting laughed out of the conversation but look at the level of market share they’ve gained, how they’re being distributed, and the significant pressure they have put on traditional meat brands and on-premise distributors. (Consumers) are recognizing they’re making conscious choices. If they can get a high-quality burger that happens to be plant-based, why not? You don’t have to do it all the time. You mix it into your behaviour pattern. The same is true now in the wine and beverage category, where it’s less about a trend and more about a consumer’s choice to live life more consciously. We see sustainable opportunities here and intend to play aggressively to win a share in this market.”

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Congratulations to Cowichan Valley small-batch distillery, Ampersand Distilling Co., recognized among the best at the 2021 Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition for its limited-edition, Nocino! The Italian-style green walnut liqueur, made with walnuts hand-picked in the Cowichan Valley and sweetened with local honey, won the coveted title of Spirit of the Year.

B.C. wine of the week

Meyer Chardonnay 2019, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

$17.49 I 89/100

UPC: 808755007479

There isn’t much that is every day about the Meyer ‘every day’ Chardonnay. As is the case with top-flight programs, their entry-level wines are pulled along at a higher level than their peers. The fruit is a mix of Chardonnay sourced in Okanagan Falls, Naramata, and Osoyoos. The production drill is familiar: whole cluster press, fermentation in a mix of French oak and stainless steel before going through malolactic fermentation and six months rest on lees. It all leads to an inviting white, rich in lemon, green apple, toast, and creamy textures. Pop the screwcap and get at it. You won’t regret it. I love the value here — going fast at retail.

Wine for the cellar

Tenuta Luce Brunello di Montalcino 2015, Montalcino, Siena, Tuscany, Italy

$135.99 I 95/100

UPC: 8002366001082

The Brunello is a latecomer to the Luce mix of wines but no less important. Luce is in the Montalcino region, so it makes sense to make a Brunello from what is a small, select block of vines inside the 217-acre estate. The grapes come off some of the higher, cooler sites planted to Sangiovese over sandstone and limestone. It’s aged a year in mostly old Slavonian oak, only 10 per cent is new, to protect the terroir and the impressive fruit. Their 2015 is big and powerful, but I love its balance, diminishing its hefty, 15.5 per cent alcohol level. The attack is juicy and inviting with no shortage of rich, dark cherry streaked with a dry, earthy, black tea finish. Long and elegant and persistent and powerful, let this sleep through 2025 and beyond in the bottle.