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Our yearly reminder that we live in the worst jurisdiction in North America to be a wine lover is out. And quit snickering, Alberta.
Every year the Wine Spectator trots out its list of the Top 100 wines of the year, and every year I vow to ignore the hype surrounding said list. And every year I fail. It’s not that the list is highly subjective—it is, but so is every other list of the “best” wines. And it’s not that the wines are invariably more expensive north of the border than they are south of it—I’ve learned to accept that harsh reality as well. It’s that the list underscores just how poor the wine selection is in B.C. at any price. One of the key criteria in selecting the wines is wide availability—it’s why you so rarely see ultra-exclusive wines on the list even if they scored huge marks in the magazine. And even so, B.C. has exactly two bottles (I’m sure they’re gone by the time I write this) of the #9 wine: the 2012 Chateau Clos Fourtet. And that’s it. And less you think it’s a fluke, only about 12 of the entire Top 100 are stocked. Romania looks at numbers like that and feels bad for us.There is a very thin silver lining. Wine #32, the 2012 Carmen Alto Gran Reserva is $19.79, which, with the currency exchange, is about the same as the $15 listed in the magazine. And wine #54, the Kumeu River, Kumeu Estate Chardonnay from Australia, is actually cheaper here ($31 vs. $34 USD in the magazine). AND wine #77, the truly amazing Chapoutier Chante-Alouette Hermitage, is a smoking deal: $79 here vs $100 USD in the magazine.So it’s not all bad, just mostly so.
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