Western Living Magazine
A Seven-Bedroom Pied-a-Terre Designed to Bring Family Together
Design Crush: Inside a Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Clinic in Calgary with Natural, Serene Vibes
This Modern Lakeside Home Captures Gorgeous Views Inside and Out
Recipe: Scallop Ceviche from Maenam’s Chef Angus An
3 Classy Australian White Wines to Toast Olivia Newton-John With
Recipe: Wild Pacific Halibut Cakes
Getaway Guide: How to Spend One Perfect Day on Galiano Island
Where to Eat, Stay and Play in Canmore
The Perfect Southern Alberta Getaway (If You’re Obsessed With Yellowstone)
‘West Coast North’ is a Love Letter to Western Canadian Architecture and Interiors
Design Obsession: This Roll-Up Drying Rack Is Maybe My Favourite Thing in the Kitchen
10 of the Hottest Homewares for Summer 2022
Announcing the 2022 Designers of the Year Finalists
You’re Invited to the Design Party of the Year!
DotY 2022: Our Judges for the Maker Category Can’t Wait to See What You’ve Got
The best sort of $50 mistake there is.
I’m smiling as I write this, and this is as close to a real-time review as you’re going to get. I’m working late finishing the 31st annual Restaurant Awards for our sister publication, Vancouver Magazine. And because I’ve beenpardon my Frenchbusting my ass, I went to my office fridge and grabbed a bottle of white to help make toast the last round of endless changes.
Now, I’m not one of those people who just grabs a bottle of wine. I’m the oenophile equivalent of that insufferable jazz fan, who must match every occasion to a perfect Coltrane track recorded in Stockholm, 1961. I generally don’t just “grab” bottles. But I’m tired and I saw the Penfolds label and saw that it was under screwcap and I just let ‘er rip.
To be 100% honest, I thought I was grabbing a bottle of the very solid Koonunga Hill. The great deal at $19.99 Koonunga Hill. But I took a pullnot a sip, but a hard pulland was immediately thrown for a loop. My first thought was, I have to go buy a case of this wine. My second was to double check the label. Doh! It wasn’t the everyman’s Koonunga, but the rather more elevated 311 (as in 2.5 times more elevated). But what a wine. There’s a special feeling when a wine utterly takes you by surprise, and if there’s a downside to tasting wine for a living (other than gout) it’s that those moments become fewer and fewer as you taste and taste and taste. But this wine was a lightning bolt of revelation: a little Chablis-like flint, a little firm body like Marcassin Chardonnay and some really dialed-in, tight fruit. It tastes like a Formula One car feels like to drive (I’m guessing on this): precise, powerful and maybe just a bit dangerous. This is a 750ml rebuke to anyone who says Aussie Chard is all oak, butter and blusterthis is one of the most alive Chardonnays that’s graced my glass in a while.
And tonight only, one helluva welcome surprise.