Some of the delicious seafood to sample.
Recently, I was invited to an event at Roots on Bloor Street West in Toronto to celebrate Tourism B.C. It was a fun and fabulous evening featuring the wine, food and music of British Columbia – what’s not to love?
The smoked salmon and crab cakes I had were excellent, but the evening was really all about the wine for me. There were two B.C. wineries
featured – Gray Monk and Mission Hill, both of which I had heard great things about but hadn’t tried.
I started out with the Gray Monk 2011 Pinot Gris, which was my favourite wine of the evening. It was a lovely, light wine with great hints of citrus on the nose.
I followed that up with the Gray Monk 2011 Unwooded Chardonnay, which I thought was quite nice. It’s a full, fruity chard with great appeal – I would absolutely want to have this wine again.

As regular readers know, I tend to prefer whites to reds but I had heard such great things about Mission Hill that I wanted to give them a try. It’s not often that I have the chance to sample B.C. wine, so I was really nice opportunity to sample just a tiny slice of what the Okanagan has to offer.

I tried the 2010 Mission Hill Five Vineyards Pinot Noir, which was a great pairing with the smoked salmon. It has a vibrant nose and a light, spicy flavour – all things I look for in a red wine.
The 2009 Mission Hill Five Vineyards Cabernet Merlot was one I expected to love. The WSET student I had struck up a conversation with declared it his
favourite and I was eagerly anticipating trying it. The nose was one of my favourites, with hints of vanilla and spice, but it was a very full, heavy red
and not to my tastes. I think this has more to do with my personal taste in reds than the wine itself – it has scored very, very well and it was a popular choice with my companions.
I had a nice time at this event. It wasn’t a serious wine tasting, but a great opportunity to try wines I wouldn’t normally have access to in Ontario – although I’m hoping that the updates to the rules about inter-provincial wine imports will change that.
I loved the chance to experience more of B.C.’s culture. Shawn and I were hoping to make it out to Penticton in the spring for the wine bloggers conference and to spend some time exploring B.C. wine country. It looks like we’ll be putting that off for a little bit, but this event reminded me that I need to keep that trip on my bucket list – I know it will be a great one.Do you have a favourite B.C. wine? I’d love to hear more about the wines you love.