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What's the big deal about wine in the Okanagan?

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What's the big deal about wine in the Okanagan?

Postby Hermes » Dec 26th, 2017, 2:05 pm

Every book on the Okanagan, and not just those intended for tourists, makes it sound like the economy runs on grapes. I am skeptical. I would have thought it is GIS and CPP. Perhaps I am no doubt out of date and ill-informed.

Some questions for long term residents and wannabees like myself...

1. Do working class and middle class people in the Okanagan actually drink wine? My observation is that most people in BC do not. When I was a kid the only people who routinely drank wine were my Italian friends. Wine was considered a luxury drink. My grandfather bought a bottle for Thanksgiving dinner. But in my family the alcohol of choice for hot August nights of canasta at the kitchen table was beer - Labatts.

2. Who can afford it? On those rare occasions where I do purchase wine (once every two years?) I look at the prices of BC wine and think – nope, I'll buy Chilean. Is Okanagan wine any cheaper purchased direct from the wineries? Or rather, is it worth the trip? I hear that our unarmed ATF has all kinds of rules that make discounting wine problematic legally. For example, it wouldn't surprise me if wine tasting visits are prohibited to be free. Hey, my grocer allows me to test a grape!

3. Besides dry alcoholics and those who don't drink for religious reasons, I would think that for a lot of people, wine just doesn't agree with them. I for one have never woke up in the morning and said 'wow, I feel great, must have been those two glasses of wine I had last night. Let me buy some more!' Instead my liver says to me, 'not smart, don't do that again'.

4. It seems very inefficient to use glass. But the tetra packs of juice I rarely see used for anything but cheap wine. BC wine typically comes in glass and by the litre instead of gallon. Why?

5. From what I read apples and grapes are the most pesticide intensive fruits – but what percentage of BC wine is organic let alone certified organic?

6. Why is it so highly taxed? When I was in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and in Cambodia, I could buy wine imported from France for a third the price of here. Is it true it is mostly excise ('sin') taxes or is it labour, time and equipment-intensive?

7. Is the existence of the Liquor Control Board a good idea? I for one am not big on State involvement in vice commerce like cigarettes and soon cannabis, lotteries etc. I even question the legitimacy of legal age for drinking alcohol (not that I think booze is a good thing health-wise). I see any laws regarding alcohol as small 'p' prohibition.

8. Is there any such thing as a good cheap BC wine? I am a rather fussy drinker, disliking the standard three, much preferring Cote du Rhone and especially Chateau Neuf du Pape. But except for a working visit to Louisiana (low tax state) I couldn't afford to test my wine likes and dislikes. Where I know it was kept at the right temperature (Vietnam storage was a killer, and I disliked Chinese wine, at least that bought at the grocer anywhere in China). I certainly can't afford the bottles behind glass at the BC liquor store. So, practically speaking I never buy wine. Do you?

9. I hear that some ethnicities (something to do with DNA) cannot tolerate wine – Asians and aboriginals. Or is that milk?
........................................................................................................................................................

Wine survey – men and old people drink more BC wine than do young women. From a small sample (613)...

https://insightswest.com/news/more-wine ... varietals/

Useful info on organic wines of BC – apparently the use of blood in red wine is not so far from the truth (it caused a scandal in either Israel or India, I forget which). Eggshells and fish are used in some wine clarification. I do not know this. According to this website list there are only four organic wineries in the OK. Surprised me. One is run by advocates of Rudolph Steiner's esoteric group. Didn't surprise me. I thought there would be more....

http://www.winesofcanada.com/organic_wines.html

The old wives tale about native Indians and Chinese not being able to as easily tolerate drink has a scientific basis. It's a matter of enzymes...

https://lordsofthedrinks.com/2013/06/24 ... ant-drink/

Just to stir up some controversy – strictly speaking consumption of alcohol is not forbidden in Islam. However, the author gets it wrong because Islam is more Hadith than Koran.

https://lordsofthedrinks.com/2013/08/06 ... e-mohamed/

The above arguments remind me of a dispute I had in high school between my own reading of the Bible (don't get smashed) and that of a born-again evangelical friend who was convinced that it was clear – no alcohol is permitted at all for believing Christians. Apparently Jesus produced grape juice from thin air.

From my very limited knowledge of Jews and Chinese they are not drinking cultures - and getting drunk is reserved for special holidays reserved for this, e.g. Chinese New Year and some Jewish holiday the name of which escapes me right now. For the rest of the year, except for ritual use, they are more or less non-drinkers is their reputation anyway. And when I say 'Chinese' I mean Cantonese who have been here for a generation or three, not new Hong Kong Chinese, whose drinking habits may be entirely different. I am relying on hearsay and my own limited experience. BTW, why is every Shabbos wine I have ever tasted so *sweet*? Jews among this forum please respond. Oh, and when I say "Jews'" drinking habits I mean observant Jews according to Talmud. Obviously Jewishness has individual and communal differences. But there *is* a substantial differences to Christianness, as Jewishness has a distinct DNA distinction. Christianity, like Buddhism is more of a universal religion without a 'racial' element. Others opinion on this may differ of course. But science is science.

Another tangent, I found travelling in India very curious - alcohol has a very sleazy reputation. Except in the Buddhist and Christian populations drinking it is secretive and associated with criminality. There are even 'dry' states. Yet Sikhs in BC are not known as militant abstainers.

This is all leading up to - what is the mentality about alcohol consumption in Okanagan, it being in the epicentre? Who are the drinkers? Own up and be proud!

I could have saved a lot of typing by just asking 'I am not a big drinker, are many people in the Okanagan? And if you are on this board, do you find any advantages living in the Okanagan over other places in Canada to indulge your drinking habit, harmless as it is of course?'
Last edited by Hermes on Dec 26th, 2017, 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's the big deal about wine in the Okanagan?

Postby Jflem1983 » Dec 26th, 2017, 3:25 pm

I try and buy local when i buy wine. I have a lot of interest in viticulture. I planted a row of table grapes last year. I will plant wine grapes some day. At the end of the day if nothing else they look good
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Re: What's the big deal about wine in the Okanagan?

Postby Bsuds » Dec 26th, 2017, 3:32 pm

Jflem1983 wrote:I try and buy local when i buy wine. I have a lot of interest in viticulture. I planted a row of table grapes last year. I will plant wine grapes some day. At the end of the day if nothing else they look good


My neighbor has grapes along the fence between our properties. They grow like a frigging weed and are a PITA!
My Wife just stopped and said "you weren't even listening were you?"

I thought to myself, that's a weird way to start a conversation.

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Re: What's the big deal about wine in the Okanagan?

Postby Jflem1983 » Dec 26th, 2017, 3:36 pm

Bsuds wrote:
Jflem1983 wrote:I try and buy local when i buy wine. I have a lot of interest in viticulture. I planted a row of table grapes last year. I will plant wine grapes some day. At the end of the day if nothing else they look good


My neighbor has grapes along the fence between our properties. They grow like a frigging weed and are a PITA!


Sorry. Im that neighbor.
Now they want to take our guns away . That would be just fine. Take em away from the criminals first . Ill gladly give u mine. "Charlie Daniels"

You have got to stand for something . Or you will fall for anything "Aaron Tippin"

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Re: What's the big deal about wine in the Okanagan?

Postby Catsumi » Dec 26th, 2017, 7:30 pm

When I am a dinner guest I will buy a bottle of Golden October, otherwise never bother. Scotch is best. [icon_lol2.gif]
nothing wrong with being open minded as long as your brains don't fall out.

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Re: What's the big deal about wine in the Okanagan?

Postby techrtr » Jan 10th, 2018, 1:57 pm

I personally think that Okanagan wine in general is terribly overrated. I'm not an aficionado by any means, but I think for your dollar, Aussie wines are much, much better. At least they are far more pleasing to my palate.
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Re: What's the big deal about wine in the Okanagan?

Postby Gilchy » Jan 10th, 2018, 2:14 pm

Many Aussie wines have sugar in them, sweeter taste. Not better worse, just different.
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Re: What's the big deal about wine in the Okanagan?

Postby Thinktank » Jan 10th, 2018, 2:50 pm

It all started in 1989 when the 'Farm Gate Winery' license was created permitting smaller growers to start their own operations. Every person in BC gave a few lucky grape growers $7,000 per acre - absolutely free - to rip out their old inferior variety grapes. Some grape guys got a cheque for $140,000 - paid by poor taxpayers of BC.The new grapes were planted and we had a better - booming - wine industry in BC.

It's good for tourism. Vineyards look nice. Wineries look nice, and are fun to visit. And even though grapes are the most heavily contaminated food with pesticides, wine grapes don't need to be cosmetically perfect, and are not sprayed that much. I heard wine grapes only sprayed with sulphur. So it's a win/win situation for everyone.

The wine industry never stops advertising and promoting themselves. They claim that wine is good - healthy - for us. I know some chemicals are added to make the wine, but I don't know what those chemicals are, so it can't be too bad and it can't hurt me.

I never heard anything bad about the wine industry. It's all good. It's fantastic. Why would anyone grow apples when they could build a winery? We'll be buying apples from USA (with twice as much pesticides) and selling expensive healthy wines to rich people somewhere else. Nothing wrong with that.

Image
Everything about our wine industry is great except for one thing. Why do they call people who drink too much wine winos?






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Re: What's the big deal about wine in the Okanagan?

Postby SuperMom » Jan 10th, 2018, 6:31 pm

I am not an expert in wine. I can't tell you anything about tannins, aromas, and what not; I only know what I like or don't like. There are some very good Okanagan wines and some that aren't so good, in my opinion. You can spend a lot or a little and still get a good bottle. It's all a matter of personal taste.
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Re: What's the big deal about wine in the Okanagan?

Postby oneh2obabe » Jan 10th, 2018, 7:13 pm

Wine preferences are different for everyone. I do wine demos for various wineries showcasing different white and red wines depending on product they want to introduce to the population. People enjoy having a small sample so they can taste a wine they've never tried before.
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Re: What's the big deal about wine in the Okanagan?

Postby seewood » Jan 11th, 2018, 9:54 am

I've bought and drank $30.00 Okanagan red. Good to very good ( some anyway). I have bought $15.00 Chilean or Argentina red and just as good or better. I find the blends better than the single varietals. Cab Sav and merlot for example...
I had 100 plants at the house for a number of years and some years the grapes made great wine, some years not so good...
I believe the Okanagan wine industry , especially the smaller wineries are as much about being a wine snob/clique as it is as running a business. One small boutique winery on the Naramata Bench has a very small release as they haven't the grape volume so they jack the price up and call it special release, or some catchy name they feel warrants the price point they charge. Wine is not that great in my opinion. Another, Fairview Cellars I believe is similar and the wine is good/very good with the corresponding price point.
The big deal with Okanagan wine is that it has developed the area into a destination for the boomers that used to come and drink and party in shorts, flip-flops and beer stains. Now the boomers come and party in slacks, dinner jackets with wine stains.
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