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The Wine Guy: Bottle the Hutch

It’s time to beat the chills with a bottled, nutritious drink. By chance, we found that there are many different styles and flavors.

Reviews and recommendations are unbiased and products are independently selected. Postmedia may earn affiliate commissions from purchases made through links on this page.

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Is winter coming? Probably according to Calendar and Game of Thrones.

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But based on the thermometer and the raging weather, winter is already here – snow is threatening in the Lower Mainland and it’s not even mid-November.

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Then it’s time to beat the chills with a bottled, nutritious drink. By chance, we found that there are many different styles and flavors.

Taylor Fladgate 2017 Late Bottled Vintage Port, Portugal ($26.99, #289603)

Port is a classic fortified wine and Taylor Floodgate is a classic porthouse. Strictly speaking, Fortified wines are a category of wines to which spirits (such as brandy) are added. Add alcohol to ‘strengthen’ the wine and, depending on the timing, stop fermentation. There is a wide variety of fortified wines, especially sherry, vermouth, Madeira, Marsala and port. The port itself comes in a variety of styles, including a late bottled vintage. LBV Port is a single-year fortified wine that has been aged in oak barrels for a significant amount of time, making it approachable on release. Here, it translates to ripe dark berries and dried fruit for an overall strong yet approachable style.

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Conclusion: B+, match with salty cheese!

Averna Amaro Siciliano, Italy ($39.49, #536672)

Although not a fortified wine, amaro can definitely provide fortification! Technically, amaro, which means “bitter” in Italian, is a liqueur. This means that it begins as a neutral spirit distilled from wine or other grains or starches, to which plants, herbs, and spices are added. Literally and literally steeped in history, Averna hails from Sicily and was first created in 1868. Poured into a cola-colored, smooth glass, this classic amaro veers toward the approachable side thanks to its palpable sweetness that complements its bitter, herbal and citrus tones.

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Conclusion: B, Serve on the rocks after dinner

Yoshi No Gawa Brewmaster’s Choice Sake, Japan ($23.99 for 720mL, #27998)

Is it beer, rice wine, or fortified? none of the above. It’s a perfect sake for winter nights. Although sake is typically fortified with 15-20% alcohol by volume, it is actually a brewed beverage that deserves its own category. In fact, there are multiple categories and classifications, but our intention is to highlight versatile sake such as Brewmaster’s Choice. This wine is overall round, with floral and banana notes that end up in a nice sweet spot.

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Conclusion: B. all-purpose liquor

The Swirl: A Night in Montepulciano — Wine Tasting

The Italian Chamber of Commerce of Western Canada will host an exciting evening focused on the wines of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG. Held on Tuesdays from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at His Lookout (555 W. Hastings, Vancouver), the event features an open bar wine with various vintages of Montepulciano wines. A reception and a Tuscan stand-up his buffet dinner will take place. Delicious food — all complemented by panoramic views from the top of the Harbor Center in downtown Vancouver. Tickets are $99 + fees and GST (ICCC-W members are $89 + fees and GST). For more information and how to order, www.eventbrite.ca.

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The Wine Guy: Bottle the Hutch

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