Friday, August 6, 2010

Celebrating with the Lieutenant Governor

So, here we are the first Monday in August and it's a statutory holiday celebration our province. It only seems natural that, for BC Day, we open a bottle of wine that's been awarded for celebration in the province as well.

It's a tad hard to believe that I haven't made time to write about the Lieutenant Governor's Awards for Excellence in BC Wines before this post. I know there are at least a couple of award winners already on The List; I guess other "pressing topics" took precedence. The Lt. Gov.'s Awards go back to 2003 when the then Lieutenant Governor for BC, Iona Campagnolo, set up a competition that "recognizes and honours excellence in wines from 100% British Columbian grown grapes and produced within the province."

It is now one of the most prestigious competitions for BC wines and is interesting in that there are no gold, silver or bronze medals awarded to different varietals or styles. The judging panel, composed of wine critics and journalists, simply chooses a maximum of twelve wines that they feel have achieved a level of excellence and are simply the best wines presented for tasting.

All provincial wineries are eligible to enter; however, each winery is limited to four entries. The 2010 winners have already been announced and eleven wines were chosen from the 281 entries from 71 different wineries. The winning wines are introduced to the Consular Corps of BC to help encourage the various consuls to consider serving BC wines when entertaining their guests.

Tonight's wine was actually one of the early winners, having been honoured in 2004, the second year of the Awards.

550. 2002 Nk'mip Cellars - Qwam Qwmt Meritage (VQA Okanagan Valley)

Nk'mip was actually the recipient of two Awards in 2004, their Qwam Qwmt Merlot was a winner as well. According to the label, this Meritage is an equal blend of Merlot and Cab Sauv. The label also advises that "Qwam Qwmt" translates from the Okanagan language spoken by the Osoyoos Indian Band as "achieving excellence." Seems rather prescient of the Band since the Awards weren't in existence when the Q2 name was chosen.

One the issues, that can relate to these Award winning wines though, is that there isn't always a lot of it to be found. Case in point, there were only 400 cases of this Q2 Meritage. We were simply lucky to have visited the winery back when they had some in stock. It's not always so easy.

It was nice, however, to see that another of our "older" BC wines from the cellar remained in fine shape. Still a deep ruby colour with nicely balanced tannins, acidity and dark fruit, I'd never pretend to be one that could claim that this was one of the best wines produced in BC in any given year, but it was tasty to us. Definitely more refined that big Californians or Aussie reds, it still shows that BC is capable of producing good red wines.

And that's something worth celebrating - whether it's BC Day or not.

No comments:

Post a Comment