les cinq mots (the five words)  my take it or leave it suggestions

As you all know, I love wine. I find people use far too many words to review wines: far too many descriptive words that don't really mean anything. Don't even get me started on points. Have you ever seen a wine that is 50 points? No of course not. Who would grade a wine, let alone buy a wine that was half as good as a 100point wine. So the wine scale is basically 90-100, which adapts to a 1-10 rating. Seriously? So your 95 point wine is really a 5/10 point wine. Use points if you need them, but please don't ask this Frenchman what other people thought of a wine. Just ask me for my cinq mots- my five words.

I am only going to give five words. After that, it is all fluff.

As some of you may know, as well as an artist,  I am a "Wine Guide" at Liberty Wines on Granville Island and the manager of that very special wine store. Special, why? Being next to Granville Island Market lends the wine store clientele to look for parings. How many times have I heard, "I just bought fresh spot prawns- what goes with that?" It is very satisfying for myself and all the wine guides at Liberty to grab a favorite bottle and know that it will be just perfect.


Mas de daumas Gassac

les cinq mots- rich, special, deep, worthy, impressive

Still my gold standard for what I love in a wine. We were guided to a bottle while in Seattle and I managed to get it into Liberty. It is a quirky wine, almost mythic. To make a very long story short, a bottle can have Cab Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab France, Tannat, Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto. For a special occasion, it is a special wine. Most recently, I noticed that Pied a Terre in Vancouver carries it and an extra special eau de vie. An absolute must for your cellar. Drink it 3 or after 5 years  or even better, lay it down for 15-20 for a Great Wine.

Gres St Paul-Romanis

les cinq mots- classic, affordable, drinkable, tasty, easy

French Red- from Lunel, France                                                    
One of my absolute favorite wines. Romanis is a 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre. It is a very fruity, spicy wine evocative of Provence. Think of thyme, rosemary and cassis: it is all in this bottle.There is a French word for it "onctueuse" : smooth and rich.

Pares Balta- Cava

les cinq mots- bubbly, satisfying, balanced, organic, brilliant

Summer is looming and this Spanish answer to bubble is just what you need to have in your fridge at all times. Family history of over three hundred years of wine-making shows in this super summer sipper. A blend of three grapes, the bubbles are small and tickle your tongue, the taste light and without a hint of unpleasant acidity. Look for the bright green label with the ladybug- your guarantee of organic from Spain. Pare with seafood supper or sip on its own.


les cinq mots- crisp, oyster, sea-air, mineral, fresh

There isn't a better wine to go with seafood:shellfish is best. I am sure you have never heard of this grape, and neither had I until I was in Aix-en-Provence and ordered a platter of fresh oysters from the bar near the old jail. Thierry, the oyster guy, never missed a beat when I asked him for a recommendation. The crisp minerality in unparalleled when pared with fresh-from-the-sea oysters. You won't be disappointed.