Get to know BC's original Good Wine Gal and learn about the BC wine industry and global landscape, how to taste wine, where to find the best wine deals, and so much more.
Although international women's day has passed, I believe we can celebrate women and their achievements in industries across the globe every day. Today, I'm sharing the vast knowledge of the wine world I gained during my chat with Barb Wild, the Good Wine Gal. Barb, like me, became interested in wine because it enabled her to delve into her passion for wine, food, culture, and travel, which is why we connected immediately. In our conversation, Barb shared her tips on wine tasting, changing landscape of the local and global wine industry, how she got into wine, and so much more. I certainly learned a lot from our chat and hope you learn a lot from our wine talk as well. Scroll down to find a condensed, Q&A version of our chat. If you prefer listening to the full talk (with all the banter), head to my podcast on Spotify (or Anchor for non-Spotify users).
Q: What steps would you take during a wine tasting?
A: First, have your wine at the correct temperature. For white and sparkling wines, be sure to chill them. For red wines, they can be a bit cooler than room temperature. Second, pour some in your glass and take time to look, swirl, and smell. Close your eyes while you smell, so you have no distractions and be sure to exhale. Third, taste the wine 3 times, with your eyes closed. Aerating the wine in my mouth helps. Think about the flavour profile, texture, acidity, and sweetness. Then, spit. For more tasting tips, check out this blog.
Q: Why should you practice the art of spitting?
A: It's the only way to try all the wines at an event (and not get drunk). Most people feel embarrassed about spitting, but you don't have to - it's completely normal! Do yourself a favour, look after yourself, and spit delicately. If you bring a disposable cup, make it your spit cup and double fist with your wine glass. You'll thank us later! For more tips on your next wine tasting events, check out this blog.
Q: What would you say to a friend who doesn't like wine?
A: There's an exponential amount of wine on the market, which means there's a wine for everyone! Try as many as you can because there'll be at least one that you'll like. That'll be your gateway to the wine world.
The Local and Global Wine Industries & Wine Pricing
Q: How has the BC wine industry changed over the past 15 years?
A: There are many things that have helped grow the industry. First, the integration of refrigeration and sanitation methods from industries like dairy has helped. As well, we've shifted from using hybrid varietals in the late 1900s to having international grape varieties and winemakers in our region. With the rise of appellations in our local regions – 9 appellations and 7 sub-appellations- we've improved our standards and quality control of our wines to compete on an international level. With that, programs like the BC Wine Ambassador courses have helped to spread the word about how great and fast-growing our local wine industry is. Lastly, regions like the Okanagan have become tourist destinations, where you can spend a week on a road trip and winery hopping.
Q: Where can I find the best deals on wines in BC?
A: SAVE-ON-FOODS. There are 17 locations that sell wine, including North Vancouver and Pemberton. They have an ongoing deal of 4 bottles for 10% off and an extra $1 off each bottle if you buy 12 bottles. Plus, there are featured bottles at a discount that'll increase your savings. This is the best (not anymore) kept secret 😉 For tips on how to find great wines, click here.
Q: Why do restaurants charge so much for wines?
A: Restaurant wine supply is different from retail wine supply. In some instances, if you enjoy a bottle of wine at a restaurant, you'll have to go back to enjoy the wine again. Also, restaurants can hold and age wines in their cellar. Retailers prefer to sell wines as they come in and may not have storage space to hold wines. Holding and aging wines typically increase in value due to rules of supply and demand.
Q: How does climate change affect the wine industry?
A: Climate change causes lower production yields, which means prices increase. The Okanagan is dealing with harsh winters, while Europe has experienced droughts in the summer over the past couple of years. My advice is to stock your cellar NOW because many changes are coming.
Get To Know Barb, The Good Wine Gal
Q: How did you get into wine?
A: My background was in food. I had all these pictures of bottles of wine with food on my phone, which is how I remembered wines. Later, I moved into the wine industry where I worked in a Wine Shop and got educated through the WSET Diploma (DipWSET), certified wine educator, and wine scholar. When you love wine, culture, and travel – that's what you do. On her website - goodwinegal.ca, you'll find her online wine tasting sessions, blog, and ebooks.
Thank you for checking out this blog. If you want to hear the entire wine talk, head over to The Wineisseur Podcast Episode 3. Be sure to check out all of Good Wine Gal's content including online wine tastings, blogs, and ebooks. As well, be sure to show your support by following her channels on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube.