The Wine Guy offers up three ‘old school’ wines to suit traditional tastes

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I won’t deny it, I get all giddy and excited to try the new. And lately there has been a real fandangle of new wines, new wine styles, and altogether new potable directions. It’s cool, it’s fun, and all that jazz.

But sometimes when dinner rolls around — admittedly, typically mid-week — I just want to kick back with a tried-and-true recipe and crack open a bottle of traditional, old school vino.

And yes, when it comes to wine this “old school” appreciation usually leads to a bottle from the so-called Old World of wine, from those countries surrounding the Mediterranean basin. A wine such as one of these three.

Casal Garcia Vinho Verde, Portugal ($11.99, #400531)

Light wines. Spritzers. Canned this and that. There are certainly some exciting and nouveau approaches to fulfilling the “patio-sipping canon.” No doubt some of the options are quite delicious. But yet. There remains Vinho Verde. If I’m chilling on the patio it’s a no-brainer to pull a bottle of Vinho Verde. Casal Garcia is a classic and it still provides all the tangy citrus and bright energy and acidity in a straight-up, simply enjoyable bottle of white ready to serve nice and cold patio-side with friends and a nice frito mixto to start the night.

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Bottom line: B+, OG patio pounder

Nederburg 2018 The Winemasters Cabernet Sauvignon, South Africa ($13.99, #111526)

Sure, I’ll get flack for labelling a bottle of red from South Africa as “old school.” We’ll just have to agree to get over it — as a wine region South Africa has centuries of history and arguably falls into its own category. Regardless, this Cab Sauv melds history with approachability. Full of cassis and ripe fruit, there’s an underlying smoky and herbaceous quality that makes this a robust yet toothsome red. It’s time to bring on the serious grilling partners: from fatty sausages to game kebabs — or perhaps an earthy mushroom ragù.

Bottom line: B, OG mid-week dinner partner

Beronia 2019 Rioja Tempranillo, Spain ($22.98, available at private wine stores)

Burgers? Grilled steak? I mean, cool and hip pairing options abound but without thinking too much I’m happy to pull the cork on a bottle of Spanish Rioja. And anyways wouldn’t you know it, Beronia’s latest vintage Rioja features a screwcap. One hundred per cent Tempranillo makes for a fresh yet robust red, with ample berry notes alongside vanilla and herbs. This is a fulsome but balanced red, easy and crowd-pleasing — certainly ready to serve with the aforementioned burgers, not to mention grilled pork, grilled veg medley, or even a rotisserie chicken.

Bottom line: B, OG Burger buddy

The Swirl: A Tasting of Indigenous Cultures

In celebration of June’s National Indigenous History Month, a couple of local B.C. providers have partnered together to offer a unique experience. Paul Natrell, A.K.A. Mr. Bannock, meets Ryan Widdup, manager and sommelier of Indigenous World Winery, in an online forum to discuss making bannock and the history and practices behind Indigenous wine. The virtual event takes place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday. To register head to


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