An Isolation Wine Tour

Written by Stephen Richmond,
Instructor & Business Owner, Vines Wine Merchants

Grab your glass and join us on an isolation wine tour.

In the current global situation, we find ourselves unable to travel and enjoy the simple pleasures in life, such as a wine tour! Although we cannot go out and experience the wineries themselves, we can still enjoy a glass of our favourite wines right in our homes. Now let’s put a new spin on this: What wine region or country, from anywhere in the world, would you choose to provide your isolation wine?



Desert Island Discs is a radio programme that has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 since 1942.  A guest called a “castaway” during the programme is asked to choose eight recordings (usually, but not always, music), a book and a luxury item that they would take if they were to be cast away on a desert island.  Adapting this concept to our current isolation period and the wine world, I am asking you what wine region or country, from anywhere in the world, you would choose to provide your desert island wine.  Our answers will probably be as diverse as the wine growing regions from which Alberta has access.

Here are three choices from my country of choice – Italy. Why Italy I hear you ask?   For me there is such a diversity of choice; white, rose, red, light and easy, big and hearty, dry to sweet.

NV Giusti Rosalia Prosecco (Sparkling)

The beautiful Giusti winery was created in Italy’s Veneto region, just outside of Treviso, by Joe Giusti from Calgary, Alberta. Originally from Veneto, Joe moved to Canada as a teenager and now splits his time between the two countries. This gorgeous, bubbly wine is a fantastic aperitif, and it makes a beautiful gift. It’s fresh and clean, with notes of apple, citrus and flowers. Served chilled, it pairs with a variety of Italian-style appetizers.


2018 Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina (White)

This fresh and unusual Italian white is made from 100% Falanghina grapes, an ancient type of grape that probably came to Italy from Greece hundreds of years ago. This leading winery in southern Italy has brought the Campania region back to the forefront of wine-lovers around the world. Falanghina, named after the method of vine cultivation in Sannio at the end of the Roman Era using Falangs (poles). Ideal as an aperitif, it can also accompany various types of appetizers, plates of simple fish and vegetables as well as, fresh cheeses.


2016 Tommasi Poggio al Tufo Rompicollo 60% Sangiovese/40% Cabernet Sauvignon (Red)

Tommasi is a family viticulture company founded in 1902 in Valpolicella Classico, Verona, Italy.  Aromas of blueberries, blackberries and flowers following through to a full body with firm and chewy tannins. A long and flavorful finish. Now that we can venture out on to our own decks/patios/balconies and brush off the snow from our BBQ’s this wine will pair beautifully with Alberta AAA beef.



About Stephen of Vines Wine Merchants

Stephen has worked for over 25 years in a variety of fields within the wine and spirits industry in Edmonton. His knowledge and experience is regularly called upon to conduct public and private tastings, judge wine and food events, and share insights as a regular radio columnist on CBC’s Edmonton AM. Stephen has enjoyed travelling to some of the wine regions of the world which have included B.C.’s Okanagan Valley, California, France, and Italy.

His passion for wine is balanced with his love of exploring single malt whiskies. He has hands-on experience in the peat bogs of Islay, Scotland and has organized the Edmonton Whisky Festival since its inception in 2009.  He has also earned the moniker of “whiskey guy” at Vines Wine Merchants where he is currently an owner.  Stephen enjoys the opportunity to inspire others toward a deeper understanding and appreciation of wine and spirits.

For more information, visit the Vines Wine Merchants website.

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