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Seeking Okanagan Wines in New Jersey

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Not sure where to ask this question so I'll start here.

Having grown up in British Columbia, I can remember when wines from the Okanagan Valley were considered a joke. Forty years later, however, things have changed a lot. The New York Times recently ran an article on the Valley, including its wines, and I'd like to check out some of the tastings.

My problem is that I now live in central New Jersey. Does anyone have any idea where I might find some Okanagan wines. I suppose I could venture into NYC but I don't want to do this except as a last resort.

Thanks!

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  1. I'm a Seattlite living in NYC and haven't found much Northwest (Or Southwest from Canadian perspective) wines out here. Most are from large producers that seem over priced that really don't do our area of the country justice in terms of quality wine. We are actually considering buying a case from our favorite Seattle wine shops (Pete's or Esquin) and having it shipped out here. It seems the only way to get many of the more interesting, small producer wines. I like to scan the website avalonwines.com but I don't see many Okanagan wines listed there. I don't think you'd gain much by coming into NYC. Good luck with your search, the BC wines I've had are very nice, especially the ice wines.

    1 Reply
    1. re: huruta

      Canadian ice wines are fairly well known here in New Jersey and there's a surprisingly good selection in the larger stores. Most, however, are from the Niagara peninsula. I've never seen any from the Okanagan Valley.

      Since I originally posted, I have found a few Okanagan wines. My local Wegman's carries a red from Osoyoos winery that appears to be pretty good (if you believe online reviews). I haven't researched any others.

      I'm going to pose the same question on a couple of other boards and see if I get any responses.

    2. Have you tried asking your favorite wine shop to order some for you?
      Or you can contact the wineries in Okanagan and ask who is their distributor in NJ.

      4 Replies
      1. re: tom porc

        Yes, I've thought of this and it's still something to explore. I suspect, however, that there might be some "issues" with either New Jersey or Canadian laws. In the long run, I'm not sure it's worth all the trouble just to satisfy my curiosity. My first order of business is to try the Osoyoos red!

        1. re: ambrose

          Is that the Osoyoos Larose "Le Grand Vin"? A fine meritage and easily the best Canadian red I've tasted. If it's the 2002, it's accessible now. The 2003 is less fruit-forward and considerably more structured and tanninc -- it probably won't peak for another five years -- so if you open it now, you should decant it an hour or so beforehand.

          1. re: carswell

            Yup, that's the one. I'm now looking forward even more to sampling this wine!

          2. re: ambrose

            When you pick up the Osoyoos at Wegman's ask what else they can get for you. Wegman's has very good customer service.

        2. Here in Boston I have asked around and have managed to find a few shops willing to special order them for me. It is worth a shot.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MaggieMuffin

            Encouraging news! Can you suggest any specific wines I should consider (as noted above, I've found the Osoyoos Larose red at my local Wegman's.

          2. Speaking as a wine Rep in Vancouver. I seriously doubt you can get a lot of our wines in NJ, even in NYC. We rarely export to even just across the border. BC wineries are fairly small still and we don't have enough to get through a year here in our own restaurants let alone export! You can prolly find some of the Osoyoos Larose because it's co owned by a french house. You might be able to get some wines from some of the larger wineries that are owned by Vincor (is that constellation brands now?). But they aren't neccessarily the best. Plus if you contact the wineries directly there is a problem shipping alcohol over the border. Damn Gov't!