And while its character that makes the wine, she says you don’t necessarily have to pay a lot to get it.
A sense of place
What Philip says she looks for in a wine is a sense of place, something that reminds the drinker of the region,
“I swear, wines can do that,” says Philip.
"They are usually more expensive because of the region-specific nature of the ingredients. However, some regions aren’t as expensive. Chile, Spain, South Africa and B.C. have some more affordable offerings.
When looking for a wine with character, Philip says look for a specific place name. She says it yields the most interesting results and gives a better sense of place.
Here are a few of her favourite "character" wines — all under $15.
- JP Chenet Malbec. Cahors, France. $13.99: “Cahors is the home of Malbec. Why not have [this one and the Los Cardos] back to back to compare the terroir, the sense of place?”
- Sinfonia Monastrell/Cabernet Sauvignon, Jumilla, Spain. $14.99: “They make very dark, black, fruit scented wine. This is a blend of Monastrell and Cabernet Sauvignon. Great to check out.”
- Capitao Rayeo. Alentejano, Portugal. $13.99:“This is a blend of indigenous Portuguese grape varieties that really tastes like the sun-drenched southern coast of Portugal.”
For more wine picks from Wine Master Barbara Philips, tune into On The Coast every second Tuesday at 5:45.