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What's New at Cellar Door

Each month we feature a selection of products that we are particularly excited about. To qualify, products must deliver outstanding value and be delicious. Pretty simple.

Our Latest Selection of Wines


Falling Leaves

The weather over the past few weeks has been simply outstanding but with the detectable chill in the evening air and the noticeable change to the leaves on the local Aspen trees our thoughts turn to fall. Fall is one of our favourite times of the year; harvest is in full swing, grapes are coming off the vines, farmers are reaping their hard work and food flavours are trending towards richer and more savoury dishes.

With fall flavours we move away from the lighter aromatic wines and we start to think about richer and more earthy reds to pair with food. Mushrooms start to be more prominent on menus and in specialty stores. If you are looking to theme a menu around fall mushrooms consider pairing with Pinot Noir. Our pick would be for a brambly New Zealand or Oregon Pinot.

In the shop look for the Wairau River Pinot from Marlborough $23; "Intense notes of warm cherries, crushed raspberries with hints of smoked meat, cardamom and anise." 89 points, Wine Advocate. Consider pairing with roasted salmon, sauteed mushrooms, fresh herbs and oven baked tomatoes.

Even though we're recommending reds in the fall we can also go with a bigger white, perhaps a nice rich chardonnay. James, who you see in the shop from time to time, recommends a chardonnay and Salmon poached in vermouth (click here for recipe). Salmon is not a natural choice for chardonnay but when it is cooked in sweet white vermouth the pairing is outstanding. Our first choice with this recipe would be a bottle of Maison Roche de Bellene Montagny Premier Cru, $30. "Deep lemon coloured with a fresh nose of white flowers and citrus with hints of minerality. On the palate it is medium bodied with a fresh and fruity attack, a rounded mid palate with apple, citrus and hints of nuts and a long citrussy finish"



Beer & Cheese Pairings?

When we think of pairing beverages with cheese our first thought would probably be wine and cheese or dessert wines and big bold cheeses but this past week we had an epiphany in the shop and discovered how fantastic a Belgian IPA goes with a medium creamy blue veined cheese (Fourme D'Ambert). After a little research we found some great tips for pairing cheese and beer. While we love wine, and always will, we would encourage you to experiment with some of the craft beers we sell and look for cheese at Sobey's or Mountain Mercato here in Canmore. Mercato has an excellent selection of artisan cheese and Sobey's has expanded their offerings as well.

When it comes to pairing items it is usually best to consider the approach of matching intensity with intensity. If you have a mild beer then you would pick a mild cheese for example. Taking the approach of matching intensities prevents one product from overwhelming the other. You can also take the approach of working with similarities; for example, if you have a super rich triple cream cheese then you would pick a nice full bodied stout (rich, low acid beer). If you are a fan of mild goat cheese then you would want to work with the acidity in the cheese and pick a beer with higher acid like a wheat beer.

If you are a cheddar fan you will want to pick a brew that has a mild malt character and that would be a brown ale. Aged cheddar typically has some nutty characteristics which play well off an ale. Canada makes lots of great cheddar cheese. Look for Balderson's Aged Cheddar to pair with a Naramata Nut Brown Ale.

For big and bold blue cheeses a great experiment is to pair with a Belgian IPA or Belgian Style IPA. Blue Cheese can be pretty intese and so is a Belgian IPA. lighthouse_bel_IPAThe power of the cheese is matched by the intensity of the beer. A great pairing would be a Fourme D'Ambert with a bottle of Lighthouse "Uncharted" Belgian IPA.

44494tNow, if you really like to get your stink on and enjoy washed-rind cheeses go for a Trappist Ale from Belgium. The funkiness of the cheese needs to be mellowed and a good Tappist beer is a classic pairing as the beer is strong, dry on the mid palate and spicy which will bring out the underlying fruitiness of the cheese and match the intensity of the cheese. Consider a Gruyere cheese which should be readily available with a Westmalle Trappist Tripel beer from Belgium.


Welcome to Beer Club, a monthly Beer Subscription

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Belgian Beers? You bet!

Would you enjoy a monthly selection of six beers expertly selected with your unique tastes in mind? If you want Belgium suds demystified or unique big boy bottles from British Columbia then sign up now for our monthly offering. Each month’s collection will be offered to our subscribers via email. All you have to do is reply yea or nea. It’s that easy. If you are interested in subscribing just sign up for our newsletter if you are not currently a member. Each month's beer selection will be a half dozen specialty beers, usually in a larger format, with an average combined price around $40. We can arrange delivery to you in Canmore for a small up-charge or you can pick up in store.  If you haven't been in the shop lately you will be pleasantly surprised with our new wall of beer coming this month!

Roederer Estate Brut

Anderson Valley, California $34.95

We recently added two new bubbles to the Wine Shop line up and both are from the famed house of Louis Roederer. With a little twist we decided to feature their California house that is a drop dead ringer for champagne but at half the price.

Roederer Estate Brut is the first California sparkling wine to be produced by Champagne Louis Roederer, Roederer's unique winemaking style is based on two elements: complete ownership of its vineyards and the addition of oak-aged reserve wines to each year's blend or cuvée.

The Roederer winemaking philosophy has guided the development of Roederer Estate, located 125 miles north of San Francisco near the Mendocino Coast. Since 1982, Roederer Estate winery has been quietly developing its own vineyards and crafting fine wines from the Anderson Valley. Roederer Estate's Anderson Valley Brut debuted in October 1988 followed by the winery's first vintage cuvée, L'Ermitage, in 1993.

The Anderson Valley offered the cool climate and well-drained soils that are ideally suited to the Roederer winemaking style. This premium grape growing region's proximity to the ocean gives rise to a gentle cycle of warm days and cool nights, allowing grapes to mature slowly on the vine and develop full varietal character. To achieve an optimum balance of acids and sugars in the estate's grapes, Rouzaud introduced an "open lyre" trellis system for training the vines on moveable wires, providing more exposure to sunlight than traditional trellising methods.

Tasting notes: The Roederer Estate Brut is crisp and elegant with complex pear, spice and hazelnut flavors. It is fresh and lightly fruity with great finesse and depth of flavour.


2007 Snoqualmie Syrah

Columbia Valley, Washington

Washington State has been producing great wines since the 1960's and in the last fifteen years Syrah has been a real up and comer with vines maturing and the wines showing some very expressive terroir. We find Washington Syrah to have dark fruits and a typical nose of bacon fat blueberries, blackberries and a medium body.

Snoqualmie Vineyards was founded in 1984 and was one of Washington’s first premium wineries, producing classic wine varietals from vineyards across the Columbia Valley. Originally located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, Snoqualmie opened its winery in Prosser, WA, at the base of the Horse Heaven Hills, in 2002.

The 2007 vintage Syrah is a lighter star and similar to a Cotes du Rhone in body. The wine shows aromas of blackberry and vanilla, spicy cassis, grape juice, vanilla and barrel toast. Ample acidity and firm tannins make it an excellent food wine at a good price.

Syrah pairs well with BBQ and stronger cheeses.


Cellar Door Price $19.95

2010 Dancing Coyote Gruner Veltiner

Clarksburg, California

We had the chance to taste this wine last week and were pleasantly surprised with how well this Gruner Veltliner did in comparison to its Austrian counterparts. Surprisingly, the nose was fresh and vibrant and very much akin to a recently fermented tank sample (in a good way) but was a typical bone dry Gruner. The wine is medium-bodied with citrus and white peach flavors (stone fruits) with a touch of white pepper and a crisp, mineral finish.

Dancing Coyote is a family run, owned and operated vineyard located in a beautiful stretch of land in California’s Clarksburg appellation. The family owned operation is five generations strong.

Cellar Door Price $19.95Gruner Veltiners are typically very dry, with an expressive nose of tree fruits, high acidity and a bone dry finish with intense minerality. Gruner is a classic wine to pair with shellfish, sushi, sashimi, pork or gnocchi. Consider this wonderful Lemon Gnocchi recipe.


Cellar Door Price $19.95

Surprise Case; Sketches of Spain

This month’s offering is an expose of six regional wines from Spain that illustrate the incredible diversity of this nation.

Grapes have been cultivated in Spain since 4000 B.C. and commercial grape growing was started by the Phoenicians around 1100 B.C. Spain is one of the largest grape growing nations and has an extensive history that saw little change until the recent generation started to modernize winery operations and vinification practices.

Spanish wines offer some of the best values in the market while bringing us unique varieties that show regional expression and terroir.

We hope you enjoy this month’s offering and the featured recipes.


Alison & James

Suprise Case Sketches of Spain Web Version

2008 Alpha Estate Syrah-Xinomavro

Alpha is the first letter of the greek alphabet. The choice of this name came from theinitial letter of Amyndeon, the geographical location of the estate’s vineyards and additionally declares a quality term in the greek argo. Alpha Estate represents the "new beginning", the "birth" of a new era in the world of Greek wine. Makis Mavridis, the grapegrower, and Angelos Iatridis, the winemaker, planted a 33 ha vineyard in Amyndeon region in the late 1990’s.

Tasting Notes: This wine is a blend of Syrah grape and the Greco Xinomavro (Ksee no' ma vro). The syrah we have come to know from the Rhone and Australia. Surprisingly the syrah in this wine is very similar to syrah grown in Washington State with blueberry and bacon fat on the nose. The Xinomavro brings an earthy component to the wine with dried herbs and olives. The Wine Advocate writes; "the good acidity mingles nicely with the oak to create a sunny wine that has an earthy character with hints of sour blueberry and bacon fat that is attributed to the syrah component asserting itself and mingling with the acidity ." 88 points

Food + Wine Pairing: Medium and hard cheeses, grilled meats, BBQ, Beef, Lamb. Consider Lamb Burgers on the BBQ.

2010 Alpha Estate Malagouzia

Alpha is the first letter of the greek alphabet. The choice of this name came from the initial letter of Amyndeon, the geographical location of the estate’s vineyards and additionally declares a quality term in the greek argo. Alpha Estate represents the "new beginning", the "birth" of a new era in the world of Greek wine. Makis Mavridis, the grapegrower, and Angelos Iatridis, the winemaker, planted a 33 ha vineyard in Amyndeon region in the late 1990’s.

Tasting Notes: This wine is made from the white grape "Malagouzia" and the wine displays incredible aromatics. This is a medium bodied white wine that shows wonderful pitted fruits of apricot and nectarine and a touch of pear. The wine is rich with great acidity and a creaminess that counters the acid (think creamsicle from Dicky-Dees). The wine is quite lively and is an exciting wine.

Food + Wine Pairing: Creamy cheeses, light seafood, shellfish, chicken. Consider this Chicken Gyros recipe

2008 Gilbert Cellars Left Bank

Columbia Valley, Washington State

The 2008 Gilbert Cellars Left Bank is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec. Left Bank refers to the similarity of the blend that is common in the regions on the left bank of the Gironde River in Bordeaux. The Columbia Valley has been producing notable wines since the 60's and the region is an ideal growing area for grapes. The vineyards are East of the Cascade Mountains in a semi-dessert area. The warm days make for great sugar and flavour development and cool nights help keep acidity levels high; these two elements combined make for complex and balanced wines.

Gilbert Cellars is a fantastic winery and restaurant located in the town of Yakima with family history dating back to the 19th century. The winery produces a number of wines and has some outstanding vineyards such as the Doc Stewart Vineyard that was planted in the 1970s. The fruit for the Left Bank is sourced from the Doc Steward vineyard which is a designated AVA called Whaluke Slope.

Tasting notes: this is a full rich robust wine with black cherry, crushed herb and vanilla characters backed by a palate cleansing acidity and ripe tannins.

Food + Wine Pairing: Medium cheeses, Lamb or beef. Consider a Roast Leg of Lamb


Cellar Door Price $36.95