Nacho Average Pub Fare.. Review: Monte Creek Ranch Hands Up Red

I set out on upon a quest this week. A quest to find a nacho wine.


There have been nobler quests, I know. Whatever. This was my quest. And really, it’s a pretty good quest when you think about it.

I have tried hard to like beer but I am just not that girl. Never will a country song be written about lil’ ol’ me. I am just not that into beer. But, if you go to almost every nacho and chicken wing pub in Kamloops and you don’t want beer with your dinner, you are going to enter a very unfamiliar place. I call it… Alberta.

You see, we are so spoiled. We live in the heart of Canadian wine country and we don’t even know how good we have it. We have so much good wine at our fingertips. Our liquor stores and cold beer and wine stores are packed with hundreds of choices. We take wine camping and to **cough ** Music in the Park **cough** and have a wine list a mile long at most restaurants. Most people I know can order a decent wine with dinner and every restaurant trains their staff on their wine selections.

Then you go to a pub.

It can be enough to give you PTSD. You get red or white if it’s really bad. You get red, white and a list of bottles they are out of if they have thrown in some effort. See, it’s like we enter Alberta. I went to a cold beer and wine store outside of Edmonton a few years ago and they had, I kid you not, twelve wines to choose from. I asked where they keep the Chilean wine and the clerk spit her straw out at me. Shocker!

That’s a long way to tell you I really wanted a go-to, easily ordered wine to have with pub food. And I found it.

Monte Creek 2016 Hands Up Red is a great wine for nachos, wings or other salty fair you find at a pub or restaurant. And, because our local eateries are great about supporting our local wineries, it’s pretty accessible, too!


Made up of mostly merlot grapes, it’s got good structure, body and weight. It feels heavy and solid in your mouth. It’s no light sipper. It’s flavourful and bursting with bold fruit. Cherry, smoke, plum… it’s all here. It’s also nice and dry. It’s dark and sexy in colour. It’s smells heady and oaky. You could easily sip this wine on it’s own around a campfire, of course, but it can stand up to salty and spicy food as well.

All in all, this is a fantastic value at $16.99 a bottle. I suspect, if you buy six of these, and open one a year for the next few years, you’d be pleased with how it ages and deepens, too. We don’t have a lot of wine worth cellaring here but this one would be worth trying.

And, if you are looking for a good red table wine for your wedding this Summer, this would fit the bill. It will go well with your buffet, be nice just before dinner and isn’t drier or heavier than most inexperienced wine drinkers would enjoy.

So, I have fulfilled my quest. From this day forward, let it be known that the 2016 Monte Creek Hands Up Red is your go-to pub wine, Kamloops. You are welcome.



Wine: Monte Creek 2016 Ranch Hand Red

Price: $17

Where to purchase: Save On Foods, Winery, most Liquor Stores in Kamloops

Score: 5/6

Takeaways: Good weight, dry, bold flavour, very light oak



how to run a wine club – it’s all about the mullet (ktw)

Thinking of maybe starting a little wine club in the new year?

Here is the link to the article on running a wine club tasting in your home!

Kamloops This Week – Wine Club


how to start a wine club – ktw

Here is the link to the Kamloops This Week article on starting your own wine club!

Kamloops This Week – Wine Club

What the Cluck?


This is a one-time, shameless plug for my other love!

What the Cluck Installations is my part-time, home-based gig where I create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces as big as a wall to as small as shoebox out of repurposed industrial materials.

Right now, we are focusing on pallet walls and rustic wall hangings for Remembrance Day and Christmas.

For more information you can connect via What the Cluck or check us out by searching on facebook!


Now, back to getting classy drunk!! See you at Chefs in the City tonight.

a little price throw down.. save on vs bcl

I was curious to see how the prices at Save On compared to the BC Liquor store.Will having another wine retailer change the price of the BC VQA wine we can purchase here in Kamloops?

So, being curious, capable and a bit sneaky, I set out today to do a little spy work. And what I found was surprising!

I checked five BC VQA wines at random at the Signature Liquor Store in Sahali. Then, I walked across the parking lot and checked the same five wines at Save-On.

Here are my results. I have laid them out very professionally and using high tech methods, as you can see…

See? Super flashy, right? The pictures are from the Government store and the fancy, orange writing are the prices at Save On Foods today. The skinny of it is that in all but one instance, Save On was cheaper than the liquor store. Both of those prices exclude the tax and bottle deposit.

Will Save On stay cheaper? That remains to be seen. And they always have their case deal on top of these prices.

The verdict? Having another wine retailer is good for Kamloops grape lovers!

chefs in the city – a must do wine event


This is a super, jam-packed evening of wining and dining that is well worth the ticket price. Bonus?? It is for a good cause! I have been twice and it’s fantastic! There will be twenty restaurants and 9 wineries this year.

For more info try this… Chefs in the City Info

We will be there!  Hope to see you there, too!

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