Tuesday 31 January 2012

G'Vine Gin

So I was recently corrected by @GlobalWines on Twitter, also known as @GVineGinCanada, on a factual error I made on a couple posts. I mentioned that, while delicious, G'Vine gin is unavailable for sale in B.C. (simply because I never see it anywhere). Obviously I wasn't looking hard enough, because it is actually available. I figure I'll take this opportunity to talk a little about this gin and why it's awesome, as well as let you know where you can pick up a bottle.

The most unique thing about G'Vine is that is distilled from a grape base, much like the malt wine base used for genevers from which gin evolved, whereas the majority of all other gins are distilled from grain. Particular grapes from the Cognac region of France are harvested, fermented into wine, then distilled to produce a grape spirit. This spirit is split into two portions, one is infused with green grape flowers to give floral aromas and flavours, then is distilled again. The other portion is macerated with nine botanicals: cassia bark, coriander, cubeb berry, ginger root, green cardamom, juniper berry, lime, liquorice, and nutmeg. These two portions are then blended together and distilled one last time, giving a very unique and interesting gin - like you've never tasted before.

There are two kinds of G'Vine gin - Floraison and Nouaison. The former focuses more on the floral aspect of the blend and has a smoother, softer taste, while the latter focuses more on the botanicals, giving a spicier and drier profile. Thereby, the Floraison lends itself to softer cocktails, and the Nouaison can easily substitute for a London Dry.

[[Edit: I forgot to mention the fact that the G'Vine gins are award-decorated. The Floraison won two Gold Medals, two Silver Medals, and rated over 90 multiple times by spirit competitions, and the Nouaison won a Platinum Medal (highest there is), Gold Medal, and rated as high as 96 by spirit competitions. If you're ever curious about a spirit, it's good to check these results out because a bunch of very experienced professionals will obviously have good judgment in terms of quality. Also, seeing a spirit show up multiple times these annual competitions shows that the distillers are confident and excited about their product, which is also a good sign]]

So here's the practical good and bad news. The good is that you can buy this in B.C., namely at Legacy Liquor on Manitoba Street (a great place to find anything a little more obscure), and you can also find it in the more upscale bars if you want a taste - namely L'Abbatoir, and The West, but I've been informed you can also often find it at The Keefer, Shangri-La, and Cin Cin.
The bad is that if you want to purchase it here in B.C., it's extremely pricey, with the Floraison running $77.90 and the Nouaison running $89.95. However, if you find yourself south of the border (and if you do, there are a LOT of things you should pick up down there to save yourself a lot of money), they run $34 and $38 respectively. $80 is just too much for me to justify on one bottle of gin, but G'Vine is definitely worth the price at $40. It's a seriously interesting product with some very exciting flavours, and it's great to see a new and creative way of making an old spirit.

Definitely check out their website if you're interested, including their very cool cocktail suggestions (or, "G'infusions"). I don't have a bottle at home at the moment, but I'll be trying this one nonetheless:

1.5oz G'Vine Floraison
3 quarters lime
2 teaspoons chopped fennel
0.5oz dry vermouth 
0.5oz simple syrup

Muddle lime, fennel, and simple syrup in a shaker. Add the other ingredients and ice, shake, double strain over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with a sprig of dill. 

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