How are Wine Prices Set? Is Expensive Wine Better? Video Chat: Painted Rock, John Skinner

John Skinner: Painted Rock Winery

In this video above, we chat with Painted Rock Winery owner John Skinner about how wine prices are set, if expensive wines taste better than cheaper wines. Also:

– can you buy a good wine for under $15?

– can big wine producers make good wine?

– how much government tax is in the price of each bottle of wine we buy?

– what does the B.C. wine industry need to do better?

Click on the arrow above to play the video (we’ve since fixed the microphone):


John Skinner


John Skinner had always dreamed of owning a winery, and after 25 years as a Vancouver stockbroker, he and his wife Trish bought 60 acres of vineyard land in the heart of BC’s Okanagan Valley. Their first vintage was bottled in 2007 and in just five years they’ve been named the #1 Winery in BC and #3 in Canada at the Canadian Wine Awards.

I’ve posted several of my recent reviews of John’s wines below. If you’d like to see more of his reviews as well as those for other B.C. wines, please join my wine reviews.

Do you know someone whom I should interview? E-mail me at [email protected].



2009 Painted Rock Estate Winery Ltd. Cabernet Sauvignon, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Tastes distinctly of B.C. yet comparable to top-tier Bordeaux (but a fraction of the price). This country is lucky to have a flagship wine like this. Classic aromas of blackberry, cassis and blackcurrant with a judicious use of oak. This wine spent 18 months in 95% new French oak. Pair with: charbroiled meats with a peppercorn sauce or a heavier tomato-based stew like ratatouille. Drink: 2012-2016. 864496 14.3% D 750 ml $40.00 Score: 94/100


2009 Painted Rock Estate Winery Ltd. Red Icon, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

This is a spectacular blend of Bordeaux grapes: 30% merlot, 29% cabernet franc, 25% cabernet sauvignon, 15% petit sirah, 1% syrah. A heavy-hitter that gets more refined every year. This vintage has the caged power of a tiger stalking back and forth behind bars… decant it and you’ll taste that gorgeously savage energy and concentration. Loaded with dark fruit and toasty oak. This wine spent 18 months in 95% new French oak. Unleash your inner tiger and slake more than your thirst with this wine. Pair with: premium cut of steak, wild mushrooms and a rich demi-glace. Drink: 2012-2019. 512657 14.3% D 750 ml $55.00 Score: 96/100


2010 Painted Rock Estate Winery Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

More elegant, with greater finesse than any previous vintage with a judicious use of oak that wraps itself gently around tropical fruit aromas. Lemon acidity through the middle lifts and brightens this luscious wine. It was partially barrel fermented then aged sur lie in 100% new French oak for 4 1/2 months. A lovely creamy texture with a long finish. Pair with: seafood, creamy pastas, poultry. Drink: 2012-2014. 130997 14% XD 750 ml $30.00 Score: 92/100


2009 Painted Rock Estate Winery Merlot, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Loaded with black fruit and smokey aromas and flavours. Full-bodied yet smooth with a savoury, meaty, satisfying mid-palate. A long finish. Pair with: smoked meats, barbecue and rich, flavourful stews. Drink: 2012 – 2016. 512319 14% D 750 ml $40.00 Score: 91/100



2009 Painted Rock Estate Winery Syrah, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

I smell gorgeousness and pleasure on this dark-fruited, toasty red. Plush, dark plums with a black satin texture. This wine was aged in 70% new French oak for 18 months and 25% new American oak. Food matches: wild game, bison or duck. Drink: 2012 – 2016. 130989 14.3% XD 750 ml $40.00 Score: 95/100.

You may also enjoy these video chats:

Biodynamic and organic wines: do they taste better? Healthier? We chat with winemaker Ann Sperling, Southbrook Vineyards

Shipping Canadian wine across borders with Bill C-311: Shirley-Ann George talks about the Free My Grapes campaign



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