LFNG posted historically strong gains in a down market over the past year, earning big dividends for those exploring their options by cracking open a bottle of Laughing Stock wine. Not a stock, nor a publicly traded commodity on Howe, Bay, or Wall Streets, the Portfolio we’re talking about here is one of the stellar sips owning a dramatic share of the glassware in tasting rooms, restaurants, and dining rooms across Canada.
Winery owners Cynthia and David Enns are the brilliance behind the brand at Laughing Stock. Once a part of the pinstripe and briefcase crowd in Vancouver’s savvy financial sector, they play off of the rich terminology of the financial industry as part of Laughing Stock’s identity. Clever and fun, it only adds to a high quality product turned out by the couple going into their 11th season growing grapes and making wine on the Okanagan Valley’s Naramata Bench in British Columbia.
With names like Portfolio and Blind Trust, Laughing Stock may look like a relatively unknown wine hiding behind a clever bottle. Laughing Stock bottles typically feature their pretend ticker symbol “LFNG” in electronic dot format, with the stock price replaced by the harvest date. Then, in keeping with the theme, ticker strips wind their way freely about the bottle, delivering real information about what specific stocks were trading for on the harvest date. Clever, yes, but the twist also makes the bottle itself age as interestingly as the wine.
The Naramata Bench, and the entire Okanagan Valley for that matter, has experienced big growth since the Enns arrived on the scene, going from 9 wineries to 25 in a short 18-mile stretch. Their estate winery, perched on a hillside above Okanagan Lake, paired with a more recent acquisition called the Perfect Hedge Vineyard in the Osoyoos Desert, have both provided exceptional fruit for both red and white wines.
Portfolio is Laughing Stock’s signature wine, made from a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot grapes harvested at the Naramata Bench. Delivering layers of luscious aromas and tastes, from subtle aromatics to mid palate dark fruit, most agree that this highly regarded wine also cellars well.
Blind Trust Red and Blind Trust White are both blended and bottled like … well, a blind trust. You’re not sure what’s in it, but you’re trusting the executors know what they’re doing. Likewise, you’ll just have to trust the Enns, and winemaker Jonas Greig, as they put together their own blend of gorgeous grapes. The actual blend is hidden under the seal of the bottle, just daring you to open it up, taste it blind, and identify the grapes to see just how close you can come to getting it right.
Drinking wine should be fun. It should also be interesting. Laughing Stock is both, but adds an extra element to make it cerebral as well. Intriguing discoveries in the method and madness of product and package make the wine a great choice. The extras, such as the fun street sign in the middle of the vineyard noting the intersection of the financial streets they once trod, Howe St., Bay St., and Wall St., continues to remind them that they are bringing an artisanal dream to life. When they traded their pinstripes for pruning shears, they once feared becoming the laughing stock among their peers. It seems, however, that they’ve reinvested wisely.