Vancouver Winefest 13th Annual Awards Lunch

winefest 2016 awards lunch 2

As a part of the Vancouver International Wine Festival, on February 26, I attended this 13th annual awards lunch with an Italian theme, that was full of restaurateurs, sommeliers, wine makers, and other industry peers.

Penne Arrabbiata and Porcini Agnolotti Alfredo

Penne Arrabbiata and Porcini Agnolotti Alfredo

Tomato Basil Focaccia

Tomato Basil Focaccia

Pignoli Miele Cake

Pignoli Miele Cake

Guests enjoyed a meal prepared by Vancouver Convention Centre executive chef Blair Rasmussen, showcasing Italian delicacies, and toasted trade competition winners with a stunning line-up of a selection of 35 Italian wines.

IMG_1014

2016 SPIRITED INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL AWARD

The annual Spirited Industry Professional Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the sales, service or promotion of wine in British Columbia. The 10th annual award goes to industry icon Norman Gladstone.

Norman entered the import agency business 35 years ago with his own company, Gladstone and Company Wine Imports, after having worked overseas in the beer industry with Whitbread. Fifteen years later he partnered with International Cellars, where he remained until his retirement this year. He held the post of the Import Vintners & Spirits Association (IVSA) president for several terms and spearheaded the long running IVSA/BCLDB baseball tournaments. Known as a man of many words, Norman has been a mentor and mediator to many people in the industry.

2016 SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR

The Sommelier of the Year Award recognizes working sommeliers who consistently demonstrate an outstanding passion for marrying wine with food and a dedication to exceptional service. This year’s winner, Alistair Veen, chef/owner of Tap Restaurant, was selected through a hands-on competition organized by the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS). Veen will represent British Columbia in the “Best Sommelier in Canada” competition this spring.

Veen became interested in wine as part of all the food and wine paired menus he was asked to create. Over many years through trial and error he learned some of the nuances that play off each other in pairing. But he hungered for more knowledge about wine so he signed up for a level 1 International Sommelier Guild program. There he met his instructor, Michelle Bouffard, whom he credits for planting the seed in his head that there was a deep and exciting rabbit hole to follow with his wine education. He is currently the chef/owner of Tap Restaurant in South Surrey.

IMG_1013

IMG_1011

2016 WINE PROGRAM EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS

Celebrating the best food and wine pairings in the business, restaurants throughout British Columbia and Alberta have been recognized for creating wine lists that complement their establishment’s unique menu and concept. Candidates submitted their wine and menu lists, and were then visited by judges who reviewed their programs. The key judges were Tom Doughty, Jay Jones, DJ Kearney, Iain Philip, and Treve Ring. The top restaurants were awarded Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, or commended with an Honourable Mention. The Wine Program Excellence Awards are sponsored by Vancouver Magazine.

METRO VANCOUVER

Platinum

Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar

Chambar

Gotham Steakhouse & Bar

Hawksworth Restaurant

Vij’s

 

Gold

L’Abattoir

Burdock & Co.

CinCin

Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca

Savio Volpe

Zest Japanese Cuisine

 

Silver

AnnaLena

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Brix & Mortar

Le Crocodile

Fable Kitchen

Forage

Homer St. Café and Bar

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House

Mission

My Shanti

Nicli Antica Pizzeria

Provence Marinaside / The Wine Bar

Tableau Bar Bistro

West

 

Bronze

Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio

Centre Ice Grill – Rogers Arena

LIFT Bar Grill View

PiDGiN

Tramonto at River Rock Casino Resort

 

Honourable Mention

Beach Bay Café and Patio

The Beachhouse Restaurant & Lounge

St. James’ Well

Via Tevere Pizzeria Napoletana

 

WHISTLER

Gold

Alta Bistro

 

Silver

Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar

Rimrock Cafe

 

Bronze

Basalt Wine + Salumeria

 

VANCOUVER ISLAND

Bronze

Wild Mountain Food & Drink (Sooke)

Zambri’s (Victoria)

 

Honourable Mention

Grand Cru Restaurant and Lounge, The Grand Hotel (Nanaimo)

Hudson’s On First Restaurant (Duncan)

The Pacific Restaurant & Terrace, Hotel Grand Pacific (Victoria)

Unsworth Restaurant (Mill Bay)

Onwards to next year and to more award winners.

By: Richard Wolak