Posts Tagged ‘Wine Tasting’

Afterglow 2010 Naramata Bench Wine Tasting

Goldfish Pacific Kitchen's Humbolt Squid

On April 12th, I attended a wine tasting that featured a large selection of wineries from all over the Naramata Bench area.  This ballroom tasting along with a silent auction held at the Westin Bayshore Hotel paired two wineries with food bites from a selection of local and Naramata region restaurants.

Westin Bayshore Chefs

These were my favourite bites as I was eating more than I was drinking at this event.

Friukno Salami, Guiness Mustard on Croistini

Salt Tasting Room rocked it with their Friukno Salami, Guiness Mustard on Croistini which was best paired with the Van Western Vinyards 2006 Voluptious.

Scallop Ceviche Taco

Naramata Heritage Inn and their tasty Scallop Ceviche Taco with Quince and Blood Orange Marmalade which was best paired with the Township 7 Vineyards 2008 7 Blanc.

Pacific Angels Qualicum Scallops

The Westin Bayshore with their Tempura Seaweed topped Pacific Angels Qualicum Scallops which was best paired with the Howling Bluff Estate Winery 2007 Sin Cera.

Chocolate Truffle Cake

For dessert, the best one in the house was the Chocolate Truffle Cake from the Westin Bayshore which was best paired with the D’Angelo Estate Winery 2006 Pinot Noir.

If you are planning a visit to the Naramata Bench region and want to check out some of the wineries, you may want to visit them online at www.naramatabench.com

By: Richard Wolak

An Evening of Champagne and Sparkling Wine May 27

house wine’s love of all things French extends to the theatre, so it is with great pleasure that we partner with BonetaRestaurant in a fundraiser to benefit the Théâtre la Seizième. In its 35th season, Théâtre la Seizième is the only French language, professional theatre company in BC and a dynamic leader in Western Canada’s cultural and artistic life. Show your support for francophone culture at this elegant evening of free-flowing bubbles. We will be pouring a superb selection sparkling wines from around the globe including Cava from Spain, Sekt from Germany, Crémant from France and of course plenty of Champagne. To pair with these sparkling gems, renowned Chef Jérémie Bastien has created a delectable menu of exquisite hors d’oeuvres. And in honour of the spectacular Napoleonic tradition, Michaela & Michelle will indulge in a synchronized sabering performance.

California Wine Fair Tasting 2010

Chase Stampe & Laura Sousa of Bonterra Wines

Last night I attended a wine tasting that featured a large selection of wineries from all over California, featuring 350 wines from over 100 wineries.  This ballroom tasting along with a silent auction held at the Vancouver Convention Center is the annual fundraiser for the Arts Club Theatre Company that operates the Stanley Theatre as well as the Arts Club Theatre on Granville Island.

Candiss & Sandi of St. Supery Wines

Pouring and tasting, I had some favourites including the Starmont, Chardonnay, 2007, Napa Valley (Merryvale Vineyards); Menage a Trois, Chardonnay, 2008, California (Trinchero Family Vineyards); Chardonnay, 2007, Sonoma County (Sebastiani Vineyards).

Starmont Wines

Kye Melchert of Sebastiani Vineyards

Showcasing Menage a Trois from Trinchero

The participating wineries from California are listed here.

By: Richard Wolak

California Wine Fair April 7

Now in its 30th year of touring across Canada, the 2010 CALIFORNIA WINE FAIR BALLROOM TASTING boasts 350 wines from 100 wineries throughout the Golden State. Under one roof, the range of wines include products currently available in the market to new vintages and varietals that have yet to be released in the Canadian market. 600 guests sample wines, and bid on silent auction items including many of the hard-to-find wines featured at the tasting.

Contact: Tickets for the evening event are $60 per person or $50 per person for a group of 6 or more and available for purchase by calling the Arts Club Theatre Company Box Office at (604) 687-1644 or online at www.artsclub.com <http://www.artsclub.com>

Silent Auction: In support of the Arts Club Theatre Company, there will be a silent auction featuring special wine, travel and lifestyle related items. For more information, please contact the Arts Club Theatre Company at (604) 687-5315, ext 248 or online at www.artsclub.com <http://www.artsclub.com/> .

2010 Wine & Beer Festival

On March 26th I attended a packed gathering of people out to taste an extensive selection of wine and beer. The event was held upstairs inside Stadium Club at the Edgewater Casino and was presented by Just Here for the Beer.

Marc Roberts - Granville Island Brewing

Chang Beer from Thailand

Tyskie Beer from Poland

This was the sixth year for this festival with this being the first time to be located at this venue.

By: Richard Wolak

Naramata Spring Wines April 12

Vancouver at the Westin Bayshore Hotel on April 12 and in Victoria at the Inn atLaurel Point on April 14

Be the first to taste the annual “Best of the Bench” Spring wine releases and meet the winemakers from the Naramata Bench Winery Association.  Savour their wine selections with delightful food pairings in Vancouver from some of Vancouver and Naramata’s finest restaurants, and in Victoria with pairings created by the Inn’s Chef Brad Horen, Captain of Culinary Team Canada.

As well as tastes and treats at the Spring Release you will also be able to place your bids at our auction of exclusive award-winning wines and wine gifts, the Annual Best of the Bench 2010 Wine Collection, plus Naramata trips and treats.

Tickets are $85. in Vancouver and $69. in Victoria  and must be pre-purchased and this event sells out every year – so get your tickets now and mark your calendar on April 12th in Vancouver or April 14 in Victoria for an evening of fun, flavour, and discovery.

Tickets (and more info) are available online at www.naramatabench.com and  can also be purchased by phone at 1-800-663-1900.

Wines of Argentina Tasting April 9

Friday, April 9, 2010

3:00 – 7:00 pm

BCLDB 39th & Cambie Signature Liquor Store

5555 Cambie Street, Vancouver

At the Cambie & 39th consumer tasting, the wines listed above will be paired with bites from Baru Latino Restaurante.  Guests at the event will also enjoy a demonstration of passionate tango dancing.

In conjunction with the promotion, Wines of Argentina is also offering a prize package that has all the makings for a spectacular night out.  The prize consists of dinner for 8 at Baru, where the winners will enjoy outstanding cuisine paired with top-quality wines from Argentina.  Limo service to and from the restaurant is included.

BARU’s Latin driven cuisine is the focus of this award winning, neighbourhood restaurant located in the Point Grey / Kitsilano area.  Here, responsibly caught seafood and organic meats are served with classic and original drinks in a warm and welcoming environment.

To enter the draw, please visit www.winesofargentina.ca.

2010 Wine & Beer Festival March 26

Date: Friday March 26th, 2010

Time: 6:00-10:00 pm

Location: The Edgewater Casino, Vancouver

Tickets: $45 – includes all wine & beer samples, souvenir glassware, live entertainment, light appetizers, festival brochure and tasting notes

Port Wine Showcase

Wines from Caves Santa Marta region

FENADEGAS represents a group of wine cellar cooperatives that began to promote their wines all over the world more than seven years ago. Today Wines from Portugal were showcased in Vancouver at the Metropolitan Hotel to members of the trade and media. My interest was on the Port wines and the varied wines available from the Douro Valley. Port Wine is a fortified wine that is steeped in history. A rich flavour with a high alcohol content, Ports have different aromas. The young, fruity Ports are naturally suited to the most varied occasions, to accompany local desserts or at the end of a meal. The more mature Ports, with more complex aromas, require more dignified and special occasions. The Vintages are excellent with a good cheese, while the Late Bottled Vintages can be appreciated during a meal instead of the usual aperitif, or between other wines.

Port Wine from Caves Vale Do Rodo

I enjoyed the taste of Reserva Ruby Porto from Caves Santa Marta. I also enjoyed Porto Vintage 2004 and the Porto Reggur 10 Years both from Caves Vale Do Rodo.

Ask for these Port Wines at fine restaurants around Vancouver and at the specialty liquor stores.

By: Richard Wolak

Sumac Ridge Wine Tasting Feb 5 & 6

CELEBRATE CANADIAN SUCCESS!

When:

Friday, February 5: 4pm – 7pm

Saturday, February 6: 2pm – 5pm

Where:

Location: BC Liquor Store in Park Royal North

570 Park Royal North, West Vancouver

What:

Join the Great Estates of the Okanagan team and executive chef Roger Planiden for a complimentary tasting paired with delicious bites.

Featured are samples from Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, Inniskillin Okanagan Estate and Jackson-Triggs Okanagan.

Of special note is that samples of Sumac Ridge Estate Winery’s commemorative sparkling wine Tribute will be offered as well!

Why:

These wineries are the official wines to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games!

Have a taste and join us as we get in the spirit to cheer on our Canadian athletes!

Taste and Sip at TASTE BC 2010

I recently attended Taste BC, a fundraiser put on by Liberty Wine Merchants with proceeds going to BC Children’s Hospital – Oak Tree Clinic. The event held at the Hyatt gave my friends and I a chance to walk about the large room and taste wines, ciders and beers from fine producers from around BC. I was able to chat with many of the producers to find out which products were new or how they were made and where they were available.

Sabelfish Crostini by Bridges

Vista D’Oro Wines

Le Vieux Pin Wines

Oysters from Rodney's Oyster House

Race Rocks Amber Ale

Red Roofs Apple Cider 2007

Wild Sweets Chocolates

Forbidden Fruit Winery

Raven Ridge Cidery

For Wine, both Le Vieux Pin Sigma Blanc white blend NV and Le Vieux Pin Pinot Noir “Belle” 2006 from (Le Vieux Pin in Oliver); the Vista D’Oro 2007 from (Vista D’Oro in Langley), the Pearsuasian Asian Pear 2008, Caught Apricot Mistelle 2008 and the Cerise D’Eve Cherry Port 2007 all from (Forbidden Fruit Winery). For Beer, the Race Rocks Amber Ale from (Lighthouse Brewing in Esquimal). For Cider, Red Roofs Apple Cider 2007 from (Orchard Hill) and both the Braeburn Ice Cider & Fuji Ice Cider from (Raven Ridge Cidery in Kelowna) were all outsanding.

By: Richard Wolak

Grab Your Glass-Tickets to Wine Festival Events Available Feb.2nd

Tickets to the wildly popular Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival go on sale Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010. Tickets to trade events will be on sale February 9, 2010. The 2010 Festival will be one of the largest to date in its thirty-two year history. With 197 wineries and not one, but two theme regions of New Zealand and Argentina, attendees to the 2010 Festival will have the opportunity to sample a diverse array of wines, while the global focus of Rosé will bring a selection of these highly quaffable summer wines to many a tasting booth. Tickets to the Playhouse Wine Festival can be purchased online at PlayhouseWinefest.com or by phoning the Playhouse Box office at 604-873-3311.

THEME REGIONS ARGENTINA AND NEW ZEALAND

“2010 is all about altitude, latitude and attitude,” says Festival executive director Harry Hertscheg. The combination of these two very distinct cultures and countries will provide both strength and sex appeal to this year’s Festival, while the newfound confidence of Rosé wine in the global market will add a counterpoint to the Pinot Noirs, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blancs and Malbecs that will be poured.

On the Argentine side, the dizzying altitudes and snow capped Andean mountains produce grapes that are ripened to perfection year after year. From rich Malbecs to the distinctive Torrontés, the 36 participating Argentine wineries in the 2010 festival will include some of the country’s top wineries.

With 41 New Zealand wineries from varying degrees of latitude participating in the 2010 festival, visitors can expect to find a wealth of diversity thanks to world class Sauvignon Blancs and terroir-driven Pinot Noirs, refreshing aromatic and fruit driven Chardonnays, and complex fuller-bodied reds.

GLOBAL FOCUS ROSÉ

Any wine that inspires headlines of renaissance and revolution deserves a close examination. Rosé has been adopted as an underdog by its fans but the truth is that Rosé wines offer the refreshing characteristics of white wine and the complexity and colour of reds. Valued for their ability to match with a variety of cuisine, the days of the deceptively named White Zinfandel are over. The world’s wine drinkers are developing a taste for the drier, more refreshing variations; proving that pink doesn’t always have to be sweet.

ABOUT THE PLAYHOUSE WINE FESTIVAL

The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier wine show, runs from April 19 to 25, 2010. The Playhouse Wine Festival is one of the biggest and oldest wine festival events in the world. In 2010, the global focus will be rosé. The festival features a week of special events including a gala auction, wine seminars, wine minglers, winery dinners, lunches and brunches at fine restaurants and hotels. The Playhouse Wine Festival is produced by the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Society, which has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for consumers and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and festival partners; and raise funds for the Playhouse Theatre Company. Since its inception in 1979, the festival has raised over $6.8 million to enable Western Canada’s leading theatre company to mount 209 productions and develop extensive community outreach and educational programs.

The Shore Club generously presents the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival.

Bordeaux Under One Roof

Chateau Doisy Verines 2006 Dessert Wine

Chateau Doisy Verines 2006 Dessert Wine

Wines from the Bordeaux region of France were poured at the Trade tasting in Vancouver November 3rd. This tasting that was part of a tour also touched down in Montreal, Toronto and then ended in Vancouver, the walk around wine tasting offered a taste of the diversity and affordability of Bordeaux wines under $30.

Le Dauphin De Guiraud Sauternes 2003

Le Dauphin De Guiraud Sauternes 2003

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Chateau Pey La Tour Red 2007

Chateau Pey La Tour Red 2007

These wines are available at liquor stores and private wine stores in the Vancouver area.

If you are planning a visit to the Bordeaux region and want to check out some of the wineries, you may want to visit them online at www.bordeaux.com

By: Richard Wolak

Undercover

On Thursday October 29th I had the pleasure to go ‘Undercover’ at one of the most secretave wine events of the season. Hosted by the Raymond James Lionsgate Financial to benefit Shooting Stars Foundation in support of direct service local HIV/AIDS oraganizations.

Kurtis Kolt (from Salt Tasting Room) Master of Ceremonies

Kurtis Kolt (from Salt Tasting Room) Master of Ceremonies

Wines Undercover

Wines Undercover

All the wines were served blind and each bottle was numbered,  guests samples the different wines and noted their favourites. Each of the wines was under $19.95 a bottle. During the last half hour the bags were removed and revealed.

Oak Bay, Gamay Noir 2007

Oak Bay, Gamay Noir 2007

Lake Breeze, Pinot Gris VQA 2008

Lake Breeze, Pinot Gris VQA 2008

Thornhaven Estates Reserve Pinot Noir VQA 2007

Thornhaven Estates Reserve Pinot Noir VQA 2007

Some of my favourite wines that I tasted when undercover include the above three #88 Oak Bay, Gamay Noir 2007; #55 Lake Breeze, Pinot Gris VQA 2008; and #66 Thornhaven Estates Reserve Pinot Noir VQA 2007.

By: Richard Wolak

The Globe in Your Glass

This charity fundraiser was to benefit Canuck Place, The Globe in your Glass was a tasting with many ‘new world’ wines being poured from all over the world. The Great Estates of the Okanagan executive chef Roger Planiden will showcase food pairings.

Globe in your Glass 001

Wines from BC

Wines from BC

Mingling

Mingling

Showing Woodbridge Sauvignon Blanc

Showing Woodbridge Sauvignon Blanc

Estates of the Okanagan Executive Chef Roger Planiden

Estates of the Okanagan Executive Chef Roger Planiden

Wines and vintners showcased from the following countries:

They travelled all the way from the Southern Hemisphere!

  • Banrock Station (Australia)
  • Barossa Valley Estate (Australia)
  • Hardys wines (Australia)
  • Kim Crawford (New Zealand)
  • Monkey Bay (New Zealand)

From the United States

  • Clos Du Bois (California)
  • Hogue Cellars (Washington)
  • Ravenswood (California)
  • Robert Mondavi Winery (California)
  • Simi (California)
  • Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi (California)

And from here in British Columbia:

  • Inniskillin Okanagan Estate
  • Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate
  • Nk’Mip Cellars
  • Osoyoos Larose
  • See Ya Later Ranch
  • Sumac Ridge Estate Winery

The event was a great success, I had a great time mingling with other foodies and wine experts at the Media Tasting event that took place as a preview to this well attended event at the Pan Pacific on October 28th.

By: Richard Wolak

Mission Hill Family Estate’s Vintage Affair

John Simes - Winemaker (on left)

John Simes - Winemaker (on left)

Mission Hill Wines poured 6 wines including their Oculus, Quatrain and unveiled their Compendium at the Four Seasons Hotel on October 8th. This elegant evening featured inspired signature canapés by Four Seasons Executive Chef Oliver Beckert.

Four Seasons Executive Chef Oliver Beckert

Four Seasons Executive Chef Oliver Beckert

Mission Hill Wines is located in West Kelowna in the heart of the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. John Simes who is their Chief Winemaker was on hand to greet guests and to talk about his wines. John Simes was born and raised in New Zealand and he has been with Mission Hill since 1992.

MissionHillVintage10.8.09 001

Chef making the Bison Meatballs

Chef making the Bison Meatballs

MissionHillVintage10.8.09 011

The wines poured included the 2006 Quatrain (composed of four grape varieties including syrah, merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon), 2006 Compendium (composed of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and petit verdot), 2006 Oculus (composed of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and petit verdot), 2007 Chardonnay, 2006 Syrah and 2005 Riesling Icewine. The wines were each paired with a special canapé, The Quatrain was paired with grilled Lamb Popsicles topped with cherry compote, the Compendium was paired with Bison Meatballs and the Oculus was paired with the grilled Dark Chocolate Panini dessert.

By: Richard Wolak

Vancouver International Wine Festival 2010, Get Ready

New Zealand and Argentina the theme at largest wine festival to date

The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival will mark its 32nd year with a celebration of the wines of Argentina and New Zealand and a global focus on rosé. The festival, which runs from April 19th to 25th 2010, will bring a record 197 participating wineries to the new Vancouver Convention Centre and top Vancouver restaurants and hotels for a total seven days of tastings, seminars, and wine focused events. A full list of participating wineries is now available online at www.playhousewinefest.com.

“2010 is all about altitude, latitude and attitude,” says festival executive director Harry Hertscheg. The combination of these two very different cultures and countries will provide both strength and sex appeal to this year’s festival (think Haka and Tango dancing) while the newfound confidence of rosé wine in the global market will add a counterpoint to the Pinot Noirs, Torrontés’, Sauvignon Blancs and Malbecs that will be poured.

“We see this as an opportunity not only to support a worthy cause but also to provide a platform for people to discover more about our premium wines and regions,” says Philip Gregan, CEO, New Zealand Winegrowers. With 41 New Zealand wineries from varying degrees of latitude participating in the 2010 festival, visitors can expect to find a wealth of diversity thanks to world class sauvignon blancs and terroir-driven pinot noirs, refreshing aromatic and fruit driven chardonnays, and complex fuller-bodied reds. Kim Crawford Wines will present a selection of wines, many of which have consistently scored 90 points or higher over the past 7 years with a special recognition in 2008 of 40th place in Wine Spectator’s Top 100. At Two Paddocks winery – located in the central Otago region and helmed by Sam Neill – the age-old techniques of Burgundian vintners are followed. Two Paddocks produces just 5000 cases per year from hand-tended low yielding vines, handpicked grapes, and small batch wines aged in French Oak barrels.

On the Argentine side, the dizzying altitudes and snow capped Andean mountains produce grapes that are ripened to perfection year after year. “We are very excited to participate in the 2010 Playhouse Wine Festival and to bring our wines to the Canadian and US market,” says Lis Clément, Wines of Argentina’s Marketing & Communications Manager. “The alliance with New Zealand is also very important since we view our two countries as being complimentary to each other.”  From rich Malbecs to the distinctive Torrontés, the 36 participating Argentine wineries in the 2010 festival will include the renowned Viña Doña Paula. An estate winery, Viña Doña Paula has an incredible combination of climates and soil types and utilizing hand-tended methods, generates a vast diversity of terroir-focused wines.

Celebrate the Great Wines of Argentina

Ricardo Puebla from Vinas de Altura (left)

Ricardo Puebla from Vinas de Altura (left) & Richard Wolak (right)

This event held at the Sutton Place Hotel showcased 49 wineries from Argentina and featured many of the finest Malbecs, Syrah, and other red and white wines from their region.

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Tango

Tango

Don David Syrah Reserve

Don David Syrah Reserve

Many of these wines are already available in Liquor Stores around the Greater Vancouver area, with many more great wines from Argentina to come.

By: Richard Wolak

Sonoma in the City

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Wines from the Sonoma Coast, Russian River and Carneros were poured at the Trade tasting in Vancouver September 24th, since the region is known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnays this was the highlight here along with some Zinfandels. This tasting that was part of a tour also touched down in Toronto, Calgary and then ended in Vancouver, the 30 wineries poured over 80 premium wines ranging from established classics to brand new winery premieres.

Rancho Zabaco Zinfandel

Rancho Zabaco Zinfandel

Thomas George Estates Zinfandel

Thomas George Estates Zinfandel

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Buena Vista Carneros Pinot Noir 2006

Buena Vista Carneros Pinot Noir 2006

If you are planning a visit to the Sonoma region and want to check out some of the wineries, you may want to visit them online at www.sonomawine.com

By: Richard Wolak

Naramata Bench Wine Tasting

Cynthia Enns of Laughing Stock Vineyards

Cynthia Enns of Laughing Stock Vineyards

The wineries of the Naramata Bench region of the Okanagan held a “Simply Red” tasting extravaganza to members of the media and trade at Goldfish Pacific Kitchen in Yaletown on September 22nd.

Winning Pinot Noir from Howling Bluff Wines

Sin Cera from Howling Bluff Wines

Some of the wineries represented included Laughing Stock, Howling Bluff, Therapy, La Frenz, Nichol Vineyard, Elephant Island Orchard Wines, Black Widow, Hillside Estate, Poplar Grove, and Kettle Valley. All of these wineries were pouring the new and winning reds.

Elephant Island Cherry Wine

Elephant Island Cherry Wine

Cheese and Fruit

Cheese and Fruit

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Nichol Vineyard Wines

Nichol Vineyard Wines

If you are planning a visit to the Naramata Bench region and want to check out some of the wineries, you may want to visit them online at www.naramatabench.com

By: Richard Wolak

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