Coonawarra old train station and tracks

There’s something about this shot of the old Coonawarra train station that pushes so many buttons for me. Yes, I’m a bit of a sentimentalist. I love trains—and have probably taken more than my share of them over the years. I’m also a big fan of Australia—and this photo that I took (during a visit […]


Postmark brewing sm

Dine Out Vancouver started out as discount dinner-fest. But it’s now blossomed well beyond the plate. Dine Out is now very much also about what’s in the glass. The time was, not all that long ago, when you’d be hard pressed to find any BC wines on a restaurant list. No More. Dine Out’s most […]


West Oak, a warm and welcoming addition

($18 menus  / $28 menus) The annual Dine Out media preview (organised by Tourism Vancouver) is one of the year’s most anticipated evenings, designed to give media a sense of what’s on offer. The format sounds simple but the execution is complex. A true tour de force, it involves shepherding several large groups of media around […]

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Carthage Café cous-cous and mussels, Tim Pawsey photo

Dine Out’s $28 category is the most hotly contested, with some 133 options—of which quite a few are chains—though worth checking out. What you won’t find mentioned below are restos who seem to have a tough time charging moderately for wines, or for, whatever reason, are still oblivious to the very notion of Ocean Wise. […]

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Cannibal Café Vancouver burger

Dine Out is here again already? Boy, how this little post-holiday, pre-tax time doldrums promo has grown in its 13 years. What used to be purely a discount dinner fest has blossomed into a metro-wide food and wine celebration that truly reflects a level of diversity and sophistication that we now take for granted. Take […]


ChocolaTas orange infusion with Macallan 12 Year Old... Mmmm!

  I got a big kick out of meeting Wim and Veve Tas the other day. They’re the fun couple behind Abbotsford’s ChocolaTas. And they held an informal wine and chocolate pairing the other night at their store in GranvilleIsland Market. (Oh, and there was Whisky too … I’ll get to that!) Wim and Veve moved to […]


Le Crocodile 30th anniversary menu

It’s a fact of life. People just have to ask me: “What’s your favourite restaurant?” It’s always tough to answer because, as a rule, I don’t play favourites. “It depends,” I’ll say … Chances are it might be the ‘flavour of the month:’ the place that’s just left a ‘lasting’ impression. Or, there may be […]


Sierhead Pinot Noir

Looking to to buy for the BC wine lover in your life? Here’s a clutch of more interesting but not that hard to find wines, which individually and collectively show just how much the bar has been raised in the last few years. These bottles, beyond the run of the mill, will appeal to anyone […]

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Cactus Club exec chef Rob Feenie and sommelier-service director Sebastien Le Goff

Scratch the surface of a Cactus Club wine list and you’ll often find what constitutes an unlikely line-up of wines—for what we now refer to as “Casual Fine Dining” restaurants. Much of the reason for more interesting than usual selections (especially at ‘flagship’ locations like Cactus Coal Harbour or Bentall V) is due to the […]

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VanMag 2015

Vancouver Magazine has posted the results to this year’s Wine Awards (2015). It’s one of the most anticipated of the year, and rightfully so… There really are some phenomenal values here—and I’m truly honoured to have been a part of the amazing team that worked over three days to choose them. Here’s what head judge(and VanMag wine […]

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