Sea Star winery home vineyard

Pender Island’s Sea Star Estate is making waves with its newest releases, several of which recently won big at Northwest Wine Summit. These are among the best wines I’ve tasted from the Gulf Islands (and from Vancouver Island, for that matter). Sea Star (which has blossomed on the former Morning Bay property) has plenty going […]


Left Bank tuna cone

After much soul-searching, John Blakeley has decided it’s time to shift gears. He’s shuttered Le Parisien (the latest name in a series descended from old stalwart Café de Paris). In its place he’s opened much edgier and more updated—less obviously French, he says—Left Bank. It wasn’t an easy decision: Blakeley purchased the onetime landmark bistro […]


Okanagan Falls: beach at Skaha Lake

The more focused evolution of the Okanagan’s specific wine regions continues, as sub-appellations seem likely to become a reality. Witness the progress of the Okanagan Falls Wineries Association. Last Friday night’s Party in the Park was just that: a delightful evening of wine tasting, excellent barbecued pork (from The Chef Instead) and a good band […]


A multi dimensional tasting

Dr. Martin Tesch   They say that wine always tastes better with the winemaker. I’m inclined to agree, especially when it comes to someone like Martin Tesch, who dropped by Vancouver last week. Then again, I happen to know they show just as well without him. It’s not hard to like Tesch—or his wines, for that […]


Pimm's and borage, Tim Pawsey photo

  Updated, July 7th, 2014. My recipe has evolved since the original post, so I thought I’d share it now. First of all, for some reason, this time around we’ve ‘graduated’ to Pimm’s no. 6, and I’m not sure why. It doesn’t seem quite as ‘Pimmish’ as no. 1., maybe because it’s Vodka based and not […]


2014 Lieutenant Governor Award winners for Excellence in BC Wine

The winners of last week’s keenly contested Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in BC Wine are announced by Government House this morning. As always, the final outcome was interesting because somehow we managed to select (from 436 entries between 119 wineries) just 12 wines that comprise a cross-section of wineries and styles. Of note this time […]

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The Fat Badger: making good use of a familiar space

I knew when I walked into The Fat Badger (1616 Alberni St., Vancouver) for the first time that it would stir my emotions. After all, there are few buildings in Vancouver with which I have a stronger connection than this West End house on Alberni Street, in which Jean-Luc Bertrand established Le Gavroche, in 1978. I was […]


My new favourite food pairing: Leyenda Oaxaca Mezcal and toasted grasshoppers!

Mezcal can be mildly mesmerizing. Over the years I’ve learned to treat certain spirits—from single malt Whisky to Absinthe and more— with a degree of respect. Maybe it was only a matter of time before Mezcal was added to the list—a fact reconfirmed at last week’s Vancouver International Tequila Expo. In a way it’s all Eric Lorenz‘s […]


Joie Noble Blend: Topping the list ...

I’ll admit that I am a little bit late to the party on this one. But it’s still a deal worth mentioning. All of last month and into June, local Vancouver BC VQA wine stores have been offering a free shatterproof wineglass with the purchase of any two bottles of five featured wines. Topping the […]


The stunning Douro Valley. These days, though, there's a whole lot more to Portugal than Port.

Portugal is back in the table wine game with a vengeance. No better proof of that than a recent Vancouver  visit by a couple of score of key producers. Judging by the excitement in the room the you could have sworn it was a Burgundy tasting—except it wasn’t. This was the first major Vancouver offering […]