Maverick enjoys impressive views of the South Okanagan

For a couple of years now I’ve been watching the progress of Maverick Estate Winery. The wines made by South African born Bertus Albertyn impressed me right out of the gate—even before I knew that Bertus was (briefly) the winemaker at Don Triggs’ Culmina project, before moving on to Burrowing Owl. Since I last visited […]

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SoCIAL Lite: taking a solid shot at the lucrative cooler business

I’ve never been a cooler fan. I can’t really say why, except that I don’t like sweet drinks. It wasn’t always like that. When I was a kid, my parents used to take us kids to the pub after church. (Nice balance of priorities…) We’d sit in the car outside with bottles of CherryAde (non […]

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Welcoming hosts Andrew and Stephane at Similkameen's Tree to Me

Who knew that rain in BC would ever be so welcome? Last week’s Similkameen BBQ King took place against a backdrop of six weeks of scorching temperatures and a weekend of lightning strikes. The rain held off for a while. But, eventually, a downpour had everyone running for shelter. And I heard not one single […]

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Origin sourced its Syrah from Scout Vineyard: classic Similkameen

The ingenuity of winemakers never ceases to amaze me. Case in point: the recently released and impressive, concrete aged Orofino Wild Ferment Syrah 2014 (Similkameen Valley). Orofino owners John and Virginia Weber are known for their forward thinking ways: when they moved to the Similkameen they built the first straw bale winery in the country, […]

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6 Worthy (Almost) Award Winning Wines

Potential (almost) Lieutenant Governor's award winners, worth a look

Sometimes with wine competitions it’s well worth checking the list of wines that didn’t quite win but came pretty close. Not to take away the glory from the 14 stellar winners of the 2015 BC lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in BC Wine, however, this is the first year that the list of finalists has […]

Read more June 25, 2015 Wine

Winners: 2015 BC Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards

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The winners are announced by Government House for this year’s Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in BC Wine. This year there were more wineries awarded than in any previous year. It’s a sure sign of the excellent conditions of the last two vintages. And also a measure of the evolving high-quality of BC wines. The Lieutenant […]

Read more June 16, 2015 Wine

Giardino: Umberto’s Latest Almost Open

Umberto: You'll be impressed,

Updated: Now Open. See below…   Giardino is just about ready to welcome its first, lucky guests. And judging by the number of enquiries on this site, there is no more highly anticipated event on the culinary calendar than Umberto Menghi’s return to Vancouver. In the past couple of weeks, all that remained of Il […]

Read more June 16, 2015 Belly's Best Bites

Unwrapped: Beach Bay Café and Patio

Perfectly smoked Steelhead ...

The wraps are off Beach Bay Café and Patio, across from English Bay, in the West End of Vancouver (1193 Denman St., 604-685-7337). I was in for an informal meeting and wine tasting and—while the restaurant is still very much in “soft opening” mode—thought I should share my first impressions. Although I’ll be heading back […]

Read more June 4, 2015 Dining

Sea Star Estate: Gulf Islands’ Stellar New Winery

Sea Star Blanc de Noir, a pleasing, dry style offering you can take to the beach

June 3, 2015. I recently tasted Sea Star’s newest releases from the 2014 vintage and am happy to report that they’re every bit as good, if not better, than the 2013s mentioned below. I’m particularly excited by Sea Star’s approach in focusing on Siegerrebe and Ortega, and how that’s reflected in their overall activity. It bodes so […]

Read more June 3, 2015 Wine

5 Great Reasons to Visit Unsworth Vineyards

A restored early 1900s farmhouse is the centrepiece that serves as Unsworth's restaurant

1. It’s on Vancouver Island Even though the setting is beautiful and quite easily reached from Vancouver, I’ll confess: Over the years, I’ve had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Vancouver Island’s wine scene. I’ve always had huge admiration for any winery that struggles valiantly in the face of diversity—and the islands have had […]

Read more May 29, 2015 Dining