Samantha Syrah: worth tracking down—if you're quick

Somehow I just knew it was going to be good. What do you get when you introduce a savvy Whistler sommelier to an accomplished winemaker and a decent crop of South Okanagan grapes? Samantha Syrah 2013 is the newest release in Okanagan Crush Pad’s Okanagan Wine Campus Series. The wine was made by OCP’s Michael […]


Raincity Grill owner Harry Kambolis, at Nu, 2005

Raincity closes Whatever the circumstances, I was saddened by last week’s shuttering of long-running Raincity Grill and, not that long before, of C Restaurant, owned by Harry Kambolis. In the fickle world of dining there are any number of reasons as to why restaurants come and go. (And you can read plenty on line about Raincity, […]


icewine harvest, courtesy BCWI

Icewine was in the news this week as the cold snap had wineries springing into action for the second earliest icewine harvest on record—the earliest being Nov 5th, 2003. Judging by comments from the Okanagan, this may well prove also to be one of the largest icewine harvests on record. That begs the question, is […]


market tasting aydie l'origine with foie gras

Travel, they say, broadens the mind. It also sharpens your perspective at home. A recent tasting in France found me thinking, once again, despite some progress, just how outdated BC’s liquor laws really still are, outdated—and ridiculous. We were in the Victor Hugo Market, in central Toulouse, on a bustling Saturday morning. Surrounded by fresh produce at […]


You & Me "Feet" label

Bodegas Vionta (Rias Baixas) sports an impressive view (above). You can see that most of the vineyards in Val do Salnés are quite small, in fact the average size for all of Rias Baixas is .59 ha. There are 4,759 growers in this sub region alone! Groupe Freixenet purchased the property in 2012. It includes […]


Bang for your buck: value wines under $20 ©Tim Pawsey photo

Wringing more wine from your buck: good value drops under $20 ©Tim Pawsey photo Aside from expanding my horizons, one of the reasons I enjoy traveling is the chance to exchange ideas with people from elsewhere. During last week’s swing through Galicia we got chatting about the retail price ‘sweet spot’ that everyone covets. Interestingly, my […]

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Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre—a spectacular setting, TP photo

It’s never too early to be thinking about this coming spring’s wine festival—especially if you’re a wallet watcher. Some serious deals are afoot for early birds, right through December 31. This year’s theme country is Australia. And the global focus is Syrah—which means a great chance to taste a broad spectrum of old world Syrah […]


swimming scallops and Abadia

Galicia: I’m resigned to the fact that I’m a wee bit obsessed with the place. I’ve just returned from my second visit. It was whirlwind tour of only three days, into which we managed to pack visits to wineries in three sub-regions; enjoy a smorgasbord of absolutely incredible dining; taste not a little Albariño; and more. A […]


Chefs for Oceans founder Ned Bell and lobster sandwich

Over the years, I like to think I’ve developed a sense of perspective. Or, more specifically, an ability to single out those who, truly, walk the talk… The other night, Four Seasons Vancouver executive Chef Ned Bell capped off his remarkable Chefs for Oceans ride across Canada with a celebration in Yew Restaurant, highlighting some of […]


Summerland's Local Lounge | Grill

(From the release) November 8 marks North America’s 2nd annual Wine Tourism Day.  Okanagan Crush Pad has gathered neighbouring wineries, restaurants and a hotel, to offer an incredible weekend getaway in BC wine county. The winery itself will be open Nov 8 from 12-5 pm to pair their bubble with catered treats from chef Roger […]