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The real deals: Best value Wines. Best value bites. Budget conscious picks of what to drink and where to dine.

Colby Red: A Good News Wine Story with Real Heart

By |March 7th, 2013|

Daryl Groom: serious passion for a cause that's close to home, Tim Pawsey photo When I interviewed Daryl Groom a couple of weeks ago, it was first and foremost to talk about Colby Red. However, how could I hang with Daryl Groom and not talk about his remarkable career, which saw him emerge [...]

Belly Up to Que Guapo: A Bargain Taste of the Barrio

By |February 22nd, 2013|

Que Guapo - it means "You're handsome!" I’m always looking for ways to re-live last fall’s visit to Argentina, and to remind me of my first visit to Buenos Aires—a truly remarkable city that's not just big (Greater BA is home to 12.8 million) but amazingly diverse and culturally fascinating. Here’s a wine that's [...]

12 Newbies in 2012 That Made Vancouver’s Dining Scene Even Better

By |December 18th, 2012|

Siena: braised lamb filled ravioli, Tim Pawsey photo One of the hazards of writing “Best of” / “Year End” lists is that you’re guaranteed to miss one (or more)—even more likely if you’ve been waging a kleenex demolition derby against the lurgy sweeping through Vancouver these days. That said, here’s a greatly expanded [...]

Eight Perky Sparklers to Get You in the Holiday Mood

By |December 17th, 2012|

Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut Thinking of buying some bubbles in the next few days? You’re not alone. By far the majority of Champagne quaffed during the year is consumed during the holidays—and the same goes for sparkling wine. Here in the swank surroundings of Hired Belly corporate HQ, while we relish the taste [...]

In Vancouver’s Yaletown, this Pig is Still Flying High

By |November 30th, 2012|

TFP mussels and clams – the perfect wet weather foil One spot that’s an easy lure for lunch—particularly when it’s raining cats and dogs—is Yaletown’s The Flying Pig (1168 Hamilton St, 604-568-1344). There’s just something about this place, from its easy going ways and cosy room with a great buzz to the quality [...]

Belly’s Best: A Bevy of (Well) Under $20 Portuguese Table Wine Deals

By |November 29th, 2012|

Portuguese table wine's old image is long gone, Tim Pawsey photo Three reasons propelled me to this week’s Wines of Portugal Seminar and lunch at Vancouver's Wildebeest: 1. Portugal’s table wines still don’t get the respect they deserve. 2. Barb Philip MW and husband Iain  are not only some of the nicest people [...]

Great Value Bites and a Smart New Wine at Edible Canada

By |November 15th, 2012|

Another winner from Okanagan Crush Pad A few weeks ago we dropped byEdible Canada at the Market(1596 Johnston St. 604-682-6681) for a post theatre, late night bite. (Somehow a trip to Chile in between derailed our good intentions to post about it sooner.) It’s also been a while since we wrote at length about Edible Canada but [...]

Colour Me a Cab: Winelover Louise Wilson’s Crayons Come in Handy

By |September 12th, 2012|

Louise Wilson's cool idea to colour your approach to wine When time (between wine) permits, The Hired Belly does like to dabble in the odd book review. But it’s been at least a couple of years since he pulled out his crayons for a colouring book. What have crayons and Cabernet in common—Aside [...]

Gastown’s Bitter: Sweet Destination for a Perfect Pint

By |March 23rd, 2012|

Encounter with a perfect pint, Tim Pawsey photo If there’s one thing the Hired Belly finds hard to resist it’s a decent pint, particularly when it's properly poured, and at the right temperature.  I’m sure it’s one of the many very sound traits inherited from my dad—who I still sorely miss. Growing up, beer [...]

Canned Budget Bites by the Book: Moving Well Beyond Sardines on Toast

By |January 24th, 2012|

A few weeks before Christmas we dropped into Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks to take a peek at what’s hot in the culinary book world. And, as usual, we wound up picking up a couple of things that would make fun gifts—but somehow we forgot to give them away. One was Len Deighton’s French [...]

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