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

BC Pioneer John Bishop Marks 25 Years with Classics Redux Menu

By |January 6th, 2011|

It should have come as no surprise. But John Bishop's 25th anniversary celebrations were as understated as the man himself. Just before Christmas, on December 14th, 2010—25 years to the day when Bishop’s first opened—it was almost business as usual in the modest, west-side Vancouver room that still holds considerable sway in the [...]

Belly’s Budget Best: 20 Under $20 Wines—Easy on Your Holiday Wallet

By |December 19th, 2010|

This is the time of year when a lot of people who don’t buy wine very often find themselves standing in front of liquor store shelves scratching their heads. Here’s a grab-bag of good value labels we’ve featured during the past several months as ‘Belly’s Budget Best’ picks in our various columns.  You’ll [...]

Barbara-jo’s Books to Cooks: A Favourite for Last Minute Gifts

By |December 18th, 2010|

Our column in Friday's Vancouver Courier offers up some handy, bookish suggestions for fun stocking stuffers, as well as a few more serious offerings that explore the culture of culinary foraging, both here in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere. One unexpected perk of research: seasonal treats that Vancouver's Books to Cooks lays on [...]

Vancouver’s D-Original Sausage: Missing Link to Old World Taste

By |November 25th, 2010|

Just like a lot of people, we have a weekly habit of dropping by Vancouver’s Les Amis du Fromage. Not only does ‘Alice ‘n Alison’s’ boast the city’s most extensive (and best maintained) cheese selection but the chances areeven if it’s not cheese related but savoury and tastes good (and especially if it’s [...]

First Tastes of Portugal: Fried Little Fish and Tentacles

By |November 10th, 2010|

Two hours after landing in Oporto, we’re hot on the trail of two essentials: sardines and octopus. Oh—and wine! Well, that’s not too hard to find around these parts. Nor are the first two. Down a narrow side street, not far from our hotel, in the centre of the old town, we discover [...]

Play it Sam! Languedoc Helps Vancouver’s Hollywood Turn 75

By |October 23rd, 2010|

Last night we went to one of the more interesting wine tastings we’ve attended in recent times. The occasion was a 75th anniversary pre-screening reception, before a Hollywood Theatre double bill featuring The American and Casablanca. When we arrived, the compact and cozy lobby was packed with people enthusiastically tasting a selection of AOC wines [...]

Rediscovering Good Pub Food at Vancouver’s St. Regis Hotel

By |October 14th, 2010|

Recently we broke bread (and sipped some excellent '05 Burrowing Owl Cab) with Jeremy Roncoroni.  He’s the dynamo behind Vancouver’s St. Regis Hotel (602 Dunsmuir St., 604-681-1135), who’s been busy turning that property into one of the city’s most successful boutique business properties. How successful? You should check out what guests are saying [...]

Playing by the (Aussie) Rules: A pre-H*l*d*y Bundle of Value Wines

By |September 26th, 2010|

Around this time of year, wine tastings happen with increasing velocity, as every country-winery-region-producer-importer wants to pour their prized elixir for media—or even for real wine buyers—during the crucial pre-holiday buying period. Every now and then, one comes along that leaves a lasting impression, such as this past week’s Wine Australia extravaganza in [...]

Why Red Card in Vancouver is All Fired Up for the World Cup of Soccer

By |June 13th, 2010|

We’ll be honest. When it comes to watching sports, we’re one of the first to jump on the proverbial bandwagon. We don’t have time to watch much in the way of TV, so whether it’s ice-hockey, football or championship tiddlywinks there’s just one rule: don’t bother—except for a playoff game or other serious [...]

Why it Makes Sense to Toast the World Cup with Wines of South Africa

By |May 29th, 2010|

(Besides the fact they’re just darn tasty drops...) By the time June is over, you’ll know two things, for sure. 1. Soccer is the world’s game—played by more people on this planet than any other. 2. South Africa is a complex and fascinating nation, that’s overcome incredible odds, whose time has truly come. [...]

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