Spring Winemaker’s Dinner With Howling Bluff May 15

Do you like BC wine?  Have you ever attended a BC Wine Appreciation Society event, such as this excellent sounding winemaker’s dinner with Howling Bluff?  The menu and wines look fantastic.  Check it out and sign up if you are salivating.

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BCWASThe BCWAS is delighted to announce our 2017 spring dinner! This dinner is all about the awards. Glowbal at Telus Garden has won awards for architecture and design as well as – importantly – the food. We think it will be a great place to host owner Luke Smith of Howling Bluff Estate Winery. Luke has won too many wine awards to mention here: in addition to two Lieutenant Governor’s Awards, he’s also garnered several Gold medals in Canadian and international competitions. Join us as we beat the winter blues! (After this winter, the blues will take a lot of beating!)

The Chef at Glowbal Telus Garden has crafted a menu especially for us:

Hamachi Crudo
Meyer Lemon, Fennel, Dill, Grapefruit
2015 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Roasted Lamb Loin
Charred Cipollini Onion and Seabuckthorn Berry Relish
Wild Mushroom Crumb, Wild Stinging Nettle, Puffed Huckleberry Jus
2013 Three Mile Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir

Charred Yarrow Meadows Duck Breast
Spring Peas, Morel Mushrooms, Smoked Fingerling Potatoes
2013 Century Block Pinot Noir

Slow Cooked Beef Tenderloin
Crispy Bone Marrow, Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Tart
Baby Spinach, Cherry Bordelaise Sauce
2012 Sin Cera (blend of Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot)

Seared Foie Gras, Dark Chocolate, Rye Cake, Beet Root
2009 Fort Summa Quies Pinot Noir dessert wine

Alternatively, for vegetarians we have something special as well:

Truffled Arancini
Meyer Lemon, Fennel, Dill, Grapefruit
2015 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Roasted BC Mushrooms
Charred Cipollini Onion and Seabuckthorn Berry Relish
Wild Mushroom Crumb, Wild Stinging Nettle, Puffed Huckleberry Jus
2013 Three Mile Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir

“Peas & Carrots”
Spring Peas, Slow Cooked Baby Carrots, Morel Mushrooms, Smoked Fingerling Potatoes
2013 Century Block Pinot Noir

Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Tart
Creamed Spinach, Crispy Walnuts, Soubise
2012 Sin Cera (blend of Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot)

Sorbet Trio
2009 Fort Summa Quies Pinot Noir dessert wine

Howling Bluff Estate Winery

Date: Monday, May 15, 2017
Time: 6:30pm (please arrive earlier to be seated)
Place: Glowbal at Telus Garden, 590 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
Price: $159 Members / $174 Guests via Interac e-transfer to info@bcwas.com
OR $165 Members / $180 Guests via Paypal (below)
​Important things to note:There will be pre-arranged seating at this dinner. When you sign-up, e-mail us at info@bcwas.com and let us know your chosen dinner companions, and we will do our best to fit everyone in.​

Members $165.00 CAD
Non-Members $180.00 CAD

​Alternatively, cheques can be mailed to: BC Wine Appreciation SocietyPO Box 48912 Bentall Station, Vancouver, BC  V7X 1A8 ​  (Note: Receipt of your payment is required to hold your seat – please notify us by e-mail if you are mailing a cheque.)

2017/2018 BCWAS membership: Join us now, and your membership is good until March of 2018. Only $40 for more than a year of our fun and fabulous events! Click here to become a member of the best wine club in town. http://www.bcwas.com/membership.html

Questions? Contact us at membership@bcwas.com

Please note – there are no paper tickets for our events. Once your purchase is completed you will be added to our attendees list. Please check in when you arrive.

Please make sure you have a safe way home: take transit, call a cab, or ask a friend to be a designated driver. We will have free transit tickets on hand for those who take transit home.

Please note that we are unable to provide refunds. If you purchase a ticket but cannot attend the event, please let us know with as much advance notice as possible and we’ll try to re-sell your ticket, but we cannot guarantee this.

Art, Eat and Sip on Granville Island on January 20

Junmai sake from Artisan Sake Maker

Junmai sake from Artisan Sake Maker

As part of Dine Out Vancouver, there are also walk-about type events, such as Art, Eat and Sip on Granville Island.  I participated in a similar event a few years ago on Granville Island and it was a lot of fun.  It is an easy walk to all the participating venues.  I really enjoyed the Artisan Sake, made here using rice grown in the Fraser Valley!  There is also beer, distilled spirits, food and chocolates.  Will I see you at the event?  All the participating venues and artists are described below, along with a link to buy your tickets.  I’m sure it will be a lot of fun.

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Get set for an extraordinary night of art, eating and drinking on Granville Island. Visit resident artists, local producers of beer and spirits, and taste dishes from several of the island restaurants at some of Granville Island’s finest restaurants, breweries and distilleries.

Following your “passport” as your guide, you will enjoy dishes, bites, sips as well as have a chance to meet the artists, chefs, tour breweries, a distillery and discover more around the island.

Visit each of the participating restaurants and establishments at your leisure by walking, bike or moped.

Time: 6pm – 10pm

Participating restaurants and establishments

include some of the Granville Island’s best including:

 

artisan sake maker

Artisan Sake Maker

1339 Railspur Alley, Vancouver

Twitter: @ArtisanSake 

Web:  http://artisansakemaker.com/

Establishment: Sake Winery

Artisan SakeMaker is known as a unique commercial winery that produces award winning, hand-made, small batch and fresh sake. Our brand name “OSAKE” is widely recognized as “Canada’s first locally produced fresh premium sake” and its popularity has reached across the country and beyond.

Handcrafted in our artisan studio located at Railspur Alley on Granville Island, Osake is the first “fresh premium”Junmai Sake [Namazake] of its kind produced in Canada. Fermented from top-quality Japanese sakamai, then hand-pressed and hand-bottled, Osake is left unfiltered to optimize its fresh, delicate, fruit-like aromas and flavours.

 

dockside restaurant

 

Dockside Restaurant

1253 Johnston St, Vancouver

Twitter: @eatDockside 

Web:  http://www.docksidevancouver.com/

Cuisine: Restaurant and brewery

Located on the shores of False Creek, Dockside Restaurant in the Granville Island Hotel offers a wide range of superbly prepared classic dishes in an award-winning setting like no other.

Combining a menu which emphasises sustainable Ocean Wise seafood with panoramic views of downtown and Yaletown, Dockside Restaurant is an iconic West Coast destination 12 months of the year. Whether guests enjoy the views through floor-to-ceiling windows or on its patio, named “Best in Vancouver” five years in a row, a visit to Dockside Restaurant is always memorable.

Granville Island Brewing 

Granville Island Brewing pulled pork poutine and Lager Hefeweizen and Scottish Ale

Granville Island Brewing pulled pork poutine and Lager Hefeweizen and Scottish Ale

1441 Cartwright Street, Vancouver

Twitter: @granvillebeer

Web: http://gib.ca/

Establishment: Brewery

Our Brew Story

In 1984 something happened that forever changed the local beer industry: Granville Island Brewing opened the doors to Canada’s first microbrewery and our iconic Lager. It wasn’t long before we were adding more new and unique West Coast inspired beers to our lineup.

Over the years, we’ve become more than just a local brewery. We also focus much of our efforts towards ongoing community investment, including sponsorship and charitable support of community organizations and more. We’re just as proud of that as we are about what we put in our bottles.

#ItsGoodToBeHere

Liberty Distillery

Truth Vodka from Liberty Distillery

Truth Vodka from Liberty Distillery

1494 Old Bridge St, Vancouver

Twitter: @TLDistillery

Web:  http://thelibertydistillery.com/

Establishment: Distillery

Established in 2010, The Liberty Distillery is a true craft artisan distillery located in the heart of historic Granville Island.  Selecting only the best British Columbia organic grains, The Liberty Distillery carefully ferments, then triple distills in traditional copper pot stills to produce hand crafted spirits with character and distinction.

Traditional, classic, quirky, knowledgeable and fun; TLD’s enthusiastic team invite you to step back in time at their 110-year old Saloon Bar to taste Classic Old Fashioned cocktails, or to enjoy one of their Signature creations.  Uniquely crafted drinks range from the familiar to the astounding, but always show the beauty of their artisanal spirits.

 

 

Off The Tracks Espresso Bar & Bistro

1363 Railspur Alley, Vancouver

Twitter: @tracksbistro

Web: http://www.tracksbistro.ca/ 

Establishment: Cafe and bistro

Off the Tracks is a Granville Island original, providing the best of local talents, whether it is roasting beans to their absolute perfection, crafting a perfect cup of coffee, or creating the most mouth-watering House Salad on the entire island. We want to showcase the best of our local community and what it has to offer.

 

bon macaron

Bon Macaron

(Located during the event inside New Leaf Editions)

Web: http://www.bonmacaronpatisserie.com/

Twitter @BonMacaronVic

Cuisine: Patisserie

After delighting customers in Victoria, Bon Macaron Patisserie decided to take a leap and tackle the Vancouver market with a brand new location in Kitsilano and one in Granville Island Public Market! With over 50 flavours ranging from the traditional to the most creative sweet & savoury, everyone will find something to their taste! All of our macarons are naturally gluten-free and we make a number of dairy-free options as well.

chocolatas

 

 

 

 

ChocolaTas

(located inside Granville Island Brewery during event)

Twitter: @Chocolatas1 

Web:  http://chocolatas.com/

Establishment: Chocolatier

More restaurants/establishments may be added

 

Participating Artists

New-Leaf-Logo

 

 

 

 

New Leaf Editions Is a collaborative printmaking studio specializing in traditional and contemporary print media.

New Leaf was established by Peter Braune in 1986 to work with artists seeking new forms of expression. The goal of a collaboration is to offer artists the ability to explore new forms of image making using print media. New Leaf has worked with many locally and internationally acclaimed artists. Services provided by New Leaf include: copper and zinc etching, photo-etching, relief printing, lithography, letterpress, and steel facing. We have also been working with architects and designers to etch images into all kinds of metal. These projects range from commercial to residential, all custom made pieces.

New Leaf invites community participation into the world of printmaking by co-ordinating the BIG PRINT PROJECT (check out our last Big Print Project on youtube) and the Biennial International Mini Print Exhibition (BIMPE). For more information check us out at newleafeditions.com, or look up New Leaf Editions on facebook.

IMG_0731 bcard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barbara Arnold, Artist

Studio 206-1656 Duranleau Street

T: 604-760-4465

Dutch artist Barbara Arnold invites you to her working studio and gallery. Her abstract and representational mixed media paintings are an explosion of texture and intense colour generating an organic energy and tension that flow across her wood panels. She also offers private, semi private classes in her art studio and accepts commissions. Visit the studio on the second floor to see her work and have a chat with the artist.  Find out more about Barbara Click here!

http://www.barbaraarnoldart.com

Dalbergia Wood + Fine Objects 

1333 Railspur Alley

T: 604.669.9663

Dalbergia represents the work of Federico Méndez-Castro. A confluence of craftsmanship with the graphic elements of pure forms. Fine furniture, sculpted objects and accessories in wood are created with one purpose: enhancing the poetry of space. Balance, simple lines and clear shapes find their ways in Federico’s work. The one of a kind is the standard for this Artisan.

More artists may be added

Purchase the Club Amuse-bouche tickets; in addition to the food and beverages tasting, and visiting the resident artists, you will also receive a Canvas, use of paint supplies and guidance from one of our resident artists as you paint your own masterpiece.

 

Purchase tickets here 

Tickets:

$65* General Admission
Early Purchase Discount: Save $10 before December 31, 2015
$110 ** CLUB Amuse-bouche

* Tax, gratuities and ticketing fees not included

Registration: Granville Island Hotel -this is where you will show us your tickets and will pick up your Dining Passport Map Cards

Visit each of the participating restaurants at your leisure by bike, moped, car, or walking.

Ticket price includes tasting plates and/or cups at each of the participating restaurants throughout the event.

This event takes place during the Dine Out Festival 2016 presented by Tourism Vancouver.

Abbotsford Harvest Dinner setting at Mt Lehman Winery

Abbotsford Harvest Dinner – Wine, Beer, Main Dishes and Dessert

Circle Farm TourMany of us aspire to the 100 mile diet.  Keeping our food local.  Supporting our farmers.  But here in Vancouver, have you considered that those farmers, might be a 30-45 minute drive away in Abbotsford, in the Fraser Valley?  I was invited as part of the Circle Farm Tour to experience an Abbotsford Harvest Dinner, and was pleasantly surprised by the bounty of food, wine and beer that is available.

The dinner starting with chatting and sampling local beer from Ravens Brewing Company.  This brewery just opened earlier this year and collaborates with local growers and suppliers to craft artisan beer.  I tried their English Dark Mild.  It was indeed dark, with a charcoal and dark malt flavour to it, but not too heavy, so that you can enjoy more food and wine.

The dishes we enjoyed were:

  • Campbell’s Gold honey roasted, local delicata squash with pumpkin seeds, Abbotsford goat cheese from Mt. Lehman Cheese (appetizer)
  • Maple Hills Farm’s chicken roulade with creamy polenta and kale chips (appetizer)
  • Lepp Farm Market’s pork loin wrapped in bacon with savory shallot and plum marmalade (entree)
  • Yarrow Meadows’ duck breast with balsamic pearl onions (entree)
  • Roasted local beets and parsnips (entree)
  • Organic Fraser Valley rice risotto with roasted shiitake mushrooms (entree)
  • Birchwood Dairy’s vanilla ice cream topped with Gojoy Berries’ goji berry compote (dessert)
  • Onnink’s chocolate blueberry bonbons (dessert)

I must say that it was nice to meet, or have the farmers from Abbotsford introduce themselves to us as we sat at a beautifully set table in the barrel room of Mt. Lehman Winery.  Thanks also to Chef Jeff Massey from Restaurant 62 who prepared all these dishes for us.

The farmers supplying our food and drink are:

The dishes come from fresh ingredients from the vegetables, to the pork, chicken and duck.  A few standout dishes for me were first the honey roasted local delicata squash with pumpkin seeds and goat cheese.  Creamy sweetness from the squash, with creaminess from the cheese and a bit of crunch from the pumpkin seeds.  The Lepp Farm Market’s pork loin wrapped in bacon was also outstanding for me.  The bacon comes from Lepp, and is smoked by them.  No artificially aged bacon here.  The flavour of the bacon was really outstanding and makes you think about the industrial bacon you buy in grocery stores.  No comparison.  If you have never tried roasted beets, give them a try.  I really like the earthiness of the beets.  And the blueberry bonbons are also a very tasty way to end dessert.  Good quality chocolate mixed with blueberries.  You cannot go wrong with this combination.  All the dishes were very good, and I present to you pictures of these dishes for your visual consumption below.  If any of this food or wine sparks your interest, drive out to Abbotsford and buy from these farmers.

I must especially thank winery owner Vern Siemens for opening bottles of every white and red wine I think they make, for us to experiment and pair with all the dishes at our Abbotsford Harvest dinner.  I in particular liked Mt. Lehman’s Pinot Noir and Unoaked Chardonnay, and felt they made good pairings with many dishes.

Mt Lehman Unoaked Chardonnay Pinot Gris Pinot Noir and Merlot Reserve wines

Mt Lehman Unoaked Chardonnay Pinot Gris Pinot Noir and Merlot Reserve wines

Ravens Brewing Company English Dark Mild beer

Ravens Brewing Company English Dark Mild beer

Campbells Gold honey roasted local delicata squash with pumpkin seeds, Abbotsford goat cheese from Mt Lehman Cheese

Campbell’s Gold honey roasted local delicata squash with pumpkin seeds, Abbotsford goat cheese from Mt Lehman Cheese

Maple Hills Farm's chicken roulade with creamy polenta and kale chips

Maple Hills Farm’s chicken roulade with creamy polenta and kale chips

Roasted local beets and parsnips

Roasted local beets and parsnips

Yarrow Meadows' duck breast with balsamic pearl onions

Yarrow Meadows’ duck breast with balsamic pearl onions

Organic Fraser Valley rice risotto with roasted shiitake mushrooms

Organic Fraser Valley rice risotto with roasted shiitake mushrooms

Lepp Farm Market's pork loin wrapped in bacon with savory shallot and plum marmalade

Lepp Farm Market’s pork loin wrapped in bacon with savory shallot and plum marmalade

Birchwood Dairy's vanilla ice cream topped with Gojoy Berries' goji berry compote

Birchwood Dairy’s vanilla ice cream topped with Gojoy Berries’ goji berry compote

 

Get Your Tickets For Garagiste North Wine Tasting

Welcome to Garagiste North

garagisteWhat is a garagiste? (gar-ah-jeest).  It started out in France (of course) where it was a derogatory phrase used for those avante garde and crazy mavericks making wine in their garage outside the highly regulated system. Gradually and grudgingly came acknowledgement that something really interesting was happening with these small case lot artisan wines, and a movement was born.

We bring together the small guys. Wines produced from 100% Canadian grapes and well under 2000 cases annually.

Saturday, June 27 The Wise Hall 1882 Adanac Street, Vancouver
Public@ 2:00 PM   ($49.00)

Participating Wineries

  • Anarchist Mountain
  • Lock & Worth
  • Synchromesh
  • Nagging Doubt
  • Alderlea
  • Bella
  • Seven Directions
  • Black Cloud
  • Black Market
  • vinPerdu
  • Cana Vines
  • Daydreamer
  • Vindication
  • Lariana
  • Corcelettes
  • BC Wine Studio
  • Marichel
  • Niche
  • Riverstone
  • Roche
  • Squeezed
  • Symphony

RSVP HERE

Galiano Island Wine Festival August 8 – Get Your Tickets

Galiano Island Wine Festival

Galiano Island Wine Festival

The Galiano Health Care Society is hosting its 23rd Annual Fundraising Wine & Beer Festival.

Where and When?

Saturday, August 8th, 2015 from 1pm to 4pm.
www.galianowinefestival.com

Entrance fee for general public 19+ is $45pp.  The entry fee includes one wine tasting glass, one beer tasting glass as well as unlimited finger food all afternoon. 
This annual event is a major fundraising initiative for the Galiano Health Care Society which provides quality health care to Galiano Island residents and visitors.  Galiano Island is one of the Southern Gulf Islands and is easily accessible by BC Ferry via Victoria or Vancouver.

Which Wineries and Breweries Are Attending?

Reserve tickets at galianowinefestival@gmail.com. or call Jenelle at 250-539-2422.

Reservations are available from May 1, 2015 and close 5pm Friday, August  7th, 2015.

Please note that tickets do sell fast. Purchase in advance to avoid disappointment.
Our 2013 & 2014 Festivals sold out on the day of the event.

For more information, please visit the links for the Galiano Health Care Society, the Galiano Wine Festival and the Galiano Chamber of Commerce:
http://galianowinefestival.com/
http://galianohealth.org/
http://galianoisland.com/

Canadian Flavours Gala to Celebrate Canadian Food and Wine on April 30th – Contest

As part of EAT! Vancouver there is the Canadian Flavours Gala celebrating Canadian food and wine.  And I have a contest running where you have a chance to win 2 tickets to attend the Canadian Flavours Gala.  Information about the event is below, followed by my contest details.  Good luck and support this wonderful event.

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EAT Vancouver Canadian Flavours Gala

EAT Vancouver Canadian Flavours Gala

April 9, 2015 (Vancouver, BC) – Make space in your schedule for the Canadian Flavours Gala at Terminal City Club on Thursday, April 30 2015.  Guests will enjoy an evening with 15 chefs from some of Canada’s best-known restaurants, sampling delicious Canadian cuisine paired with spring releases from the Naramata Bench Wineries Association.

There is an impressive roster of critically acclaimed chefs and their restaurants participating at the event.  It includes Andrew Winfield of Calgary’s River Café, Nicholas Nutting of Tofino’s Wolf in the Fog (chosen by Enroute as Canada’s number one restaurant), and Jeremie Bastien of Montreal’s Restaurant Leméac.  From Toronto, both Chef Jesse Grasso of The Black Hoof – known for attracting movie starts to its nightly lineup – and Nick Liu of newly opened DaiLo will participate.  Two alumni from Food Network Canada’s Top Chef, Carl Heinrich (Toronto’s Richmond Station) and Connie DeSousa (Calgary’s Charcut Roast House), will also attend.  Executive Chef Ryan O’Flynn from the Westin Edmonton will recreate his winning dish from the 2015 Canadian Gold Medal Plates chef competition.

Local participants include Executive Chef Ned Bell from The Four Seasons’ YEW seafood + bar, Eric Pateman of Edible Canada and Bella Gelateria’s hand-made gelato, named the best in the world at the international gelato competition held in Florence, Italy.

The evening will include an exclusive Silent Wine Auction benefitting Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise™ sustainable seafood program, which will also receive partial proceeds from the evening.

Canadian Flavours Gala Event and Ticket Details

#CanadianFlavours
Thursday April 30th 2015
7:00 – 9:30 PM
Tickets: $125 available at http://eat-vancouver.com/canadian-flavours-gala/
Includes a complimentary ticket to EAT! Vancouver at BC Place, May 1- 3

Terminal City Club
837 West Hastings Street, Vancouver

Participating Restaurants:

Charcut Roast House and River Café (Calgary); The Westin Edmonton (Edmonton); Leméac (Montreal); Hillside Winery & Bistro, The Vanilla Pod and The Kitchen (Naramata); Wolf in the Fog (Tofino); The Black Hoof, DaiLo and Richmond Station (Toronto); Edible Canada, Vancouver Aquarium, YEW seafood + bar and Bella Gelateria (Vancouver); TIA Yukon (Whitehorse)

Participating Wineries:

Bench 1775 Winery, Black Widow Winery, D’Angelo Estate Winery, Deep Roots Winery, Elephant Island Orchard Wines, Hillside Winery, Howling Bluff Estate Wines, Kettle Valley Winery, La Frenz Winery, Lake Breeze Vineyards, Lang Vineyards, Misconduct Wine Co., Monster Vineyards, Moraine Winery, Perseus Winery, Poplar Grove Winery, Quidni Estate Winery, Red Rooster Winery, Serendipity Winery, Terravista Vineyards, Therapy Vineyards, Tightrope Winery, Upper Bench Winery, Van Westen Vineyards

About EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival

The 2015 EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival is a world class week-long food festival taking place throughout downtown Vancouver from April 26th to May 3rd, showcasing this city’s extraordinary culinary culture. Already the largest food festival in Canada, EAT! Vancouver, now in its 13th year includes hands-on workshops, collaborative chef dinners featuring top chefs from across Canada, Canadian Flavours Gala, a hospitality symposium, a pastry panel and EAT! Vancouver at BC Place, from May 1st to May 3rd .

www.eat-vancouver.com

https://www.facebook.com/eat.vancouver  https://twitter.com/eat_vancouver

About Naramata Bench Wineries Association:

A STORY IN EVERY BOTTLE
Along meandering country road with spectacular lake views is the Naramata Bench, one of Canada’s premiere wine regions and a top destination for wine enthusiasts. The renowned Naramata Bench Wineries are known for their quality wines, warm welcome, and exceptional wine events and experiences.

http://www.naramatabench.com

FB: naramatawines / T: @naramatawines

Contest

To get one entry you must retweet the following text using your Twitter account:

I want to win 2 free tickets to the Canadian Flavors Gala from @mywinepal Thx to @naramatawines @eat_vancouver #MWPcontest

You can also get an entry by posting a comment on this post, telling me which Naramata Bench winery you would like to try at this event.

Contest closes April 23, 2015 at noon.

My Favourite Wine Writing Words

Do you ever wonder what words you like to use the most when you are talking about wine, or some other topic that is important to you? I do. So I decided to try 3 different “Word Cloud Generator” tools on the web to scour through my mywinepal.com website blog entries and find out which words are my most popular. I decided to try more than one tool to see if the tools come up with the same words or are completely different.

The results of the 3 Word Cloud Generators and their graphics are below.  I left the word clouds in the format produced by the tools rather than try to make the clouds all look the same in shape and text orientation so that you get a better idea of what is produced.  Just in case you have never seen a word cloud before, the more frequently a word is used in a blog, document, etc, the larger it appears in the word cloud.

My Word Clouds

Wordle was the first tool that I ever heard about for creating word clouds.  From my experience, I think it does a very good job of finding favourite words.

MyWinePal Wordle

MyWinePal – Wordle

Tagxedo also seems to do a good job.  Do you notice any similar words to my Wordle word cloud?  One thing I notice showing up is Pinterest and Facebook, which are “Like” buttons on my blog, so maybe this algorithm is reading more than just the blog articles.

MyWinePal Tagxedo

MyWinePal – Tagxedo

Word it Out was the last of the three tools.  I think this word cloud is much more similar to Wordle, but the presentation, as-is, is not too stunning.

MyWinePal Word it Out

MyWinePal – Word it Out

Between the 3 word clouds, I think my favourite words are:

  • wine
  • Vancouver
  • Pinot
  • fruit
  • Syrah
  • Chardonnay
  • France

An interesting experiment that may also give you some insight into what I like to talk about, or wines that I enjoy.  You may want to try this with other blogs, or with MyWinePal.com in the future, as theoretically each new article I post can potentially change the word cloud!

How Was Vancouver Foodsters Culinary Scavenger Hunt?

Have you ever been on a scavenger hunt?  It has been a long time for me, but on Sunday April 6, Vancouver Foodster had his inaugural Culinary Scavenger Hunt in downtown Vancouver.  We had to visit 9 different restaurants and do or get something as outlined on our clue sheet, then bring it back to the start.  Everyone that completed the tasks would be entered for a draw to win fabulous prizes (BTW, I did not win any prizes.  Just attending is a prize for me!)  The event is very similar to Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates, in that you get to sample some small dish at each restaurant, but you also have this additional fun component.  Some of the tasks would be for example, to get the Take Out menu from a particular restaurant, or to get your picture taken with a server at a restaurant.

Where Did We Go?

The restaurants we visited:

A Few Highlights

XOXOLAT – How can you go wrong with hand-made chocolates?  We were treated to a flight of chocolates; some were straight dark chocolate, while others were mixed with other ingredients, like Nacho Chips & Lime or Sour Cherries and Chilies.  I really like this store and with their range of chocolates I am sure everyone will find something they would enjoy.

xoxolat West Coast Breakfast and Sour Cherry and Chilies chocolate bars

xoxolat West Coast Breakfast and Sour Cherry and Chilies chocolate bars

Soirette Macarons & Tea – Macarons are hard to pass up.  They are light and delicate and come in a variety of flavours, and are so very European.  Enjoy them with tea.  I had not been to Soirette before but I did enjoy the two macarons that we sampled.  I in particular liked the lemon flavoured macaron.

Soirette macarons

Soirette macarons

Milestones Yaletown – Milestones surprised me with a Mexican styled breakfast taco.  Each taco chip was topped with chorizo, scrambled egg, scallion and cheese.  I do like Latin flavours and this one had the right amount of spice.  Not sure if this, or something similar is on their regular menu.

Milestones breakfast tacos

Milestones breakfast tacos

Chasers Fresh Juice – If a healthy lifestyle is something you aspire to, then visit Chasers Fresh Juice.  There you can get freshly squeezed orange juice, with the juice coming straight out of the juicer.  They try to purchase as much local and organic ingredients as possible.  They also have gluten free options.  Besides juice they also have baked goods ( I didn’t check into this too much but I did notice it at the back).  Being gluten sensitive, I was glad to hear I could have a nibble along with a sip of healthy juice.

Chasers Orange Juice Maker

Chasers Orange Juice Maker

Marquis Wine Cellars – One of my long-standing favourite wine shops around Vancouver.  Marquis has a wide selection of wines from around the world, and also supports our local BC wine industry.  Today we had a chance to sample BC’s Haywire The Bub sparkling wine and nec-otium Pinot Grigio from Italy.  I really enjoyed The Bub and had it paired with a slice of green apple.

Haywire The Bub and nec-otium Pinot Grigio at Marquis Wine Cellars

Haywire The Bub and nec-otium Pinot Grigio at Marquis Wine Cellars

DeDutch Pannekoek House – was serving a savory Pannekoek with fried bacon and cheese.  Bacon makes everything taste good.  (as a side note, you can get bacon infused chocolate at XOXOLAT.)

A savoury bacon and cheese pannekoek

A savoury bacon and cheese pannekoek

Wines from Spain Spill into Consumer Glasses April 4th and 5th

Wines from SpainDo you love Spanish wine, or want to learn about Spanish wine?  There is of course Tempranillo, but there is also other grapes like Mencia you may not have heard of, or what about Spanish sparkling wine?  There is a chance for you on April 4 and 5 through BC Liquor Stores to try and learn a bit about Spanish wines.  The details are below.

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Vancouver, BC – Two FREE consumer tasting events kick off a province-wide Signature Store promotion at BC Liquor Stores Cambie Kitchen this month:

Dates: Friday, April 4 and Saturday, April 5, 2014
Time: Drop-in any time between 3 and 6pm
Location: Cambie and 39th Signature Store
5555 Cambie Street, Vancouver

The event will feature live Flamenco music by Canadian fusion guitarist Dave Martone with mouthwatering visuals of Spanish wines, their regions and their cultures. Accredited wine professionals will pour samples for visiting shoppers with descriptions of the wines and the foods that go with them. Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper wine event without delectable foods to accompany the wines so Vancouver caterer Christine Moulson of Little House will be on hand with the finest in Spanish flavours to nibble on in between sips for all who come out for the fun. As an added bonus, all who arrive to taste wines will take with them a little something. (No purchase necessary.)

Seven wines take part in the promotion, winding consumers through a virtual tour of Spain’s booming wine regions and their various styles:
Cava PARES BALTA – BRUT ORGANIC $19.99 <Karl: a must try>
Jumilla LAS HERMANAS ORGANIC MONASTRELL $15.95
Ribera del Duero TORRES CELESTE $24.99
Toro ELIAS MORA $19.99
Monsant MALONDRO BESLLUM $19.99
Bierzo LOSADA MENCIA $24.99 <Karl: Mencia is a red grape you may not have heard or tried.>
Rioja MARQUES DE MURRIETA FINCA YGAY RESERVA $29.99

Vancouver International Wine Fest Announces Theme Country for 2015

Vancvouer International Wine Festival 2015

Vancvouer International Wine Festival 2015

With the wrap up of the Vancouver International Wine Festival 2014, with the Theme Country of France and the Global Focus of “bubbles“, we now cast our eyes forward to 2015.  Which will be the Theme Country and what will be the Global Focus?  Read on and find out!

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Vancouver, BC, March 7, 2014 — The Vancouver International Wine Festival, presented by The Vancouver Sun, wrapped up its 36th extravaganza of wine and food on Sunday and bid a fond au revoir to France and Bubbly, its 2014 theme country and global focus respectively. Although statistics are yet to be compiled, it appears that 2014 was a banner year. The festival is a fundraiser for Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.

Wine AustraliaIt was announced at the Saturday evening International Festival Tasting on March 1 that Australia will be the theme country in 2015 and the global focus will be Syrah. To underscore the announcement, an “Australia Theme County 2015” banner with flag was hoisted to the ceiling, and a didgeridoo player led Australian winemakers on a parade of the tasting room, ending with an impromptu chorus of the Australian national anthem, “Advance Australia Fair.”

“Like crafting an iconic fine wine, we continue to tweak all aspects of Canada’s premier wine show, as we have since 1979.” says Harry Hertscheg, VIWF Executive Director. “We’re particularly glad to finally host the wine world at the same time each year, now the last week of February. This year’s festival, featuring France and Bubbly, was magnifique; VIWF 2015 will be Oz-some!”

Ranging from maritime to Mediterranean to continental climates, Australia boasts over 64 designated wine regions including Coonawarra, Yarra Valley, Barossa Valley and Hunter Valley, Margaret River, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale and many others.

“There’s been an exciting evolution over the past decade in Australian wine; diverse wine styles, emerging regions and sub-regions, next generation winemakers and a re-energized approach to market. We look forward to showing this to festivalgoers at VIWF in 2015,” says Angela Slade, Wine Australia Regional Director – North America.

In 2015, the global focus is on Syrah. One of the top 10 most grown grapes, Syrah can be found throughout the wine world, from the Rhône Valley to the Barossa Valley to the Okanagan Valley. Syrah rose to prominence through the classic northern Rhône Valley wines, Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. In Australia, where the grape was introduced in 1832 and is commonly called Shiraz, Syrah is popular as a varietal, a sparkling wine, in a blend with Cabernet Sauvignon, or even co-fermented with some Viognier. The southern Rhône blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre (GSM) is widely produced in South Australia and California’s Central Coast, as well as in Rosé production.

The 2015 Vancouver International Wine Festival takes place February 23 to March 1 at the Vancouver Convention Centre and other venues throughout the city. Advance tickets and passes go on sale on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. All public events go on sale Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. Tickets to Trade Days events go on sale Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

ABOUT VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL WINE FESTIVAL, PRESENTED BY THE VANCOUVER SUN
Canada’s premier wine show will mark its 37th anniversary of pairing wine, food and the performing arts from February 23 to March 1, 2015. Next year the festival will feature Australia as the theme country and Syrah as the global focus. In 2014, it featured 177 wineries from 14 countries pouring 1,750 wines at 54 events to a projected 23,000 admissions. The Vancouver International Wine Festival is produced by the Vancouver International Wine Festival Society, which has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for public and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and festival partners; and raise funds for the Bard on the Beach Theatre Society. Since inception in 1979, the festival has raised $8.1 million for the performing arts. The presenting sponsor is The Vancouver Sun.

For more information visit VanWineFest.ca, like us on Facebook, follow us at @VanWineFest, or join the conversation at #VIWF.

ABOUT BARD ON THE BEACH SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
Celebrating its 25th season in 2014, Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare Festivals. It is presented on the waterfront in Kitsilano’s Vanier Park, adjacent to Vancouver’s downtown core. The Festival offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas and several special events in two performance tents every June through September. In 2013, festival attendance was 89,000 and over 1.3 million patrons have experienced Bard since its inception. The Festival’s 2014 dates are June 11 to September 20. The 2014 line-up features A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Cymbeline and Bill Cain’s Equivocation.