The Winners of the 25th Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards!

Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards Dishes Sampled

Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards Dishes Sampled

Running a restaurant is a hard business.  Year after year we have new restaurants popping up in Vancouver.  Vancouver foodies like to find these new gems, as well as visit their established diamonds.  This week was the 25th Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, to let us all know about these fantastic restaurants.  Below are the results.  Make reservations fast because there may be lineups to try many of these restaurants.  Enjoy my food pictures as well that I took during the event.

Best New Restaurant of the Year: The Farmer’s Apprentice

Best Gastown & Chinatown: Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie

Best West End: Nook

Best Yaletown: Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar

Best East Side: Via Tevere

Best Dim Sum: Dynasty Seafood

Best Casual Chain: Cactus Club Cafe

Best Upscale French: Le Crocodile

Best Vietnamese: Phnom Penh

Best Casual Japanese: Kingyo

Best Pizzeria: Via Tevere (that’s 2 awards!)

Best Thai: Maenam

Best Upscale Japanese: Zest

Best of the Americas: La Taqueria

Best Upscale Italian: Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca

Best Other Vancouver Island: Hudson’s on First

Best Winery/Vineyard Dining:  Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek (Congratulations Sandra Oldfield!)

Best Whistler: Araxi

Best Casual French: Tableau Bar Bistro

Best Korean: Hanwoori

Best Seafood: Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar (2 awards!)

Best Indian: Vij’s (always the winner!)

Best Coffeehouse: 49th Parallel

Pastry Chef of the Year: Thomas Haas

Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Jaffray (Cactus Club owner)

Bartender of the Year: Jay Jones

Sommelier of the Year: Mike Bernardo

Premier Crew: François Rameau, Matthew Morgenstern, Denisa Johnova, Brian Hopkins

Best Casual Italian: Campagnolo Roma

Best Upscale Chinese: Dynasty Seafood

Best West Side: La Quercia

Best North Shore: La Régalade

Best Richmond: Top Shanghai Cuisine

Best Downtown: Cactus Club Coal Harbour

Best Victoria: Camille’s

Best Okanagan: Waterfront Wines

Best Noodle House: Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Best Steakhouse: Hy’s Encore

Best Other Asian: Penang Delight

Best Casual Chinese: Top Shanghai

Best New Design: Homer St. Café & Bar

Best Food Cart: Vij’s Railway Express

Green Award: The Parker

Producer/Supplier of the Year: Sole Food

Mentorship Award: Scott Haeger

Chef of the Year: Pino Posteraro

Best Casual: The Farmer’s Apprentice

Best Upscale: Hawksworth

Restaurant of the Year: The Farmer’s Apprentice (Wonderful. So many accolades.)

Select Finalists Announced for 25th Annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards

Vancouver MagazineVancouver, B.C.; April 15th, 2014 – Vancouver Magazine announced today select finalists for its upcoming 25th Annual Restaurant Awards.  Finalists were named in the magazine’s new Best of Neighbourhood award categories including: Best Downtown, Best Yaletown, Best West End, Best Gastown & Chinatown, Best West Side, Best East Side, and Best Richmond.

These categories join Best North Shore in highlighting establishments for diners for whom location is at least as important as reputation, type of cuisine, ambiance, and price. See attached fact sheet for finalist restaurants.

“For the past 25 years, Vancouver Magazine has been cataloguing the city’s finest rooms and creating a definitive compendium of all that is delicious, masterful, and of the moment,” said John Burns, Vancouver Magazine Editor-in-Chief. “The addition of Best of Neighbourhood awards reflects our judges’ view that for many people, location matters a great deal when deciding where to dine.”

Finalists in the remaining 42 categories won’t be revealed until the gala, to be held at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel on April 22nd. More than 700 of B.C.’s top chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, and food critics will gather to recognize the city’s best. Vancouverites can follow the event live on Twitter and Instagram using #VanMagAwards.

Vancouver Magazine’s May issue includes a 42-page feature on all the award categories. The issue will be on newsstands on April 28th and digital subscriptions will be available at

Finalists for New Best of Neighbourhood Categories

Best Yaletown

  • Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar,
  • Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca,
  • The Flying Pig,
  • Homer St. Café and Bar,
  • La Pentola della Quercia

Best West End

  • Forage,
  • Hokkaido Ramen Santouka,
  • Kingyo,
  • Nook,
  • Tavola

Best Downtown

  • Cactus Club Coal Harbour,
  • Hawksworth,
  • The Mexican, Antojitos y Cantina;
  • Tableau Bar Bistro,
  • Yew Seafood & Bar

Best Gastown & Chinatown

  • Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie,
  • Campagnolo,
  • Phnom Penh,
  • Pidgin,
  • The Union

Best West Side

  • Maenam,
  • La Quercia,
  • Vijs,
  • West,
  • Zest

Best East Side

  • Campagnolo Roma,
  • Chicha,
  • Les Faux Bourgeois,
  • The Red Wagon,
  • Via Tevere

Best Richmond

  • Dinesty Chinese,
  • Gudrun,
  • Hoi Tong Seafood,
  • Spicy Vegetarian Cuisine,
  • Top Shanghai Cuisine

Best North Shore

  • Blue Eyed Marys,
  • Canyon,
  • Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle,
  • Gusto di Quattro,
  • La Régalade



Argentina Wine Awards 2014: Who Were the Winners?

The Trophy award winners

The Trophy award winners

Mendoza, February 25, 2014 – On Friday, February 21 at Bodega Escorihuela Gascón the winners of the Argentina Wine Awards 2014 were announced to a large crowd of over 250 wine owners, winemakers, provincial government authorities, wine industry executives, members of the judging panel and journalists.  The competition is organized by Wines of Argentina under the coordination of the Argentine Wine Corporation (COVIAR).

  • 12 international and 6 Argentine judges tasted more than 650 samples.
  • Trophies were announced for the 20 categories, which in turn were divided into 5 price ranges each.
  • 150 wineries, with a total of 650 samples, participated in the 8th edition of the Argentina Wine Awards, a competition that seeks to reward both the quality and the advancement of the Argentine wine industry.
  • 4 Regional Trophies, 12 Trophies, 58 gold medals, 256 silver medals and 276 bronze medals were awarded at the competition.

In the Malbec category, the Trophies went to:


Category: malbec

       >13.00 <19.99

Es Vino Reserve Malbec 2012Es Vino Wines

Category: malbec

       >20.00 >29.99

Alta Vista Terroir Selection Malbec 2011La Casa del Rey SA- Alta Vista

Category: malbec

       >30.00 <49.99

Vineyard Selection Malbec 2012Riccitelli Wines

Category: malbec


Republica del Malbec – Blend de Terroirs 2012Riccitelli Wines

In the sparkling wines category, the Trophy winners were:

Category: sparkling mt       >13.00 <19.99

Zuccardi Blanc de Blancs 2007

Familia Zuccardi

In the case of Cabernet Franc, the Trophies went to:

Category: cabernet franc       >20.00 <29.99 Numina Cabernet Franc 2011

Bodegas Salentein SA

Category: cabernet franc       >50.00

Andeluna Pasionado Cabernet Franc 2010

Andeluna Cellars Srl

On the last day of the AWA, an interesting 2-part seminar was held. During the first part of the seminar, 6 international judges presented to the audience “heavyweight”wines which are successful in other markets not only because of their sales volume but also because of their wineries’ sustainability over time.

During the 2nd part, the same 6 international judges spoke about their markets and gave their feedback on the regional Argentine market focusing on the tasted wines.  This seminar, held every year in the framework of the AWA, fosters the exchange of views in the world of wine.

“The AWA 2014 winners, a sampling of the best of Argentine wine, will be representing Wines of Argentina throughout the year around the world.  This 8th edition has been particularly important due to the presence of highly regarded judges, the quality of the participating wines and the feedback given during the seminar,” said Alberto Arizu, President of Wines of Argentina.

List of Trophy winners – AWA 2014:    


SPARKLING – méthode traditionelle


Category: sparkling mt

       >13.00 <19.99

Zuccardi Blanc de Blancs 2007Familia Zuccardi



Category: torrontés

       >13.00 <19.99

Colomé Torrontés 2013

Bodega Colomé



Category: cabernet franc

       >20.00 <29.99

Numina Cabernet Franc 2011

Bodegas Salentein SATROPHY

Category: cabernet franc


Andeluna Pasionado Cabernet Franc 2010

Andeluna Cellars Srl

TROPHY Category: cabernet sauvignon

       >30.00 <49.99

Bramare Lujan de Cuyo Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Viña Cobos SA


TROPHY Category: malbec

       >13.00 <19.99Es Vino Reserve Malbec 2012

Es Vino WinesTROPHYCategory: malbec

       >20.00 >29.99Alta Vista Terroir Selection Malbec 2011

La Casa del Rey SA- Alta VistaTROPHYCategory: malbec

       >30.00 <49.99

Vineyard Selection Malbec 2012

Riccitelli Wines

TROPHYCategory: malbec


Republica del Malbec – Blend de Terroirs 2012

Riccitelli Wines

TROPHY Category: red blend

       >13.00 <19.99Paz Blend 2012

Finca Las Moras

TROPHYCategory: red blend

       >30.00 <49.99Field Blend 2011

Zorzal Wines

TROPHYCategory: red blend


Decero Amano, Remolinos Vineyard 2011

Finca Decero

For the 1st time, there was presentation of a special Trophy for each of Argentina’s main regions – the North, San Juan, Mendoza and Patagonia – with the aim of bestowing an even stronger federal quality on the event and bringing in wineries from all over the country.

The winners of this new category were:

North Valleys – Serie Fincas Notables Malbec 2011, Bodega El Esteco 

San Juan Valleys – Paz Blend 2012, Finca Las Moras

Mendoza Valleys – Lindaflor Malbec 2009, Monteviejo

Patagonian Valleys – Fin Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2010, Bodega del Fin Del Mundo

 # # #

About the Argentina Wine Awards

The 8th edition of the AWA took place in Mendoza from February 16 to 21, 2014. This year, the emphasis was placed on working with experienced, world-renowned wine figures from each market, in order to strengthen Argentina’s positioning in such markets as well as to promote the quality of Argentine wines and the variety of the country’s styles and terroirs through these knowledgeable experts. In this way, Wines of Argentina continues to work for the development of the image of Argentine wine on the global stage.

 About Wines of Argentina

Wines of Argentina is the organization responsible for promoting the brand VINO ARGENTINO around the world. Since 1993, WofA has promoted the image of local wines abroad, in addition to guiding the export strategy of Argentine wineries through careful study and analysis of the changes taking place in consumer markets. Its aim is to contribute to the consolidation of Argentina as one of the main wine exporting countries in the world and to the global success of the Argentine wine industry by enhancing its positive image in the wine trade, among opinion leaders and consumers.

 About the Argentine Wine Corporation (COVIAR): 

The Argentine Wine Corporation manages and articulates the activities required in order to achieve the goals stated in the 2020 Strategic Wine Plan, taking up the challenge of transforming the wine sector and strategically boosting its strengths and opportunities in the global market of wine, concentrated grape juice, raisins, and table grapes. The Strategic Plan has been designed to add value to the industry by the organization and integration of all the stakeholders along the chain, with a view to producing higher quality wines, and achieving greater consistency across all segments and products. Facebook: Argentine Wine Corporation (COVIAR)  Twitter: @Coviar1

new zealand wine logo

New Zealand Wines Winners in Recent Canadian Wine Awards


WineAlign’s 2013 World Wine Awards of Canada is a brand new competition yet the judging team are seasoned top wine writers and sommeliers who spent five days blind tasting 1,000 wines!  New Zealand was there to participate, and have some winning wines to share with you. Yes Sauvignon Blanc is in the list, but there are other varietal wines for you to consider, such as Pinot Grigio.

Best of Country

  • Whitehaven Pinot Noir 2011  ( A top quality winery that I never hestitate to recommend.)

Best of variety under $15

  • Monkey Bay Pinot Grigio 2012

Judges’ Choice

  • Giesen  Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Judges’ Choice by Varietal 
Sauvignon Blanc  

  • Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2012
  • Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013
  • Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2012
  • The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Pinot Gris/Grigio

  • Monkey Bay Pinot Grigio 2012

Pinot Noir  

  • Stoneleigh Pinot Noir 2012

Vancouver International Wine Festival 2013 Trade Competition Award Winners

As part of the Vancouver International Wine Festival is Trade Competition.  This year’s award winners are below.  Find out if your favorite restaurant or sommelier is one of the winners.  Details are below!


Vancouver International Wine Festival and California Wines


Vancouver, BC, March 1, 2013 — The Vancouver International Wine Festival, presented by The Vancouver Sun, announced this year’s trade competition winners at Celebrating Excellence: The 10th Annual Awards Lunch, presented by ContainerWorld Forwarding Services Inc., on Friday, March 1, 2013. The awards, which are sponsored by W. H. Puddifoot Ltd., honoured those professionals who contribute to our region’s exceptional wine and food culture. Guests enjoyed lunch prepared by Vancouver Convention Centre executive chef Blair Rasmussen and toasted winners with wines from California, this year’s festival theme region.


The Spirited Industry Professional Award honours an individual who makes significant contributions to the sales, service or promotion of wine in British Columbia. The eighth annual SIP Award goes to industry legend Sid Cross. Sid travels the globe as a wine and food writer and educator and volunteers his time to numerous culinary causes. Sid is honorary president of the International Wine & Food Society and judges competitions like the Canadian Wine Awards and Canadian Culinary Championships. He is internationally recognized for his exceptional palate: he is an officer of France’s Ordre du Merite Agricole; a wines committee chair of the International Wine and Food Society in London, England; and the only Canadian to be honoured as a Membre d’Honneur of the L’Academie du vin de Bordeaux.


The 13th annual Sommelier of the Year Award recognizes outstanding wine knowledge and wine service. The Sommelier of the Year is awarded based on votes by key members of the industry and is included in the May Restaurant Awards issue of Vancouver Magazine. This year’s award goes to sommelier Samantha Rahn. Samantha was trained at the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and previously worked at Banff’s Maple Leaf Grill & Lounge, where she earned the restaurant prestigious accolades such as Wine Spectator’s “Best of” Award of Excellence. Now wine director at Whistler’s famed Araxi, Samantha is passionate about wine, using her knowledge and years of experience to craft the restaurant’s acclaimed wine list.

Celebrating the best food and wine pairings in the business, restaurants throughout British Columbia and Alberta have been recognized for creating wine lists that complement their establishment’s unique menu and concept. Candidates submitted their wine and menu lists, and were then visited by judges who reviewed their programs. The top restaurants were awarded Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, or commended with an Honourable Mention. The Wine List Awards are sponsored by Vancouver Magazine.



Blue Water Cafe 

Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill 

Wine Room at Joey Bentall One


Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar



Hawksworth Restaurant

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House

MARKET by Jean-Georges

Nicli Antica Pizzeria

Salt Tasting Room

Tableau Bar Bistro


YEW restaurant + bar


Bao Bei 

Cibo Trattoria  and Uva Wine Bar

Edible Canada at the Market

Provence: The Wine Bar

The Observatory 



Le Gavroche

Lift Bar Grill View

The Beach House

Honourable Mention

Fable Kitchen 

Gramercy Grill

Raincity Grill

The Fish House in Stanley Park


Alta Bistro

Araxi Restaurant 

Rimrock Café

The Grill Room at Fairmont Chateau Whistler


Vis à Vis wine + charcuterie bar

Hotel Grand Pacific

Nautical Nellies

Stage Wine Bar

Il Terrazzo Ristorante

Veneto Tapa Lounge

Honourable Mention

The Grand Hotel Nanaimo



The Restaurant at Painted Boat (Madeira Park)


Emerald Lake Lodge (Field)

La Bussola (Kelowna)

Local Lounge & Grille (Summerland)




Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro

Vin Room Mission


The Ranche Restaurant

Vin Room West


Buffalo Mountain Lodge


Honourable Mention
Bar C

On Wednesday February 27, 2013, wine trade and service professionals, culinarians, and non-professional connoisseurs alike competed in the Blind Tasting Challenge. They blind tasted seven wines and identified them using the Wine and Spirit Education Trust’s Systematic Approach to Tasting. This year the Blind Tasting Challenge winners were Wendy Spicknell (consumer) Murray Bancroft (culinarian) and Chris Turyk (trade).

Canada’s premier wine show will mark its 35th anniversary of pairing wine, food and the performing arts from February 25 to March 3, 2013. It features 175 wineries from 15 countries pouring 1,850 wines at 54 events to a projected 25,000 admissions. The International Festival Tasting Room is the heart of the festival, with 763 wines on offer to the public and 170 more wines for trade only. More than 900 additional wines are served at special events, which include the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction presented by Goldcorp, wine seminars, wine minglers, winery dinners, and lunches and brunches at fine restaurants and hotels. This year the festival shines the spotlight on California, and the global varietal focus is on Chardonnay. 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. The presenting sponsor is The Vancouver Sun.

InterVin International Wine Awards – White Wines

Do you like Canadian wines?  Need some ideas for new ones to try? Presented by the founders of Vines Magazine, the InterVin International Wine Awards is designed to recognize and celebrate the very best wines available to Canadian consumers. Wines from around the world can be found here, but many of the wines are of Canadian origin.  Let’s celebrate that.

Here are the latest Silver Award winners from the 2011 InterVin International Wine Awards in the white wine category.  I hope you find a few that you know, and a few that you are interested to try. Enjoy!

White Wines


  • Calona Vineyards 2010 Artist Series Chardonnay Canada
  • Coyote’s Run Estate Winery 2010 Unoaked Chardonnay Canada
  • Flat Rock Cellars 2009 The Rusty Shed Chardonnay Canada
  • Henry of Pelham Family Estate 2009 Speck Family Reserve Chardonnay Canada
  • Les Vins Georges Duboeuf 2009 Hob Nob Chardonnay France
  • Red Rooster Winery 2010 Chardonnay Canada
  • Rosewood Estates Winery 2009 Natural Fermentation Reserve Chardonnay Canada
  • Rosehall Run Vineyards 2009 Rosehall Vineyard Chardonnay Canada
  • See Ya Later Ranch 2009 Chardonnay Canada
  • Stoney Ridge Estate Winery 2010 Charlotte’s Chardonnay Canada


  • 2027 Cellars 2009 Featherstone Vineyard Riesling Canada
  • Angels Gate Winery 2009 Süssreserve Riesling Canada
  • Flat Rock Cellars 2010 Riesling Canada
  • Fielding Estate Winery 2010 Riesling Canada
  • Henry of Pelham Family Estate 2008 Riesling Canada
  • Thirty Bench Wine Makers 2010 Small Lot Steel Post Vineyard Riesling Canada
  • Thirty Bench Wine Makers 2010 Small Lot Triangle Vineyard Riesling Canada

Pinot Grigio / Pinot Gris

  • Barefoot Winery NV Pinot Grigio United States
  • CedarCreek Estate Winery 2010 Pinot Gris Canada
  • Coyote’s Run Estate Winery 2010 Rare Vintage Pinot Gris Canada
  • Fielding Estate Winery 2010 Rock Pile Pinot Gris Canada
  • Henry of Pelham Family Estate 2010 Pinot Grigio Canada
  • Montevina Wines 2010 Pinot Grigio United States
  • Peller Estates Okanagan 2010 Family Series Pinot Gris Canada
  • Peller Estates Okanagan 2010 Private Reserve Pinot Gris Canada
  • Stoney Ridge Estate Winery 2010 Excellence Pinot Gris Canada
    Whitehaven Wines 2009 Pinot Gris New Zealand

Sauvignon Blanc

  • Beringer 2008 Founders’ Estate Sauvignon Blanc United States
  • Creekside Estate Winery 2009 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Canada
  • Legends Estates Winery 2010 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Canada
  • Peninsula Ridge Estate Winery 2009 Vintners Private Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Canada
  • Sandhill Wines 2010 Sandhill Estate Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Canada
  • Villa Maria Estate Winery 2010 Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand

Other Whites

  • Azienda Agricola Torre Varano 2009 Falanghina Italy
  • Creekside Estate Winery 2009 Reserve Viognier Canada
  • Featherstone Winery 2010 Gewürztraminer Canada
  • Limnos Wines 2010 Muscat of Alexandria Greece
  • Mission Hill Family Estate 2010 Five Vineyards Pinot Blanc Canada
  • Quails’ Gate Estate Winery 2010 Chenin Blanc Canada
  • Sandhill Wines 2010 Sandhill Estate Vineyard Pinot Blanc Canada
  • Vignoble Le Cep d’Argent NV Le Mistral Canada
  • Wild Goose Vineyards 2010 Mystic River Vineyard Pinot Blanc Canada

Other White Blend

  • Creekside Estate Winery 2009 Laura’s White Canada
  • Legends Estates Winery 2010 Diva Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc Canada
  • Southbrook Vineyards 2010 Connect White Canada
  • Therapy Vineyards 2010 Alter Ego Canada

I’ll publish the Red Wine Silver Award winners soon.