Vancouver Foodster’s Noodle Mania on January 16

Do you know someone that enjoys food but you don’t know what to buy them for the holidays?  How about a foodie experience?  Vancouver Foodster’s Noodle Mania has been happening for a few years now, and you get to try noodles made from Italian, Chinese, etc restaurants all in one night.  What fun!  Below is Vancouver Foodster’s announcement, plus how you can purchase your tickets online.  Enjoy!


Join us and tantalize your taste buds at several restaurants in Vancouver between Cambie Village, Olympic Village, Commercial Drive and area! This 6th annual noodle tasting extravaganza is presented by Vancouver Foodster and Tasting Plates.


Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Bowls or Plates for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different types of restaurants throughout the event, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants.

You may have a chance to taste all sorts of noodles from chow mein to spaghetti to mac & cheese, pho, pad thai, ramen and more. Touring many ethnic eateries and tasting noodle dishes including American, Chinese, Filipino, Hong Kong, Indian, Italian, Southern, Taiwanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and more.

See Richard Wolak (Creator/Founder of Noodle Mania and on the Global TV Morning News Saturday Chef with Chef Ui Ratsomjit in 2016.

If you haven’t been to our previous Noodle Mania event, Novus TV featured one of our previous events on Food Finds (view here).

Visit each of the participating restaurants at your leisure by car or use transit.

Registration: Silk Road Tea – this is where you will show us your printed or digital tickets and will pick up your Noodle Mania passports.

Participating Restaurants and Establishments 


Mangia Cucina & Bar

2211 Manitoba Street, Vancouver


Instagram: @mangia604

Cuisine: Italian

Recently opened, Mangia Cucina & Bar serves Italian style ‘tapas’, wide selection of homemade pasta & risotto & stone-baked pizza. Chef Alessandro Riccobono is happy to share his love for regional Italian cuisine &, cook some of his favorite pasta specials for the local community. Situated in a heritage house in beautiful Mount Pleasant, Mangia Cucina & Bar offers the perfect opportunity to grab a quick lunch, go on a dinner date, indulge your happy hour cravings and even book the whole space for your next event. Open Mon-Sat, 11:30am-10:00pm.

Image result for hons wonton house

Hon’s Wonton House

25 E 2nd Ave, Vancouver


Instagram: @honswonton

Cuisine: Cantonese

Since 1972, Hon’s Wonton House, situated in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown, has been creating and sharing traditional Asian Comfort Food with customers of all generations. Using rustic, locally sourced ingredients and time-honoured Cantonese recipes, customers can be transported through tastes and aromas back to the infamous and familiar wonton houses of the Guangzhou.

From hand-made wontons and Pan fried Potstickers, to well spiced and simmered broths and noodles, Hon’s flavor filled menu will not disappoint.


Viet House Restaurant

3420 Cambie Street, Vancouver


Instagram: @viet_house_restaurant

Cuisine: Vietnamese

silk road

Silk Road Tea

2066 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver


Twitter: @silkroadtea

Instagram @silkroadtea

Silk Road imports & blends organic, premium loose teas, & produces organic skincare, haircare & bodycare products.

More surprise restaurants will be announced prior to the event

Purchase Tickets Here: 


Early-Bird Tickets: $35 per person through December 28, 2018

Advance Tickets $50 per person before January 13, 2019

Regular $60 per person after January 12, 2019

Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.

Ticket price includes tasting bowls or plates at each of the participating restaurants throughout the evening. (Beverages are included at some restaurants which will be noted, you are welcome to purchase wine, beer, cocktails or mocktails at each of the participating restaurants).

Note: ALL Tickets must be purchased in advance online. All ticket sales are final. No exchanges or refunds; however you are welcome to transfer the ticket to another person for the same event if you notify us at least 48 hours in advance with name (s) of who will be attending in your place. Participating restaurants subject to change. Event produced by CMI Chat Media Inc. This is an all ages event and everyone is welcome.

Road 13 Vineyards Celebrate Awards, Christmas, and Ned Bell

Road 13 Vineyards has been having a great season, winning awards, preparing their Advent Wine Calendar, and pairing their wines with Ned Bell’s Lure Cookbook.  Below is the latest news about these items directly from Road 13 Vineyards.  Enjoy!


 Road 13 Vineyards saw another busy summer season of wine-loving tourists and locals through their Golden Mile Bench tasting room. With a number of wines in the portfolio currently sold out and a bounty of awards at the British Columbia Wine Awards and Wine Align National Wine Awards – it’s safe to say the Oliver based vineyard has had a successful few months.
Road 13 Vineyards collects a bounty of wine awards at the British Columbia Wine Awards at the Okanagan Wine Festivals:
Gold – Road 13 Vineyards 2016 Marsanne
Silver – Road 13 Vineyards 2016 Gamay Noir
Road 13 Vineyards 2014 Jackpot Petit Verdot
Road 13 Vineyards 2013 Fifth Element
Road 13 Vineyards 2016 Seventy-Four K
Road 13 Vineyards 2013 Sparkling Chenin Blanc
Bronze – Road 13 Vineyards 2012 Fifth Element
Road 13 Vineyards 2015 Roussanne 2016 VRM White Blend
These awards come hot on the heels of  Wine Align’s National Wine Awards of Canada 2017 which awarded Road 13 Vineyards as the Best Winery in BC and #4 in Canada – Road 13 has been named Top 10 Winery nine years in a row. Thirteen medals were awarded in the categories of Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze.

Notes from the Harvest:

The vintage started out cool and wet, but quickly changed to hot and dry. These conditions produced tiny berries which result in concentrated fruit flavours and a low yield. The smoke from the forest fires this past summer helped to keep temperatures below 35 degrees Celsius allowing the vines to keep ripening grapes, rather than shutting down to conserve energy. The quality of the grapes coming in from the harvest has been excellent and it is looking like another great vintage.
Holiday Gifting:

Wine Advent Calendar 

With Christmas around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about the wine lover on your list. Countdown the 12 days of Christmas with Road 13. The winery has a limited number of wine advent calendars available as of November 20th for $335 plus tax. Packaged in mid-summer to ensure a great selection of bottles, the wine calendar includes 12 bottles with many long sold out.  For an added surprised, there are three different.

*Additional shipping cost of $20 beyond BC and AB
The Platinum Pack
For a gift that sparkles, Road 13 is releasing its first ever Platinum six-pack. This is a wonderful gift for the wine collection and is a tribute to the winery’s platinum ranked, award-winning library wines. The Platinum Pack includes one bottle of each of the following and a collectors wooden box: 2009 Sparkling Chenin Blanc, 2011 Syrah Malbec, 2013 Syrah Malbec, 2013 GSM, 2014 Syrah Mourvedre, and 2014 Similikameen Collective GSM. These wines are only available in the Platinum Pack and Road 13 is the only winery to have won enough consecutive Platinum Medals to offer this limited edition collector’s item. The Platinum Pack is available for order starting November 20th for $599 plus tax, shipping is included in BC & Alberta; $20 flat fee to the rest of Canada.
Contact the winery directly to order the advent calendar and Platinum Pack starting November 20th at 1.250.498.8330. Images can be found here
For a gift that keeps on giving, loyal Road 13 Vineyard enthusiasts are invited to join Club 13 – a wine club that sees three shipments of six bottles per year (March, July and November). Wine loving members enjoy extra perks of a 10 percent discount on all wine purchases, events and logo’d merchandise, free shipping on full case orders, complimentary tours with a member of the Luckhurst family, free tastings for up to four people in the Castle tasting room, exclusive access to limited release wines, advanced notice and access to all wines. Click here to join today!
Upcoming Events at Road 13 Vineyards:

Winter in Wine Country – November 24 -26 | 11am – 4pm

Join Road 13 during the Oliver – Osoyoos Tourism Association’s Winter in Wine Country Festival. Events include the annual Oliver community light up and fireworks, plus festival of trees. Visitors to Road 13 will enjoy holiday specials on merchandise – perfect for stocking stuffers, complimentary wine tastings, and a selection of library wines available for sale.

Class in a Glass: paint pARTy – Saturday, November 25 | 1pm to 4pm 

Laura Luckhurst will be teaching a afternoon of painting featuring one of her original art pieces. Tickets to this popular class include all materials, a glass of wine and an apron. This event is a regular sell-out so buy tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Road 13 Vineyards Wine Paring Recipe from Ned Bell’s Lure Cookbook 

With the busy holiday season around the corner – Ned Bell’s roasted scallop recipe from his recently launched Lure Cookbook wows guests and is a party favourite every time. Pair with the award-winning Road 13 Vineyards 2016 Honest John’s White. Aromas of green apple, pears and lime whisks you away from winter outside to a tropical locale – if only for a bite or two. Try it at home.
Roasted Scallops with Grapefruit, Brown Butter and Thyme
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
1 grapefruit
12 Weathervane scallops
sea salt and pepper
1 bunch watercress, stems removed
Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Add thyme. Allow butter to gently simmer for 5 minutes or until milk solids turn golden brown and fall to the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, cut and peel the grapefruit. Working over a bowl, cut between the membranes to remove the segments and let them fall into the bowl. Squeeze the membranes over the bowl to extract all the juice before discarding.
If the abductor muscle (a little flap) is still on the side of the scallops, remove it. Heat skillet over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of the brown butter. Pat the scallops dry and add to the pan, making sure not to crowd them. Allow to sear undisturbed for 2 minutes or until browned. Season with salt and pepper, flip the scallops and add remaining brown butter. Add 2 tbsp of grapefruit juice. Allow scallops to sear for an additional 2 minutes, basting them with liquid in the pan.
Divide the watercress among four plates. Set the scallops on top and garnish with grapefruit segments. Drizzle with the pan sauce and sprinkle with sea salt.
                – 30 –
About Road 13 Vineyards:
Road 13 Vineyards is a family affair, owned and operated by the passionate Luckhurst family. Located in Canada’s only desert on the Okanagan Valley’s sun baked Golden Mile Bench, a unique sub-region that lies south of Oliver on an east-facing bench backed by gentle mountains.
The winery credits their successes to the unique soil and growing conditions found in the vineyards that allows grapes to thrive. Road 13’s motto – it’s all about the dirt– reflects this tribute. The winery receives ongoing critical acclaim for making white, red, rosé and sparkling varietals that are a quintessential expression of Okanagan Valley terroir. In 2017, Road 13 Vineyards took fourth place in Wine Align’s National Wine Awards having maintained a spot in Wine Align’s top 10 for the past nine years.
In addition to the award-winning wines, Road 13 Vineyards is a destination in itself, offering guests two unique experiences: feature tastings in the “Castle,” or a more leisurely tasting of the entire Road 13 wine portfolio in the Executive Lounge. Visitors are encouraged to stay a while and bring a picnic while enjoy the stunning views of the Oliver-Osoyoos Wine Country.

For more information visit or visit socially on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Holiday Spirits Abound at Neil Macrae Lounge

Vancouver TheatreSports Christmas Queen 2(Vancouver, BC) – The holiday season is a time of indulgence with all the cookies, mince tarts and candy canes not to mention egg nog and mulled wine.

Paul Belsito, manager of the Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge at Vancouver TheatreSports’™ The Improv Centre, has been getting into the festive spirits a little early this year. He’s been designing special cocktails to complement VTSL’s upcoming show Christmas Queen 2 – You Better Watch Out which opens with previews starting November 25th and runs through December 20th. This year’s edition of the Christmas Queen saga finds our favourite blue-haired ‘Dame’ dropping in on Santa and his elves at the North Pole Workshop.

“I’ve tried to theme the drinks to represent some of the show’s key characters,” says Belsito. “I think I’ve created ones that are in the ‘spirit’ of the show – fun and a little naughty.”

Ice Queen (blue): Melon Liqueur, Blue Curacao, Lemon/Lime Juice with a splash of soda water

Santa’s Little Helper (red): Fireball, Ginger Ale, Cranberry Juice

Tipsy Elf (green): Crème de Menthe, Amaretto, Lemon Juice

Value-priced at $8 (Scrooge would approve), and jewel-toned as a string of Christmas lights, VTSL’s holiday cocktails are available only through the run of Christmas Queen 2. Paul’s cocktails are sure to delight even the sourest Grinch.

Join us for a little holiday cheer and festive spirits Wednesday through Sunday evenings from 6:30 p.m., November 25 through December 20 in the Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge at Vancouver TheatreSports’ The Improv Centre, 1502 Duranleau Street on Granville Island. The fully-licenced Neil Macrae Bar & Lounge is a convenient place for theatre patrons to meet for pre or post-show drinks. Patrons can also take their beverages into the theatre with them to enjoy during the performance.

Vancouver TheatreSports™ appreciates the support of its season sponsors: City of Vancouver, CMHC Granville Island, The Georgia Straight and The Granville Island Hotel.

Enjoy Christmas Eve Dinner at Le Parisien

Le Parisien LogoIn Paris, Nuit de Noel (Christmas Eve) is a time to spend feasting with friends and family. Whether your Nuit de Noel tradition is to attend a carol service, stay at home, go to a movie or visit friends, consider joining us for dinner that night. As your neighbourhood French bistro, we offer a warm, family-friendly environment in which to enjoy good food and the joy of the season.

Give the cook in your home an early Christmas present – along with our regular menu, we are offering a four-course prix fixe menu for only $55. You’ll leave as full as a Christmas stocking.

Reservations essential: 604-687-1418 /

Le Parisien Holiday Hours:
December 24 Dinner early seating: 5-6:45 pm
December 24 Dinner late seating: 7-8:45 pm
December 25 & 26 Closed
December 31 Open for dinner
January 1 Open for brunch & dinner
January 2 Closed

Christmas Eve Menu

Squash Croquette
Spiced Apple Chutney


Salmon Tartare
Cucumber, Tomato, Watercress and Crostinis

Roasted Quail and Baby Spinach Salad
Hazelnuts, Raspberry Vinaigrette

Goat Cheese and Tomato Tart
Caramelized Onions, Olives


Pan Seared Artic Char
Asparagus, Green Beans, Fingerling Potato, Beurre Blanc

Beef Wellington
Mushroom Duxelle, Potato Gratin, Parisienne Sauce

Roasted Duck Breast
Brussels Sprout Leaves, Glazed Carrots, Dauphine Potatoes, Cranberry Citrus Jus


Dark Chocolate Tort
Candied Pecan and Crème Anglaise

Lemon Mousse
Raspberry Coulis

Vanilla Poached Pear
Chocolate Sorbet

$55 / Person

Le Parisien
751 Denman St. Vancouver, BC V6G 2L6 | Tel: (604) 687.1418

Wines of BC logo

Celebrate the Season with BC VQA Wines

Thinking of the perfect holiday gift for someone that has everything?  How about some wonderful BC VQA wine?  I see that there is a special promotion on gift wrapping now for some of these wines.  Here is the info I received.  Enjoy!


The Wines of British Columbia have got you covered this holiday season with ready-to-gift BC VQA wines available at no extra cost in 10 participating BC Liquor Stores, from now until Christmas.

As you read this press release, sheer organza wine-bottle gift bags are being applied to 10,000 bottles of BC VQA wines in select BC Liquor Stores, making it easier for BC wine shoppers to give the gift of wonderful wines, made in beautiful British Columbia. Whether for a BYOB party, a Hanukkah gathering, an office Christmas party or a dinner with family or friends, grabbing a gift-wrapped bottle of wine makes this year’s holiday shopping that much easier. What’s more is that the British Columbia Wine Institute has taken its promotional gift wrap to the next level of thoughtfulness, including a blank gift tag on every bottle to support a personalized gesture from each gift giver.

With 20 wines taking part in this holiday promotion, you can find the perfect gift for any palate and occasion:

Black Sage Vineyard Cabernet Franc

593038 $23.99

Calona Vineyards Artist Series Sovereign Opal

364265 $12.99

CedarCreek Estate Winery Pinot Gris

561175 $17.95

Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery Ehrenfelser

171512 $14.99

Gray Monk Estate Winery Gewürztraminer

321588 $16.99
Hester Creek Estate Winery Pinot Blanc 467316 $16.95
Inniskillin Okanagan Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 597070 $16.99

Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

543884 $16.99

JoieFarm Rosé

511469 $20.90

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery Five Vineyards Pinot Noir

118844 $17.99
Nk’Mip Cellars Merlot 626416 $19.99
Osoyoos Larose Petales d’Osoyoos 343103 $25.00
Perseus Winery Merlot 127068 $19.99

Quails’ Gate Winery Chasselas Pinot Blanc Pinot Gris

585737 $18.99
Red Rooster Winery Pinot Gris 533174 $17.99
Sandhill Vanessa Vineyard Cabernet Merlot 168641 $19.99
See Ya Later Ranch Winery Riesling 579045 $16.99
Sumac Ridge Estate Winery Private Reserve Merlot 272781 $15.99
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Merlot 530725 $19.99
Wild Goose Vineyards & Winery Autumn Gold 414755 $19.00

 10 participating BC Liquor Stores will have the gift-wrapped bottles displayed on their shelves, making it easy for anyone in the Greater Vancouver area to stock up on holiday cheer at a convenient location:

39th & Cambie 5555 Cambie Street, Vancouver
8th & Cambie 2395 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Alberni & Bute 768 Bute Street, Vancouver

Broadway & Maple

2088 West Broadway, Vancouver


3453 Dunbar Street, Vancouver

Lynn Valley

15 – 1199 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver
Northgate 103 – 3433 North Road, Burnaby
Park Royal 570 Park Royal North, West Vancouver

Richmond Brighouse

100 – 8100 Ackroyd Road, Richmond
Westwood 100 – 2748 Lougheed Highway, Port Coquitlam

BC VQA wines make the perfect gift anytime, especially this holiday season when they are all dressed up and ready-to-go!

Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Gardens Sparkle

December 7, 2012 was the opening night for the Festival of Lights at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver.  I had never been to the Festival of Lights but heard of it many times.  I am glad I attended this year, and may go again.  At the Festival of Lights there are lights choreographed to music on the hour and half hour.  There are also themed light areas within the Gardens, such as Gingerbread Wood.  If your fingers, toes, and nose gets cold, there are concessions where you can get a hot chocolate or hot spiced apple cider.  I did have the cider and it was nice to hold that warm drink in my hands as I watched one of the light shows.

The Festival of Lights has another purpose, other than to entertain you.  It is also to support the Make A Wish Foundation.  You can light a candle and buy a star shaped necklace that lights up, with proceeds to the Make A Wish Foundation.  I did both.  Following are pictures I took of the Festival of Lights, followed by my youtube video showing some of the choreographed lights.  If you have a chance please go to the Festival of Lights.  It is a lot of fun.

vandusen lights mushrooms 2012

VanDusen lights mushrooms 2012

vandusen lights  2012

VanDusen lights 2012

vandusen lights by the water  2012

VanDusen lights by the water 2012

vandusen lights gingerbread house  2012

VanDusen lights gingerbread house 2012

vandusen lights Christmas tree  2012

VanDusen lights Christmas tree 2012

vandusen lights with water reflections  2012

VanDusen lights with water reflections 2012

Christmas Eve Dinner 2012 at Le Parisien

Chemps Elysee, Paris, in December. *Source: self-made *Photographer: Andreas Saebjoernsen {{GFDL}}

Chemps Elysee, Paris, in December. *Source: self-made *Photographer: Andreas Saebjoernsen {{GFDL}}

Who wants to cook on Christmas Eve?  Well some people, but I’m sure more prefer to be on the receiving side of that equation.  So why torture yourself?  Enjoy a wonderful French Christmas dinner at Le Parisien.  There are selections for your courses so I’m sure there is something for you and your family to enjoy.  I think my choices would be the Baby Spinach Salad & Warm Duck Confit appetizer, Roasted Duck Breast entree, and Raspberry Souffle Crepe dessert.  I do adore duck.  Pair the duck with a violet scented Pinot Noir or juicy Merlot and I’m set for the evening.  Here is the announcement for the dinner from Le Parisien.  Joyeux Noel.


In Paris, Nuit de Noel (Christmas Eve) is a time to spend feasting with friends and family. Whether your Nuit de Noel tradition is to attend a carol service, stay at home, go to a movie or visit friends, consider joining us for dinner that night. As your neighbourhood French bistro, we offer a warm, family-friendly environment in which to enjoy good food and the joy of the season.

Give the cook in your home an early Christmas present – our four-course prix fixe menu is only $45 and you’ll leave as full as a Christmas stocking.

Reservations essential: 604-687-1418 /

Christmas Eve Dinner, December 24, 2012

Squash Croquettes
Apple Chutney


Crab Cake
Saffron Aioli, Melon Salad

– or –

Goat Cheese & Tomato Tart
Caramelized Onions, Black Olives

– or –

Baby Spinach Salad & Warm Duck Confit
Hazelnuts, Pear, Mustard Vinaigrette


Salmon Wellington
Spinach, Mushroom Duxelle, Sauce Béarnaise

– or –

Grilled Beef Tenderloin
Potato Gratin, Mushroom Ragout, Red Wine Sauce

– or –

Roasted Duck Breast
Butternut Squash Risotto, Walnuts, Port Reduction


Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Mousse
Frangelico Cream, White Chocolate Chantilly

– or –

Classic Lemon Tart
Raspberry Coulis, Burnt Meringue

– or –

Raspberry Souffle Crepe
Berries, Crème Anglaise

$45.00 / Person

Le Parisien
751 Denman St. Vancouver, BC V6G 2L6 | Tel: (604) 687.1418

Almost Last Minute Christmas Holiday Wine Picks 2011

There are less than 2 weeks to Christmas now. Maybe you are starting to think about Christmas gifts, or inviting family and friends over to your place for a nice dinner, or you received a dinner invitation? What wines to gift or serve?

I went through the list of all the wines I tasted in 2011 and have a few suggestions for you.

Some Favourite Sparkling Wines for 2011

  • Oyster Bay Brut and Rose sparkling wines

    Perrier Jouet Grand Brut N/V, France. This is also a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Pale lemon in colour.  Light lees and toast on the nose. Light body with apples and white fruit.  Small bubbles with lower acidity.  I really enjoyed this one in part due to the lower acidity which made this Champagne very easy to drink on its own.

  • Bastianich Flor Prosecco, Italy ($19.99).  A delightful wine with melon and lychee aromas. Off dry, light body, with cinnamon, citrus and peach flavours.  Small bubble.  This is such a fun wine. Start a party with this wine.
  • Champagne de Venoge Cordon Bleu Brut Select NV, France ($62.99). This Champagne is a blend of 2/3 PinotNoir and Pinot Meunier (both red grapes), and 1/3 Chardonnay. Light lemon in colour.  Nice medium toasty nose.  Medium acidity and body.  Citrus, some spice and toasty flavours on the palate.
  • Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Brut N/V, New Zealand ($24.99). I was really surprised by this wine.  It won me over with it’s fresh fruit flavours. Light citrus and stone fruit on the nose.  Lots of flavour in your mouth with citrus, lime, kiwi fruit, and herbal flavours. Small bubble with medium acidity.
  • Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Blanc, 2008, California. Light lemon colour.  Vanilla and spice on the nose.  High acid with small bubbles.  Lemons and green apples greet your tongue. A very nice, elegant dry sparkling wine.

Some Favourite White Wines for 2011

  • Stags Hollow Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc 2010

    Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2009, California.  This is a single vineyard wine.  Medium lemon in colour with tropical fruit and some toasty aromas. Medium body and very soft mouth feel (really silky). Some vanilla and tropical fruit flavours.  Really nice.

  • Waterstone Chardonnay, 2009, California. This is my favourite white wine of the night.  Not a typical Napa Chardonnay.  This wine had a medium pear colour.  Vanilla and bartlett pear aromas. Medium body, soft and round mouthfeel.  Cinnamon and tropical fruit flavours with light acidity.  Nice and fruity, some vanilla with a long dry finish.
  • Stags Hollow Viognier 2010, BC. One of my favourite wines of the tasting. This Viognier was pale in colour with some sweetness, orange, and flower aromas. Very pretty. Tropical fruit and cinnamon flavours.  Medium body.
  • Tantalus Vineyards Riesling 2010, BC. Their Riesling is always on my favourite list. This one is no exception.  It has light lemon, lychee and flowers on the nose.  Off dry, with high acidity to make your mouth water for more.  Red apples and lemon flavours.  Excitement in a glass.
  • Thornhaven Estates Winery Pinot Gris 2010, BC. I think there is something specific about the terroir for this wine that makes this Pinot Gris have a wonderful grapefruit nose and flavour.  I haven’t seen this in other Okanagan Pinot Gris. Pale lemon in colour with red grapefruit nose. Flowery with citrus, grapefruit flavours. Yum.
  • Graffigna Grand Reserve Torrontes 2010 (Argentina). Torrontes is the signature white grape of Argentina.  Very aromatic and a good change from Gewurztraimer or Viognier. Light lemon coloured. Lychee and perfumy nose.  Light body, round, with medium acidity.  Lychee, apricot and cinnamon flavours. Very tasty with a long spicy finish.
  • Pfaffenheim Steinert Grand Cru Gewurztraminer 2007 (France). I love Alsatian wines, and was really looking forward to Pfaffenheim’s wines. Medium lemon colour.  Wonderful lychee nose with a slight touch of sweet spice. Full body. Off dry with lower acidity.  Round mouthfeel with lychee, apricot and flowery flavours.  Very nice.

Some Favourite Red Wines for 2011

  • Santa Rita Pehuen Carmenere 2005

    Kim Crawford Small Parcel “The-Rise-and-Shine” Creek Central Otago Pinot Noir 2007, New Zealand. Central Otago, is inland in the South Island.  The cooler climate allows these grapes have a long hang time and smaller berries, which gives a higher skin to pulp ratio, and more intense, riper, fruit flavours.  Medium purple in the glass with ripe purple fruit and vanilla aromas.  Ripe fruit, cassis, plums and vanilla on the palate.  Medium body and medium length.  Very nice.

  • Vina Santa Rita Pehuen Carmenere 2005, Chile. Pehuen Carmenere is a premium wine from Vina Santa Rita.  Opaque purple in the glass. Dark fruit nose with a whiff of capsicum. Full bodied but with soft tannins.  Ripe black cherries, vanilla and spice on the palate.  A very long length.  Here is a Carmenere you should try.
  • Dusted Valley Grenache, Columbia Valley 2009, Washington. This was such a wonderful wine.  Just the right balance of fruit, tannins, and acidity.  The wine was medium garnet in colour.  Cherry, vanilla and smoky aromas.  Raspberry, cherry, and vanilla on the palate.  Medium bodied with a raspberry finish.
  • 1884 Reservado Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Argentina ($16.99).  This was my red wine deal of the wine tasting. Drink now. Raspberry and cocoa on the nose.  Full body with full ripe cherries and raspberries.  Juicy!  Long finish.
  • Desert Hills Syrah 2007, BC.  Another one of my favourites of the tasting. Almost opaque ruby in colour. Smoky, meaty, and dark fruit nose. Full body, dry tannins, with dark fruit spice and vanilla flavours.  Enjoy this big wine with a nice roast over the winter.
  • Ogier Crozes Hermitage, Les Brunnelles 2008, France ($25.99). This is a Rhone Valley wine. The Rhone Valley produces some fabulous Syrah, and this is one of them. I really liked the aromas of this wine of cassis and plums. Full body with cassis, raspberry, cherry and oak flavours.  Low tannins helped make this wine very approachable.
  • Finca Las Moras Intis Malbec 2010, Argentina. This wine was the surprise wine of the evening.  It is priced at $8.99, and over delivers. Pale ruby colour.  Light aromas of grilled sausage and dark fruit. Medium plus body with medium acidity.  Vanilla, cherry, raspberry and sausage flavours all together. Lots of nice flavours.  Dry with soft tannins.

Some Favourite Fortified Wines

  • Sogrape Vinhos Ferreira 20-Year-Old Duque de Braganca (Portugal). Light tawny colour in the glass. Ripe sweet fruit and Malmsey Madeira nose.  Round mouthfeel, medium sweetness. Apples, plums, chocolate and spice. Nice.
  • Fonseca N/V Terra Prima Organic Port ($31.99).  Rich black fruit nose.  Medium body in your mouth.  Spicy with plums, cherries, and chocolate flavours.  Medium sweetness. Very nice.
  • Mount Baker Vineyards Late Harvest Viognier 2007, Washington (US$20 for a half bottle). Deep lemon in colour.  Pretty nose with peaches, oranges and honey. Unctus in your mouth. Sweet with honey, honeydew melon, and peach flavours. Good acidity to balance this wine. A wonderful wine. Highly recommended to top off a nice meal with family or friends.
  • Fonseca 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Portugal ($63.99).  A tawny port is aged in wooden barrels, which exposes the wine to oxygen causing oxidation. As a result, these wines  gradually turn to a golden-brown colour. The exposure to oxygen also imparts “nutty” flavours to the wine. This wine had caramel and roses aromas in the glass.  Amazing flavour with sweet spices, nuttiness and butterscotch.  Sweet but dry with a long length.  I REALLY liked this wine.

There are many more in my archives, so please check there as well for a specific varietal or style. and of course the blog right here!  Cheers and Happy Holidays to all my friends, near and far.

Salud Chile – Advance Tickets to Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival

Have you been thinking about what to buy for someone who has everything for Christmas? or something for yourself?  How about some advance tickets to the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival?

Tickets just went on sale this week.  The advance tickets are LIMITED, so buy them quickly before they are sold out.   Chile is the theme country for the wine festival.  I’ve been to Chile and visited many wineries and I can tell you that they produce fantastic wines and that I’m really looking forward to seeing the wineries here in Vancouver.  Come try some rising stars: Syrah and Carmenere, along with their well-known Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Here is the announcement from the Festival.


Salud Chile Pack –  3 Events for $219


Buy tickets 604-873-3311
Toll Free: 1-877-321-3121
In Person at: 601 Hamilton Street: Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Box Office
Advance pack price $219 (includes HST and ticket service charges)
The Salud Chile Pack is available by phone or in person only.The Salud Chile Pack includes:

Taste Chile
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
8:00PM to 10:00PM
The Waldorf Hotel

Single Ticket: $55 (Buy Online)

Group Rate (8 or more): $45 (Available only in person and by phone – no web sales)
Kick off the festival with an evening of wine, food and music at the Waldorf Hotel. Let the venue take you back to 1947 while the wines bring you up to speed on what this exciting region has to offer. Despite nearly 500 years of winemaking, Chile’s wine industry is fresh, young, and boldly evolving to meet the needs of today’s consumers. Chilean styled canapés will pair wonderfully with the exceptional wines from more than 20 wineries while the beats of resident DJ El Garzita will set the mood. Celebrate Chile
Saturday, March 3rd, 2012
12:30PM to 2:30PM
Vancouver Convention Centre West
Single Ticket: $99 (Buy Online)  
Group Rate (8 or more): $90  (Available only in person and by phone – no web sales) 
Wines of Chile has tasked VCC Executive Chef Blair Rasmussen with the seemingly impossible task of creating a Chilean themed menu to pair with more than 70 Chilean wines. Chef Rasmussen will no doubt rise to the challenge and create some amazing synergies between our own Pacific Northwest cuisine and the wonderful flavours of Chilean dishes. Your challenge will be to try and figure out which wine and food pairing you love most!

Also included in the price of the Salud Chile Theme Region Pack is an evening session in either the Thursday, Friday or Saturday International Festival Tasting.

International Festival Tasting
Thursday, Friday or Saturday (March 1 to March 3, 2012)
7:00PM to 10:00PM
Vancouver Convention Centre West

Gold Pass – $425 
Thurs – Sat, March 1 – March 3, 2012
VCC West
1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC
Various Times
Advance: $425 (Regular: $460)
Buy tickets 604-873-3311
Toll Free: 1-877-321-3121
In Person at: 601 Hamilton Street: Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Box Office

The Gold Pass is available by phone or in person only (no web sales).Enjoy the red carpet treatment with our Gold Pass. A terrific value, this pass offers incomparable access to the Festival.
* Three evenings (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) in the International Festival Tasting Room (a $285 value) 7:00pm to 10:00pm
* Two afternoons (Thursday and Friday) at the exclusive Trade Tasting sessions in the International Festival Tasting Room (a $80 value) 2:30pm to 5:00pm
* Admission to the Curtain Raiser VIP reception on Thursday from 6:00-7:00 pm (not available for public sale).
*Admission to the Gold Pass Tasting Lounge on Friday and Saturday from 5:30-9:00 pm, featuring:
– A selection of premium wines from the Tasting Room and special events
– Enjoy a selection of canapés and cheeses
($190 value)
* Priority access to the Tasting Room – no line-ups!

International Festival Tasting

Thursday March 1, 2012 / Friday March 2, 2012 / Saturday March 3, 2012
VCC West
1055 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC
7:00pm – 10:00pm
Buy tickets 604-873-3311
Toll Free: 1-877-321-3121
In Person at: 601 Hamilton Street: Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Box Office
International Festival Tasting Tickets are available Online

The Tasting Room offers a unique opportunity to taste rare bottles and discover new treasures as you visit with renowned winery principals from around the globe. At each booth you will find a winery principal, identified by his or her royal blue lanyard. This person is a senior member of the winery, intimately involved in the wine-producing process as a winemaker, proprietor or senior executive. Nowhere else in the world will you find a gathering of these talented men and women pouring wine and answering questions under one roof. Take the opportunity to ask questions and learn from the experts about your favourite wine.

Thursday night’s capacity is guaranteed to be 25 percent lower than the other two evenings, attracting wine collectors and trade professionals who appreciate more room to interact with the winery principals.
Friday is great for groups and the after-work crowd looking to kick off the weekend in style.

Saturday night is perfect for couples and friends wanting to spend a night on the town.

Enjoy Some Stickies and Port for Christmas

Christmas gives you an excuse to indulge in dining, sparkling wine, desserts and more.  In the more category, I’d like to let you know about a few stickies (that’s the Australian term for a fortified wine they produce) and port wines that I tried at the last IVSA Trade tasting.

While these wines may appear expensive, compared to a bottle of wine, you just sip a small amount so these fortified wines will last much longer.  I’d be happy to drink these wines on my own, or share with friends and family, and hope you will too.

Croft 1991 Vintage Port

Croft 1991 Vintage Port, Portugal ($89.49).  Deep ruby in colour with no sign of aging.  Cedar, flowers and plum on the nose.  Very nice aromas. Medium body and medium sweetness with cherries, blackberries and spice.  Long length.  A very high quality wine.  Note that most ports are non-vintage.  A declared vintage happens in years when the grapes are of very high quality and the port produced as well from it.  Not every year is a declared vintage.

Fonseca 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Portugal ($63.99).  A tawny port is aged in wooden barrels, which exposes the wine to oxygen causing oxidation. As a result, these wines  gradually turn to a golden-brown colour. The exposure to oxygen also imparts “nutty” flavours to the wine. This wine had caramel and roses aromas in the glass.  Amazing flavour with sweet spices, nuttiness and butterscotch.  Sweet but dry with a long length.  I REALLY liked this wine.

Broadbent Madeira Rainwater

Broadbent Madeira Rainwater NV, Portugal ($26.99). Have you ever tried Madeira?  Madeira is a fortified Portuguese wine made in the Madeira Islands. From Wikipedia…Madeira is noted for its unique winemaking process which involves heating the wine up to temperatures as high as 60 °C (140 °F) for an extended period of time and deliberately exposing the wine to some levels of oxidation. Because of this unique process, Madeira is a very robust wine that can be quite long lived even after being opened..”  This Madeira is pale toasty orange in colour with a smoky caramel nose.  Sweet with medium body, spicy and nutty, including dark chocolate flavours.  A different wine to try.

Pertaringa Full Fronti

Pertaringa “Full Fronti” Fortified Muscat NV, Australia ($31.99). This wine is what Australians call a “stickie”.  These wines are produced from grapes that have begun to raisin on the vine. Alcohol is added before fermentation completes so that the wine still has some sugar.  This sweet wine is then aged in a solera type system.  Oxidation occurs during the aging process and evaporation in the hot Australian climate. The final result is a concentrated full bodied sticky sweet wine.  This particular wine was light amber in colour.  Big aromas in the glass of orange, caramel and spices.  Medium body, sweet with caramel, spices, nuttiness and orange.  Lots of flavour and lots of fun. I was told that this wine is available at Firefly on Cambie at 12th Ave. in Vancouver.

Enjoy Christmas, and enjoy these dessert style wines.

Are you interested in having a wine tasting of fortified wines?  Contact me at mywinepal.