October Wine Events at BC Liquor Stores

Check out these wine, whisky, and spirits events happening around Vancouver.  Bordeaux release is this month.  Wines of Bodega Garzon in Uruguay should not be missed. Enjoy!

39th & CAMBIE

MAKE YOUR OWN CAESAR WITH TITO’S VODKA
Thursday, October 5
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Create your own Caesar with Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Mott’s Clamato! A gift with purchase of Mott’s Clamato will be available for every Tito’s Handmade Vodka purchase.

BRUICHLADDICH SINGLE MALT WHISKY
Friday, October 6
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Walk through the Isles. From the non-peated Laddie to the heavily peated Port Charlotte, Bruichladdich is anything but the typical whisky.
Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

DISCOVER AWARD WINNING WINES FROM URUGUAY
Saturday, October 7
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Discover wines from the world’s most exciting new wine region, Uruguay! Sample the award-winning wines made by internationally renowned consultant winemaker Alberto Antonini at Bodega Garzon.

BORDEAUX 2014 RELEASE
Saturday, October 14
9:30 a.m.

Join us at select BC Liquor Stores across the province for the much-awaited release of the 2014 vintage of Bordeaux! This is the day that wine lovers and avid collectors will line up to secure their purchases of 2014’s most desirable wines. So come and visit BC Liquor Stores to stake your claim on the rarest wines of the year.

DIAGEO SPECIAL RELEASE SINGLE MALT WHISKIES
Wednesday, October 18
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Come join Stuart Brown, Whisky Consultant for Diageo’s preeminent release as he guides you through some of Scotland’s most exceptional expressions of Scotch whisky including the Dalwhinnie, Caol Ila, and the Oban. Learn about some rare, old, and unusual bottlings from famous and closed distilleries. The tutored tasting will present the small, annual series of Special Release Single Malt Scotch Whiskies from Diageo, all limited edition and usually bottled at cask strength.
Tickets are $50 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

BC LIQUOR STORES NEW & EXCLUSIVES
Thursday, October 19
4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Looking to excite your palate with something NEW? Join our Product Consultants each month for an opportunity to taste new and exclusive wines – only available at BC Liquor Stores. Come and try products hand-picked by our experts in an informative tasting session. This is your chance to talk one-on-one with our Product Consultants to learn about the latest and greatest products that will be the perfect accompaniment to your everyday meals or that special occasion.

WINES OF SPAIN – A TASTING EXPERIENCE
Saturday, October 21
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Spanish wines are fabulous for any occasion! Try the wide range of grape varieties and the many styles of Spanish wines – Albariño, Verdejo, Garnacha, Mencia and Tempranillo along with delicious rosados, cavas, and even the unique wine of Jerez!

CANCELLED EVENT – DOUGLAS LAING PREMIUM SPIRIT RELEASE TASTING
Friday, October 27
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Join us in a special sit down tasting featuring a few Spirit Release whiskies from Independent Bottler, Douglas Laing. Taste the rare 25-Year-Old Ardbeg plus two other single grain whiskies, the Cameronbridge 25-Year-Old, and the Cambus 25-Year-Old (one from a closed distillery).
Tickets are $35 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.
*Unfortunately, this event is cancelled. If you have purchased a ticket, please go to BC Liquor Stores to get your refund.

CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN WITH DIABOLICA
Saturday, October 28
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Join Diabolica for some spooky treats paired with a selection of their delicious wines including the new Diabolica Reincarnation. Glow in the dark silicone glasses will be given away with every purchase.

PARK ROYAL

ENJOY A NOTORIOUSLY GOOD COMBINATION: SLEEMAN AND MCSWEENEY’S JERKY
Thursday, October 5
3:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Taste the perfect pairing of Sleeman Original Draught and McSweeney’s Jerky! This month’s featured jerky flavour is Canadian Maple Pork Jerky.

DISCOVER AWARD WINNING WINES FROM URUGUAY
Friday, October 6
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Discover wines from the world’s most exciting new wine region, Uruguay! Sample the award-winning wines made by internationally renowned consultant winemaker Alberto Antonini at Bodega Garzon.

WINES OF SPAIN – A TASTING EXPERIENCE
Saturday, October 7
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Spanish wines are fabulous for any occasion! Try the wide range of grape varieties and the many styles of Spanish wines – Albariño, Verdejo, Garnacha, Mencia and Tempranillo along with delicious rosados, cavas, and even the unique wine of Jerez!

INTRODUCING 1000 STORIES BOURBON BARREL AGED ZINFANDEL
Thursday, October 12
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Taste the newest and most unique wine, the 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel! Discover their story and find out what makes this wine so special.

BORDEAUX 2014 RELEASE
Saturday, October 14
9:30 a.m.

Join us at select BC Liquor Stores across the province for the much-awaited release of the 2014 vintage of Bordeaux! This is the day that wine lovers and avid collectors will line up to secure their purchases of 2014’s most desirable wines. So come and visit BC Liquor Stores to stake your claim on the rarest wines of the year.

DIAGEO SPECIAL RELEASE SINGLE MALT WHISKIES
Tuesday, October 17
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Come join Stuart Brown, Whisky Consultant for Diageo’s preeminent release as he guides you through some of Scotland’s most exceptional expressions of Scotch whisky including the Dalwhinnie, Caol Ila, and the Oban. Learn about some rare, old, and unusual bottlings from famous and closed distilleries. The tutored tasting will present the small, annual series of Special Release Single Malt Scotch Whiskies from Diageo, all limited edition and usually bottled at cask strength.
Tickets are $50 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

BC LIQUOR STORES NEW & EXCLUSIVES WITH CITY MARKET
Thursday, October 19
5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

This Halloween season, wow your guests with a unique selection of products to serve with food pairing ideas from neighbouring City Market. Try a delectable red, a mouth-watering white, an exceptional whisky, and a delightful Prosecco exclusive to BC Liquor Stores. City Market will in store to provide spooky Halloween food ideas you can easily prepare at home.

SOLD OUT EVENT – TAKE A TRIP TO NAPA WITH O’SHAUGHNESSY WINES
Friday, October 20
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Luke Russ, Commercial Director of O’Shaughnessy Winery in Napa Valley is coming to Vancouver. Join him in an exclusive sit down educational tasting featuring a selection of outstanding premium California wines including the O’Shaughnessy Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

HALLOWINE WITH CASILLERO DEL DIABLO
Friday, October 27
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Do you dare taste the wines from the Devil’s Cellar? Celebrate Halloween with Casillero del Diablo and receive a light up devil’s horns headband with every purchase.

CANCELLED EVENT – DOUGLAS LAING PREMIUM SPIRIT RELEASE TASTING
Saturday, October 28
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Join us in a special sit down tasting featuring a few Spirit Release whiskies from Independent Bottler, Douglas Laing. Taste the rare 25-Year-Old Ardbeg plus two other single grain whiskies, the Cameronbridge 25-Year-Old, and the Cambus 25-Year-Old (one from a closed distillery).
Tickets are $35 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.
*Unfortunately, this event is cancelled. If you have purchased a ticket, please go to BC Liquor Stores to get your refund.

ABBOTSFORD

CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING WITH SUMAC RIDGE
Friday, October 6
3:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Join us for a special Sumac Ridge Estate Winery cheese and wine pairing with a special gift with purchase – buy 2 bottles and receive a premium Italian 500ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil – perfect for Thanksgiving!

OTHER STORES

BORDEAUX 2014 RELEASE
Saturday, October 14
9:30 a.m.

Join us at select BC Liquor Stores across the province for the much-awaited release of the 2014 vintage of Bordeaux! This is the day that wine lovers and avid collectors will line up to secure their purchases of 2014’s most desirable wines. So come and visit BC Liquor Stores to stake your claim on the rarest wines of the year.

This event will take place at the following BC Liquor Stores at the time specified above:
39th & Cambie
Alberni & Bute
Park Royal
Brighouse
Dunbar
Westwood Centre
Langley
SOLO
Peninsula Village
Fort Street
Kamloops Columbia Place
Kelowna Orchard Park
Prince George Pine Centre

*Please visit www.bcliquorstores.com for updates regarding 2014 Bordeaux.

BC LIQUOR STORES NEW & EXCLUSIVES
Thursday, October 19

*Time of tasting varies per store. Please check the announcement board at each BC Liquor Store location for the most up to date schedule.
Looking to excite your palate with something NEW? Join our Product Consultants each month for an opportunity to taste new and exclusive wines – only available at BC Liquor Stores. Come and try products hand-picked by our experts in an informative tasting session. This is your chance to talk one-on-one with our Product Consultants to learn about the latest and greatest products that will be the perfect accompaniment to your everyday meals or that special occasion.

This event will be at the following BC Liquor Stores at these times:
8th & Cambie – 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
39th & Cambie – 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Abbotsford – 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Alberni & Bute – 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Dunbar – 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Fleetwood – 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Fort Street – 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Highgate Village – 3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Kamloops Columbia Place – 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Kelowna Mission Park – 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Kelowna Orchard Park – 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Langley – 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Nicola Station – 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Nordel Crossing – 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Northgate – 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Park Royal –  5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Peninsula Village – 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Penticton Plaza – 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Prince George Pine Centre – 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Richmond Brighouse – 4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Richmond Ironwood – 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
SOLO – 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Vernon – 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Victoria Westshore – 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Westwood Centre – 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Save the date…On Saturday, November 4th at 9:30 a.m. the 2017 Premium Spirit Release collection will be available for purchase in 30 stores across the province. Information about the release will be posted on www.bcliquorstores.comsoon.

Get a chance to purchase a bottle of the coveted Pappy Van Winkle bourbon! Click here for more details on how to enter.

A sneak peak of November…

39th & CAMBIE

THE NORTHERN BORDER COLLECTION MASTER CLASS WITH DAVE MITTON
Wednesday, November 1
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Join the Global Canadian Whisky Ambassador Dave Mitton, as he talks about the rich history of Canadian Whisky in a special sit down master class. He will take you through the premium Northern Border Collection Rare Range – a limited edition release showcasing the depth and uniqueness of Canadian Whisky. Don’t miss out on this rare chance to learn and taste the best in Canadian Whisky!
Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

THE MACALLAN AND HIGHLAND PARK PREVIEW TASTING
Thursday, November 2
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Join Dan Volway, Scotch Ambassador, in a special stand up preview tasting featuring Macallan’s and Highland Park’s finest releases for the 2017 Premium Spirit Release. Learn about the brand and the unique taste profiles of each of these high end whiskies in a social relaxed environment while engaging in conversations with individuals that share the same interest in scotch whisky.
Note: This event is a standing room reception style tasting.
Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

PARK ROYAL

THE NORTHERN BORDER COLLECTION MASTER CLASS WITH DAVE MITTON
Friday, November 3
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Join the Global Canadian Whisky Ambassador Dave Mitton, as he talks about the rich history of Canadian Whisky in a special sit down master class. He will take you through the premium Northern Border Collection Rare Range – a limited edition release showcasing the depth and uniqueness of Canadian Whisky. Don’t miss out on this rare chance to learn and taste the best in Canadian Whisky!
Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at any BC Liquor Store location.

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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.

Wine Country Half Marathons in USA and Canada

If you are a long distance runner and live in either BC, Washington, Oregon, or California, there is a wine-related race for you.  Details below.  Enjoy!

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Destination Races

Destination Races (Image courtesy http://destinationraces.com/runbc/)

March 26, 2015 – Sonoma, Calif. – Destination Races, creator of the Wine Country Half Marathon Series, has partnered with game-changing brands across respected categories to expand its on-course and off-course consumer experience. Newton Running is back for the second year as the series Presenting Sponsor; Alaska Airlines has become the Presenting Sponsor of the Wine and Music Festival; Fitbit as the market leader in connected health and fitness, CamelBak hydration systems, GU Energy Labs athlete nutrition and SOLS’ custom 3D printed insoles are also new to the Series this year and will extend their partnerships to 2016 and 2017. Each sponsor will offer a unique and captivating experience to the Wine Country Half Marathon Series.

Destination Races has attracted a complementary and collaborative sponsor portfolio that will be instrumental to helping heighten the race weekend experience for all participants. The sponsor portfolio reflects the Destination Races brand mission: To deliver unforgettable race experiences celebrating why we run – capturing imaginations, encouraging camaraderie, inspiring courage and fueling passions.

Today’s race event landscape and half marathon calendars are booming, and consumers face a flood of race choices. As a result, sponsor brands are getting lost in the noise. According to Running USA, nearly two million people finished a half-marathon in the U.S. last year, an all-time high and a fourfold increase from 2000. Yet, there are few “destination” races that really capitalize on the local experience around the half marathon event while also creating several intimate opportunities for the racers to interact with the multiple supporting brands.

Sponsors are rethinking their strategies and seeking higher-quality events that offer more than just a start, finish and medal. Destination Races offers sponsors multiple intimate events, receptions and activities in which to interact with key active consumers. The seven wine country half marathons, spanning across prominent wine regions in North America, offer signature, hand-selected settings and tastefully planned schedules that can be experienced over an unforgettable three-day weekend. Destination Races offers the perfect race weekend for runners and food and wine enthusiasts alike, complete with scenic courses, post-race Wine and Music festivals, and exclusive access to renowned wineries, gourmet tastings and local personalities.

Each individual race within the series is set apart and unique to the local region. Destination Races works with the tourism boards and winery associations along with the wine makers themselves to offer the very best of the different wine regions. This also gives participants access to exclusive local hotels and B&Bs during the weekend, often at special rates.

“Destination Races offers a first-class, memorable lifestyle experience that is relatively unique to the endurance industry,” states Destination Races founder and President Matt Dockstader. “We feel it’s important to partner with brands that share our goals and have a passion not only for running, but also the high-touch, wine country experience. We are extremely excited to showcase all these fantastic brands and their creative activations in our series this year!”

Other noteworthy partners of Destination Races include Clif Bar, Kicking Horse Organic Fair Trade Coffee, Purity Organic Juices, Calistoga Olive Oil, RedFox Wireless Headphones, Krave Jerky, Hint Water, ElliptiGO, Zim’s Max-Freeze Muscle and Joint Pain Reliever, Enduropacks Nutrition System, Scharffen Berger Chocolates, Stance Socks, and Lagunitas Brewing

About Destination Races
Destination Races, based in Sonoma, California, is the pioneer producer of the Wine Country Half Marathon Series. Founded in 2004, the Wine Country Half Marathon Series consists of seven races across prestigious wine regions in North America. Offering unforgettable experiences on and off the course, including the popular post-race wine and music festival, runners travel far and wide for these boutique destination races. The race series attracts elite runners as well as food and wine enthusiasts who share their common bond of running and celebration. The Wine Country Half Marathon Series has limited fields in each event to ensure the participants and their guests can enjoy all the race weekends have to offer, including exclusive winery tours, plus receptions and dinners featuring the local bounty at esteemed wineries and other unique venues.

Current races include – Santa Barbara, Northern Virginia, Napa-to-Sonoma, Oregon (Willamette Valley), Kelowna, B.C., Healdsburg, and Temecula Valley, California.

For more information on the event series and Destination Races, go to http://www.destinationraces.com, friend them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter @winecountryhalf, and see exclusive race images on Instagram

BC Wine Appreciation Society 10th Anniversary Gala – Get Your Tickets

Do you love BC wine, or want to try BC wine?  Here is a great chance at the 10th Anniversary Gala of the BC Wine Appreciation Society.   Their announcement is below.  Enjoy!

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BC Wine Appreciation Society logo10th Anniversary Gala-Over 45 Wineries – April 16/15

Sixth Annual Taste Of Tulalip Tickets Go On Pre-Sale July 18

Taste of TulalipI know this post is just a little late, but holidays are needed by us all.  The Taste of Tulalip is one of my favorite events of the year with great food and wine from the Tulalip Resort Casino and Washington State wineries, and more.  This event sells out quickly, so avoid disappointment and get your tickets now.  Here is the latest announcement from the Taste of Tulalip.

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Tulalip, Washington — “Buy early; get in,” says Tulalip Resort Casino President/COO Ken Kettler. He is referring to the line of disappointed Taste of Tulalip fans that were unable to enjoy the award-winning November weekend of wine, food and tradition, as the 2013 event sold out. This year tickets will go on pre-sale at 9:00 a.m. PDT on July 18. Seats for the Friday, November 14 celebration dinner may be purchased by calling (360) 716-6888, and the passes for the Saturday, November 15 events can be paid for via Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.com/.

The weekend kicks-off with Friday night’s multi-course Celebration Dinner, prepared by Executive Chef Perry Mascitti and his team, paired with premium wines from around the globe selected by sommelier Tommy Thompson. Seating is limited to 400 guests. Saturday is filled with a plethora of wine and food demos, chef challenges, a wine seminar, a VIP Magnum party and is capped with the Grand Taste – featuring over 120 wineries from Washington, Oregon, California, New Zealand and Germany, along with a craft beer “pool garden”. Attendance is limited to 2,000.

Taste of Tulalip’s 2014 culinary guest stars include public television show host and producer Ming Tsai along with wine columnist, author and educator Anthony Giglio. Both will be featured at events throughout the weekend. The honorary winemaker is Woodinville Wine Cellar’s maestro Sean Boyd. Local Fox Q13 television celeb Bill Wixey returns for a second year as guest emcee and will be joined by fellow team member Kaci Aitchison.

Tickets are priced at:

  • Celebration Dinner $195
  • All Access Saturday Pass $350
  • Grand Taste $95

Hotel rooms and spa appointments will become near and dear during this two-day extravaganza. Kettler also suggests that guests reserve their getaway room early at the AAA Four Diamond resort by going to http://www.tulalipresort.com or phoning 1-866-716-7162.

In Search of Paella in Spain – Part 2

Moving from the small, seaside city of Castellon, I was entertained by the Old World charm of Valencia, and the youthful vibrancy of Barcelona. But with one thing still on my mind: Paella!  The locals say that the best paella is always found at restaurants along the beach.  So while in Valencia, I headed to the beach, with it’s beautiful silky, sand, and sun tanned bodied, and found the restaurant of my quest; “Restaurante La Pepica“.  This restaurant is an establishement to say the least, being located there for more than 100 years, and being visited by such celebrities such as Ernest Hemmingway!  They must know what they are doing with paella, and I was right.

Although Paella Valenciana, made with chicken and rabbit, is the namesake for Valencia, I was on the beach, and needed to try seafood, so I ordered Paella Mariscos.  The paella came, with the rice forming a thin layer in the pan.  I could see that the edges of the pan had bits of “burnt” rice, which is crunchy and one of my favourite parts of a rice dish.  The paella was made simply, topped with prawns, then mixed in the rice were fish, shrimp and squid.  The rice was al dente, but I think that this is normal, as I’ve tried 7 paellas to date and all but 1 were al dente.

Paella mariscos and a glass of rosado wine

Paella mariscos and a glass of rosado wine

Squeezing lemon on the dish allowed the citrus flavours to brighten the earthiness from the spices in the rice, and make the seafood come alive.  This was the perfect paella while I have been in Spain.  To enjoy with this paella, I of course had a bottle of wine; a local rosado from the Valencia region.  It was made from Cabernet Sauvignon, which is quite surprising, but it was very tasty with sour cherries and strawberry flavours and a very smooth round mouthfeel.  A perfect pairing.  If you ever go to Valencia, Spain, visit Restaurante La Pepica, and raise a toast to Ernest Hemmingway!

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!

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.

Nicli Antica Pizzeria Introduces Appassionato Menu

Nicli AnticaHere is a chance to enjoy authentic Neapolitan pizza with a friend or significant other, and get entered to win a bottle of wine!  Info from Nicli Antica Pizzeria is below. Enjoy!

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(Vancouver, BC) – Everyone knows that the Italians are a passionate people – legendary lovers, great artists, superb wine-makers and amazing cooks who insist on only the finest ingredients. They don’t do anything by half measures and throw their heart and soul into the fine art of living well.

Margherita pizza at Nicli Antica

Neapolitan pizza at Nicli Antica

Starting Monday, March 3rd, Nicli will give you the opportunity to wine and dine like a true passionale Italian. Nicli is combining its amore of fine vino and Neapolitan pizza in a special three-course prix fixe Pizza Appassionato Menu for Two priced at $45. Each menu includes a shared antipasti, two pizzas and dessert. The Pizza Appassionato Menu is available only Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for either lunch or dinner and it will change weekly to reflect the seasonal availability of ingredients.

If that isn’t enough to set your heart a-flutter, each time a Pizza Appassionato Menu for Two is purchased, one name will be entered into a monthly draw to win a very special bottle of wine. Each month will showcase a different wine and the odds of winning depend solely on how many menus are sold during that month. March’s wine is a very special bottle – Flaccianello delle Pieve 2009 (100 per cent Sangiovese) which retails for $250.  The only stipulation is that the wine must be enjoyed with your next meal at Nicli.

Monthly draws will take place at 4 p.m. on the last Friday of the month and winners will be notified within 24 hours. Winners will also be posted to our Facebook page.

The inaugural Pizza Appassionato Menu for Two will be offered March 3-5 and includes:

  •  Antipasti (to share): Mozzarella di Bufala Campania, confit grape tomatoes, pesto, balsamic reduction with parmesan-oregano flatbread
  • Pizze (choose one of each option or two of one):Option One- pomodoro, grana padano, fior di latte, oregano, sliced red onions and Two Rivers dry-cured chorizo  Option Two: EVOO, grana padano, roasted red onions, gorgonzola, Serrano ham, arugula and a balsamic reduction
  • Dolci (one each): house made vanilla gelato with Sicilian olive oil and sea salt

Drop by Nicli Antica Pizzeria any Monday through Wednesday for lunch or dinner, indulge your love of pizza by ordering the Pizza Appassionato Menu for Two, and you could also win a superb bottle of Italian wine. Now that’s amore!

Multi-award winning Nicli Antica Pizzeria is the first VPN (Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana) certified Neapolitan pizzeria in Vancouver. It recently won Silver at the 2014 Vancouver International Wine Festival Wine List Awards,  ‘Best Pizza’ from the WestEnder’s Best of the City Awards and ‘Best Pizza’ from the Georgia Straight’s Gold Plates.