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February 11th, 2023- Anthony Gismondi & The National Wine Awards of Canada


The National Wine Awards of Canada – 2022

With Co-Founder Anthony Gismondi.




 Our guest is the highly respected wine writer, reviewer, and industry leader Anthony Gismondi.

Anthony Gismondi

Anthony Gismondi is a Canadian wine journalist and one of North America’s most influential wine voices. His twice-weekly column in The Vancouver Sun, which he has written since 1989, is read across Canada through Postmedia Network, reaching close to 10 million readers.

His comprehensive wine review website, one of the first such sites on the internet, features over 30,000 tasting notes, added daily. It is an important resource for trade and consumers in Canada and 114 other countries.

Anthony hosts BC Food & Wine Radio Show the longest-running, weekly wine and food show on Canadian radio for 25 years. The one-hour show is broadcast on 20 radio stations across British Columbia and is available everywhere as a podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify, and more.

Gismondi is the co-founder of the annual National Wine Awards of Canada, the largest and broadest competition for Canadian Wine since its inception 21 years ago. Anthony continues to run the annual event as co-chair. He is also the editor of the Canada wine section in the world’s best-selling wine book Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book. In addition, Anthony is a much sought-after moderator and consultant.


He will occasionally post as ‘The Spitter”


The 21st running of the National Wine Awards of Canada wrapped up on June 23 in Niagara.  After much deliberation and number checking,  the results rolled out on July 15th, starting with Sparkling Wines. 

The rest of the category results were rolled out throughout the rest of July, with the final Platinum, Best Performing Small Winery, and Winery of the Year announcements coming at the end of the month.  (We’ve included links to all the results below)

Co-Head Judges Anthony Gismondi and David Lawrason

The 2022 National Wine Awards of Canada were founded by David Lawrason and Anthony Gismondi, ‘The Nationals’ are the largest and most respected Canadian wine competition.

In 2022, 24 judges tasted 1,890 entries from more than 250 wineries. Canadian wine is indeed gathering acclaim internationally, but ‘The Nationals’ is the most important peer competition local wineries can enter.

With nearly every producer of note in the country competing, making it to the top ten of any category list is special. Getting on the annual list of the Top 25 Wineries in Canada is one of the most sought accolades in the business.


Judges and Admin Staff of the National Wine Awards of Canada

The entries came from eight provinces. British Columbia had the highest representation with 137 wineries entered, Ontario came second with 87, followed by wineries from Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

The wines were all served blind (producer, origin, and price were not revealed) but identified and organized into flights by grape variety or style. The top medalists were tasted in multiple rounds by many different judges.

The judges only tasted a limited quantity of wines each day so their palates could stay fresh and focused, and the wines were served in high-quality glasses at just the right temperature. All this was to ensure that each wine was treated with the respect it deserves.

Finally, after an exhilarating series of announcements on July 29 WineAlign were thrilled to conclude their results with Canada’s Winery of the Year, the Top 25 Wineries in Canada, the Top 10 B.C. Wineries and the Top 10 Ontario Wineries.


Congratulations to all the winners of the 2022 National Wine Awards of Canada!




Medal Winners by Category:

Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Sauvignon
Icewine & Late Harvest
Mead, Fruit Wine & Fortified
Orange Wines (extended skin contact)
Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio
Pinot Noir
Red Blends
Red Single Varieties – Others
Sauvignon Blanc
White Single Varieties – Others
White Blends




Meet the Maker

Culmina and Laughing Stock

Every Chef needs a Farmer  Every Farmer needs a Chef

Kitten Swish with Brad Royale

Van Wine Fest





January 28th, 2023: A Spirits Special – The Five Bottle Bar Book and Single Malt 006 from Eau Claire.  


A Spirits Special – The Five Bottle Bar  and Single Malt 006 from Eau Claire.




Eau Claire Master Distiller Caitlin Quinn.

Caitlin Quinn


This edition of TRR started with the arrival of a handsome  bottle of  Eau Claire Single Malt Whisky 006 (Bottle 1681)


It’s the sixth single malt release from Eau Claire Distillery’s award-winning whisky program and their  first six-year-old batch release.

Aged in New European Oak (Hungarian), Ex-Bourbon (American) & Ex-Sherry(French)barrels. They made 3000 bottles total. $109 in Tasting Room.

This is such a sip to celebrate.

Caitlin and I talk about the aroma notes of caramel, berries and Granny Smith Green Apple

Taste of Butterscotch,  Cloves and spice.

Think about it – Caramel and Butterscotch in a sip.

With a long finish.

There’s also a reference under style I Liked – Moreish.

I thought it referred to the historical  Moors.  Caitlin replied  

“No. It means more please!”


Two interesting points Caitlin makes…

This Single Malt won Best Canadian Single Malt Whisky of the Year –

New York International Spirits Competition – 2022


Because of the extremes of cold in Winter and heat in Summer in Turner Valley, the cellaring of these spirits makes them age more rapidly.

I think the Turner Valley malted barley helps.

Thank you Mother Nature.


Caitlin also tells us about what’s coming later on this year.


The Five Bottle Bar – Reference Book from Author and Ampersand co-founder Jessica Schacht

When the book arrived I knew we had another spirits feature show.

Jessica presents  a collection of cocktail recipes that rely on just five bottles to build your bartending style with ease and confidence.

Five bottles around which your inner bartender can emerge with skill, savvy and a little flare for the dramatic when it’s called for.

Jessica Schacht believes with a little curation and mastery of the basics, we can succeed at elevating the everyday and cultivating a good cocktail hour.

Jessica Schacht – Author

The bottles? 

Gin, Whiskey, Sweet and Dry Vermouth, and Campari (plus bonus recipes for Bubbly). The setting: living room, backyard, window seat, and the wild beyond.

The mixologist? You!!

In this beautifully photographed collection, Jessica Schacht, co-founder of Ampersand Distilling Company, presents her take on classics (like the G & T, the Old Fashioned, the Martini, and the Negroni), collections (sours, punches, and such), and contemporaries (a few inventive new drinks to pique your creativity).

There’s a chapter of zero-proofs in part inspired by the abundance of new alcohol-free spirits on the market now, and another dedicated to keeping your vacation drinks game classy, from the airplane to the B&B to the beach.

In addition to the recipes The Five-Bottle Bar supplies a solid foundation in bartending basics. Tools, techniques, suggestions on glassware and garnishes, the condensed history of spirits, and tips for setting up your minimalist bar cart.


Jessica also recommends The Five Bottle Bar – by region.

For British Columbia:

Ampersand Gin

Stillhead Rye Whisky

Imperative Dry vermouth

Esquimalt Wine Co. Sweet Vermouth

The Woods Amero


Jessica Schacht is the cofounder of the multigenerational family-run Ampersand Distilling Company and author of the History Glass column in the Cowichan Valley Voice. She is grateful to live in the Cowichan Valley in the home she shares with her husband and sons.

This is a fun, engaging read.

We intend to reconnect with Jessica when the heat of The Sun finally returns to our lives.




Fort Berens new releases

Okanagan Wine Festivals

Lt. Governors Awards

Vancouver Wine Festival

Fat Mao Downtown

Angus An and Kurtis Kolt






January 21st 2023 Kimberly Hundertmark – New GM at Okanagan Wine Festivals


Kimberly Hundertmark – New GM at Okanagan Wine Festivals/Winter Festival events start Sunday


It was perhaps 12 years ago when Jason Priestley and I were shooting Hollywood and Vines TV with producer Chad Oakes. Our journey took us to Niagara and their yearly wine festival.

Our host was Kimberly Hundertmark, Executive Director of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festivals. Immediately,  we were hitting the ground running, just to keep up.

While Kimberly watched over our television interviews and necessary production, she was also leading the team members who were running her festival events.

We were much impressed with Kimberly’s drive and leadership. She had created a framework that turned Niagara’s Wine festivals into “don’t miss” events.

Kimberley Hundertmark

We also got to meet her husband, winemaker Jeff Hundertmark.

Between events we answered questions they had about BC Wines and how the future was looking out West.

Something clicked because in 2017  they said a long goodbye to their friends in Niagara and showed up in the Okanagan Valley.

Geoff to continue making wines and Kimberly taking on wine and hospitality teamwork.

It was only a matter of time before the valley realized what they had in these two delightful and driven people!

Jeff is now the head winemaker at Mt Boucherie and Rust Wine Co and Kimberly had been named the new GM of Okanagan Wine Festivals.



This feature interview with Kimberly is more like a celebration.

Not only is she going to make the Okanagan Wine Festivals better than they’ve ever been, she’s going to lead the reimagining of what those wine and food festivals will look, smell, sound  and feel like.


2023 starts with the reimagining of the Winter Wine Festival


The Okanagan Wine Festivals will partner with Predator Ridge to deliver  a Burgundy inspired event Sunday  January 22  featuring festival partners well known for their  Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.


The Grande Finale takes place January 27 and 28 with event partners in Penticton and Oliver.


SensationAn Eve for the Senses on January 27th  at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre and will feature wine and culinary pairings!


On Saturday, January 28th,  the Okanagan Winter Wine Festival will move south to The District  Wine Village in Oliver.

The afternoon’s programming will include District partners as well as festival wineries  showcasing curated experiences as part of the TASTE Passport.   

Each TASTE Passport includes six vouchers which are redeemed for an elevated tasting  experience from the participating beverage partners. This is a one stop tasting experience  unique to the Winterfest program.

“The launch of the Okanagan Winter Wine Festival is long overdue. The Okanagan Valley’s  wine industry is positioned to help build shoulder season visitation alongside our partner  stakeholders.

Extended visitation and audience reach has a substantial impact on local  economy, particularly during the winter months. The time is right, and the Okanagan Wine  Festival is committed to a festival re-imagined” says Kimberly Hundertmark, General Manager.


All tickets are available through

We welcome Kimberly Hundertmark (and the guy she brought with her)


Mark deVere Mondavi Ambassador/ Master of Wine

Second guest is Mark deVere.  Master of Wine representing Robert Mondavi Wines at the 2022 VanWineFest

For those who may not know, the very first winery that signed on for the very first VanWineFest was Mondavi.

Robert himself attended.

Whoever speaks on behalf of this world famous winery had best  come equipped with stories,  insights and deep history.

These days the storyteller is Mark deVere Master of Wine and Mondavi Ambassador.




Crush Pad becomes Haywire –

New Releases


Five Bottle Bar

Fort Berens

Black Swift and Jason Parkes Customs

Van Wine Fest




December 24th, 2022 The Wine Diva has delivered another End-of-the-Year Wine List.


Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

2022 Top 100 Wines under $20

And 88 Points or Better



17,732 Christmas Wine Illustrations & Clip Art - iStock

As promised Daenna van Mulligen – The Wine Diva has delivered another End-of-the-Year Wine List.

I like this one a lot.. Keep in mind Daenna tastes 1000’s of wines a year. That’s what makes these wines special.

All of these wines have been tasted, judged and found to be well made wines. All were $20 or Under and 88  points or better.


Daenna Van Mulligen


Bang for the buck.

Aside from being affordable, these  wines are all crafted with passion and skill.

We can’t go through all 100 but we’ll do our best.

Find all of the Wine Diva’s lists at

For a deeper dive check out

Here we GO:  


  •  Grow Wild ‘Rapturous Red’, Okanagan Valley, BC $16.99
  • Monte del Fra Bardolino DOC, Custoza, Verona Italy $17.99
  • Oops ‘Spicy Splendor’ Carmenere, Central Valley Chile $12.99
  • Gil Family Estates ‘Zagalin’ Monastrell, Jumilla, Spain $13.49
  • Petrichor Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley BC $19.99
  • Grow Wild ‘Enchanting White’ Okanagan Valley, BC $16.99
  • El Petit Bonhomme, Jumilla Spain $17.99 12. Chateau Dereszla Harslevelu, Tokaji, Hungary $20.00
  • Augey Merlot~Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, France $15.00
  • Crudo Nero d’Avola~Cabernet Sauvignon, Sicily, Italy $20.00
  • Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards ‘The Lookout’ Riesling, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Santo Cristo Garnacha, Campo de Borja, Spain $17.00
  • Escorihuela ‘1884’ Estate Grown Malbec~Cabernet, Mendoza Argentina $19.99
  • Les Vignerons du Castelas Rose Rose, Rhone Valley, France $16.99
  • Les Vignerons du Castelas Cotes du Rhone Rose, Rhone Valley, France $20.00
  • Rupert Wines ‘Protea’ Dry Rose, Western Cape South Africa $15.99
  • Harper’s Trail ‘Pioneer Block’ Thadd Springs Vineyard Riesling, Thompson Valley, BC $20.00
  • Stag’s Hollow ‘Tragically Vidal’, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Nicosia Grillo, Terre Sicilane, Sicily, Italy $19.99
  • Bartier Bros. Rose, Okanagan Valley, BC $18.99
  • Gnarly Head Chardonnay, California $20.00
  • Undurraga ‘8 Rios’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile $12.99
  • Stag’s Hollow Syrah Rose, Okanagan Valley N/A
  • Quails’ Gate Dry Riesling, Okanagan Valley $19.99
  • Sperling Vineyards Pinot Noir Rose, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Harper’s Trail Rose, British Columbia $20.00
  • Fort Berens Estate Winery Rose, Lillooet BC $20.00
  • Harper’s Trail ‘Field Blend White’, British Columbia N/A
  • Sasso dei Lupi ‘Sestavia’ Viognier~Chardonnay, Umbria $19.21
  • Cantine Leuci Primitivo, Salento, Puglia, Italy $19.99
  • Lakeside Cellars ‘Portage White’, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Fort Berens Estate Winery Pinot Gris, British Columbia $20.00
  • Sandhill Sovereign Opal, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Sandhill Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Spier ‘Signature’ Merlot, Stellenbosch Western Cape, South Africa $13.99
  • Escorihuela ‘1884’ Estate Grown Syrah, Mendoza Argentina $17.99
  • Domaine De L’Olivette Rouge, Pays d’Oc, Southern France $17.99
  • Spier ‘Signature Collection’ Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch South Africa $13.99
  • Luigi Bosca ‘La Linda Private Selection’ Old Vines Malbec, Mendoza Argentina $19.99
  • Gray Monk Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley BC $19.99
  • Terranoble Pinot Noir, Casablanca Valley, Chile $18.99
  • Gray Monk Rose, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Quails’ Gate Rose, Okanagan Valley BC $20.00
  • Pere Ventura Primer Reserva Brut Cava, Penedes, Spain $20.00
  • Pere Ventura ‘Chic’ Barcelona Brut, Penedes Spain $18.00
  • Rupert Wines ‘Protea’ Chenin Blanc, Western Cape South Africa $14.49
  • Falernia Carmenere Reserve Single Vineyard Pedriscal, Elqui Valley Chile $19.99
  • Grand May Grenache & Cinsault Rose, France $14.00
  • Falernia ‘Gran Reserva’ Syrah, Elqui Valley Chile $19.99
  • Vina Chocalan Sauvignon Blanc Reserva, Maipo Valley, Chile $15.99
  • Vina Chocalan Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Maipo Valley, Chile $17.99
  • El Petit Bonhomme Blanco, Rueda Spain $17.99
  • Pascual Toso ‘Limited Edition’ Malbec, Mendoza Argentina $20.00
  • Bottega ‘Il Vino dei Poeti’ Prosecco Rose Brut, Italy $19.99
  • Luigi Bosca Malbec, Mendoza Argentina $24.99
  • Zorzal ‘Terroir Unico’ Malbec, Tupungato Valley, Mendoza, Argentina $19.99
  • Finca Sophenia ‘Altosur Red Blend’ Gualtallary, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina $18.99
  • Finca Los Moras Barrel Select Tannat Reserve, San Juan Argentina $16.99
  • De Bortoli ’17 Trees’ Shiraz, Australia $19.99
  • Hester Creek Pinot Gris~Viognier, Okanagan Valley BC $17.00
  • Hester Creek Cabernet Franc Rose, Okanagan Valley BC $20.00
  • Norton ‘Perdriel Series’ Cabernet Franc, Mendoza, Argentina $19.99
  • Yalumba ‘Y Series’ Viognier, South Australia $16.99
  • Yalumba ‘Organic’ Viognier, South Australia $20.00
  • Grow Wild ‘Ravishing Rose’ Okanagan Valley, BC $16.99
  • El Esteco ‘Blend de Extremos’ Cabernet~Cabernet, Argentina $19.00
  • Hester Creek Pinot Blanc, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, BC $18.00
  • Seven Terraces Pinot Noir, Canterbury New Zealand $20.00
  • Two Tradesmen Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles California $20.00
  • See Ya Later Ranch Gewurztraminer, Okanagan Valley, BC $17.99
  • O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Gewurztraminer, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Two Tradesmen Red, Paso Robles California $20.00
  • Two Tradesmen Chardonnay, Central Coast California $18.00
  • See Ya Later Ranch Riesling, Okanagan BC $16.99
  • Seven Terraces Pinot Rose, Marlborough New Zealand $20.00
  • Seven Terraces Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough New Zealand $19.99
  • Pentage Winery Rose, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Kono Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand $18.99
  • Bartier Bros. Gruner Veltliner Okanagan Valley, BC $17.99
  • Undurraga ‘Sibaris’ Gran Reserva Carmenere, Colchagua Valley Chile
  • Aldegheri Custosa “La Rune” Veneto Italy


Find all of Deanna Van Mulligen’s lists at

Thank you Daenna

Thank You Corey Wood

Thank you Meg Foster Mulligan

Thanks John DeVries

Thank you Duke

Thank you Damian and Dano


Merry Christmas Everyone.

Happy Holidays!





Wine Diva Top 50 Wines of 2022

Jackson Family buy another Cowichan Winery(Blue Grouse)

Q&A Bordeaux Blend is released

Hester Creek

JPCustoms new releases

Eau Claire Single Malt Whisky 006

Winemakers Cup New Releases




December 17th, 2022-THE WINE DIVA YEAR END LISTS –Wine Gifts and Sparkling Wine


THE WINE DIVA YEAR END LISTS – This Week. Wine Gifts and Sparkling Wine

Daenna van Mulligen

We are taking an epic journey to  The Wine Diva’s Palace.

Thing is – she lives in the basement.

It really belongs to Daenna van Mulligen who created the Wine Diva Web Site. and it’s partner site   Plus wrote the book Jace’s Journey

Daenna van Mulligen is an accredited sommelier, wine judge, wine writer and reviewer, public speaker and a long time friend.

Daenna tastes and makes amazing notes on 1000s  of wines  each year. When possible she travels to vineyards all over the World.  She writes stories and reviews for Vines , TASTE, Montecristo and Vitis Magazines.

We have been celebrating her Wine Diva  end of the year wine lists for at least 10 years. To experience all of her year end lists just go to

This year is going to be like a Wine Super Bowl.

Are you ready?

This week Daenna starts things off with two lists for 2022.


Special bottles that someone might not buy for themselves. Singular and expressive bottles that are perfect for a special occasion.

Christmas Wine Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash



  • Robin Ridge Gamay, Similkameen Valley BC
  • Monte Del Fra ‘Ca Del Magro DOC Custoza Superiore,Veneto Italy $24.99
  • Township 7 Vineyards & Winery ‘Benchmark Series’ Syrah, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Taylor Fladgate 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Duoro, Portugal $72.99
  • Painted Rock ‘Red Icon’, Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley BC $80.00
  • Massimo Rivetti Family Farm ‘Aurelia’ Arneis, Langhe, Italy $26.99
  • Upper Case Winery Chardonnay, British Columbia N/A
  • Quails’ Gate ‘Stewart Family Reserve’ Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley $49.00
  • Clos du Soleil Fume Blanc, Okanagan Valley $22.00
  • SpearHead Pinot Noir ‘Saddle Block’, Okanagan Valley BC $40.00
  • Winemaker’s Cut ‘Bohemian’ Riesling, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Familia Zingarelli ‘Rocca della Macie’ Chianti Classico Riserva, Tuscany, Italy $30.00
  • Mazzei ‘Ser Lapo’ Chianti Classico Riserva, Tuscany, Italy $32.99
  • Ricasoli ‘Castello di Brolio’ Chianti Classico Gran Selezione, Tuscany, Italy $75.00
  • Hester Creek Semillon, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Bartier Bros. Grenache~Syrah~Mourvedre, Okanagan Valley BC $45.00
  • Lakeside Cellars Cabernet Franc, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Gold Hill Syrah, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Domaine Gayrard Loin de L’oil, Gaillac, France $34.99
  • Barone di Valforte Montepulciano d’Abbruzzo, Italy $23.00
  • TerreLab by Gold Hill ‘Winemakers Series’ Tempranillo, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Stag’s Hollow Pinot Noir, Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard, Okanagan Falls, BC N/A
  • Clos du Soleil ‘Winemaker’s Series’ Middle Bench Vineyard Pinot Blanc, Similkameen Valley, BC N/A
  • Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Estate Cuvee Chardonnay, Okangan Valley BC $30.00
  • Moon Curser Viognier Okanagan Valley BC $25.00
  • Township 7 Vineyards & Winery ‘NBO’, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Estate Riesling, Okagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Estate Blanc de Noirs, Okagan Valley, BC N/A
  • CVNE ‘Cune’ Gran Reserva, Rioja, Spain $50.00
  • Bellingham ‘The Bernard Series’ Old Vine Chenin Blanc, Coastal Region South Africa $27.00
  • Umani Ronchi ‘Fonte del Re’ Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Marche, Italy $20.99
  • Vina Cobos ‘Felino’ Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $24.99
  • Bodega Y Vinedos Nicolas Catena ‘La Marchigiana’ Malbec, Mendoza Argentina $40.00
  • Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley BC $36.00
  • Phantom Creek Estates Becker Vineyard Cuvee No.27, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Rust Wine Co. Syrah Lazy River Vineyard, Similkameen Valley, BC N/A
  • Domaine Zind Humbrecht ‘Clos Hauserer’ Riesling, Alsace, France $100.00
  • Liquidity Wines Estate ‘Dividend’, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Peak Cellars ‘Broken Granite’ Gewurztraminer, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Kitsch Wines ‘5 Barrel’ Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Culmina Family Winery ‘Unicus’, Gruner Veltliner, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley BC N/

  • Glorious Bubble

While bubbles are ubiquitous year-round, the Holidays are their season to shine. Here is the 2022 Sparkling list. From Prosecco to Cava

  • Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery ‘The Pink One’, Okanagan Valley $40.00
  • Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Gold Label Brut, Okanagan Valley BC $30.00
  • Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Brut Rose, Okanagan Valley $45.00
  • Township 7 Vineyards and Winery ‘Seven Stars Equinox’, Okanagan Valley N/A
  • Township 7 Vineyards and Winery ‘Seven Stars Rigel’, Okanagan Valley N/A
  • Township 7 Vineyards and Winery ‘Vega, Okanagan Valley N/A
  • Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery ‘The One’ Brut, Okanagan Valley N/A
  • Sperling ‘Speritz’ Pet Nat, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Moon Curser Vineyards ‘Moonlit’, Okanagan Valley, BC $27.00
  • Bailly Lapierre Reserve Brut Cremant de Bourgogne, Burgundy, France $27.99
  • Hester Creek Estate Old Vine Brut, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards ‘Fitz’ Brut, Okanagan Valley BC $34.99
  • Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards ‘Fitz’ Blanc de Blancs, Okanagan Valley BC N/A
  • Hester Creek ‘Ti Amo’, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Gold Label Brut, Okanagan Valley BC $30.00
  • Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Brut Riesling, Okagan Valley, BC N/A
  • Pere Ventura Primer Reserva Brut Cava, Penedes, Spain $20.00
  • Pere Ventura ‘Chic’ Barcelona Brut, Penedes Spain $18.00
  • Medici Ermete ‘Concerto’ Lambrusco Reggiano Frizzante, Emilia-Romagna, Italy $19.99
  • Medici Ermete ‘Phermento’ Lambrusco Frizzante, Emilia-Romagna, Italy $29.99
  • Bottega ‘Il Vino dei Poeti’ Prosecco Rose Brut, Italy $19.99




The Top 100

Under $20.00 and 88 points or better




The Top 50

91 Points or better

 The release of Q&A Wine

Hester Creek

Winemakers Cut

Eau Claire Single Malt Whisky Batch 006 



December 3rd, 2022- Luke  Whittall – The Sipster’s Pocket Guide to 50 BC Wines


Luke  Whittall – The Sipster’s Pocket Guide to 50 Must-Try BC Wines

Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air


Confession Time. I’m half  a year late in getting this story to you.

Then one day, not too long ago a book arrived. Quietly.  On  a Tuesday!

It was smaller than most because it’s a pocketbook. Meant to be carried in a shoulder bag, glove compartment or back pocket.

The author is Luke Whittall. His first books were Valleys of Wine: A Taste of British Columbia’s Wine History and The Okanagan Tour Guide with John Schreiner.


He’s currently a wine instructor at Okanagan College and is involved with a valley wine.

Personally, Luke continues his own wine training with WSET.

Luke Whittall author

The Sipster’s Guide will surprise you.

It contains none of the usual tasting notes,  growing season info,  cellar hacks or wine scores.

It speaks to all in a language they can understand. Without dumbing down the knowledge.

And pairing?

You can choose a wine to  match your attitude. From happy to herbal.  From rock star to romantic.

The front inside cover has 50 choices.

Luke’s writing is such a surprise. For example, he doesn’t just sip and spit…

After opening a bottle, Luke lets it breathe while he cooks dinner or lunch to match the wine. Smart!

It’s a great read and a perfect gift for giving.

To yourself and those wine fans around you.

Sipster’s Guide Vol 2 comes out in the Spring!!


Luke has started a podcast.

You can find him on line at






The Launch of Q&A wines.

Tony Stewart and Winemaker Jamie Dowell

Lake Sonoma and Plume

Holiday Wine Gifts

Wine Diva List Time

Hester Creek

November 5th, 2022- Let’s head for the Gaspareau Valley and Benjamin Bridge!


Proudly Sponsored by Harbour Air

Jason Priestley and I were shooting year two of Hollywood and Vines with Producer Chad Oakes.

It was Jason who suggested Guadalupe Valley in Mexico, and Walla Walla in Washington.

So, I paid attention when he said.

Let’s head for the Gaspareau Valley…

Sure!  Where exactly is the Gaspareau?

Just outside Halifax.

And they’re growing what wines exactly?

They are making sparkling wine and it’s getting local raves.

That was many years ago.

I was so impressed with the vineyards and the bubble they poured for us, I’ve stayed in touch with the story and the people.

Specifically the winemaker Jean-Benoit Deslauriers and the owner Gerry McConnell.

JB Deslauriers

So. Its been 3-4 years since we checked in with Benjamin Bridge and in that time they have become one of the best wine stories in all of Canada.

BB at dusk

In doing so, they have ignited not only the Gaspereau but the rest of the Maritimes and Canada. From coast to coast.

We welcome back Jean-Benoît Deslauriers and Benjamin Bridge


Jean-Benoit will be talking about

2018 Brut Rose.. 3 years on the lees  beautiful colour, rose on the nose.

On the palate creme de cassis and brioche, creamy mousse…heaven sent!!

2017 Brut  A beauiful straw coloured. Green apple, warm bread on the nose. In the mouth stone fruit, citrus, brioche and a lingering minerality. WoW!

2020 hand crafted small lot Pinot Noir – JB says there’s “a profound sadness to it’s delishiosness ” in this wonderful wine. Mainly because its thriving in the Maritimes because of climate change. Thriving it is…a  clear nose of cedar box & ripe  black fruit. The palete is fresh red fruit and classic tannins.12 months in barrel/12% alcohol.

We also talk about Nova 7, Tidal Bay and non-alcohol  wines in the future.



October 22nd, 2022- Harvest Season Sparkling Wines-


2022 Harvest Season Sparkling Wines

This weeks TRR didn’t start out as a bubble special., It’s just the way the boxes opened.

Mary McDermott – Winemaker Township 7 (Langley and Naramata Bench)

Before she arrived in the Okanagan Mary made sparkling wines at Peller, also spending time at Stratus and Cave Springs. Under her leadership Township 7’s Polaris was named Best Canadian Sparkling Wine at the Champagne and Sparkling Wine world Championships in London in 2016.

We welcome the much respected Mary McDermott. T7

(Mary McDermott)

 In the Township 7 box were

seven stars Rigel  – created from Riesling grown in the Fools Gold Vineyards in North Oliver. That’s the one originally planted by the legendary Richard Cleave. Now farmed by his son in law Mark Antonello. With all those names attached you know that the fruit and the wine will be award winning.

This is a bright and yummy sparkling wine. Perfect for oysters, blue cheese, mushrooms.

Only 399  6 bottle cases made. $36.97

2018 seven stars Equinox sparkling Brut Rose

100% Pinot Noir grapes went into this outstanding sparkling wine. They came from the highly regarded  Stoneridge Vineyard in Okanagan Falls.

It overlooks the Okanagan River and Vaseaux Lake and because its sharing the valley with the river and lake, the heat of an Okanagan Summer isn’t as all consuming here.

Its tempered by the coolness of the elevation and proximity to the river. It shows. Equinox is rich and round.  It’s glorious.   350  6 bottle cases. $57.97

And finally the 2019 Benchmark Series Cabernet Franc.

Produced from the Raju Vineyard in Osoyoos. I love  Cab Franc and this one is Top 10. Fantastic wine.

Cassis, spice, silky and welcoming texture.

Medium to full bodied,  this beautifully balanced blend of Cab Franc and a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon can be enjoyed now or celebrated years from now. It’s a wine club exclusive. They are very lucky people.

670 cases  –  $43.97


The second box that arrived was from Noble Ridge, Okanagan Falls.

 Our guest is  Noble Ridge winemaker Benoit Gauthier

It was Merlot harvest day at Noble Ridge. Ben came off the crush pad to walk us through these wines and when done, walked straight out into crush heaven. We thank him for the time. Positive he may not  remember doing this interview.

(Benoit Gauthier Noble Ridge)

 Leslie D’Andrea co-owner of Noble Ridge sent along a note that said  “although we don’t make “champagne” per se, here’s some  examples of  BC Sparkling Wine to celebrate International Champagne Day Oct 28

There’s also another reason for  celebration,  as we participate in the annual ritual of Harvest and begin the cycle anew.”

 The Fizzy One -NV  $24.99

Frizzante style Pinot Gris and Kerner. Full of pink grapefruit and late fall peaches on the nose.  On the palate, ripe berries, pear and light citrus.

 The Pink One – 2018 $39.99

Smashing sparkling Rose. 100% Pinot Noir grapes. Method Traditionnelle . Only four hour skin contact.

The Pink One

The One – 2017 $39.99

A true Champagne style, comes entirely from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir estate grapes. Reflects the terroir around it.

Completely and totally Yummy. Notes of brioche and apple. Engaging texture. Generous and balanced. En Tirage 47 months.

Have a great International Champagne Day Friday Oct 28




New releases from

Hester Creek

Moon Curser

Benjamin Bridge (Nova Scotia)

Sea Cider wins awards



October 15th, 2022- It’s The Bartier Bros Show, starring Michael Bartier!!


It’s The Bartier Bros Show, starring Michael Bartier!!


Just one story today – Michael Bartier – GM and Director of Bartier Bros. Vineyards and Winery (South Okanagan)

What started out as a two segment interview with wine legend Michael Bartier almost immediately became this entire edition of Tasting Room Radio.

Why, you ask? Because he earned it.

From his beginnings in the wine business  Michael Bartier has constantly moved forward. Learning his wine making trade at Washington State and UC Davis.

When he did start making wines – for others – he twice won white wine of the year in Canada. He specialized in Chardonnay. Then shifted to making red wines and won two Lieutenant Governor’s awards for his reds.

On to the famous Hawthorne Mountain, back home to Township 7 and Road 13.

And so, after years of making brilliant wines for others, It was only a matter of time before Michael would be making his own wine and best of all he did it with his brother Don.  Both Bartier Bros were raised in the Okanagan. In 2009 they launched Bartier Bros.

Don and Michael – The Bartier Bros

I wanted to talk to Michael about the state of BC winemaking, the effect of climate change, how close winemakers came to not growing wine this year because of the wet and cold Spring. The Sun showed up just in time. It was close. How close?  Have a listen.

Michael brings us new releases ready for tasting and a Brut  tease that’s coming soon. Plus the new Bocce Court & food plans for next year.

They are open 12-4 every Saturday until Nov 12.

1) 2021 Rosé $18.99

2) 2021 Grüner Veltliner $24.99

3) 2021 Chardonnay  $22.99

4) 2020 Cabernet Franc – $29.99

5) 2020 Orchard Row – – $29.99

New Brut – Peach, flint, fresh bread.  $34.99



 New Releases from 

Hester Creek

Township 7

Noble Ridge

Moon Curser

Benjamin Bridge (Nova Scotia)



October 8th 2022- Checking in with The Neighbourhood!!


Checking in with The Neighbourhood!!



 Tasting Room Radio has been celebrating Canadian wine and food for 15 years.

We could not have stayed the course and grown without  the support of our segment sponsors

Thus, each year we make a point of making a feature fuss about our neighbors.

Thing is, we’d be doing feature stories on them anyway because they’re all winners.

When we decided to have a sponsor for each segment we had one bottom line

“if we have to talk about someone for a year,  let’s make sure we like them!  As great people and as singular artisans”!

 We are honored to welcome our in show  neighbors into the feature spotlight (in the order in which they became available)

Jason Parkes CustomsJason Parkes  (Founder) and Develyn Barker (Dreamer and Doer)  West Kelowna, BC

Jason Parkes and crew

Their story just keeps on growing.

Came on board as The Hatch Winery. Well named, as they released well-crafted and accessible wines but they also “hatched” a series of new labels,  all heading in different wonderful directions.

The Hatch, Gobsmacked Series, Hobo Series.

Then came Black Swift, Crown and Thieves, The Hatching Post, Truck 59 Cider House, and SmokeShow BBQ plus  wines such as  Screaming Frenzy, 14 house beers, The Angel Share rooftop restaurant, The Broken Hearts Club speakeasy (house band is Proper Man, also home to Hangover Church, etc)

They have created their own JPC Wine Trail – a 5-hour adventure you will talk about and might even remember.

…And the wines? Bigger and better every season!  Beautifully crafted and pushing the boundaries – much like the people who make them!

JPC is one of the great success stories in BC wine. Best of all, they did it their way!  Rock on!

(there is no known photo of Jason Parkes but he did send this message “wine is just yeast poop”

Unsworth Vineyards – Dan Wright (Winemaker) Christle Pope (Manager)  Cowichan Valley, Van Island

Mere minutes from our home in Mill Bay, it’s also top of mind when we think, “it’s time for wine and dine”

The Turyk Family have created a beautiful destination is perhaps the most gorgeous small farming valley in the area.

Dan Wright  Winemaker

The bonus is , the wines are outstanding and the restaurant is hugely popular.

They have just received a Silver Medal and  91 points for their 2019 Pinot Noir from Decanter Magazine. A first for Vancouver Island winemaking.

The new owners have their own family roots deep into the history of Napa and Sonoma. One of the first decisions was to let the Unsworth team carry on making better and better wines and the second was to start production on a new vineyard outside Duncan.

The future looks very bright for Unsworth Vineyards – so we have much to talk about!

Moon Curser Vineyards – Beata and Chris Tolley (Owners/Founders) Osoyoos, BC

At the very bottom of the Okanagan Valley is Osoyoos. It’s right up against the US border and surrounded by some of the very best vineyards in Canada.

One of them is Moon Curser. It’s the winemaking passion of Beata and Chris Tolley. It’s also their home.

Well, it was,  until they just had to move off-site to get a break from the daily weight of farming. It’s a hard road,  no whining is allowed.

Chris Tolley

In wine circles, they’re famous for the amazing varietals they make – several are the only ones being made in Canada.

However, what they do make are wines judged to be as good as anything in Canada.  That’s how they were named The WineAlign  Best Small Winery in Canada in 2019.

We’ll be talking Arneis, Viognier, Roussanne Marsanne, Carmenere, Dolcetto, Malbec, Syrah, Contraband Syrah, Border Vines, Tannat, Tempranillo and Touriga National.

Beata Tolley

There’s more. Next time we’ll talk about their bubble program featuring Eclipse, Moonlit and their Heist Rose.

Four of those wines can only be found through their wine club. Giddy Up!

Hillside Estate Winery  – Kathy Malone  (Senior Winemaker)  – Executive Chef Evan Robertson (The Bistro at Hillside)  Naramata Bench, BC

Kathy Malone


That describes Kathy and Evan, and the rest of the team at Hillside and especially Hillside Estate itself.

A much-honored winery with an atmosphere that comes from being one of the first three wineries in the area and always being a benchmark for Naramata Wines.

Hillside made a commitment years ago to only use grapes farmed on the Naramata Bench.

This conversation was important. To get caught up with Kathy’s latest releases, growing conditions in 2021, and then what dishes Chef Evan recommends from his menu to pair with each wine.

We talk  Cab Franc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat Ottonel, Viognier, Syrah,   Merlot – Hidden Valley Vineyard

From the kitchen,  Evan teases us with Tomato Capresse, Panzanella Salad, House-made fresh pasta, Gnocchi, 50oz Northern Gold Beef Tomahawk.





Noble Ridge

Bartier Bros.

Township 7


Hillside Virtual Tasting

Bill Jones Fall Forage