Audio FIle

March 4th, 2023 Brad Royale – Kitten Swish . It’s for your Mouth


Brad Royale –  Sommelier and Micro-Negotiant. ( Kitten Swish, Tomato Wheels, latest crushing list)


 “Like the first bottles released in 2012, all are limited-production, with quirky names and labels derived from photos taken by Royale. There’s Call Me, a 2016 Zinfandel from the renowned Stuhlmuller vineyard in Sonoma, California; the label features a rotary phone.

… and Below the Surface, a 2013 Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain, which features a photo of entwined bodies and is a tribute to the unsung heroes behind every bottle: the growers, printers, graphic designers, shippers, importers. “It’s about all that effort that we forget about when we just grab a bottle off the shelf,” Royale says. “This is a tip of the hat toward what goes into making a great bottle of wine.”

Shelley Boettcher  •  Swerve/Calgary Herald

(Cab Franc-Here and Gone)



Brad Royale is Head Sommelier for the Concorde Calgary restaurant group with venues ranging from pinball bars, to bbq smokehouses to very fine dinning at  Model Milk,  Bridgette Bar,  to the restaurant  of the year, Major Tom.  Recently,  he was part of the team that opened a new restaurant Barbarella.

Brad Royale

Kitten Swish

Brad started ‘Swish in 2012 as a micro-negotiant company.  He works with small quantities of wine from estate producers They make the wine,  Brad makes a blend from their stock,  the team bottles it at the winery under the Kitten Swish label. Brad has wine imported into BC and Alberta.


The most recent was Piquette with Rhys Pender MW from Little Farm but he has bottled wines from Hungary (with John Szabo MS), USA, Spain, Germany, France, and British Columbia ( hopes to make a wine from the island next year).  And has a hand in designing the label artwork.


Tomato Wheels

A brand new project with a partner based in Vancouver, Moirae Choquette.   She heard the Kitten Swish story on a podcast and reached out to  Brad to help her design her own label.  She wanted Lambrusco!  (Don’t we all)  Brad helped her find a fourth-generation vineyard in Emilia Romagna, Italy and the wine began it’s journey.

A brand new order of that Lambrusco is landing right now in Alberta.


 (Little Farm/Kitten Swish  Piquette)


Brad talks about his current  “been crushing”  list

 – Belargus Anju Blanc (bought the Jo Pithon estate and making hard  Chenin)

Marchesseau Bourguiel (been crushing Loire Valley a lot in general lately…wicked value)

Domaine Wachau Gruner Veltliner Kellerberg (available in BC to, sick stuff)

– Aubert Chardonnay (recent visit to Vegas my mission was to taste as much as possible…it’s good to have goals)


We cover a lot of ground over the course of this TRR – some of these wines will be harder to find or access from outside Alberta BUT they are well worth the seeking!!

Unlike anything else, you’ll see and taste in your local store.  Promise.




Osoyoos Le Rose

Lt Governors Awards

Sons of Vancouver

Davin de Kergommeaux

Van Wine Fest

Mt Boucherie

Okanagan Wine Festivals

Oaxaca Mezcal and Food






February 25th, 2023-Meet the Makers


Meet the Makers / Winemakers from Culmina & Laughing Stock




It was just another Friday morning when the happy invitation came in from the delightful  Lindsay Kelm.

Come celebrate the harvest season with Culmina Family Estate and Laughing Stock Vineyards.

Join Winemakers Jean-Marc Enixon and Sandy Leier for an elegant afternoon sampling their latest releases and chatting about the 2022 harvest. We also have a couple of special sneak peeks in store, including the unreleased 2020 vintage of Laughing Stock’s signature Portfolio, and 2017 vintage of Culmina’s flagship Bordeaux blend, Hypothesis


Sandy Leier–Winemaker Laughing Stock (Naramata)

Here’s what I knew. I hadn’t spoken to Sandy Leier for years. At the time she was working with the legend Howard Soon at Sandhill and Calona. In 2018, after 15 years as a great team,  she took over from the departing  Howard.  Then a series of projects with Andrew Peller, Gray Monk and Gretzky Wines. Then, this year, a major move to Senior Winemaker at Laughing Stock on the Naramata Bench.  It’s the home of seriously great wines including a Syrah that makes hearts flutter and their red blend Portfolio.  Sandy brings six wines to taste and discover.

(List below)


(tdm and Sandy Leier)

Jean-Marc Enixon – Culmina Winemaker – (Oliver)

(tdm and Jean-Marc)


Jean-Marc Enixon’s wine career took flight in Toulouse, France. JM gained international experience in Sonoma County, China, then  back to France at Chateau Puy Guilhem in  Saillans as senior winemaking director.

At the suggestion of his wife saying something to the effect of   “how about making some new world wine”

Jean-Marc joined the Culmina Team  as Vineyard Manager and Winemaker in 2016.  Today he pours 7 wines.

As good as he is, perhaps his greatest accomplishment is welcoming two new children to the family while in the Okanagan.

“they’re taking French and I’m taking English”

 Sandy, Jean-Marc and I  tasted and talked about 

Laughing Stock Vineyards.

2021 Viognier

2020 Chardonnay

2020 Pinot Noir

2019 Syrah (new release)

2019 Portofino (new release)

2020 Portofino (unreleased)


Culmina Family Estate Winery

2019 Decora

2021 Unicus

2018 Dilemma

2019 Malbec

2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Hypothesis

2017 Hypothesis (unreleased)



Township 7

Fort Berens

Hester Creek

Sipster Two


February 18th, 2023 Every Chef Needs a Farmer- Every Farmer Needs a Chef!  


Every Chef Needs a Farmer   Every Farmer Needs a Chef!

 The SHOW  

We were invited to the third annual Chef/Farmer gathering.  This year at Church and State Winery in Central Saanich.

It was presented by Buy BC.

The entire concept was created by Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture and Food. It’s a great fit because she WAS a farmer when the idea came to her. As Minister, she oversees the  Buy BC program.

It continues to highlight the many unique and engaging products coming from our own backyards. It’s a direct link between consumers and the creators behind each and every label.

(Lana Popham)

Our pal Chef Ned Bell is the chef ambassador for Buy BC.  As long as I’ve known Ned, he’s always been pushing the boundaries between Kitchens and Farmers.  There’s nothing he likes more than uniting and collaborating with other chefs, fishers, farmers, and influencers. The man is a game-changer.

If you’ve ever dined at his Naramata Inn, you’ll know that he’s also one of our very best chefs. His panel was titled – The Future of Food; Sustainable, Indigenous, Farmed, and Wild.

(Ned Bell and TDM)


NOTE:  We couldn’t possibly interview all the Farmers. I think there were over 20 in the room but we will reconnect and do stories on many of them !

Our Special Guests this week are:

 Robert BelchamChef’s Table Society. Chef and Owner Popina

Shawn Dirksen – Owner Northstar Organics. His panel was Selling Food to Our City. Small-Scale Diversified Organic Farming.

Jared Qwustenuxun Williams – Indigenous Foods Chef, Writer, and Storyteller

(Jared Qwustenuxun Williams)

Ian Tostenson – President and CEO, BC Restaurant and Food Services Assn

Ian Tostenson and Terry

Michael Verbrugge and Victoria Lake  – Canadian Seafood Processing

Chef Ned Bell – Naramata Inn

Lana Popham – Minister of Agriculture and Food






Meet the Makers

Culmina  and Laughing Stock Winemakers

Kitten Swish – with Brad Royale

Van Wine Fest

Lt Governors Awards

Mt Boucherie

Okanagan Wine Festivals

Oaxaca Mezcal and Food


Osoyoos le Rose









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.