Tasting Room Radio

November 21st, 2020- Holiday Budget Bottles from The Wine Diva & The Bard of Oliver: Michael Bartier of Bartier Bros.  


Holiday Budget Bottles from The Wine Diva & The Bard of Oliver Michael Bartier of Bartier Bros.




Daenna van Mulligen – The Wine Diva

Daenna Van Mulligen

Her website www.winediva.ca has become one of the “go to” wine sites in Canada.

We are happy to have Daenna van Mulligen  return to the show with the first of several wine lists. (Daenna loves her lists)

This list is called Holiday Budget Bottles 2020 ($16.00 or less)

Pretty much everyone is looking to stock up for the Winter and Daenna  takes care of those needs.

She has personally tasted every one of these wines and only the best tasting and best value wines make the list.

Yes, you can make a list as we talk OR you can go to www.winediva.ca ..click on wine ..and click there for Wine lists.

All the bottles are shown and tasting notes appear BUT if you look up in the top right corner it says You can print this..

I urge you to print and save the list. Trust me, it will come in handy as Christmas approaches. For you and your gift giving.


. See Ya Later Ranch ‘Luna’, Okanagan Valley, BC $ 15.99

.Farnese ‘Fantini’ Primitivo, Puglia Italy $ 12.99

.McWilliam’s “Stolen Colt ‘Shiraz, NSW, Australia $ 15.99

. Tiger Horse Old Vine Cinsault, Western Cape, South Africa $ 14.99

.Easter Romeo & Juliet Red Passimento, Veneto Italy $ 15.99

. Grown Wild ‘Rapturous Red’, Okanagan Valley, BC $ 15.99

. Undurraga ‘8 Rios’ Sauvignon Blanc, Chile $ 11.99

. Santa Carolina ‘Carolina’ Reserva Pinot Noir, Leyda Valley, Chile $ 13.99

. Bodegas San Alejandro ‘Pablo’ Old Vine Garnacha, Calatayud Spain $ 17.00

. Oops ‘Spicy Splendor’ Carmenere, Central Valley Chile $ 14.00

. Terra Ventoux ‘Les 5 Terroirs’ Vieilles Vignes, Ventoux, Rhone Valley $ 15.00

. Five Vineyards by Mission Hill, Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, BC $ 14.99

. Spier ‘Signature Collection’ Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch South Africa $ 13.99

. Aureliano Negroamaro, Salento, Puglia, Italy $ 15.00


. Nederburg ‘The Winemaster’s’ Sauvignon Blanc, Western Cape South Africa $ 13.99

. Santo Cristo Garnacha, Campo de Borja, Spain $ 16.00

. Three Monkeys ‘Fresh & Fuity’ Rose, Spain $ 13.50

. Felix Solis ‘Run Rafa Run’ Tempranilla, Spain $ 9.00

. Acheron ‘Footprint The Long Walk’ Shiraz, South Africa $ 12.99

. Trapiche Reserve Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $ 14.99

. Sanguinhal ‘Sottal Leve’, Lisboa, Portugal $ 16.00

. Leyda Rose, Leyda Valley, Chile $ 15.99

. Rupert Wines ‘Protea’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Western Cape South Africa $ 14.99

. Spier ‘Stormy Bay’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Western Cape, South Africa $ 13.00




Michael Bartier – Bartier Bros  (Oliver)

Michael Bartier

“We are from and of this valley.
We grew up here, we know it, we love it, and we are responsible to it.”

– Michael & Don Bartier

Michael Bartier grew up in the Okanagan Valley, leaving as a young man for his education. After receiving a degree from the University of Victoria and working in wine sales on Vancouver Island for a few years, he and his wife Jodi returned home to the Okanagan. While looking for a “real job”, Michael accepted casual work in a winery cellar. And, since he’s still in the cellar, you could say he hasn’t found a real job yet.

Through distance learning at Washington State University and University of California Davis, Michael worked his way into a winemaking position.

He quickly made a name for himself: first as a maker of white wines, earning two Canadian White Wine of the Year titles within three years, and then as a maker of red wines with several consecutive Lieutenant Governor’s awards for his red wines.

Michael enjoyed stints at Hawthorne Mountain Vineyards, Township 7, and Road 13, among others. Currently, he acts as consulting winemaker to what is surely the most coveted client list in North America among consulting winemakers.

Michael’s winemaking philosophy is simple:

  1. Plant the correct grapes on the correct site.
  2. Farm these well, thinking of the vineyard as a 200-year project.
  3. Take the good fruit into the cellar, and make sure the vineyard characters, not the winemaker’s manipulations, make it to the glass.
  4. Don’t try to copy Napa, or Bordeaux, or Burgundy; make Okanagan wine. These places make beautiful wines, but they’re different from what the Okanagan gives, and they don’t have the privilege of working with Okanagan grapes.


Keep an eye on where Michael is sourcing his grapes.  If it says “Cerqueira Vineyard:”on the label then grab it. Vineyards don’t come much better than that.

The site is located between Black Sage and Ryegrass roads between Oliver and Osoyoos – rocks as far as the eye can see in a place  made up of a complex site of 10,000 year old glacial till.   It’s called the Black Sage Gravel Bar.

Over two segments Michael and I will talk about:

Chardonnay 2018/2019

Rose 2019

Gewurztraminer  2018

Obrigado 2018

Semillon 2019

Illegal Curve 2018

Merlot 2018

Cab Franc 2018

Orchard Row 2018

GSM  2017

Syrah 2018

The Goal 2018  dedicated to the Penticton Vees – 1955 World Hockey Champs






Sperling new releases

Wine gifts

Best of the year

Fort Berens

The Hatch

Black Swift





November 14th, 2020 – GEEKING OUT ON ISLAND PINOT


GEEKING OUT ON ISLAND PINOT ( with 6 winemakers))




Somewhere in the middle of last weeks interview with Mike Neirychlo from Emandare Winery I heard him mention he was hosting  a Pinot Noir  panel coming up  at Victoria Wine Festival.


”I’m sorry, what panel, what pinot, what wine fest?”

Turns out it was  a 90 minute panel with 6 winemakers, all pouring and talking about their Island Pinots.

2018 Rathjen Pinot Noir

The island wineries,  which includes Vancouver island and the Gulf Islands,  have been telling  anyone who would listen that they have the perfect soil, climate and all round terroir to specialize in the creation of   “the heartbreak grape”

Not just in The Cowichan Valley but Saanich outside Victoria, Deep Cove close to the Victoria airport, Salt Spring Island and up island in Courtney-Comox

Each Pinot is different from the one before it. Even if they are grown side by side.

Cherry, raspberry, mushroom, hibiscus and clove.

Famous in France, New Zealand, Germany and the USA (lead by California & Oregon)

Now comes Vancouver Island and The Gulf Islands.


Mike Rathjen – Winemaker. Rathjen Cellars (Saanich)

Daniel Dragert – Winemaker Kutatas (koo-ta-tass)  (Salt Spring Island)

Dan Wright – Winemaker Unsworth  (Cowichan Valley)

Layne Craig – Winemaker  40 Knots  (Comox)

Brent Rowland  – Winemaker  Averill Creek (Cowichan Valley)

Mike Neirychlo – Winemaker  Emandare (Cowichan Valley) and panel host.

The first three segments are taken from their panel comments. A total geek out.

The last segment features all 6 winemakers exchanging thoughts with me outside in the courtyard.

Part of the geek out was the exchange of clonal structure..

Wine Wranglers Mark and Mitch from Storied Wines and Spirits

So when those number go by 115-667-777 that’s telling pinot lovers what they might expect in the bottle as each clone carries its own flavour signature.

When you find your favourite clone, then you can follow its growth and availability all around the World.












New releases from Sperling Vineyards

Bartier Brothers

The Hatch

Black Swift – new winery and new wines

Fort Berens






The Show


We start with Sam Roberts.

Singer, Songwriter, Husband and Father.

Sam Roberts

The leader of The Sam Roberts Band.  They’ve just released their 7th studio album All of Us.

Ranks as his best yet.

He had the songs written and recorded but decided to follow the voice talking inside his heart and head and re-wrote/re-recorded them all.

It paid off.

sam roberts band

As an aside, when Jason Priestley and I were shooting our TV series Hollywood and Vines we found ourselves in Ribera del Duero in Spain.

We were in  a winery known for its house band and concert series.  One of the barrels in the cellar was signed by Sam Roberts.

I’ve interviewed Sam a number of times.  Usually about his music and tours  but we inevitably  end up talking about wine.

He lives in Montreal and has access to lots of European wines, some Ontario wines and almost none from BC.  That  of course is  what we talked about.

I can think of nothing better than a glass of big red wine and listening to The Sam Roberts Band’s new album All of Us.




Mike (and Robin) Nierychlo  (near-ich-low)  Emandare Vineyard.  (Cowichan Valley)

Mike Nierychlo


 “It all starts with the farm, we truly believe that wine is not made, wine is grown. Being blessed with this beautiful piece of land in the Cowichan Valley, it has become our responsibility to steward it to the best of our ability. For that, we look to the old world. They all farmed organically, not for marketing or because it was trendy, but simply because that was how they farmed. Not against nature, but with it. It is our goal through bio-diverse and sustainable farming practices like dry farming, composting, mulching and animal husbandry to breathe abundant life into our land. The beautiful byproduct of farming this way will be a healthy balanced vineyard”.


I’ve known Mike since he interviewed me for his wine video show in 2008 or 9.

I’m thinking he went to school on all the information that passed through his microphones.  He and Robin were meant to become what they became – farmers and winemakers.

Mike came by the other day to talk about two of their new wine releases.

Emandare 2019 Pinot Noir and their 2019 Marechal–Cabernet Foch!


The Pinot features a balance of neutral oak, dark cherry, cranberry etc.  A few years in a cellar will reward the patient wine fan.

The Marechal-Cabernet Foch is a field blend.  89% Marechal Foch and 11% Cabernet Foch.  Looking for tannins in your big reds?

Tastes of ripe fruit – plum, cherry and blackberry.


One of the reasons why Mike and Robin bought this particular home vineyard was because of the heritage Pinot vines that had been planted and in the ground for a number of years. They have since continued to lovingly watch over and farm those vines and expand in other areas of their acreage.

The future looks bright for Emandare!



Lyndsay and Graham O’Rourke – Tightrope Vineyards ( Naramata Bench)

Graham and Lyndsay O’Rourke. Tightrope

Lyndsay is the winemaker  and Graham the viticulturist. They arrived on the Naramata Bench the same Summer as my wife Meg and I .  2007.

Tightrope is one of the most successful small wineries in Canada.

2019 National Wine Awards.

Top 10 Small winery in Canada

Top 25 winery in Canada.

At the final Judgement of BC in 2019 the Tightrope 2016 Syrah won the entire Syrah tasting against 5 other BC Syrah’s and 6 World class Syrah’s.

They also placed 4th in the Riesling and 8th in the Pinot Noir.

In the 2019 Intervin awards – they placed 14th in Canada.


In this two part feature we taste and talk our way through…

2018 Riesling – tropical fruit, citrus, Granny apple, lemon, melon and minerality.  Perfect for cellaring to 2024.  $21

2018  Chardonnay – vanilla, spice, apricot, nectarine  Cellar to 2014.  $28

2018 Pinot Noir – Rubis.  The nose will love the vanilla & strawberry notes along with flavours of cranberry, dark fruit and a hint of saddle. Cellar to 2026  $32

2018 Pinot Noir – Fleet Road.  Starts with Strawberries, and dark fruit. Then comes vanilla, spice and the same saddle notes. Cellar to 2026  $32

2018  Syrah – Opens to black pepper, blackberry and floral notes. Flavours of anise, current and dark fruit. Cellar to 2029 $34

2018  Cabernet Franc Opens with a medley of rich dark fruit. Flavours of chocolate, blackberry, ripe plum. 12 months in 50% new oak.

Cellar to 2027  $28


Graham and Lyndsay started this partnership in a pet store. I kid you not .

We’ll give you that early beginning story and then discover

why that vineyard and why Naramata?

Future plans?





Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal

Lock and Worth/Nichol

Taylor Fladgate – Zoom from Portugal

A return to Hillside

Doin’ The Douce in North Vancouver.  Douce Diner

Bartier Brothers

Geeking out on Pinot







October 31st, 2020 – New Zealand in an hour…


There was a time when we humans could get on a plane,  fly 14 hours to New Zealand and  travel about the Islands. shake hands with   farmers, growers, winemakers and owners. Dine in wonderful restaurants,  bistros, tasting incredible wines at World famous wineries and fly back to your home with 300 other people – for fourteen hours and still be healthy for the rest of the year.

Let us take you back 5 years to 2015 and DO JUST THAT.

TRR presents New Zealand in an Hour 


Last March I had the pleasure of touring various outstanding wine regions in NZ.
What drove the various stories was New Zealand’s remarkable sustainability record.

New Zealand in an Hour!!   

Yealands by the Sea

Yealands by the Sea

94% of all NZ wines are farmed under sustainable practices.
It’s not so much a program as a way of life. New Zealanders are all about being green..
We start in Auckland, then Hawkes Bay, Marlborough and finally Central Otago.
 Our guests include
We talk to our “host” Phillip Manson, the man in charge of New Zealand’s Sustainability efforts.
He’s proud of New Zealand’s reputation. So he should be. www.nzwine.com






On the Ferry heading for  Waiheke Island..just off the coast from Auckland..we visit Mike Spratt at Destiny Bay, maker of only three wines.  three Bordeaux influenced red blends..one of which,  Magna Praemia,  is the most expensive wine in NZ.  Mike, his scientist wife Ann and winemaking son Sean lead a stellar team.  http://www.destinybaywine.com/


Before we leave the dormant volcanoes of beautiful Auckland we visit just one more winery.
The most awarded winery in all NZ – Villa Maria!!  www.villamaria.co.nz

Sir George Fistonich

Sir George Fistonich has spent five decades at the forefront of New Zealand’s wine industry
that he helped develop. As an icon of the New Zealand wine industry, Villa Maria is known for
bold and industry-changing moves such as moving to 100% screw cap through to the
emphasis on sustainable practices in every area of the family owned company.
Villa Maria Estate was named the supreme winner at the New Zealand Sustainable Business Network awards in November 2012
Here’s  the man himself, Sir George Fistonich.    

 Pask     Hawkes Bay    
On our tour of NZ #1 we talked to Kate Ranburnd the famous winemaker  at Pask.
Hawkes Bay is a short flight from Auckland. http://www.hawkesbaynz.com/
Hawke’s Bay’s long, hot summers and cool winters offer the best weather for growing grapes. The climate is dry and temperate. Hawke’s Bay is renowned for its horticulture with large orchards and vineyards on the plains.

Hawkes Bay is one of New Zealand’s warmest, driest regions and this has made it one of the country’s leading producers of wine; notably red wines – cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah – but also with some quite stunning whites.
They are working on being the Syrah Capitol of NZ.  www.winehawkesbay.co.nz/
Pask Winemaker and Managing Director Kate Radburnd is one of New Zealand’s most acclaimed winemakers. She commands an international reputation for her extensive record of award winning wines and her vision and contribution to the industry.
Pask’s 59 hectares of vineyards are located on Gimblett Road where Chris Pask was first to plant in the region now known as the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowing District®.

Kate Randburnd Pask

Kate Randburnd Pask

Formed over 100 years ago when the Ngaruroro River changed its course, the light, stony soils of the region are low in nutrients, completely free draining, and create the perfect environment for growing premium quality grapes. Their  very first vintage of 1985 Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded 5 stars in Cuisine Magazine. Since then Pask wines have consistently enjoyed gold medal and  trophy success in London, Australia, Asia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand across a range of varietals and winestyles.
 Kate holds the role of Deputy Chair of the Wine Institute of New Zealand, has been a Director of the Wine Institute of New Zealand and New Zealand Winegrowers since 1999, and is Chair of Judges at New Zealand’s oldest wine competition, the New Zealand Royal Easter Show Wine Awards.
Kate has also been instrumental in the development of the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand program and led Pask to be among the first group of wineries in the country to secure ISO environmental accreditation.
Kate  spent five years as Chair of the SWNZ advisory/working group, which at that time saw the introduction of the winery programme under the scheme.



Four of her  labels command the wine world’s attention :
Gimblett Road
Roy’s Hill
Kate Radburnd
 Loved this interview. Enjoy!!  http://www.pask.co.nz/ 
 YEALANDS  Marlborough   

You want Character?
You want baby goats in the vineyard?
How about a visit to one of NZ most successful organic wineries Yealands. Named after the character owner Pete Yealands.  
Peter’s trademark “can do” attitude is the stuff of legend.
Peter has a track record of making pioneering, innovative plans come to fruition – and his successes have been recently chronicled in a book “A Bloke For All Seasons – the Peter Yealands story”.
th.jpg yealands
He has developed seven of his own vineyard sites in Marlborough, plus several others under contract for other companies. However his entrepreneurial vision extends well beyond grapes. Early on, Peter recognized the potential to farm Greenshell mussels commercially and in 1971 was issued with New Zealand’s first marine farming license. Thanks to his efforts in designing innovative technologies and helping establish aquaculture in the region, marine farming now contributes $160 million a year to New Zealand’s export earnings.
In the mid ’80’s Peter established one of New Zealand’s most successful deer farms, specializing in stud animals and embryo transplants. This 2,000 hectare property in Kaiuma Bay in the Marlborough Sounds won a rural environment award in 2003. 

Peter, wife Vai and son Aaron now focus their energies on building Yealands Estate into a global brand.
Pete was on the road when we got there so our guest today is Michael Wentworth the General manager.
FYI  Yealands makes 1.2 Million cases. All sustainably grown.

STAETELANDT –  Dorien Vermaas  Co-Founder  Marlborough.
While Ruud is hands on in the winery, Dorien has had her finger on the pulse of the marketing / sales of StaeteLandt Wines since the beginning. Her background as a marketing manager in larger companies and her love for wine has certainly given her the edge when it comes to understanding this intricate side of the business.
Dorien Vermaas Staete landt

Her bright and bubbly personality are a true asset to the company. Along with Ruud, her philosophy is to produce wines of character and integrity – words that sum up her attitude to all she has done for StaeteLandt Wines


FELTON ROAD  Central Otago  

One of the world’s finest Pinot Noirs. No Question.
 This Central Otago icon produces stunning biodynamic wines year after year. These guys really know their stuff.
In 2010 Felton Road was designated a Grand Cru winery of New Zealand. This Grand Cru status, currently only held by two other wineries (including Ata Rangi), recognizes the premier producers of Pinot Noir in New Zealand.
Winemaker Blair Walter is a master of less is more, Pinots are unfined and unfiltered and challenge the very best the world has to offer.
Felton Road is situated on warm, north facing slopes of glacial loess soils in Bannockburn, in the heart of Central Otago. The modern gravity fed winery receives 100% estate grown fruit from its three vineyards that are all farmed biodynamically and are fully certified by Demeter. Minimal intervention in the winemaking with such practices as wild yeast, no fining or filtration, allow the unique vineyard characters to further express their considerable personality.

Since the first vintage in 1997, Felton Road has acquired a formidable worldwide reputation.
Felton Road is one of the legendary names in New Zealand wine. They’re probably the most famous of the Central Otago wineries, making some highly regarded Pinot Noirs.

It was my great pleasure  to spend a number of hours talking to Owner, part time chef and team leader Nigel Greening.

Nigel Greening Felton Road

Looking for one of the best wineries anywhere in NZ?  you’ve just found it.  Felton Road.


Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal

Sam Roberts – Music and Wine


Lock and Worth/Nichol

Taylor Fladgate – Zoom from Portugal

A return to Hillside

Doin’ The Douce in North Vancouver.  Douce Diner

Bartier Brothers

October 24th,2020 In Ok Falls with Noble Ridge and Meyer/Mayhem 


In Ok Falls with Noble Ridge and Meyer/Mayhem 

Noble Ridge Vineyard Winery  is named for the noble varieties of grapes grown and the ridge that divides the land on which they thrive. This noble name is a statement of values and a reminder of the hard work and dedication on which the winery was built.

Noble Ridge

Jim and Leslie D’Andrea began their winery in 2001. When they purchased the property it had only 3.5 acres of vines. Since then they have planted an additional 20 acres and have grown their dream into an award winning winery. Tending to vineyards and making the wines is all done by hand on site by a team of dedicated workers who strive every day to create exceptional wine that reflects its noble namesake. Guests are always welcome to enjoy the breathtaking views with a picnic overlooking Vaseaux Lake or to spend time exploring the vineyard with a tour.

Our guest is co-founder Leslie D’Andrea. The driving force behind the team at Noble Ridge.


As an interviewer I can tell you  she’s the best kind of guest. Ask the right questions and figure out along the way where her  brakes are.

She lives for these wines. They reward the seeker.  Leslie is the poster child for passionate wines.

She’ll take us through

2019 Stony Knoll Chardonnay

  1. A new vintage of Mingle. (Pinot Grigio, Gewurztraminer, Kerner.)

2017 Reserve Pinot Noir

2015 The One Sparkling


Plus a heads up on the  OK Falls Wine Assn open house. A Holiday Theme.

November 14-15.

Noble Ridge itself will be open until Dec 31. Tastings on Friday and Saturday 11-4pm

Open for sales Tuesday – Saturday





JAK Meyer and Terry  Meyer  Stone – Meyer Family Vineyards/Mayhem Winery

Several years ago Terry Meyer Stone along with her brother JAK Meyer and their spouses, Andrew Stone and Janice Stevens  launched their new custom crush wine project: Mayhem Wines Inc.  

JAK is the driving force behind the award winning wines at Meyer Family Vineyards and Meyer Winery.  

JAK explains the difference between Meyer Family and Meyer Wines.

Terry and JAK have been crisscrossing each other and their own wine businesses over the last decade.

JAK and Janice  at Meyer Family Vineyards and  Terry Lynn and Andrew at Anarchist Mountain Vineyards. Both wanted to grow their own brands, but quickly realized that they were becoming each other’s competition with regards to their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production.

The seed for launching Mayhem Wines was planted one evening  over several glasses of wine.  Over wine?  How unusual.

Australian born NZ raised  Ajay Chavan is the winemaker at Mayhem.

For those of you looking for terrific wines at a great price, remember the name Mayhem.


Terry Lynn and I taste our way through their latest releases. Almost all at $15.95!!


2019 Pinot Blanc (here’s the start to your weekend)

2019 Pint Gris. (Lemon. Honey. Ripe stone fruit)

2019 Riesling (Hello Granny). $18.26

2019 Gewurztraminer. Texture and peach in a glass. Great nose.

2019 Sauvignon Blanc  a beautiful balance of oak and Meyer Lemon. Spices.

2018 Merlot/Cab Franc.  75/25 New and Used Oak for 9 months. Plum. Herbs. Beautiful dark fruit.  OK. Here’s the plan.  Buy several.  Enjoy several now. Hide at least one or two bottles for 2 years. Will get crazy good. $21.74


JAK takes us through his latest releases. Keep in mind MFV has earned the distinction of being judged one of the top wineries in Canada.

Acclaimed for sublime Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs. Winemaker is Chris Carson.

Small lots. Burgundian in style and manner. 8,000 cases.


2019 Okanagan Valley Chardonnay. Very popular with wine fans. A blend of four different vineyards. Small batches making one perfect blend. Older oak and stainless steel.

Flavours of lemon, apple, thyme. Vineyard planted in 1996. Cellar to 2024.


2018 McLean Creek Road Chardonnay. 100% French oak. 22 New. Cellaring potential of up to 10 years. Glorious.


2018 McLean Creek Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 

Clones are Pommard 91

Dijon 114, 115, 667, 777

100 French Oak.  25 new.

Cellar for 10 years

One of the very best wines in Canada.




Stories we are working on:


Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal

Sam Roberts – Music and Wine


Lock and Worth/Nichol

Taylor Fladgate – Zoom from Portugal

A return to Hillside

Doin’ The Douce in North Vancouver.  Douce Diner

Bartier Brothers




Winter Whites! Tasting Room Radio- October 17th, 2020


Winter White Wines – I’m sorry, Winter What?


It was a comment about a year ago.  A winemaker used the phrase “I’m making Winter Whites”.



“A Winter White – what is that?”

Well,  it’s a white wine that has enough texture and mouthfeel to pair with Winter roasts, stews, soups, root vegetables etc.

This hour is dedicated to focusing in on white wines than can carry their weight through the Winter.

I sought out winemakers and wine experts who could explain Winter Whites and then recommend wines that we could get our hands on!

Most of us switch from summer whites to increasingly heavier reds when the Winter cool and wet sets in. Fair enough. They go well with stews, soups, confit, Cassoulet and oven birds.

A Winter White has to have weight, texture and the ability to pair with all those dishes.

Fat Chards come to mind, Chablis, some Pinot Gris and Chenins, specifically Vouvrays

Rieslings from Alsace, Soave from Italy, Mondavi Fume. White blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape

2 Bench White from Tinhorn  Creek.(Semillion,Chard, Sauv Blanc, Viognier and Muscat)

Ava from Le Vieux Pin

Yalumba Y Series Viognier.   I could go on.

Please don’t forget to include Bubble, Rosé and Roussanne

Our guests include:



Chris Reilly – Head Sommelier at (David Hawksworth’s)  Nightingale Restaurant in Vancouver


Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson – Drinks Editor Winnipeg Free Press https://www.winealign.com/profile/43820-Ben-MacPhee-Sigurdson

Kurtis Kolt – Wine Educator,  Wine Writer.  Judge. http://www.kurtiskolt.com/

Rhys Pender – Master of Wine  https://www.mastersofwine.org/en/meet-the-masters/profile/index.cfm/id/dfb8a043-5e4b-e211-a20600155d6d822c

Michaela Morris – Wine writer and judge  https://michaelamorris.ca/

Jason Parkes – Winemaker The Hatch, etc.   https://thehatchwines.com/ 

Jason Parkes – The Hatch

Valeria Tait –Gold Hill Winery and 2House  www.goldhillwinery.com

Valeria Tait – 2House and Gold Hill

Kathy Malone – Winemaker at Hillside https://www.hillsidewinery.ca/

Kathy Malone



Chris Reilly-Head Sommelier at Nightingale


Here’s Chris Reilly’s List:

2016 Clos du Soleil Capella Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon Similkameen Valley

2013 Haywire Vintage Bubb Okanagan Valley

2016 Gustave Lorentz Pinot Gris Alsace France

2016 Pietradolce Carricante Etna Bianco Sicily Italy

2017 Yalumba “Y” Series Viognier South Australia Australia

Here’s   Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson’s List


d’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne (McLaren Vale, Australia)


Guigal 2016 Cotes du Rhone white (Cotes du Rhone, France)


60% Viognier, 15% Roussanne, 10% Marsanne, 8 % Clairette, 5% Bourboulenc, 2% Grenache blanc.

Torres 2017 Esmerelda (Catalunya, Spain)

$16.99 BCLDB

Moscatel and Gewurztraminer, spice and stone/tropical fruit with a hint of sweetness.

Testalonga Baby Bandito “Keep on Punching” Chenin Blanc (Swartland, South Africa)


The Winemakers have lots of suggestions.  – One name that pops up 3  times is Ava from Le Vieux Pin.


Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal

Taylor Fladgate – Zoom from Portugal

Doin’ The Douce in North Vancouver.  Douce Diner

David Hawksworth – The Cookbook (Next week)

Liam Mayclem – Conditions in SF and Napa

Heading back to Ampersand

Creek and Gully Cider


October 10th, 2020 – Maenam. The Book  with Angus An. Vanessa Vineyards with Howard Soon. Amazing Row 14 at Klippers.  


Maenam. The Book  with Angus An. Vanessa Vineyards with Howard Soon & The  Amazing Row 14 at Klippers.



 Chef Angus An has been a cutting edge  fixture in West Coast dining for many years now.

Angus An

His profile in Vancouver started with Gastropod on Fourth Ave in Kitsilano.

It was 2006. Angus was 26.

Even though Gastropod was his  dream restaurant and it won countless awards and rave reviews it couldn’t survive  the downturn in the Worlds economy and closed in  2009.

He rebranded as Maenam. A new approach to Thai food with freshness, innovation, new flavours and balance featuring seasonal local ingredients.  It was a combination of Thai family style dining and street food. Maenam became so popular it was named best Restaurant in Vancouver by Van Mag in 2016. Also best Thai in Vancouver many years running.

Angus and his wife and partner Kate now run a mini empire on the West Coast.

Their brands include

  • Maenam.
  • Longtail Kitchen, South East Asian Street Food Concept.
  • Fat Mao Noodles, Thai-Chinese Noodle Bar in Chinatown Vancouver!
  • Freebird Chicken Shack, in Chinatown Vancouver!
  • Sen Pad Thai, on Granville Island!
  • Popina Canteen – Granville Island

Maenam is a  beautiful book..like the food it celebrates – bright, fresh, colourful.

I went looking for two elements.. What wines to pair with a family style dinner..which may have as many as 5-6 dishes..each with its own spices and flavours. Happily Angus asked Kurtis Kolt to handle that chapter and Kurtis pulled it off.

The other feature I wanted to see was the “how to” suggestion list.

How to prepare a crab or lobster , work with delicate  spot prawns  and oysters.

And the spices..which ones and where do I find them?

Same thing with “ingredients”..its all handled well here.

Angus took me through his seasonal  menus  &  cooking in the book..so you get to hear about Fall and Winter menus.

NOTE*  My trusty field recorder decided to stop working just as we got started. I pulled out my iphone and hit record … Angus picked up right where we had left off and saved the day.  Apologies for the audio.

One last suggestion – Think about birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas down the road.  This book is a perfect gift for chefs and foodies. Or yourself!!

Maenam: A fresh approach to Thai Cooking comes in hardcover and EBook.


Vanessa Vineyards  – Howard Soon Winemaster (Similkameen)

Howard Soon

The combination of Similkameen farmland  that’s  recommended by vineyard developers Richard Cleave and Robert Goltz  is the first hint that you’re on to something very special.

Both of those Okanagan legends are farmers and winegrowers of the highest order.

The second hint is that the winemaker working  the vineyards and fruit is none other than Howard Soon. He’s in the middle of his 41st harvest… the longest such streak in Canada, the man who created Sandhill Wines and was awarded the Order of Canada for his devotion to  and leadership in  Canadian Wine.


Vanessa Vineyards, image Lionel Trudel

With his partnership at Vanessa, Howard has come full circle as over the years he sourced many of his wines from this very vineyard.  Even though its been expanded and new plantings are set in the hard soil, they still will only produce 3,000 cases of wine.

Just what Howard loves. Small lots. Very well made.

This time around we taste

2019 Rose

2016 Syrah

2019 Viognier

And then we had a great discussion about the Vanessa Right Bank. Check out the blend

  • Merlot Clone 181 Bordeaux, France
  • Cabernet Franc Clone 331 Pyrénées-Atlanliques, France
  • Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 169 Bordeaux, France

Lots to like here..from the outstanding wines, the  leadership, the staff and especially Howard Soon.  Bravo!!

www.vanessavineyard.com (Similkameen Valley)

Anna-Maria Klippenstein – Co-Owner and Coordinator Row 14 (At Klippers in  Cawston, Similkameen Valley)

Derek Gray – Executive Chef


The Similkameen is not only a rapidly growing wine region but it’s been the organic farming capitol of Canada for a number of years. Klippers Organics has been part of the farming community since 2001.

Klippers is  also the home of Untangled Cider.

So what could be better than to plan and build a great restaurant right in the middle of the farms and one farm in particular Klippers Organics.

They’re well known for their fruit and vegetables at farmers markets around the province.

Anna-Maria’s husband and partner Kevin began this dream by including partner and Executive chef Derek Gray. That was key to the direction they wanted to take the business.

Derek had spent a great deal of time creating with  the open hearth kitchen at Savio Volpe in Vancouver.

The three of them planned  a restaurant that cooked everything on the open hearth..for all the diners to see and enjoy.

Little did they know they would open just in time for a World Pandemic in 2020.

They closed…made changes to abide by the changing health rules…and re-opened to acclaim and many customers.

They use produce that they are  surrounded by at  Klippers Organics and the hearth and  wood fire creates  flavours and  textures like few others.

The restaurant sources olive oil from Salt Spring Island and balsamic vinegar from the Cowichan Valley.  It also gets its eggs and meats from local farmers in the valley.

It’s fair to say, there has been nothing like this dining experience in the Okanagan and frankly the whole of BC.

The menu is wildly engaging. Trust me on this..very few dining experiences you have tasted recently  will come close to this.

Here’s a menu from September. Expect October to be different as what’s coming from the fields and fishery into the kitchen changes seasonally.


 Best of all, they proudly feature  a wide variety of Similkameen wines.





Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Noble Ridge

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!

Mayhem and Meyer – All in the Family

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal

Sam Roberts – Music and Wine


Lock and Worth/Nichol

Taylor Fladgate – Zoom from Portugal

A return to Hillside

Doin’ The Douce in North Vancouver.  Douce Diner

October 3rd, 2020-Fishing, Food, Friends, Fluids – Year 8


Fishing, Food, Friends, Fluids – Year 8

(A Chef, Winemaker,  Master of Wine and me)



For 8  years now, Master of Wine Rhys Pender, Winemaker/Owner at Orofino John Weber,  Award winning  Chef at Waterfront Bistro Kelowna Mark Filatow and yours truly have gathered once a year to reconnect through fishing. On oceans, lakes, streams, rivers and sharing campfires, food, wines and stories.


2020 has been such a crazy mess on so many levels,  that getting away – just for two days – was so the right thing to do.

It was Mark who suggested drift fishing the Kettle River, one large valley East of the Okanagan. There’s no pristine chain of blue lakes down this valley but the river is gorgeous and home to beautiful trout.

Day one we drifted the Kettle River. Fished the rapids and pools for about 5-6 hours..had a spectacular dinner thanks to Mark. It featured the annual Tomahawk Chops cooked on an open fire (this year the fire was a charcoal fueled Weber BBQ)

Dinner cooked all on the charcoal fueled Weber. Dry Aged Beef Tomahawk Steaks.Organic Corn.

Potatoes and Chive sour cream. Tomato and Cucumber Salad. Homemade BBQ Sauce

The wines we poured were like a liquid gift… better and better.

I headed for bed while the other three played campfire dj. I happily slept through the noise.

I put on a master class in campfire coffee- for an audience of one. Me!

When the guys woke up Mark put on his usual healing breakfast – Kale eggs with Rhys’s great bread (photos included) and then off we went.

Day two, we drove Highway 33 East and identified 3 dark pools that looked promising and accessible. So, instead of drifting, we spent the day fishing those pools and walking the river.

Mark had two great fishing days, so did John. Rhys had his moments and I came up completely skunked. But I still spent two days with these friends, on a river and shared fishing, food and fluids.

It’s hard to put into words how wonderful it all felt.

The last dinner was spring salmon I had caught in Ucluelet and we BBQ’d on the fire with a wild variety of wines for pairing.


Terry’s salmon with the potato, corn, shishitos and vegetable succotash

Wines in no particular order


Burge Family Barossa Valley Olive Hill Vineyard Semillon 2006

Clai, Ottocento 2014, Istria Croatia

Jean Bourdy, Cotes du Jura Blanc 2008

Eric Texier, St. Julien St. Alban, 2014, Rhône, France

Stephenson Cellars, Syrah 2008, Columbia Valley, Washington



 From Orofino:

Gamay bubble 2019

Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling clone 21B 2018

Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling clone 239 2018

Gamay 2019


Pozza Vineyard cab franc rosé 2019

SA Natte Valley Cinsault 2017

Domaine de Pothiers “Reference” Loire Gamay



Pesquera Ribera del Duero 2011,

St. Urbans Hof Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett Riesling 2011



Mission Hill  2007 Point Noir

Desert Hills 2006 Mirage

Inniskillin Dark Horse 1996 Riesling Ice Wine


We talked of Covid19, the state of wineries and restaurants this year and what 2021 may bring, wines we brought, about each of their careers and of course,  fishing.





Next year?  Let’s just say “It’s under discussion.”

Thank you gentlemen..it was an honour and a dream.



Angus An – Maenam Cookbook

Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Noble Ridge

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!


Mayhem and Meyer – All in the Family

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal

Dining at Row 14 in Cawston

Sam Roberts – Music and Wine


Lock and Worth/Nichol

Taylor Fladgate – Zoom from Portugal










September 26th, 2020-Tasting & Talking with Michael Clark/Clos du Soleil & John Skinner/Painted Rock



For all you wine fans looking to step up the quality of your weekly wines and then cellaring the same,  this week’s Tasting Room has two of the best wineries and wine leaders in one show.


Michael Clark – Clos Du Soleil


Michael Clark is the GM and Chief Winemaker at Clos du Soleil in the Similkameen Valley.

“we’re borrowing an aesthetic derived from Bordeaux – the art of blending – stamped with the flavors and aromas of Similkameen soil. “

Michael Clark Clos du Soleil

Clos du Soleil takes great pride in creating delicate wines, featuring beautifully ripe fruit and an amazing minerality. The “soil” in the Similkameen Valley is hard and unforgiving. However, if you can get the right vines to exist in that soil..the results are highly rewarding. For them and especially for you.

Michael is proud to taste and talk about these three wines, any one of which has the flavor and texture components to become your next go-to wine.



Chardonnay 2019

Pale Yellow. Scents of apple, lemon, and floral notes. On the palate lemon, pineapple, and a classic Similkameen minerality. No new oak but 8 months in barrels. Gently filtered just prior to bottling. $22.90.  A beauty!

Tasting Room -Clos du Soliel

Semillon 2019

Pale yellow. Aromas of pear, yellow apple, and lemon.

The palate is soft. A wonderful texture of ripe apple, peat, apricot, vanilla, and herbs.  Mostly fermented in stainless steel tanks but also some time in French oak puncheon.  Prior to bottling,  the barrel and tank components were blended and lightly filtered. $21.90.  More evidence that Semillon has a place in BC Wine.


Estate Reserve Red 2016


33% Cab/32% Merlot/20% Cab Franc/12% Petit Verdot/3% Malbec

Aromas of spice, cedar box, ripe black fruit, forest floor.

The palate combines black currant, licorice, and graphite. Tannins lead to a beautiful texture and mouthfeel.

This is just a beautifully structured joy.

Next time you have wine friends over and they’re going on about Bordeaux this and Napa that ..sneak this wine into the tasting and watch the smiles when you tell them who made it and where it’s from. $54.90

Fyi – The Signature 2016 won Gold at the Decanter Awards. Congratulations to the winemaking team.





Jon Adrian. Architectural, winery, and lifestyle photographer.

John Skinner – Proprietor of Painted Rock

Painted Rock Estate Winery was founded with a family legacy in mind by John and Trish Skinner in 2004. Named InterVin International Winery of the Year for 2018/2019, the winery produces primarily Bordeaux red varieties, along with a Chardonnay, Rosé, and Syrah.


The star of the winery is Red Icon – a true Bordeaux blend.  2017  has been nominated for Wine of the Year at the Decanter Awards.  Results in January! That’s a game breaker for any BC wine.

It’s been quite a year for John, his family, and his staff. Surrounded by wildfires, they were protected by the First Responder firefighters this summer. On the ground and especially in the air. The smoke from the fires spared the vineyards plus the smoke was blown south.

John got a great mention in the recent  NY Times article on BC Wines.

If anyone is going to lead BC wine into a World profile it very likely will be John Skinner and his peers.

Here’s what we tasted with Painted Rock.

Jon Adrian.  Adrian Photographers

Painted Rock  2016 Estate Grown Merlot

Clones 181 and 347. Hand-harvested, the wine was aged 18 months in French Oak. 30% was new.

Beautifully structured. There’s nothing flabby about this Merlot.

Is this the key to their award-winning blends?  Don’t bet against this Merlot.  Spectacular. The $34.99


Painted Rock 2016 Estate Grown Syrah.


Clones 99 and 100.

18 months in 30% New Oak.(80% French. 20% American)

And the other 70% was French Oak.

White and Black pepper abounds. Sage and lavender, all in one bottle.

If you can give this Syrah another couple of years in bottle, the reward should be outstanding.

If you can’t wait..it’s a really fine pour right now. $39.99


Painted Rock 2017 Estate Grown Red Icon


38% Merlot/21% Cab Franc/20% Petit Verdot/11 Cab/8Malbec/2% Syrah.


I ask John if the Merlot drives this bus.  He says it’s actually the 2% Syrah.

Notes of ripe black fruit, cassis, and whole nutmeg.

The palate reveals more black fruit, chocolate, and blueberry.

The tongue lingers on the smooth full texture and clean acidity.

It will get better and better with each vintage and each year in bottle.

Just like the owner, a true Icon. $59.99



Jon Adrian. Architectural, winery, and lifestyle photographer. Kelowna Photographer / Okanagan Photographer / Painted Rock Winery / Waterfront Restaurant



Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Maenam – The book

Noble Ridge

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!


Year 8 – The Four F’s in Kettle Valley

(Food. Fishing. Friends. Fluids)

Mayhem and Meyer – All in the Family

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal

Dining at Row 14 in Cawston

Sam Roberts – Music and Wine




September 19th, 2020 – Third Annual BC Cider fest!





This week long craft cider celebration saw many cider events, tastings and
festivities throughout British Columbia with tasting events from Kelowna to
Vancouver Island, including tap takeovers, cider pairing meals, and much
more throughout the week.

The highlight for me and many others is the final event. The gathering of up
to 40 Cideries at The Pipe Shop foot of Lonsdale in North Vancouver.

It’s one of the buildings my father Pat worked in during WW2.

The first interview had to be with Shawn Pisio, who co-founded the B.C.
Cider Festival three years ago.

Glenn Ennis, Lynn Colliar and the Geo Team

Just how popular is this event? It sells out within minutes.

Cider is going through the very same revolution that craft beers did 10
years ago.

The opportunity to grow more cider apples in B.C. is unlimited, but BC is
already home to many excellent craft cideries.

One of the cideries we interviewed was Twin Island Cider on Pender Island.
They were voted most popular Cidery at this event.

Finally, for those of you who still think that ciders are not for you
because they’re too sweet or something…FORGET ABOUT IT..

It’s a whole new world out in the orchard.


Our guests are:

Shawn Pisio – Txotx/ Co-Founder

Russ Johnson – Owner/Cidermaker Truck 59 Kelowna

Sydney Bottomley – Asst Cider Maker Broken Ladder Kelowna

Nick Farrer – Founder The Bricker Cider Co Sechelt

Mike Lachelt – Co-owner/Cidermaker Salt Spring Wild SS Island

Mathew Vasilev Co-Owner Twin Island Cider Pender Island

David Schneider – Persephone Brewing Gibson’s BC

Kathleen van der Ree – Northyards Cider – Squamish

Mike Petkau – Nomad Handcrafted Cider – Summerland

Glenn Ennis – Owner Geo Cider Co – Squamish

Lynn Colliar – Geo Cider Squamish

Jeff Nairn – Co-Founder Windfall East Van



Photos by Linda C


Zoom tasting at Yalumba

Maenam – The book

Noble Ridge

Painted Rock

Sandra Oldfield – Back Again!!


Year 8 – The Four F’s in Kettle Valley

(Food. Fishing. Friends. Fluids)

Mayhem and Meyer – All in the Family

Clos du Soleil

Fonseca Zoomathon from Portugal