Tasting Room Radio






 John Skinner – Co-founder of Painted Rock

John Skinner


In a normal year, Wine Align hosts their annual National Wine Awards. 2020 was not a normal year.

Their team decided to put together a “Guide to Canada’s Best Wines”

At Painted Rock they had already sold out their Chardonnay, Rose and Cabernet Sauvignon.

So, they submitted their Merlot,  Syrah, Cab Franc and Red Icon.

They were all judged Top Ten and the 2017 Red Icon was judged the Top Red Wine. A blend that 3 of the judges gave 5 stars for value.

And the 2017 Red Icon was the only Canadian Wine that made the 2020 Wines of the Year in Decanter Magazine.

Painted Rock

All of these awards are remarkable considering that in August of 2020  the winery was in danger of being overrun and burned to the ground by another summer firestorm.

Spotter planes and fire fighting helicopter crews and front line firefighters on the ground saved Painted Rock and their neighbours. John sent them away with boxes of wine. The firefighters then sold the wine at auction to support the local  foodbank.

Fires around Painted Rock

One more thing.  Just weeks ago John was skiing Whistler hard, the way he’s always done and at top speed he collided with a skier who crossed his run without looking. Whistler first responders located him, attended to his condition and got him off the mountain and to a hospital.  Thanks to them and his friends, he’s recovering nicely.

 It was that kind of year.

Let’s get caught up with John Skinner and Painted Rock!


Davin de Kergommeaux  – Whisky Update

Davin de Kergommeaux

Its been a while since Davin and I hooked up.

Likely the release of his latest book The Definitive Guide to Canadian Distilleries!

I know that the Canadian Whisky Awards would normally happen in the next little while in Victoria. Again, this is not a normal time. For 2021 it will be late February.

Getting caught up with Canada’s Whisky expert involves scanning the websites of over 200 distilleries and then trying to pin the man down.  He’s busy with on line  Zoom tastings  and book events  etc.

Davin is keen to talk about the burgeoning micro distillery scene, coast to coast.

Reviews on Wayward (Krupnik), Shelter Point (The Collective) (Ripple Rock).

The new Odd Society 5 year barrel program.

We finish with his recommendations for best New Whisky  in Canada and three whiskies to taste before “your lights go out”

Davin is the world’s leading authority on Canadian whisky, and has been called “Canada’s unofficial whisky ambassador” as well as being named one of the most influential Canadians in Food and Drink by The Globe and Mail in 2016.

He is a former contributing editor to Whisky Magazine, and has contributed to or co-authored eight other books about whisky, spirits, and cocktails. He now writes full-time, and is regularly featured in many websites and publications, including Whisky Advocate.

Davin De Kergommeaux is the founder and chairperson of the prestigious Canadian Whisky Awards and publishes comprehensive tasting notes on his website.



Bella Bubble – Jay Drysdale brings the goods.

Haywire releases

Enrico Winery – in the Cowichan

The new Black Swift Winery







Tasting Room Radio was created in a studio barn on the Naramata Bench in 2007.

We were attracted by the space, the people and the farming community.  Since we moved back to the Coast in 2011 we’ve become aware how The Bench has grown. In some cases, not in a good way.

The good news is the food/restaurant  possibilities have become much better,  sustainable farming has become the norm.

The wines have truly become better and better.  Some World Class. Accommodation has improved and grown with the area.

With success comes some serious challenges. Wine fans from all over dream of living part of the year in wine country.  No problem unless building that housing could seriously affect the whole of Naramata Bench.

Let’s face it. From April to October the Okanagan Valley can be swarmed with visitors. The Naramata Bench and its single road on a busy day can be challenging for the wine fan and the farmer.

Now comes “the development” on Spiller Road. Just at that S shaped “crash corner” at Red Rooster. High on that hill a housing community is taking shape and it threatens the locals and their vineyards.

The Bench

A Penticton petition calling to “preserve and protect” Penticton’s Naramata Bench has gathered close to 15,000 signatures . The 121 acre site located beside the local land fill boasts  324 single and multi-residential housing units.

Some residents aren’t impressed.

“Allowing the Naramata Bench to be developed beyond the current agricultural density would forever change the look and feel of the area. It would take away from the destination as a sought after recreational area, affect wildlife, the natural abundance and ultimately affect all of the businesses in the area in a negative way,” reads the petition started by Josie Tyabji on Change.org.

We thought it was time to share this conflict with you, the wine fan.

We have interviews with :

Lindsay O’Rourke  Co-Founder of Tightrope Winery.

Lindsay ORourke. Tightrope

Gjoa  Taylor & John Bilodeau from Gjoa Vineyards

Gjoa Taylor. John Bilodeau

Duncan McCowan  President of Hillside Estate Winery and Bistro

Duncan McCowan Hillside

Chef Ned Bell  Naramata Inn. (recorded before Christmas but gives a sense of how special  Naramata Town and area are)








We start this weeks Tasting Room Radio with a revisit to the sparkling Ampersand Distillery in Duncan, Vancouver Island.

Jessica. Jeremy. Stephen. Ramona Schacht Ampersand

Jessica Schacht is the co-founder of Ampersand, along with her husband Jeremy, along with Jeremys parents Stephen and Ramona.

In 2007 the same summer that Meg and I moved to Naramata, Stephen and Ramona moved to the Cowichan Valley to start a vegetable farm. Jeremy perhaps  didn’t see it as a farm “per se” but as another classroom  to extend his education in chemical process engineering.  A distillery was born. They created all the equipment themselves and called the passion project Ampersand.

How well did they learn?

Ampersand Gin was voted Best BC Distilled Gin 2016-2018

Per Se Vodka was voted Best BC Distilled  Vodka 2016-2019

And Per Se won World’s Best Varietal at the 2020 World Vodka Awards.

 Very happy to welcome back to TRR – Jessica and Ampersand.



 Davin de Kergommeaux – Whisky/Spirits Update

Shelter Point

Eau Claire Distillery

Sheringham Distillery





January 9th, 2021- David Hawksworth and Liam Mayclem


David Hawksworth –THE COOKBOOK

Liam Mayclem – The Foodie Chap. SF


David Hawksworth – Hawksworth The CookBook

It’s a beauty this one.

Everyone seems to need something different from new cookbooks.

Photos, recipes, stories about the author, and how recipes came to be.

How easy or difficult. How well researched.

There seems to be many potholes that cookbooks fall into.

This is not one of those books because David Hawksworth is not one of those chefs.


“On opening a new cookbook, I get in the passing lane and speed to the recipes. But when I cracked open Hawksworth The Cookbook by David Hawksworth and Stephanie Noel I stayed in the slow lane, captivated by Hawksworth’s story interspersed through the book.”  Mia Stainsby Van Sun

As a leader in contemporary Canadian cuisine, Chef Hawksworth’s restaurants, Hawksworth and Nightingale, have been fixtures of Vancouver’s dining scene for the past 10 years, aweing diners with the intricate, beautiful, and refined dishes that have become synonymous with his name. In this book, he shares for the first time the artfully developed recipes that have brought him unparalleled success over the years, and challenges readers to recreate these dishes for an unforgettable dining experience.


“I have been a fan of Chef David Hawksworth’s precise French school-style, and Pacific Northwest ingredient-driven cuisine for over 20 years. This book is an incredible tool, full of secrets and techniques, for all cooks to up their game—at home and at work. Well played.” —CHEF DAVID MCMILLAN, JOE BEEF RESTAURANT GROUP

Hawksworth is a celebration of Chef Hawksworth’s career to date, with recipes ranging from his time training in London with Michelin-starred chefs, to Ouest, the first restaurant where he served as head chef, to opening his own fine-dining restaurant.

The book’s simpler and more casual recipes reflect the family-style dishes served at Nightingale and the casual fare of Bel Café (a downtown lunchtime go-to destination). The recipes included require varying levels of skill and time commitments. Casual foodies and adventurous cooks alike will find new culinary pleasures with Chef Hawksworth as their guide.

Winner of 2012 and 2013 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year and for four consecutive years, Best Upscale Dining, as well as enRoute magazine’s top three Best New Restaurants, and Maclean’s magazine Restaurant of the Year; Hawksworth has anchored himself at the helm of the Vancouver – and Canadian – dining scene.

This interview takes you through David’s beginnings, how little he knew about cooking when he got to London, the lessons learned from Michelin starred chefs, and how he lived his dream once back on the West Coast.

There’s the great story about Willie Mitchell (then a Canuck) and his wife dining at West with the new owners of the Hotel Georgia, a building David had always admired and dreamt about making it his home base. His life changed that night.

We welcome back a chef, a friend, and fishing partner David Hawksworth.


 Liam Mayclem – The Foodie Chap. San Francisco.

Liam Mayclem

Liam has been on Tasting Room Radio many times. We met when we both did movie junkets together in LA and NY.

In between films and interviews, we talked about food and wine then movies.

Emmy Award-winning radio & TV personality,  Liam is best known as the host of EYE ON THE BAY on CBS 5 and as “The Foodie Chap” celebrating San Francisco Bay Area culinary stars daily on #1 KCBS Radio.

Annually, Liam hosts the main stage at EAT DRINK SF – a gathering for SF food fans.  He also hosts the culinary stage at BOTTLE ROCK NAPA VALLEY. This year he made sushi with Chef Morimoto and Snoop Dog, tasted fried chicken made by Flava Flav, and enjoyed nitrus cocktails concocted by Chef Dominique Crenn.

He’s also the first call made when a charity event needs a host or auctioneer. He’s a very busy guy our Liam.

I wanted to get caught up on how San Francisco’s wineries, restaurants, and citizens are handling the Covid 19 Pandemic.

I also wanted to get caught up on how Liam was doing and what he was doing.

Did I mention he’s a very busy guy?





Ampersand Distilling

New BC releases

Virtual tastings in Portugal and Barossa Valley





Winter Whites! Tasting Room Radio- January 1st, 2021


Winter White Wines –  A 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 :



The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne (McLaren Vale, Australia)



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


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


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


December 26thth, 2020 – New Zealand Part 2


Tour Number 2 of New Zealand begins in Hawkes Bay where Syrah is King..through the legendary Gimblett Gravels… and finishes on the south Island  in Nelson at NZ’s first Maori owned and operated winery.



  Part 1 of our wine tour of New Zealand took us through the Auckland area and on to Hawkes Bay and that’s where we begin Part 2.  

Elephant Hill  is a stunning and innovative winery estate and restaurant located on the idyllic Te Awanga coast, in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.



They create 2 very fine chardonnays  Sauv. blanc, a white & red blends called Le Phant Blanc/Rouge and a 5 star Viognier and they favour Syrah on the Red side..

We sit down in their fabulous restaurant with Viticulturist Jon Peet and sales and marketing leader Vince Labatt. 




Pask Winery

Staying in the Hawkes Bay area on North Island NZ we head for Pask

On our tour of NZ #1 we talked to Kate Ranburnd the famous winemaker at Pask. This time we take to the Gimblett Gravels fields and meet the guys who grow in that stunning region.


At Gimblett Gravels  Pask’s 59 hectares of vineyards are located on Gimblett Road where Chris Pask was first to plant in the region. It’s now known as the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowing District®.

World Famous Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay NZ

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. Pask has been a member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) since its inception.












Greg Allinson & Danny van Selm Pask Wines                                                                                                                                                                                                Lucky Me. I get to  meet Danny van Selm the vineyard manager and Greg Allinson – direct sales and marketing manager. Interview takes place in the middle of Gimblett Gravels.   http://www.pask.co.nz/                                                                                                                                                                                                                Trinity Hill                                                                         Their  story began in 1987 when John Hancock met Robert and Robyn Wilson in their London restaurant Bleeding Heart. Over a bottle of John’s award-winning Chardonnay, the concept of a Hawkes Bay winery was born. They were convinced they could produce world-class red wines as well as white in this region of New Zealand.

John recognized the outstanding potential of Hawkes Bay’s Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district and in 1993 Trinity Hill became one of the region’s early pioneers, planting grape vines on a barren plot on the former bed of the Ngaruroro River.

The first Gimblett Road wines, barrel-aged, were released in 1998 (vintage 1997); Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot and Syrah, to critical acclaim and a number of gold medals and trophies. In 2000, a further 20 hectare parcel of prime Gimblett Gravels land was purchased, named “Gimblett Stones” where Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot plus areas of Tempranillo, Syrah and Viognier were planted.

By 2001 The Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association was set up with 34 wineries and winegrowers from a “terroir”-defined area of the old Ngaruroro Riverbed, including Gimblett Road. Trinity Hill was and remains a founding member. In 2002, the first vintage super-premium wine Homage Syrah was made.

When it was released in 2004 it received critical acclaim world-wide. The 2006 vintage of Homage Syrah won the Supreme Award at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards in 2007.

John Hancock is our guest!

http://www.trinityhill.com/ http://www.gimblettgravels.com/



Sileni Estates



Sileni Estates is a major vineyard and winery development in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand’s oldest established vineyard area.

The first vintage was in 1998.  Sileni boasts a state of the art winery designed to crush over 1500 tonnes of grapes.

Sileni Estates Hawkes Bay

The  Winemaking Team strive to maintain high standards in environmentally sustainable viticultural and winemaking practices Our Guest is  Winemaker   Grant Edmonds.




Grant now leads a team of talented winemakers and viticultural staff who all share Grant and Sileni Estates’ commitment to the vision of making internationally acclaimed wines.

They grow wines in a new sub-region of Gimblett Gravels The Bridge Pa Triangle Wine District in Hawke’s Bay has recently been launched to celebrate and promote one of New Zealand’s premium wine-growing sub-regions. 


The area extends over more than 2,000 hectares on the western side of the Heretaunga plains and includes the largest concentration of quality vineyards in Hawke’s Bay. 




Mission Estate


In 1838 a group of French Missionaries (with the blessing of the Pope) arrived and established a Marist Mission in the north of New Zealand.  In 1851 a mission station was established near the Ngaruroro River between Napier and Hastings at Pakowhai.  In 1858, the missionaries moved to land they had purchased at Meeanee and a major community was established.

A cottage for living quarters was transported from Pakowhai and later a Church, school and study halls were built.  Vines were planted to produce both sacramental and table wine.  The first record of a commercial sale dates back to 1870 when a parcel of mostly dry reds were sold.

Today Mission Estate is Hawke’s Bay’s oldest winery, with a well-respected reputation in the New Zealand market as a producer of consistent quality, value for money wines.

 Paul Mooney  has been the winemaker at Mission Estate for over 30 years, making him one of the most experienced winemakers in New Zealand.

Paul’s winemaking philosophies are heavily influenced by his mentor, Brother John, who trained in Bordeaux during the 1960’s



Paul Mooney Mission Estate Hawkes Bay


Then it’s off to Wellington and then on to  Nelson on the Northern tip of the South Island.

 Te Mania and Richmond Plains


Te Mānia was established by Jon and Cheryl Harrey in 1990 near Nelson.   A two time Champion of the prestigious Bragato Wine Awards, Te Mānia has created  excellent Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Riesling wine.

Te Mānia  is the Maori name for “The Plains” pronounced “Tay Ma-ni-a”

To celebrate the worlds biggest grapevine rugby ball and to support their  world beating rugby team they have  released the Te Mania 2010 Big Balls Syrah. 

Richmond Plains is an organic and biodynamic Nelson wine making pioneer producing New Zealand’s first Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from certified Organic and Biodynamic grapes.

 They  also produce Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, Rose, Syrah and Blanc de Noir – Pinot made as a white wine. Richmond Plains has been growing and making organic wine since inception in 1991. Richmond Plains  won the Trophy for the best Sauvignon Blanc at the 2012 Sydney International Wine Competition.

Our guests are Winemaker Steve Gill (both labels) and  Lars Jensen – Owner Richmond Plains  



  Tohu produces award-winning New Zealand wine crafted from grapes grown in the  breath-takingly beautiful, Awatere Valley Vineyard. When Tohu launched in 1998 they  were the world’s first Māori owned wine company.

Since then they’ve  grown a reputation for producing premium wine in a range of varieties, winning awards for  Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Méthode Traditionnelle.   . Tohu Wines now has a sister brand.  Aronui Wines was launched early in 2013.

The word Aronui derives from the Māori mythological basket of knowledge associated with crafts, arts and working with the land in beneficial ways. This reflects their  commitment to caring for the land and their  artisanal approach to winemaking. As the owners are kaitiaki (guardians of their natural resources) and focused on sustainable enterprise, both Tohu and Aronui vineyards are certified by Sustainable Wine Growing New Zealand (SWNZ), the  company is CEMARS accredited, and the wines are carboNZero certified.

Whenua Matua (Significant Lands) is the name of their Aronui vineyard. It is located in Nelson’s Moutere Valley – an area fast becoming an aromatics powerhouse. This compliments their Tohu vineyards located in Marlborough, where they continue to produce  Single Vineyard Estate grown wines and exceptional Kaumatua-Reserve range, named after special elders from within their whanau.

Maori Warrior

Our hosts also take us to their mussle farms just off shore. That’s where we get the treat of the trip..fresh live mussels cooked on deck and washed down with their Sauvignon Blanc.  

(Whanau = family. Māori = indigenous peoples of New Zealand. Kaumauta = respected elder)

   Our guests include:

Kerensa Johnson – Company Secretary and Lawyer Mike Brown – CEO Kono beverages

Capt Dave Higgins – Hicapoo Hunter fishing boat.


Stories we’re working on:

Liam Mayclem – The Foodie Chap on SF Restaurants and Wineries

Chef David Hawksworth  – The Cookbook (and The Life.)

Catching up with Ampersand Distillery.



December 19th, 2020- Kurtis Kolt & The Wine Diva with Outstanding Bottles and Bubbles  


Kurtis Kolt & The Wine Diva with Outstanding Bottles and Bubbles




As the Holidays get closer I’ve always found myself drawing closer to friends. It’s never planned, it just happens.

It may be because of shared experiences and moments or flat out long time friendships.


I sent out two invites this week.  One to Kurtis Kolt.


Vancouver based wine consultant, occasional writer for VanMag, a wine educator and top tier Wine Judge.

And a friend.

I asked if he would bring with him a list of wines that impressed him over the year and that could be found at most BC Liquor Stores.

Kurtis said Yes.   He Suggested 4 Whites – One Pink – 4 Reds. Something for everyone.  Please find the list below..

I also wanted to ask Kurtis about the state of BC Restaurants and Wineries in 2020 and how we can help both in 2021.


Domaine Martin Jund Edelzwicker – Alsace, France, $31.99



Pewsey Vale Eden Valley 2018 Riesling – Eden Valley, Australia, $19.99 LTO til January 2, $21.99



Anthonij Rupert Wines Protea Chenin Blanc – Western Cape, South Africa, $14.99



Bartier Bros. 2019 Semillon, Okanagan Valley, B.C., $16.97 LTO til January 2, $19.99



Domaine Lafond Roc Epine 2018 Tavel, Rhône Valley, France, $27.99


Tenuta Castellaro Ypsilon Rosso, Sicily, Italy, $35.99



Robin Ridge 2018 Gamay, Similkameen Valley, BC, $22.99



Marchesi Di Barolo 2014 Barolo, Piedmont, Italy, $59.99


Langmeil Valley Floor 2017 Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia, $30.99 LTO til January 2, $34.99



Thank You Kurtis

@Kurtis Kolt

The second friend I reached out to was Daenna Van Mulligen – The Wine Diva

Daenna Van Mulligen


If you’ve heard Daenna on TRR over the years you’ll know that she LOVES her Bubble.

So when Daenna said Yes, I focused on an end of the year/gift giving Best Bubble List.  I’ve posted the list below.

(The complete list can be found at winediva.ca)

Okanagan Crush Pad ‘Narrative XC Method’ Sparkling, Okanagan Valley BC N/A

See Ya Later Ranch Sparkling Brut, Okanagan Valley, BC $23.99

Freixenet ‘Cordon Negro’ Gran Seleccion Cava, Spain $16.49

Freixenet Prosecco, Veneto Italy $20.00

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva, Penedes Spain, NV $16.99

Valdo Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore “Marco Oro”, Veneto Italy $23.99


Play Estate Winery ‘Teatro’ Moscato Frizzante, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A

Township 7 Vineyards and Winery ‘Seven Stars Equinox’, Okanagan Valley N/A

Steller’s Jay ‘Mountain Jay’ Brut, Okanagan Valley BC $22.99


Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Brut Rose, Okanagan Valley $40.00

L’Acadie Vineyards Vintage Cuvee Rose, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia $35.00

L’Acadie Vineyards Vintage Cuvee, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia $35.00

Mission Hill Family Estate Winery Reserve Brut, Okanagan Valley, BC $25.00

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars Gold Label Brut, Okanagan Valley BC $30.00

L’Acadie Vineyards Prestige Brut Estate, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia $55.00

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards ‘Fitz’ Brut, Okanagan Valley BC N/A

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards ‘Fitz Reserve’ Sparkling Rose, Okanagan Valley BC N/A


You can find all of her Wine Lists at www.winediva.ca and www.winescores.ca

Click on Wine Lists



The Hawksworth Cookbook

Sperling Vineyards

Best of the Year




December 12th, 2020 – The Wine Diva Returns with her Top 50 for 2020  and Ian Tostenson on BC’s Restaurants


The Wine Diva Returns with her Top 50 for 2020  and Ian Tostenson on BC’s Restaurants



Top 50 Wines for 2020  – Daenna van Mulligan   The Wine Diva

Daenna Van Mulligen

Daenna makes her lists. Lots of them.   Three  weeks ago it was Holiday Budget Bottles ($16 dollars or less)

This week its Daenna’s Top 50 Wines for 2020.     (Over $20 and 92 Points or higher)

“These special bottles are great gift options or to stock your own cellar with.   After this year you might want to hoard them for your own pleasure because we all need spoiling”  The Wine Diva (prices may vary, some wines may be sold out)

*for the n/a prices please go to www.winediva.ca and look under Wines, then wine lists)


Chateau Lynch-Moussas Grand Cru Classe, Pauillac, Bordeaux, France $90.00

Domaine des Deux Roches, ‘Vielles Vignes’, Pouilly-Fuisse, Burgundy, France $50.00

 Penner~Ash Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, WA $60.00

 Corcelettes Estate Winery ‘Talus’, Similkameen Valley, BC N/A

 Stonestreet Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California $55.00

 Foxtrot Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A

Copain ‘Les Voisins’ Chardonnay, Anderson Valley, California $50.00

Schrader Cellars ‘Double Diamond’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, Calif. N/A

 Township 7 Vineyards and Winery ‘Seven Stars Equinox’, Okanagan Valley N/A

Ruffino Riserva Ducale Oro, Gran Selezione Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy $48.99

Araldica ‘Corsini’ Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy $45.00

Altesino Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy $60.00

Tedeschi ‘Marne 180’ Amarone della Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy $59.00

Bollinger Champagne ‘Special Cuvee’, Champagne, France $89.99  Langmeil ‘Valley Floor’ Shiraz, Barossa Valley Australia $34.00

CedarCreek Platinum ‘Block 5’ Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley $35.00

Aldegheri Amarone della Valpolicella, Veneto Italy $65.00

Hester Creek Estate ‘Garland’, Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Valley BC N/A

Lunessence Winery & Vineyard Marsanne Roussanne Viognier, Okanagan Valley BC N/A  Tantalus Vineyards Old Vines Riesling, Okanagan Valley BC $31.00

Clos du Soleil ‘Grower’s Series’ Middle Bench Vineyard Syrah, Similkameen Valley, BC N/A

Mission Hill Family Estate ‘Jagged Rock Vineyard’ Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, BC $45.00

L’Acadie Vineyards Prestige Brut Estate, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia $55.00

Quails’ Gate Estate Winery Syrah ‘The Boswell’, Okanagan Valley BC N/A

Anthony Buchanan Wiines ‘Ashlyn’ Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, BC $32.00

Painted Rock ‘Red Icon’, Skaha Bench, Okanagan Valley BC $55.00

Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley BC $35.00

1 Mill Road ‘Home Block’ Pinot Noir, Naramata Bench, Okanagan Valley, BC N/A

SpearHead Pinot Noir ‘Saddleblock’, Okanagan Valley BC $40.00

Jim Barry ‘The Lodge Hill’ Shiraz, Clare Valley Australia $35.00

Vasse Felix Chardonnay, Margaret River, Australia $50.00

Penfolds ‘Bin 407’ Cabernet Sauvignon, South Australia $100.00

Stag’s Hollow Pinot Noir, Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard, Okanagan Falls, BC N/A




NEXT WEEK – Bubble for the Holidays


Can our Restaurants survive?  – Ian Tostenson President/CEO BC Restaurant and Food Services Association. (BCRFA)

Ian Tostenson

While we all hunker down and try to work how we’ll survive this pandemic and the economic fall out,  our local and regional restaurants are doing everything they can to stay open and keep staff working.

Vancouver and Victoria, for example, have always seen serious bustle on the weekends.  That bustle has moved to the suburbs. People staying close to home. Supporting their locals.

Everchanging health restrictions, a lost patio season, delivery costs, bubble diners, bankruptcies looming, travel restrictions. It all seems endless for the hospitality industry.

Our guest is Ian Tostenson, Pres/CEO of the BC Restaurant and Food Services Assn.

If anyone has the answers, it’s Ian.

This is a two part interview that hopefully brings clarity to a muddled dining landscape.

Thank You Ian





Bubble for the Holidays and gifts

The Wine Diva

Whisky Special

Creek and Gully Cider





December 5th, 2020 -The Hatch. Hillside. Moon Curser. Enrico.  A new Season of TRR.


The Hatch. Hillside. Moon Curser. Enrico.  A new Season of TRR.



 Tasting Room Radio began during harvest 2007 on the Naramata Bench. In a studio. In a barn.

Surrounded by vineyards and growers, a bird blasters and really fine people.

We begin our 14th year by welcoming the sponsors for 2021.

If we’re going to be talking about someone for a year they should either be friends or businesses/people that we admire.

So here are the four friends of TRR for 2021.  We thank them for the belief in the show and the support they kindly provide.

Hillside Winery – Kathy Malone  Senior Winemaker (Naramata Bench)

Kathy Malone

Hillside was one of the original wineries of the Okanagan and the third I believe on the Naramata Bench.

“Grow the best quality fruit possible, pick at optimum physiological ripeness, ferment cool, and intervene with nature only when necessary…simple, elegant. Simple, elegant, yes, but easy? Definitely not. Natural, beautiful wine is not manufactured—rather, it is carefully guided through natural phases to become the glorious essence of the effects of sun and soil on specific grape varieties.

It is our belief that great wines start in the vineyard, and to this end, we use only the best quality fruit available from our twenty acres of grapes densely planted on hillside terraces surrounding the winery. We also have partnerships with select vineyards along the Naramata Bench.”

A year after Meg and I moved to The Bench, Kathy Malone left Mission Hill and became the head winemaker at Hillside, just down the road from us.

Kathy brings stories of farming the bench &  the ups and downs of seasons.

They’ve just had a brand refresh with new labels and packaging with three tiers of wines.

Hillside Series

Heritage Series

Single Vineyard/Small Lot Series


Kathy walks us through their Sensory Tasting Experience, Seasonal Saturdays at THE BISTRO and the Holiday Gift Guide.

Tasting Room open ?Wed/Sunday 12-5:00

Bistro open Thursday/Sunday 5-7:30



The Hatch  –  Jason Parkes  Lead Winemaker   Develin Barker – Wine Club Conductor (West Kelowna)


Talking about everything going on at The Hatch is like going on tour with band of gypsies.

The leader is winemaker Jason Parkes. He seems to be several personalities at the same time. So its no surprise that The Hatch is merely the tip of the Iceberg.

The Hatch etc has returned to TRR for another year.

Once inside Hatchland you can follow the Yellow Brick Road to:


The Hobo Series

Screaming Frenzy

Black Swift Vineyards

Crown and Thieves

It’s the home of the band Proper Man

And the new JASON PARKES CUSTOM WINE CLUB, featuring 7 different wine options.

They’ve built and just opened a new home for Black Swift Wines. It’s freaking amazing.

Next they’ll build and open a new home for Crown and Thieves.

There’s Truck 59 Ciderhouse and Food trucks like The SmokeShow.


Does it sound like fun?  You bet!

But here’s the best part – THE WINES ARE KILLER GOOD. No fooling around great!


Merry Hatchmas!!



Moon Curser – Beata.Chris Tolley  Founders. Chris is Winemaker.  (Osoyoos Bench)


In 2003 both Beata and Chris completed a Post Graduate Degree in Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University is Christchurch NZ.

In 2004 Beata and Chris started small and well under the radar after their move from Calgary. Chris a software designer, Beata a Chartered Accountant.

The Moon Curser name pays tribute to the Gold Smuggling history of Osoyoos which is right up against the USA Border.


Unlike almost anyone else in the Okanagan, they decided right from the beginning to grow, bottle, and sell premium wines from old World grapes.

Tannat, Dolcetto, and  Touriga Nacional.   Then they added Syrah, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Tempranillo, Arneis, Roussanne/Marsanne, Viognier.

Then they added AWARDS.  The latest is the greatest.

Moon Curser was recognized as #1 Best Performing Small Winery at the 2019 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada.

The award perhaps explains why so many of their wines are Sold Out.  Beta and Chris will let us know what’s left to order.

They have a great wine club and Beata will explain why club membership would make a great gift.

This is a truly great small winery with a big heart.



Enrico Winery – Lorin Inglis   Manager  (Cowichan Valley)

Lorin Inglis (Enrico)

Enrico is a gorgeous 50-acre estate winery in Cobble Hill Cowichan Valley with a microclimate that allows them to grow 7 different varietals, ranging from fruity whites to full-bodied reds that are unique to Vancouver Island. Enrico Wines are winning medals across Canada and the United States including the first Prestigious Luitenant Governors Award for Excellence in B.C Wines awarded on Vancouver Island.


Also, the “Round Table” Wine Club is worth checking out as enrollment entitles you to a tasting room experience from the comfort of your home 2x a year!  This creative way of enjoying wine with friends and family is a timely addition to covid friendly wine tasting experiences

Tempest Ortega

Shining Armour Pinot Gris

Falconet – Petit Milo

Coronet – Oaked Reserve Petit Milo

Noble – Chad

Celebration – Charme de L’’Lile

Red Dragon – Rose

Newton – Pinot Noir

Long Sword – Cab Foch

Braveheart – Cab Libre

A stand out for Enrico Winery is the immediate welcoming atmosphere fostered by the friendly and knowledgeable staff in and around the tasting room.  Live music is often found with a beautiful patio section outside near a trout pond for picnics and tastings.

Walk the estate and take in the rustic experience Enrico has to offer!




Winemakers Cut

Fort Berens

The Wine Diva brings the Holiday lists

November 28th, 2020 – Sandra Oldfield, Kurtis Kolt , Rhys Pender. Helping Local Restaurants and Wineries in the year ahead.


Sandra Oldfield, Kurtis Kolt , Rhys Pender. Helping Restaurants and Wineries in the year ahead



2020… a year like no other.

We all have hunkered down and completely changed our lives in order to survive the Covid19 virus.

Perhaps lost in all this is the fact that restaurants and wineries are struggling to stay open and stay alive.

We have gathered three of the voices that need to be heard.  They speak on behalf of families struggling to keep their businesses open.

Struggling to pay staff and suppliers.

We try to answer the basic question  –  HOW CAN WE HELP?

I’ve asked Sandra and Kurtis and Rhys to give us the lay of the land.  Where are the needs, who’s adapting well and what the year ahead looks like.

I also took the time to ask them to recommend wines they’ve tasted recently that people should know about.


Kurtis Kolt 


Kurtis is  a Vancouver-based wine consultant who writes about wine, presents seminars, hosts events, judges wine competitions, works with restaurants on their wine programs, and so on.
Kurtis’ background is in running restaurants around Vancouver, eventually managing Gastown’s Salt Tasting Room until 2010 when he received the ‘Sommelier of the Year’ award at the 2010 Vancouver International Wine Festival.

Kurtis has various certifications and credits through London’s Wine & Spirit Education Trust, the Court of Master Sommeliers & the Winemaking Program at UC Davis. He is  also the co-founder of Top Drop, dubbed “the nerdiest, most awesome wine festival in Canada.”.


Wines Kurtis would like to  recommend:

2018 Cerasuolo Dabruzzo Tiberio

2018 Morgon – Mathieu & Camille Lapierre

2018 – Road 13  Chenin Blanc Chip off the Old Block





Sandra Oldfield

Sandra Oldfield

Sandra and Kenn Oldfield established Elysian Projects to give a hand up to BC wineries and tourism businesses.  They work in a wide range of areas including organizational effectiveness, business analysis and planning, recruitment, mentoring and innovative sales and marketing ideas.  At the heart of every project they accept is the belief that people come first and from there success will follow.


Many of you know Sandra from her over 30 years in the wine business. She made 20 vintages as winemaker at Tinhorn Creek and became the  CEO.

She lead the way for BC’s first sub appellation – The Golden Mile Bench. She currently suits on the Ministers Council for Tourism BC,  has agreed to be on the  board for Thompson Valley Tourism and  just wrapped up the 2020 edition of Fortify, a business conference for the beverage industry.

Check out her weekly #bcwinechat  – It’s a Hoot.. Two actually.


When asked to recommend a wine she suggested  Bill Eggert’s Fairview Cellars Two Hoots a Cab/Merlot blended specifically for daily consumption. True.




Rhys Pender

Rhys Pender MW is a wine educator, freelance wine writer, wine judge and consultant to the industry. Working in the wine trade since age 14, Rhys’ career has included experience in the vineyard, cellar, wine retail, education and hospitality – providing knowledge in all facets of the business.

In 2010 Rhys became Canada’s youngest Master of Wine (MW) and was awarded the Taransaud Award for best Production of Wine paper.

Rhys consults to the industry on marketing, new winery development, wine evaluations, viticulture, business planning, food and wine pairing and staff training.

Rhys  runs a WSET wine school and consultancy through his business Wine Plus+, and when he’s not travelling around the world he can be found with his boots in the dirt at his small four acre vineyard and winery in the Similkameen Valley – Little Farm Winery.

 He has attempted to explain wines plus  play the ukulele and sing at the same time.  Some have said  “it didn’t go well”  and  many others  have said  “rock on Rhys”

Rhys Pender recommends

A Tempranillo, A Barbaresco, a beautiful old bottle of bubble from Summerhill and because he was calling from Tofino, he chose a Vancouver Island wine Unsworth Pinot Noir.





 The Hatch Wines

‘Black Swift

Fort Berens

Sperling Wines

Winemakers Cut


Moon  Curser


Pags in Victoria






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