Steven Spurrier






 The Wines of British Columbia were put to the ultimate test at the final Judgment of BC on Tuesday, October 29, where special guest and wine expert Steven Spurrier joined 32 top wine professionals from around the world and across the country to take part in a full-day, blind tasting of 24 of BC’s celebrated grape varieties; Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah against 16 international benchmarks.


I was honoured to be one of 32 wine judges in the room on the day.

Trust me, it was/is a humbling experience tasting wines “blind” and have a sheet in front of you that asks you to decide whether the wine is from BC or The World.

Terry and Manual Zuppiger (Arrowleaf)

Your nose, your mouth,  your mind play tricks on you.

For each varietal there were 6 from BC and 4 benchmarks from around the world.

We started with Pinot Noir, then Chardonnay.

The afternoon was spent tasting and spitting Riesling and Syrah.

Paperwork was furiously filled out and collected.  DJ Kearney, the moderator and people wrangler asked for comments about what we had just experienced. Everyone seemed to have a comment, especially those from outside BC.

DJ Kearney

So many faces and memories in the room.  Most of them friends who had watched the BC wine industry grow and  work hard to be better.

Hosted by the BC Wine Institute, and curated by wine expert DJ Kearney, the final Judgment of BC took place in Penticton. Inspired by the legendary Judgment of Paris in 1976, the inaugural Judgment of BC was hosted in 2015 by the BC Wine Institute in honour of Steven Spurrier’s visit to British Columbia.

Steven Spurrier


Five years later, the BC wine industry was thrilled to welcome Steven Spurrier back to BC wine country to taste and evaluate world-class wines from the region.

“What I think is really exciting about BC wines is we’re tasting more and more like ourselves, our individual regions and individual sites. Our best examples are fresh on the palate, pure of fruit and really speak to our beautiful, cool, but hot climate.” Judge Barb Phillip, MW.

Tasting Room Radio would like to congratulate all BC wines who made the Judgment list and  the following BC wineries who took home top prizes in their categories.

Arrowleaf Cellars ranked first among the Pinot Noir flight.

Meyer Family Vineyards came in first for the flight of Chardonnay, with 50th Parallel Estate Winery in close second.

For the Riesling flight, CedarCreek Winery came in second with St. Hubertus and Oak Bay Estate Winery coming in third.

The final flight of Syrah saw BC wines take all three top spots with Tightrope Winery coming in first, Le Vieux Pin Winery in second and Stag’s Hollow Winery and Vineyard in third.

(Complete results at the bottom of page)

Guests on this edition of Tasting Room Radio  include:

  • Gurvinder Bhatia – Edmonton Journal/Quench Magazine
  • Daenna van Mulligen – The Wine Diva
  • DJ Kearney – New District
  • Dr. Jamie Goode – Wine Journalist/
  • Laura Kittmer – Wines of BC
  • Steven Spurrier – Decanter
  • Mark Filatow – Waterfront Bistro
  • Kurtis Kolt  – Georgia Straight
  • Rhys Pender – Master of Wine
  • Anthony Gismondi – Vancouver Sun/Best of Food and Wine
  • Sebastien Le Goff – Cactus Club Canada
  • Manual Zuppiger = Arrowleaf Vineyards
  • Larry Gerelus – Stag’s Hollow
  • JAK Meyer – Meyer Family Vineyards
  • Lyndsay O’Rourke –  Tightrope


  1. Arrowleaf Cellars Archive Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. La Crema Pinot Noir Monterey 2016 California
  1. Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir Estate Dundee Hills 2015 Oregon
  1. Sperling Vineyards Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Meyer Family Vineyards McLean Creek Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Louis Jadot Beaune Grèves Premier Cru 2015 Burgundy
  1. Shaw + Smith Pinot Noir Adelaide Hills 2016 South Australia
  1. Tightrope Winery Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Quails’ Gate Winery Richard’s Block Pinot Noir 2017 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. CedarCreek Estate Winery Platinum Block 2 Pinot Noir 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley


  1. Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger Alte Reben 2014 Mosel, Germany
  1. CedarCreek Estate Winery Platinum Block 3 Riesling 2018 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  2. St. Hubertus & Oak Bay Vineyards Family Reserve Riesling 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Tightrope Winery Riesling 2017 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Culmina Family Estate Winery Riesling Decora 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Upper Bench Estate Winery Riesling 2017 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Riesling 2015 Columbia Valley Washington State
  1. Rieslingfreak No. 3 Reverence of Riesling 2018 Clare Valley, South Australia
  1. Martin’s Lane Winery Fritzi’s Vineyard Riesling 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Nigl Dornleiten Riesling Kremstal 2015 Austria


  1. Meyer Family Vineyards Chardonnay Tribute Series Donovan Tildesley Old Main Road Vineyard 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. 50th Parallel Estate Winery Chardonnay 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Craggy Range Chardonnay Kidnapper’s Vineyard 2017 Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
  1. Nk’Mip Cellars Qwam Qwmt Chardonnay 2017 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Chartron et Trébuchet Pouilly Fuissé 2017 Macon, Burgundy
  1. Laroche Chablis Premier Cru La Chantrerie 2016 Burgundy, France
  1. Tantalus Vineyards Chardonnay 2015 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Monte Creek Ranch Winery Chardonnay Reserve 2016 BC VQA British Columbia
  1. Culmina Family Estate Winery Chardonnay Dilemma 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  2. Bethel Heights Vineyard Chardonnay Estate Eola-Amity Hills 2015 Oregon


  1. Tightrope Winery Syrah 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Le Vieux Pin Winery Cuvée Violette Syrah 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Stag’s Hollow Winery & Vineyard Syrah Amalia Vineyard 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage 2016 Northern Rhône, France
  1. Torbreck Woodcutter’s Shiraz Barossa Valley 2017 South Australia
  1. Time Winery Syrah 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Painted Rock Estate Winery Syrah 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. Domaine Jamet Syrah Collines Rhodaniennes 2015 Northern Rhône, France
  1. C.C. Jentsch Cellars Syrah 2016 BC VQA Okanagan Valley
  1. K Vintners MCK Syrah 2015 Washington State, USA

… and the winners below!


  • Gurvinder Bhatia
  • Jenna Briscoe
  • Sid Cross
  • Dr. Janet Dorozynski
  • Mark Filatow
  • Zach Geballe
  • Anthony Gismondi
  • Dr. Jamie Goode
  • Christina Hartigan
  • Lingzi He
  • John Isacs
  • Kelcie Jones
  • Kurtis Kolt
  • Sebastien Le Goff
  • Bryant Mao
  • David McIntyre
  • Sharon McLean
  • Michaela Morris
  • Terry David Mulligan
  • Tim Pawsey
  • Rhys Pender, MW
  • Barbara Philip, MW
  • Iain Philip
  • Rod Phillips
  • Treve Ring
  • Brad Royale
  • John Schreiner
  • Dawn Smith
  • Steven Spurrier
  • Shane Taylor
  • Daenna Van Mulligen
  • Matt Wentzell
  • Jason Yamasaki


  • Canadian Whisky Awards
  • New pours from  Crown and Thieves
  • Spring Releases


March 13th, 2021-Remembering Steven Spurrier and honouring Aimee Parkes.


Remembering Steven Spurrier and honouring Aimee Parkes.



The news came early this week and the news traveled fast.

The great Steven Spurrier had died.

Steven Spurrier & TDM

“The wine world lost one of its great adventurers last night.”

“It seems extraordinary that the wine world is going to have to survive without someone who has been characterized for his 79 years by the phrase ‘youthful enthusiasm’.

It is likely, however, that Steven will henceforth be recognized as an even greater influence on wine than during his colorful life. For someone who achieved so much, he acted with such extreme modesty and politesse that there was always a danger of his not being accorded his due.

Even though his famous Paris tasting in 1976 was truly ground-breaking, signaling infinite possibilities for wines other than the French classics, and he was valued throughout the world as an educator, taster, and writer, he wore his achievements exceptionally lightly – always more fired up by the next project than by those of the past.

Indeed, when I asked him during our last conversation last Saturday night what he would most like to be remembered for, he rather downplayed the Judgment of Paris in favor of his most recent achievements, the Académie du Vin Library publishing imprint and the relaunched Académie du Vin wine school in Canada.”


Jancis Robinson (Thank you)

Complete article

Our friend Elizabeth Gabay MW said, ‘Can’t believe the news of the eternally young Steven Spurrier’s death. I met him in 1987 when he encouraged me to go into wine and has been so supportive throughout the years.’


I reached out to two Canadian wine educators who knew and worked with Steven over the years.

Both stepped forward to do interviews for this show.


DJ Kearney – Director of Wine Terminal City Club, Educator. Adjudicator. Organized The Judgement of BC tastings.


DJ Kearney & Steven Spurrier


Rhys Pender – Master of Wine. Wine Plus. WSET Wine School. Co-Owner of Little Farm Wines.

(Tony Aspler. Barbara Phillip. Steven Spurrier. Janet Dorozynski. Rhys Pender)

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Steven Spurrier twice.

Once at the Argentine Wine Awards in Mendoza in 2016 (with DJ Kearney)

And again in the Okanagan for the final Judgement  of BC (with both Rhys and DJ)


I’ve combined both Steven Spurrier interviews into one segment for this week’s show.



Jason Parkes – Winemaker. Team Leader of Crown &Thieves/The Hatch etc


The final segment of this week’s show honors the life of Aimee Parkes. Cousin of Jason Parkes from The Hatch.

Aimee Parkes

We’ve attached Jason’s post that set this interview in motion.;

I was hesitant to ask him to re-live this tragedy but he found a way to tell the story for us.

Even though it’s been four years, Jason has continued to remember Aimee and others like her, who are threatened or died because of domestic violence. Aimee loved Rose and he’s donating a $1 from every bottle of Pinky Blinders Rose to the @kelownawomensshelter for the month of March.


The show ends with Jason’s band Properman and the single that he wrote for Aimee, Ink Runs Dry





Canada Whisky Awards

Spring Releases






September 5th, 2015


Tasting Room Radio Post Banner


The Judgement of BC.  It’s Bottleshock all over again.

Steven Spurrier pours BC against the best in the World

Guests include wine judges and experts  Daenna Van Mulligen The Wine Diva, DJ Kearney and Kurtis Kolt.       


 The Wine Diva Daenna van Mulligen I thought said it best on her very popular website

 Steven Spurrier

“There are good days, great days and days you’ll never forget.

Little did I know, August 25, 2015 would be one of those.”

Here’s an excerpt of her column:

Precisely 25 years after the formation of the BC VQA(Vintners Quality Alliance) on August 24, 1990 and, after two years of planning, Wines of British Columbia accomplished a massive coup.

They brought Steven Spurrier, the British wine expert from the United Kingdom to spend five comprehensive days in British Columbia’s wine country and get to know what we’re all about.

He got up close and personal and liked what he saw.

“For me wine is the three P’s: the place, the people and the product. British Columbia ticks all these boxes with exuberance, elegance and conviction.”

~Steven Spurrier
Spurrier, who has accomplished much in his life of wine, is also the founder of Academie du Vin and Christie’s Wine Course. He is currently the consulting editor of Decanter Magazine.


Read the entire article HERE:



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