Tasting Room Radio

June 30th, 2018 – BC Shellfish Festival in  Courtney/Comox and Memories of Bourdain.



12th  BC Shellfish Festival in  Courtney/Comox and Memories of Bourdain.



Year in &  Year out  The BC Shellfish Festival is one of the very best
gatherings of Chefs in Western Canada.

They come to compete, to showcase, to  meet their suppliers & their
customers. Best of all, the chefs come to hang with each other and take a
break from the daily grind.

Shellfish Grazing

First and foremost the festival celebrates sustainability.  In oceans,
lakes, rivers and farms.

The chefs who guest today not only bring their culinary talents to work
every day, they also let their diners know that where your fish comes from
is as important as where your water &  wine comes from.

This is a wildly successful festival that takes place in and around
Courtney-Comox on Vancouver Island. The Comox Valley produces more than 50%
of BC Shellfish and the most oysters in Canada. If you’re a chef..this is
your Yankee Stadium.

judges and team

The last segment of Tasting Room Radio will be all about remembering the
late Anthony Bourdain.

With comments from his friends Tojo, Pino Posteraro,
Ned Bell, Quang Dang and Nathan Fong. Also comments  from Sabrine Dhaliwal,
Matthias Fong and Sal Howell

Check out this fantastic Guest List:

Chef Hidekazu Tojo – Tojo’s  Restaurant   tojos.com/Splash.html

Chef Ned Bell – Ocean Wise, Vancouver  seafood.ocean.org

Chef Pino Posteraro – Cioppinos  https://www.cioppinosyaletown.com

Chef Nathan Fong – Fong on Food https://www.fongonfood.com

Melissa Craig – Barefoot Bistro, Whistler  bearfootbistro.com

Quang Dang – Araxi Bistro, Whistler  https://www.araxi.com

Lisa Ahier – Sobo  Tofino www.sobo.ca

Sal Howell – Founder-Owner  River Cafe/Deane House  Calgary

Chef Matthias Fong – River Cafe, Calgary  www.river-cafe.com

Rebecca MacKenzie – President Culinary Tourism & Host of Terroir Symposium

Shawn Hall – Spokesperson for BC Fish Farmers Association

Sabrine Dhaliwal – UVA Wine Bar  https://www.uvavancouver.com


Tojo and friends


None..we’re taking a vacation and will be repeating some of the very best
shows from this year.

Vancouver International Wine Festival

The Naramata Bench Pours in Victoria

Okanagan Falls pours in Vancouver.

June 2nd, 2018-Top Drop Vancouver


It’s Top Drop Vancouver 2018   (Part One)




It’s The Main Event.  Top Drop Vancouver:  Terroir and Craft.

The best small wine festival everrrrrrrr.

Once again Kurtis Kolt and his partner Jeff Curry and a sensational team have convinced some of the very best winemakers to pour at The Roundhouse in Vancouver.

What they have in common is craft and care!

In Kurtis’ column in the Georgia Straight he said this:

Each year, our process begins the same. Our team casts out a wide net to British Columbia–based importers and wineries, asking for winery applications to participate in the event.  First and foremost, Top Drop wineries must fit with our general philosophy: that wines, indeed, express terroir or offer a sense of place.

Whether we’re talking vines grown in mineral-rich soils or under cool-climate growing conditions bringing bright acidity or in sun-drenched regions offering generous, opulent fruit and so on, we want those elements to be notable in the glass and for them to have arrived there authentically, rather than via heavy-handed additions in the winery.

Sustainable farming is also key. There is a high priority on those who employ these methods while farming their own fruit or who work with growers who fit the mould.

The other major component is a commitment to partner with producers who rarely visit Vancouver or have never been here before, so we can offer local wine enthusiasts a unique experience.

We came up with a roster of 33 international and local producers we’re extremely proud of.

The whole reason I do what I do for a living is to share my enthusiasm for awesome wine with those who may be pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down. It’s one thing to write or Tweet or Instagram about something and hope for the best, but all cards on the table: it’s a whole other thing when I can play a part in actually bringing these fantastic people and their wines right to you, and even be in the room when you try them!  Kurtis Kolt!


I went crazy and did enough interviews for Two Shows.. Here’s Part One

 Kurtis Kolt – Organizer and wine educator. Wine writer for The Georgia Straight.

Paul Leary – President Blackbird Vineyards  (Napa)

David Scholefield – Wines of Chile

David Patterson – GM and Winemaker at Tantalus (Kelowna)

Justin Fairweather – Partner. Alpha Box and Dice (Australia)

Jane Ferrari – Winemaker.Ambassador Yalumba (Barossa. Australia)

Jay Drysdale –  Owner/Winemaker Bella (Naramata Bench)

DJ Kearney – NewDistrict.Ca (Vancouver)

Simon Black – Winemaker Montalto (Australia)

Virginie Taupenot –  Taupenot-Merme   (France)


St. Innocent



Stina – Croatia

Wines of Spain

Stories we’re working on:

The Wickinninish Cook Book

Chateau Wolff – 20 year old vines in Nanaimo

BC ShellFish Festival

“Walk around the Neighbourhood” in  Saanich

Church and State/Sea Cider/deVine/Deep Cove



Podcast on iTunes



May 19th, 2018 – The BC Cider Festival!


The BC Cider Festival Year 2.  The Cider makers pour at The Pipe Shop.




Its Official..I’m a Certified Cider Head.

Happily, I don’t appear to be alone.

Lots of us are discovering that the sweet icky cider our parents consumed has disappeared. It’s been replaced by a growing army of cider makers..from around the World and best of all – right here in BC.

I had some catching up to do having missed the first BC Cider Festival.

I was delighted to find out that all of the participating ciders would be pouring at The Pipe Shop, foot of Lonsdale in North Vancouver.


The Pipe Shop

(The very shop that my Father,  HD “Pat” Mulligan worked in as WW2 was beginning)

I had a hunch that when they opened the main doors at 1:30 it was going to get crazy..and it did.

So, I started early as the tables were being set up and talked to as many Cideries as I could.

You can hear the room get louder and louder as first the staff worked the room, then the cider trade people tasted and finally when the  general public came in..I couldn’t even get near the tables and my work was done.

This was such a great  learning experience for me. My hope is that it’s the same for you.

There are so many great stories here. Ciders made from blends of apples, heritage apples planted and forgotten about over the years and apples discovered, grown and harvested in Vancouver’s East End.

Backyard apples made into first class Ciders.

I hope you  find your new  favourite cider in the next hour.  Cheers!!

Big thanks to Txotx Imports and Massey Wines.


Guests on this week’s  Cider festival Special include :

Txotx Imports  –  Sean Pisio    (Organizer)

BC Tree Fruits –  Nadine Harrison (asst. winemaker) Kelowna

Kate Pedersen – Left field Cider  (Logan Lake)

Naramata Cider Co – Miranda Halliday (co-owner)  Naramata

Ward’s Cider – Mike Anderson  (cidermaker)  Kelowna

Raven’s Moon – Quinn Ehrler     (owner and cellar rat)  Courtney

Nomad Cider – Brad Klammer    (Co-owner)  Summerland

Salt Spring Wild Cider   –   Mike Lachelt & Greda Lattey  (co-owners / cidermakers)  Salt Spring

Salt Spring Wild Tasting Room

Howling Moon Cider – Nik & Kate Durisek (owners / cidermakers) Oliver

Twisted Hills Cider – Kaylan Madeira (owner/cidermaker)  Cawston

Cedar Cider – Gabriel Jefferies (co-owner)  Hazelmere

Sea Cider – Kristen Needham  (founder / cidermaker)  Saanichton

Windfall Cider – Jeff Nairn (co-founder)  East Vancouver

Dominion Cider – Robin Cairns  (co-founder)  Summerland

The boys from Dominion Cider – (courtesy of Montecristo magazine)

Second Page   Samantha Chamberland   Courtney/Comox

…and the winners are:

  • Dry
    3rd Cedar Cider – Sprig
    2nd Nomad – Sparkling Sidra
    1st Twisted Hills – Pippens Fate
  • Medium
    3rd Second Page – Apple
    2nd Sea Cider – Bittersweet
    1st Salt Spring – Semi- Dry
  • Specialty
    3rd Salt Spring Wild – Bitter Orange Rosemary
    2nd Merridale – Mo Morrow
    1st Dominion – True at First Light
  • Fruit
    3rd Lonetree – Apple Peach
    2nd Merridale – Merri Berri
    1st Left Field – Joe Shack
  • HSB
    3rd Brickers – Sage, Peppercorn, Thyme
    2nd Lonetree – Ginger
    1st Saltspring Wild – Ginger Root





Unsworth pours new releases at Vij’s

Eric Monnin – Head Winemaker at Boutinot in The Rhone

(special guest The Wine Diva)




May 12th, 2018-Vintage 2017- Deane House Calgary & Savio Volpe


Vintage 2017. Deane House Calgary & Savio Volpe (awards, house wine & Nicks)



 Vintage 2017.  New  releases.

 The invitation was just too good to pass up.

Be the first to sample some of the finest wines of the new vintage! Join Treve Ring and a panel of top BC winemakers from across the province to discuss the 2017 vintage, future predictions for BC winemaking, and enjoy the first taste of these outstanding wine.


Many of these wine events are  new release pours. To their credit Wine BC offer the media a really informative seminar and study of the wines,  components  and comments from their winemakers. Those of us invited can taste, study  growing season notes and ask any and all questions.  Then pass important information on to you..the wine fan. The bonus was that Treve Ring hosted the seminar and added her own comments and comments.



Nikki Callaway – Winemaker at Quails Gate West Kelowna. Very likely her last pour as she’s heading to the Naramata Bench.



Nikki Callaway

Andy Gebert – Owner/Winemaker at St. Hubertus Estate Winery – East Kelowna.


Matt Dumayne – Winemaker at Haywire, Narrative and Okanagan Crush Pad. Summerland.

Matt Dumayne Okanagan Crush Pad

 Mark Hopley – Winemaker at Hester Creek Golden Mile Bench  www.hestercreek.com

Mark Hopley Hester Creek

Michael Clark – Winemaker at Clos du Soleil Similkameen Valley  https://www.closdusoleil.ca 

Michael Clark Clos du Soleil

Yannick Treffot – representative for Roche Wines Naramata Bench  https://www.facebook.com/rochewines/



Deane House – Calgary (Sal Howell & Chef Jamie Harling)


Sal Howell. Chef Jamie Harling @DeaneHouse Calgary (Leah Hennel post media)

Best New Restaurants of 2016: Alberta

“If a restaurant conceived by acclaimed restaurateur Sal Howell, with a menu created by chef Jamie Harling, wasn’t anything less than superb, I would have been sorrowfully disappointed. Lucky, there isn’t much to nitpick about when it comes to dining at what is currently one of the most buzz worthy restaurants in Calgary.”

December 3, 2016, by Dan Clapson The Globe and Mail


Sal Howell has earned awards and accolades over the years with the iconic River Café on Princes Island in the Bow River.

“Canada’s Best 100 2017”

Right around the  bend where The Bow meets The Elbow (the confluence as locals like to say)

Is Deane House. Moved there many years ago.

It’s a series of gorgeously decorated rooms, each with its own distinct character and like River Café is a champion of seasonal, local and sustainable food.

Chef Jamie Harling connects daily with local farmers and ranchers and his own on-site gardens.

Both River Café and Deane House have a solid connection to the sustainable fishing boats on the Coast.

I was passing through Southern Alberta  and couldn’t miss the opportunity to talk to Sal and Jamie about Calgary, Deane House and what their Summer looks like.



Savio Volpe  –  (Paul Grunberg. Chef Mark Perrier. Miguel Quezada)


Osteria Savio Volpe is a wildly success Italian Restaurant in Vancouver. There are three stories here.

     Osteria Savio Volpe Limited Edition Barbera D’Asti Wine Collaboration
     “One hundred cases of a custom Italian import available exclusively at Fraserhood neighbourhood bistro.”

A collaboration between Piedmont’s Cantina del Pino and Vancouver’s Osteria Savio Volpe, has now culminated  in a custom Barbera D’Asti  being sold by the bottle, exclusively at the Fraserhood restaurant.

The Barbera D’Asti costs $72 per bottle, and will be available until supplies last only at Osteria Savio                Volpe. Having tasted the wine..I can tell you it’s “delish” absolutely “delish”.

   GM Miguel Quezada takes us through the story.


Co-Owner Chef Mark Perrier makes sense of how Savio Volpe evolved into the #14 restaurant in Canada.

It’s his menu and his concept.  Well Done Chef.

And finally the best story yet!

The ownership team at Savio has just bought Nick’s Spaghetti House. One of the oldest (1955) and most iconic restaurants in Vancouver. First they  confirmed  that Nick Felicella wasn’t being pushed out but rather retiring.

They also had to make a decision..is it another Savio Volpe or a rebranding of Nick’s?

Rebranding was the only way to go.

The rest of the story unfolds on the show.




Unsworth pours at Vij’s

BC Cider festival – 16 cider makers on one show


May 5th, 2018-Okanagan Falls


OK Falls Welcomes The Wine World




Every Spring the wine regions of BC show up on the West Coast.

This week it’s Okanagan Falls.  The wineries of the region share Skaha Lake – just south of Penticton.

OK Falls – Noble Ridge and John Schreiner

Just a head’s UP They throw a great Summer event called Party in the Park  July 6th in Kenyon Park (on the beach)

Starts at 5PM.  What a night!!


Winemakers and Principals pouring and taking us through the wines include:

Evan Saunders – Winemaker at Blasted Church https://blastedchurch.com

Christie Mavety – Family Member/Owner  www.bluemountainwinery.com

Gerry Thygesen – Owner –Winemaker  Skaha/Krase Legz  https://www.krazelegz.com

Alison Moyes – Winemaker  Liquidity Wines https://www.liquiditywines.com

Janice Stevens-Meyer  – Co-Owner Meyer Family Vineyards https://www.mfvwines.com

Daniel Bibby – Co-Owner Nighthawk Vineyards  https://www.nighthawkvineyards.com

Jim & Leslie D ‘Andrea – Owners Noble Ridge Vineyard and Winery www.nobleridge.com

Lauren Skinner – Family member Painted Rock Estate Winery www.paintedrock.ca

Julie Rennie – Co-Owner Pentage Winery https://pentage.com

Larry Gerelus – Co-Owner Stag’s Hollow Winery https://stagshollowwinery.com

Alan Dickinson – Owner/Winemaker Synchromesh Wines www.synchromeshwines.ca

Roland Kruger – Owner/General Manager  Wild Goose Vineyard https://wildgoosewinery.com

Back row

  1. Evan Saunders, wine maker, Blasted Church
  2. Jim D’Andrea, Proprietor, Noble Ridge
  3. Ian MacDonald, Proprietor, Liquidity

2 back row

  1. Larry Gerelus, Proprietor, Stag’s Hollow
  2. Linda Pruegger, Proprietor, Stag’s Hollow
  3. Roland Kruger, Proprietor,  Wild Goose
  4. Janice Stevens, Proprietor, Meyer Family Vineyards
  5. Julie Rennie, Proprietor, Pentage

3 back row

  1. Dan Schell – Agent (Nobel Ridge)
  2. Michael Garrett, Agent (Pentage)
  3. Alison Moyes,  winemaker Liquidity
  4. Barb Mills, Agent (Liquidity)
  5. Leslie D;Andrea, Proprietor,  Noble Ridge
  6. Lauren Skinner, Director of Sales, Painted Rock

Front row

  1. Tysha Pope, Crescent Hill Winery
  2. Carson Pope, Crescent Hill Winery
  3. Terry David Mulligan
  4. Daniel Bibby, Proprietor, Nighthawk Vineyards
  5. Christie Mavety, Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars



Events Archive | OFWA – Okanagan Falls Winery Associations

Okanagan Falls Wineries Map & Wine Tour Guide | OFWA




Savio Volpe – New wine, Top 15 in Canada and a new Nicks Spaghetti House

Vintage 2017 – Clos du Soleil, Hester Creek, Roche, Haywire, St Hubertus, Quails Gate

Sal Howell – Deane House. Calgary






July 28th, 2018 – Naramata Bench Spring Releases!









Renewal. Bud Break. Real warmth in the day. Sunrise at 6am.

AND new releases from BC’s wineries.  Perhaps, the very best time of the year.

We spent almost 5 glorious years on the Naramata Bench.

It was everything we had hoped it would be. A mix of farms, food, wineries and really fine people.

Now, when they make their annual Spring Wine Release trip into Vancouver and Victoria  it feels like old home week.


Tailgate Party

I have the wonderful job of sitting down and getting re-acquainted with familiar faces and new wines.

For you wine fans  joining us, it’s a chance to perhaps,  find your wine of the year or at the very least your Spring/Summer.


Our guests this week include:

Val Tait  – Winemaker and GM at Bench 1775  www.bench1775.com

Senka Tennant – Co-Owner &  Winemaker at TerraVista www.terravistavineyards.com

Dominic McCosker – Winemaker at La Frenz www.lafrenzwinery.com

Riley Hollenbach – Winemaker at Red Rooster www.lafrenzwinery.com

Kathy Malone – Winemaker at Hillside www.hillsidewinery.ca

Matt Mikulic – Winemaker at Three Sisters  www.3sisterswinery.com/Wines

Bob Ferguson – Co-Owner & Winemaker at Kettle Valley  www.kettlevalleywinery.com/

Del Halliday – co-owner and winemaker at Elephant Island www.elephantislandwine.com

Gavin Miller – co-owner and winemaker at Upper Bench  www.upperbench.ca

Lindsay O’Rourke – Co-owner and Winemaker at Tightrope  www.tightropewinery.ca













April 21st, 2018- Top Drop Vancouver !


Full Natural Wines  with Lock & Worth &  Bella, Top Drop 2018 and The Okanagan Wine Initiative




Matthew SherLOCK and Ross HackWORTH.  Lock and Worth. 

Jay Drysdale and Bella…

 Want to get a sense of BC’s wine future?  Matt and Jay will be a the very front, leading the movement.

Honest, single vineyard wines of time and place – priced for everyday consumption.

Mathew Sherlock

 We strongly believe that one should be able to drink high quality, single vineyard (non-commodity), small production wines that are priced reasonably from British Columbia. We plan to be around 20 years from now, not by becoming a large company but by creating a sustainable business within our community. For us part of that means making wines that always over deliver

 Sherlock and Hayworth farm organically and work the vineyards by hand whenever possible. They use native yeasts for fermentations, limited sulfur, and a gentle touch that avoids punch downs or pumping over or racking during élevage. The wines are bottled without fining or filtration.

Up the road at Bella, is a winery owned by Jay Drysdale and his wife, Wendy Rose. Bella only makes sparkling wines and only works with Chardonnay and Gamay Noir.

Bella ’s annual production is 2000 cases, split between a vineyard series and a natural series. Each wine in the vineyard series highlights a single grape, from a single vineyard, and single vintage. Dry-farmed and organic vineyards from Kelowna to Kamloops supply the fruit. The natural series uses the same vineyards, plus Bella’s four-acre estate vineyard.

The vineyard series wines are made using the traditional Champagne method, with commercial yeasts and sugar added to the wine to trigger a second fermentation. Jay and Wendy make the natural series wines by pressing whole cluster grapes and allowing wild yeast fermentation to begin in neutral barrels.

No additives, allowing fermentation to finish in the bottle.  This process is called méthode ancestral and Bella is the first winery in western Canada to use it.

Jay and Wendy


The natural process causes some of the bottles to be cloudy.  As Jay has said “Yes, they’re cloudy. Get over it”

Here’s a quote from a go-to wine human Kurtis Kolt in the Georgia Straight

Natural wine.  It’s wine made with minimal intervention. This means organic (and sometimes biodynamic) farming (without the use of pesticides and such), naturally occurring ferments with wild yeasts in the cellar, and winemaking without fining, filtration, or manipulation.


Kurtis Kolt –  Top Drop 2018

Kurtis Kolt

Wonderful and Unique two-day festival brings together international wineries, craft breweries, cideries, gastronomy & more. At Roundhouse Mews in Yaletown.

On May 17th and 18th 2018, Top Drop Vancouver returns, with a continued focus on sustainably-farmed, handcrafted wines offering a distinct sense of place, without heavy-handed winemaking trickery to get in the way.


They believe in the importance in farming one’s own fruit and/or being constantly engaged with grape-growers to ensure sustainability and a high standard of viticultural practices. They believe in wines that reflect their vintage, and wines that aren’t suffocated by vinicultural trickery. They believe in winemaking decisions that are made by a winemaker, and not by a board of directors or marketing team. They believe in those who take chances. They believe these kinds of wines, honest wines of integrity, need a time and place to have their story told.

They also believe craft beer, cider, along with authentic and sustainable produce, dairy, meat, and seafood are part of the same conversation, which is why they ’re proud to showcase some of the very best in those areas.

An Astonishing gathering of wine professionals.  Check out all the guests and details at



Christine Coletta Member of Okanagan Wine Initiative (Haywire)


Tdm & Christine Coletta

Even after doing the interview I’m still not quite sure what the role of this 7 member group will be. The thing is, they’re capable of doing just about anything they set their minds to.

The story broke just before we went to air and I made a cold call to Christine Coletta from Okanagan Crush Pad to try and get the essence of the story.

Here’s the press release:

Seven leading BC wineries: 50th Parallel Estate Winery, Culmina Family Estate Winery, Haywire Wines, Liquidity Wines, Painted Rock Estate Winery, Poplar Grove Winery, and Summerhill Pyramid Winery, have formed a partnership, The Okanagan Wine Initiative.

The association groups together seven Okanagan wineries to share resources and collaborate on varying projects internationally, across Canada, and in their home market, British Columbia. The members share a common passion to drive one-another to excel and adopt best business practices and to help elevate the identity of the Okanagan as a premium wine producing region and superb wine tourism destination.

I do know one thing..this group..these thinkers and doers..will make things happen and this week may be the start of BC taking its expanded place in the World of Wine.



The Naramata Bench Wineries pour new releases in Victoria.

The Okanagan Falls Wineries pour new releases in Vancouver.



April 14th, 2018-The Artisans of Vancouver Island & The Gulf Islands


13 guests for The Annual “Locals Only 3.0″The Artisans of Vancouver Island & The Gulf Islands.




It was an afternoon exploring the diversity & creativity of our coastal producers.

Through the interviews below we get to meet the farmers, fermenters and distillers that define our cool climate coastal appellation.


Event photos by @socialtyvr


This is Locals Only 3.0 – 2018

No fancy marketing campaigns or graphic trickery.  Just an opportunity to taste clean honest products from the producers who are defining our cool climate coastal appellation. 

  • Speak with the producers who were natural before it was fashionable
  • Learn more about distilling while speaking with a Master
  • Meet and taste with the people who planted the vines and then made the wine

Locals Only is about keeping it real, real honest and really local.


Organic estate farming , clean winemaking , neutral barrels & vessels, amphora, orange wines, concrete, spontaneous ferments, dry farming + way more. Discover the next destination you just have to check out.

Off Shore craft makers.


Guests include:

 Massey Wines –  Louise Fedyk.  Co-Organizer of event  http://www.masseywines.com/

 Mike Rathjen – Rathjen Cellars  https://www.instagram.com/p/Bgo92Vuntu8/

Mike Nierychlo –  Emandare Vineyards  http://www.emandarevineyard.com/    

Dave Brimacombe – Wayward Distillery (Unruly Gin/Vodka) https://www.instagram.com/p/BgpPVn3Hw0U/

Jason MacIsaac – Sheringham Distillery  https://www.sheringhamdistillery.com/

Andy Johnson  – Averill Creek  https://www.averillcreek.ca/

Loretta Zanatta – Zanatta Vineyards https://zanatta.ca/

Chris Turyk – Unsworth  https://www.instagram.com/p/Bgr0mocH0rh/

Bailey Williamson – Blue Grouse https://www.bluegrouse.ca/Home

Dan Dragert – Kutatas Vineyards ( Koo Tah Tass) You’re on your own. Well worth The Search.

Brenda Hetman-Layne – 40 Knots  https://www.instagram.com/p/BgkFfRknXdL/   

Marilyn Venturi –   Venturi-Schulze Vineyards  https://www.instagram.com/p/BgraOj7nK_o/

Julia Powell – Alderlea Vineyards  https://www.instagram.com/p/Bgtz5m0HCrX/







 Bella – Jay Drysdale goes full frontal bubble. (All natural)

Lock and Worth – Matt Sherlock finds balance between Nichol and  Lock & Worth (All natural)

Naramata Bench Pours in Victoria. 










April 7th, 2018 – Jann Arden Returns to the Tasting Room!


Jann Arden returns To The Tasting Room.

(joined by  Ricasoli, La Crema, Giant Head and Gurvinder Bhatia)



Gurvinder Bhatia   (Quench magazine)



Gurvinder Bhatia


The first two interviews took place at this year’s VanWineFest.

After 2 One hour specials,  I grabbed my  recorder and sought out journalist Gurvinder Bhatia and  Winemaker Craig McAllister,  at La Crema.

Gurvinder is well known in wine circles. As a judge, educator and reviewer.

Wine Editor for Quench Magazine, columnist for The Edmonton Journal and  for Global TV (Edmonton). He’s currently the wine buyer for  UnWined in Edmonton.  He specializes in Italian wines.

Because of his legal background and the fact he lives in Alberta, I thought we could talk about wines and BC’s  wines banned in Alberta.



Craig McAllister – Winemaker at Le Crema (Sonoma)

A New-Zealand native, Craig McAllister spent his first 20 years in Christchurch, New Zealand, then lived in London for six years. He has travelled extensively throughout the world. He found himself drawn not just to the wine industry, but to the wine lifestyle due to his love of cooking, traveling and being outdoors. This led him to Lincoln University in New Zealand, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in viticulture and enology.

Craig McAllister La Crema



Craig’s deep passion for winemaking has taken him all over the world, from New Zealand to Australia, Chile and Cyprus. Craig first joined the La Crema team in 2007 as the Harvest Enologist.

After gaining additional experience abroad, he joined the La Crema team full-time in 2009.

He has been a steward of La Crema’s Monterey program and worked extensively on the Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. He also helped to further develop La Crema’s esteemed collection of single vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. He was promoted to head winemaker in 2017.




Francesco Ricasoli  – (Barone Ricasoli)

Francesco Ricasoli

The name Ricasoli has been associated to wine since 1141, when Brolio Castle was acquired by the Ricasoli family.


Bettino Ricasoli (1809 – 1880) was the promoter of the most famous Italian wine in the world today: Chianti.

Today it is the largest domaine in the Chianti Classico area: Castello di Brolio, where Baron Bettino Ricasoli came with the Chianti formula in 1872, is surrounded by 1,200 hectares in the towns of Gaiole and Castelnuovo Berardenga.

Since 1993 Francesco Ricasoli  is the 32nd  family member to lead  the family winery. Second oldest in the World and oldest in Italy.

We welcome the charming Francesco to Tasting Room Radio.




Jann Arden – Feeding My Mother: Comfort and Laughter in the Kitchen as my Mother Lives With Memory Loss.

“Jann Arden is one of the most honest and talented women I’ve ever met, and her love for her mother is so rich.” —Chef Lynn Crawford

Even though Jann and I have known each other for 30 years it didn’t make the book any easier to read.

The pain of watching her Mother fade away commands each and every page of this cookbook and then you turn the page and it’s

a recipe for split pea soup.

We talk about dealing with the slow loss of her Mother and “Candy Grams for Mongo”

That’s exactly what a Jann Arden concert is like..crazy fun one moment and heart wrenching  the next.

As each day steals more and more of her Mother’s  memory, it’s her  kitchen  and the food in it that connects  Jann and her Mother.

Amazing book.

Fascinating performer.

Wonderful friend.




John Glavina – Owner of Giant Head Winery  (Summerland)


John was born in Montreal in 1960. His father, an immigrant from Malta, was a computer technician with Honeywell. In 1985 the family moved to Vancouver where John  graduated from SFU with a  degree in computer science, with a minor in business.

John Glavina

He met his wife Jinny Lee at SFU and together they had a dream  of owning a farm.

Finally in 2002, the couple and their two children moved to the Okanagan and bought an apple orchard near Summerland.  After a couple of years farming apples Jinny Lee  admitted grapes would be better.

They grow Pinot Noir, Merlot, Gewürztraminer and – for blending with the latter – about 100 vines of Riesling. Both took viticulture courses but John leaves much of the viticulture up to Jenny Lee.

First they were strictly growers but then came their  2014  vintage. It was the first one they sold.


My pal Herschel Miedzygorski  invited me to attend the release of the latest Giant Head wines..at Tap and Barrel right next door to the Convention Centre. It was John’s birthday and a new release pour. The room was jumping.

John was  proud of his Canyonview Chardonnay, his 2016 Merlot, a  2016 Pinot Noir, a Rose made from Merlot and his 2016 Blanc De Blanc,  made from his Pinot.






I couldn’t get anywhere near Jenny Lee with my microphone as she was being congratulated by a large group of friends all night long.





Stories we are working on:

  • IVSA Pour in Victoria
  • BC Cider Festival. North Vancouver
  • Locals Only – Granville Island
  • Naramata Bench Pours on the Coast
  • Spring releases from OK Falls
  • Matt Sherlock (Lock and Worth/Nichol Vineyards) and Jay Drysdale (Bella) Natural Wines and New Directions




March 31st, 2018 – Parksville Uncorked!



Untapped and  Uncorked in Parksville – with special guests!!




A truckload of fun. Heading for the 10th annual Parksville on Vancouver Island.

Half of the weekend takes place at the Beach Club Resort and the other half at Tigh Na Mara.



10th Annual Parksville Uncorked Wine, Food & Beer Festival

Join us for the 10th Annual Parksville Uncorked : Sip savour, mix and mingle while sampling some of BC’s best:

– The craft brewers, Cider makers  and Spirits gathered at Untapped at The Beach Club Resort on the Thursday
– The Wine Tasting signature gala event, Swirl was  at Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre on the Friday.


– Orofino and Dirty Laundry winemakers dinners on the Saturday at both resorts.
– and the whole weekend ended, as it should, at  Bubbles & Brunch at Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre on the closing  Sunday.

Feature interviews with:

John Weber – Orofino Winery. Owner and Winemaker  (Similkameen Valley)

Mason Spink – Dirty Laundry. Winemaker.   (Summerland)

Joseph Luckhurst –  Business Manager/Leader  Road 13  (Golden Mile Bench Oliver)

Chef Eric Edwards – Executive Chef  (Tigh Na Mara)


Also quick chats with:

Chris Silvestri –  Category 12 Brewing  (Victoria)

Dave Paul – Brew master and Owner at Love Shack Libations ( Qualicum)

Love Shack

Dave Woodward – Head Brewer  Mount Arrowsmith Brewing  (Parksville)

Carmen Parry  Dominion Cider  (Summerland)














  • IVSA Pour in Victoria
  • BC Cider Festival. North Vancouver
  • Locals Only – Granville Island
  • John Glavina – Giant Head Wines
  • Craig McAllister – Winemaker at La Crema Russian River
  • Gurvinder Bhatia – Edmonton Wine Expert at VanWineFest
  • Naramata Bench Pours on the Coast
  • Spring releases from OK Falls
  • Matt Sherlock (Lock and Worth/Nichol Vineyards) and Jay Drysdale (Bella) Natural Wines and New Directions