5 Mar

Vancouver, BC, February 28th, 2014—The Vancouver International Wine Festival, presented by The Vancouver Sun, announced this year’s trade competition winners on Friday, February 28 at Celebrating Excellence: The 11th Annual Awards Lunch, featuring Rhône Valley Wines. Sponsored by ContainerWorld, the Celebrating Excellence program honours those professionals who contribute to our region’s exceptional wine and food culture. Guests enjoyed a meal prepared by Vancouver Convention Centre executive chef Blair Rasmussen and toasted winners with wines from France’s Rhône Valley. 

The Spirited Industry Professional Award honours an individual who makes significant contributions to the sales, service or promotion of wine in British Columbia. The eighth annual SIP Award goes to industry veteran Mark Davidson. Mark is education director for Wine Australia USA, and was the BC representative for the creation of a Canadian National Standard for Wine Service. In 1993, he co-founded the Vancouver Wine Academy (VWA) and has worked with the BC Wine Institute to create a Train the Trainee module for educating restaurant and wine industry staff. Mark placed third in the finals at the 1990 Sopexa Best French Wine & Spirits Sommelier and was the winner of the 2001 BC Restaurant and Foodservice Association Sommelier of the Year. The SIP Award is sponsored by the Vancouver International Wine Festival.

The 15th annual Sommelier of the Year Award recognizes outstanding wine knowledge and wine service. The Sommelier of the Year is awarded based on votes by key members of the. This year’s award goes to sommelier Mike Bernardo of Vij’s Group. As the wine director at Vij’s and a contributor to Vancouver magazine, Mike’s expertise lies in the often challenging pairing of spicy, layered dishes with the perfect wines. Focusing on fresh, crisp white wines and medium-bodied, low-tannin reds, Mike also enjoys the challenge of combining bigger, bolder wines with Indian cuisine. Sommelier of the Year is sponsored by the Vancouver International Wine Festival.

Celebrating the best food and wine pairings in the business, restaurants throughout British Columbia and Alberta have been recognized for creating wine lists that complement their establishment’s unique menu and concept. Candidates submitted their wine and menu lists, and were then visited by judges who reviewed their programs. The judges are Michelle Bouffard, Tom Doughty, DJ Kearney, Iain Philip and Terry Threlfall. The top restaurants were awarded Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, or commended with an Honourable Mention. The Wine List Awards are sponsored by Vancouver Magazine.

Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar
Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca
Hawksworth Restaurant

Chambar Restaurant
Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
La Pentola della Quercia
Tableau Bar Bistro
The Wine Room at Joey Bentall One
Zest Japanese Cuisine

Burdock & Co. – Best New Entry, Vancouver
Campagnolo Roma
Edible Canada at the Market
Homer St. Cafe and Bar
Nicli Antica Pizzeria
Provence Marinaside & The Wine Bar
Salt Tasting Room

Lift Bar Grill View
The Observatory

Honourable Mention
The Fish House in Stanley Park
The Oakwood Canadian Bistro
Tap Restaurant
Tap & Barrel Coal Harbour
Tramonto at River Rock Casino Resort
Via Tevere Pizzeria

Alta Bistro
Araxi Restaurant + Bar

Rimrock Cafe

The Restaurant at Painted Boat Resort Spa & Marina (Madeira Park)

Little Jumbo – Best New Entry, Victoria
The Pacific Restaurant & Terrace at the Hotel Grand Pacific
Stage Wine Bar

Honourable Mention
Aura Waterfront Restaurant + Patio at the Inn at Laurel Point

Emerald Lake Lodge (Field)


La Bussola Restaurant (Kelowna)

Honourable Mention
Watermark Wine Bar & Patio (Osoyoos)

Wildflower Grill

Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro

Deer Lodge
River Café
Vin Room Mission
Vin Room West

Buffalo Mountain Lodge
Honourable Mention
Bar C

On Wednesday February 26, 2014, wine trade and service professionals, culinarians, and non-professional connoisseurs alike competed in the Blind Tasting Challenge. They blind tasted seven wines and identified them using the Wine and Spirit Education Trust’s Systematic Approach to Tasting. This year the Blind Tasting Challenge winners were Brian Glaum (consumer) David Winzer (culinarian) and Angela Wall (trade).

The Vancouver International Wine Festival’s Celebrating Excellence Program is sponsored by ContainerWorld, Puddifoot, Vancouver Magazine, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, Mark Anthony Brands, and The Vancouver Sun’s Salut. Trade Days Conference corporate sponsors include BC Business, ITS Consulting Inc. and JF Hillebrand. The festival’s industry supporters are BC Liquor Stores and Import Vintners & Spirits Association.

Canada’s premier wine show marks its 36th anniversary of pairing wine, food and the performing arts from February 24 to March 2, 2014. It features 178 wineries from 14 countries pouring 1,750+ wines at 54 events to a projected 23,000 attendees. The Acura International Festival Tasting Room is the heart of the festival, with 780+ wines on offer to the public and 168 more wines for trade only. More than 800 additional wines are served at special events, which included the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction on Saturday, February 22, plus wine seminars, minglers, dinners, lunches and wine & food pairings at fine restaurants and hotels. This year the festival shines the spotlight on France, and the global focus is on Bubbly. Festival partner offered a free International Festival Tasting ticket to festivalgoers who booked one night in a downtown hotel, or two free tickets if two+ nights were booked (now sold out). Don’t Wine and Drive! The Vancouver International Wine Festival is produced by the Vancouver International Wine Festival Society, which has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for public and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and festival partners; and raise funds for the Bard on the Beach Theatre Society. Since inception in 1979, the festival has raised $8.1 million for the performing arts. The presenting sponsor is The Vancouver Sun. For more information about the Vancouver International Wine Festival go to  

For more information about the Vancouver International Wine Festival go to


Celebrating its 25th season in 2014, Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare Festivals. It is presented on the waterfront in Kitsilano’s Vanier Park, adjacent to Vancouver’s downtown core. The Festival offers Shakespeare plays, related dramas and several special events in two performance tents every June through September. In 2013, festival attendance was 89,000 and more than a million patrons have experienced Bard since its inception. The Festival’s 2014 dates are June 11 to September 20. The 2014 lineup features A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Cymbeline and Bill Cain’s Equivocation.



Does everyone have their tickets?

5 Feb

Feb. 6 – Blind Gin Tasting


Okanagan Spirits is hosting an Olympic Gin tasting event, at our Kelowna distillery on Thursday 6th February.

This fun event is pitching three well known gins against each other for the crown of ‘Olympic Gold’.  Each guest will have the opportunity to blind taste all three spirits then award a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal to their favourite gin.  We will also be educating our guests on gin production and the history of this popular spirit.

Throughout the evening we will be offering a selection of Okanagan Spirits cocktails and locally catered appetizers.

February 6th 2014 – Start time – 7pm 

Okanagan Spirits – 267 Bernard Ave, Kelowna.  V1Y 6N2

Ticket price – $35.00

Tickets must be purchased in advance and can be obtained by contacting the distillery on 778 484 5174

12 Jun

poster_webThis is a great family friendly FREE event with awesome food!!  Get your groove on!!!!!

18 Mar

Quails’ Gate Winery

Located in one of Canada’s foremost wine country destinations, Quails’ Gate is internationally and nationally recognized as one of the country’s top agri-tourism sites.  Having been provided with a friendly, sophisticated and educational wine and culinary experience, visitors return again and again.

Quite possibly the best offer in Kelowna! Build your own 3 course dinner with choices from our full a la carte menu. Old Vines Restaurant offers this special course at $39*. Compliment your meal with our suggested wine pairings for an additional $10.

3303 Boucherie Road
West Kelowna, BC
V1Z 2H3

Phone: 250-769-4451
Toll Free: 1-800-420-9463
Fax: 250-769-3451

A Taste of Luxury

18 Sep

Okanagan Spirits is inviting you to come and enjoy ‘A Taste of Luxury’ at our Vodka & Caviar evening on October 4th held at our downtown Kelowna distillery.

Tickets are priced at $75.00 to enjoy a night of indulgence, pairing our recently released premium vodka and world renowned caviar from the Sunshine Coast`s Northern Divine.

Fishmonger Jon Crofts and his team of talented chefs from Codfathers Kelowna will be on hand to present the seafood menu.

Fresh B.C. Oysters

Mignonette Fizz
Organic Hot Sauce “Caviar”
Preserved Meyer Lemon Foam
Northumberland Strait Lobster Bisque

Lobster Tortellini
Northern Divine Sturgeon Caviar

Crisp Artisan Potato Bread, Creme Fraiche, Shallot, Chive

Complimented by Okanagan Spirits cocktails and neat Vodka tasting.

This event coincides with the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival and we expect our limited tickets to be in strong demand.

Tickets are available and can be purchased by contacting us on: 1-778-484-5174 or by visiting either our downtown Kelowna or downtown Vernon distillery.

Thursday October 4th – 7pm.

267 Bernard Ave, Kelowna – 778 484 5174

Okanagan Spirits Vodka hits the shelves

26 Jul

Okanagan Spirits is pleased to announce the launch of its premium grain-based Vodka.

Distilled in European copper pot stills then blended with the purest BC spring water, this white spirit is soft enough to be sipped neat, or used as a quality neutral base in mixed drinks.

This is the third spirit in our ‘Essentials Collection’ following our popular Gin and Rye Whisky.  

All of these spirits are priced at $39.95 which is extremely competitive for craft-distilled spirits in our Province.  

For availability, visit our Kelowna or Vernon downtown distilleries which are open all year round.  Online orders are accepted from

2012 Caribbean Festival – July 21st @ Kelowna City Park’s Jubilee Bowl.

17 Jul

Here’s the scoop:

1:00 – 8:00pm
• Music with DJ’s vibes Tec from Calgary , originally from Jamaica and Antiga
• Kelowna United soccer clinic from 2-4 pm and exhibition game is at 5:00 pm between Kelowna and Vancouver.
• Goodlife fitness will be doing Zumba at 2 and 4 pm.
• The street kings will be performing after the first Zumba.
• Face painting
• Hair braiding
• Flags, T-shirts, Bob Marley items etc.
• Food vendors: House of the Caribbean – Jerk Chicken, Festival, Patties, Rotti; Mr Mark’s Caribbean food; Scooters icecream

Once the soccer game is over we will have live performances by:

• Joel – Jamaican singer
• Bigzz- Jamaican rapper
• Raggs – special guest singer from Spokane Washington

The show will be awesome.

The entire day will be filled with music prize giveaways and of course getting everyone involved in dancing,the limbo.
so tell everyone to come on out and enjoy this very fun day.

The festival in the park goes till 8 pm and whomever would like to come to the after party should purchase tickets right away as there is a limited amount of tickets being sold. 

The after party starts at 10pm till 2 am at 702 bernard ave in the hall.

• Dance Hall type music with music by DJ’s Vibes Tec
• lots of fun dancing
• licensed event
• tickets can be purchased at the house of the Caribbean $10 – Ladies in free until 11pm
need more info call Jack or Melinda at 778-484-5520 or visit

Tickets still available for the Okanagan Caribbean Festival After Party

17 Jul

Tickets @ House of the Caribbean Food Supply store: Call 778-484-5520

This weekend at Dirty Laundry Vineyard

12 Jul


July 14-On the beautiful DL patio from 1pm-4pm we are proud to have Summerlands own, “The Darylectones.” This 2 peace band is a pleasure to watch as well as to listen too. They can make any crowd want to kick up their heels!

July 15th-On the DL patio from 1-4pm….presenting “Ash”. This Vernon based band will remind you of the Neil Young days. Come to DL and take a walk back into time.

7311 Fiske Street
Summerland, B.C. VOH 1Z2
Phone: (250) 494-8815
Fax: (250) 494-8850
Email –

2012 Okanagan Caribbean Festival

11 Jul


Mark your calendar for this one!!

FREE event

Saturday, July 21st

Kelowna City Park – Jubilee Bowl