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.
SPIRITED INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL (SIP) AWARD
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.
SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR AWARD
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.
WINE LIST AWARDS
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
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
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 Fish House in Stanley Park
The Oakwood Canadian Bistro
Tap & Barrel Coal Harbour
Tramonto at River Rock Casino Resort
Via Tevere Pizzeria
Araxi Restaurant + Bar
VICTORIA AND SUNSHINE COAST
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
Aura Waterfront Restaurant + Patio at the Inn at Laurel Point
Emerald Lake Lodge (Field)
La Bussola Restaurant (Kelowna)
Watermark Wine Bar & Patio (Osoyoos)
CALGARY AND THE ROCKIES
Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro
Vin Room Mission
Vin Room West
Buffalo Mountain Lodge
BLIND TASTING CHALLENGE
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.
ABOUT VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL WINE FESTIVAL, PRESENTED BY THE VANCOUVER SUN
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 beVancouver.com 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 VanWineFest.ca
For more information about the Vancouver International Wine Festival go to vanwinefest.ca
ABOUT BARD ON THE BEACH SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
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.