February 8th, 2013
How do we love thee? Let us count the ways…
1. Send a love letter the old fashioned way - on real paper - with a card by Vancouver-based designer and illustrator Mélanie Kimmett's Pretty Paper Please. Made on recycled paper, these hand-cut notes are stylish, modern and simply delightful. $4 at www.prettypaperplease.com
4. Your love can stand under your umbrella ('ella… 'ella) with this red, heart-shaped version from The Love Umbrella Project, which donates proceeds to the Leave Out Violence youth organization. By donation (minimum $50) at http://theloveumbrellaproject.com
5. Need to perk up your love life? Try a bag of Milano Coffee's "La Futura" espresso blend, which just won gold at Italy's International Coffee Tasting Competition. Serve with breakfast in bed and two tickets to Rome. For locations visit www.milanocoffee.ca
August 3rd, 2012
Wine from a bottle? That's so 2010.
From San Francisco to Vancouver, the wine-on-tap movement means fresher wine by the glass, less recycling, and for you and me, and more choice. Working with dozens of B.C. wineries, the FreshTAP program at Vancouver Urban Winery has names you know (Nichol, Laughing Stock, Joie) plus a delightful house Sauvignon Blanc from its own Roaring Twenties Wine Co label available for purchase by the bottle ($14.95) or case.
Now open to the public Monday-Saturday, the 7,000-square foot industrial-chic 1920s space boasts a custom 36-tap wine tasting bar (pictured, with owners Steve Thorp and Mike Macquisten).
Twenty-dollar tasting menus include five 1-inch pours of wine, with a tasting board of local meats, breads and cheeses to complement them. Swing through the fun wine shop for Union Wood Co cutting boards and other rustic wine accessories, or sit back and watch the ins-and-outs of the local talent, keeping a sharp eye out for the charming Ryan Holmes, whose Hootsuite tech empire is headquartered right next door. Won't you be my neighbour? —Sarah Bancroft
Vancouver Urban winery, 55 Dunlevy St., Vancouver, 604-566-9463, www.vancouverurbanwinery.com
For more photos, please visit our Editors' Diary.
August 12th, 2011
Our editors had the extremely hard job (someone's got to do it!) of sampling some of the summer's best wines. Kick back, raise a glass and discover which vinos made this year's list.
Sarah Bancroft, Editor-in-chief
Cremant de Bourgogne, Brut Rose
This celebratory sparkler is as pretty as a picture (and perfect for a gift) and ensure your spot at the top of the guest list. Think wedding shower, anniversary gift, girlfriends brunch: it's as elegant and you are and as dry as your wicked sense of humour. $27.65 at Legacy Liquor Store, 1633 Manitoba St., Vancouver, 604-331-7900, www.legacyliquorstore.com
Township 7 Un-Oaked Chardonnay
Chardonnay is the LL Cool J of wines: "Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years." But these days, chard has shed its buttery, oaky rep for cleaner crisper granny smith apple and melon, characteristic of Oliver's vineyards. Mama said knock you out. $19.99, Township Winery Vineyard, 21152 16th Ave., Langley, 604-532-1766, www.township7.com
Kelsey Dundon, Lifestyle editor
Montecillo Rioja Reserva
A red in summer? Why not! Hot August days remind us of the warm Spanish sun, which is exactly what these grapes were grown under. $23.99 at www.bcliquorstores.com
Dirty Laundry Gewurztraminer
Sweet but not too sweet, this BC wine is as light and fresh as our favourite summer days. $22.75 at Firefly Wines and Ales, 2857 Cambie St., Vancouver, 604-875-3325, www.fireflyfinewinesandales.com
Anya Georgijevic, Beauty editor
Cannonball Cabernet Sauvignon
This spicy Cabernet Sauvignon is just as free-spirited as its adorable label. It’s always a palette pleaser, especially when served with salami and cheese. $32.99 at Kitsilano Wine Cellar, 2235 4th Ave. W., Vancouver, 604-736-7660 www.kitsilanowinecellar.com
Joie Farm Noble Blend
Although I try many whites, I always go back to this delightful blend. It was served at my wedding reception last year so it holds a special place in my heart. $27.99 at Kitsilano Wine Cellar, 2235 4th Ave. W., Vancouver, 604-736-7660 www.kitsilanowinecellar.com
July 30th, 2009
We spent a week on the Naramata Bench, sipping, sunning and siesta-ing. Here's the scoop.
Go for breakfast at The Bench Artisan Food Market (and pick up happy hour snacks for later). The scones, cinnamon buns and coffee are all better than what you'd find in the big city. 368 Vancouver Ave., Penticton, B.C., 250-492-2222, www.thebenchmarket.com
Possibly the best value on the Bench is the new Monster diffusion line from Poplar Grove. Take home a mixed case of their strawberry-scented rosé ($18), ManMade red blend ($18) and Merlot ($20): don't be scared now. 1060 Poplar Grove Rd., Penticton, B.C., www.monstervineyards.com
Venture up through the hills to Dirty Laundry, whose best-selling Woo Woo Gewurz pairs perfectly with picnic basket lunches on the terrace overlooking Summerland. 7311 Fiske St., Summerland, B.C., 250-494-8815, www.dirtylaundry.ca
The rustic cabins are wait-listed all summer, but try the central lodge, with the same fantastic beachfront view, plus canoes and rowboats for relaxing morning paddles. www.sandybeachresort.com
For upcoming wine events, see www.naramatabench.com
June 19th, 2009
We’ve got a picnic pick-me-up that won’t incur a $109 fine for drinking in a public place.
Made from varietal grapes from the Napa Valley, Vignette Wine Country Sodas come in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Rosé with added bubbles, but none of the alcohol. We tasted all three and deemed them light, refreshing and ideal for those high school reunions and company outings that demand you keep your wits about you.
$3.49/each at Homewerx, 1053 Davie St., Vancouver, 604-682-2204, www.homewerx.ca
May 8th, 2009
When it comes to big parties or picnics, winos have had two options: elegance at the risk of shattering your fine crystal, or practicality in the form of ugly plastic cups. We’re tickled rosé to report there’s a third.
The Govino wineglass looks like stemless crystal, but is pharmaceutical-grade plastic that’s unbreakable, reusable and, after a few uses, recyclable. Originally developed for trade wine tastings, there’s even a small thumb indentation to better your grip after a few.
So whether or not we stay classy after one too many, the cup has us covered.
$2.95/glass at Artisan Wine Shop, 119-123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver, 604-264-4008, www.artisanwineshop.ca
April 8th, 2009
Buttered popcorn pairs well with Baby Mama, but iconic cinema deserves a glass of the good stuff.
Enter Pacific Cinémathèque’s new Cinebar screenings, where on select evenings the regular price of admission ($9.50) gets you a classic film and a wine from its point of origin. This week, it’s all Italy with Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita paired with Folonari Pinot Grigio.
The sweet life, indeed.
Cinebar screening of La Dolce Vita, 7 p.m., Thursday, April 9, 2009, Pacific Cinémathèque, 200 - 1131 Howe St., Vancouver, 604-688-8202, www.cinematheque.bc.ca
March 18th, 2009
Build it and they will Comté, Stilton and stay awhile: New resto Au Petit Chavignol has us churning out all kinds of cheesy puns.
And while we know our bad jokes, this place knows its washed rind from its triple cream. From the brains behind Les Amis du Fromage, the wine and cheese bar resides in a 1920s heritage building made modern with a cool concrete bar and chandelier-silhouetted wallpaper.
With the newest of its chain of cheese shops right next door, the wine bar offers a full kitchen that turns out fresh fondues, raclettes, tartiflettes and terrines. We ordered the tiered grand tasting platter ($30) and let the chefs choose charcuterie, cheese and condiments for us, with the intention to return and partake in the cleverly themed tasting flights ($21-$28).
Gouda to the last drop, we’re sure.
Au Petit Chavignol, 845 E. Hastings St., Vancouver, 604-255-4218, www.aupetitchavignol.com
February 11th, 2009
The wine festival may not be until March, but if you’re religious about red and worship white, there’s an oenological event you must snag tickets to now.
A runaway hit at the Okanagan Wine Festival every year, the Blasted Church Midnight Service comes to Vancouver’s vino week for the very first time. Not your average mingler, the evening brings to life the label’s irreverent name by having guests commune at Christ Church Cathedral for soul food from Memphis Blues Barbeque House and soulful music from the Gospel Experience Choir (who are just as apt to belt out “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” as they are a classic hymn).
That and sipping on Chardonnay Musqué all night sounds like heaven to us.
Blasted Church Midnight Service ($89), 10 p.m.-12:45 p.m., Saturday, March 28, 2009 at Christ Church Cathedral, 690 Burrard St., Vancouver, 604-873-3311, tickets can also be purchased online here.
January 16th, 2009
Cleanse-smeanse. We’re back on the bottle with tasty vino from the vineyard formerly known as Golden Mile Cellars.
Now Road 13, the new name comes with a fresh new look and a praise-worthy Varietal Series. On the white side of their wine portfolio, we favour the 2007 Riesling ($18.99) for its crisp, fruity flavour and apricot aroma. And on the red, there are two winners. One for drinking now, the 2007 Pinot Noir ($22.99) which is surprisingly light, yet rich with flavour, and one to cellar for later, the 2006 Merlot ($23.99) full of mellow complexity.
This is the kind of road we don’t mind going down.
Available at www.road13vineyards.com and select wine stores.