Sam, The Wine Teacher, has been an educator, a home winemaker, a wine judge for too many years to count and is the former Guild Master of the BC Guild of Wine Judges. He has offered wine education and appreciation courses for Pacific Breeze Winery, Capilano College, Eden West fine foods, the Richmond School District Continuing Education department, the VAWA, the BCAWA as well as for various private functions. He also trains staff and offers cellar evaluations.

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Natural Wines with DJ Kearney

  Having been a home wine maker for over 25 years, I have always been a little leery about ‘wild’ yeast fermentations.   ‘Wild’ yeast is also known as ‘ambient’, ‘feral’ or ‘natural’ yeast. My scepticism is not without reason; having bought crushed grapes that began to ferment on their own, before I had a chance…

Judging at the Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards

  I was lucky enough to be invited to judge at this year’s Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards, held at Government House in Victoria. These wine awards, established in 2003, by then Lieutenant Governor Iona Campagnolo, are designed to recognize excellence in wine making. Unlike other competitions, there are no bronze, silver or gold medals handed…

Wednesday Wine Reviews

    2015 Cliffhanger Red Moraine Penticton, BC $17.50 This is a blend of Merlot and Malbec. Garnet red with medium-deep intensity. Bright red berries, red currants, strawberry jam, brambles along with hints of earth and spice. Good balance. The bright fruit carries through onto the palate followed by a medium finish. Serve with a…

Wednesday Wine Reviews

  2015 Red Chaberton Langley, BC $15.00 Garnet red in colour tinged with purple and medium-deep intensity. Earthy, smoky notes on the nose along with dark fruit and black pepper undertones. Good balance with firm ripe tannins. The palate shows flavours of bright red fruit and smoky meat followed by a medium-plus finish. This is…

Wednesday Wine Reviews

2014 Splash River Stone Oliver, BC $18.90 This wine is a blend of Viognier, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer which all bring something to the glass. The wine is pale straw in colour with medium-light intensity. The nose is fruit forward with aromas of tree fruit, stone fruit wet stones and a hint of spice. Good…

Wednesday Wine Reviews

2014 Pinot Noir Arrowleaf Lake Country, BC $17.90 This refreshing pinot noir is garnet red in colour with medium-light intensity. Bright cherry and raspberry on the nose with some earthy undertones. Medium-bodied with good balance and smooth ripe tannins. The flavours echo the nose and are followed by a medium-plus finish. Serve with salmon, chicken…

Speed Tasting with Play Estate Winery

  After visiting some local restaurants with samples of Play Estate wines, Donita Dyer, Territory Sales Manager at Empson Wines Canada, arranged an intimate impromptu gathering at Provence Marinaside with Play Estate General Manager and winemaker, Mohamed Awad. Play Estates, one of Penticton’s newest wineries, opened its doors just last summer. It is situated along…

CheckMate Merlot

A month or so after having the opportunity to sample CheckMate’s Chardonnay wines, I was invited to a Gastown restaurant for the launch of their 2013 Merlot. A group of invited guests gathered in a private room at L’ Abattoir. After a bit of socializing and a brief audiovisual presentation, where (former) principal Ingo Grady…

Rah Rah for Riesling

  When you order, ‘a glass of white wine’, chances are you’ll be served a chardonnay, as these days, it tends to be synonymous with white wine. However, there was a time, before the late 1970’s when Riesling was THE white wine. And for good reason: Riesling tends to pair with a wide variety of…

Wednesday Wine Reviews

2015 Cliffhanger Red Moraine Penticton, BC $17.50 This is a blend of Merlot and Malbec. Garnet red with medium-deep intensity. Bright red berries, red currants, strawberry jam, brambles along with hints of earth and spice. Good balance. The bright fruit carries through onto the palate followed by a medium finish. Serve with a T-bone steak,…

BC Wine Chat Walk-About

Taking advantage of the fact that Vancouver was teeming with winery owners and winemakers, the BC Wine Appreciation Society held it’s own mini wine festival. It was scheduled to coincide with the weekly Wednesday night #BCWineChat that takes place on Twitter. BC Wine Chat is the brainchild of Tinhorn Creek owner Sandra Oldfield. Each week,…

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