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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#Wine Wednesday review by the Wine Teacher

2013 Sauvignon Blanc Santa Rita 120 Valle Central, Chile $10.99 Bronze medal Tasted 2014 07 Very pale straw in colour with light intensity.  The nose shows varietal character – grass and gooseberries with a hint of peach.  Good balance, crisp and refreshing.  Citrus and mineral on the palate with peach flavours lingering on the finish…

The Essence of Veneto

  Nestled along the northeastern coast of Italy is the region of Veneto, famous for many things other than its scenic capital of Venice.  In the hills 50 km north of the capital are the best wine growing areas.  This is land of gently sloping vineyard covered hills, mountains and valleys.  While each valley has…

Wine Reviews from Sam the Wine Teacher

    2010 VIP (Port Style) Saxon Estate Winery Summerland. BC $17.32 Bronze medal Tasted 2014 05 This Port style Pinot Noir is garnet red in colour with deep intensity.  The nose shows aromas of prunes, black cherries and dark chocolate.  The balance is good and the flavours follow the nose with a medium finish…

Horizon’s Restaurant

  Perched atop Burnaby Mountain is Horizon’s Restaurant surrounded by scenic gardens and stunning views of Vancouver, the inlet and the North Shore mountains.  I was there recently to celebrate my son and daughter-in-law’s seventh wedding anniversary.  It was a beautiful warm summer evening and as we arrived a half hour early, we spent some…

Wine Reviews from the Wine Teacher

  2012 Chardonnay Cedar Creek Kelowna, BC $17.95 Silver medal Tasted 2014 06 This Chardonnay has a small amount of Pinot Gris added to it. Lemon yellow in colour with medium-light intensity.  The nose shows aromas of tropical fruit, pineapple and a hint of banana. Good structure.  Eleven months of sur lees aging give it…

Bard on the Beach 2014

  This is the 25th season for Bard on the Beach.  Anyone who has attended a play there knows what a marvelous venue it is.  This year’s offerings, which include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Equivocation and Cymbeline, run from June 11 until September 20th.     The back of the main stage is…

Hey, Hey, Gamay

  If you are fan of Pinot Noir (and if you’re not, you should be) you should try Gamay Noir wines.  It is safe to say that Gamay has not gotten the recognition it deserves.  Wines labeled PTG (Passe-Tout-Grains) are a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay.  Gamay Noir is the smooth, fruity, juicy grape…

Introducing Earl’s Test Kitchen

  What will you find at 905 Hornby Street in Vancouver?  Earls Test Kitchen, which just opened in June.  It is the culinary inspiration centre for all of Earl’s sixty-five restaurants throughout North America.   Here, they bring together a collection of world-class chefs to develop new menu items.  If you look at the menus…

Zintimate

  The Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) invited me to an Zintimate trade tasting at Hawksworth Restaurant’s York Room in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver.   They limited the event to 75 guests per hour for two sessions, one at 1:30 and the other at 2:30; a wine version of speed dating.  There were…

Summertime and the Sipping is Easy

  Yes, summer is upon us and the good weather means more time spent relaxing with family and friends.  Whether you’re on the patio, deck or on a picnic, summer wines call for something a little different.  Cool, refreshing fruity wines that are pleasant to sip on their own, without the need for food.  Lighter,…

Wine Review by The Wine Teacher

    2011 Saloon Sally Dry Cabernet Franc Rosé Rustico Oliver, BC $16.95 Bronze Medal Tasted 2014 06 A BC Rosé made from Cabernet Franc. Red cherry in colour with medium intensity.   Red cherries, strawberry and a hint of rhubarb on the nose.  Good balance.  Bright red fruit on the palate.  A medium, dry finish…

Spamalot at the Stanley Theatre

  Get Thee to the Stanley Warning:  If you are not a fan of Monty Python, you may not be interested in this play, for there are those who find the combination of wit, farce and silliness of the Monty Python troupe hilarious, while others just look at their sketches and say, “Huh? That’s just…

Fawlty Towers

  New Westminster’s Vagabond Players must be doing something right, as this is their 77th season.  I just attended their production of Fawlty Towers, written by the legendary team of John Cleese and Connie Booth. The play features three of the original twelve television episodes:  Gourmet Night, Waldorf Salad and The Germans.  Director Casey Por…

Westwood Wines Wine Tasting June 13th – 16th

  At Westwood Wines this week, they are tasting wines from 50th Parallel Estate on Friday, June 13th and new releases from Cassini Cellars of Oliver from Saturday June 14th to Tuesday June 16th.  Alice, a representative for 50th Parallel will be in the store on Friday, from 4 to 7 to pour wines.  …

Bacchus Bistro

  What could be better than tasting some wines at a winery and then walking a few steps to have lunch with one of the wines just tasted?  Located at Chaberton Winery, Bacchus Bistro is a hidden gem located at 1064 216th St. in south Langley. It was a Wednesday afternoon and after a scenic…

Wine Reviews

2011 Pinot Noir Synchromesh Okanagan Falls, BC $28.99   Dark cherry red in colour with medium intensity.  Faint dark cherry and sweet spice on the nose.  Good balance with firm tannins and medium body.  Some pleasing flavours on the palate.  A medium short finish.  This young wine needs time to develop.   2012 Pinot Noir…

French Wine Connection

Monday, May 5th, Cinco de Mayo, and this cool overcast day is not a day for Spanish wines, but it is appropriate for French wines and I’m off to the Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel for the French Wine Connection, a trade tasting of wine, spirits and beer.   My plan is to focus on the…

Brunch at Calabash Bistro

What should you expect when you walk into the Calabash Bistro on Carrall Street, between Hastings and Pender?  Expect the unexpected.  Some people go for the food; others go for the music.  This is a friendly, unassuming eatery decorated in bright Caribbean canary yellow and red.   Owner Roger Collins, originally from St Kits, has…

There’s an App for that!

Well if you are looking for an app to help you pair food and wine, help you decipher wine terms, or store photos and notes of your favourite wines, there is indeed an app, or more accurately, many apps for that.  Here is a sampling of some of them. Wine Terms A dictionary of wine…

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