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2014 Wine Awards Lunch-3

France’s Rhône Valley wine region took the spotlight at last week’s sold-out Celebrating Excellence: 11th Annual Awards Lunch. This Vancouver International Wine Fest event brings out the entire BC wine industry for a delicious lunch at the Vancouver Convention Centre, as well as the presentation of several key awards.

2014 Wine Awards Lunch-2

Sponsored by ContainerWorld, the Celebrating Excellence program honours industry professionals who contribute to our region’s exceptional wine and food culture.

Emcee Fred Lee
[Emcee Fred Lee]

Fred Lee emceed the event. Each table was provided a couple of bottles of Rhône Valley wines to enjoy with the buffet-style lunch, prepared by executive chef Blair Rasmussen.

2014 Wine Awards Lunch-1

My lunch was enhanced by sipping (and savouring) 2012 Brunel de la Gardine.

The Spirited Industry Professional (SIP) Award, Sommelier of the Year, Wine List Awards and Blind Tasting Challenge Award are some of the most coveted awards in the BC wine industry.

2014 Spirited Industry Professional Award winner Mark Davidson
[2014 Spirited Industry Professional Award winner Mark Davidson]

The Spirited Industry Professional Award honours an individual who makes significant contributions to the sales, service or promotion of wine in BC. 2014’s recipient is Mark Davidson, education director for Wine Australia USA, and former BC representative for the creation of a Canadian National Standard for Wine Service.

2014 Sommelier of the Year Mike Bernardo of Vij's Group
[Sommelier of the Year Mike Bernardo of Vij’s Group]

The Sommelier of the Year award was given to Mike Bernardo of Vij’s Group. Mike serves as Vij’s wine director and is also a Vancouver Magazine contributor.

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

Being included in the wine awards is considered great feedback for your winery. 60 hours of tasting and judging (this year by Michelle Bouffard, Tom Doughty, DJ Kearney, Iain Philip and Terry Threlfall) is nothing to take lightly! Wine critic DJ Kearney added, “an honourable mention matters”.

Richard Carras, BCHF
[Richard Carras, BCHF]

Richard Carras of BC Hospitality Foundation also spoke out on behalf of the organization, with the request to take one of the BCHF business cards on the table and pass it along to someone who can either help the organization, or might benefit from its vital resources.

Here’s the Wine List Awards, celebrating and honouring the best food and wine pairings in the business in BC and Alberta restaurants. Congratulations to all winners!

METRO VANCOUVER
Platinum
Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar

Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca
Hawksworth Restaurant

Gold
Chambar Restaurant

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House

La Pentola della Quercia

Tableau Bar Bistro

West

The Wine Room at Joey Bentall One

Zest Japanese Cuisine

Silver
Burdock & Co. – Best New Entry, Vancouver

Campagnolo Roma

CinCin

Edible Canada at the Market

Homer St. Cafe and Bar

Nicli Antica Pizzeria

Provence Marinaside & The Wine Bar

Salt Tasting Room

YEW

Bronze
Forage

Lift Bar Grill View

The Observatory

PiDGiN

Honourable Mention
The Fish House in Stanley Park

Fraîche

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro

Tap Restaurant

Tap & Barrel Coal Harbour

Tramonto at River Rock Casino Resort

Via Tevere Pizzeria

WHISTLER
Gold

Alta Bistro

Araxi Restaurant + Bar

Silver

Rimrock Cafe

VICTORIA AND SUNSHINE COAST
Gold

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

Silver

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

BC INTERIOR
Gold

Emerald Lake Lodge (Field)

Silver

La Bussola Restaurant (Kelowna)

Honourable Mention

Watermark Wine Bar & Patio (Osoyoos)

EDMONTON
Silver

Wildflower Grill

CALGARY AND THE ROCKIES
Platinum
Cilantro

Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro

Gold

Deer Lodge

River Café

Vin Room Mission

Vin Room West

Silver

Buffalo Mountain Lodge

Honourable Mention

Bar C
CHARCUT

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