Canadian Wine Awards lunch-12

I was on hand for two Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival events yesterday: the Canadian Wine Awards lunch and a social media symposium cleverly titled You’ll Tell Two Friends….

Canadian Wine Awards lunch-18

Both trade events were held at the sleek, modern, and well-lit Wosk Centre for Dialogue, across from SFU’s Harbour Centre campus.

Festival Director Harry Hertscheg
[Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival Director Harry Hertscheg]

Anthony Gismondi and David Lawrason of Wine Access
[Anthony Gismondi and David Lawrason of Wine Access]

The Canadian Wine Awards lunch was sponsored by Wine Access Magazine and featured 11 award winning wines from 2011, together with food pairings. I’ve included a few images here from the event, including an introduction by Playhouse Wine Festival director Harry Hertscheg, plus Anthony Gismondi and David Lawrason of Wine Access Magazine.

Canadian Wine Awards lunch-2
[Cassini Cellars Syrah 2009]

The following 11 wines were featured:
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery/Cabernet Franc 2009, paired with Beef tartare with grainy mustard
Cassini Cellars/Syrah 2009, paired with Mini steak frites, grilled flank steak and bearnaise red wine reduction
Gray Monk Estate Winery/Odyssey Merlot 2009, paired with brie in phyllo with raspberry compote
Hester Creek Estate Winery/Trebbiano 2010, paired with panko-crusted chicken satay sticks
Mission Hill Family Estate/Select Lot Collection Syrah 2009, paired with mini bison sliders and applewood smoked cheddar
Painted Rock Estate Winery/Red Icon 2009, paired with Smoked Brome Lake duck breast
Peller Estates/Private Reserve Chardonnay 2010, paired with Baba Ganoush tartlets with brie
Red Rooster Winery/Reserve Chardonnay 2010, paired with mini crab cakes with sweet potato, tarragon, and basil aioli
Road 13 Vineyards/Sparkling Chenin Blanc 2008, paired with crisp polenta crostini with goat cheese, oven dried tomato and basil
Tawse Winery/Sketches of Niagara Riesling 2009, paired with cauliflower and spinach pakora
Thornhaven/Gewürztraminer 2010, paired with Qualicum Beach scallop ceviche, grapefruit, fresh lime, fennel, cilantro, and jalapeño

Beef tartare with grainy mustard
[Beef tartare with grainy mustard]

Brie in phyllo with raspberry compote, thyme, and roasted almonds
[Brie in phyllo with raspberry compote, thyme, and roasted almonds]

Mini steak frites with grilled Flank steak, Bearnaise red wine reduction
[Mini steak frites with grilled Flank steak, Bearnaise red wine reduction]

Baba Ganoush with brie and seasonal fruit chutney
[Baba Ganoush with brie and seasonal fruit chutney]

Wine Access aims to raise awareness of our great Canadian wines. It’s no secret that BC wines sell for a high price, many than most imports, so it’s necessary to raise the quality bar in order to compete with these markets. Wine Access recognizes the best in winemaking.

Red Rooster marketing swag

Canadian Wine Awards lunch-11
[Pouring Tawse Winery’s Sketches of Niagara Riesling 2009]

More photos from the lunch can be found here.

Tim and Leeann
[Wine and food journalist Tim Pawsey with Leeann Froese from Coletta + Associates]

You’ll Tell Two Friends… was a great way to connect and learn from several considered at the forefront of social media, both within and outside of the wine industry. Moderated by both Rick Bakas and Anthony Gismondi, the two hour symposium (with a pre- and post wine reception) included Township 7’s Bradley Cooper, All She Wrote Consulting’s Allison Markin, Tinhorn Creek’s Sandra Oldfield, Xomo Digital Inc.’s Ben West, Miss 604/sixty four media’s Rebecca Bollwitt, Hahn Family Wines‘ William Leigon,’s Dave Teixeira and Zook-It Media’s Charles Zuckermann.

bubbly reception before symposium

Before the talks got underway, we were treated to two offerings of bubbly, a Deseado from Familia Schroeder, and a Rosé from Henkell.

Rick Bakas, certified sommelier
[Rick Bakas, certified sommelier]

Rick Bakas believes that mobile commerce is set to explode in 2014. It will make today’s devices seem antiquated by comparison. More content is created online every 48 hours than the dawn of humans to 2003. “Attention is the new currency.”

Sandra Oldfield, CEO/Winemaker, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
[Sandra Oldfield, CEO/Winemaker, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards]

Sandra Oldfield trusts her employees to spread Tinhorn Creek’s message through social media channels. Although most would expect to find Sandra tweeting about wine, she has other interests that keep her readers engaged.

William Leigon of Hahn Wines
[William Leigon of Hahn Wines]

Bill Leigon told the humorous tale of Hahn’s Banned in ‘Bama blend and how it came to enter the scene, in spite of first amendment issues in the US, where Hahn Family Wines is based. Their winery has an app that allows users to set up their own cellar list, amongst other useful features.

Charles Zuckermann, Zook-It Media & Marketing
[Charles Zuckermann, Zook-It Media & Marketing]

Charles Zuckermann warned about falling into the trap of talking about yourself and your brand too much: “Turn the magnifying glass away from you.” Support your community AND your competition, in order to build followers and gain trust within your industry. Involving philanthropy in your business and social circles is a great way to both give back and to gain followers.

L: Dave Teixeira,; R: Rebecca Bollwitt, Miss 604/sixty4media
[L: Dave Teixeira of]

Dave Teixeira advises not to wait for social media to come to you. Often times, the person slamming you online is a potential future client that hasn’t yet been converted! Use hashtags and keywords to see where your competition is headed, and stay ahead of the curve by creating several streams within e.g. Hootsuite.

VIPWF social media symposium-14
[L to R: Bradley Cooper, Sandra Oldfield, Charles Zuckermann]

Bradley Cooper is a firm believer of QR codes as a potential sales force. Additionally, every time a new wine is released, he goes to the vineyard with glass in hand, and creates a Youtube video, describing the new wine and what foods would go well with it. This is part of the winery’s relationship building with their customers.

Dave Teixeira, Rebecca Bollwitt, Rick Bakas
[Center: Rebecca Bollwitt]

Rebecca Bollwitt had several good tips to share with regard to blogging: Make it easy for people to find you, give your blog a voice, share your passion, and interact with your readers by incorporating a way to give instant feedback via comments, etc.

Ben West, Co-Founder, Xomo Digital
[Ben West, Co-Founder, Xomo Digital]

Ben West started Xomo Digital a little over two and a half years ago, just prior to the Winter Olympics. His company proposed an 2010 Games mobile app that at first didn’t seem a popular idea with the organizers, however it proved such a valuable tool for mobile devices that Xomo can barely keep up with the demand that comes through their door.

Allison Markin, All She Wrote Consulting, #eatdrinktweet founder
[Allison Markin, All She Wrote Consulting, #eatdrinktweet founder]

Allison Markin wrapped up the talks by discussing the need for updated BC liquor laws as well as next year’s North American Wine Bloggers Conference to be held in Penticton in June. A new discovery for several mainstream media, Penticton is now definitely on the map!

After the symposium, the conversation flowed back into the lobby, where more food and wine was enjoyed. Post-reception wine pours included Hahn Winery’s Pinot Noir, Tinhorn Creek’s Cabernet Franc, Peller Estates’ Chardonnay, Hester Creek’s Trebbiano, and others. More photos from the symposium can be found here.

I’ve tried to keep this post brief, as I’ll be posting several more wine festival events over the next few days. Stay tuned!


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.