Find out who will be Canada’s Best Sommelier?

For the first time ever, oenophiles, vintners, other wine industry, and friends from all across Canada will descend upon Vancouver to find out who is Best Sommelier of Canada.

Presented by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers the day long competition takes place at Rogers Arena starting at 9am on September 5, 2017.  The live competition is open to industry and public, and finds the top three sommeliers from across the country testing their skills against each other to who will be uncorked as #BestSommCanada.  Preliminary, closed-door competitions the day prior will select the top three from the regional winners;

British Columbia
Shane Taylor, wine director,  Cin Cin Ristorante + Bar
Alistair Veen, chef & owner, Tap Restaurant
Jason Yamasaki, group sommelier, Joey Wine Group 

The Prairies
Domar Rafael, food & beverage manager, The Manitoba Club 

Emily Pearce Bibona, sommelier, The York Club
Steven Robinson, sommelier, Atelier Restaurant

Carl LePage Villeneuve, sommelier, Restaurant Toque
Pier Alexis Souliere, sommelier, Manresa Restaurant

Atlantic Canada
Lesley Quinn, sommelier, Barrington Steakhouse & Oyster Bar

Lunch for all guests will follow the Live Competition then the day continues with educational and interesting sponsor seminars from Nova Scotia’s Benjamin Bridge and Wines of Ontario

Dinner, at Victoria Chinese Restaurant will be preceded by a cocktail reception sponsored by Lifford Wines and Spirits and presented by the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association.  The Best Sommelier of Canada winner will be announced later in the evening. The Grand Prize will be presented to the winner by Gallo along with other prizes, including: trips to Argentina, flights around the world presented by the Vancouver International Wine Festival, a special trip arranged by Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, premium wines, spirits, fine Crystal from Nova Scotian Crystal, and more.

Winner of Best Sommelier of Canada earns the right to compete in Best Sommelier of The Americas in hopes of competing at Best Sommelier of the World.

Tickets and a full schedule are

Introducing Adult-Only Playland Nights for 2017

Have you ever visited Playland and felt the dilemma of having to choose between sitting in the beer garden or enjoying fairgrounds? This July you no longer have to choose, with the introduction of Playland Nights : Adult-Only Friday Nights.

Now your only choice is what pairs best with craft beer – Beaver Tails or mini-donuts? Will you have red or white wine with your corn dog? Throughout July, Playland Nights – the first ever adult-only Friday nights run from 7 pm to midnight.  

Kicking off Friday, July 7, then every Friday for the month, Playland will host evenings dedicated to adults-only, complete with craft beer, wine, Playland themed cocktails like a candy floss martini, and fresh squeezed hard lemonade, food, midway games and of course, the exhilarating rides.

The whole Playland grounds will be licensed so 19+ guests can enjoy their favourite beverage anywhere onsite instead of being confined behind the walls of a beer garden. Mike McDaniel, President and CEO of the Pacific National Exhibition says, “we are thrilled to offer this new addition to our Playland schedule for the first time this year. We strive to continue to offer our guests new and exciting ways to enjoy Playland and we are sure these 19+ nights will be a huge success.”

Guest DJ’s, axe throwing, special activations and more will accompany the already exciting features Playland offers.  Advance tickets are $26 ($29 at the gate) and include unlimited access to 25+ rides and attractions around the Park.

Tickets for Playland Nights are on sale now online at:

Picks of the Week – April 19, 2017

Can you believe Spring is already a month old?! Let’s see if we can find some Spring activity in the picks of the week

Sing: Singer/Songwriter John Mayer share his guitar and voice with the audience at Rogers Arena tonight

Laughs: The Arts Club Granville Stage welcomes the return of the moms, Mom’s the Word 3 – Nest Half Empty is another hilarious and touching edition of the Mom’s the Word series.

Rock: Classic British rockers The Zombies play the Commodore Ballroom on Friday

Improv: Laugh your chaps off at Western World, the new show at Vancouver Theatresports League, their take on HBO’s Westworld

Wine: Harrison Uncorked Wine Festival welcomes more than a dozen of the regions local wineries to Harrison Hot Springs this Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Angels: The acclaimed Angels in America: Part 1 onstage at The Arts Club’s Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage until Sunday

Blues: Vancouver’s The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer bring the blues to the stage at Commodore Ballroom on Saturday night.

90s: Saturday night, there’s a time warp at Abbotsford Event Centre with I Love the 90s Tour featuring Vanilla Ice, Salt n Pepa, Rob Base, Color Me Badd, Young MC, All 4 One

Blooms: Until May 10th, take in the explosion of colour a the Abbotsford Tulip Festival 

Photos: The 4th Annual Capture Photography Festival continues to bring lens based art to all corners of the city throughout April.

Cherries: It’s your final week to experience the 2017 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival  before the petals drop for another year

Harrison Uncorked Wine Fest returns April 21-23, 2017

Returning for a second year of sips and suppers, Harrison Uncorked Wine Festival pops the cork April 21 – 23, 2017 throughout Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.

Harrison Uncorked brings together the village’s eateries with the region’s local wineries and farm fresh fare for three days of wine-makers dinners and tastings.

Uncorked by Day offers afternoons of tasting at the Harrison Memorial Hall. Fifteen local wineries are on hand for tastings with small bites by from Muddy Water Cafe with cheese & meat from FarmHouse Natural Cheeses and Hopcott Meats.  Old Settler Liquor Store is on hand to help take home your favourite sips.
Tickets for Uncorked by Day are available online for $45 each day, with $5 going to support the Harrison Festival Society. 

Uncorked by Night is a series of winemakers dinners in the restaurants in and around Harrison Hot Springs.  Pairing a restaurant and winery for a tasted experience each evening of the Festival.
-Harrison Corner Cafe with Backyard Wines
-Morgan’s Bistro with Orofino Vineyards (Friday) and Kettle Valley Winery (Saturday)
-Rowena’s Inn on the River with Fort Berens Estate Winery
Reservations for Uncorked by Night are required and should be made directly with the restaurants.

Even though it’s #justuptheroad, to be able to fully enjoy Harrison Uncorked Wine Festival, consider staying overnight at one of many great resorts and inns around Harrison Hot Springs.

Who will be BC’s Best Sommelier?

BC Best SommelierToday, the 3rd Annual Best Sommelier of BC Competition takes place at Rogers Arena’s Captains Lounge and the public is welcomed to watch the 16 sommeliers compete to become the best of 2017.

Presented by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers British Columbia Chapter (CAPS BC) the Best Sommelier of BC Competition begins with a written exam in the morning.  Then, at 1230, the public can attend, free of charge, to watch the competition.  The participants will compete in; sparkling wine service, red wine decanting, food and wine pairing exercise, menu correction exercise and blind tasting of cocktails, red and white wines.

The 16 competing sommeliers represent some of the city’s finest;

  • Adam Mayhew, Yew Seafood + Bar
  • Chris McFadden, Terminal City Club
  • Christopher Rielly, Nightingale
  • Dawn Schultz, West
  • Jayton Paul, Nightingale
  • Jesse Walters, Burdock & Co
  • Joanne DiGesio, Hawksworth Restaurant
  • Kristi Linneboe, L’Abattoir
  • Kyle Gartlan-Close, Le Crocodile
  • Mathew Landry, Stable House
  • Peter Van de Reep, Upstairs at Campagnolo
  • Sarah McCauley, Glowbal
  • Sean Nelson, Vij’s
  • Shane Taylor, CinCin Ristorante + Bar
  • Todd Prucyk, Hawksworth Restaurant
  • Wes Hunter, Raudz

The winner of Best Sommelier of BC will go on to compete against the best of Canada later this year, also hosted by the BC Chapter at Rogers Arena.

Vancouver Foodster 2nd Sangria Challenge

vf_sangria_web-01Vancouver Foodster’s latest challenge is perfect as we move into the final weeks of Summer, the 2nd Sangria Challenge is running now until September 25th.

Restaurants and bars from all over the city were invited to enter their Sangria creations into this challenge, most have created a special creation just for this challenge.

Hopefully some sunny weather will accompany the Sangria Challenge, many of the participating restaurants have bright patios perfect for sipping sangria on a summer day.
Some of the participating restaurants are;


Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge, 845 Hornby Street

House Special, 1269 Hamilton St

Patron Tacos & Cantina, 265 Robson Street

The Westin Bayshore, 1601 Bayshore Drive

The Parlour Restaurant, 1011 Hamilton St,

U & I Thai, 3364 Cambie Street


U & I Thai, 33261 1 Ave


Ban Chok Dee, 20563 Douglas Crescent

Maple Ridge

Ban Chok Dee, 20395 Lougheed Hwy

During the run of the Sangria Challenge everyone is invited to order the creative sangria entries and then vote for your favourites at  In addition to the Peoples’ Choice, the media judges will select a Judge’s Choice.
The media judges for this challenge are:

Zahra Alani,
Radio & Television personality, Weather Anchor at CTV News -Twitter: @ZahraAlani

Sonia Beeksma,
Weather/Traffic Anchor, Community Calendar Host, Feature Stories Reporter at Global BC
Twitter: @SoniaBeeksma

David Peng
Blogger at Picky Diners and Vancouver Foodie Pulse
Twitter: @pickydiner

For full details about the entrants and voting procedures visit

Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food & Wine 2016

Starting Thursday, Taste Victoria Festival of Food and Drink makes this weekend one of the most flavourful of the year in Victoria!  The Festival kicks off  this Thursday with an opening night cornucopia of food and drink.

Taste Victoria Eat

The Opening Night event, Taste The Difference, brings together a savoury collection of local Victoria restaurants and British Columbia wineries to the ballrooms of the Hotel Grand Pacific. Wander the tasting stations, mingle with fellow foodies, talk to the talented winemakers and chefs while experiencing the best of the BC’s bounty.

Taste Victoria Drink

Taste The Difference is only the start of the savoury  weekend of Taste, as events continues until Sunday. Seminars, tours, tastings, workshops, meals are on deck to help expand you palate and knowledge.  Some events are already sold out but tickets are still available for others so get tickets soon.

To read more about all the events at Taste Victoria and find tickets visit