Taste Wine List Award Winners Announced

Kathy McAree, Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine, Brooke Fader, Sooke Harbour House, Erika Staffanson, Vis a Vis Wine & Charcuterie Bar, Gary Hynes, Editor, EAT Magazine. Photo by Maryanne Carmack.

July 25, 2012, Victoria, B.C. – Proud of the culinary scene on Vancouver Island, founder of Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine, Kathy McAree is thrilled to announce the winners of Taste’s annual industry awards after a hugely successful opening event. The Main Event brought hundreds of food and wine lovers together at Crystal Garden in downtown Victoria to experience a cornucopia of local flavours and tastes.

The 2012 Taste Wine List Awards presented by EAT Magazine were awarded at Taste’s Trade Tasting prior to The Main Event which uncorked Taste on Thursday July 19.

Most Diner Friendly Wine Menu was awarded to Vis a Vis Wine & Charcuterie Bar who have a wine list that is approachable and easy for diners to understand.  It has an innovative design that complements the restaurant’s theme, clear organization and no-nonsense descriptions.  Their pricing structure is set to encourage guests to order by the glass with one, five and eight ounce pour options.  Vis a Vis’ wine tag system identifies each glass with a stem tag that indicates the winery, wine and vintage.  Knowledgeable staff ensure diners can feel confident about making their wine selection at Vis a Vis on Oak Bay Avenue.

Best Showcase of Island Wines went to Sooke Harbour House.  This award recognizes the wine list that best showcases the wines of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.  It has a diversity of producers, styles and price points – and innovative pairing with the restaurant’s menu.  Sooke Harbour House’s commitment to staff training is an integral part of educating diners and building awareness and appreciation of local wines.

Best Overall Wine Program was also awarded to Sooke Habour House.  The Sooke Harbour House wine list offers a fabulous selection of quality producers that complements the menu in price, size and style. The wine program is innovative and promotes wine knowledge and appreciation through by the glass offerings, seasonal features and special tastings and events.  Sooke Harbour House also demonstrates a strong commitment to staff education and has qualified wine professionals on staff.

The awards were judged by top industry professionals John Schreiner, Tim Pawsey and Treve Ring and moderated by local Master of Wine candidate Sharon McLean.

After four days of indulgence, Taste wrapped Sunday evening with a delectable long table dinner at Vantreight Farms – a true culinary experience right at the source. Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine is an annual event which showcases the wine and culinary riches of our backyard.

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