Playhouse Wine Festival: Weekend Recap


I know that the weekend technically consists of 2 days – one week out of the month might stretch it to 3. I’ve mentioned that during the course of Playhouse, somewhere near day 4.5, all time ceases to matter and everything blends into one big, never-emptying glass of wine. In my case this week, it was Sauvignon Blanc, and the Kitchen Party at Miele kept the SB aflow. Herbal, grassy Sauv Blanc from New Zealand; sweet, apricot Late Harvest Sauv Blanc from Chile; fresh, bright Sauv Blanc from Australia; tropical and smokey Sauv Blanc from Argentina; rich, vanilla Sauv Blanc from Napa; and grapefruit, lemongrass Sauv Blanc from the Okanagan – the diversity allowed minglers to taste a myriad of styles with scattered food stations throughout the pristine kitchen gallery.

I’ll wrap up my festival coverage and best picks from the International Festival Tasting Room floor later in the week. In the interim, here is what the top sommeliers and wine buyers from our region have chosen as best bottles. Excitement in a Glass was draw enough to entice the trade to wake up and show up at the unpretty hour of 9:30am. This new (hopefully annual) trade seminar asked five very important wine industry professionals to select 2 specific wines that they think snapshot what people should be drinking right now. The panel was moderated by sommelier and wine educator Mark Davidson (HE who has personally trained many of Vancouver’s hundreds of sommeliers), and included THOSE who need no introduction: Barb Philip MW (BCLDB), Terry Threlfall (Hawksworth Restaurant), Brad Royale (Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts group), Andrea Vescovi (Blue Water Cafe) and Sebastien Le Goff (Cactus Club Cafe). Here are the themes and wines these practiced palates predict for the months to come:


BUBBLES: Cantina Breganze Rosa di Sera Vino Spumante Extra-Dry NV (under $20)
“Pink and pretty, fresh, soft strawberry, dry and refreshing. Affordable enough to drink on a daily basis. This IS breakfast bubble”

VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE: Maisons & Somaines Henriot Cuvee des Enchanteleurs 1998 ($200 range)
“Drink sparkling throughout the meal, not just for special occasions. Sharp, while remaining lush & rolling and unending.”

DRY RIESLING: Balthasar Ress Riesling Kabinett Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus 2010 ($22)
“Under screwcap, fresh and bright, clean citrus plus low alcohol. Perfectly suited to Vancouver’s pan-Asian, multicultural cuisine.”

AGED RIESLING: Pewsey Vale The Contours Riesling 2003 ($33)
“75 year old vines from Eden Valley, nearly 10 years old, current museum release on our market, evolved marmelade Riesling characterfor just over $30?? Don’t hesitate, buy.”

RICH WHITES: Signorello Estate Seta 2010 ($50)
“Bombastic, rich, creamy, flamboyant cashew and perfumed spice, still fresh and very well integrated oak. Try pairing with steak.”

GAMAY: Maison Louis Latour Henry Fessy Julienas 2012 ($26)
“Concentrated with pure fruit, focus, but still zippy and fresh. White pepper finish. Category for Cru Beaujolais growing by 80%.”

WELL PRICED CLASSICS: J.G. Carrion Antano Crianza Rioja 2008 ($13)
“Delicate, traditional fruit, but still very present and food friendly. Well balanced, classic and deliciously affordable.”

LOCAL CHAMPIONS: Quails’ Gate Winery Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 ($45)
“Perfumed floral cherry, with true Pinot Noir finesse and delicacy. Restaurants no longer have to list crap BC wine just to have the category represented on a winelist.”

CARMENERE: Emiliana Vineayrds Adobe Reserva Organic Carmenere 2010 ($13)
“This individual grape is now being treated as it’s supposed to be. No longer green, but fully ripened. Bright acidity, herbal spice, grainy tannins, black fruit. Great with Indian cuisine.”

CHAMPION THE UNKNOWN: Les Perdices Bonarda Reserva 2008 ($30)
“When was the last time you drank Bonarda? Perfumed black fruit, jasmine, sweet, black licorice, deep plum, spice.”

Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ...

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