In Niagara, Canada: Hidden Bench

Hidden Bench is one of Niagara’s leading boutique wineries. Owner Harald Thiel bought the Locust Lane vineyard, where the winery is located, in 2003 after selling a successful audiovisual business he ran with his brother. A year later, he added the Rosomel Vineyard, and then in 2007 the Felseck Vineyard. All are on the Beamsville […]

Deliciousness at Bar Raval, Toronto

Had a lovely lunch yesterday at Bar Raval, Toronto. This is a beautiful tapas bar on College St, with a design that’s channelling  Gaudi.

We ate very well, including tinned razor clams! The food here is beautifully done. To drink: two wines that I really like. The mineral, textured 2016 Trenzado from Suertes del Marques, and […]

Judging the National Wine Awards of Canada 2018

The first evening, at Martins Lane winery

I’m just on the way back from Penticton, BC, in the Okanagan Valley, where I’ve been part of the team judging the Wine Align National Wine Awards of Canada. It’s my fifth year as a judge, and in this time we have been in Penticton, then Niagara Falls, […]

In the Okanagan: the impressive 50th Parallel Estate Winery

Matthew, Sheri-Lee and Curtis

When we arrived at 50 Parallel, owners Curtis Krouzel and Sheri-Lee Turner-Krouzel were waiting for us. They look like rock stars, and they have built an incredible winery in the far north of the Okanagan, not far from Kelowna, that rivals even the grandeur of Mission Hill. They are also tremendously […]

Okanagan: Culmina Family Estate Winery

Donald Triggs and Pascal Madevon (consulting winemaker, along with Alain Sutre)

Donald Triggs has been an important figure in the Canadian wine industry. A businessman with international experience, he partnered with Alan Jackson to form Niagara-based winery Jackson-Triggs in the early 1990s, and this became part of a larger company, Vincor International, with Triggs as […]

Visiting Okanagan Crush Pad: Haywire and Narrative

Owner Chris Coletta with winemaker Matt Dumayne

This is becoming one of the most exciting wineries in all of Canada. I first visited Okanagan Crush Pad back in 2014, and since then things have come on in leaps and bounds. In particular, the winemaking, under New Zealander Matt Dumayne, is confident, brave and spot-on, resulting […]

Tasting some top red wines from BC, Canada

Following on from the BC white and fizz tasting, here’s some top rosés and reds from BC, with a focus on the Okanagan Vally, as you might expect. There were some lovely wines here.

Blue Grouse Quill Rosé 2017 Vancouver Island
From the Cowichan Valley. Blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir. No malolactic fermentation. Crisp and focused […]

Tasting some top whites and sparkling wines from Canada's British Columbia

This was a really good tasting showcasing a spectrum of whites and bubbles from Canada’s British Columbia province. There’s a lot of very interesting wine coming from the region, and this selection includes bottles from the main wine region (the Okanagan Valley), plus the smaller Similkameen Valley and also the islands.

Bella Pet Nat Mariani 509 […]

In Vancouver: we buy and cook spot prawns straight from the sea, with chef Ned Bell

Ned Bell, celebrity chef, author of ‘Lured’

This was a fun day. We headed out to Granville Island, Vancouver, where we met up with chef Ned Bell at Edible Canada After a lunch of bison poutine, we visited Granville Island market to buy some ingredients. Then it was off to have a look at some […]

In Vancouver: dinner at Forage with some nice BC wine

Arrived last night in Vancouver, and it was straight off to dinner at Forage with the small UK press group I’m travelling with, and Chris Coletta of Haywire. Forage is a really impressive place with lovely small plates – everything was spot on. Favourite dishes:

Keremeos asparagus, St. George’s mushrooms, asparagus purée, mushroom velouté
beetroot salad, compressed […]