May 21, 2019

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Opinion

Judgment (of B.C.) day looms

Province's wine producers take another run at international competition

ALLIANCE FILMS</p><p>Alan Rickman (centre, standing) in a scene from the 2008 film Bottle Shock, which dramatized California's emergence on the global wine scene. Canadian vintners are trying to emulate the California success story.</p>

ALLIANCE FILMS

Alan Rickman (centre, standing) in a scene from the 2008 film Bottle Shock, which dramatized California's emergence on the global wine scene. Canadian vintners are trying to emulate the California success story.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/6/2016 (1067 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It’s been 40 years since the Judgment of Paris — where French and American producers pitted their red and white wines against each other in a blind tasting to see whose juice would reign supreme. Spoiler alert: California wineries came out on top in both red and white categories, propelling them into the global marketplace with a newfound prestige and reputation. (For an interesting take on the event, see the 2008 Alan Rickman/Chris Pine movie Bottle Shock.)

Last year, producers in B.C. decided to have a similar tasting in their region and pitted Chardonnay and Syrah against their global counterparts in a blind tasting called the Judgment of B.C. Industry types (including Steven Spurrier, Decanter magazine contributor and Judgment of Paris quarterback) gathered in Vancouver and tasted through a selection of B.C. and international wines — a dozen Chardonnay and a dozen Syrah.

The results for Canadian producers were mixed. In the Chardonnay category, the highest-ranking B.C. white came in sixth out of 12 (Blue Mountain 2012 Reserve Chardonnay), with the rest occupying the bottom half of the standings. On the Syrah side, the top wine was the Okanagan’s C.C. Jentsch 2013 Syrah, with Nichol’s 2012 Syrah and Le Vieux Pin’s 2013 Syrah Cuvée Classique taking fourth and fifth spots, respectively.

Organizers in the Okanagan have put together another Judgment of B.C., to be held Tuesday in Penticton, this time pitting B.C. Pinot Noir and Riesling against their international counterparts. Judges (myself included) will taste the selections to see whose wines come out on top. Stay tuned.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/6/2016 (1067 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It’s been 40 years since the Judgment of Paris — where French and American producers pitted their red and white wines against each other in a blind tasting to see whose juice would reign supreme. Spoiler alert: California wineries came out on top in both red and white categories, propelling them into the global marketplace with a newfound prestige and reputation. (For an interesting take on the event, see the 2008 Alan Rickman/Chris Pine movie Bottle Shock.)

Last year, producers in B.C. decided to have a similar tasting in their region and pitted Chardonnay and Syrah against their global counterparts in a blind tasting called the Judgment of B.C. Industry types (including Steven Spurrier, Decanter magazine contributor and Judgment of Paris quarterback) gathered in Vancouver and tasted through a selection of B.C. and international wines — a dozen Chardonnay and a dozen Syrah.

The results for Canadian producers were mixed. In the Chardonnay category, the highest-ranking B.C. white came in sixth out of 12 (Blue Mountain 2012 Reserve Chardonnay), with the rest occupying the bottom half of the standings. On the Syrah side, the top wine was the Okanagan’s C.C. Jentsch 2013 Syrah, with Nichol’s 2012 Syrah and Le Vieux Pin’s 2013 Syrah Cuvée Classique taking fourth and fifth spots, respectively.

Organizers in the Okanagan have put together another Judgment of B.C., to be held Tuesday in Penticton, this time pitting B.C. Pinot Noir and Riesling against their international counterparts. Judges (myself included) will taste the selections to see whose wines come out on top. Stay tuned.


Canada will play host to a lauded wine conference in 2020, having beaten bids by three other countries.

No, it’s not the wine Olympics, but rather the 10th International Cool Climate Wine Symposium, which will be held in July 2020 at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont. The conference gets those in the industry from cooler-climate regions talking and networking, with a series of speakers, workshops and the like.

The 2016 iteration wrapped up in England in May, with the announcement the Canadian contingent had beaten out its Australian, New Zealand and Chilean counterparts. It will be the first time Canada will host the conference.


Still not sure what to get dad for Father’s Day? Tickets are still available for the Flatlander’s Beer Festival, taking place next Friday and Saturday at the MTS Centre. The 14th iteration of the fest is once again in support of the Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation and is a great chance to try some of the new brews being made by all the forthcoming local breweries.

In total, at least 12 beers from five soon-to-be-open breweries and brew pubs will be at the fest, including three offerings from Torque Brewing Co., four from Barn Hammer Brewing Co., two each from One Great City Brewing Co. and Nonsuch Brewing Co., and one from Brazen Hall Kitchen & Brewery (a new name on the budding brewery front I’m told will be located in the Round Table/Brogue Gastropub space on Pembina Highway).

In addition, Flatlander’s attendees will be able to try Mark Borowski’s weisse beer and Sean Richens’ Kentucky common, the two brewers/beers that came out on top at last year’s Half Pints Pro/Am Beer Challenge (Borowski is also the brewmaster at Nonsuch Brewing Co., which is slated to open in 2017).

Already-established locals Fort Garry Brewing Co. and Half Pints Brewing Co. will also have kegs of three new and/or exclusive brews on tap, with Half Pints also offering its Old Red Barn Flanders red ale — a sour beer — that’s part of the second wave of beers available via the Coast to Coaster promotion.

uncorked@mts.net

Twitter: @bensigurdson

Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson

Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson
Literary editor, drinks writer

Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson edits the Free Press books section, and also writes about wine, beer and spirits.

Read full biography

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