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2012 Celebrating Excellence
PLAYHOUSE WINE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2012 TRADE COMPETITION AWARD WINNERS
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PLAYHOUSE WINE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2012 TRADE COMPETITION AWARD WINNERS
Vancouver, BC, March 2nd, 2012 – The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival announced this year’s trade competition winners at the 9th Annual Awards Lunch on Friday, March 2nd, 2012. The Celebrating Excellence Awards Lunch gives the Festival a chance to honour and celebrate those professionals who have contributed to our region’s exceptional wine and food culture. In honour of the awards, guests enjoyed lunch prepared by culinary talent Blair Rasmussen, Executive Chef to the VCC, and toasted winners with wines from Chile, this year’s Festival theme region.

SPIRITED INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL (SIP) AWARD
The Spirited Industry Professional Award annually honours an individual who has made a significant contribution to the sales, service or promotion of wine in British Columbia. The seventh annual SIP Award goes to Richard Carras, Vice President Western Canada of Authentic Wine & Spirits Merchants. For over 25 years, Carras has been a leader in the wine industry. In the early 1980’s he set up and ran western Canada’s first Wine Bar in Kitsilano and in 1997, he became the first Canadian employee for Robert Mondavi, where he worked his way up to become the Export Sales Director for Asia & the Americas. In 2006 he helped to establish the Western division of Authentic Wine & Spirits Merchants, which now has employees and offices throughout Western Canada. Inducted into the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association Hall of Fame in 2011, Carras is also a past president of the International Society of Wine Educators, and is a “Certified Wine Educator”, a certification held by only around 250 people worldwide.
 
SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR AWARD
The 12th annual Sommelier of the Year Award recognizes outstanding wine knowledge and wine service. This year’s award goes to Terry Threlfall. Threlfall is the renowned Sommelier and Wine Director at Vancouver’s Hawksworth Restaurant. His expertise stems from over a decade spent working as Head Sommelier and Wine Buyer at London’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Chez Bruce. Furthermore, Threlfall is certified by the International Sommelier Guild and was the first Canadian Sommelier to become a regular panelist for Decanter magazine. The Sommelier of the Year is awarded based on votes by key members in the industry and is also included in the May Restaurant Awards issue of Vancouver Magazine.

WINE LIST AWARDS
Celebrating the best food and wine pairings in the business, restaurants throughout British Columbia and Alberta have been recognized for creating wine lists that complement their
establishment’s unique menu and concept. Candidates submitted their wine and menu lists, and were then visited by judges who reviewed their programs. The top restaurants were
awarded Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, or commended with an Honourable Mention. The Wine List Awards are sponsored by Vancouver Magazine.

METRO VANCOUVER
Platinum
Blue Water Café & Raw Bar
Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca
Hawksworth Restaurant
West
Gold
Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar
CinCin Ristorante & Bar
Fraiche
L’Abattoir
MARKET by Jean-Georges
Nicli Antica Pizzeria
Salt Tasting Room
Wine Room at Joey Bentall One
Silver
C Restaurant
Chambar
Cork & Fin
Edible Canada at the Market
Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
Lift Bar Grill View
Maenam
Tableau Bar Bistro
The Observatory
YEW restaurant + bar
Zest Japanese Cuisine
Bronze
Raincity Grill
The Salmon House
Honourable Mention
Al Porto Ristorante
Gramercy Grill
The Beach House Restaurant
WHET kitchen bar patio
WHISTLER
Gold
Araxi Restaurant & Bar
Rimrock Café
Honourable Mention
Ric’s Grill Whistler
The Grill Room at the Fairmont Chateau
Whistler
VANCOUVER ISLAND AND GULF ISLANDS
Silver
Galiano Inn (Galiano Island)
Nautical Nellies (Victoria)
The Pacific Restaurant (Victoria)
Vis à Vis Wine & Charcuterie Bar (Victoria)
Honourable Mention
Ric’s Grill Victoria
The Landing West Coast Grill (Victoria)
Mix by Ric's (Sooke)
Zambri's (Victoria)
OTHER BC
Silver
The Restaurant at Painted Boat (Madeira
Park)
Bronze
La Bussola Restaurant (Kelowna)
Local Lounge + Grille (Summerland)
Honourable Mention
Whitetooth Mountain Bistro (Golden)
ALBERTA
Platinum
Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro (Calgary)
Vin Room (Calgary)
Gold
Catch Restaurant and Oyster Bar (Calgary)
Cilantro (Calgary)
Emerald Lake Lodge (Calgary)
RUSH (Calgary)
The Ranche Restaurant (Calgary)
Honourable Mention
Ric’s Grill Downtown Calgary
Ric’s Grill Grande Prairie

The Art Institute of Vancouver Wine Professional Challenge
Sommeliers and wine professionals vied for the chance to win The Art Institute of Vancouver Wine Professional Challenge, now in its seventh year. Competitors were required to rotate around 5 judging stations and speak for 3 minutes on a specified wine-related topic. This year, the challenge winner presented with the coveted Puddifoot Award by Mr. John Puddifoot was
Adrien Boisvert from Black + Blue.

BLIND TASTING CHALLENGE
On Wednesday February 29th, 2012 wine trade and service professionals, culinarians, and nonprofessional connoisseurs alike competed in the Blind Tasting Challenge. They blind tasted seven wines and identified them using the Wine and Spirit Education Trust’s Systematic Approach to Tasting. This year the Blind Tasting Challenge winners were Brian Glaum (consumer) Leah Gamache of Chambar (culinary) and Lesley Anne Saito of Legacy Liquor Store (trade).

ABOUT THE PLAYHOUSE WINE FESTIVAL
The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier wine show, runs from February 27th to March 4th, 2012. The Playhouse Wine Festival is one of the biggest and oldest wine festival events in the world. In 2012, the theme region is Chile, while the global focus is Cabernet(s). The Festival features a week of special events including the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, wine seminars, wine minglers, winery dinners, and lunches and brunches at fine restaurants and hotels. The Playhouse Wine Festival is produced by the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival Society, which has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for public and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and Festival partners; and raise funds for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company. Since its inception in 1979, the Festival has raised over $7.2 million to enable Western Canada’s leading theatre company to mount 223 productions and develop extensive community outreach and educational programs.

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Media Contact:
Shannon Heth T: 604-897-1808 E: shannon@hethpr.com
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