GOODS: Two “H’s Blend” Wines Released at Hawksworth Restaurant & Bel Cafe

Hawksworth is located in Rosewood Hotel Georgia at 801 West Georgia St. |

The GOODS from Hawksworth

Vancouver, BC | The Hawksworth Restaurant team added another arrow to their epicurean bow this week, with the launch of H’s Blend, a handcrafted and accessible wine blend, available exclusively at Hawksworth Restaurant and Bel Café. Under the watchful guidance of winemaker John Weber of Cawston’s family-run Orofino Winery in the Similkameen Valley, H’s Blend is a light and refreshing offering of both red and white wine – 100% Gamay from two separate vineyards, and a blend of 50% Pinot Gris and 50% Riesling, also from grapes grown on Similkameen vines – producing a lively and juicy bistro-style red and a distinctive and delicate white, with flavours of citrus and pear.

The relationship between Hawksworth Restaurant team and Orofino Winery dates back to 2008 when Jay Whiteley, Assistant Wine Director, joined the Orofino team for a hands-on experience on the crush pad. Inspired by the Orofino approach to making real wine to be paired with ingredient-driven, locally-sourced, flavourful food (Orofino is also home to the annual 1.6 mile dinner), the family-run vineyard became the perfect choice for Hawksworth’s own label.

“This is a true testament to the skill and relationships held by our sommelier team,” says David Hawksworth, upon the launch of H’s Blend. “We are proud to align with one of BC’s most respected wineries, using grapes from Canada’s most distinctive appellation to create our own exclusive wine blends.” Read more

GOODS: Blue Mountain Vineyards & Cellars Hosting Two Free Tastings In Vancouver

Blue Mountain | 2385 Allendale Rd. | Okanagan Falls, BC | 250-497-8244 |

The GOODS from Blue Mountain

strong>Okanagan Falls, BC | Taste premium wines from BC’s Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars at two free consumer tastings. The events will occur on Thursday, June 7th at Everything Wine’s North Vancouver location, and Friday, June 8th at Marquis Wine Cellars in downtown Vancouver. Blue Mountain winemaker Matt Mavety will be on hand to share his passion for the wines and their place of origin. Get the details (and find out which wines are being poured) after the jump… Read more

CORKAGE: On Festival Tasting Glasses And Tasting Notes From 10 Year Old Napa Cabs

December 5, 2011 

by Amorita Bastaja | I might be getting old, but festival-style wine tastings just don’t do it for me anymore. Elbowing people out of the way for a chance at the spit bucket exhausts me, and I really hate the wine glasses that convention centers use. Of course, I go because there isn’t much opportunity otherwise to taste so much in such a short period of time.

Once year in, however, something really special rolls into town. Known as the Napa Valley Vintner’s Tour, it’s a small tasting that is all about quality, not quantity. The tour recently breezed through Vancouver, and even the bad glasses couldn’t hide how extraordinary these wines were.

Before the madness of the general tasting comes what is fast becoming my favourite way to discuss wine: the civilized, congenial seminar hosted by vintners. This year’s seminar was a retrospective on the 2001 vintage in Napa. 2001 was considered a banner year for Cabernet Sauvignon, with a warm start to the season resulting in great fruit set. The producers involved in this back vintage tasting were Signorello Estates, Clos du Val, Shafer, Heitz, Salvestrin and Cain Vineyards. Each wine was in a different stage of development. Some had a few years left in them, while others (perhaps like me) were starting to wear a little thin.

Ray Signorello offered his 2001 Cabernet first. The wine is aging gracefully, with a blood cherry colour. On the nose and palate, plums, dried red fruits and tobacco leaf, alongside a cedar-y, woodsy note. Up next was the Reserve from Clos du Val. Much more herbaceous than the Signorello, there were green, leafy notes underscored by dried fruits. I would consider this a ‘drink now’. Moving to the other end of the spectrum, the Shafer Hillside Select Stag’s Leap still carried lots of primary fruit flavours like cherry and plums. The oak was more prominent with vanilla and milk chocolate undertones.

My favourite of the line up was the Heitz Martha’s Vineyard. Good, fine tannins provided a structural backbone to the unusual nose and taste of eucalyptus and mint, mingled with blueberry and tobacco. This, according to the producer, is the consistent flavour profile of Martha’s Vineyard. The Salvestrin leaned towards a wine that was ready to drink; red brick in colour and leafy and tobacco-like on the palate. Finally, the Cain showed a distinct coffee/espresso note, alongside roasted meats. Given that the wines were ten years old, they were still showing impressively well.


Amorita Bastaja is a manager at Legacy Liquor Store, the largest liquor store in British Columbia (located in the Athlete’s Village), and the Wine Editor of Scout. Her love of imbibing steered her through courses from the International Sommelier Guild and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and has taken her to many wine regions, including Washington State, Napa and Sonoma, Piemonte, Veneto, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Provence and all over the Okanagan Valley.

CORKAGE: Top Table’s “Director’s Series” And The Thrill Of Returning To Wine School

September 6, 2011 

by Amorita Bastaja | A bottle or two of note, something overheard and many words read…

TASTED: Not available in stores but so fun to try recently was the ‘Director’s Series’ Viognier made at Laughing Stock. This wine was/is the result of a collaboration between the Naramata Bench producer and the Wine Director’s of the Top Table  restaurant group. Owen Knolton of West was kind enough to share the fruit of his labour with me. Very rich on the palate. He nailed the pretty apricot and floral notes perfectly. In exchange, I opened up a personal favourite Viognier of my own from Le Vieux Pin. Luxurious and mouth-coating, this wine is all about texture. Ripe stonefruit flavours give way to a long finish. (private wine stores, $44)

OVERHEARD: It’s back to school, even for the wine kids of Vancouver. The charming Mark Davidson (my very first wine educator) is hosting a fantastic program sponsored by Wines of Australia that began last week. My student peers include Jake Skakun, Iain Phillips (another former instructor of mine), and DJ Kearney, just to name a few. The six week immersion program will take us through all the different grape growing regions of Australia. This week’s homework: Clare and Eden Valley Rieslings, and cool climate Pinot Noirs. The Rieslings are frisky to say the least. Absolute bracing acidity with tantalizing flavours of lime pith, minerality and – dare I say it – petrol. I will go on record to say that I love this character in Riesling. I know not everyone is a fan but I can’t help myself. The Pinot Noirs were just as good. Tasting each was like walking through a tomato patch mingled with tobacco leaves and wet earth. Throw in a well seasoned steak and I felt I had the very essence of Australian Pinot Noir. I love school!

READ: During a conference on Monday, three major Canadian wine producers admitted they needed to provide “value priced wines” in order to continue competing with the international market…A final report has been released about a study I commented on in early August, and it looks like Wine Access has decided to hit the alarm bells on the lack of cooperation in the BC Wine Industry…Anthony Gismondi provides his opinion today on the recent attack of the BC Wine Industry…And yet here we are again playing hide the local wine as Wine Access releases their 2011 Killer Value Wines list…Mark Hicken provides his take on what it means…Wines of Argentina is coming to Vancouver at the end of September and tickets went on sale this week…Harvest has begun in Champagne, the earliest on record since 1822…UK Supermarket Waitrose places a bet on Indian wine and starts stocking their shelves with a Viognier and Syrah from Western India…And last, it’s the season for wine tastings! Mark your calendars: the annual favourite Chef Meets Grape takes place on September 22nd at the Vancouver Convention Centre.


Amorita Bastaja is a manager at Legacy Liquor Store, the largest liquor store in British Columbia (located in the Athlete’s Village), and the Wine Editor of Scout. Her love of imbibing steered her through courses from the International Sommelier Guild and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and has taken her to many wine regions, including Washington State, Napa and Sonoma, Piemonte, Veneto, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Provence and all over the Okanagan Valley.

CORKAGE: High Among The Tempranillo, Away From The Gossiping Ladies Of Lociego

(ed. note: Amorita and her husband Scott are currently in France celebrating their honeymoon. Our hearty congratulations on their marriage and best hopes for outstanding times abroad)

by Amorita Bastaja | Day two in Spanish wine country has me up earlier than I’d like to be, but the roads are impossible to navigate here and I missed my appointment with Pablo, the winemaker/ partner at Telmo Rodriguez yesterday. I’ve got to make up for lost time! I’m in Rioja and keen to get into the vineyards. As I’m driving aimlessly around at 8:30am looking for the impossibly small town of Loceigo, small Senoras are out for their morning walk. As I slowly drive by they all stop to stare at me, a clearly very lost tourist.

Finally, I locate the winery and Pablo. I tell him of the very confused ladies, and he leans in to tell me and says, “they need to know all that goes on here. They all know me, but I don’t know them – there will be much gossip later in town that Pablo was speaking English to a strange girl!” Read more

CORKAGE: Sipping On The Road In France, Chowing Pink Cookies And Touring Lallier…

(ed. note: Amorita and her husband Scott are currently in France celebrating their honeymoon. Our hearty congratulations on their marriage and best hopes for outstanding times abroad)

by Amorita Bastaja | With the morning to myself in Reims, I’m on a mission to find the famous little pink cookies called “Fosser”. A few patisseries are checked and success! Little pink biscuits designed for dipping in my pink bubble. Covered in powdered sugar, they are delicious when soaked in Champagne…

In the early afternoon, we head out towards the small town of Ay, where the Champagne house Lallier is located. Along the route are hundreds upon hundreds of rows of Pinot Noir vines, and we can’t help but stop and stare. When we arrive in Ay, a charming little town where the people are very friendly, a baguette for suffices for lunch, as most of the town is closed, save for one bar where the locals are all smoking.

We walk over to Lallier where Jeanne, the export director, meets us for a tour (when she visited Vancouver last year for the Playhouse Wine Festival, she and I became fast friends). The most fascinating part of the tour was the bottling line. Really! Here, we watched the Zero Dosage Champagne go through a strict quality control process (the only one imported to BC and one of the few still done in Champagne). The first gentleman on the line, using a pair of pliers, popped off the wire holding down the cork (no crown cap here) before performing degorgement by popping off the cork. With much pomp and circumstance, the frozen cap flies out, creating a fountain of Champagne. Read more

CORKAGE: Amorita Goes Sipping On The Road In France, Starting With Champagne

(ed. note: Amorita and her husband Scott are currently in France celebrating their honeymoon. Our hearty congratulations on their marriage and best hopes for outstanding times abroad)

by Amorita Bastaja | Along the A1 from Paris to Champagne, windmills wave hello in a synchronized dance while patchwork green and yellow hills fly by. We come to Reims, located in the Marne valley and the largest of the three main towns where Champagne is created. Tomorrow, I’ll be off to the other two – Ay and Epernay.

After a quick lunch of Terrine de Campagne washed down with a glass of Bollinger, we’re off to Ruinart, the oldest Champagne house created solely to produce the special wine.

The tour begins with a statue of Dom Ruinart (who was first involved in the wool textile trade) before moving on to easily the most impressive part, the chalk cellars. Here, 20 and 30 meters below the surface, hundreds of thousands of bottles are stored.

The chalk walls retain the moisture in the air. They are wet to the touch and crumble when rubbed. In these caves, secret underground societies flourished during the war. They’ve been home to hospitals and schools and used as a place of refuge.

When we surface back to the sunshine, it’s time to taste. We’re fortunate to run through the lineup, beginning with the Brut… Read more

CORKAGE: A Tofitian Surf Dispatch & News Of The Southern Hemisphere’s 2011 Vintage

Amorita Bastaja is a manager at Legacy Liquor Store, the largest liquor store in British Columbia (located in the Athlete’s Village), and the Wine Editor of Scout. Her love of imbibing steered her through courses from the International Sommelier Guild and the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and has taken her to many wine regions, including Washington State, Napa and Sonoma, Piemonte, Veneto, Tuscany, Abruzzo, Provence and all over the Okanagan Valley. Her weekly column – Corkage – covers a bottle of note, something overheard and many words read…

TASTED: Michelle Bouffard of House Wine cracked a few (or 12) bottles of Pinot Noir last week while I mooched around. A couple of favourites were the Cave de Lugny, Crémant de Lugny Brut Rosé (NV, private wine stores, approx $30) -  excellent value for bubble of this caliber. A soft salmon colour, it exhibited fresh strawberry alongside delicate citrus fruit on the nose and palate. The bubbles were fine and creamy. So delicious with soft cheese! The other standout was the 2007 Louis Jadot Pommard 1er Cru Grands Epenots (private wine stores, $70). Perhaps it’s infanticide to open it so soon, but it was still very enjoyable. Light in colour and style, everything about this wine was subtle and elegant. A racy minerality creates structure, while top notes of flowers and forest intermingle. Again, delicious.

OVERHEARD: As I write this, I’m enjoying a glass of 2006 Carlton Cellars Roads End Pinot Noir at the Tofino Food & Wine Festival. Soon it’s off to The Schooner Restaurant for The Cocktail Show courtesy of Jacob Sweetapple, Jess Nichol and Paul Hinchey. The botanical gardens then beckon for Grazing in the Garden. It’s a little grey out, damp and chilly, but the surf is all I need to hear tonight.

READ: First reports of the 2011 vintage in the Southern Hemisphere – where juice is feverishly fermenting away – have come out. Australia and New Zealand suffered through wet weather, making rot a potential issue. Lower yields have been reported with lower sugar levels, potentially resulting in lower alcohol wines…Chile and Argentina fared slightly better, but are reporting lower yields due to frost and chilly weather…Rubicon Estate owner Francis Ford Coppola has lured away winemaker Phillippe Bascaules (previously with Chateau Margaux) and purchased the name brand name “Inglenook” in hopes of returning the estate name to its former glory…the Seghesio family who are best known for their Zinfandels have sold their winery, vineyards, brand name and current inventory to the Crimson Wine Group…Lucky Manitoba, home to both a new (old) hockey team and now the potential ability to purchase wine and beer in grocery stores…the Liquor Control Board of Ontario has just released their fiscal 2010 results, with revenue pushing $4.55 billion and profit at $1.56 billion…Very much enjoyed Jake Skakun’s comments on Cherries and Clay regarding VQA labelling laws, join the discussion…Starting summer 2012, if your wine has been fined with natural agents like fish bladders or egg whites, the label may be subject to stickers announcing so – less is more, drink unfined unfiltered!

GOODS: “House Wine” Ladies To Welcome Spring With A Tasting Of Aromatic Wines…

March 17, 2011 


House Wine: a wine consultancy company from trade vets Michaela Morris & Michelle Bouffard |

The GOODS from House Wine

Vancouver, BC | The flowers are in bloom and the sweet smell of Spring is in the air. Welcome the new season with a tasting of aromatic wines. Pleasantly persistent, these intense and fragrant wines will win you over with their heady bouquets. We will pour familiar favourites like Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Viognier as well as lesser-known whites such as Torrontés and Albariño and some unique aromatic reds. Ever try Brachetto or Lacrima di Morro? This is your opportunity! We’ll also share our food pairing tips for each wine. FUll details after the jump… Read more

“Legacy Liquor Store” (Opening Nov) Joins The Scout Community

October 18, 2010 


Legacy Liquor Store, which opens next month at False Creek’s Millennium Village, is now a proud member supporter of Scout. We will be publishing their news and press releases on our front page and hosting a page for them in our list of recommended local resources to check out. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support of our little website. Click ahead to read on or jump directly to their Scout pageRead more

I Wish There’d Been A Wine And Cheese Camp When I Was A Kid…


And by kid I mean 19. Yup, VinoCamp returns this year, only this time it’s bigger and better with a cheese component thrown in for good measure (now officially known as VinoCamp & CheeseCamp). Saturday, August 8th will see lots of both indulged in by foodies, oenophiles, and the tech-savvy all under the Thea Koerner House roof at UBC’s Grad Student Society Centre. Read more

’09 Vancouver Wine Festival Gears Into Action

February 4, 2009 

It is now less than a couple of months away from what is definitely the BC wine event of the year – the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. I have just gone through the barrage of media releases and I have to say that the lineup of events is pretty impressive. As always, many of these events will sell out quickly (last year 10 events sold out on the first day) so heed this warning to plan your week and get in early to buy tickets. Tickets for the public events went on sale Jan 27th and Trade event tickets were made available on Feb 3rd.

At first, I must admit, I thought that it was a bit pointless having BC as the ‘theme region’ for 2009 when the wines are so readily available for tasting, but on further thought I am liking the idea more and more. The seminars the wine fest team have come up with provide some very interesting insights into what is happening in our little industry. This is a chance to both study BC wine in more depth and to conduct serious analyses of BC versus The World. Both will help BC wine evolve.

Some of the BC focused seminars that have caught my attention include: A Vertical Tasting of Oculus (after having just conducted two 10 Year Old BC wine tastings, this will be an interesting look at the ageability across a decade of wine); Osoyoos Larose Component and Vertical Tasting (ditto); Nota Bene Vertical Tasting (ditto again); Pinot-Rama! (a look at Pinot Varieties from BC and the rest of the world), BC Reds Reach for the Top (Trade Only) and Icons of BC (those hard to get wines). A full list of event descriptions is available here.

Here are some of the impressive festival numbers – 183 wineries, 1700+ wines, 15 countries represented and 61 events. The dates are March 23rd to the 29th, and after many years of practice I can guarantee you that you need to attend for at least a few days to get a real taste of the action. It certainly is not advised to attempt to taste the 700 wines in the tasting room in one evening. I’ve seen people try and its messy. You either need a very focused plan of attack, which is completely dull and boring, or you need to invest in a few nights of tasting. It will be worth it. For $89 a night, you can taste hundreds of dollars worth of wine and brush shoulders with the wine cognoscenti. For those who work in the Trade, there are some great multi-day packages available.

For tickets you can phone 604-873-3311 or visit for more details. If for nothing else, the wine fest is a great networking opportunity and you are bound to learn a lot just by hanging around. After all, half of the wine world will be there.


Rhys Pender is a wine educator, freelance wine writer, wine judge and consultant to the industry. Visit his company Wine Plus+ online at

Legacy Liquor Store

October 5, 2008 



1633 Manitoba Street, Vancouver, BC V5Y 0B8
Telephone: 604-331-7900
Twitter: @LegacyLiquor

The Team

Dylan Palmer | General Manager
Ryan Hooper | Assistant Manager
Darryl Lamb | Product Specialist
Mirko Morhac | Spirits Supervisor
Lesley Saito | Wine Supervisor
Chris Bonnallie | Beer Supervisor
Jordan Cran | Store Supervisor
?Aaron Morten | Office Liaison


Autumn 2010 issue of MONTECRISTO magazine (PDF).

About Legacy Liquor Store

Shopping for spirits and wine has changed since the arrival of Legacy Liquor Store. An elegant and modern 8,600 square foot space that includes a temperature controlled wine cellar; Legacy is the largest privately?owned liquor store in the province.
Home to thousands of products, Legacy features the largest craft beer, sake, spirit and premium scotch & whiskey selection in Vancouver. We offer thousands of unique and specialty items not available in most government liquor stores.

Knowledgeable product advisors will assist you with any inquiries, while in-store tastings, harvest table events and master classes further develop your understanding of wines, beers and spirits. Check our events schedule online or sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Throwing a party? Legacy is the ideal venue for groups to host casual social gatherings while learning about your beverage of choice. To top it off, we’ll even help you put together personalized gift baskets for your friends and corporate clients.

Feeling sluggish, or just want a tasty beverage without the work? Peruse our online store at, make your choice, hit purchase, and we’ll take care of the rest. Delivery is available across British Columbia.