Champagne flutes (at Whistler's Cornucopia) - Tim Pawsey photo

This last week saw one of the highlights of our tasting year: judging for the Annual Vancouver Magazine International Wine Awards. Three panels worked their way through 850 wines over three days to come up with the top 100 Best Values and, ultimately, one in each of the tasting categories for a top tier ‘all-star’ team of the 10 best wines—as well as the wine of the year.

We can’t tell you what the outcome is, right now.  But we can tell you that under the smooth hand of chief judge DJ Kearney and backroom systems wizard Julian Scholefield, this was one of best-run and least contentious of any VanMag wine awards to date.

Over the years, thanks to David Scholefield (former chief judge, now departed to the ‘other side’ with Trialto), the ascension to the throne of DJ, and the increased involvement of people like guru Sid Cross, and Masters of Wine Barbara Philip and Rhys Pender, this contest has emerged as a definitive taste-off—one of the best, where, interestingly—and not to be overlooked—a genuine consensus determines the outcome.

We can assure you that you will find the results compelling and, perhaps more importantly, the magazine (when it comes out) an extremely useful buying guide.

If you haven’t seen it, last year’s summary and guide to the process is here.

Look for more details on line December 1.