What's proper etiquette for the queen's sommelier? West Coast Wine Education's John Gerum confronted this question head on when he served Queen Elizabeth II. Apparently he made the right choice, as he went on to pour wine for prime ministers, presidents, provincial premiers, and cultural icons during his 20-year career. Gerum's achievement distills three generations of fine-dining experience that was passed down from his father, a chef, and his grandfather, a maitre d'. Wine education was always his passion, so when starting out, he sought personal instruction from the master sommelier Andrew Laliberté and demonstrated a palate refined enough to earn him membership and certification from the International Sommelier Guild. Gerum often merges his know-how with other wine educators to cultivate a roster of classes and hone their delivery. These experts join in delineating scotch terroir and describing the bouquet of a student's favourite pinot-stained shirt with an easy professionalism that has enthralled groups of up to 300 people. They share their expertise with casual drinkers and professionals during two-hour workshops, in consultation for store openings and events, and through appearances on Global TV.
With Langley's picturesque countryside as its backdrop, Neck of the Woods Winery concocts red, white, and sparkling wines using grapes grown primarily in the surrounding Fraser Valley. The facility takes advantage of the area's cool climate–which is similar to that of Northern France and Germany–to oversee the entire production process from pressing to bottling. After spending quality time with their maker or a court-appointed barrel, products migrate to store shelves throughout Fraser Valley and Vancouver, or stay right at home in the winery's tasting room. There, visitors pass through daily to sample the varietals, or hang out in the showroom, warmly stocked with rustic casks and a crackling fireplace.
Winner of numerous plaudits, including WineMaker magazine's U-Vint of the Year award in 2009, Crescent Wines, an on-premise winemaking store, allows patrons the opportunity to select and bottle their own batches of vino. Would-be vintners can choose from six wine varietals—chardonnay, gewurztraminer, pinot grigio, cabernet shiraz, merlot, and valpolicella—from Crescent Wine's selection of high-quality wine kits for a total yield of 31 bottles of a single style. Once the selection process has run its course, Crescent Wine's staff members take over, using their patented methods of racking and handling your nascent libations during the fermentation process.
More than two decades ago, Frank Gregus and Maurice Hamilton set out on a venture as amateur home winemakers. Their cottage industry flourished into Pacific Breeze Winery in 2005, and since their first professional release in March 2007, their family-owned garagiste—or "garage winery"—has hauled in more than 50 international medals, including Intervin's "Best Winery of the Year" award in 2010. From grape to barrel, barrel to bottle, and bottle to kiddie pool, Pacific Breeze Winery's lavishes meticulous attention to each small-lot, handcrafted product. This diligence infuses every sip of robust reds and elegant whites, each of which begins its journey at premium vineyards across North America.
The Awesome 80s Prom whisks would-be-seniors back to 1989 to re-live the decade of excess in all its stonewashed glory at the Wanaget High Senior Prom. The show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at the Vancouver Alpen Club, where taffeta-clad guests will get to moonwalk and pop 'n' lock alongside the captain of the football team, the geek, the head cheerleader, the rebel, and other teenage archetypes, before casting their vote for prom king and queen at the end of the dance. A prom court election held every night will bestow one lucky dancer with the coveted title, so competitive guests will want to don their best studded glove and skinny tie before bathing in a bucket of blue eye shadow and donning a Frankie Says Relax T-shirt sewn together from Members Only jackets and Rubik's Cubes.
Dev and Joanne McIntyre first began to experiment with winemaking after moving to the Mt. Lehman area in 1984. They tended to their small backyard vineyard and carefully tracked how different grapes grew and developed in the region's distinctive climate. After sharing these data and collaborating with fellow viticulturalists, Dev and Jo narrowed the list of possibilities down to a few specific varietals, which they felt could ripen evenly along the relatively cool and precipitation-prone coastline.
When they purchased Salt Spring Vineyards in 2008, they set about growing some of these grapes, also opting to fashion pleasantly sweet wines from organic apples and locally grown blackberries. Although their very first experiments occasionally had to be recycled as wine vinegars, grape jellies, or aperitifs for pampered houseplants, they continued to hone their craft with each and every harvest. Currently, the selection boasts a range of styles, including a crisp, dry pinot gris and an unctuous cabernet libre that balances its dark fruit flavours with firm tannins. As a demonstration of their commitment to the environment, Dev and Jo also adhere to sustainable growing practices and avoid using any herbicides or pesticides in their fields.