kurtis kolt

December 19th, 2015-Gift Wines, Wines for Parties, Budget Wines


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It’s Wall-to-Wall Wines featuring the reviews and stellar expertise of Master of Wine Rhys Pender, Consultant and teacher DJ Kearney and Georgia Straight Wine Columnist and consultant  Kurtis Kolt.

If you’re looking for Gift Wines, Wines for Parties, Budget Wines for yourself and need to know the best wines of the Year in BC and the world..THIS is your show.


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Let’s face it,  this time of year we’re faced with a lot of decisions.

We can’t help you with most of them BUT we can help you with your wine selections.

The guests reviewers on this show are three of the very best in Canada.

Respected by their peers and the industry itself.

We’ll cover gift wines/Wines to take to parties/Budget wines for Yourself/Outstanding wines of the year from BC and the World.

Enjoy!!!  Happy Holidays!


DJ Kearney


DJ Kearney

DJ Kearney

DJ is a judge, writer, instructor and educator at the highest levels in the wine world.

She has just been made Director of Wine at New District, a very new and distinct wine group. (that story next year)

DJ Kearney’s 15 years in the wine industry embrace teaching, wine writing, wine criticism, and wine presentations for festivals and industry trade organizations.  She has trained thousands of sommelier candidates throughout North America for the International Sommelier Guild and the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, and has travelled extensively to the wine regions of the world. Although a global wine expert, she naturally has a special devotion for the wines of her home region. For many years DJ has been an industry advisor and ambassador for B.C. wines, teaching and presenting on behalf of the industry. Recently she toured Decanter’s Steven Spurrier through the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, and curated the historic Judgment of B.C. tasting in Vancouver.  For the past several years she’s been the Drink Editor for Vancouver Magazine, and critic/contributor for WineAlign.



The perfect 2-pack:

Hamilton Russell Chardonnay 2014 Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa $44.99 (BCLDB)

Torres Mas La Plana Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Penedes, Spain $56 +315838 (BCLDB)

Champagne gifts:

Champagne Roederer Brut Premier N/V $61.99 +268771 (BCLDB)

Champagne Pierre Gimonnet et Fils Brut Premier Cru Cuis N/V $80 (fine private stores)

What I’m taking to the party:

Chateau La Gravelle Muscadet de Sevre et Maine Sur Lie 2014 $16 +411006 (BCLDB)

Pesquié Terrasses Rouge 2013 $17.49 +708750 (BCLDB)

Best of BC:

C.C. Jentsch Syrah 2013 (winery direct or private wine stores)

Le Vieux Pin Ava 2014  $25  $34.90 (winery direct or private wine stores)

Little Farm Chardonnay Mulberry Tree Vineyard 2014 $26 +841783 (winery direct or private wine stores)

Moraine Malbec 2013 $24 (and their Pinot Noir 2013, Syrah 2013 and Viognier 2013) (private stores or winery direct)

Blue Mountain Blanc de Blancs R.D. 2008 $39.90 +402594 (winery direct or private wine stores)

CedarCreek Platinum Riesling Icewine 2014 $53 (winery direct or fine wine stores)

Best Canadian’s to try:

Benjamin Bridge Brut N/V $50 +313106

Thomas Bachelder Niagara Pinot Noir 2012 $60+ (private wine stores)

Best ‘over-deliver’ wine

Emiliana Coyam 2012 Colchagua, Chile $27.49 +845321 (BCLDB)

World Beaters

Domaine Pattes Loup Chablis 2012 $40 (private wine stores)

Altos Las Hormigas Malbec Reserva Valle de Uco 2012 $30.99 +522870 (BCLDB)

Domaine Faiveley Nuits Saint Georges Premier Cru Les Damodes 2012 $112 +809343 (BCLDB)

Pio Cesare Barolo 2010 $65 (private wine stores)

Blandy’s 5 year Old Verdelho Madeira  $27 +845818 (BCLDB)


DJ Kearney (@djwines) | Twitter



Kurtis Kolt


Kurtis Kolt

Kurtis Kolt

His background is in running restaurants around Vancouver, most recently managing Gastown’s Salt tasting Room  until 2010 when he received the Sommelier of the Year Award at the Vancouver Wine festival.

He’s been profiled by Wine Enthusiast Mag, run the wine program at James Beard House in NY, been a tasting participant at Wine and Spirits Mag and educated through London’s Wine and Spirit Education Trust, The Court of Master Sommeliers and the Winemaking Program at UC Davis.

Kurtis is an in demand consultant and advisor.

Currently he’s the Wine Columnist at The Georgia Straight. His column is called The Bottle.



Bella Wines 2013 Sparkling Blanc De Blancs – Oliver West Side – $23.90/750 ml, $14.90/375 ml

Bella Wines 2013 Sparkling Blanc De Blancs – Oliver East Side – $23.90/750 ml, $14.90/375 ml




Gonzalez Byass Nutty Solera Oloroso Sherry – $15.99 – B.C. Liquor Stores


Budget wines for yourself

Christophe Pacalet 2011 Beaujolais Villages – $20.99 – B.C. Liquor Stores


Outstanding wines of the year, BC and the World

Clos du Tue-Boeuf 2013 Cheverny ‘Rouillon’ – $27-32 – Private Wine Stores

Robert Mondavi Reserve To Kalon Vineyard 2012 Napa Fume Blanc – $41.99 – B.C. Liquor Stores

Lock & Worth Winery 2013 Square One Cabernet Franc V.3 – $30 – LockAndWorth.com

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2005 Blanc de Blancs – $199.99 – B.C. Liquor Stores



Kurtis Kolt (@KurtisKolt) | Twitter


Rhys Pender


Rhys Pender is Canada’s youngest Master of Wine.

Rhys Pender

A passionate educator, wine lover, judge, writer, and grape grower/farmer, Rhys has worked in the wine industry since he was a teenager. In 2004 Rhys began taking on the grueling Master of Wine program. This culminated in Rhys becoming Canada’s youngest Master of Wine in 2010, one of only approximately 300 in the world.
Rhys runs a WSET wine school and consultancy through his business Wine Plus+ and between travelling around the world can be found with his boots in the dirt at his small 4 acre vineyard and winery in the Similkameen Valley – Little Farm Winery. He is a regular contributor to Canadian publications such as Montecristo, Taste, Savour, Wine Trend and Good Life Connoisseur. In addition to judging for Wine Align, Rhys judges wine competitions internationally such as the Decanter World Wine Awards, Vancouver Magazine Wine Awards and the Dallas Morning News Wine Competition



1 Chateau Haut Brion 2010 ($1599, 766618)

2 Ridge Monte Bello2010 ($283, Marquis)

3 Wynns 2010 John Riddoch CabernetSauvignon (~$100, not sure availability)


4 Orofino 2014 Wild Ferment Syrah – Scout Vineyard ($29, sold out)

5 Van Westen Vineyards 2013 Voluptuous ($30, winery) (current vintage is 2011)


6 Château Dereszla 2008 Tokaji Aszú – 5 Puttonyos (500ml) ($44, 285643)

7 Taylor Fladgate 1985 Vintage Port($229.99, 149377)

8 Croft Vintage Port 1994 ($144.99, 686550)

9 Château Carles 2005 Haut-Carles Fronsac, Bordeaux, France ($79, 399253)

10 Mount Pleasant  2007 Elizabeth Semillon ($21, 664862)

11 Wynns Coonawarra Estate 2012 Black LabelCabernet Sauvignon ($21.99  til Jan 2, 502039)



12 Perrin 2012 Vacqueyras – Les Christins ($23, 585315)

13 Domaine de Babio 2011 Minervois ($17.49, 928531)

14 Château Bonnet 2013 Chénas Beaujolais, France ($21, 821769)

15 Régis Boucabeille 2013 Les Terrasses Côtes du Roussillon Villages, France ($20.49, 464883)

16 José Pariente 2011 Rueda (Verdejo) Rueda, Spain ($28.99, 884502)

17 Grao Vasco 2011  Dao, Portugal ($7.49 special, 14977)

18 Haywire 2013 The Bub ($29.90, winery)

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Rhys Pender MW (@WinePlus) | Twitter




An Hour in Argentina

An hour in New Zealand





October 24th, 2015 – ROUNDHOUSE RADIO!


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Tasting Room Radio has found a new home. It’s Roundhouse Radio 98.3  Vancouver’s brand new FM Station.

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Welcome to the first show!!

Guests include Rhys Pender, Kurtis Kolt, Sandra Oldfield (Tinhorn Creek) and Wine Lawyer Mark Hicken.


Our first two guests  are two of the best known and most respected wine educators in Canada.

Kurtis Kolt and Rhys Pender.  This week they kick off TRR talking about their favourite wines of the summer and what wines to watch for this Fall. Plus a bunch of other cool stuff.

The third member of this group,  they don’t have a name yet, is The Queen of the Vines DJ Kearney.

Here’s some background on Rhys and Kurtis and the list of wines they’re talking about.


Rhys Pender –  Master of Wine




A passionate educator, wine lover, judge, writer, and grape grower/farmer, Rhys has worked in the wine industry since he was a teenager, back in Australia. His interest in food and wine really peaked by travelling through Europe and then a summer spent immersed in food, wine and language in the South of France with Alishan.

After following his wife-to-be back to Canada, Rhys pursued his food and wine passion by completing a Professional Culinary Diploma and working in a top Vancouver restaurant. At the same time he took his first wine course, something that gave him an insatiable appetite for learning about wine. Rhys and Alishan moved to the Okanagan in 1999 to pursue the food and wine culture. Rhys spent time working in the vineyard, the cellar, wine shops and catering events before moving back to Vancouver for a two-year stint to manage a specialty retail wine store. Back in the Okanagan in 2003 Rhys and Alishan started a catering company and Okanagan Grocery Artisan Breads, and Rhys started his Wine Plus+ business doing wine education, consulting, writing and judging. Rhys then took on the grueling Master of Wine program of study all while running Okanagan Grocery and Wine Plus+ and with two baby daughters and one sleep deprived mother-baker in the house. Yes, they thought he was crazy.

This culminated in Rhys becoming Canada’s youngest Master of Wine (the wine world’s highest level of achievement) in 2010, one of only 300 in the world. Through his studies, Rhys knew every reason why they shouldn’t jump into the vineyard and winemaking dream but couldn’t help doing it anyway. Instead he used his training to design and plant the 4 acre Mulberry Tree Vineyard at the property Rhys and Alishan purchased in Cawston in 2008.

His wines are called Little Farm and they’re outstanding.




Kurtis Kolt – Master of Everything


Kurtis Kolt

Kurtis Kolt

KK is a Vancouver-based wine consultant who writes about wine, presents seminars, hosts events, judges wine competitions, works with restaurants on their wine programs and so on.
His  background is in running restaurants around Vancouver, including  managing Gastown’s Salt Tasting Room until 2010 when he received the Sommelier of the Year’ award at the 2010 Vancouver International Wine Festival.

He’s  been profiled by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, run the wine program for an evening at James Beard House in New York and been a tasting panel participant at Wine & Spirits Magazine. I have various certifications and credits through London’s Wine & Spirit Education Trust, the Court of Master Sommeliers & the Winemaking Program at UC Davis.

He’s the  co-founder of  Top Drop Vancouver Year Two  a dynamic, new wine event in Vancouver.   We’ll feature Top Drop Year 2 Next Week

He also writes a weekly wine column in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight called The Bottle




Summer – Rosé 

L’Ostal Cazes 2014 Rosé Pays d’Oc IGP, France
Angove 2014 Nine Vines Grenache Shiraz Rosé South Australia, Australia
Domaine du Grand Cros 2014 Côtes de Provence Provence, France
Summer – Riesling
Jim Barry 2013 The Lodge Hill Dry Riesling Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia

St. Urbans-Hof 2011 Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett Riesling Mosel, Germany

Summer – Other
Ch. De la Gravelle 2013 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie Muscadet, Loire, France
Hidalgo N/V La Gitana Manzanilla Jerez, Spain

L’Ormarine Picpoul 2013?

Fall Wines



Muga 2010 Rioja Reserva Rioja, Spain

Chapoutier 2013 Bila-Haut Côtes du Roussillon Villages

Stags’ Leap 2011 Petite Sirah Napa Valley, California, USA
Fall – Interesting Whites & Reds
Okanagan Crush Pad 2013 Narrative White Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada

Okanagan Crush Pad 2013 Narrative Red Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada
Orofino 2014 Pinot Gris Similkameen Valley, BC, Canada
Stag’s Hollow 2013 Grenache Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada
Best of the rest
CedarCreek  2012 Platinum Block 4 Pinot Noir Okanagan Valley

Domaine Weinbach 2012 Cuvée Laurence Gewurztraminer  Alsace, France
Vina Tondonia Rioja Blanco 2001
Château de Nages 2012 Vieilles Vignes Blanc, ~$30, Costières de Nîmes, France – Private Stores

Maverick Estate Winery 2014 Pinot Gris, $19+, Okanagan Valley – Winery Driect, Private Stores

Tantalus Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay, $26+, Okanagan Valley, BC – Winery Direct/Private Stores

Haywire 2014 Wild Ferment, ~25, Okanagan Valley, BC – Winery Direct/Private Stores

Yering Station 2013 Little Yering Pinot Noir, $14.49, Yarra Valley, Australia – BC Liquor Stores

Planeta 2013 Cerasuolo di Vittoria, ~$30, Sicily, Italy – Private Stores

Foradori 2012 Teroldego, $33.99, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy – BC Liquor Stores


Mark  Hicken  and Sandra Oldfield (Tinhorn Creek)

 We start out talking about Canada’s odious wine laws and then head in three different directions on living under laws made for prohibition in 1928.

Mark is a lawyer who specializes in wine law and keeping them honest in the Canadian bureaucratic  back rooms .

Sandra Oldfield is a force, pure and simple.

Sandra Oldfield

Sandra Oldfield

In 1995 she experienced her  first “crush” at Tinhorn Creek. That was the year she  moved to Oliver from Santa Rosa, California,  packed her  ‘66 Mustang and drove across the border to a new life, full of excitement and hope – including the hope that her  car wouldn’t break down somewhere in Washington.

The facts: Studied winemaking and Canadian history at the University of California at Davis (affectionately known as UC Davis);  worked at Rodney Strong Vineyards in Sonoma; She is  part owner at Tinhorn Creek; she also has a vintage purse addiction.


Mark Hicken – Lawyer and Wine Fan

Mark Hicken

Mark Hicken

Mark has a B.A. (Honours) from UBC and a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He has also completed the Wine Executive Program at the University of California. Davis  Mark is a member of the Board of Directors of the BC Hospitality Foundation and is the President of the Modernize Wine Association of B.C., a non-profit society that advocates for a modern food and wine culture. In April 2012, Mark appeared before the House of Commons Finance Committee as a witness in favour of Bill C-311 (the inter-provincial shipping law reform bill which became law in June 2012).  Mark believes that effective legal advice must be provided in the context of a client’s business objectives. This is critical in the Canadian wine industry where regulatory structures affect every aspect of the business from conception to consumption..




The annual Savour Cowichan  gathering

BC’s Garagiste

Royal Wood makes wine with Therapy

The Judgment of BC