British Columbia– The BC White Wine Institute (BCWI) is pleased to announce the inaugural title of Wines of British Columbia Top Sommelier 2020 goes to Andrew Forsyth, Sommelier of L’Abattoir Dining establishment in Vancouver following the launching of the Chef Meets BC Grape Somm Smackdown Competition Series Ending on October 21, 2020.

In event of the 30th anniversary of BC VQA, the BCWI coordinated with the Canadian Association of Specialist Sommeliers (CAPS) BC to recruit and challenge the best and brightest sommeliers in BC and Alberta to complete in a three-part innovative competitors series involving written examinations, blind tastings of BC wine, virtual dinners and the ultimate BC white wine pairing difficulty.

“Chef Fulfills BC Grape Somm Smackdown brings the BC white wine industry together to commemorate our world-class BC red wine, food and hospitality,” said Miles Prodan, President and CEO, BC Wine Institute. “As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of BC VQA Wine, we’re thrilled to collaborate with CAPS BC not only to highlight BC’s incredible red wine country however likewise to showcase the incredible talent in our industry, the sommelier and chef community, and the extraordinary 100 percent BC wines being produced right here in our own yard.”

Top sommeliers were recruited to evaluate their knowledge of BC’s red wine market in a written and blind tasting challenge in Victoria, Vancouver and Calgary. The leading 3 sommeliers from each city carried on to the semi-finals to complete for “Best BC White Wine Pairing” in a virtual multi-chef collective Chef Meets BC Grape Somm Smackdown dinner series.

Adjusting to the present reality, these dinners were performed through live Zoom streaming occasions held in each city. Sommeliers were tasked with pairing 100 per cent BC red wine with local creations prepared by top chefs in a three-course dinner. White wine pairings and supper packs were provided to prestigious white wine and food critics around the city with pre-recorded videos on how to prepare and put together the dishes and a Zoom link to tune into the live occasion. Throughout the live streaming, chefs talked to their dishes and the sommeliers took to the stand to protect their red wine pairing, while the judges tasted along and offered their vote online for ‘Best BC Red Wine Matching’.

The winning sommelier from each virtual occasion took a trip to the Okanagan to compete in a three-round finale, pairing BC wines with plates developed by well-known BC winery chefs throughout white wine nation over three days.

The sommelier finalists included:

  • Adriano Cartuliares, Sommelier and Wine Director, 10 Acres in Victoria
  • Andrew Forsyth, Sommelier, L’Abattoir Restaurant in Vancouver
  • Jean Taylor, Diploma White Wine & Spirits Education Trust, Canadian Wine Scholar and Shop Supervisor for Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer.

Judges, including the occasion host, Christopher Waters, Wine Columnist of The World and Mail, voted via tally for what they thought was the “Best BC Wine Pairing” at each days’ event. Votes were accumulative over the 3 days, with Forsyth triumphing with the greatest overall portion of votes across all three rounds.

“It feels amazing to win, particularly with the extraordinary palates I had evaluating me and the two skilled somms that I got to contend against, it’s an amazing feeling,” stated Forsyth.

The winning pairings consisted of:

Round one: Andrew Forsyth’s pairing of 1 Mill Roadway Vineyards’ Home Block Pinot Noir 2018 with Quails’ Gate, Old Vines Restaurant Chef Roger Sleiman’s sablefish with soy marinade, celeriac puree, fennel and beurre rouge.

Round two: Andrew Forsyth’s pairing of LaStella Winery’s Moscato D’Osoyoos 2019 with Phantom Creek Estate Winery Chef Sarah Fiore’s melon salad with habanero vinegar.

Round 3: Adriano Cartuliares’ pairing of Le Vieux Pin Winery’s Equinoxe Syrah 2011 with The Restaurant at Poplar Grove Chef Rob Ratcliffe’s aged duck breast with rye berries and macadamia nut.

“The pairings today have actually been really effective, it’s difficult to isolate just one since every meal has actually been remarkable,” said Waters. “One of the things that make BC red wines so effective is that they all have this clean sweep of acidity that refreshes your taste buds so a great deal of them work with food which’s where the art of the sommelier is available in. The magic of wine and food pairings is that the wine gets better, the food gets better, the experience rises, and that’s what makes an effective pairing.”

“CAPS BC and the BC Red wine Institute share an approach and a vision to improve the exposure of sommeliers and their function within the BC white wine market,” stated Mark Taylor, President, CAPS BC and judge for the event. “A competition like this educates and raises the profile of the sommelier, and it supplies something for the somm neighborhood to get delighted about.”

In addition to taking home the title of the extremely first Red wines of British Columbia Top Sommelier 2020, Forsyth also secured a spot in the fourth annual Wine BC BootCamp for a complete four-day, three-night educational journey in BC red wine nation, slated to proceed in spring 2021.

For more information on the Chef Fulfills BC Grape Somm Smackdown Competitors and rivals check out WineBC.com.

The Grand Ending judges included:

  • Alex Conne, General Supervisor, Willow Park Red Wines & Spirits
  • Audrey Surrao, Restauranteur, RauDZ Regional Table, micro bar & bites, Sunny’s Modern Restaurant and Terrafina at Hester Creek Estate Winery
  • Christina Hartigan, Red Wine Director, Wildebeest and Gooseneck Hospitality
  • Christopher Waters, White Wine Writer, World & Mail
  • Devin Rigaux, General Manager, Annabelle’s Cooking area/ Bar Annabelle
  • Kristi Linneboe, Sommelier
  • Mark Filatow, Chef and Sommelier, Waterside White Wines
  • Mark Taylor, President, CAPS BC
  • Matt Wentzell, Sommelier & Owner, Experience White Wine Tours
  • Maude Renaud Brisson, Sommelier and Founder, Apero Mode
  • Rhys Pender, Master of White wine and owner of WinePlus+

In assistance of the government’s ongoing efforts to decrease the risk and spread of the COVID-19 virus, the BC White wine Institute engaged ConnectSeven Group to execute a detailed COVID-19 threat mitigation strategy with a concentrate on security and physical distancing to make sure all Chef Meets BC Grape Somm Smackdown events were performed with the greatest requirements of safety and cleanliness, following provincial guidelines and protocols. ConnectSeven belong to the working group accountable for creating the BC Conferences and Events COVID-19 Safe Restart Standards and have thorough understanding of the Provincial Health Officer’s COVID-19 orders and run the risk of mitigation practices.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *