#7 – A Vancouver Legacy in the Armoury District

About six years ago I worked at my first major food event, the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, and it was an amazing experience. The wine fest, as it’s affectionately known to Vancouverites – who actually know about the festival, was an amazing experience then and has been each year I’ve returned as a consumer. It comes around once a year in the early spring at the convention centre downtown, look for the 2011 festival.

It was at this festival that I learned many things about Vancouver’s food and wine scene – including exposure to many of Vancouver’s industry personalities. One of which is Barbara-Jo McIntosh, who has opened a cook book story in 1997 and has been growing every since. Her store,  Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks, is located in the Armoury District (a known design district area of Vancouver just south of downtown) – originally she opened in Yaletown.


Barbara-Jo McIntosh

Barbara-Jo McIntosh, Photo by Tracey Kusiewicz, http://www.EATMagazine.ca


She was recently inducted to the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame, as a Friend of the Industry, and is incredibly well known in Vancouver and beyond for inspiring culinary enthusiasts of all levels and sharing cooking lessons and events in her store.

Well, Barbara-Jo also has a blog, which is my Blog or Bust #7 share, called Cooks with Books. It is staff-authored and includes recipe reviews from their favourite cookbooks – high quality content. And **secret** if you purchase a book referenced in her blog, there is a discount offered: see their blog home page for more information.

If you’re in the area, visit her store because she has helped put Vancouver on the map as a food city. If you are anything like me, you could be her store for days…

What is your favourite cookbook?

2010 Summer Wine List

Courtesy of the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival’s 2010 Top 25 Under 25 event – that I attended earlier this year. On arrival, the staff handed out wallet sized cards, as a takeaway, which listed all 25 wines.

Because summer time is a great time to try new wines, here is the list:

From 2010 Buyer’s Guide: 25 under $25, PlayhouseWineFest.com

1. Argentina: Bodega Catana Zapata Alamos Malbec ’08, $15.99
2. Argentina: Bodegas Francois Lurton Pinot Gris Reserve ’08, $18.99
3. Argentina: Familia Zuccardi Santa Julia Reserva Cab Sauv ’08, $15.99

4. Australia: d’Arenberg The Custodian Grenache ’07, $23.00
5. Australia: Evans & Tate Margaret River Chard., ’08 $19.99
6. Australia: Hardys, The Chronicles Butchers Gold Shiraz Sangiovese ’08, $15.95
7. Australia: Peter Lehmann Wines Clancy’s Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc, ’08 $16.99

8. BC: Gray Monk Estate Winery Pinot Auxerrois, ’09, $15.99
9. BC: Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Cab. Franc ’07 $17.99

10. Chile: Vina Cliterra Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon ’09, $12.99
11. Chile: Miguel Torres Cordillera Chardonnay, ’08, $21.99

12. France: Blason de Bourgogen/ La Chablisienne Cremant De Bourgogne NV, $24.99
13. France: Reutenauer les Vins du Sud Quest Chateau Croix du Mayne ’07, $19.99

14. Schloss Reinhartshausen Estate Riesling QBA Troken ’07 $19.99
15. Italy: Altesino Rosso di Toscana IGT ’06, $21.99
16. Italy: Santa Margherita Prosecco Brut Valdobbiadene, DOC NV $21.99

17. New Zealand: Allan Scott Family Winemakers Marlborough Pinot Noir, $24.00
18. New Zealand: Stoneleigh Riesling ’09 $19.99
19. New Zealand: Sacred Hill Marlborough Sauv. Blanc ’09 $19.99

20. South Africa: Nederberg Winemaster’s Reserve Riesling ’08, $22.99
21. Spain: Grupo Faustino Fortius Tempranillo ’07 $13.99
22. Spain: Freixenet Cordon Rosado NV, $14.99
23. LJ. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay ’08 $22.99

24. US: MacMurray Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, ’07 $24.99
25. US: Stonehedge Winery Cab. Sauv. ’06 $19.99

At the tasting event, I tried almost all of the wines and all were enjoyable. Most liquor stores or wine stores should carry these.

But if you can’t find them, sometimes, I confess, it is simply fun to pick a new wine purely based on the label… Regardless, happy patio dining!