Hawksworth's Terry Threlfall is Vancouver's sommelier of the Year
When David Hawksworth decided he wanted his eponymous restaurant to focus on lighter tastes, with an Asian influence added in, it was Terry Threlfall’s job to come up with a wine list to match the more delicate flavours.
“We found wines in the middle that won’t overcome his food,” says Hawksworth’s sommelier.
But it wasn’t only the ability to find wines that best suited the chef’s cooking style that earned Threlfall the title of Sommelier of the Year at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. His commitment to the guests’ enjoyment of their meal is first and foremost.
“A lot of wine lists can be all volume so I wanted a list that flowed really easily,” he says in an interview with WE. The list is broken into grape varieties and goes from lighter body to richer-tasting wines.
There are also a lot of offerings for a taste or a glass. The by-the-glass list can change almost daily. “It gives us the chance to have some fun and match food and wine,” Threlfall says. “It gives us flexibility.”
Before joining Hawksworth as wine director, Threlfall was head sommelier at London’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Chez Bruce. He is certified by the International Sommelier Guild and was the first Canadian sommelier to become a regular panelist for Decanter magazine.
Also receiving special mention at the awards lunch was Richard Carras, vice president Western Canada of Authentic Wine & Spirits Merchants. Carras, who set up Vancouver’s first wine bar in Kitsilano in 1997, was given the Spirited Industry Professional award. Inducted into the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association Hall of Fame in 2011, he is also one of only 250 certified wine educators (give or take a couple) worldwide.
The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival announced this year’s trade competition winners at the 9th Annual Awards Lunch on Friday, March 2. The Celebrating Excellence Awards Lunch gives the Festival a chance to honour and celebrate those professionals who have contributed to our region’s exceptional wine and food culture. In honour of the awards, guests enjoyed lunch prepared by culinary talent Blair Rasmussen, Executive Chef to the VCC, and toasted winners with wines from Chile, this year’s Festival theme region.
SPIRITED INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL (SIP) AWARD
The Spirited Industry Professional Award annually honours an individual who has made a significant contribution to the sales, service or promotion of wine in British Columbia. The seventh annual SIP Award goes to Richard Carras, Vice President Western Canada of Authentic Wine & Spirits Merchants. For over 25 years, Carras has been a leader in the wine industry. In the early 1980’s he set up and ran western Canada’s first Wine Bar in Kitsilano and in 1997, he became the first Canadian employee for Robert Mondavi, where he worked his way up to become the Export Sales Director for Asia & the Americas. In 2006 he helped to establish the Western division of Authentic Wine & Spirits Merchants, which now has employees and offices throughout Western Canada. Inducted into the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association Hall of Fame in 2011, Carras is also a past president of the International Society of Wine Educators, and is a “Certified Wine Educator”, a certification held by only around 250 people worldwide.
SOMMELIER OF THE YEAR AWARD
The 12th annual Sommelier of the Year Award recognizes outstanding wine knowledge and wine service. This year’s award goes to Terry Threlfall. Threlfall is the renowned Sommelier and Wine Director at Vancouver’s Hawksworth Restaurant. His expertise stems from over a decade spent working as Head Sommelier and Wine Buyer at London’s Michelin-starred restaurant, Chez Bruce. Furthermore, Threlfall is certified by the International Sommelier Guild and was the first Canadian Sommelier to become a regular panelist for Decanter magazine. The Sommelier of the Year is awarded based on votes by key members in the industry.
WINE LIST AWARDS
Celebrating the best food and wine pairings in the business, restaurants throughout British Columbia and Alberta have been recognized for creating wine lists that complement their establishment’s unique menu and concept. Candidates submitted their wine and menu lists, and were then visited by judges who reviewed their programs. The top restaurants were awarded Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze, or commended with an Honourable Mention. The Wine List Awards are sponsored by Vancouver Magazine.
Blue Water Café & Raw Bar
Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca
Brix Restaurant & Wine Bar
CinCin Ristorante & Bar
MARKET by Jean-Georges
Nicli Antica Pizzeria
Salt Tasting Room
Wine Room at Joey Bentall One
Cork & Fin
Edible Canada at the Market
Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House
Lift Bar Grill View
Tableau Bar Bistro
YEW restaurant + bar
Zest Japanese Cuisine
The Salmon House
Al Porto Ristorante
The Beach House Restaurant
WHET kitchen bar patio
Araxi Restaurant & Bar
Ric’s Grill Whistler
The Grill Room at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler
VANCOUVER ISLAND AND GULF ISLANDS
Galiano Inn (Galiano Island)
Nautical Nellies (Victoria)
The Pacific Restaurant (Victoria)
Vis à Vis Wine & Charcuterie Bar (Victoria)
Ric’s Grill Victoria
The Landing West Coast Grill (Victoria)
Mix by Ric's (Sooke)
The Restaurant at Painted Boat (Madeira Park)
La Bussola Restaurant (Kelowna)
Local Lounge + Grille (Summerland)
Whitetooth Mountain Bistro (Golden)
Divino Wine & Cheese Bistro (Calgary)
Vin Room (Calgary)
Catch Restaurant and Oyster Bar (Calgary)
Emerald Lake Lodge (Calgary)
The Ranche Restaurant (Calgary)
Ric’s Grill Downtown Calgary
Ric’s Grill Grande Prairie
THE ART INSTITUTE OF VANCOUVER WINE PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGE
Sommeliers and wine professionals vied for the chance to win The Art Institute of Vancouver Wine Professional Challenge, now in its seventh year. Competitors were required to rotate around 5 judging stations and speak for 3 minutes on a specified wine-related topic. This year, the challenge winner presented with the coveted Puddifoot Award by Mr. John Puddifoot was Adrien Boisvert from Black + Blue.
BLIND TASTING CHALLENGE
On Wednesday February 29th, 2012 wine trade and service professionals, culinarians, and non-professional connoisseurs alike competed in the Blind Tasting Challenge. They blind tasted seven wines and identified them using the Wine and Spirit Education Trust’s Systematic Approach to Tasting. This year the Blind Tasting Challenge winners were Brian Glaum (consumer) Leah Gamache of Chambar (culinary) and Lesley Anne Saito of Legacy Liquor Store (trade).
ABOUT THE PLAYHOUSE WINE FESTIVAL
The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, Canada’s premier wine show, runs from February 27th to March 4th, 2012. The Playhouse Wine Festival is one of the biggest and oldest wine festival events in the world. In 2012, the theme region is Chile, while the global focus is Cabernet(s). The Festival features a week of special events including the Bacchanalia Gala Dinner + Auction, wine seminars, wine minglers, winery dinners, and lunches and brunches at fine restaurants and hotels. The Playhouse Wine Festival is produced by the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival Society, which has three mandates: provide an informative, educational and entertaining wine experience for public and trade; be a premier marketing opportunity for the wine industry and Festival partners; and raise funds for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company. Since its inception in 1979, the Festival has raised over $7.2 million to enable Western Canada’s leading theatre company to mount 223 productions and develop extensive community outreach and educational programs.