Xmas wine and food is the best, because we treat ourselves to the best.

I sincerely hope all of my readers had a wonderful Holiday season; whichever Holiday you may celebrate: Hannukah, Christmas, Festivus…whatever it is, I hope you had some special time with friends and family. I certainly did.

Every year, we plan a “West Van shopping day”, which for the past few years has involved us staying at the Lonsdale Quay Hotel in North Van (where I was born and raised, and which will always be ‘home’ to me) and having a nice dinner on Friday night, then hitting Park Royal and surrounding stores on Saturday before heading home. This year, we decided to kick the luxury factor up about a dozen notches, and stay in downtown Vancouver, at the Shangri-La Hotel. To say that was a good decision would be an understatement, and this is definitely now going to be our yearly tradition.

The Hotel was fantastic in all regards, but they really outdid themselves at dinner. We dined at Market by Jean-Georges, their signature restaurant, and had one of the great meals of our lives. I am generally not a “take pictures of my food” guy, even when we are dining in a fancy restaurant, but these meals were plated so beautifully I had to.


My steak was one of the best I have ever tasted. Delicately seasoned, the meat really spoke for itself. My wife had short ribs, which is a favorite of hers, and she raved about the quality. We also both had a fantastic mushroom soup to start our meal, and shared a Chocolate Peanut Butter bar for dessert. All in all, this meal was perfect from start to finish.

The restaurant is classy without being overly pretentious, the service is terrific, and the food is of the highest quality (without being ridiculously overpriced). We will definitely be back.

But…this is a wine blog mostly, right? So where’s the wine? Well, we opened up the wallet a little (OK…a LOT…..$450) to try out this little beauty.

Tenuta San Guido 2015 Sassicaia

What an absolute treat. The restaurant had a decanter, of course, but keep in mind that if you are drinking this wine now, it needs to decant for 4-5 hours, not the time it takes to eat dinner. Although it was phenomenal, especially as the meal wore on, but it has SO much more to give. We were lucky to find a couple of these at Everything Wine in Langley, and they are heading to our cellar to enjoy them in a few years. This was #1 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2018, so finding it was not easy. In fact, we were unable to find it in any of the terrific wine stores we visited on our aforementioned West Van shopping day.

That was not the only terrific bottle of wine we enjoyed around the Holidays though. Here are a few more little gems we cracked open.

Sandrone 2001 Barolo Le Vigne

Screenshot 2018-12-29 10.32.58

Hmm, that seems to be as big as I am able to make the image on my new Mac. The images above were done on my old PC. Pardon me while I figure out this new computer. There may be a bit of a learning curve. For the most part, though, I love the Mac.

Screenshot 2018-12-29 10.41.54

Hmm OK that one is probably TOO big. I will see what they look like when I publish it. This new site is supposed to look much better on different devices (phones, tablets etc) so I hope that my readers are enjoying the new look.

OK that’s enough for today! Now it’s time to go and play with some of my new Xmas toys, like trying to make rice in my new Instant Pot. Enjoy the day, and hopefully you all have a wonderful New Year’s.

OH, speaking of New Years, we are planning an exciting vertical…..so keep your eyes peeled for that one shortly after NYE!



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Wine blogger, foodie, traveler.

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