Gold Medal Plates 2016 Results


  • Chef: Joe Thottungal
  • Restaurant: Coconut Lagoon
  • Pairing: Huff Estates 2015 Riesling

Best of Show

Benjamin Bridge 2009 Brut Sparkling


  • Chef: Jamie Stunt
  • Restaurant: Soif bar à vin
  • Pairing: Benjamin Bridge, 2009 Brut

Best of Show

Southbrook Vineyards 2013 Estate “Witness Block” Cabernet Sauvignon


  • Chef: Mark Doiron
  • Restaurant: town
  • Pairing: Stanners Vineyard 2014 Pinot Grigio

Best of Show TIE

Huff Estate 2014 South Bay Chardonnay
Chateau des Charmes 2012 Merlot

James-Chatto-by-George-Whiteside-high-resCulinary Report
by James Chatto by National Culinary Advisor

Some deep magic has been hovering over the Gold Medal Plates campaign trail this year, giving us warm autumnal sunshine in every city we visit. Phoebus blazed from a cloudless sky yesterday in Ottawa, dazzling the chefs as they set up their stations in the glass-walled Shaw Centre. It also put a spring in the step of our judging panel, led as always by our Senior Judge for Ottawa-Gatineau, author, editor and restaurant critic, Anne DesBrisay, whose latest book, Ottawa Cooks, is absolutely essential reading for anyone who eats in the Capital region. Judging with us was author, television star and Canadian culinary ambassador, Margaret Dickenson; author, stylist, educator and culinary maven Pam Collacott; industry leader and owner of Thyme and Again Creative Catering, Sheila Whyte; Chairman of the Canadian Culinary Federation and Executive Chef of the House of Commons, Judson Simpson; and of course last year’s gold medal winner, the only human being since the dawn of recorded history to have won the Canadian Culinary Championship twice, Chef Marc Lepine of Atelier.

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david-new-2014Edmonton Wine Report
by David Lawrason, National Wine Advisor

It’s no longer any secret that sparkling wine is becoming a national treasure – with fine examples now emanating from regions ranging from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island.  And so it was fitting that the nation’s capital should host the best array of bubblies so far in the GMP Tour, and that one of them should dance off with the Best of Show Award.

Benjamin Bridge of Nova Scotia has been wowing Nova Scotians, Canadians and international critics for the past couple of years. So no surprise to this critic that Benjamin Bridge 2009 Brut carried the day in Ottawa – a wine of wonderful brisk tension, complexity and depth. No wonder it recently placed in the top 15 among over 300 in an European competition.

The other two sparklers – Hinterland 2013 Les Etoile Rose and 13th Street Cuvee Rose – also garnered votes from the judges but did not quite make the podium, in what was a close judging.

The Runner-Up for Best of Show went to a fine, new Niagara red – Southbrook’s 2013 Witness Block Cabernet, a blend a single vineyard organically grown blend of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc.  It carried surprising depth for this lighter vintage.

And Second Runner-Up went to the very elegant, complex and structured Huff Estate 2015 Chardonnay from the maturing South Bay Vineyard in the south end of Prince Edward County.

In fact five different wineries poured their wines this evening in Ottawa – Hinterland, Huff, Rosehall Run, Stanners and Closson Chase – a great show of support from the National Capital’s back yard wine region.

The other theme that emerged was the strength of chardonnays in Ontario, with fine examples by Closson Chase, Huff, Malivoire, Cuddy by Tawse and Wescott Vineyards which poured their Lenko Vineyard, from Ontario’s oldest chardonnay vines.

The Best of Show judging exists to recognize and thank the wineries for their donations to Gold Medal Plates chefs.  But several wineries also donated to the VIP Reception and Celebration portions of the evening.

I want to thank Andrew Peller in particular for donating to Ottawa and many other cities on our tour. Canada’s largest family-owned wine company owns familiar brands like Wayne Gretzky and Trius. Ottawa guests also enjoyed Chateau des Charmes powerful 2012 St David’s Vineyard Merlot, Malivoire’s elegant 2014 Chardonnay, the fine Pillitteri’s 2015 Niagara Sauvignon Blanc.

This day I was joined by thee fine Ottawa wine authorities to taste and talk through the wines, and rank our favourites.   In seniority order: Rod Phillips, wine columnist with the Ottawa Citizen.  Diane Willis, a wine consultant and certified sommelier from Niagara College joined us again this year. And for the first time we welcomed Asha Hingorani, who recently joining the staff of the Ottawa-based Canadian Vintners Association.  She a certified sommelier at Algonquin College and a writer for Power & Influence magazine and Embassy News. The perfect Ottawa combination.

For insight into which wines took the podium with our winning chefs please read James Chatto’s Culinary Report. Meanwhile here is the complete list of wines and beers poured in Ottawa, in judge’s pouring order:

Benjamin Bridge 2009 Brut
Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia

Hinterland 2013 Sparkling Rose
Prince Edward County, ON

13th Street Winery Cuvée Rosé NV
Niagara Peninsula, ON

Pillitteri Estates 2015 Sauvignon Blanc
Niagara Peninsula, ON

Malivoire 2015 Chardonnay
Niagara Peninsula, ON

Cuddy by Tawse 2013 Chardonnay
Niagara Peninsula, ON

Huff Estates 2014 South Bay Chardonnay
Prince Edward County, ON

Westcott Vineyards 2014 Lenko Old Vines Chardonnay
Beamsville Bench, ON

Closson Chase 2014 The Brock Chardonnay
Prince Edward County, ON

Wayne Gretzky 2014 Riesling
Niagara Peninsula, ON

Huff Estates Winery 2015 Riesling Off-Dry

Trius 2014 Gamay
Niagara Peninsula, ON

Rosehall Run Vineyard 2014 Pinot Noir
Prince Edward County, ON

Wayne Gretzky 2014 Cabernet Merlot
Niagara Peninsula, ON

Cuddy by Tawse 2013 Cabernet-Merlot
Niagara Peninsula, ON

Southbrook 2013 Wtiness Block Cabernet
Four Mile Creek, ON

Chateau des Charmes 2012 Merlot St. Davids Bench Vnyd
St. Davids Bench, ON

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Thank you to the Gold Medal Plates sponsors and supporters who provide vital support to the project