Gold Medal Plates 2016 Results


  • Chef: Jesse Friesen
  • Restaurant: Pizzeria Gusto
  • Pairing: Thirty Bench Riesling

Best of Show

Tawse 2014 Spark Brut


  • Chef: Melissa Makarenko
  • Restaurant: Resto Gare Bistro & Train Bar
  • Pairing: Closson Chase Chardonnay

Best of Show

Nichol Vineyard 2014 Pinot Grigio


  • Chef: Barry Saunders
  • Restaurant: Inn at the Forks/Era Bistro & Catering
  • Pairing: Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Shiraz

Best of Show

Thirty Bench 2012 Riesling

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

“Great to be in Winnipeg in the summer,” joked Jim Cuddy from the stage, and indeed it felt like shirtsleeves weather coming in from the airport as this beautiful and improbably persistent autumn lingers. Our destination was the huge and sprawncy, brand new South Building of Winnipeg’s Convention Centre, made extra-glamorous for our GMP gala. Scott Russell was again our wise and witty emcee; the band was almost an orchestra with Jim Cuddy joined by Ed Robertson, Alan Doyle, Barney Bentall, Geoffrey Kelly and Matthew Harder from Spirit of the West and Rebecca Harder on accordion. Together they gave us some of the best music of the entire campaign.

Click Here to Read More

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

It was most fitting that the city at the centre of the country seemed to bring everything together so well – from the equal representation of wines from east and west, to a great group of convivial judges, to the only liquor board in Canada that actually gives back to GMP and our Olympic athletes instead of exacting taxes on the wines we pour.

Yet again, a sparkling wine took top honours for The Best of Show – the third time in this 2016 campaign.  The bristling, intense Tawse 2014 Spark Riesling Brut emerged as a strong winner among the selection of wines from BC and Ontario.  Borrowing from German tradition that uses riesling in traditional method sparkling instead of chardonnay and pinot noir as used in Champagne, this makes all kinds of sense in Niagara where riesling is so prominent.

The first runner-up this night was a quirky, amber-shaded pinot gris estate-grown at Nichol Vineyard on the Okanagan’s Naramata Bench. Some might have expected a sweetish rose but this is a dry, impeccably balanced expression of B.C.’s number one white grape (that turns purple-grey as it ripens)

The third runner-up was back to Niagara and a gorgeous, maturing 2012 Riesling from Thirty Bench, an Andrew Peller owned winery that is leading Ontario with this variety.

These winners, and every wine poured this night in the spacious new RBC Convention Centre were sponsored by the Liquor Mart stores operated by Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries. No other liquor board in the country shows this kind of generosity, which makes life so much easier for the participating chefs and wineries, allowing them to send their best.

On this glorious autumn afternoon I was joined by seven Winnipeg wine authorities to taste and talk through the wines, and rank our favourites.

First, a good friend and judge at National Wine Awards of Canada; Ben McPhee Sigurdson, wine columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press.  For the first time (and finally) Carolyn Herntier who focuses on Canadian wine for the Liquor Mart stores was able to participate. Christopher Sprague, the man behind the great wine list at 529 Wellington and co-ordinator of the GMP silent auction was also on hand.  Andrea Alby, Sylvia Jansen and Gary Hewitt are talented tasters and educators at Banville and Jones, one of Manitoba’s fine wine stores.  Sean Dolenuk plies his talents at Boutique Del Vino. And finally, Domer Rafael who manages the wine program for the Rossmere Golf and Country Club.

For the full story on how the wines fared with the winning chefs, please see James Chatto’s Culinary Report

Here are the Winnipeg wines in serving order as suggested to the judges:

Jackson- Triggs Brut Cuve Close
Niagara Peninsula, ON

Tawse Spark 2014 Riesling Brut
Niagara Peninsula, ON

Thirty Bench 2012 Riesling
Niagara Peninsula, ON

CedarCreek 2015 Pinot Gris
Okanagan Valley, BC

Nichol 2015 Pinot Gris
Naramata, Okanagan Valley, BC

Closson Chase 2014 Chardonnay, Closson Chase Vnyd
Prince Edward County, ON

Nk’Mip Cellars  2015  Dreamcathcer
Okanagan Valley, BC

Sandhill 2015 Viognier Osprey Ridge Vineyard
Okanagan Valley, BC

Trius 2014 Cabernet Franc
Niagara Peninsula, ON

Cave Spring 2012 Cabernet Franc
Niagara Peninsula, ON

Mission Hill Family Estate 2013 Reserve Shiraz
Okanagan Valley, BC

Click here for Press Release

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