Our mission is to reward restaurateurs who make the effort to produce an original and creative wine program. A successful wine program should offer consumers a well-selected choice of wines that harmonize with the food. The program should also encourage all staff to have significant wine knowledge that they can share comfortably with diners.

We believe a good wine list brings in customers. A great wine program in a restaurant encourages customers to come back for more – more choices, and more delightful and memorable experiences.

Our awards fall into five categories: Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Honourable Mention.

The Wine Program Excellence awards are sponsored by Vancouver Magazine.

Applications for the 2018 Wine Program Excellence Awards will be open from August 28 to November 1. Click here to see a list of the 2017 winners.

Applicants for the 2018 awards will be required to do the following:

  • Tell us your wine philosophy, describe your staff education program, and provide copies of your current wine list and dinner menu, all in PDF format. Send to awards@vanwinefest.ca
  • Complete the Online Application and pay the non-refundable fee of $140.

All submissions are carefully reviewed and critiqued by a panel of wine judges, who donate many hours of their time as consultants.

All entrants will receive one ticket to each of the following Friday, March 2 Trade events ($144 value)

  • Celebrating Excellence: 14th Annual Awards Lunch featuring Wines of Canada
  • Trade Tasting with Trade Buyer Entry (1:30 p.m. start)

Apply by September 25 and receive a second Friday Trade Tasting ticket with Buyers Hour.

Winners receive:

  • Recognition and an award (Platinum to Bronze recipients) at the 15th Annual Awards Lunch featuring Wines of Portugal & Spain
  • The opportunity to pre-buy additional Trade Days events
  • Online listing at VanWineFest.ca
  • Publication in festival ads
  • Self-promotion of a VanWineFest award-winning wine list on your restaurant’s website, wine list and menu
  • Inclusion in awards press release and publicity pieces

Our professional judges consider the philosophy behind your wine program and how successfully your wine & food pairing goals match that philosophy. They look for your efforts in training all serving staff on your wine program. They also consider the patron experience. Is your wine list easy to understand? Does it look clean and professional? Is it free of grammatical and spelling errors? Finally, do the wines on your list offer real value and encourage consumers to try new wines?

For further information please contact: awards@vanwinefest.ca