Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Cooking Canadian

The BC Wine Lover's Cookbook

Recipes & Stories from Wineries Across British Columbia

by (author) Jennifer Schell

foreword by John Schreiner

Random House Canada
Initial publish date
Jun 2020
Canadian, Wine, Western Provinces
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2020
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


Discover the vineyards, valleys, islands, deserts--and kitchens--of BC's Wine Country in this collection of recipes, tour ideas, menus and more.

Take a tour through beautiful British Columbia with award-winning cookbook author and winemaker Jennifer Schell. The BC Wine Lover's Cookbook shares family stories and recipes from 53 top wineries located across the province--from the verdant, rolling fields of the Okanagan and Fraser Valley, to the misty coastlines of Vancouver Island, and beyond.

Meet the winemakers of BC wine country and take a seat at their table to share dishes that evoke the multicultural heritage of BC's wine industry. From tourtière to turkey moussaka and Michelle's Panna Cotta to Nana's Roast Caribou, these recipes have been lovingly handed down through the generations--on handwritten recipe cards, on creased and spattered pages, sometimes by word of mouth. And don't forget the wine! Each recipe is accompanied by a pairing suggestion from the winery's cellars. Whether you are perched on Naramata Bench or tucked up at home, this is a cookbook to read and to inspire.

About the authors

Jennifer Schell is a food and wine writer, columnist, and editor of BC Food & Wine Trails Magazine. Her first cookbook, The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker: An Okanagan Cookbook, is a Canadian bestseller and has won numerous international awards, including a Gourmand International award for Best Local Cookbook. Visit Jennifer’s blog at and follow @jenniferschell8 @jenniferschell8 on Twitter.

Jennifer Schell's profile page

Born in 1935, John Schreiner grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan and received his B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan. He worked at the Regina Leader-Post and became the paper`s chief reporter in the Saskatchewan Legislature. He joined the Financial Post (now the National Post) in 1961 and worked in the Montreal bureau before becoming the Vancouver bureau chief in 1973. He won the 1996 Jack Webster Award for Economic Journalism. He retired in 2001. His fifth book, Icewines, won the Best Book on Wine History Published in English prize at the 2001 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Schreiner, who writes for Wine Access, is a graduate of the German Wine Academy and lives in North Vancouver with his wife Marlene.

John Schreiner's profile page

Excerpt: The BC Wine Lover's Cookbook: Recipes & Stories from Wineries Across British Columbia (by (author) Jennifer Schell; foreword by John Schreiner)

Welcome to beautiful BC wine country! There are more than 370 wineries (and counting) across British Columbia, split between nine recognized wine regions: the famous Okanagan Valley, the Similkameen Valley, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Fraser Valley, the Thompson Valley, the Shuswap and the newest regions, Lillooet and the Kootenays. These days, BC is known worldwide for its excellent wine, and as weather patterns change it is becoming possible to grow grapes ever farther north in the province. Which means more wine for all! Our wine world is full steam ahead.

We hear all the time that “great wine is made in the vineyard,” and BC has an amazing range of vineyard soils. From desert to oceanfront, our diverse geography produces a huge spectrum of distinctive, terroir-driven wines. And the same goes when it comes to food! Farmers will tell you that vegetables have terroir, too. A carrot grown in one region does not taste the same as one grown somewhere else. It’s all in the soil and the weather conditions unique to the area. Maybe that’s why folks in the wine industry seem to have an instinct for which foods pair best with their wines. Or maybe it’s because so many BC winemakers have a background in the culinary industry, including plenty of excellent chefs. With the province’s incredible combination of farming, fishing, foraging and fine wineries, BC’s food and wine are having one great love affair!

Wine drinkers in BC are absolutely spoiled for choice, and narrowing this book down to the wineries chosen was nearly impossible. I’ve tried to include a good range from across the province, with a mix of established and newer wineries. At each stop, you’ll learn a bit about the history of the winery andwinemakers, and what you’ll find there when you go to visit. Then, I’ve shared one or two of their favourite recipes and the perfect wine to pair with them. The wineries in this book are organized geographically, so you could more or less drive from one end of the book to the next (map on pages 6–7), but you don’t have to visit them that way! For wine tours built around your favourite varietal instead, have a look at my ideas for Wine Adventures on pages 262–274. Things change fast in the BC wine world, so give the wineries a call or check their websites before you plan a visit!

As part of the BC wine community myself, I know there is incredible diversity here, not just in our wines, but in the people behind those wines as well. In this cookbook, I wanted to showcase the beautiful cultures and nationalities that make up the community—Australian, Austrian, Canadian, Dutch, East Indian, French, German, Hungarian, Israeli, Italian, Kiwi, Mexican, South African, Swiss and more—all working together, and all sharing the dream to play a part in one of the world’s most exciting new wine industries. And what better way to do that than through food? For recipes in the book, I asked the people behind each winery for a recipe that was meaningful to them. The recipes they provided are family favourites, from comfort food served after a long, hard day in the vineyard, to dishes prepared to celebrate the end of harvest. I love that some of these recipes came to me as a photocopy of a recipe card, some handwritten by a beloved grandmother. It has been a wonderful pleasure for me to connect with the families featured in these pages, and to collect together their favourite recipes in what feels like one gigantic international potluck party!

Through these recipes, we pay tribute to the spirit of the people they came from and the hours they spent in their kitchens preparing meals with love. For ideas on how to group the recipes together into menus, check out my suggested Seasonal Menus on pages 258–261.

I truly hope you enjoy these stories and recipes shared by some of the most wonderful, passionate people behind BC wine. Whether you plan to use this book as a keepsake from one of your favourite wineries, an inspiration to visit more or a way to bring a little bit of the BC wine world into your kitchen, this book is for you. My dream is that many of these dishes will become part of your own family’s traditions and live on through the next generation of cooks.

If you can, please plan a visit to the wineries featured in this book, and when you prepare their recipes, raise a glass of BC wine and thank them for sharing a little piece of their story. Cheers!

Editorial Reviews

“A focused, compelling journey through 53 wineries in British Columbia. Discover the diverse families who are making their dreams come true by producing top-quality, world-class wine. This friendly, well-conceived cookbook has a strong sense of place, and detailed, useable “insider” recipes from the wineries. A must-read!”
—Sid Cross, co-founder of The Chefs’ Table Society of BC

“Each page of this book is proof that there is a story in every bottle, and each offers an intimate glimpse into the BC wine landscape—along with mouthwatering locally and culturally inspired recipes. It is a brilliant snapshot of the bounty of BC and what drew us all here in the beginning. Bravo.”
—Daenna Van Mulligen, The Wine Diva

“Jennifer has done a wonderful job capturing the essence of each of the wineries she features and the families behind them. I feel like I’ve been invited to dine with them! There are about 350 wineries in BC, and this cookbook whets my appetite to discover more.”
—Howard Soon, award-winning winemaker & recipient of the Order of Canada

“As broadcasters, we have had the pleasure of working with BC wineries for decades. Jennifer Schell’s cookbook with seasonal menus, engaging winemaker profiles and weekend getaways takes precedence over all similar guides. Pour a glass of wine and head to the kitchen to toast what makes British Columbia unique in the world of wine."
—Anthony Gismondi and Kasey Wilson, BC Food + Wine Radio BNN Bloomberg 1410

The BC Wine Lover’s Cookbook offers a vibrant, informative and delightfully candid snapshot of BC’s blossoming wine scene. Jennifer Schell’s taste-filled odyssey through every region brings the genuine hospitality of BC’s wine families right into your kitchen. Packed with recipes, as well as helpful pairing tips and touring ideas!”
—Tim Pawsey,

Other titles by Jennifer Schell

Other titles by John Schreiner

Related lists