Alumni Spotlight: BFA Acting Alumna and Master of Wine, Barbara Philip.

Barbara Philip

Barbara Philip

Barbara Philip, Master of Wine has, for the second year running, provided us with excellent wine suggestions available at the Gallini’s Bar in the Frederic Wood Theatre or the bar at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (The Changeling in January) with which to enjoy with our plays for the 2019/20 season. A proud alumna of the BFA Acting program, it’s not much of a leap from actor to Wine Master: the imagination needed to create worlds aids the wine pairing. Find out more about Barbara’s time at UBC:

“I loved my time in the BFA Acting program at UBC and believe that there is a direct link between my years at UBC and my career in wine.  It was a privilege to be part of a small ensemble and work together, creatively, for three years.  Such a unique way to go through university!  In a practical way, the acting training gave me experience presenting in front of large groups, as well as working in television and radio. These are skills that I use all the time in my current role, whether as spokesperson for BC Liquor Stores or presenting on behalf of private clients and regional wine marketing organizations.

Sipping on a wine while enjoying the theatre is not only pleasurable but can potentially deepen our understanding of the play’s context or the mindset of the playwright.   This was my ultimate goal when choosing wines to pair with the 2019/20  season.    If the play is based in a wine producing country, I try to find a wine from the same region to pair with it. Sometime there is a regional connection between the playwright and the wine.  In the case of this season’s playwrights, Beckett and Findley, they were both big wine enthusiasts so I just thought about what they might be sipping as they wrote.  Other times, I try to mirror the mood of the play with characteristics of a wine.  Is it light and zippy or dark and dense?”

Barbara Philip MW became the first Canadian woman to achieve the Master of Wine designation in 2007.  Based in Vancouver, she is a Category Manager for BC Liquor Stores, responsible for buying all sparkling, fortified and European wines. With her husband Iain, Barb runs Barbariain Wine Consulting and works as an international presenter, journalist, radio columnist and judge.

Barbara’s Wine Picks for our 2019/20 Season:

Beckett 19: or some such semblance by Samuel Beckett

Château de la Roch Bousseau Anjou Chenin Loire Valley, France

This is just the kind of wine Beckett himself would be drinking at a table outside a Paris bistro.

It is crisp and mineral with white flower and citrus aromas.

Saint Desirat Syrah Northern Rhône, France

This spicy and slightly edgy French Syrah should spark lively and intellectual debate after the show.

Look for dark berry fruit with tar, dried violet and smoked meat flavours.

Timothy Findley’s The Wars adapted by Dennis Garnhum

Coté Mas ‘Aurore’ Rosé Pays d’Oc Languedoc, France

Findley lived part-time in the South of France where there is no doubt he enjoyed many rosés like this one on the terrace.

This rosé is dry, delicate and refreshing with peach and juicy red berry notes.

Wolf Blass ‘Yellow Label” Cabernet Sauvignon  South Australia, Australia

There are so many references to Timothy Findley and this classic wine, it just had to be included.

This Cabernet is dense and ripe with black currant and sweet herb aromas.

The Changeling by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley

Tarima Alicante Monastrell Alicante, Spain 

From Alicante, an emerging region for delicious wines and the location of The Changeling.

You can feel the warmth of this southern region in the wine with black fruit, soft tannins and full body.

Codici Masserie Fiano Puglia, Italy

Dame Helen Mirren, who starred in the 1974, BBC version of The Changeling, is a fan of the Puglia region of Italy where she spends a lot of time and drinks a lot of the delicious wine

This textured white is made from the indigenous white variety, Fiano, of southern Italy.  Enjoy the stone fruit and melon aromas.

Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. by Alice Birch

Las Moras Reserve Tannat San Juan, Argentina

Tannat is known as one of the strongest red grapes, with an edginess that comes through in the fierce tannins. It is uncompromising, like Alice Birch’s play.

Look for dark blue and black fruits with drying tannins on the finish. Imagine this wine with steak or aged cheese.

Scarpetta Frico Lambrusco (can) Emilia Romagna, Italy

Wine in a can definitely breaks with tradition.  Don’t look for the conventional structure with this Lambrusco-just enjoy the experience.

This sparkly Italian wine has savoury notes and a quenching aftertaste.