By SHERI RADFORD
Unlike freewheeling bartenders, sommeliers have a reputation for being staid and even a bit dull. Not David Stansfield (pictured), who took over as wine director at Earls last year. Whether he’s writing about wine, teaching classes at Vancouver Urban Winery or instructing Earls staff about the finer points of the wine list, Stansfield is “all about the humour and the swears.” He’s liberal with jokes and F-bombs, firm in his belief that wine is “serious, but it’s not serious serious.”
For a visitor wishing to sip what British Columbia does best, Stansfield recommends ordering a syrah, especially one from Le Vieux Pin Winery. And if you’re unsure what to do when it arrives, he advises swirling the liquid in the glass, sticking your nose in for a big whiff, then praising the minerality: “You don’t have to know what that means, but the sommelier will be impressed.” Stansfield keeps trying to remove the snootiness from oenology because, more than anything, he loves “the way that wine brings folks together.”
Check out the wine list at Earls any day of the week, but especially on Tuesdays, when all bottles are half price.