In Your Mouth with David Stansfield

David began his wine career as a teenage cellar hand 20 years ago. Today, he works as an independent sommelier and is a co-host of the popular Sunday School wine school. When not ruminating on the grape, his interests include spy novels, escape rooms, contact juggling, Slovenian design, and beer.

Let’s talk about desert island selections.
This is a matter of great personal interest. Whenever people find out what I do for work, the first question is inevitably, “what’s your favourite wine?”

In my mind, I answer something like, “Man, I don’t know. What do you do for a living? Oh, you’re an accountant. What’s your favourite Excel equation? That’s right. They’re all great.”

Of course, this is not what I say. Instead, I waffle something about context. It’s the answer of a coward who can’t pick favourites, but it’s true. Context matters. Tom Petty sounds better in a car. Beer tastes better after sports. And, street tacos beat restaurant tacos every time.

That brings us to desert island selections. While I may not have a favourite wine, I know with unwavering certainty my choice for desert island album. It’s Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

It is a perfect work of art. The only thing you can knock it for is Paul McCartney. He may be the third best Beatle, but he’s still a fucking Beatle. That’s crazy. While it may not be my all-time favourite album, it’s definitely my desert island album. No album makes me happier.

Think about it. You’re marooned on a desert island. Things are not looking good. Despite that, you’ve got to dig deep and find the motivation to fish, forage, build shelter, and survive. This is not the time for Leonard Cohen. Oh no, this is thriller night.

From the first gong of “Beat It” to the last echo of Vincent Price’s cackle on “Thriller”, I’d be dancing around that desert island getting shit done. Boats could cruise by and I’d just wave them off like, “Nah, it’s cool. Come back after ‘Baby Be Mine.’” 

Context matters. With that in mind, here are my desert island selections for drink, food, and drugs.


Le Vieux Pin Vaila Rosé

$24 direct from winer

Rosé as a meme—the Rosé Lifestyle—jumped the shark this summer. Frosé, Brosé, White Girl Rosé: we get it. Pink wine is delicious. But that’s just it, pink wine is delicious. This isn’t the 90s anymore. We’re allowed to like things even if they’re dumb and popular. And you know what? Thank God for that. Because I’ve got a bucket of rosé and half a season of Riverdale to get through.

As long as it’s dry, pink wine is also refreshing. I like mine made from something light like Gamay or, like Le Vieux Pin’s Vaila Rosé, Pinot Noir. It’s perfect for chilling under a palm tree while listening to “P.Y.T.”


Lois Lake Steelhead Trout Ceviche

$13 at Cuchillo

I’m not very handy. There will be no fires on my desert island. There may, however, be citrus. That means ceviche, delicious, tart, nourishing ceviche. Fish cooked by the acidity of fruit. It’s a beautiful thing. Vancouver’s best ceviche is at Cuchillo in Railtown. The Lois Lake Steelhead Trout Ceviche with cucumber, chayote, jalapeno, lychee, and mint may be one of the city’s best bites. It’s perfect for chilling under a palm tree and listening to “P.Y.T.” while sipping rosé.


Blue Dream

$12/gram at various dispensaries

I may not be handy, but I can garden. My garden is lush and bountiful. My hippie neighbour’s kids feast on all of my berries and that’s totally cool. Can you imagine what it must feel like to be bush height, eye-to-eye with a ripe blueberry? You’ve got to eat that thing.

The legendary Blue Dream strain is a gardener’s delight. It grows bushy and tall in a bunch of different climates with little care needed making it ideal for desert islands. The high balances a full-body mellow with a gentle trip. It’s perfect for chilling under a palm tree, etc.

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