Samantha started her professional career in restaurants after studying classical music performance in university. Wine became a passion early on, when Samantha moved to the Canadian Rockies from the prairies. She was Wine Director at the Maple Leaf Grille in Banff, Alberta for 6 years, until taking a season off to focus on competitive snowboard cross racing. As the race season ended, Sam met a Whistler boy who is also passionate about wine, snowboarding and the mountains, and relocated to Whistler, British Columbia to pursue true love and take the Wine Director role at the celebrated Araxi Restaurant in Whistler. After nearly 11 years there, including the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, and being crowned Sommelier of the Year by the Vancouver International Wine Festival, and Vancouver Magazine, in 2013, Sam retired from restaurants in 2018.

Samantha is now the Fine Wine Ambassador for Select Wines, a Canadian wine import agency, including their sister agency, Icon Fine Wines & Spirits. She is also an Ambassador for Whistler’s Food and Wine Festival, Cornucopia, and consulting Sommelier for Whistler Blackcomb. In her full time role with Select Wines, Samantha works with an extensive portfolio of wines from around the world, presenting seminars, tastings, events and handling direct to consumer sales, helping people with their personal cellars and day to day wine needs. She is affectionately known by her clients and friends as the Wine Fairy.

Samantha spends her leisure time with that same guy that drew her further west and their two tabby cats, Francis and Fleurie. Mountain sporting life is more dominated by downhill mountain biking than snowboarding these days, despite its guarantee of serious injury almost every season. The rest is all gardening, growing delicious food at her home in the gorgeous mountain farming community of Pemberton, BC, Canada, and wondering why she doesn’t drink more Riesling.

Sam downhill bikes, loves Riesling, was responsible for one of Canada’s leading wine lists, won the British Columbia Somm of the Year award, knows her shizzle inside and out… what else is there to say… GC all day, all night!

Finkus Bripp GC

Resides in:Whistler, BC, Canada
Available for:Direct to Consumer Wine Fairy Services for Select Wines (BC and Alberta)
Wine Tastings/Seminars/Dinners
Wine Lists
Général spreading of Wine Joy
Active:In Alberta and British Columbia, Canada
Social:Instagram: @samanthalovesriesling
Facebook: /samantha126