The second event of the Vancouver International Wine Festival that we went to was the Mediterranean Mingle. Keeping up with the French theme, the focus was on wines from South of France.
It’s a grazing lunch. There were a number of Mediterranean-inspired dishes being put out, with suggested wine pairings. They suggested some classic pairings, but also “out of the box” pairings. Here are some of the dishes:
- Fresh Asparagus Salad with Tarragon Mimosa Foam
- Grilled Zucchini, Roasted Pepper, Chevre and Pine Nuts
- Tourte a la Brandade
- Mediterranean Mussel Brasucade au Noilly Prat
- Aigo-Boulido “Sip” Poached Quail Egg
- Roasted Cod on Fennel
- Beef Boules de Picolat, Picholine Olives and Cepes
- Saucisse de Toulouse White Bean Stew
- Walnut Orange Cake, Yogurt Wildflower Honey “Pot de Creme”
Because there were so many food and wine pairing combinations to try, I had to strategically pick out a few that I thought would work best. In the end, here are some wines that I would suggest for your next dinner parties (or your Tuesday dinner at home):
- Chateau d’Angles Languedoc La Clape, Grand Vin – $31.99 but retail availability unknown – Good aroma. Went well with seafood and broth.
- M. Chapoutier Cotes du Roussillon Les Vignes de Bila Haut – $15.99 at BC Liquor Stores – Crisp with stone fruit note. It paired well with seafood and tarts; it would help cut through the richness of cheese sauce as well.
- Domaine Paul Mas Coteaux du Languedoc, Cote Mas – $15.99 at BC Liquor Stores – Light & smooth, soft tannins. Surprisingly paired well with grilled vegetables
- Francois Lurton – Mas Janeil Cotes du Roussillon Villages, Mas Janeil – $21.99 but retail availability unknown – Paired well with red meat but “out-of-the-box” it also went well with sausages
- Gerard Bertrand Cremant de Limoux Sparking White – $25.99 but retail availability unknown
- Sieur d’Arques Blanquette de Limoux Premiere Bulle Sparking White – $23.99 but retail availability unknown – Slightly sweet; great for party drinks.
- Sieur d’Arques Cremant de Limoux Premiere Bulle Sparking Rose – $24.99 but retail availability unknown – Had a bit of tannin but tasted pretty good
Chateau de Jau Muscat de Rivesaltes – $34.99 at Kitsilano Wine Cellar – This was my favourite sip at the event. It’s fragrant, with the right amount of sweetness; a great dessert wine. It paired well with the Lemon Almond Creme Catalane, bringing out the lemon scent and flavour. It should go well with cheesecake, nuts, fruit and certain chocolate (thinking milk or dark with nuts or fruit, or 66%-72% dark).
Les Vignobles de Constance & du Terrassous Rivesaltes Ambre, Terrassous heritage 1974 – $90.00 at BC Liquor Stores – This was just precious. It has this intensity and thickness/viscosity that I never found in other dessert wines I’ve had. The amber colour is also uncommon. It’s smooth, with a hint of acidity that could cut through richness. Not overly sweet either. It went so well with cheeses.
The fact that this event was limited to 200 or so people was great. You don’t have to fight through a big crowd to get to each station for wine tasting. You have the chance to mingle with the sales rep as well as fellow attendees of the event. I also quite enjoyed the food & wine pairings that were provided at the event as well.