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Posts Tagged ‘BC wines’

We were invited to go on a tour to check out the various Donnelly Group properties and their Dine Out Vancouver menu. Executive Chef Alvin Pillay has recently returned to the company group, and he’s quite proud of the menus that he’s put together. Ten of the Donnelly Group properties are offering similar items. Specifically, there are 6 core items that can be found at all these locations, which we tried on this tour, along with their respective beverage pairing. Each Donnelly Group location also offers an additional entree option on their Dine Out menu.

Food

Our first stop was at The New Oxford, where we tried the two appetizers.

The Curried Parsnip Soup could definitely warm you up on a chilly winter day. The curry spices really came through; I could taste a lot of ginger. Soup was creamy, and the roasted apple offered some texture in contrast. Suggested wine pairing is the Volcanic Hills Pinot Gris. The apple note in the white wine was a great match with the soup.

Curried Parsnip Soup

The Winter Salad sounded and seemed simple, but there’s an interesting depth to it. The buttermilk sumac dressing brought tartness and spice, black sesame added some nutty flavours, and the Moroccan pita bread gave it some crunch. The 50th Parallel Riesling isn’t as sweet as a typical Riesling, which worked well with this light salad.

Winter Salad

Next, on a trolley, we were taken to The Blackbird Public House, right upstairs from Royal Dinette.

Bar at Blackbird

The first of the two core entrees was the Bangers & Mash.
(more…)

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When Bryan (the “beer guy”) isn’t writing about beer I put him to work as my camera man – so he and I were proud and honoured to represent VanFoodies at the 11th Annual ChefmeetsBCGrape while our fearless leader, Joyce, had other work commitments. The ChefmeetsBCGrape Signature Tasting is a fundraiser for the Arts Club Theatre to support the local theatre arts while showcasing BC food paired with BC VQA Wine.

Very “handy” third hand provided at the event

Very “handy” third hand provided at the event

The event started off with a bang with my favourite dessert of the evening (and, needless to say, favourite dish overall):

Chocolate gianduja pate with sour cherry compote

Chocolate gianduja pate with sour cherry compote, lychee foam and toffee brittle paired with Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery Pinot Gris 2014 presented by P2B Bistro & Bar

I’ve never had chocolate in a pate form before but let me tell you, it was smooth, creamy, not too sweet, and went beautifully with the toffee brittle crunch. The lychee foam and sour cherry compote disappeared behind the richness of the chocolate but gave it an interesting look with the white bubbles and pop of red colour. I found the white wine pairing quite surprising and would have preferred something equally as rich to balance with the chocolate/toffee flavours such as a Cabernet Sauvignon – the Pinot Gris was washed out by this delicious and delightful treat.

Now being Aussie I am a lamb fan (it’s a national Aussie meat) but I don’t find many Canadians who enjoy it. However, on this night, I only heard positive feedback from everyone I spoke to regarding this dish:

Sous-vide lamb sirloin slider

Sous-vide lamb sirloin slider, grey baby cheese, smoked tomato relish and beet chip paired with Upper Bench Winery Estate Grown Merlot 2012 presented by Provence Marinaside

The combination of flavours was well balanced with an equally balanced wine that paired very well with the strong flavours of the meat and cheese. (more…)

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Friends and I (including Joyce and Bryan) have formed a beer club called Garibaldi Club. To date our Garibaldi Club has had 13 beer nights, so it was about time we had a wine night. Plus it was good timing for not one, but two couples in our club, who are getting married this year, to obtain some feedback/ideas on potential wines for their nuptial-day shenanigans. Please note: Prices listed below are mostly based on the BC Liquor Stores website and may vary depending on monthly promotion, and it will be priced differently at private, independent liquor stores as well.

Wine Tasting Party

Whites

Sumac Ridge Private Reserve Gewurztraminer (2012/2013)
Canada – Alc 12% – Sweetness 02

If you are looking for something light and crisp to go with a spicy meal (or samosas, which we just so happened to have whilst sipping on this semi-sweet Gewurz) then this is a great choice. It’s got a lovely balance of flavour and sweetness without being too much. Out of 11 people there was only one or two people who said it wouldn’t be their choice, but overall it was quite enjoyable. BC Liquor Stores: $13.29 – good price for a VQA

Saint & Sinner Pinot Grigio (Vintage Not Specified)
Canada – Alc 12% – Sweetness 00

Now for someone who isn’t usually a Pinot Grigio fan I actually really enjoyed this white. It’s sweetness rating is 00 yet in my palate’s opinion it was closer to a 01 – not super dry as a 00 rating may suggest. Overall there wasn’t a negative comment in the house – it was easy drinking and quite refreshing – this may very well be seen at one (or both) of the weddings! BC Liquor Stores: $11.29

Gazela Vinho Verde (Vintage Not Specified)
Portugal – Alc 9% – Sweetness 00

I’m not going to lie, this was just not my style. (more…)

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Is it a holiday tradition at your home/party to pop open a bottle (or two, or more) of sparkly? To prepare for the holiday season, we had the opportunity to sample the Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s Cipes Rose. I remember trying the Summerhill Brut at the FBC 2014 conference back in October and I quite enjoyed it, so I was quite excited about the Rose. But should it be added to your list of party wines? Let’s find out.

Summerhill Cipes Rose

According to the Summerhill website, the Cipes Rose is made with 100% organic grapes. The first 75% of juice was pressed after a 48 hour cold-soak on the skins. It has quite a pretty red hue, which would be fitting for Christmas.

As soon as we pop-opened the Rose, we were immediately hit by a sweet aroma. The amount of carbonation was just right, and there was a prominent strawberry note. It was light and refreshing, and easy drinking. Felt like a summer wine, but the bubbly would also make a great party wine. The Brut was drier, more crisp, and I prefer the Rose over the Brut.

Summerhill Cipes Rose

The Cipes Rose would be great to pair with lighter protein such as fish, pork, chicken and turkey. We paired it with a tomato fish stew and the wine went quite well with the lightly spiced dish. In addition, we also prepared some Quinoa Crusted Falafel Mignon, a recipe provided by Summerhill. I thought I’d share with you here as well. (more…)

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I was invited to the annual portfolio tasting of Icon Fine Wine & Spirits, which represents a huge portfolio of wineries around the world.

Icon Fine Wine & Spirits Tasting

There was a lot of wine for tasting and I don’t think I even went through 1/4 of them! After talking to some sales rep and fellow guests, I picked out a few to try and here I’m highlighting what I liked. Keep in mind I’m not a wine expert so this is purely my own personal taste. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try any of the beer & spirits they represent so this will only focus on wine.

Wine Tasting

I sampled three sauvignon blanc, of which I most enjoyed the Chateau de Sancerre Blanc. (more…)

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