Caymus 40th Anniversary Tasting at Seasons in the Park

Caymus Vineyards

Caymus Vineyards

One of the most well regarded Napa wineries is Caymus Vineyards.  Luckily Seasons in the Park is giving you a chance to try some of their wines on September 16, both red and white.  Get your tickets before this event sells out.  See their announcement below.

~~~

It’s been over 40 years since the Wagner family founded Caymus vineyards in Napa Valley, and today they are proud to showcase a collection of wines that have a reputation for quality and consistency, produced from the premiere winegrowing regions in California.

Join us to celebrate 40 years with Caymus vineyards !  

2012 40th Anniversary Cabernet

2013 Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir

          2012 Conundrum White           

2013 Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc

Tickets are $35 per person (not including tax & gratuity)

 

For more information or to purchase tickets, please feel free to contact us!

604.874.8008 or seasonsevents@vancouverdine.com 

Advertisements

In Search of Paella in Spain – Part 2

Moving from the small, seaside city of Castellon, I was entertained by the Old World charm of Valencia, and the youthful vibrancy of Barcelona. But with one thing still on my mind: Paella!  The locals say that the best paella is always found at restaurants along the beach.  So while in Valencia, I headed to the beach, with it’s beautiful silky, sand, and sun tanned bodied, and found the restaurant of my quest; “Restaurante La Pepica“.  This restaurant is an establishement to say the least, being located there for more than 100 years, and being visited by such celebrities such as Ernest Hemmingway!  They must know what they are doing with paella, and I was right.

Although Paella Valenciana, made with chicken and rabbit, is the namesake for Valencia, I was on the beach, and needed to try seafood, so I ordered Paella Mariscos.  The paella came, with the rice forming a thin layer in the pan.  I could see that the edges of the pan had bits of “burnt” rice, which is crunchy and one of my favourite parts of a rice dish.  The paella was made simply, topped with prawns, then mixed in the rice were fish, shrimp and squid.  The rice was al dente, but I think that this is normal, as I’ve tried 7 paellas to date and all but 1 were al dente.

Paella mariscos and a glass of rosado wine

Paella mariscos and a glass of rosado wine

Squeezing lemon on the dish allowed the citrus flavours to brighten the earthiness from the spices in the rice, and make the seafood come alive.  This was the perfect paella while I have been in Spain.  To enjoy with this paella, I of course had a bottle of wine; a local rosado from the Valencia region.  It was made from Cabernet Sauvignon, which is quite surprising, but it was very tasty with sour cherries and strawberry flavours and a very smooth round mouthfeel.  A perfect pairing.  If you ever go to Valencia, Spain, visit Restaurante La Pepica, and raise a toast to Ernest Hemmingway!

Get Ready for the Arts Club Theatre Company’s California Wine Fair

Arts Club California Wine Fair Ballroom Tasting

Arts Club California Wine Fair Ballroom Tasting last year

This is always a fun event.  California brings us big ripe fruit flavours, both for red and white wines.  For those of you who keep thinking about heavy oak, that is a thing of the past.  Many California wine makers use oak more delicately, or have unoaked versions of their wine.  You may be thinking Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which are the stars for California, but California Pinot Noir is quite nice too.  And if you want a fun, jammy red wine, try a Zinfandel.  Below is the info for the upcoming Art’s Club California Wine Fair.  Get your tickets before it sells out!

~~~

Vancouver, B.C.—The Arts Club’s California Wine Fair returns this spring with two distinct events for wine devotees: the large-scale California Wine Fair Ballroom Tasting and the intimate California Winemakers Dinner. These social and informative evenings are designed for guests to explore the abundant range of styles and varietals created across the Golden State by its prolific vintners. The fair is one of the company’s signature fundraisers, with proceeds benefitting the Arts Club’s community-based programs and youth education initiatives.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS + TICKETING INFORMATION:
 

  • Tuesday, April 22, 7–9:30 PM: California Wine Fair Ballroom Tasting
    Vancouver Convention Centre East, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
    Tickets: $89
    To purchase: visit artsclub.com/events/california-wine-fair or call 604.687.1644 
  • Wednesday, April 23, 6–9 PM: California Winemakers Dinner
    West Restaurant, 2881 Granville Street, Vancouver
    Tickets: $195 (with a $85 tax receipt)
    To purchase: contact specialevents@artsclub.com or call 604.687.5315, ext. 279

This year’s tasting marks the 34th presentation in Vancouver of the cross-Canadian tour, organized by California Wines. Highly knowledgeable wine producers from 115 wineries will pour over 400 wines to demonstrate the depth of diversity in the region. Wine enthusiasts of all stripes can sample the best California wines, including labels not currently available in B.C., and connect with vintners for advice on selecting, serving, and storing wine. The evening also includes an extensive silent auction featuring luxury travel, entertainment and cultural packages, and exclusive wine lots.

West Restaurant will host the California Winemakers Dinner, which brings together the award-winning duo of Executive Chef Quang Dang and Restaurant/Wine Director Owen Knowlton. They will showcase pristine regional ingredients in an exquisite multi-course menu of contemporary cuisine. Premium wine pairings include vintages from Edna Valley Vineyard, Ghost Pines Vineyard, Louis M. Martini Winery, and MacMurray Ranch that represent the Central Coast, Napa Valley, and Sonoma wine regions. Wine producers will dine with guests and talk about the culture of winemaking and share insights on new trends and technological advances.

CONTACT

Zoe Quinn, Publicity Coordinator: 604.687.5315, ext. 334, or publicitycoordinator@artsclub.com

High-resolution images are available for download online: artsclub.com/media. The username is journalist and the password is photos4media.

ABOUT THE ARTS CLUB
The Arts Club Theatre Company, now celebrating its 50th season, is the largest not-for-profit organization of its kind in Western Canada. Led by Artistic Managing Director Bill Millerd and Executive Director Howard R. Jang, it offers professional theatre at three venues—the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Granville Island Stage, and Revue Stage—as well as on tour throughout the province.

Website: artsclub.com
Blog: blog.artsclub.com
Facebook: facebook.com/theArtsClub
Twitter: @theArtsClub
Instagram: @theartsclub

California Wines

Having Fun California Cruisin’ at Vancouver International Wine Festival

When you hear the term “California Cruisin” what do you think?  If you are me, it would be the beach, surf boards, the Beach Boys, and in general having fun.  Having fun is what we did have at the California Cruisin’ event for the Vancouver International Wine Festival last night at Brix Restaurant & Bar in Yaletown.  This was a walk-about event, with wines being poured from at least 12 different California producers (mainly from Sonoma and Napa Valleys), and various nibbles being passed around, made by Brix.

On the white wine side, all were Chardonnay.  But don’t think big, fat, oaky Chardonnay.  These were all leaner, had a stone / tropical fruit, green pea flavour/aroma component, and a light touch of oak, if it was oaked.  Very refreshing.

The red wine side was a bit more varied with Cabernet Sauvignon, of course, but there were a few Pinot Noirs, and some Petite Sirah blends.  I’ve noticed in the past 2 years that more California Petite Sirah is being available here in BC.   If you haven’t tried Petite Sirah before you should give it a try.  It can be hard and tannic, needing aging, but the ones I tried last night were very inviting.  The grape can have flavours of black pepper, blackberries, blueberries, spice and licorice.  Two that I had at this event were the Michael David Winery Petite Petit, 2011, and the Concannon Vineyard Conservancy Crimson & Clover 2010.  They will likely be available for tasting at the Festival tasting room starting this Thursday evening.  Also a shout out to the “big” California winery, Robert Mondavi.  They were pouring a really nice Napa Valley Chardonnay, 2011, and a Napa Valley Pinot Noir, 2012.  And if you want a more serious red wine with some tannic structure try the Chasing Lions Cabernet Sauvignon 2011.

Enjoy the food and wine pictures that I took during the event, and check out my twitter feed @mywinepal to watch my VINE video!

Liberty School Central Coast Chardonnay 2011

Liberty School Central Coast Chardonnay 2011

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012

La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012

LA Style Korean BBQ Beef Tacos

LA Style Korean BBQ Beef Tacos

Michael David Petite Petit 2011

Michael David Petite Petit 2011

Concannon Conservancy Crimson and Clover 2010

Concannon Conservancy Crimson and Clover 2010

Nine North Chasing Lions Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Nine North Chasing Lions Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

MLF and Brett

No, this is not the latest stage show from Las Vegas. 

Malolactic fermentation (MLF) describes the enzymatic conversion of tart malic acid to softer lactic acid. This secondary fermentation is primarily applied to red wines, but is also common for chardonnay. Besides reducing the acidity in a wine, MLF also can impart buttery or nutty aromas to a wine. 0.2 mg/L in chardonnay, 0.9 mg/L in Pinot Noir and 2.8 mg/L in Cabernet Sauvignon are detectable by people. Too much MLF and a wine is considered spoiled. MLF also produces esters in the wine, many of which are responsible for a pleasant “fruity” nose. The bacteria responsible for MLF is called “oenocuccus oeni”. So a buttery chardonnay, such as the Matua Gisborne Chardonnay “Judd Estate”, or the Marimar Estate, Acero Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, California, is a result of MLF.  As I mentioned it also softens reds giving you a more round mouth feel.  Two examples would be the Oyster Bay Merlot from New Zealand and the Kettle Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from BC.

Bretanomyces (Brett) is a common spoilage organism in wine making. While low levels of Brett are sometimes considered by some to be a good thing, adding complexity to some wines, others consider its presence a flaw. Common words describing the effect of Brett on wine are: barnyard, earthy, sweaty leather, and more. Brett appears much more often in red than in white wines. The wines of Burgundy tend to have Brett.  Locally you may try the Ross Andrew Winery Boushey Vineyard Syrah, Columbia Valley, WA for a bit of Brett.

Rodney Strong Wines Featured at Hy’s Winemakers Dinner to Benefit the BCHF

Rodney Strong VineyardsCalifornia’s Rodney Strong Vineyards wines always impress me.  I don’t think I’ve had a bottle of Rodney Strong wine that I did not like.  Their other winery, “Davis Bynum“,  I have also been tasting recently, and these wines are also getting posted by me as one of the favourites of  various wine tastings. I recently read that this year marks the 40th anniversary of Davis Bynum making Russian River Valley‘s first single vineyard Pinot Noir.  I would not want to miss tasting these wines, and to enjoy them with top quality steaks, this winemaker’s dinner should sell out fast, so get your tickets now.  Press release below.

~~~

Hys Steak Cocktail BarWines from Rodney Strong Vineyards turned heads at the recent Vancouver International Wine Festival.  Now Vancouverites have a chance to get better acquainted with the California winery and its premium wines at a sumptuous dinner will take place Thursday, April 11 2013 at Hy’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar.

Rodney Strong has attracted attention for its top-quality wines, but the family-owned winery is also renowned for its commitment to sustainable environmental practices.  Winemaker Rick Sayre will be on hand at the dinners to introduce the wines and to talk about the principles and practices that set Rodney Strong apart from other wineries.  Guests will enjoy a selection of premium wines paired with four courses.  The dinner will also benefit the BC Hospitality Foundation.

  • Rodney Strong Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – not yet rated
  • Davis Bynum Jane’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011- 90 points Wine Enthusiast
  • Rodney Strong Rockaway Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 – 92 Points Wine Spectator                                      
  • Rodney Strong Brothers Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 – 93 Points Wine Enthusiast
  • Rodney Strong Alexander’s Crown Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 – 92+ Points Wine Advocate
  • Rodney Strong Symmetry 2010 – not yet rated

Where, When, How Much?

  • Thursday, April 11 2013
  • 6:00 pm – Reception – 6:30 pm Dinner
  • Hy’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar, 637 Hornby Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets $135 Inclusive of Taxes and Gratuity excluding ticket service charge

Tickets available here

#     #     #

About Rodney Strong Vineyards

With vineyards located in California’s legendary Sonoma County, Rodney Strong Vineyards has won praise from wine lovers and environmentalists alike.  The Klein family, which owns Rodney Strong, has a passion for sustainable farming practices, solar power and other green business practices.  As a result, Rodney Strong has become Sonoma County’s first carbon-neutral winery.

 About Hy’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar

One only needs to enter the cozy establishment to realize the extent to which Hy’s adheres to tradition. The polished mahogany walls, ornate bar, solid furnishings, and art have been lovingly maintained since they were first installed in 1962. And, with minor exceptions, the menu remains unchanged,… featuring the finest Canadian Prime beef and seafood, not to mention Hy’s sublime cheese toast.

About the BCHF

BC Hospitality FoundationFormed in 2006, the British Columbia Hospitality Foundation (BCHF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial support to individuals within the hospitality community who are coping with extraordinary costs arising from a serious health crisis.  Since its inception, the Foundation has expanded to also award scholarships and bursaries to students enrolled in hospitality programmes.

My Quick Winery Picks for Vancouver International Wine Fest

Vancouver International Wine Festival 2013When you step foot inside the Festival Tasting room, time is ticking. There are 1850 wines to taste. Let me give you some suggestions for the theme region, California, and for the rest of the world.  No time in this article to give you any details, but these are wineries I have tried in the past, or I am interested in tasting.  I will visit each of these tables, among other tables.  To find these wineries, when you arrive, your Festival Tasting Room program, p.23, has a map showing the layout of the tables.

California Wineries to Visit

  • Blackbird Vineyards
  • Chateau St. Jean
  • Clos du Val
  • Duckhorn Wine Company
  • Gloria Ferrer
  • Girard Winery
  • Heitz Cellar
  • Joseph Phelps Winery
  • Louis M Martini
  • MacRostie Vineyards
  • Marimar Estate
  • Ridge Vineyards
  • Schug Carneros Estate Winery
  • Silver Oak Cellars
  • Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

The Rest of the World Wineries to Visit

  • Bodega Catena Zapata Winery, Argentina
  • Las Perdices, Argentina
  • Chapel Hill, Australia
  • Josef Chromy, Australia
  • Tyrrell’s Wines, Australia
  • Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars, BC
  • Fort Berens Estate Winery, BC
  • Meyer Family Vineyards, BC
  • Nk’Mip Cellars, BC
  • Painted Rock Estate Winery, BC
  • Poplar Grove Winery, BC
  • Sandhill, BC
  • Stoneboat Vineyards, BC
  • Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, BC
  • Wild Goose Vineyards & Winery, BC
  • Concha y Toro, Chile
  • Vina Koyle Family Vineyards, Chile
  • Vina Undurraga, Chile
  • Baron Philippe de Rotschild, France
  • Brumont Vineyards, France
  • Dourthe & Thienot, France
  • Chateau de la Gardine, France
  • Georges Duboeuf, France
  • Famille Perrin, France
  • Champagne Pol Roger, France
  • Estates of Antinori, Italy
  • Barone Ricasoli, Italy
  • Fontodi, Italy
  • Akarua, New Zealand
  • Giesen Wines, New Zealand
  • Whitehaven Winery, New Zealand
  • Jose Maria da Fonseca, Portugal
  • Ramos Pinto, Portugal
  • Taylor Fladgate/Fonseca/Croft Port, Portugal
  • Boekenhoustskloof Winery, South Africa
  • Glen Carlou, South Africa
  • IberWine, Spain
  • Miguel Torres, Spain
  • Nathalie Bonhomme, Spain
  • King Estate, Oregon
  • Long Shadows, Washington

I know, its a long list, but worthwhile if you have the time.  Enjoy the Festival!

Enjoy Joseph Phelps Wines at Seasons in the Park

Have you tried Joseph Phelps’ Napa and Sonoma wines yet? Joseph Phelps purchased his first vineyard in the early 1970’s.    Goût de terroir or “taste of the soil” is what the wines of Joseph Phelps Vineyards are all about, from the elegant, multi-layered Insignia of Stags Leap and the Rutherford Bench, to the aromatic Viognier from St. Helena.

Have you been to Seasons in the Park (that’s Queen Elizabeth Park).  Seasons in the Park has such a beautiful view and in a beautiful location in Vancouver.  I have enjoyed many wine events at Seasons in the Park with the South World Wine Society in the past, plus Dine Out Vancouver.  Why not enjoy some Joseph Phelps’ wines.  The announcement about this wine and appetizer event is below. Enjoy!

~~~

Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon

When: Tuesday, September 25th,
6:00 pm – 7:30pm

Mike McEvoy, the Director of Sales at Joseph Phelps Vineyards, will be presenting:
Handcrafted Wines from Napa & Sonoma
Tasting Lineup:
Joseph Phelps Sauvignon Blanc
Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Chardonnay
Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Pinot Noir
Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon
Enamored with the beautiful Napa Valley, Joseph Phelps bought the 600-acre Connolly cattle ranch in Spring Valley in 1973, and began planting vineyards. It was a period of unparalleled activity, creativity, ingenuity, entrepreneurship and risk-taking. All that resulted in putting Joseph Phelps at the top of the map of Napa Valley wine producers.
Over the years, the goal of becoming 100% estate grown resulted in carefully planned acquisitions of prime vineyards in the Napa Valley. Today, the Phelps estate consists of the Spring Valley Ranch outside of St. Helena, Banca Dorada in Rutherford, Las Rocas and Barboza vineyards in Oak Knoll, Suscol Vineyard in South Napa and Backus Vineyard in Oarkville.
Canapes will be specially prepared by the talented culinary team at  Seasons In The Park, to accompany and complement the select wines.
$25 per person
not including taxes & gratuity
For tickets and more information
please contact Seasons In The Park Restaurant.

Tulalip Resort Hosts Mondavi “Generations Dinner” August 4

Marc Mondavi

Who hasn’t heard of the Mondavi Family of California?  They were instrumental in making Napa Valley wines well known and enjoyed around the world. With this dinner at the Tulalip Resort Casino, you can rub shoulders with Marc Mondavi, try wines that you normally would not be able to get, and enjoy the incredible food from the Tulalip Resort Casino.  I think that this would be a wonderful time to take your wine-loving spouse or friend and have a fun weekend enjoying wine, food, and a bit of gambling.  Here is the announcement about the event.  Enjoy!

~~~

Guests will get a chance to rub elbows with one of California’s legendary wine families — the Mondavi’s, at the third in a series of “Taste with Tommy” wine dinners. The “Generations Dinner” will be held Saturday, August 4th on the Orca Ballroom patio and is hosted by the Resort’s Sommelier Tommy Thompson. This outdoor summer soiree is firmly rooted in the family tradition of wine.  Marc Mondavi and his daughters will pair their legendary Napa bottling selection  (exclusive wines — not available outside of California) with Chef Perry Mascitti’s decadent picnic fare resulting in an alfresco wine and food party like no other — overflowing with Italian hospitality, history and multi-award winning wines.

Marc, a third generation member of the legendary Mondavi wine clan, embraces a heritage filled with the importance of “family”.  Grandfather Cesare emigrated from Italy and built a lucrative grape and fruit shipping business, before purchasing the Charles Krug Winery in 1943.  At 60 years old he spearheaded a dramatic renaissance in the decade that followed, creating an enduring wine icon, while still maintaining it as a family winery.

During the evening, the generations will speak about their amazing heritage, the evening’s pours and carrying on the Mondavi legacy. It is no exaggeration to say that Marc’s four daughters were introduced to the wine industry at birth!

The Mondavi “Generations Dinner” will take place from 6 – 9 pm and is priced at $124 pp inclusive of gratuity (Brown Paper Tickets’ service fee and sales tax are extra).  For ticket purchase go to http:/www.brownpapertickets.com/e/250187 or call the Tulalip Banquet reservation phone line at  (360) 716-6888 .  Guests must be a minimum of 21 years to attend.

White Spot Goes With 100% BC VQA Wines

I was pleasantly surprised when I read about White Spot‘s commitment toward promoting BC VQA wines in their restaurants.  I also had seen a tweet about it.  Beside supporting BC wine, White Spot also sources local ingredients, so White Spot is a real home grown success. Their BC VQA wine list is at this link. The wines cover the major varietals of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, and a few others.  All wines are from the Okanagan.  Here is their announcement.

~~~

In celebration of summertime in beautiful B.C., White Spot today unveiled its 2012 seasonal Celebrate BC menu across the province, featuring summer dishes inspired by fresh, local ingredients. The return of Celebrate BC also marks the launch of White Spot’s new VQA wine list, making it the only casual dining chain in the province to offer a 100 per cent B.C. wine selection. “Since the first White Spot restaurant opened in 1928 we’ve been dedicated to using local ingredients in our menu as often as we can,” said White Spot President Warren Erhart. “Almost 50 per cent of White Spot’s ingredients, from tomatoes to potatoes, are locally sourced and we are proud to support the producers that grow delicious food right in our own backyard.” To create White Spot’s Legendary Burgers, fresh-cut fries and famous blueberry pies, more than 675,000 pounds of tomatoes, almost 5,000,000 pounds of Kennebec potatoes and 73,000 pounds of blueberries are used each year – all supplied by B.C. producers. This year the restaurant is deepening its commitment to local food and drink with its 100 per cent B.C. wine list. “By exclusively offering B.C. wines, White Spot boasts a menu that is truly made at home, showcasing the very best our province has to offer,” said Miles Prodan, Executive Director, British Columbia Wine Institute. “The BC VQA designation guarantees 100 per cent B.C. wine. Paired with the Celebrate BC menu, White Spot’s new wine list is the perfect way to toast summer in B.C.” From now until early September, White Spot guests are invited to enjoy delicious new Celebrate BC menu items, including signature creations, like Truffled Mushroom Flatbread, Candied Salmon Cavatappi and Candied Salmon Spinach Salad. Please visit www.WhiteSpot.ca/CelebrateBC to view the complete menu.