Abbotsford Harvest Dinner setting at Mt Lehman Winery

Abbotsford Harvest Dinner – Wine, Beer, Main Dishes and Dessert

Circle Farm TourMany of us aspire to the 100 mile diet.  Keeping our food local.  Supporting our farmers.  But here in Vancouver, have you considered that those farmers, might be a 30-45 minute drive away in Abbotsford, in the Fraser Valley?  I was invited as part of the Circle Farm Tour to experience an Abbotsford Harvest Dinner, and was pleasantly surprised by the bounty of food, wine and beer that is available.

The dinner starting with chatting and sampling local beer from Ravens Brewing Company.  This brewery just opened earlier this year and collaborates with local growers and suppliers to craft artisan beer.  I tried their English Dark Mild.  It was indeed dark, with a charcoal and dark malt flavour to it, but not too heavy, so that you can enjoy more food and wine.

The dishes we enjoyed were:

  • Campbell’s Gold honey roasted, local delicata squash with pumpkin seeds, Abbotsford goat cheese from Mt. Lehman Cheese (appetizer)
  • Maple Hills Farm’s chicken roulade with creamy polenta and kale chips (appetizer)
  • Lepp Farm Market’s pork loin wrapped in bacon with savory shallot and plum marmalade (entree)
  • Yarrow Meadows’ duck breast with balsamic pearl onions (entree)
  • Roasted local beets and parsnips (entree)
  • Organic Fraser Valley rice risotto with roasted shiitake mushrooms (entree)
  • Birchwood Dairy’s vanilla ice cream topped with Gojoy Berries’ goji berry compote (dessert)
  • Onnink’s chocolate blueberry bonbons (dessert)

I must say that it was nice to meet, or have the farmers from Abbotsford introduce themselves to us as we sat at a beautifully set table in the barrel room of Mt. Lehman Winery.  Thanks also to Chef Jeff Massey from Restaurant 62 who prepared all these dishes for us.

The farmers supplying our food and drink are:

The dishes come from fresh ingredients from the vegetables, to the pork, chicken and duck.  A few standout dishes for me were first the honey roasted local delicata squash with pumpkin seeds and goat cheese.  Creamy sweetness from the squash, with creaminess from the cheese and a bit of crunch from the pumpkin seeds.  The Lepp Farm Market’s pork loin wrapped in bacon was also outstanding for me.  The bacon comes from Lepp, and is smoked by them.  No artificially aged bacon here.  The flavour of the bacon was really outstanding and makes you think about the industrial bacon you buy in grocery stores.  No comparison.  If you have never tried roasted beets, give them a try.  I really like the earthiness of the beets.  And the blueberry bonbons are also a very tasty way to end dessert.  Good quality chocolate mixed with blueberries.  You cannot go wrong with this combination.  All the dishes were very good, and I present to you pictures of these dishes for your visual consumption below.  If any of this food or wine sparks your interest, drive out to Abbotsford and buy from these farmers.

I must especially thank winery owner Vern Siemens for opening bottles of every white and red wine I think they make, for us to experiment and pair with all the dishes at our Abbotsford Harvest dinner.  I in particular liked Mt. Lehman’s Pinot Noir and Unoaked Chardonnay, and felt they made good pairings with many dishes.

Mt Lehman Unoaked Chardonnay Pinot Gris Pinot Noir and Merlot Reserve wines

Mt Lehman Unoaked Chardonnay Pinot Gris Pinot Noir and Merlot Reserve wines

Ravens Brewing Company English Dark Mild beer

Ravens Brewing Company English Dark Mild beer

Campbells Gold honey roasted local delicata squash with pumpkin seeds, Abbotsford goat cheese from Mt Lehman Cheese

Campbell’s Gold honey roasted local delicata squash with pumpkin seeds, Abbotsford goat cheese from Mt Lehman Cheese

Maple Hills Farm's chicken roulade with creamy polenta and kale chips

Maple Hills Farm’s chicken roulade with creamy polenta and kale chips

Roasted local beets and parsnips

Roasted local beets and parsnips

Yarrow Meadows' duck breast with balsamic pearl onions

Yarrow Meadows’ duck breast with balsamic pearl onions

Organic Fraser Valley rice risotto with roasted shiitake mushrooms

Organic Fraser Valley rice risotto with roasted shiitake mushrooms

Lepp Farm Market's pork loin wrapped in bacon with savory shallot and plum marmalade

Lepp Farm Market’s pork loin wrapped in bacon with savory shallot and plum marmalade

Birchwood Dairy's vanilla ice cream topped with Gojoy Berries' goji berry compote

Birchwood Dairy’s vanilla ice cream topped with Gojoy Berries’ goji berry compote

 

BC Wine Appreciation Society Summer Walkabout – Get Your Tickets

Come join us on Friday July 17 for a casual, festival-style Call Out To Summer.

BC Wine Appreciation Society logoWe’ve called out to summer, and summer has answered us! What better way to keep enjoying the long warm days than an evening with wine, food, and a bunch of other like-minded BC wine lovers?

We’ll open up the patio doors, and we can toast our beautiful waterfront view with some of the best of what our province has to offer.  Even better – it’s a Friday night, so you don’t have to get up and go to work the next day!

Wines being poured include:

2013 Bella Sparkling Gamay

2013 Church & State Trebella

2013 Howling Bluff Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon

2013 Corcelettes Trivium

2014 Samantha Chardonnay

2013 Red Rooster Reserve Rosé

2013 Hugging Tree Rosé

2014 Orofino Wild Ferment Syrah

2006 Cedar Creek Platinum Merlot

2007 Lake Breeze Tempest

2008 La Stella Fortissimo

 

For food, we’ll be providing a selection of platters of cheeses, meats, vegetables, and fruit.

Date:    Friday July 17, 2015

Time:    7:30-9:30 pm

Place:   Our new regular venue, De Dutch Pannekoek House, Vancouver Convention Centre West. It’s located in the western corner, lower (seawall) level, near the Olympic Torch.

Directions (transit): It’s about a 2 ½ block easy walk from both Burrard and Waterfront Stations.

From Burrard Station:      Walk down (north) on Burrard to the new Convention Centre.

From Waterfront Station: Walk west to the new Convention Centre.

You can either walk west along Waterfront Rd to the Olympic Torch, then go across the plaza towards the water and down the stairs, or, follow the seawall along in front of the Convention Centre until you come to the restaurant.

Driving: You can park under the Convention Centre West. Follow the signs for the seaplane terminal. Use the doors closest to the Tap & Barrel. Parking can be expensive, though. You may be able to find cheaper parking a few blocks away. As always, we recommend that you take transit, and we will provide you with a free ticket home.

Price:

Members:     only $45
Non-Members:     $59

Click here to sign up:  http://bcwas.com/Call_Out_to_Summer.html

2015/2016 BCWAS membership: Join us now, and your membership is good until March 31, 2016. Only $40 for lots of our fun and fabulous events! Click here to become a member of the best wine club in town. http://www.bcwas.com/membership.html

Our corporate member Gone Crackers will be providing us with their “Undressed” crackers to go with our wine. We are delighted to be able to enjoy Gone Crackers with our BC wines!

Questions? Contact us at events@bcwas.com.

Please note: There are no paper tickets for our events. Once your purchase is completed you will be added to our attendees list. Please check in when you arrive.

Please make sure you have a safe way home – take transit, call a cab, or ask a friend to be a designated driver. We will have free transit tickets on hand for those who take BC Transit home.

Please note that we are unable to provide refunds. If you purchase a ticket but cannot attend the event, please let us know with as much advance notice as possible and we’ll try to re-sell your ticket, but we cannot guarantee this.

Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse Tees Off at Dine Out Vancouver

Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse (Image courtesy dineoutvancouver.com)

Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse (Image courtesy dineoutvancouver.com)

This is the first year that the Burnaby Mountain Clubhouse participated in Dine Out Vancouver.  It’s sister restaurant at the Riverway Clubhouse in south Burnaby has participated the past two years plus this year, and I’ve had excellent meals there, so I was looking forward to my Dine Out meal on Burnaby Mountain.  It was a great value at $18 and had the following menu:

Appetizer

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP Cajun crispy chickpea & basil cream
BC VQA Wine Pairing: Red Rooster Chardonnay

or

LOUISIANA FRIED CHICKEN freshly made waffle, tomato & jalapeno chutney, sour cream

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Tinhorn Creek Gewürztraminer

or

ONSEN EGG CARBONARA guinness cheddar, bacon, edamame, linguine

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Tinhorn Creek Gewürztraminer

Entree

8 OZ. CERTIFIED ANGUS NEW YORK STEAK Yukon Gold roasted garlic mash, market vegetables, green peppercorn sauce
BC VQA Wine Pairing: Red Rooster Merlot

or

CHAR BROILED MAHI MAHI southern rice pilaf, market vegetables, fresh pineapple salsa

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Red Rooster Pinot Gris

or

SWEET CORN & CREAM CHEESE STUFFED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM herb cornbread, market vegetables, barbeque sauce

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Tinhorn Creek Gewürztraminer

Dessert

DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE IN JAR oreo cookies, shaved chocolate
BC VQA Wine Pairing: Red Rooster Merlot

or

STRAWBERRY SUNDAE IN JAR vanilla ice-cream, strawberry coulis, chocolate & coconut brownie

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Summerhill Cipes Sparkling

or

APPLE CRUMBLE IN JAR granny smith apple, vanilla ice-cream

BC VQA Wine Pairing: Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Kerner Icewine $10

My Review

I was very happy to see that they had a BC VQA wine pairing suggestion for each food item served.  My wine was the Red Rooster Chardonnay, which I sipped through the appetizer and entree, and was a nice match.  My dining partner and I picked different items so that we could double up on our food samples, and were happy with both sets of appetizers and entrees.  The only thing that was not quite up to par was the desserts, which were a bit too sweet and not at the same level of quality as the appetizers and entrees.  But dessert is probably the least important aspect of your meal, so I would say to savour the rest of the meal with wine, and then to finish with a coffee, ice wine, or liquor.

I loved the Louisiana Fried chicken with waffle appetizer.  The chicken was not overly spicy so anyone could enjoy it, plus the waffle and a bit of sweetness from the Chutney to go with the savoury chicken is a nice combination.  This dish could be turned into an entree easily.  Also the butternut squash soup with Cajun crispy chickpeas and basil cream was very good.  Again not too spicy.  The drips of basil cream and crunchy chickpeas added bursts of extra flavour and texture to the soup.

Louisiana Fried Chicken on a waffle

Louisiana Fried Chicken on a waffle

Butternut squash soup with cajun crispy chickpea and basil cream

Butternut squash soup with cajun crispy chickpea and basil cream

I had the Angus New York steak with Yukon Gold roasted garlic mashed potatoes, market vegetables and green peppercorn sauce.  The steak was done Medium Well as I had ordered.  I loved the nice char on the steak, and the flavour from the green peppercorns.  I paired the steak with the Red Rooster Chardonnay.  The pairing worked as the Chardonnay as it was quite full bodied thanks to the Sur Lie aging.  The garlic potatoes were really buttery and added to the feel of a decadent main course.  The char broiled Mahi Mahi was quite flavourful, paired with the pineapple salsa, but was a tad over cooked.  Still very tasty.

Angus New York steak with Yukon gold roasted garlic mashed potatoes, market vegetables, and green peppercorn sauce

Angus New York steak with Yukon gold roasted garlic mashed potatoes, market vegetables, and green peppercorn sauce

Char broiled Mahi Mahi with southern rice pilaf, market vegetables, and fresh pineapple salsa

Char broiled Mahi Mahi with southern rice pilaf, market vegetables, and fresh pineapple salsa

The dark chocolate mousse with oreo cookies and shaved chocolate was a bit too much sweetness and chocolate in one spoon.  I do love dark chocolate, but maybe this could have been lightened up a bit.  The apple crumble was not quite as sweet but I found the oat flakes a bit hard to chew.

Dark Chocolate Mousse in a jar with oreo cookies and shaved chocolate

Dark Chocolate Mousse in a jar with oreo cookies and shaved chocolate

Apple Crumble in a jar with Granny Smith apple and vanilla ice-cream

Apple Crumble in a jar with Granny Smith apple and vanilla ice-cream

Overall a wonderful meal, and I would try the Clubhouse again, especially on a sunny day in the summer, sitting on their patio.

 

Haywire Baby Bub

The Arrival of Haywire Baby Bub!

BC Sparkling Rose wine = Summer Treat.  Enjoy it.  Please see the announcement that I received from Okanagan Crush Pad, then stock up!

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The team at Okanagan Crush Pad is thrilled to announce the arrival of Baby Bub. On June 20, 2014 at 5:30pm 3,600 – 375 ml bottles, weighing 3,240 Kg, were bottled at the winery, just in time to enjoy summer.

Baby Bub was crafted by Jordan Kubek, Okanagan Crush Pad’s cellar assistant with direction from chief winemaker Michael Bartier. “The Baby Bub is tasting fresh, fruity and fabulous”, noted Jordan, “and I am very happy with the results. We stayed consistent with the 2012 Pink Bub giving Baby Bub six grams of residual sugar. I love the texture as it has quite a bit of yeasty fullness. Although it is a new born, the bubbles are quite fine and you can see the direction the wine will take as it ages.”

The wine was made in the classic style using Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes with secondary fermentation occurring in the bottle. It was hand riddled and warm disgorged with a red wine dosage being added at final bottling. Like its bigger siblings, Baby Bub is closed with a crown cap ensuring that cork taint does not interfere with the wine.

This tiny bottle is a young, bright shade of pale rose and is packed full of raspberry, strawberry patch and lime zest character. Its singularly distinctive taste is gun flint which lends a smokey, stoney edge to the wine and keeps it in balance with its more berry salad side.

The first 100 cases of Baby Bub is being released this July long weekend at the winery and through the order desk exclusively. Priced at $13.90 and delivered in 12 – 375 ml bottle cases, sporting hot pink artwork, Baby Bub is sure to be a big hit this summer.

My Favourite Wine Writing Words

Do you ever wonder what words you like to use the most when you are talking about wine, or some other topic that is important to you? I do. So I decided to try 3 different “Word Cloud Generator” tools on the web to scour through my mywinepal.com website blog entries and find out which words are my most popular. I decided to try more than one tool to see if the tools come up with the same words or are completely different.

The results of the 3 Word Cloud Generators and their graphics are below.  I left the word clouds in the format produced by the tools rather than try to make the clouds all look the same in shape and text orientation so that you get a better idea of what is produced.  Just in case you have never seen a word cloud before, the more frequently a word is used in a blog, document, etc, the larger it appears in the word cloud.

My Word Clouds

Wordle was the first tool that I ever heard about for creating word clouds.  From my experience, I think it does a very good job of finding favourite words.

MyWinePal Wordle

MyWinePal – Wordle

Tagxedo also seems to do a good job.  Do you notice any similar words to my Wordle word cloud?  One thing I notice showing up is Pinterest and Facebook, which are “Like” buttons on my blog, so maybe this algorithm is reading more than just the blog articles.

MyWinePal Tagxedo

MyWinePal – Tagxedo

Word it Out was the last of the three tools.  I think this word cloud is much more similar to Wordle, but the presentation, as-is, is not too stunning.

MyWinePal Word it Out

MyWinePal – Word it Out

Between the 3 word clouds, I think my favourite words are:

  • wine
  • Vancouver
  • Pinot
  • fruit
  • Syrah
  • Chardonnay
  • France

An interesting experiment that may also give you some insight into what I like to talk about, or wines that I enjoy.  You may want to try this with other blogs, or with MyWinePal.com in the future, as theoretically each new article I post can potentially change the word cloud!

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!

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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

A Superb Lunch at Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts – Bistro 101

My first Dine Out Vancouver meal for 2014 was a magnificent lunch at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts – Bistro 101.  Have you ever heard of PICA?  It is a well-known and respected culinary school for training chefs.  The students today were all eager to show off their talents for Dine Out.  For my $18 lunch menu I picked:

  • Dungeness Crab Salad Shaved Fennel, Lemon Foam
  • Roasted Halibut Spinach Risotto Lemongrass Emulsion
  • Hazelnut Tart Blood Orange (and a cup of coffee to enjoy it with)

Before starting our server brought us some Amuse Bouche, which was an Ementhal cheese tart with cranberry compote.  It had a light buttery/nutty taste from the cheese and a some tartness from the cranberry.  A nice flavour combination and a tasty start to what was to follow.

Amuse bouche - Ementhal cheese tart with cranberry compote

Amuse bouche – Ementhal cheese tart with cranberry compote

Probably my favourite dish was the Dungeness Crab Salad Shaved Fennel and Lemon Foam. Real crab meat was used in this dish, and not just a little bit; a significant amount of crab meat.  The fennel was shaved, not paper thin, slightly thicker so it had some body. The fennel flavour was very light and not overpowering. I liked getting a bit of the blood orange with the crab and fennel as it added a citrus component to the dish.  This dish is well worth $18 on it’s own.  The plating was also quite beautiful.

Dungeness Crab Salad Shaved Fennel and Lemon Foam

Dungeness Crab Salad Shaved Fennel and Lemon Foam

 

 

 

 

My main course was the Roasted Halibut with Spinach Risotto and Lemongrass Emulsion.  The halibut was cooked perfectly, not overdone.  Very soft to the fork. The lemongrass emulsion added that citrus component that goes so well with seafood.  The spinach risotto was also a nice complement adding some texture and green flavour (I could not specifically tell it was spinach I was tasting).  I also like the simply grilled vegetables.  No heavy sauce was needed for the vegetables.  On their own with a bite of the halibut let the flavour of both come out.

What wine did I try with both these dishes?  It was the Calona Vineyards ‘Artist Series Chardonnay. This is an unoaked chardonnay with citrus and stone fruit flavours which went nicely with both seafood dishes.

Roasted Halibut with Spinach Risotto

Roasted Halibut with Spinach Risotto

My last dish, dessert, was the Hazelnut Tart Blood Orange, with a strawberry or raspberry sorbet (sorry couldn’t tell).  The little pearls you see on my plate are made from milk chocolate.  The hazelnut flavour was delicate and was nice with the tartness of the sorbet.  My only complaint was the tart was quite small and I would have enjoyed a larger portion to enjoy with my coffee.  But it was a nice dessert.

Hazelnut Tart with Blood Orange

Hazelnut Tart with Blood Orange

Overall I think the students at PICA – Bistro 101 did an excellent job.  My server Rebecca was very attentive and enthusiastic about food and wine.  Come see the possible Iron Chefs of tomorrow.

If you are interested in trying Dine Out Vancouver at PICA here is the web link.

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 the Sparkling Wines of Blue Mountain Vineyards Tasting

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars

Blue Mountain Vineyard and Cellars

Blue Mountain Vineyards in the Okanagan is well-known for their sparkling wines.  If you have not had a chance to enjoy them, the BC Wine Appreciation Society is having a special tasting here in Vancouver on Feb. 12 at the Listel Hotel.  The announcement is below.

~~~

What better way to celebrate a winter evening than with some festive sparkling wine?

Matt Mavety of Blue Mountain Vineyard is coming to see us on Tuesday February 12th, just in time for Valentine’s Day, and he’s bringing four of his celebrated sparkling wines, plus six of his award-winning table wines: two Pinot Gris, two Chardonnay, and two Pinot Noir. We’ll be able to taste one Cream Label and one Reserve Striped Label of each varietal – what a treat!

To make this even more special, we are going to be able to try two amazing vintage sparklers, the 2005 Reserve Brut, and the 2006 Blanc de Blancs. Both are very rare, and we’re very lucky that Blue Mountain is generous enough to let us try them!

Ian and Jane Mavety purchased the 80 acre Blue Mountain property over 40 years ago. Matt Mavety, the current winemaker and son of Ian and Jane, had his first real job in the vineyard at age 14. Loving the work, Matt studied agriculture at UBC, and also studied viticulture and oenology at Lincoln University in New Zealand. Matt started full-time back at Blue Mountain in 1997, and became the official winemaker in 2005.

Matt feels that farming grapes in an environmentally sustainable way leads to the best expression of terroir for the wines. The focus of Matt’s talk will be about what makes Blue Mountain unique, including biodynamic farming, the making of the sparkling wines, cellar aging benefits, their barrel program, and how the wine clones they’ve chosen work with the land they live on. We’re sure this will be fascinating, especially as we get to taste several of the results!

The Wine Lineup

Brut Non-Vintage

2008 Rose

2006 Blanc de Blancs

2005 Reserve Brut

2011 Pinot Gris Cream Label

2010 Pinot Gris Reserve Striped Label

2011 Chardonnay Cream Label

2010 Chardonnay Reserve Striped Label

2011 Pinot Noir Cream Label

2010 Pinot Noir Reserve Striped Label

Wouldn’t this make a wonderful Valentine’s outing for you and your favourite wine-lover? And if you want to come on your own, bubbly wine is always a cause for celebration, no matter what day it is!

Our previous tasting sold out. Sign up quickly to make sure you don’t miss this one!

Where, When, and How Much?

Date: Tuesday February 12, 2013

Time: 7:30 to 9:30 pm

Place: Listel Hotel, 1300 Robson St., Vancouver

Guests: $52

Click here to sign up:  http://www.bcwas.com/BlueMountain.html