La Stella Mosto Cotto and Olive Oil – Premium Foodie Products

You may know of Le Vieux Pin and La Stella wineries as high quality French and Italian style wines coming from the Okanagan. But you may not know that they also provide olive oil and now Mosto Cotto from Italy!

What is Mosto Cotto?

La Stella Mosto Cotto

Well you probably have heard of Balsamic Vinegar.  Mosto Cotto isn’t the Balsamic Vinegar that you normally get in the grocery store.  According to Wikipedia Balsamic Vinegar is “…is made from a reduction of pressed Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes. The resulting thick syrup, called mosto cotto in Italian, is subsequently aged for a minimum of 12 years in a battery of seven barrels of successively smaller sizes. The casks are made of different woods like chestnut, acacia, cherry, oak, mulberry, ash, and, in the past, juniper. True balsamic vinegar is rich, glossy, deep brown in color and has a complex flavour that balances the natural sweet and sour elements of the cooked grape juice with hints of wood from the casks…”  This reduced grape syrup, Mosto Cotto can be enjoyed on it’s own rather than further process/age it into top quality Balsamic Vinegar.

I was fortunate today to sample some La Stella Mosto Cotto on it’s own.  It was deep orangy brown in colour.  A very intense molasses nose which with air, added a dill component. Quite sweet and sour at the same time on the palate.  Medium minus body with  burnt sugar / caramel flavour. The higher acidity of the Mosto Cotto keeps it lively in your mouth.  Long lasting finish.   The grapes to produce their Mosto Cotto are biodynamically farmed and certified.

What would you serve with Mosto Cotto? I was told by Rasoul from Le Vieux Pin and La Stella wineries that in Italy he has seen the Mosto Cotto dissolved in soda water as a drink, and put on shaved ice.  It could be drizzled onto vegetables and polenta. If you are more ambitious you could take the jus from a roast beef, add some mosto cotto and reduce this down and serve on the roast beef.  Mosto cotto is very versatile.

La Stella Olive Oil

La Stella Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil Intensivo

I was first introduced to the La Stella Olive Oil last year, but by that time it was completely sold out.  This year the olive oil has just arrived, so there is time for me and you to purchase a bottle. It is also organically produced.

The oil was deep lemon in colour. It had an artichoke, grassy, mineral nose. Very full bodied and round on the palate with a very spicy finish.  Their olive oil is called “Intensivo” and yes I agree that it really is intensive.  Use sparingly as a condiment as it really is quite peppery.  This would be wonderful drizzled on vegetables, or in dishes where the oil would not be overcooked or competing with too many other spices.  You really want to enjoy the flavour of this olive oil.

Where can you buy these two products?  There will be a small allocation to some specialty grocery stores in the Vancouver area.  The easiest way would be to order these through Le Vieux Pin / La Stella. Email info@lastella.ca

Check Out the New Food Menu at Poor Italian Trattoria Ristorante

Poor Italian sign

I love Italian food and Italian wine; and was thrilled to be invited to try the new menu items from the Poor Italian Trattoria Ristorante on 3296 E 1st Ave Vancouver. In case you didn’t know, this restaurant is owned by Tony Parsons, the TV news announcer that has been gracing the Vancouver airwaves for many years.  The restaurant has a very cosy feeling with landscape paintings hanging on the walls, Italian pottery scattered throughout the restaurant, and rustic terracotta coloured walls.

Arriving there, I was offered a nice light, dry sparkling Italian Prosecco while the appetizer-sized plates of the new courses were brought in for us to try.  The dishes we tried were:

  • Roasted butternut squash soup with acacia honey, Dungeness crab and grape seed oil.
  • 3 types of Bruschetta. House made crostini with i) traditional fresh tomato, basis and olive oil, ii) chopped mushroom medley with porcini and truffle, and iii) tuna with olive oil marinated artichoke hearts.
  • Beef Carpaccio made with AAA Alberta beef , finely sliced and served with truffle aioli and Parmigiano Reggiano.
  • Crab Cake with Scallop.  A giant diver-harvested Atlantic scallop balanced over a fresh Dungeness crab cake, served with a spicy pomodoro sauce and micro greens.
  • Ricotta and spinach filled ravioli in a tomato sauce.
  • Paccheri pasta and spicy Italian fennel sausage, with caramelized onion and San Marzano pomodoro sauce.
  • Braised boneless beef short ribs with roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes, fresh arugula and gorgonzola risotto
  • Deep fried cannoli tubes topped with marscapone cheese and chocolate
  • Lemon ice cream in a miniature ice cream cone

Appetizers

Trio of bruschetta

All the food we were served was delicious.  The first 4 items fall into the appetizer category. The butternut squash soup was very creamy and went very nicely with the pieces of Dungeness crab.  If you would like an appetizer, the trio of Bruschetta are all tasty.  The traditional tomato one and the mushroom medley both had a good amount of garlic, while the tuna one was light and citrusy flavoured. If you are on the more daring side, you may want to try the beef carpaccio.  This is thin raw slices of beef, topped with the garlicky truffle aioli and sharp Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. If you are a seafood lover, then try the crab cake with scallop.  The scallop slice was expertly grilled so it was still soft and juicy, and placed on a skewer atop the crab cake. The fresh hand-made crab cake was also cooked so it had a nice amount of crunchy texture, and tender inside.

Main Courses

Paccheri pasta and spicy Italian fennel sausage

The main courses covered 2 types of pasta and one risotto.  The ricotta and spinach filled ravioli in a tomato sauce could have been my overall favourite dish.  It was also the most simple.  The ravioli pasta was cooked perfectly al dente (as was the other pasta).  Inside was a mixture of ricotta cheese and spinach.  A simple tomato sauce was a nice complement to the richness of the ricotta and spinach filling. The Paccheri pasta and spicy Italian fennel sausage were very nice.  I had not seen or heard of Paccheri pasta before.  It looks like a very wide flat noodle that is rolled.  On top of this was the Italian fennel sausage and the spicy tomato sauce.  The pasta held the sauce nicely even though it was smooth. I think the amount of surface area covered by the pasta, allowed the sauce to adhere to the pasta.  Lastly the braised boneless beef short ribs was very rich and flavourful with a gravy/reduction made with roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes. To this was a creamy, rich gorgonzola risotto.  The gorgonzola was not overpowering so do not worry if you are not a blue cheese fan.

Desserts

Deconstructed dessert cannoli

The two desserts were both delightful. The first was a deconstructed dessert cannoli.  The cannoli tube was sliced into triangular pieces then deep fried, and topped with marscapone cheese and chocolate.  Nice texture between the crunchiness of the cannoli and the creaminess of the cheese. The lemon ice cream in a miniature ice cream cone was a simple dessert, but very refreshing with the citrus flavour cleansing your palate after trying the other dishes.

If you are wondering about their wine list, they have a wide selection of wines by the glass, which is important I think to keep you safe when you drive after your meal.

Sparkling Wines

  • Pergola Prosecco Brut DOC (Italy)
  • Mionetto Prosecco Brut DOC (Italy)
  • Sumac Ridge Stellars Jay Brut 2006 (BC)

White Wines

  • Valle d’Oro Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC 2009 (Italy)
  • See Ya Later Ranch Gcwurztraminer (BC)
  • Anil Macabeo 2009 (Spam)
  • Mt. Fishtail Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2009 (New Zealand)
  • Pentage Pinot Gris VQA (BC)
  • Dr. Loosen Riesling (Germany)
  • Tommasi Le Rosse Pinot Grigio DOC 2009 (Italy)
  • Bourgogne Montvallon Chardonnay 2009 (France)
  • Di Lenardo Pinot Grigio IGT (Italy)
  • Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino DOC 2009 (Italy)

Red Wines

  • Cecchi Chianti DOC 2009 (Italy)
  • Valle d’Oro Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 2009 (Italy)
  • Cal y Canto (Tempranillo – Syrah – Merlot) (Spain)
  • Rosso Bello R0ss0 Piceno DOC (Italy)
  • Di Majo Norante Sangiovese IGT (Italy)
  • J. Lohr Cypress Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California)
  • Lucky Country Shiraz 2008 (Australia)
  • Kettle Valley Merlot 2007 (BC)
  • Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2008 (California)
  • Mt. Boucherie Pinot Noir 2008 (BC)
  • Tommasi Poggio al Tufo Super-Tuscan IGT 2008 (Italy)
  • Tedeschi San Rocco Valpolicella Ripasso DOC 2008 (Italy)
  • Cantine di San Silvestro Barolo DOCG 2006 (Italy)

I would recommend going to the Poor Italian.  As I mentioned, I really liked their pasta.  They have a wide range of appetizers to start off a nice lunch or dinner with friends or family.  Enjoy!

Novo Pizzeria and Fontanafredda Wine in the BC Marketplace

Poggiotondo Bianco Toscana 2011

Sometimes last minute events are the most fun.  I received a short notice invite to try a new red wine, a Barbera,  from Italian producer Fontanafredda being released in the BCLDB stores. Also at the event is a white blend of Malvasia, Trebbiano and Vermentino produced by Alberto Antonini.  To top it off, the wine tasting was going to be held at Novo Pizzeria on Burrard St in Vancouver.  How could I refuse.  I love wine and pizza!

The white wine comes from Tuscany which is perhaps the most famous of all Italian wine regions, while the Barbera is from Piedmont. The Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes are found all over Italy, particularly in the center and north. I have noticed recently an uptick in Trebbiano wines coming into the BC marketplace.  Barbera, according to Wikipedia “..is a red Italian wine grape variety that, as of 2000, was the third most-planted red grape variety in Italy (after Sangiovese and Montepulciano).[1] It produces good yields and is known for deep color, low tannins and high levels of acid… The best known appellation is the DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) Barbera d’Asti in the Piedmont region. When young, the wines offer a very intense aroma of fresh red and blackberries. In the lightest versions notes of cherries, raspberries and blueberries and with notes of blackberry and black cherries in wines made of more ripe grapes. Many producers employ the use of toasted (seared over a fire) oak barrels, which provides for increased complexity, aging potential, and hints of vanilla notes…“.

My Wine Notes

  • Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera 2010

    Poggiotondo Bianco Toscana IGT 2011, Italy ($16.99). Light lemony colour. Lively citrus with some lime and flowers on the nose.  Very pretty. Light body, dry with high acidity making it very refreshing to drink. Citrus and bitter apricot pit flavours, and some leesy creaminess on the palate.  A nice wine to drink this summer on the patio.

  • Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera 2010, Italy ($17.99). Medium ruby colour in the glass. Woody nose, not oaky.  Also some sour cherry aromas. Light body, dry with medium acidity.  It has a very light vanilla flavour that floats on top of the cherry and ripe raspberry flavours.  Soft mouth feel with some acidity at the back of your tongue. Very tasty.

Both wines are very approachable, have an excellent sub $20 price, and use a screw cap, so you should have no reason not to buy these wines and enjoy them.

Enjoying Novo Pizzeria’s Pizzas

I do enjoy thin crust pizzas baked in a brick oven and made with fresh ingredients.  Novo Pizzeria kept making pizzas with different ingredients, some with tomato based sauces, others without.  Each pizza was unique and very tasty.  Enjoy the pictures of the process of making the pizza, to reaching my plate!  Enjoy!

Making a pizza at Novo Pizzeria.

Novo Pizzeria cooking the pizza.

Novo Pizza right from the oven.

Novo pizza with wine.

More Novo pizza with wine.

More Winery Picks at the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Fest 2012

las perdices Reserva Bonarda 2008

Day 2 is over for me at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. I spent a portion of my time finishing off some Chilean wineries (and interviewing a few wine makers) but the majority of the time was trying the other wineries’ wines at the Festival. If you are attending tomorrow’s tasting, here are some wines that you may want to try. Tasting notes will follow after the Festival is over.

  • Bodega Catena Zapata Alta Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Argentina
  • Amalaya Gran Corta 2010, Argentina
  • Finca Flichman Expresiones Malbec / Cabenet Sauvignon 2009, Argentina
  • O. Fournier Alfa Crux Malbec 2008, Argentina
  • Las Perdices Reserva Bonarda 2008, Argentina (I really like this wine.  Try it if you can!)
  • El Porvenir de Los Andes Laborum Torrontes 2011, Argentina
  • El Porvenir de Los Andes Laborum Malbec 2011, Argentina
  • Delas Freres Hermitage Marquise de la Tourette 2009, France
  • Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf-du-pape Cuvee Barberini 2005, France
  • Damilano Nebbiolo d’Alba 2009, Italy
  • Damilano Barolo “Lecinquevigne” DOCG 2006, Italy
  • Quinta dos Roques Quinta do Correio red wine 2009, Portugal (very interesting indigenous grapes used)
  • Quinta dos Roques Red 2009, Portugal
  • Quinta dos Roques Reserva 2007, Portugal
  • Lammershoek Winery Pinotage 2007, South Africa
  • J. Lohr Vineyards Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, California
  • Trefethen Family Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, California
  • Zaca Mesa Winery Syrah 2009, California
  • Iber Wine, Casa Jus Antiguos Vinedos Tempranillo 2006, Spain
  • Domecq Bodegas Campo Viejo Gran Reserva 2003, Spain

Trefethen Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

There are many more wines and wineries that I did not have a chance to try.  Australia, Canada, and New Zealand were not able to get my attention, but there are many good wines from there too.  I hope you enjoy some of my latest wine picks!

There are also a few more Chilean wines for the list that I tried today:

  • Vina Caliterra Cenit 2008
  • Carmen Gold Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
  • Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
  • Lapostolle Clos Apalta 2008
  • Miguel Torres Santa Digna Fair Trade Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
  • Miguel Torres Conde de Superunda 2005
  • Vina San Pedro Cabo de Hornos 2007

Enjoy!  I also love to hear what you liked at the Festival.  Leave a comment please with your favourites.

Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Fest – Wineries to Try

It is 1 week till the International Festival Tasting Room opens at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival and we will get to try wines from all over the world. But which wineries? Here are a few wineries that I think you should try.

Chile

  • De Martino
  • Miguel Torres (also Spain)
  • Viña Montes
  • MontGras
  • Viña Santa Rita
  • Seña / Viña Arboleda
  • Concha y Toro

The Rest of the World

  • Bodega Catena Zapata (Argentina)
  • Decero (Argentina)
  • Las Perdices (Argentina)
  • Katnook (Australia)
  • Penfolds (Australia)
  • Yalumba (Australia)
  • Le Vieux Pin / La Stella (Canada)
  • Mission Hill Family Estate (Canada)
  • Osoyoos Larose  (Canada)
  • Painted Rock Estate Winery (Canada)
  • Thornhaven Estate (Canada)
  • M. Chapoutier (France)
  • Maison Louis Latour (France)
  • Pfaffenheim (France)
  • Estates of Antinori (Italy)
  • Bisol Desiderio & Figli (Italy)
  • Astrolabe (New Zealand)
  • Wither Hills (New Zealand)
  • Quinta do Crasto (Portugal)
  • Symington Family Estates (Portugal)
  • Taylor Fladgate / Fonseca / Croft Port (Portugal)
  • Lammershoek Winery (South Africa)
  • Bodegas Muga (Spain)
  • Bodegas Olivares (Spain)
  • Caymus Winery (USA)
  • Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (USA)
  • Rodney Strong Vineyards (USA)
  • King Estate (USA)
  • Bergevin Lane (USA)
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle (USA)

There are of course many other wineries to try at the Wine Festival, so if you see something that interests you TRY IT.  Some of the wines at the Festival are brought in ONLY for the Festival, so if you like it, buy it in the wine shop at the back of the tasting room before it sells out.  The complete list of wineries at the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival is here.

What a Celebration Dinner at Taste of Tulalip!

I really had a great time over the 2 days at the 3rd Annual Taste of Tulalip on Nov 11 and 12 at the Tulalip Resort Casino in WA State with “Top Chef” alum, Carla Hall, wine celeb,”Thirsty Girl” Leslie Sbrocco and more. The Friday evening Celebration Dinner featured award winning Sommelier Tommy Thompson’s selection of wines and a spectacular seven course meal from Tulalip’s culinary team, lead by Chef Perry Mascitti. The Celebration Dinner was the kick-off for the Taste of Tulalip on Nov. 11.  It was an evening of superb food, wine, and some surprises, like singing waiters, and a donation to a worthy cause.  More about these surprises later.

Our Food and Wine Pairings

Pork Belly, Thai Curry Bisque, and Southwest Duck Breast

Smoked Kurobuta Pork Belly, Maple Vanilla Gastrique
Parsnip Puree, Fois Gras, Bacon Jam
Halloumi Cheese Wrapped In Jamon Iberico Prosciutto
Paired with Long Shadow’s “Poets Leap” Riesling, Columbia Valley, WA 2010

Thai Curry Kabocha Squash Bisque
Tempura Vegetables With Five Spiced Cherry Reduction
Paired with Va Piano Vineyards “Bruno’s White II” Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, WA

Southwest Duck Breast With Hydro Bibb
Baby Heirloom Tomatoes, Gruyere, Pine Nuts, Pecorino Crisp
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Paired with Reynvaan Vineyards “The Contender” Syrah, Walla Walla, WA, 2008

Grilled Wild King Salmon Over Savory Apple, Pear And Chevre Tart
Cinnamon And Autumn-Spiced Lamb Chop With Huckleberry Demi
Paired with Sparkman Cellars “L’Autre” Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, OR, 2009
and Corliss Estates “Cabernet Sauvignon”, Columbia Valley, WA, 2006

Refresh
Ruby Pink Grapefruit Segments, Sprig Of Thyme
And Blood Orange Reduction Pipette

A Study In Beef
Kobe New York Strip Loin In Chanterelle Cream Sauce
Kobe Prime Rib In Baby Boy Blue Sauce
Kobe Tenderloin In Huckleberry Demi Glace
Smoked Yukon Mash With Sage, Seasonal Ratatouille
Paired with 21 Gram’s “Red Blend”, Columbia Valley, WA, 2007

Sweet Ending
Warm Chocolate And Peanut Butter Pudding Cake
Peanut Tuile, Frozen Banana Nougat, Butterscotch Sauce
Paired with Charles Krug Lot XIV Zinfandel Port, Napa, CA

King Salmon and Autumn Spiced Lamb Chops, Refreshing Grapefruit, A Study in Beef, and Sweet Ending

Pork belly, parsnip puree, fois gras, Halloumi cheese in prosciutto

I particularly enjoyed the first course of the Pork Belly, parsnip puree and Halloumi cheese wrapped in Jamon Iberico Prosciutto. I previously tasted the Long Shadow’s “Poets Leap” Riesling back in Vancouver.  My tasting notes from that time were ” …pale lemon coloured in the glass.  Nice nose.  Very fragrant with flowers, citrus, orange and honeysuckle. Medium body, round, off-dry.  Flowers and citrus flavours with sweet spices showing up mid-palate. Long length…”  The smoked Kurobuta Pork Belly melted in your mouth and paired very well with the acidity in this wine.  The parsnip puree was a flavour treat. It was delicately spiced with coriander and again worked very nicely with this Riesling.

Grilled wild King Salmon, pear and chevre tart, and autumn spiced lamb chop

Another pairing I really liked was the Grilled Wild King Salmon Over Savory Apple, Pear And Chevre Tart Cinnamon and the Autumn-Spiced Lamb Chop With Huckleberry Demi. These two were paired with Sparkman Cellars “L’Autre” Pinot Noir and with the Corliss Estates “Cabernet Sauvignon”.  To me the Pinot Noir was the star of this course.  The wine had a wonderful violet aroma and flavour, with low tannins and high acidity.  The violets with the acidity in the wine to me worked well with both dishes.  Salmon and pinot noir is a classic pairing. Red wines with low tannins work well with seafood.  The sweet autumn spices, e.g. cinnamon and nutmeg, formed a crust on the lamb chops. These sweet spices meshed nicely with the violets in the pinot noir, and the acidity in the wine helped cut through the fat in lamb chops.

I also have a soft spot for duck breast, and enjoyed the Southwest Duck Breast With Hydro Bibb, Baby Heirloom Tomatoes, Gruyere, Pine Nuts, Pecorino Crisp with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. I was worried that a Syrah could overpower this dish, but the duck breast with southwest spices plus the pine nuts and pecorino crisp, held their own.  Very satisfying.

A Sweet Ending.

If you have a sweet tooth, you would have probably really liked the Sweet Ending consisting of Warm Chocolate And Peanut Butter Pudding Cake, Peanut Tuile, Frozen Banana Nougat, and Butterscotch Sauce paired with the Charles Krug Lot XIV Zinfandel Port. The pudding cake was very delicate, the tuile crunchy and the banana nougat refreshing and fruity.  The Zinfandel port was full-bodied with ripe berries, toffee, and spicy oak flavours.  It’s hard not to like this pairing.

Surprises!

Donation to Make A Wish Foundation

Donation to Make A Wish Foundation. Image courtesy of Alan Alabastro/Alabastro Photography

I always like when events like these donate part of their proceeds to supporting a local cause.  In this case it was the local chapter of the Make A Wish Foundation. Al Tschider from the Foundation graciously accepted a cheque for $5000.  He told us that the $5000 is enough to grant a wish for one child.  He is not a professional speaker but endeared himself to the audience telling us about how one young girl was able to get a chance to go to New York City and get a chance to help backstage at not just one (her original request), but two Broadway plays.  It so happened that when they were travelling to NYC to help with one play, I believe it was the Lion King, a Broadway producer was sitting next to them, and invited the girl to also attend his play as well.  It is nice to hear stories like this of people helping people.

Singing Waiters

The Singing Waiters performance. Image courtesy of Alan Alabastro/Alabastro Photography

Part way through our meal, what appeared to be a head waiter came on stage to make a small announcement.  He had an Italian accent and as after he made the announcement, he offered to sing a bit of an aria from an Italian opera.  It was nice.  Later in the evening he sang a bit more, and then a French sounding waiter came to the stage to show him how to sing opera with passion, which lead to dueling opera singers wandering through the audience.  To add to the mix another waiter, a good ol’ boy from the USA, told them that Europeans cannot sing well, so he launched into operatic singing.  So we had a triumvirate singing together.  Of course,they knew each other,and they went on stage together to sing for us.  We were told at the end that they are part of the world-wide company called the “Singing Waiters“.  If you ever get to hear them, take the chance. You will have lots of fun.

This is only the 3rd time for the Taste of Tulalip, and it was done so professionally and with so much great food and wine, I’m not sure how they will top it for the 4th celebration next year. Enjoy!

Taste of Tulalip: What to Expect at the Magnum Party

Below is a sampling of the wines that will be poured on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Taste of Tulalip. During the Magnum Party you can nibble on some of Kathy Casey‘s dishes from her latest book Sips and Apps. From what I’ve seen, these wines, amongst others, will be poured.  Many iconic wines in this list.  It could be a chance of a lifetime to try these wines together in one place! Champagne, an Australian icon, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Napa, Italy; they are all here.  I am really excited about this lineup and can’t wait to taste them myself.

Wines at the Magnum Party

  • Opus One 1998 – Magnum
  • Penfolds Grange 2004 – Magnum
  • Shafer ‘Hillside Select’ Cabernet 3 liter
  • Domaine Leflaive Batard Montrachet 2003 & 2008
  • ZD Abacus XII
  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild, 2005
  • Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon – Magnum
  • Betz Family La Serenne Syrah,
  • Pere de Famille Cabernet – Magnum
  • Molly Dooker ‘Velvet Glove’ Shiraz
  • Gaja Barbaresco ‘Sori Tilden’
  • Louis Roederer Cristal- Magnum
  • Levy & Mcclellan Cabernet

Who is Kathy Casey?

Kathy Casey

I mentioned that Kathy Casey will be serving food to accompany these wines.  In case you don’t know, Kathy Casey is a celebrity chef, mixologist and pioneer in the bar-chef movement.

She played a key role in bringing Northwest cuisine and women chefs to national prominence and, as one of the first female executive chefs in the United States, she was named one of Food & Wine’s “hot new American chefs.” She has also been touted as being the original Bar Chef.

Take the short drive to Tulalip in WA state and have a fun time trying wine and tasting food for a weekend. To buy tickets to a Taste of Tulalip, follow this link.

5 Reasons to Attend a Taste of Tulalip

The Taste of Tulalip has only been around for a few years, but it has caught my attention, with the quality of wine and food that will be served on Nov. 11 and 12.  The Taste of Tulalip will be held at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Washington State.  From Vancouver, BC it is just under a 2 hr drive to reach the Tulalip Resort Casino. Enjoy some fantastic wines from Washington State, California, and Italy.

5 Reasons to Attend the Taste of Tulalip

  1. The Grand Taste will be amazing with over 100 wineries (65 WA, 20 Napa, 20 Italian) with multiple food stations throughout.
  2. Private Magnum party in mpulse lounge hosted by “Liquid Kitchen”, star Kathy Casey! In here you’ll be treated to some of the most elite wines from around the world hand selected by Sommelier Tommy Thompson and sample some of Kathy Casey’s tasty appetizers
  3. A  well stocked wine shop featuring many of the wines from the Grand Taste and a selection from the Magnum Party, where you can buy some hard to get wines.
  4. Carla Hall

    VIP Seminar featuring Carla Hall. Carla Hall will “wow” you with her talents as she performs a cooking demonstration, table talk and a question and answer session with Executive Chef Perry Mascitti and Sommelier Tommy Thompson.

  5. After tasting some great wine and food, there is the casino where you can play table games or slots as your heart desires.
  6. BONUS. I will be there to cover the events and hope to chat with you about the great wine and food!

You can buy tickets for the weekend at the Taste of Tulalip website.  Some events are sold out, so sign up quickly before all the tickets are gone. I will post some follow up blog material on Kathy Casey, Carla Hall, Perry Mascitti, Tommy Thompson and more.  Also I will give you a line up of the Premium wines to be served at the Magnum party.

I’m a Media guest of this event.  So if you can’t make it, I’ll be tweeting and blogging about the events and hopefully give you some excellent wine and food pairings, and wine purchase tips. Enjoy!

Italy’s Amarone Families Visit Vancouver – Get Your Wine Dinner Tickets

Do you dream of Italian wine?  Do you love fine dining?  If so, Italy’s Amarone Families wineries are coming to Vancouver to wine and dine you.  Here is the official announcement.  Cin Cin!

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On Thursday October 6 2011, Vancouverites will have an opportunity to meet the principals from Italy’s Amarone Families wineries at a gala dinner hosted by the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. The evening will include a five-course dinner, wines, a silent auction and a chance to meet some of the most important players in Italy’s wine industry.

The dinner at Rosewood Hotel Georgia will feature principals from 12 Amarone wineries: Allegrini, Begali, Brigaldara, Masi, Musella, Nicolis, Speri, Tedeschi, Tenuta Sant’Antonio, Tommasi, Venturini and Zenato.

Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company.

Where and When?

Thursday, October 6, 2011
6:00 pm Reception
7:00 pm Dinner

Rosewood Hotel Georgia
801 West Georgia Street

$250 per person and tables of 10 are $2250 all inclusive

For more information or to purchase tickets, please call 604.629.2103 or email info@playhousewinefest.com.

About the Amarone Families:

The Amarone Families is an association of exclusively family-owned winemaking companies who make Amarone della Valpolicella Classico.  The association was formed in 2009 to ensure minimum quality standards and pricing for all Amarone, in the interests of protecting the reputation of the wine and promoting its commercial success.  www.amaronefamilies.it

About Amarone

Amarone della Valpolicella, usually known as Amarone, is a typically rich Italian dry red wine made from the partially dried grapes of the Corvina (40.0% – 70.0%), Rondinella (20.0% – 40.0%) and Molinara (5.0% – 25.0%) varieties. (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amarone)

Wine for Father’s Day, June 19, 2011?

Father’s Day is coming up fast.  Do you know which wine you will be pouring for your dad?  For some of you, you already know what your dad likes, e.g. He only likes Australian Shiraz, so picking a bottle should not be too difficult.

For others, your dad does not have a favorite wine.  So how would you choose a wine?  One of the easiest ways to pick a wine is to pair the wine with the food you will be having with your father.  If you are going to have a BBQ beef or lamb, you may want to select a full bodied red or an oaked chardonnay.

Grilled salmon or chicken can pair with a light bodied red or a white wine.

A pasta with cream sauce would pair nicely with a red or white wine that has higher acidity to cut through the creaminess.

A pasta with tomato-based sauce classically pairs with a Sangiovese-based wine from Tuscany, Italy.

If you father is a vegetarian, consider the type of sauce that the food is cooked with.  Is it creamy, made from tomato?  This flavour will help you choose the appropriate wine.  You could use one of the pasta selections that I described.

Some MyWinePal Wine Suggestions:

D’Angelo Sette Coppa 2005, BC. This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot, and Malbec. It is primarily Cabernet Franc and Merlot, with lesser amounts of the other grape varieties. Light garnet in the glass. Tarry, cassis and black cherry aromas. Cassis, cherry, chocolate and vanilla on the palate with some spiciness. Medium length with firm tannins kicking in on the finish. Try with BBQ beef or lamb.

Casa Montes Bodegas & Vinedos, Alzamora Gran Reserva Malbec 2006, Argentina. This wine is opaque purple in the glass. Dusty with black petter aromas. Full body with ripe black fruit and lots of spice. A BBQ wine for beef or lamb.

Township 7 Chardonnay 2008, BC is 100% barrel fermented and aged in French and American oak, giving it more body and some creaminess. Vanilla and apple aromas. With flavours of citrus oak and apples. Nice round mouthfeel with a slight bit of spiciness and a coconut finish. Try this with any BBQ meats or fish.

Another Chardonnay would be the Hope Family Wines, Liberty School Chardonnay 2007. This Chardonnay, from the Paso Robles area of California, has 5% Viognier in the mix. It is medium lemon in the glass. Pineapple, vanilla, and creamy nose. Medium body, with peach, apricot and honey flavours.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Chardonnay 2008 , Washington was very elegant.  This wine was medium golden in the glass. Vanilla, oak, lemon and apple aromas.  It was medium body with toasty, lemon and light spice on the palate.  Light acidity to complement the roundness of the wine.  Spice and lemon on the finish.  Would go nicely with some salmon.

Casas del Bosque Pinot Noir Gran Reserva 2008, Chile. This wine spent 9 months in french oak. They like to use 2-3 year French oak barrels as much as possible for all their barrel aged wines so the oak is there, but not in your face. This one had a wide range of aromas. Strawberry, oak, red cherry, dill and mushroom at first, but then some vanilla on the nose. The wine was quite fruity. Lots of red cherry, but also some dill and vanilla. Quite smooth, medium length, and a dry finish. Try with BBQ salmon or chicken.

Renzo Masi Chianti Rufina “Basciano” 2007 DOCG, Italy. This wine is primarily Sangiovese but has 5% Colorino. Red delicious apple and cherry aromas and flavours.  Also vanilla and cherry on the palate.  Medium tannins with a dry finish. Try with a tomato-based pasta sauce.

Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2005, Italy. Chianti for those that do not know is made with the Sangiovese grape. This wine was dark garnet in colour.  Oak, cassis, and cherry nose. Full bodied with smooth mouthfeel.  Medium acidity and tannins with ripe black cherry flavour. Try with a tomato-based pasta sauce.

Man O’War Vineyards Waiheke Island Sauvignon Blanc 2009, New Zealand. This wine was very light lemon in colour.  Herbal and jalapeno pepper aromas. High acidity with more jalapeno and herbal flavours.  Light body, but long length.  Very nice. Try with a cream-based pasta sauce.

La Frenz Andrew Vineyard Riesling 2009, BC, is light lemon in colour. Flowery and apple aromas. Good acidity with a bit of residual sugar. Red apple and citrus flavours. Elegant. Try with a cream-based pasta sauce.

Note if you can’t find these particular wines, find a similar wine, such as a replacement for the Alzamora Gran Reserva Malbec could be the Bodegas Salentein Primum Malbec. If you feel unsure, ask someone who works in your wine shop.  They should be knowledgeable about the wines they carry.

Enjoy Fathers Day with your Dad.