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.

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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 

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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

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!

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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!

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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.

The Magnum Party at Taste of Tulalip – Totally Awesome

I waited on pins and needles for the Magnum Party at the Taste of Tulalip. The line up of wines was outstanding. In case you didn’t see my earlier blog article, here is the lineup.

Wines at the Magnum Party

  • Opus One 1998 – Magnum
  • Penfolds Grange 2003 – 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

The event was held in the mPulse Lounge.  Sheik furniture, amazing wines, and food to enjoy the wines with.  What else could you ask for?  I didn’t take any detailed notes; it was just not possible.  It was a time to just live in the moment and experience these wines.  So enjoy the following few pictures and the tidbits of notes by me.

Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac 2005

Chateau Mouton Rothschild is an iconic wine maker from Bordeaux.  And 2005 was a great year for wine in Bordeaux (and Burgundy BTW).

Batard Montrachet Grand Cru 2008

If you are a Burgundy lover, here is one for you, Batard Montrachet Grand Cru.

Penfolds Grange 2003 Magnum

Penfolds Grange 2003; One of my favourite wines at the Magnum Party.  An iconic Shiraz from Australia.  Velvety smooth and full bodied. Did you notice it is in a numbered bottle?

Shafer Hillside Select 2007 Magnum

Shafer Hillside Select is a big Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the 25th vintage from the Stags Leap District. “… one of the New World’s most profound Cabernet Sauvignons …” – Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate

Molly Dooker Velvet Glove Shiraz

The Molly Dooker “Velvet Glove” Shiraz was also exceptional.  Great ripe fruit flavours.  This is the wine you may have heard about having a palette accident in Australia, destroying many of the bottles that were on route around the world.

Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Magnum

The Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon is from Washington State.  This was another big Cab.  Napa doesn’t have big Cabs cornered in the USA.  Give this wine a try.  It’s very high quality.

Rochioli Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009

If you like Pinot Noir, the Rochioli Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2009, is full bodied, silky with black cherry and spice.

I hope you enjoyed these wines vicariously and hope you have a chance to try them in person some day as I did. Enjoy!

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!

An abbreviated list of wines for the holidays

Isn’t technology lovely? Sometimes you spend a long time writing a long blog about wines for the holidays and it doesn’t get saved! Well that just happened to me, so please enjoy this very short version of my wine recommendations.

Wines to take to a host/hostess. Try a wine they would not normally buy but would enjoy. Try a champagne (from France. Try Bollinger, Lanson, Krug, or Taittinger), or a sparkling wine (e.g. a cremant from France, a prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain, or a New World sparkling, such as Gloria Ferrer from Napa Valley, or Lindauer from New Zealand).

An ice wine could also be a nice gift. Riesling ice wines are the best in my opinion as the high acidity of this grape complements the sweetness from the grape. Mission Hill and Quails Gate in the BC Okanagan have nice ice wines.

With dinner, assuming you have a turkey feast, try a lightly oaked chardonnay, or a lighter bodied pinot noir. On the chardonnay side try a wine from Deloach in California, Mission Hill Reserve from the Okanagan, or Evans and Tate from Australia. For a pinot noir, try Quails Gate or Mission Hill from the Okanagan, or Villa Maria or Kim Crawford from New Zealand.

People also like fortified / dessert wines. Buller makes a nice Muscat (Australia). You may try a port from Portugal, such as from Quinta do Portal. A full bodied Oloroso Sherry from Spain from Gonzalez Byass.

Enjoy the wines and enjoy the holidays!