Tulalip Resort Casino Chefs Trade the Usual Suspects for ‘Bubbles & Fries’

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Unexpected Pairings: Tulalip Resort Casino Chefs Trade the Usual Suspects for ‘Bubbles & Fries’
 Poutine Bar and Prosecco Take Center Stage This December

Tulalip, Washington — Bubbles and Fries will be all the craze at Tulalip Resort Casino starting November 30 through December 30, 2017. Executive Chef Perry Mascitti and Sommelier Tom Thompson have teamed up to share their two favorite food and drink combinations in a uniquely inspiring way.

Whether it’s the Build-Your-Own Poutine Bar at Eagles Buffet or the Twice-Baked Potato Fries at The Draft Sports Bar and Grill, guests are encouraged to partner these tempting French fry preparations with a glass of bubbly.

For Mascitti this month-long event is all about the salty fries, and for Thompson, it’s all about the elegant contrast of these sparkling wines paired with these savory treats.

“I want everyone to try it once by taking a fry, placing it in their mouths and following it with a sip of bubbly to experience this food revolution,” shares Executive Chef Perry Mascitti.

“I challenged the entire Tulalip chef team to strategize very special and creative ways of serving their wonderful fries to share with our dining guests,” states Sommelier Tom Thompson. “They took the potato throw down very, very seriously.”

In fact, it was somewhat of a potato war. The Tulalip chef team deconstructed them, sauced them, relished them, cut, and creatively cooked them…all in an effort to spark a newfound love affair worth their weight in gold.

Full menus and additional dining information are available at Cedars Cafe, Destinations Lounge, Journeys EastThe Draft Sports Bar and GrillBlackfish Wild Salmon Grill, and Eagles Buffet.

Shhh…a New Year’s teaser about what will be happening in January. It will be about spirited cuisine, which will start on January 2, 2018. Stay tuned!

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About Tulalip Resort Casino
Award winning Tulalip Resort Casino is the most distinctive gaming, dining, meeting, entertainment and shopping destination in Washington state. The AAA Four Diamond resort’s world class amenities have ensured its place on the Condé Nast Traveler Gold and Traveler Top 100 Resorts lists. The property includes 192,000 square feet of gaming excitement; a luxury hotel featuring 370 guest rooms and suites; 30,000 square feet of premier meeting, convention and wedding space; the full-service T Spa; and 7 dining venues, including the highly acclaimed Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill and Bar. It also showcases the intimate Canoes Cabaret; a 3,000-seat amphitheater. Nearby, find the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve, Cabela’s; and Seattle Premium Outlets, featuring more than 122 name brand retail discount shops. The Resort Casino is conveniently located between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. just off Interstate-5 at exit 200. It is an enterprise of the Tulalip Tribes. For reservations please call (866) 716-7162. Connect with us on Facebook @TulalipResortCasino, Twitter @TulalipResort, and Instagram @tulalipresortcasino

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Bottega Gold Prosecco for Valentines Day

Bottega Gold Brut Prosecco

Bottega Gold Brut Prosecco

Have you been thinking about what sparkling wine you can buy for your Valentine without breaking the bank? Champagne may have first popped into your mind, but maybe you could also consider Italian Prosecco? Prosecco is generally made, lighter bodied and maybe a bit off dry, making it a fun indulgence to share with friends and family.

I recently received a bottle of Bottega Gold Brut (BC $24.99) to sample.  It comes in a very striking gold coloured bottle, making it look very special for a special day like Valentine’s Day.

In the glass this wine is pale lemon in colour.  A light intensity nose of flowers and citrus, with a hint of lime in the background.  This one is dry on the palate with medium plus acidity and light body.  Agressive, medium sized, creamy bubbles.  Citrus, apple, a hint of lime, and some lemon rind on the palate.  Medium length.  Overall a straight forward wine to enjoy with friends.  It should pair well with crab cakes, stuffed mushrooms, goat cheese, and a fresh fruit salad.

If you are interested, here is the website for the Bottega winery to get more info on this wine and their other wines.

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!

Highlights from the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Fest – Day 2

The second day from the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival is now finished.  A lot of wine again today to taste.  But still probably more than half the wines haven’t yet been tasted.  I did visit many nice wineries and tasted some interesting wines from around the world today.  As I had mentioned in my previous blog article, today I would taste wines from the rest of the world, and then at the end try some Spanish wines I had missed.

Again to keep things brief, here is my 2nd list of recommended wines to try at the #VPIWF.  After the festival is over, I’ll post full tasting notes for these wines and others that I have tried on www.MyWinePal.com. The wines below range from white, red, sparkling, and fortified.

Recommended wines:

  • Babich East Coast Pinot Noir 2009 (New Zealand)
  • Vina Cobos Bramare Malbec 2008 (Argentina)
  • Decero Malbec, Remolinos Vineyard 2009 (Argentina)
  • Decero Cabernet Sauvignon, Remolinos Vineyard 2008 (Argentina)
  • Graffigna Grand Reserve Torrontes 2010 (Argentina)
  • Graffigna Centenario Reserve Malbec 2009 (Argentina)
  • Vina Santa Rita Medalla Real Pinot Noir 2008 (Chile)
  • Vina Santa Rita Pehuen Carmenere 2005 (Chile)
  • Cave de Tain Crozes Hermitage Red Les Hauts du Fief 2007 (France)
  • Cave de Tain Saint Joseph Red Esprit de Granit 2007 (France)
  • Pfaffenheim Steinert Grand Cru Gewurztraminer 2007 (France)
  • Pierre Sparr Mambourg Pinot Gris 2008 (France)
  • Schloss Reinhartshausen Prinz VVN Preussen Rielsing Off-Dry 2009 (Germany)
  • Ca’ Del Bosco Franciacorta Cuvee Prestige (Italy)
  • Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009 (New Zealand)
  • Man O’War Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (New Zealand)
  • Fonseca Guimaraens 10 Year Tawny Port (Portugal)
  • Quinta do Vale Dona Maria Vanzeller 10-Year-Old Tawny Port (Portugal)
  • Sogrape Vinhos Callabriga Dao Reserva 2005 (Portugal)
  • Sogrape Vinhos Ferreira 20-Year-Old Duque de Braganca (Portugal)
  • Champagne Lallier Rose (France)
  • Joseph Drouhin Chablis Premier Cru 2009 (France)
  • Mission Hill Family Estate Perpetua 2008 (Canada)
  • Juan Gil Monastrell 2010 (Spain)
  • Bodegas Abanico Mencia 2007 (Spain)
  • Bodgeas Abanico Tinta de Toro Eternum Viti 2008 (Spain)
  • Bodegas Abanico Tinta de Toro Los Colmillos 2008 (Spain)
  • Gonzalez Byass Croft, Pale Cream Sherry (Spain)
  • Zuccardi Series A Torrontes 2010 (Argentina)
  • Bodegas San Valero Monte Ducay Cava Brut (Spain)

That is a lot of recommendations, and a lot of wines to try in one day.  There were many more that are also good, but did not make the list.  I wish I had another day or two so that I could try the rest of the wines from the Festival.

Today’s agenda for me is New Zealand Perfect Parings, Good Gracious Grenache seminar, and Cinq a Sept French wines.  Check back tomorrow for a short article on these.  Enjoy the remainder of the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, and remember to check out the Vancouver Playhouse and what they have to offer!  Support the arts.

Wine for Easter

Spring flowers for EasterEaster is a big holiday for many of us, where we get together with family and enjoy a big Easter dinner. Easter is also leading us into spring. Flowers are already blooming here in Vancouver, and I’m sure it will come soon in the rest of Canada.

Ham, roast chicken or turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and vegetables are traditional dishes for many people’s Easter dinner. But maybe you are wondering what wine(s) to serve? Before starting dinner you may want to consider something sparkling? An easy to sip wine would be an Italian prosecco or a Moscato. These wines tend to be quite reasonably priced. Mionetto Prosecco FrizzanteEmotivo Prosecco, or Batasiolo Moscato D’Asti are three Italian wines you may want to consider.

For the main course, a roasted ham, if you are a red wine person, you could try a Pinot Noir or a Gamay (the most famous being Beaujolais). Serve slightly chilled. Here in North America, you could go with a Pinot Noir from British Columbia, such as the Quails Gate Okanagan Valley Pinot Noir. A Gamay such as Georges Duboeuf Brouilly, France would also be nice. The Gamay would also work with turkey.

Spierhead Chardonnay

What if you prefer white wine? Then I would suggest a riesling. The Kettle Valley Winery Riesling 2008 (BC) has a bit of residual sugar with some apple, flower and citrus aromas, and apple with a bit of petrol flavours, or on the organic side, Kalala Organic Estate Winery Riesling 2008 also from BC. If you prefer a drier riesling, how about the Plantagenet Great Southern Riesling 2008 from Australia? Quite minerally. Light green and petrol aromas. Apple and citrus flavours.

For roast chicken or turkey, there is Pinot Noir, as mentioned earlier. A lightly oaked Chardonnay would also work well. The oakiness and butteriness from some secondary malolactic ferementation would make the Chardonnay nice and round in your mouth to complement the richness of your roast chicken or turkey. If you would like to support Chilean wineries, after the earthquake, you may want to try the Carmen Nativa Vineyards Chardonnay (organic) or the Vina Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay from Chile. The Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay is always a winner for me. From my last tasting notes, I noted 100% barrel fermented in French oak for 9-10 months. 1/3 of wine goes through malolactic fermentation to add some extra body and butteriness. Full lemony colour. Lots of vanilla, caramel and tropical fruit on the nose. Very aromatic. Medium-full body, with tropical fruit and vanilla flavour. Has some acidity and slight spiciness to balance the creaminess. An excellent wine.  A BC selection would be Spierhead Winery Chardonnay 2010. Their chardonnay is creamy with lots of vanilla and tropical fruit aromas and flavours.  Enjoy juicy fruit flavours in your mouth with medium acidity to keep it refreshing.

I hope some of these wines give you ideas for what to serve with your Easter family meal. Enjoy!

Bubbles for New Years eve 2010

We are on the precipice between the 2000’s and the 2010’s New Years. Shouldn’t we be celebrating the end of the first 10 years of 2000 with some Champagne or other sparkling wine? What fun things could you try? How about buying a vintage champagne, or other sparkling wine from the year 2000. It might be difficult and cost a bit more money but it would be memorable.

If you don’t have the time or money to hunt down one of the 2000 vintage bubbles, I have a few suggestions. The wines I list below, I’ve tasted and have tasting notes on http://www.MyWinePal.com under the Wine Reviews tab. The reviews are stored in a spreadsheet format which you can freely download and use to help you select bubbles and other wines. Please download and make use of my notes.

Some sparkling wines I enjoyed:

New Zealand Lindauer Brut Sparkling NV Biscuity and citrus aroma and flavours. The bubble was small and elegant.
Australia Banrock Station Sparkling Chardonnay NV Pale straw colour. It has pleasant acidity. There are flavours of peach, lime and melon.
Australia Skillogalee Sparkling Riesling NV Petrol and citrus nose. Good acidity, bright citrus flavour with lingering petrol. Medium length.
South Africa Graham Beck Sparkling -Brut Pinot Noir /
Chardonnay
NV Brillant golden colour and had honey, apple, biscuity aromas and flavours.
Italy Cantina Breganze Prosecco Extra Dry Prosecco NV Pale lemon in colour with a
tinge of green. Lemon and juicy orchard fruit on the nose. Orange, lemon, and rose petal flavours.
Italy Cantina Breganze Blanquette de Limoux
Demi-Sec
NV This is a semi-sweet, organic
sparkling wine. This one has a nice white flower nose. Bright lemony colour. Flowery, light spice, and orangy flavours. Nice.
Spain Codorniu Sparkling Brut Pinot Noir NV Light orangy pink in colour.
Light strawberry aroma. Very bracing in your mouth, with strawberry and raspberry flavours.
Hungary Hungaria Grand Cuvee NV Quite a deal for this sparkler.
Light lemon in colour, with lemon/lime aromas. Light bubble with lemon flavour.
France Cuillier Pere et Fils Brut Selection Pinot Noir / Chardonnay NV Fine bubble with green apple
and pear aromas. Fine bubble with lemon and pear flavour. This wine was like enjoying a fresh pear. Very tasty!
South Africa Moreson Blanc de Blancs Brut Method
Cap Classic
Chardonnay NV It had a very fine bubble. Red
apple, citrus, light spice and bready flavour. It had a long finish. Nice.

If you are in the Vancouver, BC area, you should be able to get these wines (but not necessarily some of the exact vintages) at a BC Specialty liquor store, or some private wine stores like Everything Wine.

You may also want to celebrate the coming of 2010 with a BC sparkling wine. Here is a list of some sparkling BC wines from Everything Wine (you may be able to get these at BC liquor stores too):

Blue Mountain Gold Label Sparkling 750 mL Sparkling $29.99
Charles Meunier Sparkling 750ml Sparkling $13.99
Gray Monk Odyssey Brut Sparkling 750 mL Sparkling $26.99
Starling Lane ‘Celebration’ Brut 750 ml Sparkling $30.99

I hope I’ve given you a few ideas for a sparkling wine for New Year’s Eve. FYI, I’ll probably be enjoying a bottle of Summerhill Cipes Brut N/V from the Okanagan. Cheers!

A Sparkling Wine Tasting!

Today was a special Trade tasting day for me. This is typically the Trade tasting where the sparkling wines are brought out by agents in preparation for wine buyers, to pick up these sparkling wines for their hotel, restaurant, etc and offer them over the Christmas and New Year season. So i’d like to share some of these sparkling wines with you. One of the nice things I saw this year is more rose coloured sparkling wines. Very festive!

Some terms you may see in a liquor store for sparkling wine are: Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Frizzante, Cap Classique, and of course Sparkling. There are other terms, but these are a few common ones. Champagne is from the Champagne region of France, Cava is from Spain, Prosecco from Italy, Frizzante from Italy, Cap Classique from South Africa, and Sparkling, which can be from anywhere.

I think my overall favourite sparkling wine today was the Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose Brut ($107.99). Pale salmon in colour. Oak and black currants on the nose. Light bubble with raspberries and currant flavours.

If you can’t afford a case of Laurent-Pierrier, I have a few less expensive choices for you:
Cantina Breganze Prosecco Extra Dry ($21.99) (Italy). Pale lemon in colour with a tinge of green. Lemon and juicy orchard fruit on the nose. Orange, lemon, and rose petal flavours. Recommended.
Cantina Breganze Blanquette de Limoux Demi-Sec ($26.99) (Italy). This is a semi-sweet, organic sparkling wine. This one has a nice white flower nose. Bright lemony colour. Flowery, light spice, and orangy flavours. Nice.
Codorniu Pinot Noir Sparkling Brut ($19.99) (Spain). Light orangy pink in colour. Light strawberry aroma. Very bracing in your mouth, with strawberry and raspberry flavours.
Hungaria Grand Cuvee ($13.90) (Hungary). Quite a deal for this sparkler. Light lemon in colour, with lemon/lime aromas. Light bubble with lemon flavour.
Cuillier Pere et Fils, Brut Selection ($58) (France). Fine bubble with green apple and pear aromas. Fine bubble with lemon and pear flavour. This wine was like enjoying a fresh pear. Very tasty!

Also at this Trade tasting, was red and white still wines. A few I liked:
Pampas del Sur Reserve Malbec 2007 (#13.98) (Argentina). Deep purple colour. Very aromatic. Black currant and cherry flavours. Medium body and very smooth.
Eikendal Stellenbosch Classique Reserve ($35.99) (South Africa). This is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Medium garnet in colour. Oak, tobacco, mint and cherry aromas. Chocolate, tobacco and cherry flavours. Smooth with a long length.

Enjoy some bubbles for the upcoming holiday season. And if you are interested in some nice Chilean wine, please check out my website, www.MyWinePal.com.

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!