Join Bistro Pastis with their Alsatian Menu in June

Colmar in Alsace (Image courtesy Wikicommons Tizianok)

Colmar in Alsace (Image courtesy Wikicommons Tizianok)

Alsace is a wonderful region in northeastern France.  The confluence of German and French wine and cuisine.  Beautiful gingerbread-style houses.  I’ve been there once and would love to go again.  But in case you are like me, longing to visit, or have yet to visit, you can experience the cuisine of Alsace at Bistro Pastis till the end of June.  Here is their special menu for me and you.

Alsace Feature Menu

June 8th to 30th, 2017

Appetizers:

alsatian onion tarte
shaved spring vegetables, crème fraiche
$16

beef consommé
alsatian dumplings, brunoise mire poix
$12

smoked sturgeon carpaccio
fingerling potato salad, remoulade
$16

Mains

perch a la sauvigny
pan seared perch in cream sauce, buttered egg noodles, glazed asparagus
$30

choucroute garni
braised pork belly, house made sausage,
sauerkraut, potatoes

$29

beer braised duck leg
Roasted apples, pomme sardelaise, green beans
$29

Desserts

rhum baba
caramel sauce, “the kraken” rum raisin ice cream
$10

citrus madeleine
candied citrus zest
$9.50

 

Although there are no wine pairings shown, classic Alsatian wines are made from Pinot Noir, Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Muscat d’Alsace, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer.

You can make a reservation to Bistro Pastis on OpenTable at this link.

Having Dinner with M Michael Chapoutier at Hawksworth Restaurant

M Michael Chapoutier

As I write this, I am less than 4 hours away from enjoying a dinner in the York Room at Hawksworth Restaurant in downtown Vancouver, with Mr. M. Michael Chapoutier!  I of course will be amongst others also enjoying listening to Mr. Chapoutier speaking about his wines that we will be drinking tonight and savouring with with wonderful food from Hawksworth Restaurant.  I am so looking forward to this evening as last summer I visited his winery in the Rhone Valley in France, and walked the Hermitage hill.

In case you are not attending, here is today’s menu!

Winemaker Dinner with M. Michel Chapoutier
Wednesday June 20th, 2012

MENU

Reception
Canapés
tuna ceviche avocado, amaranth
beef bourguignon pickled pearl onion, toast
truffled arancini mozzarella
Marius Blanc
Marius Rouge

1st Course
cured fluke
grapefruit, english pea, horseradish, nasturtium
2010 Schieferkopf Alsace Riesling

2nd Course
bacon wrapped squab bitter greens, saskatoon berry, licorice jus
2010 Mathilda Shiraz

3rd Course
heritage angus flatiron
tokyo turnip, baby leek, mie de pain, green peppercorn consommé
2009 Lady’s Lane Shiraz, 2008 Ergo Sum Shiraz

4th Course
pierre robert apricot in various textures, olive oil pound cake
2010 Schieferkopf Alsace Riesling Lieu dit Fels

5th Course
strawberry vanilla capsule summer red fruits, marcona almond soil
2010 Schieferkopf Alsace Riesling Lieu dit Buehl

Latest IVSA Wine Picks – March 2012 Trebbiano and More

I’m a bit tardy with this blog article about the latest Import Vintners and Spirits Association (IVSA) trade tasting, with many other work and non-work events happening at this time. Going back to my notes, I found a few good new wines to the BC marketplace. One thing I noticed was there was more Torrontes and Trebbiano at this trade tasting than at other tastings. This could be in part due to the time of year with the white wines being released.  With that, let’s get into my latest wine picks.

White Wines

  • Callia Alta Torrontes 2011

    Callia Alta Torrontes 2011, Argentina (spec $13.95). Medium lemony green in colour.  Very fruity, tropical fruit and flowers on the nose. Medium body with tropical fruit, citrus and oranges in particular flavours.  Nice acidity and some spiciness.  Dry with medium plus length.  This is more complex than most Torrontes.

  • Zenato Lugara DOC San Benedetto Trebbiano, Italy. Pale lemon in the glass.  Nice nose with citrus, apples and a hint of oranges. Light body with citrus and slight sweet spice / nutmeg flavour. Dry. Very nice.
  • Thelema Mountain Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2010, South Africa. Thelema is a quality producer from South Africa.  This wine had a wow nose.  Lots of gooseberries.  High acidity with green bean, gooseberry and grapefruit peel flavours.  Some spiciness on the mid-palate.  Short length (wish it was a bit longer).
  • Vouvrey Grandes Caves Saint Roch – Demi Sec 2010, France.  This was my overall favourite wine of the tasting.  It is a Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. Delicate light crab apple and citrus aromas. Medium minus body mouthfeel yet acts like it is a bigger wine.  Apples and citrus flavours.  Quite round with a good acidic backbone.
  • Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2007, New Zealand. Medium lemon colour. Citrus and tropical fruit on the nose with a touch of oak.  Medium minus body, mineral, citrus, and apple flavours.  Dry with medium acidity. Medium length with a waxy finish.  An interesting wine.
  • Kiwi Walk Sauvignon Blanc 2011, New Zealand. Pale lemony green in the glass.  Lots of herbal and cut green grass on the nose.  High acidity on the palate with lots of gooseberry flavour and some jalapeno pepper flavour mid palate.
  • Domaine des Baumard Clos du Papillon 2008, France. Another Chenin Blanc from the Loire. Deeper golden colour. Nutty, peachy nose. Medium body, round with medium acidity.  Peach pit, citrus and some spice on the palate.  Very interesting.

Red Wines

  • Cameron Hughes Lot 300 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

    Cameron Hughes Lot 300 Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Napa Valley. Medium translucent ruby colour.  Nice ripe berry nose.  Elegant and not overpowering. Lighter body with cassis and dark fruit flavours.  High acidity, low tannins and long length.  A quality wine.

  • Gorcleyant Malbec 2010, France. Medium ruby colour. Nice bright red fruit nose.  Lighter bodied, soft tannins and juicy red fruit flavour.  A hint of vanilla and spice too.
  • Masi Modello Rosso 2010, Italy. Light ruby colour.  Nice nose with closes and red fruits.  Light body, dry, with soft tannins. Red fruit, oak and cloves on the palate. Good price $12.99.

Sparkling and Fortified Wines

  • Niepoort LBV 2005, Portugal. This is a Late Bottled Vintage port.  This one is medium ruby in colour.  Light aromas of cherries and apples.  Light body, medium sweetness, but quite spicy on the palate.  Flavours of plums, dark cherries and some vanilla.
  • Zinck Cremant Brut D’Alsace, France. Light straw colour with small light bubbles. Nice aromas of red delicious apples and some lees.  Light body, high acidity, with more red delicious apples on the palate.  Dry.  Tasty.

Want to try Charcuterie and Wines at Bistro Pastis?

Do you like Charcuterie? In case you are not familiar with this word, Wikipedia defines it as “…the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork“. Charcuterie is found in France, particularly in the Alsace region.  Some of my most memorable dinners in France have been in Alsace, sipping a nice white Alsatian wine with mixed charcuterie and vegetables (cabbage quite common).

You can live the Alsatian meal dream, like me, through Bistro Pastis here in Vancouver.  Here is a new meal menu from them that makes me hungry!  To the menu below, you may want to consider pairing these wines from Bistro Pastis’ wine list:

  • Chamdeville Brut Blanc de Blancs (sparkling)
  • Gentil Hugel 2007 (white)
  • Gewurztraminer Steiner Grand Cru Pfaffenheim 2004 (white)
  • Vouvray, Chenin Blanc, Chateau Gaudrelle 2007 (white)
  • Pinot Noir Latour 2007 (red)
  • Pinot Noir Blue Mountain Reserve 2006 (red)
  • Château Pesquié Quintessence 2006 (red)

Bonne appetit!

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Fall Flavour Fete

Bistro Pastis

From November 1 through 13th, please join us for the last menu in our Fall Flavour Fete series – this one features Charcuterie. The word ‘charcuterie’ originates from the French term ‘cuiseur de chair’ or ‘cooker of meat.’ In France, it has been considered a high culinary art for more than 600 years and involves meat products that have been preserved in some way – by curing, brining, drying, smoking, in a terrine etc. For the next two weeks, come by and savour these rich fall flavours in Chef Tobias Grignon’s interpretations of duck prosciutto, boudin blanc, rillettes, blood sausage, terrine and even bacon ice cream.

Reservations are always a good idea 604-731-5020 or on-line at www.bistropastis.com.

Charcuterie Menu

Smoked Duck Salad, House Made Duck Prosciutto, Poached Pear, Hazelnut Vinaigrette

– or –

Wild Boar Tourtière, Parsnip Purée, Pickled Chanterelles, Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette

– or –

Rillette Trio, Duck, Pork and Rabbit

*****

Choucroute Garnie, Smoked Pork Loin, Bacon, Hock and Sausage, Sauerkraut

– or –

Chicken Leg Stuffed with Blood Sausage, Pomme Purée, Celeriac and Apple Remoulade, Sage Jus

– or –

Scallop and Prawn Boudin Blanc, Smoked Bacon Chowder, Fine Herbs Salad

*****

Brioche French Toast, Caramalized Apple and Thyme Strusel Maple Bacon Ice Cream

– or –

Dark Chocolate Terrine, Quince Compote, Candied Bacon

$45.00

Bistro Pastis
2153 W 4th Ave. Vancouver, BC V6K 1N7 | Tel: (604) 731.5020 | Fax: (604) 731.5039
www.bistropastis.com

Marquis Wine Cellars Social Media Tasting Highlights!

Thank you very much to Mr. John Clerides, the owner of Marquis Wine Cellars, for opening up a variety of sparkling, white, and red wines for us, wine bloggers to try.  What wines did we get to try? There were 14 different wines, and I will outline here in this blog the ones that I liked the most.  These wines are all available at Marquis Wine Cellars, so feel free to go by their shop to pick up a bottle or two.

Onto the wines!  There was one sparkling wine in our tasting line-up which I quite enjoyed.  The Champagne Agrapart NV Terroirs Blanc de Blanc, France, ($54.90) is made solely from the Chardonnay grape.  This wine was medium lemon in colour.  Nice bready, lemon, and apple aromas.  Fine bubble with a dry mouthfeel.  Lemon and some sweet spice on the palate with a long lingering finish.

One white of note was the Lusco do Mino Albarino 2009, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain ($24.90).  Rias Baixas is a cooler region in the northwest area of Spain.  The Albarino grape produces a higher acid wine that is very aromatic.  This wine had a light flowery nose.  Light in body with lychee, almond, apple and spice on the palate.  Very tasty.

My second white wine pick was the Domaine Barmes-Buecher Pinot Gris 2006, Herrenweg, Alsace, France ($32.90). This Pinot Gris was quite a deep lemon colour.  Sweet apricot nose.  It smelled very much like an ice wine, with that same level of aromatic intensity. It was though medium body and dry on the palate, with marmalade and apricot flavour.  Quite impressive.

My last white wine choice was the Le Mont Bonnezeaux 2004, Loire Valley, France ($38.90).  Although the variety of grape is not obvious, coming from the Loire Valley, this was a Chenin Blanc.  Another deeply lemon coloured wine. This one had honey and some stone fruit on the nose.  Medium + body, a bit of sweetness.  Round mouthfeel with apple, mushroom, and oak flavours.  An unctus wine.

What about the red wines? My overall favorite was the Domino de Tares Cepas Viejas 2007, Bierzo, Spain ($29.90). This wine is made from the indigenous grape called Mencia. This grape grows in the cooler northwest corner of Spain.  It is a lower acid grape with red fruit aromas and flavours and earthy richness.  The Bierzo region is also being touted as the next Priorat of Spain!  This wine was A deep blackish purple in colour.  Vanilla and sweet black fruit on the nose.  Full body with medium tannins, sweet ripe black fruit, vanilla, with cinnamon spice on the mid palate.  Good acidity to balance the fruit and full body of this wine.  I hope we get to see more Spanish wines from Bierzo at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival this April as Spain is the theme country!

My other red wine selection was the Domaine Roc des Anges Cepas Viejas 2006, Roussillon, France ($39.90). This is a blend with primarily carignan and I am guessing grenache noir, and syrah from my quick research on the web. This wine is dark garnet in the glass. Dried cherries, licorice, and dried herbs on the nose.  Full of flavour, with ripe cherries and a spicy mid palate.  Dry with medium tannins and medium length.

To go with all the wines at this evening’s tasting was a selection of cheeses from Benton Brothers Fine Cheese and assorted appetizers from Louis Gervais Fine Foods and Catering.

BC Pinot Blanc Summer Sips

Some wine industry experts have said that Pinot Blanc could be the signature grape variety here in British Columbia, and I think particularly in the Okanagan. I have tasted many nice BC Pinot Blanc, but I think we also do very nice Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and should be in the running for signature grape variety.

This grape variety is known for its apple, melon and almond flavours.  It can produce light to medium bodied wines. Usually low acidity, it can be oak aged for additional complexity. In Alsace it is commonly made into a sparkling wine called Cremant d’Alsace. I personally would like to see a BC winery try to make a Cremant with Pinot Blanc. (I think there may be a winery, but I’m not sure at the time of writing this blog article.)

Checking the www.everythingwine.com website, I identified the following BC Pinot Blanc wines in the $15-$25 range:

Blue Mountain Vineyard Pinot Blanc 750 mL Pinot Blanc $21.99
Hester Creek Late Harvest Pinot Blanc 200 mL Pinot Blanc $15.99
Hester Creek Pinot Blanc 750ml Pinot Blanc $16.99
Lake Breeze Pinot Blanc 750 mL Pinot Blanc $19.99
Monster Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 750 ml Pinot Blanc $21.99
Nk’Mip Cellars Pinot Blanc 750ml Pinot Blanc $16.99
Paradise Ranch Late Harvest Pinot Blanc 375 mL Pinot Blanc $24.99
Red Rooster Pinot Blanc 750 mL Pinot Blanc $16.99
Starling Lane Pinot Blanc 750ml Pinot Blanc $18.99
Van Westen Vivacious Pinot Blanc/Pinot Gris 750 mL Pinot Blanc $23.99

Checking my past tasting notes, I’ve had the opportunity to try the following BC Pinot Blanc:

Van Westen Vineyards Vivacious Pinot Blanc / Pinot Gris, 2007 :   Some sur lie on the nose, along with spice, citrus and apple aromas.  Good acidity, with apple and vanilla flavours. (Try Van Westen’s other wines too.  All are wonderful.)

Sandhill Estate Vineyard Pinot Blanc, 2007: Lemon colour in the glass.  Pineapple, melon, and oak aromas and flavours.  This is a very elegant Pinot Gris and one that I regularly show at private tastings.

Stonehill Estate Winery Pinot Blanc, 2007:  Medium lemon in colour.  Apple and oak nose and flavours.  Good acidity.  Light oak.

Greata Ranch Vineyards Pinot Blanc, 2007: This wine is aged 8 months in oak barrels, 20% are French oak.  Lots of aroma for this wine.  Peaches and pears on the nose.  Nice acidity with a balance of smoothness in the mouth.  Some oak and butterscotch flavours.

Try a bottle of BC Pinot Blanc and see if you think this could be BC’s signature grape variety.  Cheers.

Another wine and cheese experience

While in Colmar in Alsace, ii thought I should pair a cheese with an Alsatian style Pinot gris. The wine for this pairing is the Ruhl Mann Pinot Gris 2007, tete de cuvee. To this with the help of a local cheese merchant I selected a Peladron de chevre au lait cru cevenol, a soft goat milk based cheese. The pinot gris was light bodied, straw coloured. It was off-dry, apple flavour and good acidity. The cheese was an adventure. Cheese should be taken out of the fridge and let warm up. Most people recommend waiting a few hours before eating the cheese to bring out the full flavour. There is no harm in leaving it out longer, so it stayed in my room for 24 hrs before I opened the wrapper. It was VERY aromatic. It smelled very much like the durian fruit you can get in asian supermarkets. The interior of the cheese was white and creamy and very runny. The flavour was of durian candy, which is not as intense as the aroma, and has a sweetness to it. To this very big, aromatic, creamy cheese, the acidity of the pinot gris was a great counterpoint, and made the pairing work. That being said, my next wine and cheese pairing will be with a hard cheese. Salut!