Wine’d Up Dinner for Whistler Search and Resue

Whistler Search and Rescue Society (WSAR) is holding its twelfth annual winemaker’s gourmet dinner and auction, “Wine’d Up”, on October 15th, 2011.

Guests at this popular event will enjoy an evening of outstanding food and wine while supporting the critically important work of Whistler’s search and rescue volunteers.

Organizers are delighted to welcome the return of five of Whistler’s renowned Executive Chefs:

·         Chef Vincent Stufano, Fairmont Chateau Whistler

·         Chef Scott Dolbee, Four Seasons Resort Whistler

·         Chef James Walt, Araxi Restaurant and Bar

·         Chef Grant Cousar, Whistler Cooks Catering

·         Chef Steve Bjormark, Whistler Blackcomb

Each chef will create a dish with flavours to complement and enhance the selection of fine wines poured with each course.

Wines for this year’s dinner are generously being donated by four leading South African wineries:  Flat Roof Manor, Moreson (great sparkling wine), Boekenhoutskloof (a premium producer. Makes a wonderful Syrah), and Lammershoek (new to BC.  Nice pinotage and more)South Africa’s centuries-old winemaking tradition blends the restrained elegance of the Old World with the accessible fruit-driven styles of the New, creating wines which eloquently express the Cape’s unique terroir.  As a special treat, dessert will be paired with Amarula Cream Liqueur.

In addition to sensory delights of food and wine, the event will offer guests a chance to participate in both live and silent auctions throughout the evening with items generously donated by businesses in Whistler and throughout B.C.

The evening is truly a community effort.  Whistler-Blackcomb supports this event each year by donating their facilities and staff at Dusty’s Bar & Grill in Whistler Creekside.  Whistler Search and Rescue members volunteer their time at the dinner and auction to ensure everyone has an enjoyable evening.

WSAR is a community driven volunteer organization”, says Brad Sills, SAR Manager, Whistler Search and Rescue Team.  “The annual Wine’d Up fundraiser is the single biggest revenue source that WSAR receives. The Team depends on the generous support the Whistler Community has traditionally given at this annual event in order to meet its operational requirements.”  Since its inception in 2000 organizers have raised more than $340,000.  Brad adds, “WSAR is forever grateful to all the people who organize and support this event”.

Tickets are $160 plus hst and are sold through Whistler Blackcomb – 1-800 766 0449.  Suggested attire for this event is smart western gear / smart casual.

Where, When, How to Get Tickets

Whistler Search and Rescue Society
Twelfth Annual “Wine’d Up” Gourmet Dinner & Auction

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dusty’s Bar & Grill, Whistler Creekside
Reception & Hors D’Oeuvres 6:00 pm

Tickets are $160 + hst – on sale September 1st
For tickets call Whistler Blackcomb at 1-800 766 0449

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Please also visit the www.mywinepal.com website and read the latest article on signature grapes and wines of South America, and enter to win 1 of 4, $20 Marquis Wine Cellars gift cards!

More Wineries to Check at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival #VPIWF

As I mentioned in my earlier blog article, the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, has a PDF brochure now available. It  has a listing of all the wineries attending this year. I started to point out some wineries to visit at the International Festival tasting, but needed this second article to finish off the list.  I already covered Spain, Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, and BC.  Although I may not mention each winery listed, I still suggest trying them as you may find a wine you love.

Wines from Germany

Germany is well-known for their rieslings.  In their Qualitätswein mit Prädikat rating system. You have:

  • Kabinett
  • Spätlese
  • Auslese
  • Beerenauslese
  • Trockenbeerenauslese and
  • Eiswein

With increasing level of sweetness.  But don’t forget that Germany also produces wines from Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir,  Scheurebe, Bacchus, and Gewürztraminer (and more). Bürgerspital Estate would be one winery to try as they do have a wide range of varietal wines to try.  It is also amazing to consider how steep the slopes are where they grow their grapes; check out the picture I included from their website. Schloss Schonborn is another premium winery, has a wide range, and a sparkling wine.

Wines from Italy

In Italy, the first in the list is Antinori.  This is a large, well-known, and regarded winery, that has it’s winery in Italy, but also wineries in California and Washington state.  Their innovations played a large part in the “Super-Tuscan” revolution of the 1970s. They are well-known for their launch of Tignanello, a barrique-aged wine from the Tignanello vineyard that contained not only Sangiovese, but also Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, which meant that it was ineligible for the Chianti Classico appellation.  This wine, plus Sassicaia from another Tuscan winery, helped to bring about the Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) classification in Italy. Needless to say, if they are pouring Tignanello, you should try it.

Accordini Igino is from the Veneto region (NorthEast) of Italy, famous for Valpolicella and Amarone. If you have never tried an Amarone, you should be in for a treat.  Amarone is a rich, dry red wine made from the partially dried grapes of the Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes. The drying process concentrates the remaining sugars and flavors in the grapes to produce a full-bodied wine with lots of flavour. Consider an Amarone for a special dinner.

Beni di Batasiolo is from the Piedmont (NorthWest) corner of Italy.  Beni di Batasiolo is quite well-known for their off-dry Moscato d’Asti, but they do have a wide range of red and white wines.  On the red side, we may be treated to a Barolo, Barbaresco, or Barbera d’Alba.

Ca’ del Bosco is a winery from the Lombardi region of Italy. They are a relatively new winery, who is on the leading edge of the exciting new wave of Italian wine producers, making top-quality sparkling and still wines.  I checked their website and they do have quite a range of sparkling wines, that I am looking forward to tasting.

Wines from New Zealand

New Zealand and BC are quite similar.  We both have been producing wines from the noble grapes starting the 1970s.  We are both also cool-climate wine producers, and I think make some very nice Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Astrolabe, Giesen Wine Estate, Man O’War Vineyards, Mud House Wines, and Sacred Hill Wines are wineries that you may not have heard of, but they all are very good producers.  Try Astrolabe‘s Sauvignon Blanc . I can recommend the Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008. When I tried it last year it had a range of smoky, cherry, and leafy aromas. Wild flavours on your palate with cherry, oak and strawberry flavours.  Also try Mud House’s Pinot Gris.  I also recommend trying the Giesen “The Brothers” Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2008. Again from a past tasting, it had lots of herbal and gooseberry aroma. Bracing acidity with green flavours.

In August 2010, I was able to meet with Man O’ War winemaker, Mr. Duncan McTavish. At that time I recommended his Man O’ War Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 and his red blend made with Merlot / Cabernet / Franc / Malbec 2008.  The winery also has a premium level of wines called their Black label wines.  They are named after great battleships or classes of battleships.  Hopefully Duncan will be bringing his  Valhalla Chardonnay, Dreadnought Syrah, and Ironclad Bordeaux blend. Read my MyWinePal Meets Man O’ War article here.

Wines from Portugal

The G7 Wines of Portugal group visited Vancouver a few months ago, introducing us to the still white and red wines of Portugal, and of course their wonderful port.  Aveleda has a variety of labels: Casal Garcia, Aveleda Fonte, Quinta da Aveleda, Aveleda Alvarinho, Charamba, Follies and Adega Velha. You may be most familiar with their Casal Garcia Vinho Verde, “green wine”.  Vinho Verde, comes both as a red and a white wine, but I think only white wines have reached BC.  Vinho Verde is a very refreshing and versatile white wine that has a bit of effervescence to it. Try it with some seafood. They also have a Follies line of wines. I was fortunate to taste their Follies Cabernet Sauvignon / Touriga Nacional (30/70%) 2008 (~$16). It was one of my favorite wines from the G7 tasting. Violets, black fruit, spice and mint aromas. Full bodied. Good fruit / tannins balance. Purple fruit flavour with a dry tannic finish.

Quinta do Crasto is well-known for their ports here, and will hopefully show us their range of still red wines. There are a few of their red wines currently available through the BCLDB, but there are many more to show. Their single varietal Touriga Nacional and their Touriga Roriz should be interesting to taste.  These are two of the indigenous grapes to Portugal that go into the blend for port. The most expensive ports are primarily made from Touriga Nacional. It has aromas and flavours of violets, blueberries, black fruits, and spice. A grape that produces a very full-bodied wine. Touriga Roriz is the most widely grown grape in Portugal.  It has cherry, jam, blackberry and spice on the nose. The grape has high tannins, and can age for a long time. Quinta do Vale Dona Maria is another producer of both port and still red wines to check out at the festival. Symington, Fonseca Guimaraens and Taylor Fladgate are famous port producers.  You should visit all of them, but maybe wait toward the end of your tasting session as these ports could overpower your palate for white and red still wines.

Wines from South Africa

South African wines are a bit of Old World and New World style put together.  People tend to have strong feelings about South African wines, either for or against.  Many of their wines are in my opinion built for drinking together with food.  We are lucky to have some premium South African producers at the Festival.  Boekenhoutskloof produces some great red wines from entry level to premium.  On the entry level they have The Wolf Trap, which is a blend containing syrah, mourvedre, and viognier. You get spice, structure, and perfume from these three grapes respectively.  On the premium, hopefully we will have a chance to try their Boekenhoutskloof Collection Syrah.  On the label you will notice 7 deck chairs, which I was told represents each one of the winery principals. It is quite a process to produce this wine which is fermented with native yeasts.  Here is the description from BHK’s website:

“In 2008 the fruit was harvested over an one week period starting on February 25st. The complexity of this wine also benefits from the diversity in grape maturity from the different picks. The fruit is kept in the cold room overnight before it gets sorted and crushed into concrete fermenter. A small percentage of whole bunches were put into the bottom of the tank of some batches to get a slight effect of carbonic maceration. After 4 days of cold soaking, the fermentation starts by only using native yeasts. The primary fermentation is done within two and a half weeks with the temperature that peaks at around 29°C. During the fermentation the wine gets a delestage 2 – 3 times per day. Pigeage was never done on this Syrah. It also received a postfermentation maceration for another week before being pressed to 2nd filled barrels to undergo MLF. After 18 months in barrel the wine gets a light egg-white fining and racking before its final 9 months in oak.”

Graham Beck Wines produce a wide range of wines, from sparkling to dessert to white, rose, and red wine.  Graham Beck also has a social conscience and opened the Graham and Rhona Beck Skills Centre near Madeba in Robertson. Part of an extensive and innovative social development program, the centre aims to facilitate skills development for the long term upliftment of the farming community in the Breede River Valley.  They also are supporters of the environment. You can read about Graham Beck’s Biodiversity drive here. I have enjoyed their Game Reserve Shiraz, Game Reserve Chenin Blanc, and their Méthode Cap Classique Brut NV sparkling wine in the past.  Glen Carlou‘s Syrah and Chardonnay has won many awards from around the world.  Their Syrah 2004 was awarded John Platter’s Wine of the Year in 2006.  Their wine is reasonably priced, is a general listing in the BCLDB, and in my opinion a great deal.

Wines from the USA

There are plenty of wonderful wines from the USA. From Oregon there is the solid King Estate.  They are well known for their excellent Pinot Noir, but I also really like them for their Pinot Gris.  For Washington State, you will want to try Columbia Crest.  The Columbia Crest 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, was Wine Spectator’s No. 1 Wine in the World for 2009. Also I’ve tried their H3 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 and really enjoyed it (Horse Heaven Hills = H3).   There are several California wineries to choose from.  If you like big, jammy Zinfandels, I would expect to see the wide range that are produced by RavenswoodCaymus Winery and Clos Du Val are two cult level wineries for Sauvignon Blanc. Another good producer of Cabernet Sauvignon at a lower price point is Louis M MartiniRodney Strong (both their white and red wines are excellent), Robert Mondavi, and Stag’s Leap are also excellent producers of wine.  Give them each a try.

I could keep going on about all these wineries, but I think I’ll stop with this.  If you have any favorite wineries, please let me know, and go out and enjoy the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival!!!

GERMANY ITALY
Balthasar Ress Antinori
Bürgerspital Estate Azienda Vitivinicola
Deinhard Accordini Igino
Henkell Badia a Coltibuono
Schloss Reinhartshausen Bastianich / La Mozza
Schloss Schonborn Beni di Batasiolo
St. Urbans-Hof Fontanafredda
Mionetto
Pasqua
GREECE Rocca Delle Macìe
Boutari Tenuta Sant’Antonio
Santa Margherita /
Ca’ del Bosco
ISRAEL Tedeschi
Galil Mountain Winery /
Yarden
NEW ZEALAND
PORTUGAL Astrolabe
Aveleda Giesen Wine Estate
Blandy’s Madeira Kim Crawford Wines
Fonseca Guimaraens Man O’War Vineyards
Quinta do Crasto Mud House Wines
Quinta do Vale Dona Maria Oyster Bay Wines
Sogrape Vinhos Sacred Hill Wines
Symington – Dow’s Port Stoneleigh
Symington – Graham’s Port
Taylor Fladgate / Croft
USA
CALIFORNIA
SOUTH AFRICA Bonterra Vineyards
Boekenhoutskloof Caymus Winery
Durbanville Hills Clos Du Val
Graham Beck Wines Delicato Family Vineyards
KWV Wines Francis Ford Coppola
Presents LLC
Nederburg
Glen Carlou
J. Lohr Vineyards
& Wines
Louis M Martini
Miner Family Vineyards
OREGON Quady Winery
King Estate Ravenswood Winery
Ridge Vineyards
Robert Mondavi Winery
WASHINGTON Rodney Strong Vineyards
Columbia Crest Signorello Estate /
Hedges Family Estates / Edge Winery / Fuse Wines
Snoqualmie Vineyards Stags’ Leap
Trefethen Family
Vineyards
Truchard Vineyards
Wente Vineyards

Here is the download link for the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival brochure.  Enjoy!

Boekenhoutskloof

Wines of South Africa Event in Vancouver

I received this note from the Wines of South Africa (WOSA) and I thought I’d pass it along to you. In celebration of the World Cup happening in South Africa, South African wines are going to be celebrated as well in June. Below is the note I received. I hope you get a chance to try some South African wines during the World Cup. South Africa is known as the Old World of the New World. Their wines have the “fruit” that you associate with other New World wines, like from California or Chile, but they also have some of the restraint, tannic structure, and earthiness of Old World wines, such as from France and Spain. There are some excellent producers in the list of wines below, such as Boekenhoutskloof, Graham Beck, and Glen Carlou. Enjoy the World Cup!

The Announcement from WOSA:
On Friday, June 11th 2010, a unique South African wine tasting will be held at the 39th & Cambie Signature Liquor Store. Open to the public, this event will sample high quality and value of South African wines paired with savoury bites and a complimentary mini spa. The food will be prepared by Hart House Restaurant’s Kris Kabush and the complimentary mini spa treatments are from Spa Utopia.

The event at 39th & Cambie will feature a dozen stellar wines:

Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon 111526 $ 12.99
Sebeka Cabernet/Pinotage 793067 $ 12.99
Spier Chenin Blanc 659037 $ 13.95
K.W.V. Roodeberg Red 7187 $ 14.99
Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap 138479 $ 14.99
Excelsior Shiraz 183995 $ 15.99
Bellingham Sauvignon Blanc / Chardonnay 848622 $ 14.99
Boekenhoutskloof Porcupine Ridge Syrah 592873 $ 17.99
Saxenburg Guinea Fowl Red Blend 316992 $ 18.99
Graham Beck Game Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 40428 $ 19.99
Glen Carlou Grand Classique 153882 $ 19.99
Thelema Mountain Red Wine 487967 $ 24.95

These wines will be shown to their best advantage paired with tasty bites prepared by Hart House’s talented Executive Chef, Kris Kabush. In addition to indulging their tastebuds, guests can also enjoy an onsite spa experience from Vancouver ’s much-loved Spa Utopia. Spa Technicians will give each guest a relaxing five-minute mini treatment. The combination of good wine, savoury food, and a turn in a massage chair is sure to help iron the wrinkles out of your day!

In conjunction with the month-long promotion, Wines of South Africa is also offering a deluxe prize package featuring Spa Utopia and the Pan Pacific Vancouver. The winner will enjoy a $225 spa gift certificate, lunch for two, and one night’s accommodation at the luxurious Pan Pacific all valued at $1000.

For details, and to enter the draw, visit http://www.wosa.co.za.

Wines of South Africa Consumer Tasting

Friday, June 11 2010

3:00 – 7:00 pm

BCLDB 39th & Cambie Signature Liquor Store

5555 Cambie Street, Vancouver