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!