Vancouver Foodster Tasting Plates Chinatown on November 23

If you enjoy exploring different parts of Vancouver, and trying out different restaurants, why not buy tickets to Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates in Chinatown?  Details from Vancouver Foodster are below.  Will I see you there?


Tantalize your taste buds at several restaurants in Chinatown. This evening tasting extravaganza goes from 6pm until 10pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates and Tasting Cups for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different types of restaurants throughout the event, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants.

Registration: tba- this is where you will show us your printed or digital tickets and will pick up your Tasting Plates Passports and menus.

Participating Restaurants:



Klaus’s Kaffe Haus

291 E. Pender Street


Twitter: @KandJFoodTruck

Cuisine: Austrian

Klaus’s Kaffee Haus is a unique place offering the best hand-made strudel with assorted fillings (sweet & savory).

lisa lous

Lisa Lou’s Cbocolate Bar

1007 Main Street


Twitter: @Lisa_Lous

Cuisine: Dessert shop

Handcrafted Chocolate, Caramels, Ice Creams, Pastries & Cheesecake complete with Espresso Bar, from scratch Iced Teas, Cold Brew and Floats.


Image result for bodega on main


Bodega on Main 

1014 Main Street



Cuisine: Spanish tapas

Vancouver’s newest Spanish Tapa Bar and Lounge serving traditional Spanish cuisine using our family recipes with a modern twist.



Treasure Green Tea 

227 East Georgia Street

Twitter: @TreasureGreen_T


Cuisine: Chinese Tea House

Second-generation tea master, Olivia Cheung runs the tea shop, Established in 1981 by Olivia’s father, Treasure Green Tea Company is the first authentic Chinese tea shop in Vancouver, they are celebrating 35 years this year.



Le Tigre Cuisine Food Truck

(location to be announced)


Twitter: @LeTigreTruck

Cuisine: Modern Chinese

Modern Asian food truck with kickass dishes from Chef Clement Chan & Chef Steve Kuan .


Propaganda Coffee

209 East Pender Street

Instagram: propagandacoffee

Twitter: @ppgdacoffee


Cuisine: Coffee/Cafe

Stylish cafe featuring Elysian and Phil & Sebastian coffee.


Early-Bird Tickets: $33 per person before November 10, 2016

Advance Tickets: $45 per person after November 10, 2016

Regular Tickets $60 per person after November 20, 2016

Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.

Purchase Tickets Here: 

Vancouver Foodsters Tasting Plates Yaletown on October 15

Tantalize your taste buds at several restaurants in the Yaletown neighborhood downtown Vancouver. This tasting extravaganza goes from 6pm until 9:30pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

tasting plates collage 2

Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different types of restaurants and cafes throughout the event, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants.

If you haven’t been to our previous Tasting Plates events, Novus TV featured one of our previous events on City Lights (view here).

Visit our Tasting Plates site and view our past events, photos and more!

  • Vegetarian options will be available at many of the participating restaurants.
  • Bring along a friend or two, your significant other, your family or come solo.
  • A food networking dinner event connecting Vancouver’s vibrant food community.

Visit each of the participating restaurants at your leisure by walking, bike, moped, car, or carpooling.

Registration: Bella Gelateria Yaletown -this is where you will show us your printed or digital tickets and will pick up your Tasting Plates Cards.

Participating Restaurants: 



1089 Marinaside Crescent



Feature: Pizzeria & Gelataria


Italian Napoletana pizzas, unique Italian desserts married with gelato from award winning Maestro James Coleridge.



1271 Homer St, Vancouver

Twitter: @Xoxolat


Cuisine: Chocolatier


An edible gallery of all things chocolate displaying only the finest of the world’s chocolates, specializing in Single Origin and Estate chocolates, and, treats pairing fun & unusual flavours with chocolate.

ganache 2


1262 Homer St.


Twitter: @ganacheyaletown

Cuisine: Desserts Café


Since opening in 2003, Ganache has established a reputation for its creative modern twists on classical recipes and desserts.




518 Davie Street

Twitter: @krokodilepear

Cuisine: Juicer

This popular Kitislano juicery known for their organic smoothies and cold pressed juices on tap, opening soon in Yaletown.





1039 Mainland Street


Twitter: @romersburger

Cuisine: Burgers

EAT good food. Keep it FRESH. Keep it simple. Be CREATIVE. Let seasons and farmers be our guide. Be good to the PLANET, and all who are on it. LAUGH. SHARE. Do what you do best: with us, it’s BURGERS.

More restaurants to be announced soon


Purchase Tickets Here:


Advance Tickets: $40 per person. $120 for a 4 pack of tickets or $162 for a 6 pack of tickets (get a group of your friends/family together and save by purchasing a 4 pack or a 6 pack). Regular Tickets $50 per person after October 12, 2014.

Note: Eventbrite fee and GST is extra on all tickets purchased online.

Ticket price includes tasting plates at each of the participating restaurants throughout the evening. (Beverages are included at some restaurants which will be noted, you are welcome to purchase wine, beer, cocktails or mocktails at each of the participating restaurants).

Note: ALL Tickets must be purchased in advance online. All ticket sales are final. No exchanges or refunds; however you are welcome to transfer the ticket to another person for the same event if you notify us in advance with name (s) of who will be attending in your place. Event produced by CMI Chat Media Inc. This is an all ages event.

A Valentines Day Chocolate Cocktail

Valentine’s Day is just a little over 1 month away.  Have you started to plan how to pamper your significant other.  Of course a nice dinner and cocktails would be appreciated.  But what cocktail to mix?  How about one that uses chocolate?  Here is a recipe I recently recived in my email.  Give it a try and hopefully your evening will be full of romance.

A Valentine’s Day dinner, Iceberg Vodka’s Chocolate Seduction is sure to impress with rich chocolate and coffee highlights in this drink made for two.

Chocolate Seduction Cocktail

Chocolate Seduction cocktailIngredients:
2 oz. Iceberg Vodka
1 oz. coffee liqueur
1 oz. nut liqueur
1 oz. chocolate liqueur
Fine grated bittersweet chocolate

Combine Iceberg Vodka and liqueurs in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into two cocktail glasses. Top with chocolate.

martins marvelous naturals #GF salami and cookies

I mentioned in my previous post on martin’s marvelous naturals crisps paired with wine that I would be covering other samples that I received. In this case it is their Fig Salami with apricots and chocolate and their Chocolate Chip Cookies. Luckily I inherited a chocolate chip cookie gene from my grandmother!

martins marvelous naturals fig salami and chocolate chip cookies

martins marvelous naturals fig salami and chocolate chip cookies

The Fig Salami

The salami is wrapped in a wax covering.  It was recommended to chill the salami in the fridge before slicing, which I did. A slice into the salami reveals a lot of texture.  You can seed the various seeds, plus chunks of organic, free trade chocolate chips.  The salami also has a wonderful smell of both figs and chocolate.

Peeling off the wax covering and taking my first bite, I got the crunch from the tiny fig seeds, plus the flavour of the fig, and the sunflower seeds.  The second bite had a chocolate chip in.  It is dark chocolate, with the characteristic bitterness of dark chocolate and no sweetness.  This salami is fun to eat.  I’d recommend having it as a dessert with guests after dinner.  Maybe pair a Late Harvest Riesling from Mission Hill or some other favourite BC winery.  Even some Tawny port may be a nice pairing too. My slice was about 1cm thick.  I think that is probably a good size.  I am not sure how it will affect your digestion if you eat too much at once (a veiled hint).

Thinking out loud, you may want to try to make a gluten free cookie with a slice of this in the centre, and two cookies on either side (like an Oreo type cookie arrangement).

Two chocolate chip cookies and a slice of salami

Two gluten free chocolate chip cookies and a slice of fig salami

The Chocolate Chip Cookies

Looking at these cookies, I cannot tell they are gluten free.  They smell nice and chocolately, plus some toastiness from the cookie.  It is not crumbly.  Holds together well.  The dark chocolate flavour is nice.  The flour part of the cookie has no sour or other odd taste that I sometimes get from other gluten free baked products, and the cookie is not too sweet (8g of sugar / cookie). The ingredients are straight forward: fair trade organic chocolate chips, pure oat flour, butter, fair trade organic sugar, buttermilk, baking soda, and sea salt.  Excellent.  I really am going to enjoy these cookies with my morning coffee (organic) and I hope you will too.

martin’s marvelous natural website for more info.

Tasting Plates Vancouver Fall Edition – A Real Cultural Mix

The latest Vancouver Foodster Tasting Plates Vancouver Fall Edition was last week, November 21.  It was the most diverse tasting of food since the Tasting Plates started IMHO.  There were 2 Chinese Tea shops, Moroccan cuisine, a raw oyster bar, a funky night club, a pizza food truck, and more chocolate (you can never have enough chocolate tasting), amongst other venues.  Here are my favourites of the night.

The Electric Owl

This night club on Main Street was quite surprising with their Asian inspired cuisine.  I thougth their Mini Eggplant Sub (a take off of a Vietnamese sub) was very tasty.  I liked the crunchy sub bun.  Lots of flavour, and not too spicy.  Also the Fukuro burger sliders were super ppoular.  I like the wasabi slaw that gave the burger some heat.  And the Mini Sakana Chipu, a Grey Goose battered ling code bite was done right; crispy and not greasy.

Fukuro burger slider from Electric Owl

Fukuro burger slider from Electric Owl

Grey Goose battered ling cod bite from Electric Owl

Grey Goose battered ling cod bite from Electric Owl

Mini eggplant sub from Electric Owl

Mini eggplant sub from Electric Owl

Harvest Community Foods

It started out as a cool night, so walking into Harvest Community Foods, with their steam filled windows was welcome.  They served a bone warming ramen with Fraser Valley pork shoulder and SOLE food radish.

Ramen with Fraser Valley pork shoulder from Harvest

Ramen with Fraser Valley pork shoulder from Harvest

East of Main Cafe

How many Moroccan restaurants can you name in Vancouver?  Well now you can say 1 for sure with the East of Main Cafe.  They offered a tasting plate containing:

  • Kefta skewer with spicy tomato sauce (I liked the tomato sauce)
  • Onion Soup (another bone warmer, with lots of flavour, and not salty as some onion soups can be)
  • Spanish torta with mojo sauce (I think my favourite of the items here. The mojo sauce had a nice smoky flavour to it)
  • Spiced almond labneh with preserved lemon and herb salsa on a pita chip
Tasting plate from East of Main Cafe

Tasting plate from East of Main Cafe

Oyster Express

You can never go wrong with getting a fresh local beach oyster on the half shell, with a squeeze of lemon!

Fresh beach oysters from Oyster Express

Fresh beach oysters from Oyster Express

The Chinese Tea Shop

This was very interesting.  As each wave of people entered the shop, we w0uld sit down and learn a bit about brewing tea the Chinese way.  I learned much about special clay tea pots, and size does matter (the smaller the better btw). Also the temperature of the water matters depending on which type of tea you are serving.  We tried the Cloud Mist Green tea (served at a cooler temperature) and a Mini Tao Black Pu-erh tea (at a higher temperature).

The Chinese Tea Shop

The Chinese Tea Shop

Pazza Rella Pizza Food Truck

This was my last stop of the evening.  I was stuffed like a calzone, but had to try a slice of pizza from their wood fired oven.  My slice was from a Margherita pizza, a blend of olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.  Nice thin crispy crust and flavourful toppings.

Pazza Rella wood burning pizza oven

Pazza Rella wood burning pizza oven

Beta 5

Last but not least was dessert for the evening.  Beta 5 offered a do-it-yourself hot chocolate milk.  They served you a steaming cup of milk, and your choice of a stick containing a block of milk or dark chocolate.  I went the dark chocolate route.  It was very filling.  They also had assorted candies anda  seasonal creampuff too.

Seasonal cream puff from Beta 5

Seasonal cream puff from Beta 5

Port and Chocolate Event with Liberty – Get Your Tickets

I hate to say it, but the cold and rainy weather will soon be upon us.  As such our thoughts move to comfort food and more full bodied wines.  Port and chocolate is a wonderful pairing on those fall/winter season evenings.  Why not try this pairing with the Port & Chocolate event through Liberty Wine Merchants here in Vancouver?  Details are below.  Enjoy!


Liberty Port and Chocolates

Liberty Port and Chocolates


Thursday, September 27th, 2012 | 7:30-9:30pm
At the Vancouver Rowing Club in Stanley Park

Tickets $29.99 at all Liberty Wine Merchants Locations

Sweet Ports, decadent chocolates, raffle prizes and excellent company await. Proceeds to benefit Amateur Sports at the VRC.

Liberty Merchant Company proudly presents its 21st annual Port & Chocolate Tasting. All proceeds from this “Tasting-in-the-Park” event is to benefit the Vancouver Rowing Club’s Amateur Sports Program. To date Liberty has raised over $96,000 for this program.

Vancouver Tasting Plates Kitsilano Edition – Get Your Tickets

Did you have a chance to attend the first 2 Vancouver Foodster Tasting Plates?  The first was held downtown, and the second on Main Street. The Main Street one, the last one, was particularly fun being during summer, so great weather as you venture from restaurant to restaurant.  Here are my downtown, and Main St Tasting Plates reviews to give you an idea of what you can expect.

Enjoying food is a great social experience, so buy a ticket for your spouse, BFF, or anyone else you like to be with.  As many restaurants offer several tasting plate options, you and your friend(s) can select different items then share a nibble of each.  So you get to try more than just what you could on your own.  I always bring a friend.  I hope to see you in Kitsilano!  Here is the tasting announcement, along with a list of participating restaurants. Enjoy.


Tantalize your taste buds at several Kitsilano restaurants! This evening tasting extravaganza goes from 6pm until 9 pm and is presented by Vancouver Foodster.

Each restaurant will be serving up Tasting Plates for guests to enjoy and you will have a chance to visit many different restaurants throughout the evening, meet some new food loving friends, meet the chefs, and learn about each of the participating restaurants.

  • Vegetarian options will be available at many of the participating restaurants.
  • Bring along a friend or two, your significant other, your family or come solo.
  • A food networking dinner event connecting Vancouver’s vibrant food community.
  • Visit each of the participating restaurants at your leisure by bike, moped, car, transit, walking, roller skates, skateboarding or carpooling.

$3 from each ticket purchased will go to support Farm Folk/City Folk

Registration: Chocolate Arts, 1620 West 3rd Avenue (rear parking lot)-this is where you will show us your printed or digital tickets and will pick up your Tasting Plates Cards.

Participating Restaurants

Order tickets via Eventbrite

Tickets: $30 per person (eventbrite fee extra) before September 7, $100 for 4 pak of tickets or $120 for 6 pak of tickets (get a group of your friends/family together and save by purchasing a 4 pak or a 6 pak (eventbrite fee extra) before September 7th.

Tickets $40 per person (eventbrite fee extra) after Sept 7– ticket price includes tasting plates at each of the participating restaurants throughout the evening. A donation of $3 from each ticket purchased will go to support Farm Folk/City Folk. (Beverages are included at some restaurants which will be noted, you are welcome to purchase wine, beer, cocktails or mocktails at each of the participating restaurants).

Trying Wellbrook Winery’s Fruit Wines with Dione’s Chocolates

Dione with her chocolates

It was just last week that I went with a friend to attend the Wellbrook Winery Wine and Chocolate tasting.  The chocolates were hand-made by artisan chocolate maker Dione Costanzo of Dione’s Chocolates from Crescent Beach, BC.  I had not yet been to Wellbrook Winery, but had heard about their wines.  They produce a range of fruit wines, with the fruit coming of course from Beautiful BC.  It was a rather informal affair, where you walked about and chatted with the other attendees, sipping wine, nibbling chocolates, and finding out each other’s favourite pairings.

Our Wine and Chocolate Pairings

  • Kangaroo with fruit compote paired with Wellbrook’s Reserve Blueberry wine.  There is dark chocolate mixed in with the fruit, so this is still a wine and chocolate pairing.  The kangaroo was quite tender, and went very well with the fruit & chocolate compote.  The Reserve Blueberry wine had a bit of smokiness to it, and toned down blueberry flavour.  Quite dry, but without the tannins that you would get in a red grape based wine.  The fruit in the wine with the compote meshed together well.
  • Chicken Mole tart paired with Wellbrook’s Reserve Blueberry wine.  The chocolate in this pairing is in the Mexican mole sauce.  This tart had a wonderful smoky chipotle flavour and medium spice.  I think the consensus amongst the group was that this was the better of the two pairings.  The smokiness of the wine and the chipotle made the magic happen.
  • Wellbrook’s Rhubarb wine paired with Strawberry Delights, and Gourmet bark white chocolate with BC cranberries.  The rhubarb wine was light in body and flavour.  I was expecting this wine to have lots of sourness, but was pleasantly surprised that it was not there.  On the pairings, half of the people liked the strawberry delights and half liked the white chocolate with BC cranberries.  I think the tartness of the cranberries, the creaminess of the white chocolate and the lightness of the rhubarb wine worked well together.
  • Wellbrook winery peach apricot wine

    Wellbrook’s Peach Apricot wine paired with Autumn Spice Ganache, and Gourmet bark milk chocolate with crystalized ginger.  I really enjoyed this wine. It tasted like dried apricots and had a high level of acidity without making you pucker.  It was very fruity and I’d place it as medium bodied. I preferred this wine with the Autumn Spice Ganache.  I liked the sweet spices from the chocolate mingling with the stone fruit flavours, plus the acidity from the wine made the chocolate and spice more flavourful.  The ginger was ok for me, but it did not have enough ginger flavour for me.  I know others mentioned that there was too much ginger for them.

  • Wellbrook’s Ice Apple wine paired with Crescent Beach truffle caramel with sea salt, and green apple truffles.  The ice apple was not as thick and syrupy as a grape-based ice wine, but it still had more body, apple flavour, and sweetness than I would expect from a dry, apple wine. Everyone really liked this wine with Dione’s Crescent Beach truffle.  I think this may be her signature chocolate.  It was also a hit at the previous wine and chocolate tasting I did with her. The green apple truffle was a bit too sour for my taste and did not mesh well enough with the ice apple wine.

At this event, we also had their new wine maker, Mr. Laurent Lafuente, to talk about the fruit wines, and his experiences around the world.  He even gave us a sip of their newly fermenting cranberry wine.  It was quite interesting to taste a wine in mid-ferment.

If you have never been to Wellbrook Winery, they are located at 4626 88th Street, Delta, BC.  I have been told that they have lots of fun tastings and food events during the winter and summer.  Try to get on their email list. And don’t forget Dione’s Chocolates. Probably both are good presents to grown-up friends and family.  Enjoy!

Do You Like Chocolates? And Red Wine? Get Tickets

Who doesn’t like chocolate with red wine?  A wonderful pairing.  I like to pair my 70% dark chocolate wafer, or dark chocolate truffle, with a juicy Merlot.  Maybe a Zinfandel with a raspberry flavoured chocolate truffle would be divine too?

Learn about chocolate, and in some wine pairings events, during the Festival of Chocolates.  Here is information that I received recently about upcoming events.  Enjoy!


2011 Festival of Chocolate expands across the Lower Mainland

Join the Festival of Chocolates for events held from October 15 through to
November 10, across the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Awesome events to experience!

  • Chef Alessandra Quaglia and Chef Jean-Francis Quaglia expand outside the chocolate box with Chocolate and Salsa – the Dance, not the condiment. On November 2, 2011, at Provence Marinaside, Vancouver. Chefs pair these delicious appetizers with three wines: Cocao and Coffee Braised Shortribs, Cocao Butter & Espelette Seared Scallops and a Duck Confit with a Cocao Nib vinaigrette. Following this, a chef’s demo (and tasting!) of mini pot-du-crème shots. To end, a Salsa Dance Lesson, with Ivan from
  • Moving south to White Rock, the Ocean Park Village Pub, and Dione’s Chocolates of Crescent Beach pair up for an evening of fine wines and fabulous chocolates – at only $28 per person for 5 wines, 5 chocolates, and a chocolate infused Village Pub specialty coffee; this is one event that is not to be missed! Dione Costanzo, Dione’s Chocolates, loves the pairing of hand rolled lemon chocolate truffles with a Lindeman’s Shiraz.
  • Moving east to Port Moody, Rubens Chocolate host Chocolate High Teas and Chocolate Fondue – an amazing menu, filled with Belgian Chocolate – and family friendly. The Rubens Chocolate Bistro in Port Moody is delightful, the gelato delicious, and the chocolate fondue delectable. Peter Paul Rubens would be pleased.
  • Moving west to Wellbrook Winery in Delta, wines, chocolates, and chocolate  blueberry infused appetizers are the theme of these events. Chef is pairing lamb, venison, and scallops in the test kitchen. Only $28 per person, another delicious few evenings with chefs, wine, chocolate and chocolate influenced foods.
  • Sinfully The Best Chocolates, in Steveston, is offering complimentary samples every day throughout the Festival. Owner Cathy Cheung says “The Goats cheese and chocolate truffle was inspired by Donahue’s Cheese, Chocolate and Champagne Tasting Seminar in 2010.” The lemon mousse truffle is sinfully luscious. Cathy Cheung, owner, Sinfully The Best, Steveston, says: “The Festival of Chocolate inspired us to create, bake, test, try and finally open our own artisan chocolate shop here in Steveston. We use fresh local fruit, and have regulars popping in every day to taste our newest creations.”

Hundreds of chocolate events and locations over the course of the Fall
Festival of Chocolate – including chocolate spa treatments, chocolate
romance and chocolate pairings galore. Festival Director Dawn Donahue says:
“There are no limits to the use and enjoyment of chocolate – the unsung hero
of the pastry chef, the baker, the home cook, and kids treats – the sinfully
delicious small indulgences that have proven to be a healthy part of
everyday life.”

CTV, in partnership with the Festival of Chocolate, is hosting a contest,
where the prize is an amazing Chocolate Experience. Enter at The Grand Prize includes:

  •  Chocolate pedicure and manicure for two at Absolute Spa in Vancouver
  • Return flight for two from Vancouver to Victoria with Harbour Air
  • Stay two nights at The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria
  • Chocolate high tea for two The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria
  • Private Beer and Chocolate tasting at Spinnakers Gastronomic Brewpub in Victoria

Festival Director Dawn Donahue says “Bringing chocolate and events to the
forefront of culinary tourism, chocolate lovers, and chocolate producers is
so much fun. Working with our team of interns and students seeking work
experience just makes it that much sweeter.”

For a full listing of chocolate events for 2011

Enjoying Blasted Church – Sip + Savour

Image Courtesy Fairmont Herons Restaurant

Wine and cheese.  Always an enjoyable time when paired together.  Today I looked forward to going to Herons Restaurant in Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in downtown Vancouver to try a flight of wines from Blasted Church winery and a pairing of cheeses from The Farm House Natural Cheeses and cheese from the Kootenays and from Salt Spring Island. You too can enjoy Sip + Savour because it takes place daily from 2pm to 5pm (excluding Sundays) at a cost of just $35.95.

Mark Wendenburg with a bottle of Blasted Church wine

Walking into Herons, I looked for an empty wine glass and a table with some wines to taste.  With my luck, the table I picked had the new wine maker from Blasted Church, Mr. Mark Wendenburg, pouring wine. Mark Wendenburg left Sumac Ridge Winery after working with them for18 years. Mark was a born and raised Penticton, and has travelled around the world, getting trained in Germany, and then making wines in New Zealand and Australia before settling back in the Okanagan. Mark is a very friendly person and I enjoyed speaking with him for a long time about wine making style, terroir, and more.

White Wines

The white wines I tasted were all fresh and fruit forward. Perfect for the summer, which I am told should arrive soon!

Pinot Gris 2010 ($19.99). I was told by Mark that their Pinot Gris always has a bit of Viognier blended in. This vintage had 8% added to the Pinot Gris. Pale lemon in colour.  Light peach and apple aromas.  High acidity but still round mouth feel. Medium body.  Flavours of ripe tropical fruits.

Blasted Church Pinot Gris on ice

Chardonnay Musque 2010 ($17.99). The Chardonnay Musque grape is a unique clone of Chardonnay that was pioneered in the Niagara Peninsula by Château des Charmes’ founder Paul Bosc. It has the Muscat character, which is very aromatic and an aroma of oranges.  This wine was pale lemon in colour. Very aromatic of oranges and flowers. Medium body, dry and medium acidity.  Juicy fruits of lemon and tropical fruit on the palate, also a bit of vanilla.  A nice long, dry finish.

Mixed Blessings 2010 ($17.99). This is the third vintage of this wine, and each vintage is made of a unique blend of white grapes. This vintage was made with Riesling and Gewurztraminer.  Nice aromatic nose. Green and stone fruits.  Off dry with a slight green, herbal flavour.  Light body with medium acidity and light spice to finish. Nice.

Gewurztraminer 2010 ($16.99). Pale lemon in the glass. Flowers and lychee greet your nose. High acidity with flowers,lychee and bonbon flavours.  Light body and has a nice balance of roundness with acidity in your mouth. Another nice wine!

Hatfield’s Fuse 2010 ($17.99). This is a blend of white grapes including Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer. Light lychee and herbal nose.  Round mouth feel with a nice balance of acidity.  Juicy fruit gum flavour.

Rose and Red Wines

Blasted Church has a wide range of reds from rose and lighter bodied Pinot Noir, up to a full bodied Bordeaux Blend.

Rose 2010 ($17.99). This rose is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.  Usually I expect a single varietal, like Pinot Noir or Merlot, so I was very interested to taste this rose. Very pale cherry colour. Nice strawberry aromas.  Raspberry leaf, strawberry, and capsicum flavours.  High acidity and spicy on your palate. Light body and long length.  This wine packs a punch with 14.9% alcohol, so beware as you sip this one on the patio.

Pinot Noir 2009 ($24.99). I am a Pinot Noir fan and I think that the Okanagan produces some nice Pinot Noir wines. This wine was a bit Burgundian in style. Pale cherry colour, with a smoky, earthy nose.  Between a light and medium body with more smokiness and earthiness on the palate, along with cherries.  Low tannins with medium acidity. Dry with medium length.

Blasted Church Cabernet Merlot and blue cheese

Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot ($25.99). Deep garnet in colour. Ripe, dark fruit, vanilla, capsicum and pencil lead aromas. Medium body round and soft in your mouth with juicy ripe fruits, cherries and vanilla. Also a bit on spiciness on the finish.  Long length.  This wine tastes sweet, but it is just the juiciness of the fruit. Nice.

Nothing Sacred 2008 ($39.99). I’m not sure why the name, but the label shows a dead goat with it’s legs up in the air! This is a premium Bordeaux blend comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Each parcel of fruit was processed and vinified separately.  After vinification, the wines went into their finest oak barrels and aged separately until a final blend was determined. Deep garnet in the glass. Ripe dark fruit, vanilla and dark chocolate nose. Full body with cassis, plums, and opulent vanilla flavours.  Dry with medium tannins and soft acid.  Try this wine with a steak on your barbeque this long weekend.

Artisan Cheese

To pair with several of Blasted Church’s wines were artisan cheese by The Farm House Natural Cheeses, plus an Alpindon cheese from the Kootenay’s and a  “Beddis Blue” from Moonstruck Organic Cheese on Salt Spring Island.

Alpindon cheese with Blasted Church Pinot Gris

The Alpindon cheese was paired with the Pinot Gris. This is a hard cheese, slightly creamy and salty, with a bit of crunchiness to it. A bit of pungency but still quite mild for most people. It went nicely with the pinot gris.

I checked up on this cheese via the Internet and found that it is made by the Kootenay Alpine Cheese Company in Creston, BC. They describe the Alpindon cheese as “a firm cheese carefully modeled after French Beaufort d’Alpage. Following centuries old tradition this cheese is hand-rubbed and made only with milk from summer pastures. It exhibits a smooth nut flavour, a complex finish, a rich golden interior and a dark textured rind. Additional aging concentrates its flavours, deepens its complexity, and increases the sweet crystals that develop throughout the body of the cheese.”

Variety of Cheeses from Farm House Natural Cheeses

The Farm House Natural Cheeses‘ Farm House cheddar was paired with the Chardonnnay Musque. This cheddar felt medium aged to me with some nice nuttiness, a bit of cheddar sharpness, and low in salt. It is hard for a cheddar not to pair nicely with any wine, and this one matched well. A drop of sweet chutney was added to the cheese so you had some sweet, sharp, nutty, and salty flavours to go with the Chardonnay Musque. I spoke with I believe Debra Amrein-Boyes, who is one of only twelve people in western Canada and the US who has been inducted into the prestigious French Cheese Guild, the “Guilde des Fromagers Confrerie de Saint-Uguzon“.  I was very interested to hear how they made one of their blue cheeses, and her description of their camembert cheese.  They are located in Agassiz, BC, so I hope to make a pilgrimage to their Fromagerie before the summer is out, see her contented cows and try more of her fabulous cheeses.

The last cheese paired was the  “Beddis Blue” from Moonstruck Organic Cheese onSalt Spring Island. Very creamy with a mild bite. A drop of honey made by bees kept on the roof of the Fairmont Waterfront hotel, was added to this blue cheese.  It was a very interesting flavour combination.  I’ve never mixed honey and blue cheese, but it works and paired nicely with the fruitiness and acidity in the Cabernet Merlot blend.

If you are a fan of bees and honey, the Fairmont Waterfront hotel does offer their guests a guided Herb Garden & Honeybee Tour. Also if you are a chocolate fan, try the hotel’s honey truffles, the “Bee’s Knees”. The truffles, created in partnership with British Columbia’s legendary chocolatier, Rogers’ Chocolates, are offered in milk and dark chocolate and feature flavour notes of butterscotch, vanilla and cinnamon.

Have a great summer, enjoying some wine and cheese on your patio!