MyWinePal visits Mistral French Bistro

It was a beautiful day on Saturday, so I decided to have lunch at Mistral French Bistro in Kitsilano. I’d never been there before but have heard that the food is very good. I checked through their website to see that they have 4 Fixed Price menus for lunch. All around the $20 mark, that includes appetizer, main course and dessert. A very good deal in my opinion.

So my selection was the “Provence” lunch ($20). My selections for my lunch were:

Appetizer: Assortment of traditional Provencal appetizers – Mediterranean black olive spread with croutons, Puree of creamed Cod, Anchovy and garlic dipping sauce with crisp celery

Main: Braised lamb shoulder stew with olives Nicoise and seasonal vegetables, house French Fries

Dessert: Dark Chocolate mousse

To the appetizer and Main course, I enjoyed a glass of L’ORANGERAIE Rose 2009. This wine is from Vin de Pays d’Oc, France and is a mixture of 60% Cinsault, 20% Grenache, 20% Syrah. The wine had nice light cherry flavour, nice acidity, and low tannins. This rose went very nice with the Provencal appetizers and balanced the heaviness of the stew.

The appetizers were quite nice. In particular I enjoyed the black olive spread (tapenade) together with the radish. The saltiness of the tapenade and the pepperiness of the radish cancelled each other out, letting more fully enjoy the olive flavour and the crunchiness of the radish.

The braised lamb shoulder stew was quite amazing. Many different flavours merged together. The stew sauce had the herbes de Provence. There were fresh baby carrots and beans as well and turnip that exploded with flavour. The vegetables still had a nice amount of crispness to them and provided nice texture to the lamb.

The chocolate mousse for dessert was fantastic. I enjoyed it with a cup of coffee. A truly enjoyable lunch.

To check out their other fixed price menus, you can click on this link to the Mistral French Bistro. Enjoy!

Zweigelt – A Red to Try

From my last 2 trips to the BC Okanagan, I sampled several red wines made from the Zweigelt grape. Zweigelt isn’t a household name, but I think it should be more well-known. It is a grape conceived in Austria in the 1920’s by crossing Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent. You may say it is now the signature red grape of Austria. It has winter hardiness which is one reason why I think it is becoming more popular in the Okanagan. The name of the grape btw, comes from the Austrian plant-breeder Prof. Fritz Zweigelt.

The wines I tried were all quite full bodied, but did not have the big firm tannins of other varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Some have said that Zweigelt is more similar to Gamay in France.

Some BC producers of Zweigelt are:
– Stonehill Estate Winery
– Kalala Organic Estate Winery
– Hainle Vineyards

– Mistral
– Arrowleaf Cellars

and many more.

My recent review of the Stonehill Estate Winery Zweigelt Reserve 2006 ($19.90). “…had a dark cherry cordial type aroma. Very smooth in the mouth, with more dark cherry cordial and plum flavour. This wine, and grape, has a nice richness to it that makes it go well with a stew over the winter”.

Give a bottle of Zweigelt wine a try and see what you think. Enjoy!