Belated Celebration of Vancouver Foodster’s Tasting Plates 5th Anniversary

It was Vancouver Foodster‘s 5th Tasting Plate Anniversary on March 8, and Richard went all out to impress us with the participating downtown venues.  We started off with a sip of red and white Chilean wine at Marquis Wine Cellars.   A celebratory drink for a celebratory occasion.

Our Tasting Plates crawl took us to visit:

By the time I visited all the venues, I was thoroughly, pleasantly stuffed.

What did I get to Sample?

Marquis Wine Cellars

  • Terrapura 2015 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($20.78 + tax) – A full bodied round, ripe, soft dark-fruited wine.
  • Terrapura 2014 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc ($19.04 + tax) – Exhibiting lots of New World tropical and herbal character.

Both wines are reasonably priced at Marquis, and easy to enjoy.

Terrapura Chilean wines at Marquis Wine Cellars

Terrapura Chilean wines at Marquis Wine Cellars

Ten Ten Tapas

  • Octopus Conserva,
  • Mushrooms on Toast and
  • Salmon Mi Cuit

Ten Ten Tapas is a bit hidden at the base of the Burrard bridge along Beach Avenue, but should not be missed.  They created some very nice tapas for us to enjoy.  In particular, I really liked the Salmon with the dill, as those tastes always go well together.  The octopus was also quite nicely; not over-done which made it soft to chew.

Ten Ten Tapas Octopus Conserva, Mushrooms on Toast, and Salmon Mi Cuit

Ten Ten Tapas Octopus Conserva, Mushrooms on Toast, and Salmon Mi Cuit

Meinhardt Fine Foods

  • Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad- tahini, lemon, parsley, red onion
  • Mushroom Leek Soup- crispy leeks, cream, truffle oil
  • Prosciutto & Brie “Sandwich”- fig crostini, arugula, aioli
  • Zesty Lemon Bar- pate sucree base, fresh raspberries
  • Superfood SweetHARDT- vegan, paleo, chocolate heart

This was my last stop, and I was already stuffed from Patron Tacos & Cantina.  But nevertheless, devoured these tasty tasting plate dishes.  The food was all very healthy.  I really enjoyed the roasted cauliflower and chickpea salad.  Roasted cauliflower has such nice flavour combined with the texture from the chickpea.

Meinhardt Fine Foods Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad, Mushroom Leek Soup, Prosciutto and Brie sandwich, lemon bar and chocolate heart

Meinhardt Fine Foods Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad, Mushroom Leek Soup, Prosciutto and Brie sandwich, lemon bar and chocolate heart

Patron Tacos & Cantina

  • Sopecito – Handmade thick corn tortilla, topped with beans & shredded chicken. Garnished with green tomatillo sauce
    lettuce, feta cheese, sour cream and Pico de Gallo.
  • Flautita – Deep fried corn tortilla filled with our delicious “BARBACOA”. Topped with green tomatillo sauce, sour cream and feta cheese.
  • Enchilada – Corn tortilla with shredded beef. Topped with red sauce. Garnished with sour cream and feta cheese

This was probably my favourite stop during the Tasting Plates event.  I know good Mexican food, having travelled extensively in the Southwestern USA very often.  The food at Patron would measure up to any food that I have eaten in Phoenix, Tucson, or El Paso.  All freshly made sauces.  Not made too spicy so the gringos here in Vancouver can enjoy, but they do provide you with a variety of hot sauces to add the heat if needed.

Patron Tacos & Cantina Sopecito, Flautita and Enchilada

Patron Tacos & Cantina Sopecito, Flautita and Enchilada

Saj & Co.

Flowers (Breadbowl hummus salad with different flavours and different breads!)

Eating here I felt very healthy. The salad bowl was edible. Again more chickpeas; this time made into hummus.  Really fresh Middle-eastern food.  This place is very tiny so if you are going to go during the day for your lunch break at work, I’d suggest going before the noon-time rush.  The small, round chocolate cakes were also very good.  Not sweet.

Saj & Co. Breadbowl with hummus salad and chocolate cake

Saj & Co. Breadbowl with hummus salad and chocolate cake

Tartine Bread & Pies .

Apple Pie Three Ways:

  • Salted Caramel Apple
  • Dutch Apple
  • Blackberry Apple

If you like pies, then give Tartine a try.  I am partial to apple pies, so my favourite was the salted caramel apple pie, but all the pies were done very well.  I didn’t have time to enjoy them with a cup of coffee, but maybe on my next trip there on my own I will.

Tartine Bread & Pies Apple Pie Three Ways

Tartine Bread & Pies Apple Pie Three Ways

Tofu Shirataki Vietnamese Salad Recipe – Gluten Free

Tofu Shirataki Vietnamese Salad

Tofu Shirataki Vietnamese Salad

I was emailed this recipe and thought I’d pass it along to you.  It uses Tofu Shirataki noodles, which are made with tofu, and are gluten free.  I haven’t made this dish yet, but the ingredients look good, and should pair nicely with a BC Pinot Gris or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  I’ve listed a few after the recipe.  Enjoy.

Tofu Shirataki Vietnamese Salad Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

2 pkg House Foods Tofu Shirataki Spaghetti shape
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 cup cucumber, thinly sliced into half moons
1 cup cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 cup shredded lettuce
2 scallions, sliced
chopped peanuts
pinch chili flakes (optional)
cilantro
mint

For Dressing:
1-1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
juice from 1 lime

DIRECTIONS:

For Salad:
Prepare Tofu Shirataki according to package instructions. Cut into manageable size. Add noodles, carrot, cucumber, chicken, lettuce and scallions in a large bowl and mix well.
Top with peanuts, mint, cilantro and chili flakes (if using).
Add dressing just before serving.

For Dressing:
Combine all ingredients in small ramekin and stir.

A Few Wine Selections

You can find a some of these wines at Everything Wine. The BC wines are available online from the wineries.

Haywire Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris 2012, BC ($24.49)

Harper’s Trail Pinot Gris 2013, BC ($18.90)

Forrest Wines “The Doctors” Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ, 2012 (BC$19.95 SPEC)

Marisco Vineyards, The Kings Favour Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ, 2013 (BC $19.99 )

Come Taste Oyster Bay Wines at Seasons in the Park

Oyster Bay Brut and Rose sparkling wines

Oyster Bay Brut and Rose sparkling wines

This email reached me recently about one of the upcoming wine tastings, of Oyster Bay Wines from New Zealand, at Seasons in the Park Restaurant in Queen Elizabeth Park.  The restaurant has a spectacular view of downtown and the North Shore mountains, day or night.  Oyster Bay Wines, and New Zealand wines in general, are bright and are great for spring and summer enjoyment. So check out the announcement, buy your tickets and enjoy!

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Spring is upon us and summer is just around the corner!

Come celebrate the beginning of Vancouver’s beautiful, sunny weather by joining us for a tasting of Oyster Bay Wines and delectable canapes paired perfectly by our chef team on April 15. A wonderful way to ring in the spring!

Described by leading London wine writer, Michael Kime, as “pretty close to being the elusive stuff of dreams“, the wines of Oyster Bay are the proud progeny of a single-minded passion — to capture the pure fruit flavours of one of the world’s great wine-growing regions.

  • Sparkling Rosé
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pinot Noir

Event is on April 15, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Tickets are $35 per person (not including tax & gratuity)

For more information or to purchase tickets, please feel free to contact us!

604.874.8008 or seasonsevents@vancouverdine.com 

Please note: There are no physical tickets for our tasting events. Once your purchase is completed, you will be added to our guestlist. Please check in at the front desk upon arrival. Tasting starts promptly at 6:15pm.

new zealand wine logo

New Zealand Wines Winners in Recent Canadian Wine Awards

2013 WORLD WINE AWARDS OF CANADA

WineAlign’s 2013 World Wine Awards of Canada is a brand new competition yet the judging team are seasoned top wine writers and sommeliers who spent five days blind tasting 1,000 wines!  New Zealand was there to participate, and have some winning wines to share with you. Yes Sauvignon Blanc is in the list, but there are other varietal wines for you to consider, such as Pinot Grigio.

Best of Country

  • Whitehaven Pinot Noir 2011  ( A top quality winery that I never hestitate to recommend.)

Best of variety under $15

  • Monkey Bay Pinot Grigio 2012

Judges’ Choice

  • Giesen  Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Judges’ Choice by Varietal 
Sauvignon Blanc  

  • Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2012
  • Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013
  • Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2012
  • The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Pinot Gris/Grigio

  • Monkey Bay Pinot Grigio 2012

Pinot Noir  

  • Stoneleigh Pinot Noir 2012

Blue Mountain Winery Tasting at Seasons in the Park

Blue Mountain Vineyard and CellarsBlue Mountain welcomes you to experience wines using exclusively estate grown grapes from its South Okanagan vineyard, at Seasons in the Park on July 30, from 6::00 – 7:30pm
This tasting coincides with the release of their first two 2012 vintage wines which will be sporting brand new packaging!
Try a range of wines from their iconic flagship sparkling, the Gold Label Brut, the new 2012 Pinot Blanc and 2012 Sauvignon Blanc and finishing up with the delicious 2011 Pinot Noir. You’ll taste the same great quality that they have become know for with a brand new look!  All wines beautifully paired with canapes thoughtfully prepared by Sous Chef Christopher Tse!

Tasting Line Up

  • Gold Label Brut
  • 2012 Pinot Blanc (NEW RELEASE)
  • 2012 Sauvignon Blanc (NEW RELEASE)
  • 2011 Pinot Noir

 Tickets are $30 per person (not including tax & gratuity)

Seasons in the Park
W. 33rd Avenue at Cambie St.
604.874.8008

For more information or to purchase tickets, please feel free to contact us!

 604.874.8008 or seasonsevents@vancouverdine.com 

Passionate Pairings During Vancouver International Wine Festival

New Zealand flag

New Zealand flag

Kia Ora!  Do you love Pinot Noirs and bracing Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand?  Thinking of buying some event tickets for the Vancouver International Wine Festival at the end of Feb/ start of March?  Think about the Passionate Pairings at the Boathouse in Kitsilano.  I’ve attended the last two years.  Great seafood, paired with great New Zealand wine.  Here is some details from the Boathouse.  Enjoy!

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mud house sauvignon blanc and pinot noir

mud house sauvignon blanc and pinot noir

PASSIONATE PAIRINGS – Vancouver International Wine Festival Eventback by popular demand – Saturday, March 2nd

It’s the ultimate wine and food experience! NZ Wine Growers challenged seven passionate Boathouse chefs to prepare seven inspired dishes to pair with sensational wines from seven New Zealand wineries. Take in the spectacular views of English Bay at The Boathouse at Kits Beach and meet one-on-one with New Zealand winery principals and Boathouse chefs at this popular culinary grazing event. Your challenge is to choose your own favourite Passionate Pairing!
Ticket limit is 8.  $69 per person

BUY TICKETS – MORE INFO

Get into the Festive Spirit with a Wine Dinner at Wild Rice New Westminster

Wild Rice logoWild Rice opened their New Westminster location this past year.  The main location being located at the edge of Chinatown.  I like Wild Rice with their fusion of Asian and European cuisine.  I received this Press Release about their upcoming 5 course wine pairing dinner at their New West location and was very happy to see the high quality of wines they selected from BC and around the world.

Take the skytrain to the New Westminster station and walk across the street to the New West Quay, where you will find Wild Rice, and a great dinner.  Enjoy!

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Executive Chef Todd Bright and Sommelier Andrew Switzer have collaborated to create a stunning five-course wine pairing dinner to kick-off the festive season.

The dinner will be held at the New Westminster location on December 5th starting at 6:30 p.m. and is priced at $75 per person.  Reservations are essential. Please contact caroline@wildricebc.ca to book your seat.

MENU
Tea smoked qualicum scallop, fresh peas and bacon foam
Stift Gottweig Gruner Veltliner (Austria, 2010)
Urban Torrontes (Argentina, 2010)
***
BC spot prawn dumplings in charred onion consommé
Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc – New Zealand, 2010
LaStella Leggerio un-oaked Chardonnay – BC, 2010
***
Sesame crusted steelhead, squid, roasted cauliflower puree and yuzu buerre blanc
Le Vieux Pin Petit Blanc  – BC, 2009
(blend of oaked and unoaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussane)
Botani dry muscato – Spain, 2010
***
Crispy roast pork belly, green onion soubise and pickled apple
Rustico Pinot Noir – BC, 2007
(new world but old world Burgundian style pinot)
Sierra Cantabria Rioja Crianza – Spain, 2007
(one of the top Rioja estates in Spain)
***

Petit fours plate
                Red Bean and White Chocolate Macaroon, Salted Caramel Chocolate
and Raspberry Mousse
              Paradise Ranch Late Harvest Chardonnay – BC,  2008

Wild Rice Modern Chinese New Westminster Location

810 Quayside Drive
in The River Market
778-397-0028
newwest@wildricebc.ca

TASTE Resto-Lounge Opens Downtown – Food, Art, Music

Taste Resto Lounge chandelier and bar

Taste Resto Lounge chandelier and bar

Last week was the opening of TASTE Resto Lounge at 560 Seymour Street, in downtown Vancouver. It is next door to the nightclub, FIVESIXTY, so you may want to have a nibble here before dancing the night away.

On this evening we were served mini versions of the share plate menu items. Upon entering TASTE, you are struck by the red glass chandeliers, giving a Gothic or Bordello type atmosphere, depending on who you ask. At the back of the room is a long table, where you can sit with your friends, and make new friends, while you eat and drink, and view the featured artists’ paintings on the walls.

Sharing Plates Samples

Charcuterie at TASTE Resto Lounge

Charcuterie at TASTE Resto Lounge

We were given tastings of:

  • charcuterie, with a mix of sausages, prosciutto, capicollo, artisanal cheese, and sweet pickled beets
  • house smoked chicken liver pate with capicollo, pickled beets, pesto, onion marmalade on a crostini
  • bacon chutney with pear and brie stack and a chimmichurri sauce on a crostini
  • a salad of roma tomatoes, fresh Bocconcini with diced cucumber and white balsamic pesto

I think my favourite item was the chicken liver pate.  Lots of flavour, and paired nice with a glass of prosecco.  All of the ingredients, I was told, are local and organic by Executive Chef Renaldo Decembrini.

Wine and Other Drinks

The wine list has a range of wines from around the world, but BC wines were missing.  It would be nice to add in one white and one red in the list.  The food and wine list were designed to be complementary and they have some selections with food and wine pairings on a chalk board beside the long table in the back of TASTE.

On the white wine side, you can enjoy a glass of Marisco the Ned Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, full of herbal character, and have with a salad.  The Canti Prosecco as I mentioned to go with the chicken liver pate. Try the Fritz Riesling or the Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc with the charcuterie.

There are 2 Argentinean Malbecs to choose; Pascual Toso  and Dona Paula. I did have a sip of the Marques de la Mancha Tempranillo, very full bodied, lots of dark fruit and very smooth and silky. Definitely would pair nicely with the charcuterie or their house smoked beef tenderloin.

In addition, there are some BC/Canadian beers on tap.  They also invented some cocktails that are meant to pair with their share plates.  I did not have a chance to try these, but maybe on my next visit.

I wish TASTE Resto-Lounge the best of luck in their launch.

Charcuterie menu at TASTE

Charcuterie menu at TASTE

salad of roma tomatoes Bocconcini and cucumber

Salad of roma tomatoes, Bocconcini, and cucumber

TASTE chalk board recommendations

TASTE chalk board recommendations

White Spot Goes With 100% BC VQA Wines

I was pleasantly surprised when I read about White Spot‘s commitment toward promoting BC VQA wines in their restaurants.  I also had seen a tweet about it.  Beside supporting BC wine, White Spot also sources local ingredients, so White Spot is a real home grown success. Their BC VQA wine list is at this link. The wines cover the major varietals of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, and a few others.  All wines are from the Okanagan.  Here is their announcement.

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In celebration of summertime in beautiful B.C., White Spot today unveiled its 2012 seasonal Celebrate BC menu across the province, featuring summer dishes inspired by fresh, local ingredients. The return of Celebrate BC also marks the launch of White Spot’s new VQA wine list, making it the only casual dining chain in the province to offer a 100 per cent B.C. wine selection. “Since the first White Spot restaurant opened in 1928 we’ve been dedicated to using local ingredients in our menu as often as we can,” said White Spot President Warren Erhart. “Almost 50 per cent of White Spot’s ingredients, from tomatoes to potatoes, are locally sourced and we are proud to support the producers that grow delicious food right in our own backyard.” To create White Spot’s Legendary Burgers, fresh-cut fries and famous blueberry pies, more than 675,000 pounds of tomatoes, almost 5,000,000 pounds of Kennebec potatoes and 73,000 pounds of blueberries are used each year – all supplied by B.C. producers. This year the restaurant is deepening its commitment to local food and drink with its 100 per cent B.C. wine list. “By exclusively offering B.C. wines, White Spot boasts a menu that is truly made at home, showcasing the very best our province has to offer,” said Miles Prodan, Executive Director, British Columbia Wine Institute. “The BC VQA designation guarantees 100 per cent B.C. wine. Paired with the Celebrate BC menu, White Spot’s new wine list is the perfect way to toast summer in B.C.” From now until early September, White Spot guests are invited to enjoy delicious new Celebrate BC menu items, including signature creations, like Truffled Mushroom Flatbread, Candied Salmon Cavatappi and Candied Salmon Spinach Salad. Please visit www.WhiteSpot.ca/CelebrateBC to view the complete menu.

Enjoying the Northern Icon, Southern Gem, Concha y Toro Dinner

Northern Gem Southern Icon - Concha y Toro at Blue Water Cafe

Northern Gem Southern Icon - Concha y Toro at Blue Water Cafe

The largest and most well-known winery from Chile in my opinion is Viña Concha y Toro.  This winery has been recognized by many wine publications and has 15 awards as “Winery of the Year” in Wine & Spirits.  They are also acknowledged as “Second most powerful wine brand in the world” according to The Power 100 survey by Intangible business.  Concha y Toro does not rest on their past, but still strives to produce wines of extraordinary expression of contemporary Chile. One iconic wine in particular is particularly nurtured each vintage, “Don Melchor“, led by top wine maker, Enrique Tirado, to produce this wine.  With great anticipation, as part of the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, I arrived at the door of the Blue Water Cafe in Yaletown to sample the carefully crafted and paired coastal cuisine of Executive Chef Frank Pabst with Concha y Toro’s wines.

Leading the tasting is Isabel Guilisasti Gana, the Marketing Director Origin Wines for Concha y Toro and wine maker Tamara Baeremaecker.

Concha y Toro Chardonnay Carmenere and Don Melchor bottles

The Guilisasti family has a long history in Chile and in the wine trade.  Isabel Guilisasti joined Concha y Toro in 2000.  As marketing manager, she is responsible for Concha y Toro’s ultra premium and super premium brands.Tamara joined Concha y Toro in 1998 after receiving her degree in oenology from the Universidad Catolica de Chile. She has worked on many of their premium-brand wines and in 2006 became part of the Don Melchor wine making team.

Our private tasting room at the Blue Water Cafe was laid out as two long table, with each person getting a name card for their particular seat.  It was quite interesting.  Some of the people I sat with were other media, but I also sat with people who were there as they love Chilean wine and Blue Water Cafe.  I had fun chatting with everyone around me.

Our Dinner

Scallop prawn and oyster with Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2009

Our first pairing:

  • Pan seared scallop with fennel basil slaw and kumquat ginger puree, Grilled prawn with garlic and rosemary, mango salsa and avocado, and Smoked Stellar Bayer oyster in brick leaf with white onion grape soubise and toasted hazelnuts. These 3 seafood morsels was paired with Concha y Toro’s Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2009 from the Limari Valley.

I thought the pairing of each seafood, with their own unique flavours and textures, all paired very well with the Chardonnay. The Chardonnay was medium lemon in colour.  A very fruity tropical fruit nose with some vanilla too. Medium plus body with high acidity leaving a prickle on your tongue, but it still had some roundness to it. Full of tropical fruit flavours with vanilla on the finish.  The higher acidity from the wine comes from the cooler coastal Limari Valley.

The scallop was very fresh, seared lightly on the outside and tasted very nice with the citrusy flavour of the kumquat and the fennel flavour of the slaw.  The latin-spiced, grilled prawn with the mango salsa and avocado were nicely complemented by the tropical fruit flavours of the Chardonnay.

White sturgeon with Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere 2009

Our second pairing:

  • Farmed white Sechelt sturgeon with beluga lentils and Berkshire pork cheeks with a mild Madras curry tomato sauce. This was paired with the Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere Peumo vineyard 2009 from the Rapel Valley.

The Carmenere was deep ruby in the glass with a bright rim. Dark fruit, vanilla and very slight capsicum aromas. Very ripe plums, quite spicy with black pepper on the palate. Round and full bodied up front and then lightens up mid-palate.

The sturgeon was soft with fine texture.  The lentils added an earthiness to the dish and the light curry tied the two elements together.  The curry flavour also made a red berry flavour come out of the Carmenere.  Another great pairing.

Bison Churrasco with Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Our third pairing:

  • Marinated bison flat iron steak, grilled and served with cassava root gnocchi, sauteed salsify, eggplant caviar with oregano, and chimichurri sauce.  Our pairing was the Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Puente Alto-Maipo Valley.

This was the youngest Don Melchor in our mini-vertical that Concha y Toro provided to us.  Don Melchor, Chile’s first ultra-premium wine is the only one with 21 vintages to its credit that are prize winning and known by wine critic around the world.  Don Melchor is produced from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape from the Puente Alto vineyard in the Alto Maipo Valley near Santiago.  2008 was a cooler vintage for this wine and it was more restrained than the 2007 vintage.  The 2008 Don Melchor was opaque ruby.  Light red cherries, some stemminess and cassis aromas.   Full body.  Very spicy mid palate with ripe plums and cherry flavours.  Dry with some minerality.  As this wine breathed in the glass the cassis flavour became more prominent. Still a young, tight wine, but one that you could enjoy now, or in another 10 or 20 years.

The Bison Churrasco was a wow dish for me.  It was soft, medium rare.  The Chimichurri sauce with olive oil, parsley, cilantro, salt, and garlic flavours really enhanced the bison flavour.  Red wine loves protein and this held true for the Don Melchor and the bison.  In addition the chimichurri sauce I think helped to tone down the spiciness of the wine.

Wagyu beef shortrib with Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 and 1995

Our fourth pairing:

  • Wagyu beef shortrib braised with merken spice and espresso, sauteed portobello mushroom whipped potatoes, green beans, and braising juices reduced with tamarind. To this we had 2 Don Melchor wines.  A 2007 and a 1995 vintage.

The Don Melchor 2007 came from a warmer vintage than the 2008 vintage and you could smell and taste the more opulence of this wine.  It had lots of plum, vanilla and capsicum on the nose.  Very silky mouthfeel.  Peppery round and dry on the palate, with black cherries cassis and oak flavours, and vanilla on the finish.  A very nice wine.

The Don Melchor 1995 is now 17 years old.  You would expect the colour and fruit flavours to have diminished, which they have to some extent.  The wine has changed to a medium plus garnet colour with very slight bricking on the rim. The aromas are more complex with capsicum, chocolate and dark fruit aromas.  Soft, medium body in your mouth.  Pencil leads and dark fruit flavour with higher acidity.  A very balanced, complex wine.

If you have never had Wagyu beef, you should try it.  It is so soft and so buttery rich.  The shortrib was cooked to perfection wit the beef falling apart easily.  I think the Wagyu beef with the big braised flavours with the espresso needed a full bodied wine, and the 2007 Don Melchor fit the bill.  The fruit from this wine paired with the strong flavours of the beef.  The 1995 Don Melchor to me is not as fruity, with more complex aromas and flavours.  It was not quite as good to me with the Wagyu beef, but I would have loved a plate of cheeses to try with it and savour them both together.

Kalamansi honey cheese cake with Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2008

Our fifth (and last) pairing:

  • Kalamansi honey cheese cake with papaya and strawberry salsa.  Paired with Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2008 from the Maule Valley.

The Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2008 was pear skin in colour.  Honey and peach aromas.  Medium body with honey, spice, peaches, apples and flowers flavours. Medium sweetness.  I think this wine paired nicely with the Kalamansi citrus from the cheese cake and the peachy fruit from the wine.

Blue Water Cafe and Don Melchor

If you have never been to Blue Water Cafe, I hope this review of the food and wine pairing convinces you to enjoy a lunch or dinner with them.  Executive Chef Frank Pabst is recognized for his creative flair and his dedication towards responsible seafood practices.  He has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants throughout Germany and France.  In 2010 he was recognized by Vancouver Magazine as “Chef of the Year” and inducted into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame.  Quite an achievement.

Here is a web link if you would like to find more information about Concha y Toro’s Don Melchor wine,

I really enjoyed this dinner.  All the food and wine were paired wonderfully by the Blue Water Cafe.  I look forward to the next time I sit down and enjoy dinner with friends there.