Spring Winemaker’s Dinner With Howling Bluff May 15

Do you like BC wine?  Have you ever attended a BC Wine Appreciation Society event, such as this excellent sounding winemaker’s dinner with Howling Bluff?  The menu and wines look fantastic.  Check it out and sign up if you are salivating.

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BCWASThe BCWAS is delighted to announce our 2017 spring dinner! This dinner is all about the awards. Glowbal at Telus Garden has won awards for architecture and design as well as – importantly – the food. We think it will be a great place to host owner Luke Smith of Howling Bluff Estate Winery. Luke has won too many wine awards to mention here: in addition to two Lieutenant Governor’s Awards, he’s also garnered several Gold medals in Canadian and international competitions. Join us as we beat the winter blues! (After this winter, the blues will take a lot of beating!)

The Chef at Glowbal Telus Garden has crafted a menu especially for us:

Hamachi Crudo
Meyer Lemon, Fennel, Dill, Grapefruit
2015 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Roasted Lamb Loin
Charred Cipollini Onion and Seabuckthorn Berry Relish
Wild Mushroom Crumb, Wild Stinging Nettle, Puffed Huckleberry Jus
2013 Three Mile Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir

Charred Yarrow Meadows Duck Breast
Spring Peas, Morel Mushrooms, Smoked Fingerling Potatoes
2013 Century Block Pinot Noir

Slow Cooked Beef Tenderloin
Crispy Bone Marrow, Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Tart
Baby Spinach, Cherry Bordelaise Sauce
2012 Sin Cera (blend of Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot)

Seared Foie Gras, Dark Chocolate, Rye Cake, Beet Root
2009 Fort Summa Quies Pinot Noir dessert wine

Alternatively, for vegetarians we have something special as well:

Truffled Arancini
Meyer Lemon, Fennel, Dill, Grapefruit
2015 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon

Roasted BC Mushrooms
Charred Cipollini Onion and Seabuckthorn Berry Relish
Wild Mushroom Crumb, Wild Stinging Nettle, Puffed Huckleberry Jus
2013 Three Mile Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir

“Peas & Carrots”
Spring Peas, Slow Cooked Baby Carrots, Morel Mushrooms, Smoked Fingerling Potatoes
2013 Century Block Pinot Noir

Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Tart
Creamed Spinach, Crispy Walnuts, Soubise
2012 Sin Cera (blend of Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot)

Sorbet Trio
2009 Fort Summa Quies Pinot Noir dessert wine

Howling Bluff Estate Winery

Date: Monday, May 15, 2017
Time: 6:30pm (please arrive earlier to be seated)
Place: Glowbal at Telus Garden, 590 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
Price: $159 Members / $174 Guests via Interac e-transfer to info@bcwas.com
OR $165 Members / $180 Guests via Paypal (below)
​Important things to note:There will be pre-arranged seating at this dinner. When you sign-up, e-mail us at info@bcwas.com and let us know your chosen dinner companions, and we will do our best to fit everyone in.​

Members $165.00 CAD
Non-Members $180.00 CAD

​Alternatively, cheques can be mailed to: BC Wine Appreciation SocietyPO Box 48912 Bentall Station, Vancouver, BC  V7X 1A8 ​  (Note: Receipt of your payment is required to hold your seat – please notify us by e-mail if you are mailing a cheque.)

2017/2018 BCWAS membership: Join us now, and your membership is good until March of 2018. Only $40 for more than a year of our fun and fabulous events! Click here to become a member of the best wine club in town. http://www.bcwas.com/membership.html

Questions? Contact us at membership@bcwas.com

Please note – there are no paper tickets for our events. Once your purchase is completed you will be added to our attendees list. Please check in when you arrive.

Please make sure you have a safe way home: take transit, call a cab, or ask a friend to be a designated driver. We will have free transit tickets on hand for those who take transit home.

Please note that we are unable to provide refunds. If you purchase a ticket but cannot attend the event, please let us know with as much advance notice as possible and we’ll try to re-sell your ticket, but we cannot guarantee this.

Naramata Bench 2011 Spring Wine Release Reviews

I hope you are having a wonderful Easter weekend.  My Easter weekend started with the Naramata Bench Wineries 2011 Spring Wine Release.  Eighteen wineries from the Naramata Bench were represented.  But also attending were 13 Vancouver area restaurants, pairing an appetizer or two with some of the wines.  A very nice touch.  Most people have food and wine together, so why not at a tasting?  Another nice touch is that most of the wineries brought a barrel of one of their yet-to-be released wines, and anyone who asked could get a barrel sample taste.

Where and what is the Naramata Bench?  This is a raised long, relatively narrow strip of level or gently inclined land that is bounded by distinctly steeper slopes above and below it.  For the Naramata Bench, the area below it is Okanagan Lake.  As the lake is so close the water helps to moderate the temperature for the grapes.  The Bench is located on the eastern side of the lake so that it gets the afternoon and evening sun, and is located just north of Penticton, so it is an easy wine destination to visit when you are in Penticton.

What were my interesting wine and appetizer picks from this evening’s event?

White and Sparkling Wines

  • D’Angelo Estate Winery Viognier 2009. This is the first release I am told of their Viognier. Flowery, peach and sweet spice on the nose.  Light body with peach and honey flavour, and a streak of minerality through it.  Medium length.  A nice first try at Viognier.
  • Elephant Island Orchard Wines Pink Elephant Methode Classique Sparkling Wine 2009.  This sparkler is made from Granny Smith apples with a cassis dosage.  This is a fun wine to drink with friends.  Bright cherry and cranberry nose and flavour.
  • Hillside Estate Winery Unoaked Pinot Gris.  I think this one is 2009 vintage.  Light stone fruit nose.  Medium acidity with red apple and peach flavour.  Nice round mouthfeel.  Something for this summer.
  • Lake Breeze Vineyards Seven Poplars Sauvignon Blanc 2010. Here is a very good example of a New World style Sauvignon Blanc. Pale lemon in colour.  Herbal and asparagus aromas in the glass. High level of acidity up front with herbal flavours.
  • Nichol Vineyard & Estate Winery Gewurztraminer 2009. Pale lemon in colour.  Apple, lychee and cherry blossom nose.  Light body with apple and cherry flavour with a bit of spice on the finish.  A nice dry Gewurztraminer.
  • La Frenz Winery Reserve Chardonnay 2009. Pale lemon in the glass. Lots of vanilla with a hint of eucalyptus / menthol. Nice acidity.  Round mouthfeel with pineapple and spice.
  • Black Widow Winery Pinot Gris 2009. Pale lemon with very light peach nose.  Medium body with light peach flavour and spice on the finish.

Red Wines

  • Nichol Vineyard & Estate Winery Pinot Noir 2008. Light garnet with a nice flowery nose.  Sour cherries and ripe raspberry flavours with spice on the finish.  Medium body and low tannins.
  • Perseus Winery Tempus Syrah 2009. I finally was able to taste some of Perseus’ wines.  I wrote about them in a blog article a few months ago. This syrah is deep purple in colour.  Vanilla, earthy, and dark fruit aromas. It is full bodied with dark fruit and lots of minerality.  Very silky tannins and a long length.
  • Poplar Grove Winery Legacy 2006. Legacy is a Bordeaux blend consisting of 70% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 24% Cabernet Franc. Opaque garnet in colour.  Leather and cherry aromas. Full body with ripe black cherries and vanilla.  Medium tannins with a long length. A very nice wine.
  • Serendipity Winery Pinot Noir 2007. If you haven’t heard of this winery, neither have I.  I found out that this is indeed a new winery to the Naramata Bench, located next door to Therapy Vineyards. This Pinot Noir had a bouquet of roses, vanilla and tea leaves.  Light body with vanilla, strawberries and red cherry flavours.  Low tannins.
  • Van Westen Vineyards Voluptuous Merlot / Cabernet Franc 2007. Opaque puple in the glass. Ripe cherries and vanilla with a hint of cedar on the nose. Full bodied with firm yet smooth tannins.  Ripe black cherry flavour.
  • Van Westen Vineyard Malbec 2009 barrel sample.  This barrel sample is the only opportunity you would have had to try this wine, as it will never be bottled as a single varietal wine.  You will find it in a couple of years coming out in a new Bordeaux blend by Van Westen.  This Malbec was opaque purple. Chocolate, and vanilla on the nose.  Legs on the glass so quite high in alcohol, but the wine was not hot. Very smooth with cherry and chocolate flavour, and I think a hint of cedar.  Nice and round in the mouth.
  • Elephant Island Orchard Wines NV Stellaport Solera Aged Port Style wine. This wine is made from Stella cherries.  It is opaque purple in the glass with cherry and vanilla aromas.  Full bodied and heavy in the mouth.  You know you are sipping something substantial here. Cherry, vanilla and oak flavour.  Very nice. (barrel sample)
  • Howling Bluff Estate Winery Summa Quies Estate Pinot Noir 2009. Pale garnet in colour. Beautiful violets and strawberry aromas. Soft, light bodied, with vanilla, strawberries and ripe cherries on the palate.  Highly recommended.
  • Kettle Valley Winery Merlot 2008. This is one of the barrel sample wines. Opaque purple in colour.  Vanilla and cherry aromas.  Dry but with soft tannins.  Red apples, black cherries and vanilla flavours.  Very nice.

Appetizers

  • O’Douls Restaurant & Bar, oven-dried tomato bruschetta with basil aioli. Lots of tomato, basil and garlic flavour.  Creamy texture with crunchy bruschetta. This was paired with the Black Window Winery Pinot Gris 2009.  The Pinot Gris needed a bit more body and flavour to match with the bruschetta, but a good attempt.
  • Hamilton Street Grill, smoked halibut on crostini with blood orange & olive oil. This was paired with the La Frenz Winery Reserve Chardonnay 2009, and was excellent together.  The smokiness and firm texture of the halibut paired well with the vanilla and pineapple flavour of the wine plus the acidity of the wine kept things nice and fresh.
  • Edible at the Market, citrus marinated side stripe shrimp salad with Fraser Valley watercress, ginger honey & wasabi leaf puree golden char caviar.  A very classy salad.  Went well with the Lake Breeze Vineyards Seven Poplars Sauvignon Blanc 2010. The acidity cut through the richness of this shrimp salad.
  • Westin Bayshore Hotel, spiced lamb kofta with crisp parsnip and blackberry gel. I just enjoyed this dish on it’s own.  The kofta was mildly spiced.
  • Vij’s, garam masala beef curry with coconut green beans. This one was also tried on it’s own at the end of the evening.  I really like the sweet spices from garam masala.  The green beans added a firm texture to the beef, which was quite tender.  The dish was quite spicy.  The suggested pairing was the Poplar Grove Winery Chardonnay 2009.  The La Frenz Winery Reserve Chardonnay 2009 or the Red Rooster Winery Riesling 2010 may have also been good pairings with the curry.
  • The District, house smoked steelhead mousse with Italian crostini. This dish was creamy and smoky.  Delicious on it’s own.  A bit too strong for the Van Westen Pinot Gris.  Again, I may suggest trying this with the La Frenz Winery Reserve Chardonnay 2009.

I did not get a chance to try all the wines and appetizers, but if you were there and found an exceptional pairing, please post a comment.  I enjoy hearing what other people have to say as well.  Enjoy!