I found myself last week at the 9th Annual Chef Meets BC Grape event at the Vancouver Convention Centre, not knowing what to expect: with 95 wineries pouring more than 350 wines, it was a daunting feat for even the most determined wine taster.
If swirling, sipping, spitting, starving and scurrying is your game, then maybe you made it through all of the wines in the 2.5 hours that were allotted. I, on the other hand, opted for socializing, snapping photos, snacking and savouring instead!
I was even able to try one of the two Zweigelts at the event - the one I tried being from Kalala Organic Estate. Had I not chatted with the lovely rep at 3CRU (known for their playful labels) about chocolate, it never would've happened! After trying 3CRU's Traveller, (because I associate with the name) it was suggested that I try the Zweigelt to satisfy my love for full flavoured reds. I was already sold on the idea, and even more so when they said it would go with Smoked Gouda - one of my favorite cheeses. This wine is lower in alcohol percentage (11.7%), but you don't miss it once the liquified dark fruits hit your lips - it just means you can drink more and still walk in high heels.
As you can probably tell, I'm typically a red wine drinker, but there are always the few exceptions. At this particular event I found myself fond of Tinhorn Creek's 2012 Oldfield Series 2Bench White (shown above), as well as Laughing Stock's 2011 Pinot Gris, because it was like drinking summer in a glass - fruity, slightly sweet and refreshing.
Sixteen restaurants, from Nk'Mip Cellars Restaurant in Osoyoos, to Edible Canada on Granville Island, prepared a dish to thoughtfully pair with a BC VQA wine of their choice. Some pairings were impeccable, while others, although being individually fantastic, didn't necessarily feel like they coupled well.
Indulge with me:
Sonora Room Restaurant | Scallop Ceviche, Roasted Heirloom Tomato Jam, Ham Roasted Carrot Bilini, Micro Greens
Tableau Bar Bistro | Mushroom & Oxtail Croquette with Oxtail Consommé
Sol Sun Belt Cookery | Harissa Prawns on Arugula Salad with Citrus & Shallot Vinaigrette
All you need is cheese! To make you thirsty for more wine... Thanks Dairy Farmers of Canada.
Seasons in the Park | BC Halibut Carpaccio with Corn, Jicama & Cilantro
Flying Pig | House Smoked Trout with Caviar Creme Fraiche
Edible Canada | Sweet & Sour Duck Meatballs with Crispy Skin & Puffed Quinoa
Cibo Trattoria | Paté Campagnolo
Miradoro | Braised Octopus, Chorizo and Potato
Nk'Mip Cellars Patio Restaurant | Troy Farm Quadra Island Mussel, Roma, Fennel Butter, House Cured Pancetta, Pickled Organic Garlic Scape
Daniel Le Chocolat Belge [highly recommend]
Stay in touch with Kelly, follow her at @kellyjean247 or MarionateOvernight.ca