I usually forget to bring my camera when I go out and about, which I typically lament about later as that means I have no photos to accompany my posts. Someone must be slipping Gingko Biloba into my drinks lately, because my memory’s been much better than usual!
I’ll keep the commentary brief. You know what they say; a picture says a thousand words – I’ll spare you the essays!
Tiki Tour of New Zealand
April 25, 2010 – My friend Robert Ketchin of New Zealand Wines kindly allowed me to drop in to the second half of one of the final events during the week of Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, a walk-around tasting of some of the stars of this year’s Festival theme country.
Chef Chris Whitaker and the O’Doul’s team at Listel Hotel did a marvellous job of catering the tasting. My favourite dish of the night was a creamy, heavy wild mushroom risotto that paired perfectly with the New Zealand Pinot Noirs on offer.
Although I enjoyed all the wines, the ones that particularly stood out for me included:
- Elephant Hill Reserve Syrah 2008 and Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2008, both from Hawke’s Bay – super length, tight flavours and a lean elegance that seems to imply aging potential;
- Man O’ War Flagship Dreadnought Syrah 2008 from Waiheke Island – definitely one for the cellar and one to watch for future vintages – I’m sure these young vines will evolve into greatness; and
- Sileni Cellar Selection Cabernet Franc Rosé 2008 from Hawke’s Bay – a fresh and fragrant yet dry and subtle-tasting example of what a good New World rosé should exude.
Humberto Canale Estate Malbec 2008
May 5, 2010 – Not much to say here: The bottle pictured was badly tainted! Alas, that’s the risk one should always consider with wine purchases – make sure you buy from a place with a good return policy!
Luckily, I had a second bottle on hand, which was quaffable: Deep black fruits, roots (licorice, burdock) and medium tannins were the primary flavours I picked up. It was quite different from my initial tasting of this at Playhouse, so I’m not fully convinced this second bottle was free of fault.
I’ve got one last shot available with my third and final bottle on hand, so this story is to be continued… (Here’s hoping for a happy ending!)
VCBW Presents: Women & Beer
May 13, 2010 – Although I blog mostly about wine, I’ll confess this: Sometimes there just isn’t anything more satisfying than an ice-cold beer. (You can take the girl out of Coquitlam, but you can’t take the Coquitlam out of the…)
Asking me to attend a tasting featuring quality BC microbrews and tasty local cuisine is a no-brainer. Do bees like honey? I had to buy tickets the moment I heard about Vancouver Craft Beer Week and its Women & Beer event.
What a fun night! I sampled delicious brews by Saltspring Island Ales, Howe Sound Brewing, Cannery Brewing, Red Devil Brewing and Crannóg Ales, matched with mouth-wateringly good appetizers by The Refinery. It was the perfect Mother’s Day gift for my mom and the fantastic gift bags we received at the end were a pleasant surprise.
The city’s (and country’s, for that matter) inaugural craft beer celebration was excellent and I am glad that I got to take part. See you at the next one!
I like a lot of ethnic foods – which in a city like Vancouver, is almost an oxymoron of a term – and so was very excited to try DougieDog, this new hot dog joint that I heard offered a selection of dogs with a multicultural twist.
Anyway, my mom and I stopped here following the Women & Beer tasting for a late-night snack. I just had to post this because the sausages were indeed of a snappy texture, exactly as advertised, and the Seoul Dog variation seemed quite simple, yet original. Why hadn’t I thought of this combination before?
Plus the server thought I was only 21. Vanity one, modesty zero.