Last Wednesday, October 28, was Globe In Your Glass, a new world wine tasting in Pan Pacific’s tony Oceanview Suites, hosted by Vincor Canada, the Canadian offshoot of beverage conglomerate Constellation. Partial proceeds from the event benefitted Canuck Place hospice.
My enjoyable evening started by visiting the media suite, albeit a bit tardy, for the Global Values Blind Tasting Challenge, a random smattering of 15 mainstream bottles under $20, red and white. Unfortunately the answers were announced just as I was getting there – the blind tasting actually started ahead of time – so I missed the tasting portion, but reading the hints provided on the tasting sheet, I could tell anyone with wine brand knowledge or sales savvy could easily get most of the answers right without tasting anything. Karl at MyWinePal tasted and guessed an impressive 8 wines (I think; it was at least 7) correctly!
I moved on to the Sumac Ridge reception / tweetup with David Wicken, the winery’s fictional social media personality. The wines on hand were Sumac Ridge Black Sage Merlot, in my opinion always a winner, and an exemplary Black Sage-area red; Sumac Ridge Gewurztraminer, BC’s top-selling white VQA wine (and I think of the entire BC VQA category itself); and Sumac Ridge Tribute sparkling. The non-vintage, Olympic commemorative Tribute turned out to be a wonderful oysters-on-the-halfshell pairing, the tangy mignonette and briny bivalve matching the zesty, crisp flavours of the brut nicely.
In the main tasting room, I had the chance to try a bunch of wines whose labels I knew far better than its contents. The highlights?
Chef Roger Planiden’s Food Pairings
Dare I say it was the busiest booth of the evening? Vincor’s Great Estates of the Okanagan Executive Chef Roger Planiden prepared some wonderful food pairings to match with Vincor’s top BC VQA selections, my favourite two being:
- Pacific scallop and sunchoke velouté, with Nk’Mip Chardonnay ($16): Buttery, creamy goodness – the Chardonnay fruit and acidity still shined through.
- Goat cheese terrine wrapped in prosciutto on a crostini, with See Ya Later Ranch Pinot 3 ($20; a blend of Pinot Gris, Blanc and Noir): Melon and fresh fruit flavours provided beautiful contrast to the cool gameyness of the goat cheese and cured ham.
Lots of Varietal Character and Terroir
Tasting Globe In Your Glass’ offerings side by side, it soon became evident to me that the different geographies and climates behind these wines provided each with lots of unique flavour nuances that one might not perhaps glean from drinking something individually, or by exploring the wines of just one country. Some of the wines that stood out most for me are below.
I encourage you to check out a new world-themed wine tasting if you get the chance – it’s a great learning opportunity!
Inniskillin Discovery Series Chenin Blanc 2007 (BC VQA)
Clean, honeyed fruit with typical straw / hay Chenin flavours. $17
Jackson-Triggs Proprietor’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (BC VQA)
Tropical guava and passionfruit flavours shot out of my glass. This was an affordable treat that I’ll be remembering for the next sunny day. $15
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (New Zealand)
Grassy, mineral tones and yes, aromas of pee. $22
Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (New Zealand)
Crisp citrus, blatant asparagus and green beans and bracing acidity. $16
Nk’Mip Qwam Qwmt Pinot Noir (BC VQA)
I’ve never met an Nk’Mip Qwam Qwmt wine I didn’t like. This one just screams classic new world Pinot with its silky texture and earthy, sensual bouquet. $30
Osoyoos Larose Le Grand Vin 2005 (BC VQA)
Worth laying down for several years or more, this gem is more of an old world-styled Bordeaux blend with lots of oak, fruit and tannin and plenty of terroir, and it never fails to please. I love it for its value ($45), and even more so because its second wine, Pétales d’Osoyoos ($25), is almost just as good and incredibly drinkable, yet half the price.
Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Napa Valley, California)
I tasted subtle but pervasive licorice flavours in this chewy red, and would love to know if anyone else who’s tasted this also detected the same thing, and can tell me where it comes from. $40