This video really captured me. Sure, I know it's a commercial for Hellmann's, but I'm willing to risk promoting their cause if it helps educate people about supporting local farmers and food producers. Of course, wine is a food group.
August 20, 2010 (Vancouver, BC) – All golfers with discriminating taste buds make sure you mark Monday, September 20 on your calendar for one of the best and best-tasting rounds of golf you'll ever play.
Les Dames d'Escoffier’s 2010 Celebrity Chef Golf Tournament will be held at the University Golf Club and promises great food and cool drinks from several culinary professionals including three local Fairmont Hotels, The Cactus Club Cafe, Beringer Vineyards, Skyy Vodka, Hart House Restaurant, Red Rooster Winery, Callebaut Chocolates, Wines of South Africa, Culinary Capers, an international selection of sparkling wines, and more.
You'll find plenty of fun and a chance to socialize with many of the brightest lights from BC’s culinary and hospitality scene, including
Gourmet goodie bags (these alone are worth the price of admission), a buffet dinner at the clubhouse, and an opportunity to bid on live and silent auction items (including lots of great vacation and tangible prizes) are all included with your round of golf. All proceeds go to BC Chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier's scholarship fund.
Les Dames 11th Annual Celebrity Chef Golf Tournament
We started with cocktails at Fifty Two 80. I had the best Margarita I've had in a very long time. This sipper was not the bright green, Kool-Aid-y slush you get in so many places; instead, it had real lime juice and was poured over rocks! Rick had a dark rum and Coke. I didn't pay attention to which rum or even ask him if his drink was good—I was way too busy going on and on about my own.
When we moved into the dining room, we were greeted and attended by Joanne DiGeso, a dedicated student of wine and server extraordinaire. With four years at Four Seasons, she knows how to look after a table and, more importantly, the people around it. Joanne brought us each a glass of bubbly to start, the Brut NV ($24/12.5 ABV) from B.C.'s Blue Mountain.
This is a good time to tell you that David Foran, wine director at Four Seasons Resort Whistler, has opened up his wine list to sell by the glass. He'll open any bottle of wine for you, as long as at least two glasses of the wine are ordered. It's a fabulous way to try some of the more hard-to-find or expensive wines.
We continued sipping the sparkler with the first course: I had marinated lobster and spot prawns, served with heirloom tomato and avocado drizzled with a truffle vinaigrette.
Rick had a salad of iceberg wedges, heirloom tomato, boar bacon, and cucumber, with a creamy ranch dressing. Of course, the sparkling wine served us both well.
For our main courses, I chose the New Zealand rack of lamb (that's something I never cook at home) and Rick chose the 10-oz New York sirloin steak. Then, we had to pick our rubs. Of the six, we both decided on the Edison's Medicine.
From the dinner menu, we decided to share a side dish of potatoes (fingerling and bacon Lyonnaise), roasted mushrooms, and roof-top-grown carrots.
With our meal, came six sauces for enhancing the flavours of our meats. Small sauce boats, set into a long wooden tray, offered up:
Argentinean Chimichurri Light, fresh and citrusy with garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar and fresh lemon juice. Especially good with beef and pork.
Yuzu Butter Freshly squeezed yuzu and zest, with butter tempered with cream and chives. Good with all meats.
Mushroom Bordelaise Veal stock reduction enriched with port, red wine and mushrooms. Especially good with beef or game.
Crème Fraiche Bearnaise Traditional bearnaise vinegar and tarragon reduction, with a touch of Tabasco and lime. Good with all meats.
House Steak Sauce Tomato-based sauce with tamarind and brown sugar, finished with horseradish and Worcestershire sauce. Especially good with beef or game.
Wasabi Mustard House-made spicy mustard, with brown and yellow seeds blended with Dijon mustard and brandy, finished with wasabi and cream. Good with all meats.
To complement our entrées, we ordered a bottle of 2007 Laughing Stock Portfolio ($40), a Bordeaux-style blend from B.C.'s Okanagan. On the nose, this wine showed aromas of dark chocolate, coffee, tobacco, blackberries, and rich, ripe black cherries. On the palate, it was smooth and silky, yet structured, with a certain elegance accompanying flavours of espresso, dark chocolate, cherries, blackberries, vanilla, and spice. It was a perfect counterpart to both the lamb and steak.
We had a tough time deciding on a dessert so Chef selected for us. He created a combination of bourbon ice cream and house-made apple fritters with three sauces for dipping. Pure decadence. And so nice for a change.
Of course, Joanne asked us if we wanted anything after our dessert. But we had consumed so much we had to tell her, "No, thank you."
David Foran came and sat with us and we shared the end of our Portfolio with him. That was a nice way to cap a fabulous evening.
I do love the wines of Burgundy. And while I’ve had so very few of them, every single one has left me wanting more.
Tasting the wines of Burgundy can be pretty tricky and intimidating, not to mention expensive. Many of us either don’t have the knowledge to choose wisely or the wallet to afford the wise choices we make. That’s why September promises to be a very good month.
Thanks to John Clerides of Marquis Wine Cellars in Vancouver, Allen Meadows, founder of Burghound.com, the ultimate Burgundy reference, will be visiting and sharing his expertise in September.
Here are two opportunities to learn about and taste wines of Burgundy with Allen Meadows. But hurry if you’re interested because there are just a few tickets left for each:
Burgundy 101 Seminar This is a sit-down tasting with Meadows that features classic examples of the major appellations of Burgundy, along with a few surprises. He’ll guide you through each wine and speak about the appellation, producer, and recent trends and developments affecting Burgundy.
Date: Sat., Sept. 18, 2010 Time: 2:00-4:PM Location: Terminal City Club, 837 W. Hastings, Vancouver Dress: Business casual Cost: $99 pp Tickets: Marquis Wine Cellars, 604-684-0445
Bistro Pastis Lunch Here’s a great way to start your Sunday: lunch at Bistro Pastis on W. 4th Avenue. The meal features wines from Burgundy appellations that aren’t very well known, as well as some from those with more recognizable names. Meadows will discuss each wine and grower and provide an overview of Burgundy, all while you eat and drink.
We spent four nights (Thursday-Sunday) at Whistler this past B.C. Day holiday weekend. On two of those nights we ate dinner at the Four Seasons Resort.
On Thursday night we ambled into the Fifty Two 80 Bistro & Bar for a cocktail and saw all the buzz out on the patio. Our server told us it was a barbeque, all-you-can-eat. My first question was, "Where is my 16-year-old son when I need him?"
Honestly, this was a super deal. The food was top-drawer and there was plenty of variety, with something to suit every palate.
I sipped on a couple of wines by the glass: the first was a Chardonnay (I wasn't crazy for it and didn't take a picture or any notes) to go along with my corn and salads, and the second was the 2007 SLC Syrah from Mission Hill Family Estate, which I sipped with all the meaty goodness. I really liked the Syrah.
Word has it that right at this moment (and we don't know for how much longer), Four Seasons Whistler wine director David Foran (known as @WineMedia on Twitter) will open any bottle of wine on his list for you if you order at least two glasses of that wine. Great opportunity to try some new wines.
I'll tell you all about our dinner last Sunday night at the Four Seasons Whistler's other restaurant, Sidecut, in a soon-to-be-published post. In the meantime, you can follow Four Seasons Resort, Whistler on Twitter here: http://Twitter.com/FSWhistler.
On the nose, the Rollingdale Winery 2009 Organic Estate Pinot Gris ($25.00/13.5 % ABV) shows green apples, pears and a little tarragon, with a floral undertone. The fruit aromas certainly are not cooked or over-ripe, but neither are they unripe. Most of the aromas—apple, pear, tarragon—show through on the palate, along with a hint of honey. This wine has a nice acid level and a fresh finish with some staying power. And, as it warms up a little, the aromas and flavours become even more pronounced.
Forgive me, dear reader, as this post is a little out of chronological sync. I'll follow with my post from Sunday's wine-and-food experience at Four Seasons Whistler later on...
Tonight I opened the second of three bottles of OPEN wine I recently received as samples. This time I unscrewed the top (they come with Stelvin closures) from the '08 Merlot ($14.99/14.7% ABV) and poured it to go with our bbq supper.
On the nose, this deep, deep red wine shows both mineral and fruit aromas, along with a hit of coffee and something rather medicinal; in fact, when breathing in the aromas deeply, it burns a little and starts to clear my sinuses.
On the palate, this wine's soft tannic structure mixed it up with some really ripe red and black fruit flavours followed by a splash of coffee and dark chocolate. I wouldn't, however, confuse the number of aromas and flavours with complexity. The flavours faded very quickly. And, while it went well enough with dinner, I likely wouldn't buy it to serve to guests. It's just not my cup of tea.
That being said, I would sip this one again if someone poured it for me, as long as I had food to soak up the alcohol. Let's face it, OPEN has been very "open" in that it isn't targeting me as its buyer; instead, OPEN is targeting the Millennial Canadian wine drinker ready to explore VQA home-grown grapes a little further.