Written By Treve Ring Libations / Wine Festivals Feb 29, 2012 Playhouse Wine Festival: Day 2 SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestMore sparkle than a chandelier shop.Between the rounds groaning with glassware, the diamond tennis bracelets, the crystal rooted flowering centerpieces and the glimmer of dozens of precious bottles (worth tens of thousands), the ballroom at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver was literally aglow. So was the well dressed crowd, fuelled by 10 wines, 5 courses, a live auction and the vinous company.Bacchanalia (1) is an ancient Roman festival in honour of Bacchus, God of wine. Fast forward a few millennia, and you have Bacchanalia (2) – the annual gala dinner and auction benefitting the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company. Western Canada’s leading theatre company receives all of the proceeds from the Gala. Since the inception of the event in 1979, the Festival has raised over $7.3 million for the Playhouse, helping it to mount 231 theatrical productions and create extensive educational and community outreach programs. Attendees were a mix of arts patrons, gourmet connoisseurs and wine collectors. And as the wines kept flowing (two thoughtfully paired to each of Chef de Cuisine Joseph Schefer’s rich menu), the purse strings loosened and the silent and live auction bids rose higher. I lost out on my low ball, straw-grasping bid for a special bottle of Graham’s 1963 Vintage Port, but did glom onto my good friend and his successful bid for a bottle of 2008 Dominio de Pingus (to be enjoyed over dinner chez Treve ca. 2016-2033). The auction lots were a nice mix of old world and new – dusty Bordeaux and iconic Australian, signed magnums and crated BC offerings – suitable for all audiences and tastes.~ Bacchanalia Gala Dinner Menu ~SPARKLING RECEPTIONJ Brut Russian River Rose NV CaliforniaFIRST COURSECaramelized Pear with Walnut, Arugula & Butter lettuce, Vancouver Island Bleu Claire Cheese, Raspberry and Citrus oilPaired with:Jacob’s Creek Steingarten Riesling 2007 AustraliaPfaffenheim Steinert Grand Cru Pinot Gris 2009 FranceSECOND COURSEWinter Squash Risotto with Butter poached Nova Scotia Lobster, Fennel Confit and Chive CreamPaired with:Antinori Cervaro Della Sala, Umbria IGT 2009 ItalyGrand Cru Les Blanchots Domaine Laroche 2008 FranceMAIN COURSENicola Valley Venison Medallions, Chilean Dried Cherry and Carmenere Wine Sauce, Celeriac and Yukon mash, Forest mushroom and root vegetablePaired with:M. Chapoutier La Bernardine Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2009 FranceUndurraga Terroir Hunter Maule Valley Carignan 2009 ChileCHEESE COURSEAssorted Cheeses by Les amis du fromage, Pisco and Honey glazed Figs, Leslie Stowe CrispsPaired with:Louis M Martini Monte Rosso Vineyard Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 CaliforniaRobert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2008 CaliforniaDESSERT COURSEDuo of Chocolate South American Organic Dark with Orange White Chocolate with Passion fruitPaired with:De Bortoli Noble One 2008, AustraliaMy favourite wine, fittingly for this year, was Chilean. The Undurraga Terroir Hunter Carignan 2009 from Maule Valley enticed with its purity, alluring earthiness, focused sweet cherry and refined, fresh minerality. The 50 year old, ungrafted, dry-farmed vines, from decomposing granitic soils were minimally treated in the winery, allowing the sense of place and character of these vines to shine. Terroir Hunter isn’t found on our store shelves, but will be available for purchase in the Festival Wine Shop, open for sales during the International Festival Tasting on Thursday and Friday this week. Uncovered gems like this go fast, so be sure to get to the Shop early to unearth a few special finds.~~~The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival is one of North America’s largest and greatest celebrations of wine. This year from February 27 to March 4, the theme country is Chile and the focus is Cabernet(s). EAT will be on site for the whole week, with daily posts, DRINKs, tweets and updates live from the festival. VPIWF SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Treve Ring Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ... 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