Vancouver Playhouse 2011: Day 5

Home stretch! Final weekend of the whirlwind of wining and dining. Though a lot of my week was spent in trade and industry events, the weekend was all about public tastings and seminars. There were 16 events on Saturday alone! I managed to hit a couple of them, and was incredibly impressed to see so many interested and wine savvy ‘civilians’ pack the rooms.

Wine’s F-Word was among the first Playhouse events to sell out. The wine and food pairing seminar showcased Fortified wines and different guidelines to use them with food. A hot topic, and hotter ticket – in addition to the brilliant title, having the incredible and inspiring sommelier, chef, journalist and wine educator DJ Kearney lead the group, and the fact that EAT Magazine was the presenting sponsor, the 90 minutes was filled with F-words. Flexible, fabulous, flavourful, finesse, flamboyant, fragrant, fantastic (plus a few F’s I can’t write here). Not only were attendees led through a guided tasting of 6 Fortified wines from Spain, France, Portugal and Australia – but the winery principals, winemakers and representatives were on board to lead the way. In addition, talented wine-wise chefs thoughtfully paired each fortified wine to a dish, which was presented to the guests along with chefs’ reasoning.

From salty:

Manzanilla Pasade Pastrana with roasted almonds, 6 month old manchego, potato chips, orange peel stuffed almond, courtesy Chef DJ Kearney

to spiced:

M. Chapoutier Banyuls with seared foie gras & espelette pepper mole, courtesy Chef Blair Rasmussen, Vancouver Convention Centre

to savoury

Fonseca Guimaraens 10 year old Tawny with prosciutto, blue cheese and fig flan & toasted Marcona almonds, courtesy Chef Dino Renaerts, Fraiche

to sensational

Quinta do Crasto Vintage Port 2009 with frozen cherry and dried plum lolly, cinnamon & star anise fruit leather, cocoa pop rocks ‘pop’, courtesy Chef Julian Bond, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts

to sweet

Buller Wines Fine Old Muscat with sundried cherry-rhubarb bread pudding, English stilton vanilla milk shake coulis, toffee raisin citrus gastrique, fresh mint, candied almonds, caramel popcorn, courtesy Chef Tony Lawrence, A Chef for You, Philadelphia

Lots of laughter, lots of learning, the crowd was amazed and the wines shown in a new, flexible light.  Well done.

From F-word it was a quick cab ride to Sparking Splash at Yaletown’s Miele Gallery. Streaming sunshine, chilled bubbly, abundant bites = happy guests. Guests made their way through the culinary studio, tasting wine from Australia, Argentina, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and South Africa.  Wines were matched to themed bites from local restaurants and caterers, illustrating the food-friendly diversity of sparkling wines. Try Cava with smoky, cheesy or spicy. Champagne with meaty or briny. Sekt with earthy or salty. It was up to the guests to decide. Like a giant kitchen party (with endless bubbles), this annual event is chaired by Chef Dana Reinhardt and journalist and ‘Hired Belly’ Tim Pawsey. And, like DJ Kearney’s food-pairing event above, the Miele event changes theme each year. If you’re interested in wine, or food, or wine and food, book your spaces for these two events early when the 2012 schedule is released.


Written By:

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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