The Wines of the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards
Food was certainly the focus for the day at the recent Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards held at the Sheraton Wall Centre, but there is no doubt that wine won the award for best supporting role.
Some of BC’s best wineries poured their wines, which pair up so well with Vancouver’s cuisine. Okanagan Crush Pad, Burrowing Owl, See Ya Later, Hester Creek, Mission Hill, Tinhorn Creek and Culmina were all there as were reps from other wine agencies. I only wish I had had the time to taste them all. Here are a few brief notes on the wines I sampled at the event.
Okanagan Crush Pad was out in force with Christine Coletta, Alison Scholefield, Rebecca Erikson and David Scholefield all there to show off their new non-vintage sparkler, The Bub, as well as a new label to replace the Bartier and Scholefield series now that Michael Bartier has ventured out on his own new venture. The new Narrative label is very eye catching and is based on the graffitied ‘O’ seen on their winery. I was especially impressed by their Pinot Noir Rosé, which I believe is one of BC’s best.
Burrowing Owl was pouring five of their wines. My favourites included the Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Syrah. I felt that their current releases of Merlot and Cabernet Franc needed a little more time to show their best. See Ya Later Ranch was also in attendance. I enjoyed their Chardonnay, citrus, melon and a nice balance of oak and fruit, a bargain at $15.
Culmina was offering two of their wines. I first sampled Unicus, a Grüner Veltliner, the first such varietal planted in BC. It is planted on one of the highest vineyards in the Okanagan. For those unfamiliar with this varietal, usually associated with Austria, it is clean, crisp and refreshing on the palate with notes of white flowers and mineral. This elegant BC version is much better than those I have tried from its native land. The other wine being poured was Hypothesis, a red blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. This wine reflects the Golden Mile terroir. As they describe it, “Hypothesis displays abundant spice, floral, and dark red fruit aromas, enveloping the palate with its dense structure, toasted oak, fine tannins, red plum flavours, and a long, persistent finish . . .”. This was good wine to have in your glass while sampling tasty bites that included beef, lamb or duck. Culmina makes several other wines including Decora a Riesling, Dilemma, a Chardonnay, and Saignée, a Bordeaux blend Rosé.
BC wines paired up with fresh, local delectables, it doesn’t get much better than that!