It’s always great when you can mix business with pleasure, and that is exactly what I, and a small group of wine writers, got to do a while ago. The event was an opportunity to meet and have dinner with BC wine legend Harry McWatters and to meet his new winemaker Lawrence Buhler (more on both of them in a future article). We gathered at the trendy Blacktail Restaurant in Vancouver’s Gastown.
In addition, we sampled wines from two of Harry’s new wineries – Evolve and Time Estate – as they were paired with an impressive dinner presented by Executive chef Geoff Rogers.
The evening began with a glass of Time Estate 2013 Sundial White, a blend of Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. This wines is clean and refreshing with melon, citrus and tree fruit aromas and flavours.
Our three-course dinner consisted of a choice of salad or soup to start, followed by Tartare or Crispy Tofu and then steak or a vegetarian option. I’ve included the pairings for all the dishes so you can see them all. My choices are in bold.
Garden Salad – Honey Thyme vinaigrette
Evolve Cellars 2014 Pinot Blanc – green apple, peach and pear on the nose with some tropical fruit and citrus notes on the palate.
Cauliflower Soup (delicious) with raisin, celery and Apple Powder
Time Estate 2014 White Meritage – A blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon. This traditional Bordeaux blend is big and round in the mouth with integrated fruit and oak. A versatile, elegant dinner wine.
Bison Tartare – spelt cracker, spinach purée, truffle aioli
McWatters Collection 2013 Chardonnay – aromas of pineapple, tropical fruit, honey, lemon and toast followed by a lingering finish.
Crispy Tofu – spicy Shishito, tomato saude, pea shoots
Evolve Cellars 2013 Cabernet Merlot – an easy to drink red with dark fruit and spicy notes.
Hanger Steak – Chick Pea Fries, Vegetable Resin, Brussel Sprouts
McWatters Collection 2012 Red Meritage – dark berries, sweet spice and black pepper. It has smooth ripe tannins with good structure, which makes it a good match for steak.
Mushroom and Parmesan Pappardelle – house made pasta, organic kale, black truffle, parmesan cream.
Time Estate 2012 Syrah – classic juicy blackberry and dark fruit with a subtle note of mint. Rich dark fruit on the palate followed by pepper and spice, showing why BC does so well with this grape.
I can attest that these wines were all very well suited to the meals served. My choices were sometimes governed by the food and at other times by the wine that was paired with it. It was a delightful evening with good food, good wine and stimulating conversation.