After searching all around the city last year for a bottle of British Columbia wine (for my wife's "Olympics" dinner), I know that B.C. wines are hard to find. So when we were invited to the recent ‘Canadian Savoir Fare!’ event, I was looking forward to try some new wines. Held at Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square, the wines were provided by the British Columbia Wine Institute to pair with "Canadian-style" cuisine.
The food seemed like regular casual fare - cod fish and chips (to represent Newfoundland and Labrador), Chinese food like dumplings, spring rolls, and fried rice (to represent British Columbia), and sourdough pizza (to represent the Yukon territory). The only food that seemed unique was the bison stew with spinach and dried fruit (to represent the Yukon territory). My wife did like the vegetable crudite presentation, saying that she's going to use the "vegetable French fry" idea for one of her parties.
|BC wines from left to right: Sumac Ridge Estate Winery Tribute Sparkling wine, CedarCreek Estate Winery 2010 Riesling, Peller Estates 2009 Private Reserve Riesling, Quail's Gate Estate Winery 2008 Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir, and Burrowing Owl Vineyards 2008 Meritage|
Representatives from B.C. Wines introduced us to some of the whites being offered, including Rieslings from CedarCreek and Peller Estates. The CedarCreek is a citrusy, entry-level Riesling while the Peller Private Reserve Riesling with a little more weight and richness (but still the same underlying lemon and citrus). Both are easy aperitifs to start the night along with the sparkler from Sumac Ridge (Tribute, a non-vintage all Chardonnay sparkling wine).
2008 Quail’s Gate Pinot Noir was served too warm. It needed some time to settle down and show its cherry fruit. It was quite soft and round, the warmth of the wine made it a touch flabby but overall, the Pinot was easy to drink with the various bites.
Like the Quail’s Gate Pinot, the 2008 Burrowing Owl Meritage is a fruit forward, New World style wine. With ripe upfront fruit (the 50% Merlot component seems to really stand out), it opens up to an opulent blackberry jam style but without showing any heat from its 14.9% ABV. I can see this as a real crowd pleaser.
|(left to right) Nk'Mip Cellars 2009 Pinot Blanc, Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate 2007 Estate Riesling Icewine, Red Rooster Estate Winery 2010 Gewurztraminer|
Though served a little too warm, we really liked the 2009 Nk’Mip Cellars Pinot Blanc. This wine had a richer, more tropical fruit style Pinot Blanc but still had a crisp edge to it. The Pinot Blanc was my favorite white wine of the night.
2007 Painted Rock Estate Icon – this Bordeux-style blend (33% Cabernet Franc, 20% Petit Verdot and the rest an almost equal split of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec) seemed to quickly disappear. It was my favorite wine of the night (along with the Nk’Mip Pinot Blanc), with a good mineral and earthy backbone, elegant cassis-like fruit and medium body.
To finish off the evening, we enjoyed a glass of the 2007 Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate Riesling Icewine along with a few of the desserts. It’s hard to cellar Canadian Icewines for long-term, as many are probably drunk too young (I’m guilty of that too) so it was interesting to taste a bottle with a few years of age on it. The wine still has good acidity without being syrupy – just how it should be – and was a great nightcap.