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Perfect Wine Pairings from BC

Perfect Wine Pairings from BC

I recently attend one of the best wine events I have been to in a long time. It happened while I was on vacation in Vancouver at The Urban Winery.

The BC Wine Institute organized the event to promote the west coast wine industry along with some of BC’s top chefs and alumni of Top Chef Canada.


The venue, Vancouver Urban Winery, is situated 2 blocks away from one of the roughest parks in downtown Vancouver but surprisingly the block in-between is in transition to some interesting stores and corporations. Inside the winery was the perfect venue for this event with 2 enormous harvest tables surrounded by a large tasting bar, stainless steel vats and racks of wooden casks.


The Theme of the evening was “buy local” and the west coast has lots to offer on this regard.


First up was Ned Bell, Executive Chef at YEW of the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and television culinary host, his philosophy is to “keep it simple and know where your food comes from”. He was one of the duechefs that presented the appetizers. 

Pacific oysters (Okanagan cherry mignonette, horseradish and lemon)

Poached spot prawns with Allegro tomato jam

Albacore tuna with roasted yellow and red pepper romesco aioli

and Sturgeon Caviar from Sechelt’s Northern Divine. Tasted amazing like the real russian caviar but with less “pop”.


The second half of the appetizer duo was Taryn Wa, Owner of Savoury Chef Foods. Her contribution was:

Fresh Radishes with Miso butter

Chicken Skin “furikake: on buckwheat crackers

Chicken liver parfait

Vari-berry strawberry, celery, crisps

and Kohlrabi and pork belly


The accompanying wines for these teasers were

2007 Steller’s Jay Brut            Sumac Ridge Winery

NV Cipes Sparkling Rose     Summerhill Pyramid Winery

2012 Pinot Gris                        Poplar Grove Winery

2009 Estate Merlot                 Painted Rock Estate Winery


During the sit down dinner, we were presented with one dish and two wine pairings. The pairings were chosen and presented by Master Sommelier DJ Kearney.


The first dish present by Westley Young of Wildebeast restaurant,  was entitled “the Garden” and it looked exactly like the garden. It consisted of Heirloom radishes, fresh cheese, malt-hazelnut soil and carrot ice. As well as the presentation, the flavours were outstanding, especially the intense carrot in the ice.


Wine parings:

2011 Pinot Gris                Stoneboat Vineyards

2012 Estate Reigling        Fort Berens Estate Winery


Second to be served by Daniel Hudson of Hudson’s on First in Duncan wasDungeness Crab served over a potato press with a tomato and chive vinaigrette , fennel seed cracker. Good flavours but lacked in presentation.


Wine pairings:

2012 Chenin Blanc            Quails’ Gate Winery

2010 Capella                        Clos du Soleil Winery


Chris Whittaker of Forage at the Listel Hotel in Vancouver provided the most yummy dish of the evening, morel mushrooms and sea asparagus, candied spruce tips, charred garlic scapes and bison bone marrow soaked croutons. The earthiness of the mushrooms and the surprise of the spruce tips and the fabulous croutons left you wanting more.


Wine pairings:

2011 Alili                        Black Hills Estate Winery

2009 Invictus                 Perseus Winery


Although tastey, Geoff Rogers of Fable, presented the least impressive course of Pacific salmon with Nasturtium pesto and white bean cassoulet. This course was the only one that was paired with both a white and a red.


Wine pairings:

2011 Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay        Quails’ Gate Winery

2011 Pinot Noir                                 Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery


Another outstanding dish was prepared by Trevor Bird of Fable. He had the main and served it family style on a cutting boart. He presented lamb done two ways- merguez stuffed loin and slow roasted shoulder that were cooked perfectly. Accompaniments were Warba potatoes, roasted eggplant and carrots and a BC cherry jus. Superb!!!!!!


Wine pairings:

2010 Estate Grown Syrah            Painted Rock Estate Winery

2008 QwAM QwMT Meritage    Nk’Mip Cellars


The dessert was presented by sustainability expert Curtis Luk of The Parker. His restaurant produces less than one kilo of waste per month. An outstanding example of environmental responsibility. He served Strawberry Sorbet Mochi, black olive consommé and rhubarb. The combination of the strawberry and the black olive was a delight.


Wine pairings:

2012 Estate Pinot Noir Rose         Fort Berens Estate Winery


This dinner was one of 4 dinners presented throughout BC over 2013. A great concept, well organized and a super way of showcasing provincial wines. A concept many other wine areas could copy.




Perfect Wine Pairings from BC




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