Posts with tag "wine"

Dinner with Wyndham Estate Winemaker Steve Meyer and Mark Brand

I had the opportunity to attend the recent Wyndham Estate dinner and wine event at the current Save On Meat pop up / Old Boneta’s spot. This intimate dinner was hosted by Gastown’s own Mark Brand and Wyndham Estate’s Chief Winemaker Steve Meyer.

The featured wine is the George Wyndham Founder’s Reserve Shiraz 2010 Vintage. It’s a full bodied luscious Australian wine with a smooth tannin on the tongue. This vibrant versatile wine had notes of ripe plum and blackberry.

George Wyndham Shiraz 2010

Executive Chef Elliott Hashimoto was tasked to create a multi-course tasting menu that would go well with the Shiraz. And I’m sure it was no easy task to tackle.

To start the dinner we had a delicate bite of Unagi, Kawarre and Cinnamon Daikon (sorry no photos…we just inhaled it immediately because we were hungry)

Next came the Shiraz Poached Ling Cod with golden beats, king oyster mushrooms and truffle.
Shiraz Poached Ling Cod

It was a smart approach to poach the ling cod in the wine and the fish came out nicely delicate and flaky. However, it could have been a bit more seasoned.

The pan roasted duck breast with charred peaches with roasted celery root puree was a favorite at our table. A classic combination that was done well: the duck meat was moist, succulent, and way too easy to eat.

duckbreast

I think the braised veal cheeks with ox tail ravioli and caramelized brussel sprouts paired the best with the shiraz; a rich earthy dish paired with an earthy somewhat oaky wine.

Braised Veal Cheeks

And to cap off the evening, we indulged in a spiced pear tart fine with fennel ice cream and sweetened shiraz syrup.

Pear Tart Fine

 

The dinner menu was well thought out and varied, and each dish in its own unique way paired fairly well with the shiraz.

As with any dinner parties, the company of fellow food bloggers and media was the highlight. It was a fun night of random conversations of stinky tofu, t shirt prints, dating in Vancouver, and the supernatural (….you just had to be there).

 

Lise Watier and Wine Tasting

This is not your usual food and wine blog post but it does reflect my other beloved combination: makeup and wine. The Lise Watier 40th Anniversary celebration at UVA Wine Bar was an intimate event to talk about their company and products with a wine and cheese tasting session.  I’ve always liked UVA Wine Bar for their cocktails (ask for Evelyn or Mark!), the small intimate room, and outstanding PR & Customer Service (I complained about them on Twitter once and they responded back asap…total respect for that). So with all this in mind, I thought it was too good of an opportunity to  miss out.

The Lise Watier team was in town to celebrate with local Vancouver medias and bloggers the 40th anniversary of the company.

In addition, other highlights were the Fall collection Millésime reveal and the overview of Lise Watier best sellers that marked the history throughout the last 40 years.  Some of their best sellers include their Professional Correctors, Waterproof Eyeliner (which I use and love), lipstick and crayon, and the Neige Eau de toilette.  At the event, they also announced about a new eCommerce site and a focus on expanding to the United States.  All around fantastic news for this reputable Canadian company.

As part of the evening, attendees had the chance to do a quick makeover with one of the makeup artists.  Of course, I went in to get my face done and came out with a new one (kidding).

We also got very generous swag of their Millesime collection: Duo Shadow and Glitter, Rouge Gourmand, Eyeshadow Quartet, eye crayon, and a wine glass (how fitting)

I’ve been using the eyeshadow quartet and it’s really amazing.  Even after a few hours, it still stays on as if you just freshly applied it.

Now on to the good stuff…the WINE! We had tastings of some pretty stellar bottles (my below scribbles from the orientation and tasting):

Mission Hill S.L.C. Sauvignon Blanc Semillon – An excellent white blend which is creamy and smooth on the palate. Quite fruity with a hint of honey. It definitely pairs well with fish, seafood, and chicken.

La Stella Fortissimo – Another excellent local wine. It’s a harmonious blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese and cabernet franc. It’s deep full bodied red with a strong cherries presence and hints of chocolate and coffee. A good wine to bring to a cheese tasting

Cassini Cellars Syrah – This syrah is deep and intense with flavours that are more oaky, peppery, and spices-y (is that a word?)

It was a fun, well organized, intimate affair.  We were all very spoiled, had a fun time…..and I’ll probably be visiting UVA Wine Bar very soon and making myself very comfy at the bar.

UVA Wine Bar
900 Seymour St in Moda Hotel
Uva Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

The Cascade Room

The Cascade Room is THE place to go to be seen in the SOMA area.  People think you can only lounge and bar hop in downtown but the East side can hold its own.  The Cascade Room is undoubtedly the scene of local hipsters and scenesters.  It’s a casual restaurant that seems to have gotten the right formula in making it the quintessential neighborhood joint: good beer list, eclectic selection of cocktails, decent food, and friendly good looking staff.  Plus on occasion I may have inadvertently twirted (tweet+flirted) with whomever is behind their twitter account.

I’ve been to Cascade numerous times now: going on random unsuccessful first dates, catching the Olympics Opening, watching a Canucks’ game and more.  And soon, I do want to try to pop by and check out their Monday Quiz Night.

The below are a couple of dishes I had the last time I was at the restaurant.  One side dish I recommend getting as a starter is the polenta fries which are thick, hot, has touch of spice and crispy served with spicy curried mayo dip.  As much as I do like their fries, it’s hit and miss because there have been times when I found the fries to be salty.  But they are good starters to have with a drink or beer.

My friend and I first shared a large plate of fresh Wild Rocket Salad (sorry no pictures were taken).  The salad was mixed with cucumber, sweet red peppers, roasted pecans, Grana Padano, and mustard vinaigrette.

We also ordered the Mushroom Pizza

It’s a medium pizza of roasted mushrooms, pesto, edam & goat’s cheese, topped with fresh spinach.  It’s a simple nice thin crust pizza with light flavours.  I liked that even with the pesto and cheeses it wasn’t too greasy and messy.  The thin crust was more the chewy side but I can’t critique too much as Cascade is not like a fancy Italian restaurant.
I think they serve one of the most generous cheese platters around
It’s large platter of three cheese selections with stewed figs, toasted nuts, with apple slices & crostini.  That night we had brie, blue cheese, and edam (I think).  At this point, I’ve had my fair share of cocktails and the cheese platter helped prevent further intoxication.  I loved the sticky stewed figs and seemed to go well with all the cheeses.
I like the Cascade over it’s sister neighbor, Habit, because of the folks and atmosphere.  Even though it’s not a kitschy lounge or a fancy fine dining establish, what it has in spades is atmosphere.  When you walk in during a busy night, there seems to be that buzz in the air and you can see people having a good time.  Aside from taking a date here, it’s fun times observing other first dates unravel in front of you.
The Cascade Room
2616 Main St
Cascade Room on Urbanspoon