Random selections from all over the world, including several from BC!

Going to start with a perfect pairing from last night’s dinner. Got this recipe online, and it is a world beater, for two reasons. First, it’s freaking delicious. Secondly, FOUR ingredients total if you count salt and pepper. Couldn’t be easier.

Filet Mignon with a Rich Balsamic Glaze

Oh, if you make this, do the glaze separately. No need to put them both in the same pan, that opens up the possibility of the glaze actually soaking into the meat which could affect how it cooks.

Now, to the wine. From time to time, at Xmas, the wife treats me to a “Dean bottle”; a wine that I am more likely to enjoy than she is. Generally, that means an aged Tempranillo (although she is coming around). I am not sure if it was Xmas 2016 or 2017, but this was one of those bottles.

Marques de Riscal 2005 Gran Reserva

Delicious, and complemented the steak perfectly.

A few other random bottles from around the world:

Another bottle that was a Xmas gift from the wife, 2 years ago. This is the entry-level effort from Pahlmeyer, a top Napa producer. Very tasty.

Pahlmeyer 2013 Jayson Chardonnay

Robert Mondavi knows Fumé Blanc (in fact he invented the term), and they currently make three: This one, from Oakville, is the middle of the three. The entry-level Napa version is easy to find in any BC Liquor store ($23ish), and the high-end one, available only from the winery I believe, is spectacular. The one in the middle is nice but a far cry from the best one.

Robert Mondavi 2014 Oakville Fumé Blanc

Here’s something you don’t see all the time, a Napa Chardonnay closing in on 7 years old, on BC Liquor Store shelves.

Signorello 2012 Vielles Vignes Chardonnay

This was our “backup bottle” from our recent Argentina theme night; just in case one of the reds we served was no good. That wasn’t the case, so we took it to a friend’s place for lunch last weekend. So different from BC Syrah (or Aussie Shiraz for that matter), but quite pleasant.

Elsa Bianchi 2016 Syrah

Ah yes, Provence rosé. There is nothing like it. Can’t wait until spring and the new crop.

Chateau d'Esclans 2017 Whispering Angel

Here is an interesting bottle; a gift from a friend that knew we were into wine but didn’t know much more than that. This is the one where you can scan the label and get a story about the crime committed by the crook on the label. Interesting gimmick. The wine isn’t something we would drink, BUT, I must confess, we put most of this into a pasta sauce that ended up in lasagne, and it was spectacular there. The sweetness of the wine complemented the sauce.

19 Crimes 2016 Dark Red

Now, let’s go to BC for some local treats! We will start with a very special one, part of Tinhorn Creek’s Innovation series. I had to ask them exactly what was so different about this wine, and this was their response:

The grapes were hand harvested in early October and were fermented whole cluster (no crushing or destemming) in open top fermenters and allowed to ferment naturally (no added yeast) for 25 days.  The whole berries and clusters go through a partial carbonic fermentation (void of oxygen) creating a unique flavour profile and texture to this wine that is more typical of Pinot Noir or Syrah.  As the yeast must work harder to get the sugar inside the berries these fermentations typically are cooler and are much less vigorous, leading to long, slow, gentle extraction of colour, tannin and flavour.  The wines were then pressed and racked to French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and aging.  The Innovation Series Whole Cluster Cabernet Franc was barrel aged for 16 months before racking, fining and minimal filtration.

The fruit was harvested from Red Brick Vineyard (Osoyoos – Anarchist Mountain).  Vines are 15 years old and the soil is sandy loam.

Tinhorn Creek 2016 Innovation Series Cabernet Franc

Some random beauties:

Quails Gate 2012 Old Vines Foch Reserve 7.59.36 AM

The Hatch 2017 Screaming Frenzy ChardonnayThe Hatch 2014 Screaming Frenzy Cabernet Franc

Here’s a couple from another high-end winery under the Von Mandl banner, Martin’s Lane:

Martins Lane 2014 Naramata Ranch Vineyard Pinot NoirMartins Lane 2014 Fritzi's Vineyard Riesling

That’s it for today, and probably that’s it for at least a week. Who knows, maybe I’ll find the time and inspiration to do a blog post about the VIWF during the festival itself, but no promises. Worst case, I will have a ton to report on when we return!


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Wine blogger, foodie, traveler.

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