VIWF Part 1: Sardo’s Barolo dinner at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar!

OK, here we go, first blog post of this year’s VIWF; I was not expecting to be able to get one done while the festival was still ongoing, not because of time constraints, but because using only my laptop presents quite a challenge. You see, the boxes that have all the information on the wine, including the score and price, etc, are just images that I create by using a snapshot program. Basically I highlight what I want, and take a “picture” of it and insert that image into the blog. Easy, normally, but because I have only my laptop, and not my large monitor, I can’t actually select the entire image; my laptop screen is too small. I’ve found a workaround that entails copying and pasting from Excel to Word and then creating an image…problem is that the images are smaller than I like. I’ve made them bigger below, but that causes them to look a little blurry. Apologies if anyone has issues with reading anything in those images. Now, enough of the housekeeping, let’s get to it!

Full disclosure: This is one of the last restaurants in Vancouver we would frequent on a normal night. Nothing against the restaurant, but it specializes in oysters which the wife is allergic to and I don’t like, and seafood which the wife doesn’t eat. But, given that this was a Barolo tasting, and it was unlikely that they were going to pair Barolo with shellfish, or fish in general, we decided to give this event a shot.

One more note of housekeeping below: The prices that are listed as at the “BC Liquor Store”, as far as I know that is only at the on-site BC Liquor Store at the festival itself, not in regular BC Liquor Stores. You may have to search to find these after the festival is over.

The event was a tasting of Sardo, a well-known winery from Barolo, who brought us their entry-level offering plus three single-vineyard wines, and a white and a surprise at the end. We were joined by their Director of Marketing, Elisa, straight from Italy, and their local agent, Italo. Both were terrific, friendly, warm and knowledgeable. There were a few VIP’s at our table as well, including Sid Cross, the co-founder of The Chefs’ Table Society of BC. I honestly did not know who he was, but apparently he is kind of a big deal in the world of local food and wine.



Going in, we thought this was kind of a nightmare menu for us. The wife can’t eat oysters, has never had Beef Carpaccio in her life, and doesn’t much enjoy duck. I was pretty much in the same boat, minus the oyster allergy.

Thankfully they were more than willing to prepare her a chicken dish to replace the oyster. They were very accommodating.

Course 1:

Poached Sunseeker Oyster, blood orange, Calabrian chili crumb, crème fraîche, northern divine caviar

To say this was the best oyster I have had in my life would suggest I have had a bunch of oysters which is untrue…..but this was really delicious. It might make me reconsider my distaste for oysters. And it paired beautifully with the only white wine served tonight.

Sardo 2017 Rapuje Bianco

Course 2:

Beef Carpaccio, porcini aioli, pickled shiitakes, marcona almonds, porcini tuile, parmesan

To say this was the best Beef Carpaccio I have had in my life would suggest I have had a bunch of Beef Carpaccio which is untrue…..but this was really delicious. It might make me reconsider my distaste for Beef Carpaccio. And it paired beautifully with our first Barolo of the night.

And yes, I was able to simply copy and paste that paragraph above and change “oyster” to “Beef Carpaccio”.

Sardo 2014 Barolo


Course 3:

Dry aged duck, foie gras farce, red cabbage purée, daikon sauerkraut, quince compote

To say this was the best…..OK, enough. I would never in a million years order duck in a restaurant, but in previous instances I have had no trouble eating in when served to me in fixed menu dinners like these. In this case, though, I could not eat this, even after asking the chef to cook it a bit more for me (which he happily obliged). Duck goes against my “no cute animals” stance and this one just wouldn’t go down.

Two wines to pair with this course.

Sardo 2012 Barolo RiveraSardo 2012 Barolo Perno

Course 4:

Roasted prime beef, bone marrow crusted Trevino, celeriac purée, sauce perigueux

Prime rib that looks like Filet Mignon. Delicious, and a beautiful pairing with the gorgeous wine they served with it. I was so full by this point I couldn’t even eat it all, so I brought the rest of it back to the hotel. The dog is going to get a treat tonight.

And, the wine that went with it was just as special as the beef.

Sardo 2004 Barolo Gabutti Riserva

If any of you are interested in purchasing this, the agent’s name is Italo Fionda, and he can be reached via Email. Tell him I sent you and get a 75% discount.


Course 5:

 Black Forest, dark chocolate mousse, poached sour cherry, cherry sorbet

Not exactly my idea of “Black Forest Cake”, but since I am not a huge fan of Black Forest Cake, I didn’t care. This was tasty. The wine they brought with it was something I have never heard of before, a dessert-style Barolo!

Sardo NV Barolo Chinato

All in all, a fun night. Not our menu, for sure, so next year we may stick to wine dinners where the menu is pre-published (some are, some are not) when buying the tickets.

Next up: In just hours, our first event in the tasting room at VIWF, the Thursday trade tasting. The blog will return…..soon.


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Wine blogger, foodie, traveler.

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