Getting a taste of New Zealand at VanWineFest

Akarua Wine (Central Otago)

The wind was blowing and the rain was pelting the ground, but guests attending Passionate Pairings, as part of the Vancouver International Wine Festival, were warm and dry inside.

The only things that were wet were their mouths salivating from the delicious New Zealand-inspired dishes prepared by the chefs at Boathouse Restaurant in Kitsilano. The complete menu for the event was created by Chef Brent Fisher.

Dishes were complemented by a delicious assortment of wines from Akarua, Astrolabe, Giesen Wines, Marisco Vineyards, Oyster Bay, Stoneleigh and Whitehaven Winery. Guests were given a booklet with descriptions of each of the wineries, but also had the opportunity to chat directly with the winery principals.

This wasn’t simply about wine and food pairing though, as there is no shortage of those events in Vancouver.

Seven passionate chefs from the restaurant were challenged to prepare their own dish to pair with wines from the seven New Zealand wineries. And the judges? The guests. [Winners announced at bottom of article.]

Herb Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Dijon Jus

Herb Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Dijon Jus

Suggested pairing – Pinot Noir and Merlot

Options: Latitude Pinot Noir 2011
Akarua’s Rua Pinot Noir 2011
Giesen Wines’s Pinot Noir 2011
Oyster Bay’s Hawkes Bay Merlot 2012
Stoneleigh’s Latitude Pinot Noir 2011
Whitehaven Winery’s Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011

Ora King Salmon Ceviche with Avacado Relish

Ora King Salmon Ceviche with Avacado Relish

Suggested pairing – Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Sparkling

Options:

Astrolabe’s Province Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Giesen Wines’s Riesling 2012
Marisco Vineyards’s The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Oyster Bay’s Sparkling Cuvée NV
Stoneleigh’s Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Whitehaven Winery’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011

NZ Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with Baby Arugula, Aged Parmesan, Balsamic Shallots

Suggested pairing – Pinot Noir and Merlot

Options:

Latitude Pinot Noir 2011
Akarua’s Rua Pinot Noir 2011
Giesen Wines’s Pinot Noir 2011
Oyster Bay’s Hawkes Bay Merlot 2012
Stoneleigh’s Latitude Pinot Noir 2011
Whitehaven Winery’s Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011

Intermezzo – Honey Grapefruit Granita

Intermezzo - Honey Grapefruit Granita

In case you didn’t know, an intermezzo is a palate cleanser, usually a small dish in a full course dinner, or in this case multiple small plates. It is also known as an entremet (literally meaning “between servings” in Old French).

Seared Hoki with Coconut Curry and Mango Salsa

Seared Hoki with Coconut Curry and Mango Salsa

Suggested pairing – Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc

Options:

Akarua’s Pinot Gris 2011
Astrolabe’s Province Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Marisco Vineyards’s The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2012 or The King’s Thorn Pinot Gris 2011
Stoneleigh’s Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Whitehaven Winery’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011

New Zealand Green Lip Mussels with Roasted Tomato & Creamed Leeks

New Zealand Green Lip Mussels with Roasted Tomato & Creamed Leeks

Suggested pairing – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris

Options:

Akarua’s Pinot Gris 2011
Astrolabe’s Province Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Marisco Vineyards’s The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2012 or The King’s Thorn Pinot Gris 2011
Stoneleigh’s Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Whitehaven Winery’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Astrolabe’s Voyage Chardonnay 2011

Heirloom Vegetables Risotto with Tarragon and Basil Oil

Heirloom Vegetables Risotto with Tarragon and Basil Oil

Suggested pairing – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

Options:

Akarua’s Rua Pinot Noir 2011
Astrolabe’s Voyage Chardonnay 2011
Giesen Wines’s Pinot Noir 2011
Stoneleigh’s Latitude Pinot Noir 2011
Whitehaven Winery’s Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011

And the winner was?

Assortment of Cheese from Alexis de Portneuf

Capriny Goat Cheese

Suggested pairing – Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling

Options:

Astrolabe’s Province Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Giesen Wines’s Riesling 2012
Marisco Vineyards’s The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Stoneleigh’s Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Whitehaven Winery’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Belle Creme Triple Cream Brie

Suggested pairing – Merlot or Chardonnay

Options:

Astrolabe’s Voyage Chardonnay 2011
Oyster Bay’s Hawkes Bay Merlot 2012

Stella Asiago

Suggested pairing – Pinot Gris or Riesling

Options:

Giesen Wines’s Riesling 2012
Akarua’s Pinot Gris 2011
Marisco Vineyards’s The King’s Thorn Pinot Gris 2011

And the winner was…

NZ Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with Baby Argula, Aged Parmesan & Balsamic
Shallots paired with the Whitehaven Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011

There was a three way tie for second place

  • Herb Crusted Lamb Lollipops with Dijon Jus paired with Oyster Bay Merlot 2012
  • Oysters with the Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvée
  • NZ Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with Baby Argula, Aged Parmesan & Balsamic Shallots paired with the Akarua Rua Pinot Noir 2011

For high resolution photos check out my NZWine set on Flickr. 

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2 thoughts on “Getting a taste of New Zealand at VanWineFest

  1. Pingback: France + Bubbly = Vancouver International Wine Festival 2014 | Marionate Overnight

  2. Pingback: Vancouver International Wine Festival officially commences today! | Marionate Overnight

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