April 17th, 2013
The varietal focus of the evening? Syrahs and Shirazs. Known for its dark purple color, this varietal originated in the Rhone region of Southern France but now enjoys success in Australia, Chile and North America. Syrah and Shiraz are the same grape varietal, the name change merely suggests a stylistic difference in the wine. Shiraz tends to be more muscular and bold whereas Syrah often is more elegant and restrained – but nonetheless powerful.
Andrew began the evening with Crozes-Hermitage from M.Chapooutier and a tip when it comes to reading the label of French wine bottles. The highest quality French wine is labeled with the vineyard, appellation & the brand. Yes, this means they can pinpoint the exact plot the bottle of wine is from. Paired with the gamey-richness of Chef Matt’s duck and cranberry terrine, it was the perfect start to a great night!
When growing Shiraz/Syrah, it’s important to have a wide range of temperatures which is why valleys produce delightful wines. Up next, was a Chilean wine from Rapel Valley, Chile. At less than $15/bottle, this wine has a bit of an earthy flavour and plenty of juicy fruit to compliment the “meatiness” of the mushrooms in Chef Matt’s mushroom & arugula salad with parmigiano reggiano.
It wouldn’t be a PPS Syrah tasting without a BC wine. The Syrah from Desert Hills (located just up the road from Burrowing Owl) is grown on the Black Sage Bench just north of Osoyoos. The emerging signature of BC Syrahs exhibit a more straightforward fruit than its cousin in France. The shoulder cut of lamb is a perfect braising meat and stands up to a robust and spicy red wine like the Desert Hills Syrah. Served with a turnip & potato rosti, I fell in love with the pairing – delicious!
Finally, we sampled Barossa from Jacob’s Creek in Australia. Again under $15/bottle, this wine delivers Shiraz as we know it – bold, round, almost off dry and packed with cooked fruit and vanilla spice flavour. Paired with cocoa-rolled chocolate truffles, this combination hit the spot for everyone at the table. Don’t be scared to serve wine with dessert – the key is to ensure the wine is sweeter than the dessert. The chocolate highlighted the richness and sweetness of the Barossa.
Chelsea & Stephanie from Niche Magazine joined us - check the Niche Blog for their thoughts of the evening.
Tonight, we’ll be sampling different Rieslings! Missed the last few Vino e Spuntino? Join us on Wednesday, May 15th for Grenache. It’ll be the A Team – Andrew will talk about talk wine and Chef Andrew Langley will prepare the snacks. It’s sure to be deliciously fun. Cost is $40 per person plus GST. For additional information or to make your reservation, call Andrew at 250.590.4388 or email.
March 25th, 2013
Are you a PPS fan just waiting for your big break? Join us Tuesday, March 26th at PPS Cook from 11:30am – 4pm for the filming of Pizza Wars Victoria. As part of a larger series including Burger Wars & Taco Wars, Pizza Wars will be aired nationally on the CMT Network.
Along with filming the PPS crew in action, Canadian comedian Cris Nannarone – host of Pizza Wars – will be interviewing customers. Think you have a face the camera will love? Come support us on Tuesday and who knows – you might end up on TV!
March 22nd, 2013
At the last Vino e Spuntino we gathered to taste a selection of Sauvignon Blancs – a classic white wine that originates from the Bordeaux region of France. PPS resident wine expert Andrew Johnson picked a selection showcasing the different Sauvignon Blanc producing regions. Chef Matt concocted small bites highlighting the relationship between the wine & the food.
The tasting began with Kim Crawford from the Marlborough region in New Zealand – a region famous for producing Sauvignon Blanc. Expect great character and intensity with a recognizable slap of grass and capsicum (pepper). In between sips, we sampled small bites of Chef Matt’s crostini with pepperonata and goat cheese. The wine was clean, refreshing & acidic – the perfect partner to the rich and tangy goat cheese.
Next we moved to France sampling Domain Fouassier Sancerre. The French mostly label wines based on the region the grape has grown in (appellation) rather than the specific varietal. To know which type of wine you’re drinking, you need to know the type of wines produced in the region – Sancerre produces wonderful Sauvignon Blanc. Sipping this elegant wine, you notice it opens with tart, citric notes followed by a luxuriously textured body. The finish is reminiscent of fresh fruit served on cold limestone. It was a wonderful companion to the tuna tartare with fennel and citrus we snacked on.
What Sauvignon Blanc tasting would be complete without fresh oysters? Garnished with only lemon, the simplicity of the oysters paired expertly with Okanagan’s Fairview Cellars Sauvignon Blanc. Winemaker Bill Eggerts calls this wine his “oyster wine.” How could it be paired with anything else? This expressive wine has intense aromas of herbs, grapefruit and just the slightest pang of petrol.
Finally, Andrew poured Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc from Sonoma, California. Fume Blanc is modelled after Pouilly-Fume, another important Sauvignon Blanc appellation in France’s Loire Valley. This wine plays the acidity of Sauvignon Blanc off subtle oak ageing. The resulting wine is sinfully delicious. Rich fruit aromas swirl around a tight acidic backbone begging for sip after sip. The prosciutto wrapped asparagus with a pecorino zabaglione supported the wine by being salty, sweet, tangy & vegetal all at once.
Want to expand your wine knowledge? Join us at 6pm on Wednesday, March 27th at PPS Bridge where Andrew will be pouring examples of Syrah complete with small bites from Chef Matt. All food is served family style – the small bites or spuntino (snacks) are not intended as a meal.
Cost is $40 per person plus HST. For additional information or to make your reservation, call Andrew at 250.590.4388 or email.
March 1st, 2013
We’re honored and humbled to win the Great Pizza Pie & Best Place to Feed a Kid awards in this year’s Exceptional Eats Awards. Nothing makes us happier than putting a smile on your little bambino’s face. Grazie mille to everyone who voted for us!