Thursday, February 23, 2017

Vancouver International Wine Festival - Part 1 ! Dine Italia!

Starting this year's VIWF report with our last activity of the Festival; Dine Italia!

We first attended this event in 2014 and at the time, promised ourselves we'd never miss it again. But then in 2016, with Italy being the host country, the normal-Saturday event got bumped to Sunday, and it didn't fit into our plans. But I'm going to say it again; we'll never miss this again! Hosted by beautiful Yaletown restaurant La Terrazza, the food and wine always measure up.

It sells out in minutes. MINUTES. I wonder why?

Not much to like there. :)

We started off with Cornetto Al Tonno. There is virtually NOTHING I like in this dish. It's yellow fin tuna tartare with a meyer lemon basil aoili, topped by steelhead caviar in a mini sugar cone. I don't like tuna, certainly don't like raw fish of any kind, and am not much of a fan of caviar. Basically, I like the cone. But when anything is well made, it's pretty good and this was certainly palatable.


Zonin1821 - NV Veneto Masseria Altemura Rosamaro ($32.99)

Beautiful aromas and flavors of strawberry, raspberry and cranberry highlight this sparkling gem. A real nice way to start off the afternoon. 88.

Course 1

King crab cake, micro potato salad,
apple-fennel slaw, lime-peperoncino emulsion
Fresh bocconcini and tomato salad
for my shellfish-allergic wife 


Santa Margherita Ca'Del Bosco - N/V Cuvée Prestige ($40.99)

Light wheat nose with aromas and flavors of green apple. Well balanced and was an absolutely beautiful pairing with the crab. 89.

Cantina Tollo - 2015 Pecorino Terre di Chieti ($26.99)

Muted nose. Palate features citrus notes with a vegetative component. For me, didn't pair as well with the crab as the above. 86.

Monte Del Fra - 2014 Ca Del Magro Custozo Superiore ($16.99)

Beautiful fruity nose. Flavors of peach and nectarine. Long, almost sweet finish. Really lovely and a great pair with the crab. 89.

Course 2


Risotto Al Tartufo - simmered canoli rice, parsnip purée, asparagus tips, oyster mushrooms, perigold truffle
Oh my, that was really freaking delicious. Oh my.


Tommasi - 2014 Rosso di Montalcino Casisano ($29.49)

Rosso is Brunello's little brother and this one features a light nose of red berries with just a hint of dustiness that Sangiovese often brings. Sour cherry and some orange rind on the palate. This really needs food, but I didn't think it was a brilliant pairing with the risotto. 86.

Rocca Della Macie - 2012 Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG ($26.09)

Raspberry, earth, tiny bit of spice and wood on the nose. Full-bodied and strong tannins, with cherry and raspberry on the palate. This worked beautifully with the risotto. 88.

Course 3


Sous-vide blackened angus reserve beef tenderloin,
sangiovese - aged balsamic reduction, gnocchi al forno, burrata

 Dean likes beef. Dean LOVES this beef. Fabulous.

Umberto Cesari - 2013 Liano Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon ($26.49)

Pleasant nose featuring some dark fruit, smoke and spice. Some mocha and sweet chocolate flavors along with dark berries. This improved greatly with the tenderloin and was a terrific pairing. 89.

Allegrini - 2013 Palazzo Della Torre ($28.49)

Beautiful aromas of red cherry, dried raspberry, smoke and tobacco. Almost jammy in a way. Cherry, black pepper, plum on the palate. Some herbaciousness. Long finish. Fantastic pairing with the beef, this was my wine of the afternoon. 92.

Carpineto - 2011 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva ($34.79)

Montepulciano here references the town; not to be confused with the grape of the same name grown in other regions of Italy.

Black cherry, cassis, blackberry and mocha on the nose. Lingering accents of herbs, tobacco and spice on the pleasant finish. This wine is traditionally paired with wild boar or other gamey meats, but it went very well with the beef. 89.

Course 4

Barolo-braised veal cheek, mascarpone-porcini polenta,
grilled fennel, agro-dolce red onion
Veal has never been my "thing". If it always tasted like this, I'd have a new "thing".


Giusti - 2014 Augusto Recantina ($48.99)

 The recantina grape had almost been lost, but to our benefit, has been rediscovered. Hardly any planted in the world; about 9 hectares total, all in Italy! Huge, bold nose of violets and charred meats, slightly dusty. Some old world oak, with ripe red fruit. This was delicious, and I'll pick some up if I can find them anywhere. The veal pairing didn't make it any better, but it didn't need to get much better. 92.

Cantine Giacomo Montresor - 2013 Amarone Della Valpolicella Montresor ($42.99)

Dark ruby-red colour; light aromas of fig, dried cherries. Flavors of cedar, cherry, chocolate. Excellent food wine, improved a lot with the veal. Very nice. 90.

Course 5


Vanilla bean panna cotta w/blueberry compote, vermeer, taleggio, port cheddar cheese,
essencia honey, candied walnuts, fresh apple, cranberry/raisin crisps

What a fabulous end to a fabulous meal. The panna cotta was ridiculously good. Everything was perfect.


Cavit - Roscato Sparkling Red Wine ($19.99)

Beautiful red cherries, ripe strawberries on the nose and palate. Normally I'm not a big fan of sweet red wines (sparkling or not), but this was absolutely delicious and is an excellent bargain at this price. It's new, though, so good luck finding it. 92. 

There we go, a terrific afternoon of food as we finished off our VIWF experience for another year. Up next: Two more reports from the VIWF, both from the tasting room...


We bring "Dine Italia" home, this Saturday, as we host our own version of Italian Wine and Food night. Going to be an epic entry in our "pick a country theme nights" and I'll have a full report on that as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment