My last dinner at West

The restaurant West in Vancouver, BC has been a staple in the restaurant scene for years. Offering amazing service, a small welcoming room, incredible food and a wine list that’s been curated to be savored and enjoyed.

But, guess what? This iconic restaurant will be closing its doors at the end of 2019.

Therefore, I wanted to share with you my last dinner there in February during the Vancouver Int’l Wine Festival. And, it’s perfect timing for two reasons:

  1. You can start planning and take advantage of a discount for the next Vancouver Int’l Wine Festival, featuring France February 22 to March 1st! This is the largest consumer Wine Festival in North America, you really should not miss it! Starting November 6 at 9:30 a.m., wine lovers can save $10 off International Festival Tasting (IFT) tickets for the 42nd Vancouver International Wine Festival. Or book one of 39 downtown hotels available through StayVancouverHotels.com to get a free IFT ticket, a saving of up to $115. The Delta Air Lines Tasting Lounge and the Gold Pass are also on sale in advance at a discount.
  2. Enjoy West Restaurant before they close at the end of 2019. They are offering a Fall Prix Fixe, a 3-course menu that can be enjoyed Sundays through Thursdays and Friday & Saturday evening until 6 pm. West Restaurant

I hope this inspires you to try their wines, and perhaps get out to enjoy West Restaurant soon!

 

A stunning dinner paired with Stags’ Leap wines from Napa Valley, California, while sitting across from Joanne Wing, the winemaker…

You may know the name – Stags Leap from the historic name battle or from the Judgment of Paris which happened in 1976. Although Stags’ Leap Winery didn’t participate, it’s neighbour Stag’s Leap Winery did, which put them both on the international map because of their recognition at this judgement. “The Judgment of Paris” tasting at which the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon took top honors among the red wines, triumphing over two first-growth and other renowned wines of Bordeaux.”

There are two Stags Leap Wineries in Napa Valley. “This made Napa and the winery itself internationally renowned. The Stags Leap District is known for its rocky soils. There are two Stags Leap District wineries. Read carefully, Stag’s Leap and StagsLeap – make note of the singular vs. plural possessives.”

Joanne Wing, winemaker, Stags’ Leap Winery

Here is the beautiful menu prepared for the Stags’ Leap wines

 

Canapés

SAWMILL BAY OYSTERS

viognier jelly, dill, crispy parmesan, roasted mushroom, truffled chantilly

paired with: Stags’ Leap Viognier 2017, Napa Valley

This viognier was light and beautiful with medium acidity, making it so enjoyable.

 

First course

First Course

KANPACHI CRUDO

fennel, blood orange, coriander

paired with: Stags’ Leap Chardonnay 2016, Napa Valley

A medium style of chardonnay with vibrancy, it was the perfect pairing!

 

First Course

Second Course

BEETROOT SALAD

burrata cheese, avocado, pumpkin seed vinaigrette

paired with: Stags’ Leap Merlot 2016, Napa Valley

The earthy notes of the beets and burrata brought out the earth notes in the Merlot,

if you are not a Merlot lover – this would change you forever.

 

 

Third Course

SLOW COOKED PORK CHEEKS RAVIOLI

roasted onions, grana padano

paired with: Stags’ Leap Petite Sirah 2016, Napa Valley

The pork wasn’t too fatty, which brought out the sweeter notes of the wine.

The pairing made me think of pork sliders, and how this pairing would wow a crowd.

 

Entrée

Entrée

ROASTED HOLSTEIN STRIPLOIN

wild mushroom and leek tart, black truffle flakes and jus

paired with: Stags’ Leap The Investor Red Blend 2015, Napa Valley

This was my favourite out of the two, it lifted the flavours of the food and the wine

Stags’ Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Napa Valley

A very big Cab, yet sooo smooth.

 

 

Cheese

WARM GOUGERES

st. albert cheese, preserved quince

paired with: Stags’ Leap The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Napa Valley

 

What an evening sharing time with the down to earth winemaker and enjoying an amazing dinner.

I never drink this much red wine, this time after harvest, I usually drink a beer.

– Joanne Wing, Winemaker, Stags’ Leap Winery

 

Until next time, keep exploring and enjoying more wine from around the world. Cheers!

Live red wine tasting – part 2!

If you missed part 1 of my recap of “Live wine tasting” at the 2016 Wine Bloggers Conference in Lodi, California – get caught up: click here.

Let’s dive right in! Again, up to 12 wineries make their way around a room full of a 300+ wine bloggers. In under 5 minutes – they talk and pour and we taste and tweet!

Here are the wines I tasted and discovered in no particular order…

 

Processed with MOLDIV

Oak Ridge Winery – Lodi, California

Moss Roxx Ancient Vine Reserve Zinfandel – from 105 year old vines, 85% Zinfandel with just a touch of Merlot.

Wow. It was big, bold and beautiful.

as they say “expression of Lodi’s signature terroir”

Ehlers Estate Winery – Napa Valley, California

Bordeaux Blend is their flagship wine with 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, with Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

Organic and bio-dynamic winery, tannins were nicely balanced on this big, rich, slightly spiced wine.

Troon Vineyard –  Grants Pass, Southern Oregon

Newly released 2014 Malbec from the Rogue Valley. Not your Argentinian or Cahors, France style at all! Very floral with lots of acidity to balance the black fruits. Just 200 cases made. They also practice natural winemaking with minimal impact.

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The Federalist Winery – Lodi, California

This 2014 Zinfandel is a salute to the first president of the USA George Washington. Dense, smooth and dry with a baking spice and dried cherries and blueberries. Cozy up and enjoy this one!

Windrun Wines – Santa Barbara County, California

From the Santa Rita hills this 2014 Pinot Noir was oaked with dirty tannins and big at 14.3% alc. and could stand to be cellared for a while yet! Think blackberry with some smoke and earthy minerality. Really nice!

Corner 103 – Sonoma County, California

2012 Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley

Smooth with balanced acidity, dried stewed fruits like cherries with a hint of chocolate. Quite lovely.

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Prie Winery – Lodi, California

2012 Reserve Zinfandel from 100 yr old vines and a single vineyard

Balanced, smooth, notes of sherried cherries. 900 cases made.

This was a WOW wine. This is what Lodi is recognized for!

Trine Vineyards & Winery  – Sonoma County, California

2012 Henry’s Blend – a Bordeaux blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 13% Petit Verdot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec. Notes of green pepper, black liquorice, lingering cigar and cedar with dusty tannins. I love, love, love the note of cigar (sweet or bold) in a wine.

Peirano Estate Winery – Lodi, California

2013 “The Immortal Zin” Old Vine Zinfandel – notes of red fruits, currant jam, spring leaves and earthy undertones.

Soooooo smooth. Hand picked from 100-year-old vines.

I’ll admit, after tasting so many BIG red wines, all you crave is a cold beer! But, it was so wonderful to taste ancient vine Zinfandel to smokey Pinot, Bordeaux blends and a Malbec! Where ever you are in the world, I hope you see some of these wines at your favourite wine store, if not, it’s time to start planning your next wine trip! For more info. about the Lodi Wine Region: click here