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Not to be outdone, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler pulled out all the stops importing six of its regional “Pacific” chefs to match the amazing wines of Alan Shoup’s Long Shadows Project from Washington. In the cozy Wine Room tucked in behind the Wildflower Cafe, Randy Dunn’s Feather 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon was aptly paired with black pepper-spiced venison prepared by the Hotel Vancouver’s Karen Gin.
At the Telus Conference Centre the third Battle of the Sexes turned into a blowout for the women. The 90-minute, double-blind tasting saw the women nail two out of four wines and generally stomp the men, taking 39 of a possible 48 points. Congratulations to Tinhorn Creek winemaker, Sandra Oldfield, Michelle Bouffard of www.housewine.ca , educator/sommelier DJ Kearney and wine writer/taster Daenna van Mulligen.
At the always popular Wine Guys and Their Picks, a sold-out tasting room enjoyed an eclectic mix of wines presented by the panel.
Wine diva Daenna van Mulligen brought along Col de' Salici 2005 Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Spumante Extra Dry ($22). The floral, almond skin, red apple, mineral-flavoured breakfast bubbly is available in private wine shops.
Western Living contributor Sid Cross opened Laughing Stock Vineyards 2006 Chardonnay ($25) from Naramata in the Okanagan Valley. Cross raved about its cool style and creamy, leesy, nutty, vanilla, honey, pineapple flavours.
Bruce Stephen ( Vancouver Lifestyles Magazine) praised the La Crema 2005 Pinot Noir ($40) from California’s Sonoma Coast. The Russian River pinot is a rich, supple, hedonistic-style pinot mixing black fruit streaked with bits of barnyard and oak.
Restaurateur Mark Taylor, of Cru Restaurant in Vancouver, offered the crowd six-year-old Apollonio 2001 Copertino Rosso ($20) from Apulia, Italy. The negroamaro red has big licorice, black cherry, plum, floral, smoky coffee flavours that best accompany stew and/or cassoulet.
Sommelier Sebastien Le Geoff of Lumiere and Feenie’s wrapped up the event with a delicious bottle of Kung Fu Girl 2006 Riesling from Washington, complete with its aromatic nose of peach skin and white flowers. Why the name Kung Fu Girl? The winery claims riesling and girls kick ass! Look for it in private wine shops.
My seminar contribution was the Pascal Jolivet 2006 Attitude Sauvignon ($24) made from low-yielding vines in Touraine. Its minerality jumps out of the glass with bits of seaweed and chalk. The style is fresh with delicate notes of smoky mineral, grapefruit, green apple skin citrus and white peach. Perfect for oysters and/or Dungeness crab dishes.