October 2nd marked the second annual harvest dinner where BC’s own fishermen, farmers, vintners, distillers, and brewers came together to celebrate the bounty of the season while cruising on the luxurious Sunset Bay Yacht out of Coal Harbour in Vancouver.
The celebration began with a glass of Clos du Soleil Rosé (made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon) being handed to each guest as they boarded the yacht in the early evening. White S-shaped leather sofas bordered the room, enticing one to sit down. However, the party had already started on the top deck of the cruise boat, where one was likely to be found happily nomnomming Alex Tung’s Stracciatella & Panzanella salad or slurping freshly shucked oysters by Sawmill Bay Shellfish Co. Toward the bow of the boat, Charles, owner of Long Table Distillery in Vancouver, was pouring shots of gin and vodka to curiously eager post-work attendees who were wondering how spirits would taste with freshly-brewed kombucha.
The CdS Rosé was an honorable match with @ChefAlexTung’s salad. The combination of burrata and radish fired-up the appetizer, creating a marked allure alongside the strawberry notes in the rosé. Peter M. Jarvis, an attendee of the cruise, called the pairing “light and bright” as he enjoyed the fresh salad on that cloudy Thursday evening.
To Charles’s right, Sawmill Bay Shellfish Co. was scooping Northern Divine Caviar from Sechelt onto loonie-sized blinis. The fish eggs were delicate and creamy, and made a collaborative pairing with the rosé.
Onwards to dinner, the Amuse Bouche was introduced by Chef Darren Brown. An organic ocean tuna and crab cone paired with CdS 2013 Capella was placed in front of each guest. Of the pairing, Chef Brown said that he and Spencer Massie, founder of the focus winery that evening, “always come up with a menu [that shows] how he does wine and I do food”.
The appetizer moved us forward into the evening – a glazed pork belly with candy sweet onions, leeks, apple & quince. The wine: CdS 2014 Pinot Blanc. Chef Brown stated, “We tried to find a way to incorporate all of them [the onions]. We went really sweet on the pork belly and really crisp on the wine.” George Manz of Similkameen River Organics, who provided Chef Brown with much of the produce, said his onions are set apart from all other onions. A big promoter of organics, George reminded all of us to “eat organic; it’s good for you”.
The third course – the entree – would not have been complete without CdS’s Signature 2012. Duck confit with chanterelle, porcini, and pine mushrooms filled the plate. An earthy dish to harmoniously merge with a young, black fruit driven wine.
One cannot do a dinner like this without dessert. CdS 2013 Saturn was an impeccable pairing for the Pistachio, Orange, & Gooseberry Panna Cotta with honey-Saturn broth. I shall not say another word.
Long Table Distillery’s Marc du Soleil was the digestif of the evening, and just when you thought you couldn’t eat another bite, the Beta 5 chocolate Marc Truffles arrived on the scene. There was no twisting of this rubber arm.
Before I knew it, the boat had docked and more than 5 courses of food had been intensely enjoyed. I was a happy camper ‘eating local’, and of course, ‘drinking local’, too.
A special thank you to Chef Brown, and all those who made this evening so enchanting!