Dishing up Australia

This weekend’s Dishing up Australia event was a wonderful way to explore Australia’s immense variety of wines, paired with delicious small plates prepared by chef Dino Renaerts.

chefs at work

The Museum of Vancouver’s Joyce Walley Learning Centre was also the perfect venue to host a gathering: it overlooks Vanier Park and English Bay and it’s well lit for both photography and helping to examine each wine’s colour.

Dishing up Australia

Eight tables were arranged by classification:
• Riesling
• Crisp Whites
• Rich Whites
• Pinot Noir
• Grenache and Grenache Blends
• Shiraz
• Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends
• Fortified Wines

Dishing up Australia Dishing up Australia

I started out the evening at the crisp whites table, with eight pours to marry a serving of beet and chèvre salad, toasted hazelnut, and arugula pesto. The flavourful arugula leaves and accompanying pesto were perfect additions to the salad and heightened my Sauvignon Blanc tasting experience.

Beet and chèvre salad with arugula pesto
[Beet and chèvre salad with arugula pesto]

Lucky Penny White 2010 (65% Chardonnay) Dishing up Australia Seared albacore tuna, cucumber maki, ponzu
[Bottom photo: Seared albacore tuna, cucumber maki, ponzu]

I found the minted lamb kofka skewers next, leading me to the Cabernet Sauvignon selection. This was a night of mix and matching, as I could see by the way the room was organized. Ring Bolt’s Cabernet Sauvignon has a gorgeous colour and deep flavour that I much enjoyed with the lamb.

Ring bolt Cabernet sauvignon Minted lamb kofka skewers, dill yogurt
[Minted lamb kofka skewers, dill yogurt]

Wild mushroom crostini, fresh thyme
[Wild mushroom crostini, fresh thyme]

Oyama venison sausage, huckleberry compote
[Oyama venison sausage, huckleberry compote]

After taking notes and sampling my way through the delicious plates of food and glasses of wine, I had found my two favourite pairings:

Rich whites wine selection

1. Heggies Chardonnay 2009 ($27.99), paired beautifully with crab salad, mango, and pineapple. The creamy flavour of both wine and crab was stunning and lingered on the palette.

Crab salad with mango, pineapple, pea shoots
[Crab salad with mango, pineapple, pea shoots]

Wyndham Estate Chardonnay 2010

2. Schild Estate’s GMS 2010 Grenache together with a braised beef slider (prepared with bbq sauce) was bold and offered a burst of spicy flavour in the palette when combined together. Out of the five other Grenache wines to choose from at the table, this was my favourite.

Schild Estate GMS 2010 Grenache Braised beef sliders, bbq sauce
[Braised beef sliders, bbq sauce]

A beef slider made a great choice in wine pairing, as it was easy to try a few other similar types of this hearty wine in between bites!

Dishing up Australia

Though I’m not a big fan of the sweeter, fortified wines, I did save the end of the evening for a tasting of two: the Yalumba Museum Reserve Muscat, and Peter Lehmann’s The King Vintage Fortified AD2017.

Fortified wines table Pouring a fortified wine

Between the two tastings, I picked up a small glass of the wonderfully combinable orange crème dessert with a crunchy almond bottom.

Orange crème, figs, almond crunch
[Orange crème, figs, almond crunch]

This event was well organized by house wine together with Wine Australia. I found it an enjoyable event to attend, as it wasn’t overwhelming compared to other tastings I’ve been to.

Assorted cheeses Pinot Noir table

The food was located near its chosen pairing (with the exception of the lamb skewers), and signage around the tables made it easy to follow along for the experience. house wine organizes several tastings and other events. Visit their website for information on upcoming events.

Chef Dino Renaerts

Chef Dino Renaerts is an active board member of both the Chef’s Table Society of BC and the BC Hospitality Foundation and is a partner in the Bon Vivant Consulting Group, together with his wife, restaurant industry veteran Nessa van Bergen. Bon Vivant Consulting Group offers private catering, gala events, and cooking classes.

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