This morning, I indulged in a delicious brunch paired perfectly with BC Wines at the Hart House in Burnaby. The brunch was part of Dine Out Vancouver, which officially kicked off yesterday, January 19th, and will run until February 4th.
The brunch took place in the historic Hart House. I walked into a very welcoming space with a beautifully lit fireplace that warmed the entrance. I grabbed an empty glass and walked into the main dining room which was rearranged for the event with tables of BC Wineries lining the outer area, and spectacular food stations scattered around the room. The space is absolutley stunning, with gorgeous views of Deer Lake from right outside the backdoor.
The menu was an all around show stopper! I started off with crispy wild boar belly topped with blood orange and bourbon glaze. Then, I tasted the smoked sturgeon benedict with house made english muffin, hollandaise, quail egg and caviar. Next, I had a creamy Wild mushroom quiche with truffle cheddar and leaks. Then (my personal favourite dish) I had the crispy fried chicken and housemade cornbread pancakes with spicy maple butter. Finally, to end things off, I enjoyed a savoury mini brioche french toast with apple compote, pecans and cinnamon mascarpone.
Now, of course in my opinion, every brunch is complemented with a delicious glass of BC Wine. Five of BC’s top wineries were present with two hand selected wines for guests to enjoy alongside their dishes.
I love to kick off brunch with a glass of bubbles, so I went straight to Blasted Church for a crisp glass of OMG, a traditional sparking wine made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. I was excited to hear they are releasing a new bubbles, OMFG (love the name!) which has been aged for 72 months. Blasted Church also had their 2016 Gewürztraminer, which had beautiful rose and lychee flavours.
Then, I went to visit McWatters Collection, a winery owned by legendary Harry McWatters, the man who helped to put BC wine on the map. They were pouring a new release, the 2016 Chardonnay which was slightly oaked with fresh tropical fruits (banana, pineapple) on the palate. I was surprised with this wine as it is night and day from their previous vintage of Chardonnay as it is only 50% oak for 6 months, and have completely different flavour profiles. This scored as my top white wine of brunch as it had lots of acidity and paired perfectly with almost every dish! They were also pouring the Meritage, a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, and 14% Cabernet Franc, which had velvety tannins and dark fruit flavours. McWatters is part of Encore Vineyards, which is opening a brand new winery & tasting room in Penticton, TIME Winery, expected to be open by Spring this year. I am counting down the days for this!
Next, I stopped by one of BC’s oldest wineries, Gray Monk Winery, that was serving their 2016 Pinot Gris and 2013 Merlot Odyssey Series. I personally didn’t care too much for the Pinot Gris as I felt it lacked complexity and character, but the Merlot had nice black cherry and spice and paired nicely with the cheese and charcuterie platters.
Then, I made my way to Oliver’s Le Vieux Pin, a winery known for their traditional french-style winemaking, winning them worldwide accolades including being listed at Michelin star restaurants across Europe. I started off with the Ava 2016, a perfect blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne, leaving my palate with soft peach and herbal tea notes. This is such a unique and exciting blend. I am going to try and find a bottle to cellar for 5-7 years because I would love to taste this particular blend aged. Then, I tasted the Syrah Cuvee Violette, a smooth Syrah with 1% Rousanne to balance it out. This was our top red wine of the brunch, I kept going back for more!
If you are travelling and tasting in the Okanagan, be sure to add Le Vieux Pin and sister winery, La Stella, to your list but be sure to call ahead because due to production they may only be by appointment this year.
Finally, the last stop was Lake Country’s 50th Parallel Estate Winery. All of their wines are from estate vineyards in the Okanagan. I started with their 2016 Pinot Gris full of citrus fruit flavour and paired nicely with the smoked sturgeon Benedict. Then, I loved their 2015 Pinot Noir which has notes of dark fruit, cherry flavours. The new tasting room and restaurant is slated to open this Spring!
If you missed today’s BC Wine Brunch, you are still in luck because there are three other BC Wine Brunches that are happening as part of Dine Out Vancouver and tickets ($62 ALL INCLUSIVE) are still available. It is by far the best value brunch you will get in the city!
- January 21- Pinnacle Hotel in North Vancouver, tickets $62 and feature the following wineries: Mission Hill Family Esate, Evolve Cellars, Quail’s Gate Winery, See Ya Later Ranch and Sandhill.
- January 27- Forage at the Listel Hotel in Vancouver, tickets $62 and feature some of our favourite BC Wineries like Culmina, Evolve Cellars, Niche Wine Co, Bartier Bros and Joie Farm.
- January 28- Boulevard Kitchen at the Sutton Place Hotel, tickets $62 and feature the following wineries: Meyer Family Vineyards, Culmina, Lunessence, Black Market and Haywire,
For a list of all participating restaurants and other events, be sure to visit Dine Out Vancouver Festival before it sells out!