“Wine enters through the mouth,
Love, the eyes.
I raise the glass to my mouth,
I look at you,”
Tasting the Stars - A Vineyard Valentine
From Queen B to Hepburn: The Romance of Pairing
When you think about it, the pairing of fine wine and romance go hand-in-hand. Indeed, there’s something inherently romantic about the process. Bogey and Bacall, Hepburn and Tracey, Beyoncé and Jay-Z - iconic couples, like properly paired wine, bring out the best in each other, enhancing each other’s best qualities and attributes. And when it’s just right? Magic.
And just like fine wine and culinary greatness, a beautiful relationship takes time, patience, love and the right environment to flourish. You can’t fake that.
Tasting the Stars
Folklore suggests that at the moment Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon, perfected Champagne, he exclaimed, “come quickly, I’m tasting the stars!” It’s no wonder then, that the serving of Champagne is an auspicious beginning to any evening, and Blackwood Lane’s Valentine’s Day Dinner was no exception, as guests mingled in the elegant tasting room, sipping bubbly while the aroma of the impending feast sparked tantalizing anticipation!
“As I ate the oysters...and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy.”
- Ernest Hemingway
First Course: Amorous Amuse Bouche
When Savoury City and Blackwood Lane team up, you know it’s not going to be just another dinner, but rather a gastronomic happening! As 15 couples took their seats at the rose-and-heart-strewn long-table, they were treated to Kumamoto oysters freshly shucked with Son’s of Vancouver Chili Vodka, cucumber pearls, and pickled shallots. Carlos chose to pair this exquisite amuse with his exceptional 2014 Sea Buckthorn Riesling. A perfect way to kick things off!
Second Course: Sensuous Salad
The second course tasted as good as it looked! The beet salad, prepared with salt roasted yellow and ciogga beets, wild arugula, toasted pumpkin seeds, fior di latte cheese and lemon and olive oil, paired exquisitely with the 2014 Chardonnay. The floral aroma - mixed with hints of golden delicious apples, citrus and vanilla - created the perfect flavour combination! Things, however, were just getting started!
Third Course: Viva Alliànce
The main course did not disappoint! Savoury City’s roasted AAA Alberta striploin, served medium rare with potato pave, market vegetables, carrot fondant, and Merlot jus, hit the culinary mark! Of course, when paired with Carlos’ signature 2009 Alliànce, the guests couldn’t help but break out into spontaneous applause! The aroma of spiced cherries, raspberry, cassis, violets, sweet oak, wet stone and cocoa danced a perfect 'pas de deux' with the savoury flavours of the striploin. What a memorable pairing!
Vertical Valentine’s Surprise
Just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, Carlos had a surprise up his sleeve. As this was a night of romance and celebration, Carlos decided that a vertical tasting of his 2006, 2007 and 2008 Alliànce was in order! Opening his library wines is a rare event and guests were definitely feeling the love! Each vintage was different, but all of them were brilliantly sumptuous in their own unique way. A labour of love for a night of love!
Fourth Course: Chocolate Love
What Valentine’s Day Dinner would be complete without a chocolate cake made from scratch? Topped with fresh whipped cream and warm chocolate sauce, a more perfect nadir to a magical night of wine, food and friends could not be imagined.
A Night of Love, New Friendships and Joie de Vivre!
Martin Luther once wrote, “Beer is made by men, wine by God.” True, perhaps. However, great wine is made by Carlos Lee! Thanks to Blackwood Lane and Savoury City for making this year’s Valentine’s Day Dinner a truly memorable evening! A night of camaraderie, friendship and genuine joie de vivre! And really, isn’t that what Valentine’s Day should be all about?