July Wine: 2008 Garry Oaks Prism

The best local wine to pair with crab cakes and more summer-inspired food and drink.

Credit: Nik West

Garry Oaks Winery on Salt Spring Island.

A culinary journey through South America, France, 
Salt Spring Island and – everybody’s favourite 
summer destination – Margaritaville

Ask an Oenophile

The Expert: Milly Sinclair, wine director at Salt Spring Island’s 
Hastings House 

The Dish: Dungeness crab cake with garden greens and wasabi aioli: three-course menu, $65; four-course menu, $80

The Pairing: Garry Oaks Prism, 
2008, $40

There are some excellent wines produced here on Salt Spring that pair beautifully with many of our locally sourced menu items. And as our menu revolves around what is fresh, in season and local, it was important for me to complement this dish with a local winery as well. 

I’ve chosen a wine from Garry Oaks Winery, their 2008 Prism, to pair with the Dungeness crab cake. The fresh coastal flavours of the wine are a perfect match with the freshly caught Salt Spring Island crab. This aromatic blend of estate-grown Gewürztraminer blended with a touch of Chardonnay is fermented dry, producing crisp acidity and lovely tropical fruit, lime and ginger notes on the palate – a perfect foil to the sweetness of the crab and spicy wasabi aioli.

The well-drained, seven-acre vineyard sits above the valley floor, soaking up the sun and enjoying the mild ocean breezes that moderate the temperature, protecting the vines from frosts early and late in the season. Since the first vintage in 2001, Garry Oaks wines have been routinely winning Canadian and international awards, the 2008 Prism winning a silver medal at the NorthWest Wine Summit.

To me this wine is a wonderful expression of our island fruit and the passionate winemaking and grape-growing skills that produce it.

Dish Decoded

Baru Latino Restaurant

If you’re looking for some South American spice to match the summer heat, check out Baru Latino Restaurante on Vancouver’s west side. This lively neighbourhood joint is the brainchild of three Colombian expats, but the catholic tastes of the proprietors extend throughout the continent, with dishes from Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Colombia. One of our faves is the seven-ounce Argentine flatiron steak served with roasted beets, smoky corn salsa, jalapeno potato pavé and – most importantly – fresh chimichurri sauce. This classic sauce is the key to giving your grilling that Argentine flair and is easy to make. Combine about 125 ml (½ cup) of olive oil, two crushed garlic cloves, chopped Italian parsley, one tomato, half a white onion, a teaspoon of paprika and/or chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Some recipes add 125 ml (½ cup) of red wine vinegar for extra bite. Let the mix stand for two hours to allow the flavours to meld. $25, baru.ca.

Provence Marinaside Vancouver

Le Pique-Nique

You don’t often see Vancouverites enjoying a picnic on a summer’s day. Yes, we realize that the weather is hopelessly unpredictable, which can make planning for a day outside a bit of a challenge, and we know the actual gathering of picnic ingredients is often more time-consuming than it’s worth. But we’re still all for a day that pays homage to a slower way of life, and luckily Yaletown’s Provence Marina­side is too. The French restaurant offers three gourmet picnic options with choices of antipasti, fresh fruit, dessert and baguette to suit your tastes and budget. Choose your vessel – a wicker basket or backpack – et bonne journée! English Bay Picnic (serves two), $35; Stanley Park Picnic (serves three), $45; Marinaside Picnic (serves four), $75; provencevancouver.com.

Williams Sonoma Margarita Maker
$499.95, Williams Sonoma

Wasting Away in…

We’re not sure where to begin with this impressive margarita-making contraption, except that it caught our eye right away. Rather than chopping ice, the Margaritaville shaves ice to quickly blend drinks restaurant-style, while a rotating ice chute divvies up bevies into three separate pitchers. And you aren’t just limited to margaritas. There are settings for daiquiris, pina coladas, mudslides and smoothies as well. So as long as the ingredients are on hand, the drinks can keep flowing.