November Wine: Foxtrot’s Pinot Noir

Sommelier Van Doren Chan on what to pair with pan-seared sablefish.

Credit: Adam Blasberg

Ask a Sommelier

The Expert: Van Doren Chan (who looks remarkably like a character from a Manet painting), sommelier at Vancouver’s Elixir Bistro

The Dish: Pan-seared sablefish with braised cabbage, morteau sausage and walnut jus. $28

The Pairing: Foxtrot Vineyards Pinot Noir, 2005, $120 list 

I’ve picked a red wine rather than a white – a B.C. Pinot Noir from Foxtrot Vineyards – to complement all the flavours of this dish. Sablefish is such a fatty fish that it needs a red to cut through that fat. The acidity of this Pinot accomplishes this while also matching up with the flavour of the morteau sausage. As well, the tannins of the wine complement the walnut jus.

Foxtrot is a great wine, arguably one of the best B.C. Pinot Noirs on the shelf right now. It’s aged in Allier oak barrels and new barrels are used each vintage. The fantastic richness of this wine centres on succulent, dark berry flavours – ripe cherry, dark plum – and is enhanced by spicy oak elements. It’s a light but serious Pinot with a marvellous mid palate and a silky, lengthy finish. Our B.C. terroir produces a very different Pinot from other regions. But we have a very similar climate to the Jura region of Burgundy, which is where the pork for the morteau sausage originates.

At home, I’d probably chill this wine, then serve it at 12 to 15 degrees Celsius. That way it will be more fruit-forward, and the acidity will come down a little bit, as will the tannins.

as told to Alexandra Barrow

Sweet Style

Dylan's Candy BarStepping out from the shadows of a legendary fashion designer father, in this case Ralph Lauren, can’t be easy. But 35-year-old Dylan Lauren has done just that, extending her father’s knack for classic design to the world of chocolate bars and jelly beans. Started in New York City in 2001, Dylan’s Candy Bar now has five locations – in New York, Texas and Florida – and this month makes its Canadian debut at Holt Renfrew. Enjoy a select offering of Dylan’s product line, wrapped in that distinctly Lauren colour palette, as part of Holt’s holiday season offering.

Mini Bin Jelly Beans, $17; One-kilogram Milk Chocolate Bar, $36;

Home Comforts

For those seeking seasonal home-style cooking at an affordable price, check out the new Sloping Hills pork roast at Vancouver’s Campagnolo restaurant. For executive chef Robert Belcham, the perfect pork roast is about balancing flavours, in this case slices of succulent roast (from Qualicum Beach’s Sloping Hill Farms) layered on a purée of red kuri squash and homemade cotechino sausage. The rich flavour and texture of the meat is complemented by the kuri, which is less sweet than other varieties of squash, while drippings from the pan are used as seasoning instead of garnish.