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An elegant French wine with rack of lamb, and more food and drink ideas.
The Expert: Manuel Ferreira,
proprietor and sommelier at
Vancouver’s Le Gavroche
The Dish: Salt Spring lamb rack, mustard-crusted, rosemary
garlic jus, $39
The Pairing: Perrin & Fils
Vacqueyras, 2007, $60
The dish I’ve chosen to pair is our Salt Spring lamb rack – a signature dish that’s been on the menu since the restaurant opened in 1978. Our lamb is very traditional. We age it for 12 days and then roast it with mustard and breadcrumbs. The sauce for the lamb rack is a rosemary garlic jus – again, a very simple and traditional sauce done with veal stock, roasted garlic and rosemary.
This classic dish is complemented by a classic wine, so I’ve chosen a wine from the Côtes du Rhône area. The wines from this region are elegant and refined, and the 2007 Perrin & Fils Vacqueyras is probably one of the best. It’s big, ripe and fruity, which serves to cut the gaminess of the lamb wonderfully. But there’s also a pepperiness to this wine, which accentuates the flavours of the rosemary garlic jus and cuts through the fat of the meat.
Vacqueyras is often referred to as the poor man’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape – it has a very similar flavour profile without the extreme price point. And that was important: I wanted a wine that was accessible. This is an exceptional vintage, but give it another 10 years and it will be in its prime.
September is birthday month at the Top Table Restaurant Group: Cin Cin celebrates its 20th anniversary, while both Blue Water Café and West are raising a glass to a decade in business. Fresh on the award-winning West’s menu is a first course that utilizes local ingredients – a B.C. albacore tuna with Barkley Sound seaweed salad, samphire and citrus mayonnaise. Here’s the how-to for the mayonnaise: beat 1 egg yolk, 1 pinch of salt, 15 ml water and 50 ml of yuzu/lime juice in a small bowl until very thick. Slowly drizzle in 150 ml of olive oil, beating vigorously all the while. Thin with hot water if desired. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Serve with seaweed salad and tuna (marinated in ponzu, lightly seared, cooled and thinly sliced). $16.50, west.com
Marquis Wine Cellars owner John Clerides wants to dispel the myth that Burgundian wines are unattainable, overpriced and hard to understand, so he’s giving Vancouverites the rare opportunity to learn from, or dine with, the world’s leading authority on Burgundy, author Allen Meadows. On September 18, gain access to the members-only Terminal City Club, where Meadows will guide you through the complexities of Burgundian wines in a rare tasting event. Or choose to partake in a dinner, later the same day at the club, where Chef Jason Lloyd has created a menu that pairs with each of Meadows’ carefully selected wines. Tasting event, $99; dinner, $199; marquis-wines.com