I recently had quite the tasting experience at the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival for the Bin and Now: New and Old Australian Wines seminar. Imagine 21 Aussie picks that included a dusty 1983 vintage (Yalumba’s The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz), peppery Shiraz from the Barossa Valley (St. Hallett Old Block) and an incomparable dessert wine from De Bortoli Wines (Noble One Botrytis Semillon). The Noble One finished the evening with a bang. Imagine pear purée, apricots and mead-like honey tones. And that was just the nose of the wine!
I smelled and tasted minerals, mocha and currants…maybe even fertilizer at one point. Or was it petrol? My company for the evening was as tied in knots as I was about the industry audience spitting and gargling. With not a drop wasted into our personal spit cups, it meant holding back on polishing off some of the more decadent finds.
The panel speakers were empassioned and entertaining – Majella’s Brian “Prof” Lynn shared his perspective on cork a.k.a. RPTB, rotten Portuguese tree bark – providing much food for thought. And some of this newfound knowledge can surely be applied towards a more discerning palette. Speaking of which, I wouldn’t mind working on my homework at the Roundhouse’s Best of the Bench Spring release party. With Terry David Mulligan as MC and the Naramata red carpet rolled out with the likes of Laughing Stock and Elephant Island, this promises to be a stellar event. And all that tasty regional wine will be in good hands with pairings by local restaurants such as Vij’s and Wild Rice. No wonder it sells out every year.
Tickets $84.95 inclusive, Roundhouse, 6:30-9:00pm, April 21st