Does this salmon ceviche go best with a Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling? Tough decisions ahead…

The Vancouver International Wine Festival seemed to go as quickly as it arrived this year. Just as I was getting over the initial shock to the system from the launch (ahem), it seemed like we were already lamenting the end on the second to last day of the event. That day, of course, was the blustery Saturday afternoon of March 2, where I and perhaps a hundred or so others gathered at the Boathouse Restaurant on Kits Beach for the New Zealand Passionate Pairings.

Billed as “the ultimate food and wine experience”, I knew how amazing it would be, having attended the same event two years prior. This year was no different. We spent two hours trying over a dozen New Zealand wines ranging from their famed Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, to their lesser known gems of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

The concept’s simple: meander through to the different food stations, prepared by the chefs at the Boathouse, and see what food and wine pairing suits your fancy. From freshly shucked oysters (they pair amazingly well with Astrolabe’s Sauvignon Blanc) to lamb popsicles (Pinot Noir please), there was a plethora of tasty New Zealand-inspired morsels to be savoured. Mix and mingle with your fellow imbibers and New Zealand winemakers, and you quickly begin to understand why these sampling style events at the wine fest are so enthralling. For $69, it’s a total deal. It’s no surprise it sells out every year!

New Zealand Perfect Pairings at the Vancouver International Wine Festival
Ora King Salmon Ceviche with Avocado Relish
Marisco Vineyards Winery Representative Anton Rasmussen
Marisco Vineyards’ Anton Rasmussen


Kelly Marion
Vancouver Observer’s Kelly Marion.
New Zealand Perfect Pairings
Searked Hoki with Coconut Curry and Mango Salsa
NZ Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with Baby Arugula, Aged Parmesan, Balsamic Shallots and Crispy Capers
NZ Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with Baby Arugula, Aged Parmesan, Balsamic Shallots and Crispy Capers
Astrolabe's Jane Forrest-Waghorn and Simon Waghorn
Astrolabe’s Jane Forrest-Waghorn and Simon Waghorn
New Zealand Green Lip Mussels with Roasted Tomato & Creamed Leeks
The perfect palate cleanser: Honey Grapefruit Granita
Akarua’s Winemaker Matt Connell (right).
Kits Beach, Vancouver
The scene outside: Kits Beach on March 2, 2013


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