Sunday, July 19, 2009

Travelin' Oenophile: More on Victoria and Vancouver

Happy Sunday! I hope that those of you here in Decatur and Atlanta are able to enjoy the weather. I'm writing this on the back patio. Even better, Hubby is making lunch, the Grilled Salmon and Spinach Salad from this month's Cooking Light.

Hubby finally went through the black hole that he calls his desk and found some of the info I was missing for the Victoria and Vancouver posts.

First, in Victoria, we did visit a tasting room in the city itself. The Artisan Wine Shop has bottles from several different British Columbia wineries. We didn't find any that really stood out, but the staff was friendly, and the tasting was complimentary.

I believe I ended the Vancouver post with us in Yaletown doing some bar-hopping and eating. After we went to George, we stopped off for some B.C. wine at the Hamilton Street Grill, where we found a nice list of B.C. wine and a very friendly bartender. I had a glass of the 2006 Hillside Estates Cabernet Franc. We'd visited Hillside Estates on our Pacific Northwest wine trip in 2007 and brought back a bottle of red, which has long since been drunk, but I'm pretty sure it was an earlier vintage Cab Franc. The wine was as good as I'd hoped it would be with dark red currant and a little oak and chocolate. Hubby had the 2007 Misconduct "The Big Take," a red blend of Merlot, Cabernet, and Cab Franc. It was a bit rougher, and we both agreed we liked my Cab Franc better.

After those glasses and a taste of something the bartender thought we'd like (didn't take notes -- was in "I'm on vacation, darnit!" mode), we were ready for some food. Hubby had the idea that he wanted oysters, so we wandered into Goldfish Pacific Kitchen. We were in casual attire due to the heat, and the first hostess looked at us askance, but the other one was warmer and brought us to a nice table for two on the back patio. Hubby had Oysters on the Half Shell, and I had the Wok Beef. We split an order of the Duck Sausage & Truffle Macaroni, and we both had salads. Yeah, I think we had wine munchies by that point. Hubby liked his oysters. I really enjoyed the Wok Beef, which tasted similar to Mongolian Beef, one of my favorite Chinese dishes. The Duck Sausage & Truffle Macaroni was as good as promised, maybe a little heavy on the truffle.

After dinner, we popped into the place next door, which advertised itself as having lots of local produce, meats, and wine on the menu in search of more B.C. wines. Nope, not a one, so we wandered down the street to the Blue Water Cafe and Raw Bar. I think we had skipped that place for dinner because I wasn't in the mood for seafood, so we had to find someplace that was more balanced. We sat at the lovely bar, which had an incredible array of Scotches. The bill says that we had two glasses of the 2005 Desert Hills Mirage (Cab Sauv/Merlot/Malbec/Cab Franc/P.Verdot), but there may have been a special that night for half-price bottles. Honestly, I don't remember, but I don't think we would've split a bottle after everything else we drank. I'm sure my palate was burned out by that point, but I remember the wine being good, if a little raisin-y.

By that point, we didn't even want to try to figure out Vancouver's near-incomprehensible bus system, so we hailed a cab back to the hotel. Hubby felt vindicated to see that the pedestrians run out in front of them, too.

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