At the Vancouver International Wine Festival 2023 – a world of wine awaits us, with a focus on South America.
It started with a launch at Joey’s and it’s not over yet. A few master classes, the festival tasting itself and about last night…
If you’re a food/wine lover nothing can beat a wine pairing dinner.
And if you’re the adventurous type, you’ll travel to the ends of the earth to discover a unique wine in a unique location. That’s what we did last night – me and my new friends sitting around a round table at Hydra Estiatorio Mediterranean restaurant downtown Vancouver. And what a magnificent restaurant (more on this later).
Okay, in truth we didn’t travel very far to discover this new finding. However, someone else did so that she could offer around 97 guests an exceptional 7 course dining extravaganza along with award winning wines from what was considered the Southern Hemisphere’s best kept secret – until now. I don’t like to give secrets away but I can’t hold it in any longer: I’m telling you it was the Best of Uruguay: from Bodega Garzón. Who knew? I certainly did not realize how excellent these wines from Uruguay are and in general I was not even aware of what kind of wines they produced, if any. Luckily I’m not alone.
Having been to Argentina twice I was familiar with Mendoza wine region and Malbec wine. What a shame that I didn’t travel a little more distance to Uruguay to check this out for myself. I certainly wouldn’t bypass it next time. Not after last night!
Each pairing was thoughtfully curated by Hydra’s Executive Chef Brad Scharien (formerly of Italian Kitchen & Coast) to wow guests. And that he did. It was amazing.
Former wine maker and enologist Mele Sosa (born in Uruguay and raised in Uruguay and Chile) was our vivacious, charming, funny and knowledgeable host with the most. She was great with a mic while darting in and around tables explaining about all the fabulous wines we had the privilege of sampling and answering questions.
One of the wines is called Balasto – a 2017 iconic red wine made from Tannat (the national red grape), Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot grapes. This big, beautiful bold wine was paired with braised short rib stifado (which was a tasty dish of short rib with caramelized pearl onion, confit garlic potato puree + pickled mustard seed). As you can guess, it was wonderful. And the whole evening was like one big food and wine fest of its’ very own.
A little more about Mele: Mele’s role entails traveling through the United States and Canada, to champion Tannat (she even sang about it), Albariño and other wines produced by Bodega Garzón through media work, trade and distributor training, winemakers dinners and wine events.
After this evening I can say that my new favourite white is called Albariño and my new favourite reds are called Tannat and Balasto (also I love saying these new to me names). Also I’m quite picky with rosé but I loved their Estate Pinot Noir Rosé de Corte 2021 which was very elegant and expressive – not too sweet, not overly dry – just perfecto!
Here’s a bonus – they’re all available at Legacy liquor store in Olympic Village, Vancouver (link below).
Below is taken from the brochure
About Bodega Garzón; Uruguay:
When Alejandro Bulgheroni and his wife Bettina discovered Garzón, they had a family dream come true: to have the most emblemetic winery of modern viticulture in Uruguay and premium wines with an intense personality and a deep sense of belonging to the land. With the advice of international enologist Alberto Antonini, they apply their philosophy focused on producing wines that are a true expression of their origins. Experts on viticulture, environmental care, gastronomy, hospitality and tourism complete a team committed to this unprecedented project.
Hydra: a dining experience without parallel.
Named after the beautiful culinary Greek Island in the Aegean Sea, World Class Chef-driven Hydra Estiatorio Mediterranean & Bar is a Greek Seafood restaurant. Hydra applies Greece’s time-honored ingredients with traditional cooking styles, focusing on quality Mediterranean dishes such as vine-ripened tomato salad with flat parsley and feta, alongside exquisitely-tender grilled octopus garnished with lemon juice and olive oil, or lamb chops served straight from the grill with hints of garlic and oregano.
Where to buy Bodega Garzón wines in Vancouver:
Vancouver International Wine Festival (all weekend long) tickets:
2 thoughts on “Last night we had a Balasto!”
Hi Debbie! You are such a whirlwind & I
takes one to know one