I was shocked when I heard about how many wines by the glass are available for you to buy and enjoy with your meal at Provence Marinaside in Yaletown. This may be the largest wine by the glass offering in North America. The development of the FreshTAP and TORR system kegs that keep wine fresh are still relatively new technologies, but are being embraced by many restaurants and bars in Vancouver, and across North America.
When I go to a restaurant, I cannot order a whole bottle of wine for myself as I do have family and friends that don’t drink, so I am restricted to ordering wine by the glass, which is usually very restrictive in selection and of average quality. Provence Marinaside shocked me by being so bold as to offering so many wines from the glass, at many different price points, from $7 – $50 / glass, so if you are having a snack with friends on the patio this summer you may pick the Mureda Garnacha Rose 2014 at $7/glass, or having a special dinner, such as a milestone birthday, you may want to splurge for a glass of Latour-Giraud Meursault-Genevrieres 1er Cru 2012 at $50/glass. Both wines, at both ends of the price spectrum, are very good for the quality they offer. Try them.
I was invited to sample some of the 145 wines by the glass at Provence Marinaside, paired with their upcoming Spring menu items. You should be very excited as there are some really nice, thoughtfully created food & wine pairings. Here are the pairings for your mental enjoyment, and enticement.
- Kettle Valley Pinot Gris 2014
Steamed mussels with garlic, white wine, onions and cream
- Latour-Giraud Meursault-Genevrieres 1er Cru 2012
Crab and lobster bamboo rice with beurre blanc and fresh tomato
- Mureda Garnacha Rose 2014
Sea bream carpaccio with citrus vinaigrette and picholine olives
- Clos Cibonne Tibouren 2013
Country pate with brandy, thyme, rosemary, and Szechuan peppercorn
- El Petit Bonhomme 2013
Duck confit with house smoked tomato and gnocchi
- Fairview Cellars Collaboration 2013
Grilled Beef Tenderloin with red wine thyme jus and roasted shallot
I was told by Rachelle Goudreau, Sommelier at Provence Marinaside, that the Kettle Valley Pinot Gris 2014 is the most ordered wine by the glass, and I can see why, when I sip this wine. Strawberries and red cherries aromas in the glass. Medium minus body, soft with medium acidity. Raspberries and strawberries on the palate. The strawberry flavour grows to an explosion on the finish. Lively acidity. $13/glass
This Pinot Gris made a complementary match to the Steamed Mussels. I enjoyed the combination of butteriness from the cream and acidity from the wine.
The Latour-Giraud Meursault-Genevrieres 1er Cru 2012 paired with the Crab and lobster bamboo rice with beurre blanc and fresh tomato, was the overall favourite of everyone that attended this tasting. Bamboo rice, is not a variety of rice; rather it is the infusing of the bamboo flavour and colour into the rice in the cooking process. The dish was very creamy, and rich. There was an enjoyable green vegetal flavour from the rice. Richness and softness from the lobster. Another complementary pairing, with the most wonderful wine by the glass that I have ever tried. The Latour-Giraud Meursault-Genevrieres 1er Cru 2012, comes from the Burgundy region in France, with their vineyards started in the late 1600’s. This wine has nice light spice, candied lemon and vanilla aromas. Medium body, soft and supple, with tropical fruit and sweet spices up front, with peaches and nutmeg on the mid palate, and mouth watering acidity on the finish. $50/glass
If sitting on a patio in the summer, sipping a chilled rose, and nibbling on fresh seafood sounds delightful, then the following pairing is for you. The sea bream is sliced very thin, translucent white, and gets colour from the olive oil, and slivers of olives. Nice citrus flavour from the vinaigrette. The Mureda Garnacha Rose 2014 has aromas of small wild strawberries. Light body, dry and soft with a mineral edge. Very summery tasting with some pepperiness on the finish. $7/glass
I really liked the soft texture of the sea bream, with the saltiness and citrus of the vinaigrette and olives. A summery tasting dish with a glass of wild strawberries.
Have you ever heard of, or tried a wine made from the Tibouren grape? The Clos Cibonne Tibouren 2013 gives you that chance. It is a red grape from the Provence region of southern France and has been described as similar to Pinot Noir but with a savoury component. The wine was dry, medium bodied with red cherry flavours together with some pepperiness. $19/glass
It was quite interesting to pair with the Country pate with brandy, thyme, rosemary, and Szechuan peppercorn, as only when I tried both together, did the acidity in the wine become apparent, as it cut through the fattiness of the pate.
El Petit Bonhomme 2013 is a blend of 55% Monastrell, 30% Garnacha, and 15% Syrah, from the Jumilla region of Spain. Monastrell is also known as Mourvèdre, which makes this blend to me very interesting as this grape typically is a very small component in a red blend, e.g. A southern Rhone GSM. This wine was opaque ruby in the glass. Nice nose; flowers and purple fruit. Lots of nutmeg and purple fruit on the palate. Dry, medium bodied; almost silky. Fine tannins. $9
The Duck confit with house smoked tomato and gnocchi works with this wine. The smoky tomato and saltiness in the dish brings out the fruit flavours in the wine. The wine makes the duck deep flavours pop.
Lastly we sampled the Fairview Cellars Collaboration 2013 together with the Grilled Beef Tenderloin with red wine thyme jus and roasted shallot. The Fairview Cellars Collaboration, really is a collaboration; between Provence Marinaside and the winery. A blend of primarily Malbec, followed by Merlot and a dash of Petit Verdot. I believe you can only try this wine at the restaurant. Opaque ruby in colour, with aromas of violets and apples, leading to purple fruit and vanilla. Medium plus body, dry, round and soft in the mouth. Violets/flowers, together with purple fruit and pepperiness on the palate. $15/glass
The roasted shallots in the red wine thyme jus were quite strong, but worked with the grilled beef. The wine was a complimentary pairing to this dish, but the shallots did compete with the wine. I think this pairing would work just as well without the shallots.
Overall an excellent introduction for me to the new Spring menu at Provence Marinaside, plus a glimpse into the vast 145 wines by the glass offering. I encourage you to visit Provence Marinaside and give your tastebuds a nice wine surprise.