Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery’s Big Reds and Steak Pairing

Do you like BBQ? I like grilled steak and a glass of big red wine. I have two red wines from Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery that I thought would pair well.

The Labels

Seaside Pearl Petit Verdot and Merlot wine labels
Seaside Pearl Petit Verdot and Merlot wine labels

As I mentioned in previous articles about Seaside Pearl, they have interesting labels that describe something of BC’s history.  On the labels for these wines, we have Lover’s Lane Merlot and Royal Engineers Petit Verdot. They do have two more wines that have the Lover’s Lane label, a Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.  This Merlot sits between the two in my opinion.  I wrote:

The Old Yale Road is a historic early wagon road that serviced the Fraser Valley. Today, Yale Road running east is a heritage site called the “Old Yale Wagon Road.” Known fondly by locals as “Lovers Lane,” lovers of all ages meet and take romantic walks along Old Yale Wagon Road. You may notice while both labels say Lover’s Lane, the Cabernet Franc has trees with green leaves while the Cabernet Sauvignon has trees with red leaves. I am not sure if the Cabernet Franc represents a youthful, young wine, while the Cabernet Sauvignon represents an older, more mature person. A May-December relationship?

The Merlot label has the leaves in the trees turning autumn yellow before the deeper red autumn leaves develop.  So maybe their Merlot is a wine that shows some characteristics of both the Cabs?

Seaside Pearl writes about The Royal Engineers Petit Verdot that it “…was named after the Royal Engineers, the tiny military force that served during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. With their splendid scarlet jackets, the 220 men of the Royal Engineers, commonly known as “Sappers” laid the foundation for much of British Columbia by building roads, producing maps, surveying land and settling miner’s disputes. In 1864, Royal Engineer Alben Hawkins arrived to survey the area now called Mount Lehman and took up residence on the bluff above the southern bank of the Fraser River.

I didn’t know about the term “Sappers”, and now I understand where Sapperton comes from in New Westminster.

My Wine Tasting Notes

Seaside Pearl Lover’s Lane Merlot 2018 (BC $39)

Appearance: A medium intensity clear garnet with a tawny colour.
Nose: Medium-plus intensity aromas of red fruit, cinnamon, plums, a hit of floral, some aged fruit aromas and brown sugar or molasses. The aromas were lighter after decanting, but you still get red fruit, floral, and some aged notes, and you can add raspberries.  The brown sugar note disappeared.
Palate: Dry, with medium-plus body and flavour intensity. Very smooth and round with lower acidity. Very soft supple tannins. Red fruit, red cherries, aged and dried fruits, light oak and a touch of vanilla. With decanting the wine had a lighter body, but still stayed smooth and round.  In addition to the flavours mentioned you can now add raspberries and floral.
Finish: A medium length with red cherries, sweet spices, some bitterness and pepperiness. It was less peppery after decanting.

No need to decanting this wine.

Rating: 4 stars A wine getting a bit older as shown by the tawny garnet colour.  You get some aged red fruits and cinnamon on the nose.  This wine is very smooth and round with lower acid and supple tannins.  Red cherries, red fruits and aged red fruits on the palate.

Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery Royal Engineers Petit Verdot and Lover's Lane Merlot 2018 with wines in glasses
Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery Royal Engineers Petit Verdot and Lover’s Lane Merlot 2018 with wines in glasses

Seaside Pearl Royal Engineers Petit Verdot 2018 (BC $40)

Appearance: Almost opaque ruby colour.
Nose: A light intensity nose with leather, red and black fruit aromas. With decanting you can add aromas of sweet spices, floral, and oak.
Palate: Dry, medium-plus body and flavour intensity, with soft supple tannins. Round and mouthfilling. Red and black fruit, plum, and hints of floral, chocolate, and vanilla. The tannins get stronger on the mid-palate to the finish. The wine gets quite floral with decanting, plus I note additional flavours of black cherries and nutmeg. The wine stays round with soft supple tannins.
Finish: A medium length finishing with red fruit, vanilla and oak flavours. Firmer tannins and then candied red cherries at the very end.

Decanting or not, is OK.

Rating: 4.5 stars Light aromas of red and black fruits and leather.  Fuller bodied with red and black fruits, plums, and hints of floral and chocolate.  Supple tannins that do get gripper on the finish.

Pairing These Wines with Striploin Steak

I marinated and grilled two striploin steaks to pair with both these wines.  Marinating a steak, or any cut of meat, before grilling I think is a great idea. Adds more flavour and helps to tenderize the cut.  If you are looking for a steak marinade, I combined:

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
3/8 cup olive oil (add the other liquids in your measuring cup then fill olive oil to the 1 cup mark)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pour over steaks and refrigerate for several hours. Take steaks out for 30 minutes to warm up before grilling.  Patting the steaks dry a bit before grilling will help minimize flareups. I did brush the steak on one side with BBQ sauce after flipping it on the grill. 

The steak, cooked medium-well, was so tender, had great flavors from the marinade plus the grilling of the fat along the edges of the steak. The Petit Verdot worked perfectly with the steak.  The fruit flavours came out of the wines and the softness of the wine meshed nicely with the texture of the steak. The Merlot pairing was OK only.  I felt more tannins than fruit flavours in this pairing.  If the Merlot was maybe a newer vintage with fresher fruit flavours, this would have worked better.

Grilled striploin steak pairing with Seaside Pearl's Merlot and Petit Verdot wines
Grilled striploin steak pairing with Seaside Pearl’s Merlot and Petit Verdot wines


Where Can I Buy These Wines?

You can purchase their wines online via their website

Thank you to Seaside Pearl for providing me with these wines to review.

Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.