November Wine: Laughing Stock Blind Trust

Richard Chew, Chewie’s Steam & Oyster Bar | BCBusiness

Wash down a dish of delectable local oysters with a zingy Sauvignon Blanc, hunker down at home with an 
affordable wine and a plate of albacore nachos, or head north to Whistler’s Cornucopia four-day event.

Ask an Oenophile

The Expert: Richard Chew (a.k.a. Chewie), owner of soon-to-open Chewie’s Steam & Oyster Bar in Kitsilano

The Dish: Kusshi oysters, $2.25 to $2.75 per oyster 

The Pairing: Laughing Stock, Blind Trust, Okanagan Valley, B.C., 2010, $25

For this pairing, I’ve chosen the wildly popular Kusshi oyster from Stellar Bay Shellfish Co. on Vancouver Island. Kusshi oysters are considered one of the finest oysters on the world market. Kusshi, meaning “ultimate” in Japanese, is a plump and meaty oyster with a salty and light, sweet fruit finish. Its clean, consistent shell and deep cup are the result of a rack and tumble technique whereby growing oysters are raised and periodically tumbled to strengthen the shells and add firmness to the meat. 

Pairing oysters and wine can be quite challenging. Quite often, the salty nature of oysters will flatten and dull a wine, so it’s important to select a wine with zippy acidity and some nice fruit notes. 

I’ve chosen Laughing Stock Vineyards’ Blind Trust. This year’s blend is a seductive mix of Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc and Viognier. The lively grapefruit acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect foil for the sweetness in the oyster, and the delicate tropical fruit notes work well with this oyster’s sweet fruit finish. 

The Kusshi’s sweet flavour and buttery texture will appeal to oyster enthusiasts and beginners alike; it’s an ideal oyster for pairing.


Dish Decoded

Image: Ben Oliver

Earls has reinvented the nacho, adding Albacore Tuna Poke Nachos as an appetizer to its new fall menu. Best of all, you can make this new and improved version of the cheesy snack at home as well. Simply layer 1 oz diced tomato, 1 oz diced avocado, 1 oz diced cucumber, 1 oz sliced green onion, 2 oz diced albacore tuna, a sliced Serrano pepper, a sprinkling of black sesame seeds and a few chopped macadamia nuts over a platter of deep-fried wonton wrappers. Then create a mango coulis by pureeing 12 oz frozen mango, 2 fl oz olive oil, 1 fl oz chili sauce, 2 fl oz rice vinegar, 1 fl oz lemon juice and 1 tbsp of sambal oelek in a food processor. Drizzle over the tuna nachos and eat. $11.50,

Image: Mike Crane

Whistler’s Cornucopia

Cornucopia turns 15 on November 10, and there is plenty to celebrate. As usual, the four-day Whistler event (November 10-13) is offering a truly sensory experience for those who attend, with refined brunches, winemaker dinners and interactive seminars. And this year you can expect to see a few new faces in the mix. Chef Dale Mackay, winner of Top Chef Canada, will be presenting an intimate 50-person luncheon, and award-winning wine and food writer Natalie MacLean will be detailing her discoveries of some of the world’s top budget and value wines from her newly released book, Unquenchable. The full festival lineup is published online.