November Wine: Quails’ Gate Old Vines Foch

Taste Master: Jay Smith, general manager at Port Moody’s Saint Street Grill.

A wine that really resonates and a martini 
with a record. Plus cooking with 
celebrities in South Surrey

Ask an Oenophile

The Expert: Jay Smith, general manager at Port Moody’s Saint Street Grill

The Dish: Slow-roasted, in-house-smoked bison ribs braised in a caramelized onion molasses demi, $29.50

The Pairing: Quails’ Gate Old Vines Foch, 2007, $52

The Old Vines Foch is my favourite B.C. red. I tried this wine for the first time a few years ago when I was touring the Interior; it was such a wonderful experience. It’s so easy to make wine snooty, but it’s really about bringing back a joyous occasion.

Marechal Foch is originally a French grape, and Quails’ Gate is one of the few wineries left in the Interior that still grow it. It produces a big, full wine, which pairs delightfully with our bison ribs. It has rich, full flavours and dark fruits. And it’s very jammy. In the glass, it almost looks like a syrup because it’s so thick and luscious, which makes for a beautiful combination with the molasses and sweet caramelized onion demi. 

This wine has a bit of an oak essence to it, without being overly woody. A perfect complement to the ribs, which are smoked in-house with a hickory smoke. 

You see a lot of old-vine Zinfandels and old-vine Cabernets coming up now. This wine comes from vines that are 25 years old, and they really produce a different-tasting wine well worth exploring.

Drink Decoded

Launched in the mid-’80s, Delilah’s has long been the go-to place in Vancouver for a fabulous martini cocktail. Twenty-five years on, the West End staple is still shaking things up, most recently as the setting for season two of Conviction Kitchen. The Citytv reality series, about a Toronto restaurant staffed by ex-cons, decided to take the show on the road for its sophomore season, with Delilah’s temporarily renamed Delilah’s Conviction. The series now wrapped, it’s a perfect time to get reacquainted with one of Delilah’s star-powered libations, such as the Foreplay. To make your own, shake 90 ml of vanilla-infused Skyy vodka, 15 ml of Golden Pear liqueur and 30 ml fresh lime juice over ice, strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a twist. $8.95,

An Educated Palate

Proving that not only Vancouver is capable of attracting top-flight cooking talent, South Surrey’s Kitchen Therapy has been offering up big-name cooking classes in recent months. September and October saw the likes of Anthony Sedlak, celebrity chef and host of Food Network Canada’s The Main, and Karen Barnaby, the award-winning executive chef of the Fish House in Stanley Park. And this month, the owners of the sleek kitchenware store, Brent Bondarenko and Robbin Lich, are featuring columnist, culinary instructor and cooking show performer Chef Dez. (pictured right) Nov. 3, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., $55; Nov. 29, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., $55; kitchentherapy​.ca