(All these beautiful photos were done by Nathalie de los Santos, unless otherwise stated)
Last Thursday, I was invited to a preview of the Food & Wine Festival in Latin America with award winning author and wine expert extraordinaire, Mark Oldman. Nathalie came along too to learn about different wines from the Bodegas de Vino Santos Tomas winery and the difference between Partida’s premium tequila and mezcal – a distinctive Mexican spirit.
We were joined by many friendly faces at Yew restaurant + bar: Kevin (604foodtography), Gary & Taya (eating in vancouver), Teresa (Senses Inspired), Jonathon (Food and Tell), Joyce (vanfoodies), Dianne Chow (fabulously frugal), Raul (hummingbird604), Eudora (eudorable), Victor (hoyummy) and many more.
When we arrived we were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine and some appetizers including Crab Tacos, Scallops, Arancini and so on.
We then settled down with four glasses of wine in front of us and two smaller glasses of tequila and mezcal.
Mark led us through every glass, giving us tips and tidbits about each kind. My favourite drink of the evening was definitely the Sauvignon Blanc, but I’m very partial to white wine.
We had three different reds and as Mark encouraged us to ‘double fist’ our reds to taste the difference, there was a very defined difference to each of them. Nathalie and I agreed that the difference was mostly the smokey flavour.
One of our last two drinks was Partida Tequila (Anejo). Partida is a tequila made from blue agave that is cultivated for 7-10 years! While I may be a fan of tequila, I never thought of sipping it as I would wine. But according to Raul, sipping and leaving the tequila on your palate for a couple of seconds before swallowing allows you to really taste the flavour. And after I took his recommendation, it felt like the tequila was far better tasting than the bitter taste left by shooting it straight.
The last spirit of the night was the Zacbe Mezcal. This is intensely smokey and definitely an acquired taste. During this, Mark introduced a ritual of saying, “Arriba, abajo, al centro, y pa dentro” (up, down, center and in) when drinking the mezcal. Definitely an interesting experience!
(Photo by Dee)
Before we left, we got a chance to chat with Mark who was looking forward to his next trip here to Vancouver and even suggested I get t-shirts for gastrofork! It was great meeting him and I look forward in following his wine adventures on Twitter.