Oyama Sausage was founded by John and Justine over 30 years ago. Originally located in beautiful Yama BC, the business relocated to the historic Granville Island Public Market in 2001. Today had nine wines: Juve Y Camps Reserva de la Familia, Wild Goose Riesling, JoieFarm PTG, MASI Bonacosta, BenMarco Malbec, Tor del Colle Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC Riserva, Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon, Le Vieus Pin Syrah Classique, and Gonzalez Byass Apostoles Palo Cortado.

The presenters, Rachel and Jerome, paired each wine with a different meat. The first serving was Saucisson Sec with lemon confit. The Sec imparts a touch of sweet citrus, like candied lemon, to compliment the savory pork. The pork was moiste, bright, and would be good with a white beer -Its very light and has a snacky quality.

Number two was a Schwarzwalder Schinken; which was paired with the Wild Goose Riesling. A lean cut of ham that is cured in the traditional German style. It is double smoked, and aged for six months, to give it a rich Black Forest taste. Cut thin, it will melt in your mouth. It is smokey, sweet like berries, dry but smooth. The Riesling cuts through the fat and washes the flavor down with an astringent mouthfeel.

Number three was duck prosciutto. Two duck breasts are marinated, salted, and tied together for aging. The result is a succulent prosciutto, that is thick, sweet, and brings the fruit out of the wine, (the JoieFarm PTG. The JoieFarm PTG tastes of tannon, licorice, and black fruit.

The next dish was smoked wild boar prosciutto. Made from free-ranged wild Canadian boar legs, smoked and aged in Oyama’s workshop, this prosciutto is like rich jerky. The MASI Bonacosta is a youthful style; sweet, coffee-like, earthy, bright and refreshing.

Number five was the Rioja chorizo. A lightly smoked, spanish chorizo, cured with plenty of Rioja wine and garlic. It is paired well with paella, fish stew, omelettes, and more. It is well seasoned and immediately makes me think of an empanada. Sweet and garlicky, this could go well with goat cheese, truffle, or manchego. The Malbec paired well with the garlic flavor, because it is sweet, buttery, and full of tannin.

The sixth dish was Bundnerfleisch. This is a lean cut of BC beef, seasoned with salt and spices and herbs. It is pressed and dried for six months, until the meat is half its original weight. The result is rich in flavor and deep rooty flavor, that the fleisch is famous for. It is sweet, garlicky, not salty, and reminds me of carpaccio. With the wine, it pairs very well to cut through the garlic, because it is lightly oaked, crispy, and earthy.

The seventh was port and fig salami. An air-dried salami, made with black Mission figs, and a balance of wine. The sweet figs and port go well with the salted pork. Sweet and gamey, the wines acidity and red fruit seasons the meat.
The next was an elk juniper salami. A very lean and tasty smoked salami, made with free ranged Canadian elk, black pepper, and juniper berries. This was my favorite. Juniper is a bright taste, the pepper and sweetened wine paired with the clean, sweet taste of the salami. The wine is aged 18 months in french oak barrels. It is sweet, bright, herby, and peppery.

The last dish was Kacu Coppa, one of the most sought after cuts of pork. The Coppa is perfectly marbled to create a standing charcuterie, soaked in local sake, it is an Oyama original. It is some boozy meat! Sweet and chewy. The sherry has a buttery flavor, that maronnates the meat, sort of like a candied cake quality. The sherry and meat reminds me of blueberry pancakes with bacon.

I used to frequent Oyama as an Emily Carr student, when it’s campus was on Granville Island. If you’re meaning to go to Oyama during Christmas for a charcuterie board, the lineups can take up to an hour during the holidays. But trust me, it is worth it!