gracecheung604 | write on time: Wine Society Dinner at Villa Eyrie

Monday, October 09, 2017

Wine Society Dinner at Villa Eyrie

Last month, I was fortunate enough to head up to Villa Eyrie at Malahat for their Wine Society dinner dubbed The Perfect Pairing. It's about two hours from Vancouver, with a 1.5-hour ferry ride from Tsawwassen, and a 30-minute drive from Victoria. 
Upon our arrival at the dinner, we were given bread, served with olive oil and butter. After a long trip from the city, this was devoured gratefully. 
Our first course of the 5-Course menu was a light starter of Albacore Tuna Crudo, served with sliced strawberries, fennel and cucumber ribbons with a light cucumber vinaigrette. The tuna was slightly chilled and very fresh, almost creamy. I loved the simple and elegant presentation. The pairing was a Stag's Hollow 'Syrah/Grenache' Rose, 2016, a 70/30 syrah/grenache blend. 
Our second appetizer was a Grilled Corn Agnolotti. The pasta was made with acorn flour and imparted a nutty and earthy feel to the dish. The brie filling was rich and velvety, and the sprinkling of corn and chives rounded out the dish nicely. (*Note to self, look for acorn flour on my next shopping trip). This was paired with the Tinhorn Creek 'Old Field' Chardonnay, 2014 and had grapefruit and green apple flavours. 
The Pan Seared Duck Breast was served with some colourful beets and braised chanterelle. There is also a sprinkling of mushroom and cabbage powders to offset the sweetness of the cherry jus. I would have liked the skin to be crispier and the fat rendered out more, but the breast itself was juicy and very flavourful. To accompany this dish, a Misconduct 'Suspect Series' Pinot Noir, 2014 was served. Each bottle is marked with GPS coordinates to show you which vineyard the grapes came from!  
The Pemberton Farms Short Rib was processed three different ways. First, it goes through an overnight marinade, then into the smoker, and then finally braised. The glaze is a reduction of Juniper peppercorns, and the meat was just falling off the bone, and fork tender. The other part of the duo was the Grilled Strip Loin, perfectly done to a medium rare. The peppercorn glaze served to flavour this well. The pretty Hasselback potatoes was lightly brushed butter but I thought they were just a touch underdone. However, that was just my opinion, everyone else said theirs were just fine. The last red wine of the night was the Nichol 'Old Vines' Syrah, 2014 from Naramata Bench and had cherry and peppery flavours.
Dessert was a homage to Roasted Peaches and included a peach mousse as well as some lightly roasted peaches. There was also a peach sorbet atop a strawberry coulis and a praline as well. Excellent blend of textures without being cloyingly sweet, exactly how I prefer my desserts! And the dessert was paired with Quail's Gate 'Botrytis Affected' Optima, 2015 and would be delightful with blue cheese and pâté.

If you have a free weekend and enjoy a short vacation in a secluded luxury resort with amazing food, Villa Eyrie is a great option. In addition to a heated saltwater pool, it is also home to the Tuscan Spa, complete with massage treatment rooms, lounges for manicures and pedicures, as well as amazing views of the Saanich Inlet.  

Click here for details about Villa Eyrie.
Click here for details about the Wine Society Dinner.
*Note: All food photos are by me and all photos of wines are courtesy of Villa Eyrie Resort. 

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