Friday, June 03, 2011

Down Under meets Up Here

Sometimes, we find common ground in the funniest places. Bec Hardy is from Kuitpo in South Australia and I’m from Saskatoon – both of which have strong temperance movements in their history. Which we discovered over a glass of wine...*

Bec’s wine, to be exact. She’s the daughter of Geoff Hardy, one of Australia’s most innovative vintners. She was in Saskatoon with her new husband, Richard Dolan, to showcase the wines from their K1 vineyard. (K1 stands for the 1st vineyard in Kuitpo, pronounced Kypo, which is now an upcoming wine area.)

(* Temperance movements are opposed to all “demon” alcohol.)

Lucky for me, we sampled the wines over a stellar meal prepared by Chef Ryan Marquis at the Delta Bessborough. Chef Marquis is a champion of local food and the meal was a lovely showcase for both the wines and the bounty of Saskatchewan.

We enjoyed quail balentine and sour cherry sauce with K1’s 2007 Gold Label Merlot. The wine absolutely charmed the cherry sauce, or was it vice versa?
Next, strip loin with fingerling potatoes (pictured) and wild mushrooms with K1’s 2008 Silver Label Cabernet Tempranillo. “It was a very challenging year because it was so hot,” says Bec. Well, I’d say they rose to the challenge. Yummm...

Interestingly, Bec and Richard were on their honeymoon. So, I’m glad they got to spend a night in the Chateau Bessborough. Their cross-Canada tour included several food and wine dinners with local chapters of the Opimian Society, which has exclusive access to K1 wines in Canada. Here’s the dinner in Vancouver.

Learn more about the Opimian Society.

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