A Blackwood Lane Christmas to Remember
This year’s Christmas Winemaker’s Dinner at Blackwood Lane Winery was full of yuletide joy, good food, outstanding wine pairings and fabulous friends! As we made our way through the iconic winery gates and ascended the driveway, we were met with a glass of Blackwood Lane’s festive Ruby Red Rosé – a perfect way to begin what would be a truly memorable holiday dinner!
As we entered the winery, we were warmly greeted by the Blackwood Lane staff. We mingled with old friends and met new ones in the beautifully decorated and cozy tasting room. Before we knew it, we were being ushered into the winery’s elegantly decorated dining room featuring a candlelit long-table lined with poinsettias and bespoke name cards.
The evening kicked off with Chef Yasha Hesse presenting the first of five courses. What better way to start than with a fabulous Lobster Bisque! When paired with Blackwood Lane’s 2014 Chardonnay, the first course was an instant hit!
The second course was a duo of duck breast and duck confit over carrot gnocchi, arugula and Okanagan cherry glaze. Blackwood Lane’s 2014 Reserve Merlot was the perfect pairing for this course, with its rich layers of ripe black plums, black cherries, sweet baking spices, vanilla and coffee. Simply sumptuous!
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, we were treated to the third course, which consisted of braised pork shoulder, roasted pepper, wine coulis and a creamy polenta. This dish was paired wonderfully with Blackwood Lane’s 2014 Cabernet Franc, whose tantalizing aromas of sweet fruit, graphite, jammy plums, and floral and vanilla notes brought out the flavours of the dish!
In Anticipation of Alliànce
The fourth course was hotly anticipated by dinner guests, as the beef short ribs with beet puree and roasted spaghetti squash paired elegantly with Blackwood Lane’s iconic 2009 Alliànce. Full-bodied, complex and very juicy, with a cornucopia of flavours and aromas, this is the ultimate food pairing wine.
Carlos’ Clandestine Christmas Surprise
One of the perks of attending a Blackwood Lane event (something that Blackwood Lane regulars know) is that winery owner, Carlos Lee, always has a surprise up his sleeve for his guests! This year’s secret was truly exceptional indeed! Carlos explained:
“When we make The Referènce, after it is blended, instead of bottling it we age it again. But, when we age this wine, we age it in four different puncheons selected from four forests in France: Jupille, Nevers, Tronçer, and my personal favourite, Allier. Each one brings specific and unique characteristics. Tonight I want to share with you one of only two magnums ever produced of The Referènce-Allier!”
It was an incredible treat indeed, as we collectively shared in what was the rarest of wines that Blackwood Lane has to offer!
The Importance of Portànce
The perfect ending to one of the most memorable Blackwood Lane Christmas dinners was the Bavarian Black Forest Cake and individualized boxes of Thomas Haas handmade chocolates paired exquisitely with a rare 2009 Port wine that Carlos found hiding in his winery! A true dessert delight!
A Fond Farewell
At the end of the evening, Carlos thanked Kelli Kling, Blackwood Lane’s Product Administrator, for her amazing 3 years with the Blackwood Lane family and gifted her the second of his two The Referènce-Allier Magnums! While we were all sad to say goodbye to Kelli, who has been such an incredible addition to the winery, we were so glad to learn that she is now a member of Blackwood Lane’s Sommelier Club, so we’ll be seeing her at upcoming events! As Kelli said, “I’ll be around and always have Blackwood Lane in my heart because it’s in my blood.”