Title: Wine Director at Bearfoot Bistro
Certification: ISG, WSET, Court of Master Sommeliers
Years as a Certified Sommelier: 20
Which areas and countries have you travelled to explore or study wine?
At the beginning of my wine journey, I visited Italy many times, and this is where I still hold some of my favourite memories of exploring wine regions. Walking through the vineyards of Barolo in Piedmont showed me what terroir really meant. The combination of climate, soil, geography, and the people creates a “sense of place” in the wine they make. Before long, I realized that wine could only grow in beautiful places, so planning road trips near and around wine country made perfect sense.
I have also spent time in California and Oregon, Germany, and Spain. And, of course, countless visits to our wonderful wine country here in British Columbia. Funnily enough, France came much later for me, but I was swept off my feet on my first trip to the motherland. The history, the people, the stunning country stole my heart. I still remember driving from Champagne to Burgundy, not knowing where we were heading. When I randomly pulled off the highway to find myself in Vosne-Romanée, in one of the most sought-after grand cru sites of the entire region of Burgundy, it felt like time stopped just for us. We stood in the vineyards for hours; it was so beautiful. It was unbelievable.
What is your all-time favourite wine region? Burgundy.
Tell us about the Bearfoot Bistro’s cellar and wine program.
The cellar at Bearfoot is like a real playground. We can source some of the finest wines from all over the world and keep them in a perfect environment, where we get to welcome our guests. We even teach our diners how to saber bottles of champagne just like they did in the era of Napoleon.
We keep around 15,000 bottles on hand, with 2,000 references to choose from. We mainly concentrate on wines from France and Italy, but we also have a large selection of wines from California and B.C.
What’s your pick for this season?
Jordan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
This winter at Bearfoot Bistro, we wanted to showcase a Cabernet Sauvignon from California on our by-the-glass offerings. I have been a big fan of Jordan Winery for a long time, so it was a perfect choice. Since visiting this winery some 15 years ago, I discovered why Alexander Valley is one of the ideal locations to produce this type of wine. It is the warmest valley of Sonoma County, which guarantees ripeness and has cooling winds at night and rolling fog in the morning, creating a large diurnal range that helps develop grapes with more character and complex flavours.
Jordan Winery started producing wine in the early ’70s. Since the beginning, they have always drawn inspiration from Bordeaux, the classic French region producing Cabernet Sauvignon, as they strive to create a wine that is less sweet than some of their neighbouring wineries. Their goal is to make a wine that complements a meal without overpowering the food.
It has everything you would expect from a California Cabernet Sauvignon: full-bodied, intense and a delicious lingering finish. The perfect amount of acidity and tannins create balance and elegance. It is not overly ripe or jammy and has exquisite flavours of cherries and red currants with a spicy undertone. At Bearfoot Bistro, we like to recommend it to accompany our Rangeland elk tenderloin, served with a huckleberry jus and cocoa coffee streusel. Still, it would undoubtedly excel with any grilled red meat or bolder root vegetable like beets and rutabaga.
604-932-3433 | bearfootbistro.com