I am neither a sommelier nor a cicerone, but I do know what flavours I like. This made attending Parksville Uncorked 2013 hosted by Tigh Na Mara Resort & Spa and The Beach Club, a real treat to be savoured.
‘Untapped’ kicked off the 3 day festival at cozy Tigh-Na-Mara, or “house by the sea“ with many of B.C.’s best brews in attendance. Executive Chef Rick Davidson of The Beach Club lovingly carved – or should I say pulled because it was so tender – some of the most flavourful BBQ beef brisket I’ve tasted, which paired beautifully with Wolf Brewery’s Golden Honey Ale. I couldn’t help but go back for seconds, this time pairing it with Driftwood’s award winning Fat Tug IPA. Sea Cider Farm brought their complex and unique Rumrunner Cider, and its deep notes of rum, brown sugar and bourbon. The effervescence complemented Executive Chef Eric Edwards’ playful take on fish and chips; paper thin wood cones filled with creamy tartar, yam frites and a lightly battered fish. With a small band playing in the background and people all around enjoying everything immensely, it was hard to leave any food or beer untried!
The second night we head to the lovely Cedar Room at Tigh-Na-Mara for ‘Swirl’, the signature wine tasting event. Tickets sold out well in advance, as people came from all over to sample the wines and amazing food. A juicy glass of Calliope’s Viognier complimented sweet seared scallops from our own Island Scallop. Fresh shucked Effingham Oysters on a shimmering ice tower were snapped up as fast as they were set down. Everywhere you looked, fantastic food paired with fabulous wines in a grand setting. There was no shortage of meaty bites to share with the big reds that Stag’s Hollow and Quails’ Gate Estate Winery brought to the party, and many lesser known but equally as interesting from award-winning vineyards such as Little Straw.
Saturday night at Tigh-Na-Mara was the showcase evening of food and wine pairing hosted by Pam and Mick Luckhurst of Road 13 Winery. Chef Eric, along with Pam and Mick, worked hard to marry the flavours between food and wine, creating such tasty combinations as sweet lobster on a saffron risotto cake, gorgonzola ice cream and arugula pesto sauce paired with a delightful Old Vines Chenin Blanc. To match Road 13`s Jackpot 5th Element 2011, their elegant and complex Bordeaux style red, Chef Eric beautifully presented a tender lamb loin stuffed with sun dried tomato, French onion tart and vegetable tian. While Road 13`s motto is; “it’s all about the dirt”, one could say that Chef Eric’s motto might be “it’s all about the flavour”.
The stunning 22 acres of Tigh-Na-Mara along Rathtrevor Beach, with its receding tides and lovely cottages nestled among the trees, was the perfect setting for Uncorked 2013. If this year was any indication, get your tickets ASAP next year so you don’t miss out!
—By Kirsten Tyler
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