Cherry Harvest Winemakers Dinner at Fraiche

Tammi & Robert Van Western

On August 15th I attended a wonderful dinner at Fraiche in West Vancouver, this Cherry Harvest Dinner was created by Executive Chef Jefferson Alvarez and featured wines along with cherries from Van Western Vineyards. The cherries were grown on the property of Van Western Vineyards and were then used in each of the 5 courses during the dinner. The wines on the other hand weren’t cherry wine, they were a selection of favourite wines from the vineyard and we were fortunate to have Tammi & Robert Van Western in attendance.

Cherries on every table

I was even more fortunate to have been seated with Tammi & Robert Van Western along with my friend Nikki, we had the opportunity to learn about their cherry production as well as their wines.

Following the welcoming reception that featured Van Western Pinot Grigio 2011 along with some wonderful canapés, we were about to begin our tasting adventure.

Now on to dinner and the pairings:

First Course:

Scallop Ceviche

Scallop Ceviche with cherry bubbles and heart of palm paired with Vivacious 2010

Second Course:

Fois Gras Mousse

Fois Gras Mousse with kudzu sponge and fresh cherries paired with Viognier 2010

Third Course:

Tea-infused Squab

Tea-infused Squab with nitro cherries and sweet & sour chocolate jus paired with Voluptuous 2008

Fourth Course:

Coffee crusted Elk

Coffee crusted Elk and cherry jus paired with Vrankenstein 2008

Fifth Course:

Puffed Brie

Puffed Brie with cherry syrup and rosewater infused white honey paired with Vice 2010

Comments:  All of the wines and courses were well paired, I found the Scallop Ceviche with cherry bubbles and heart of palm paired with Vivacious 2010 to be a lovely pairing, the cherry bubbles made that dish which light and a delicious foray into the rest of the meal. The Fois Gras Mousse with kudzu sponge and fresh cherries paired with Viognier 2010 was also well paired; my favourite dish and pairing with the outstanding Coffee crusted elk and cherry jus paired with Vrankenstein 2008. The last course, Puffed Brie with cherry syrup and rosewater infused white honey paired with Vice 2010,  was the dessert course which was light and a perfect ending to the delicious cherry harvest dinner.

Fraiche Restaurant is located at 2240 Chippendale Road in West Vancouver.

Van Western Vineyards is located on the Naramata Bench in the heart of the Okanagan Valley.

By: Richard Wolak