• M is for…

    …Minami’s Miso Pecan Mocha Mousse!

    With stay-at-home orders still in place, the next best thing to enjoying our favourite desserts in restaurants is bringing those desserts into our homes. Celebrated Head Pastry Chef Nikki Tam of Minami Yaletown never fails to delight her loyal patrons with desserts that truly wow without the intimidation factor and this Miso Pecan Mocha Mousse is the perfect dessert to enjoy with a glass of Vanessa Vineyard wine.

    Photo by Cody Chan of Minami Yaletown

    Makes 6 servings


    For the mocha mousse:

    1.5 cups dark couverture chocolate chips

    2 cups whipping cream

    1 tablespoon instant coffee

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the miso pecan crumble:

    3 tablespoons butter (cold)

    1/4 cup pecans

    1/2 cup all-purpose flour

    3 tablespoons brown sugar

    2 tablespoons saikyo miso

    For the mascarpone cream:

    3 tablespoons whipping cream

    1/2 cup mascarpone

    For the garnish (optional):

    Edible flowers


    For the mocha mousse:

    Place chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl.

    Heat cream in a saucepan until it comes to a simmer, turn off heat, and add instant coffee (adjust amount to taste).

    Stir cream to melt the instant coffee, then pour the mixture over the chocolate chips. Keep mixing to melt the chocolate completely. Add vanilla extract to the mixture and make sure all ingredients are incorporated.

    Once the mixture cools down, refrigerate overnight.

    Whip the mixture with an electric mixer until it reaches stiff peaks. Be careful not to overwhip.

    Fill a piping bag with mixture (star tip optional).

    For the miso pecan crumble:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Cut cold butter into small cubes 1 centimetre per side, then combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together by hand. Keep mixing until it resembles coarse cornmeal with small chunks of butter throughout. Place mixture on a half sheet pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    Bake crumble until golden, approximately 8–10 minutes. Rotate the baking tray once and break apart the crumble with a spatula halfway through to ensure even baking.

    For the mascarpone cream:

    Whip cream until medium-soft peaks. Fold into mascarpone until incorporated.

    Fill a piping bag with the mixture (round tip optional).

    To assemble (can be assembled 1 day in advance):

    Place a spoonful of crumble in preferred glassware (6–8-ounce glasses work best).

    Pipe a layer of mocha mousse on top of crumble, then pipe a layer of mascarpone cream, then pipe another layer of mocha mousse.

    Top off the dessert with more crumble and decorate with mascarpone cream and/or edible flowers as desired.



    Originally published in Nuvo Magazine and shared with permission from Minami Yaletown. 

  • Que Syrah, Syrah

    Wine doesn’t always have to be paired with six-course meals, it can also pair perfectly with an easy homemade dinner. For a quick and delicious weeknight treat, enjoy our Grilled Turkey Burger recipe below with its favourite sidekick, our 2016 Syrah.

    Our 100% estate grown Syrah shows the power, texture, complexity and elegance of the Similkameen. The nose balances ripe plum, dried black cherry with subtle hints of jasmine and clove. The full, silky-textured palate is packed with blackberry, cassis and black pepper followed by a lingering dark chocolate finish. A unique and complimentary pairing with the Grilled Turkey Burgers.

    Recommendation: Decant for 30-60 minutes


    6 lbs ground turkey
    1 stalk of leek, halved and sliced
    1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
    1/3 cup onions, grated
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
    1 tsp caraway seeds
    1 tsp dill
    1 large egg white, lightly beaten
    1 clove garlic, minced
    6 slices smoked gruyere cheese
    6 slices edam cheese
    6 of your favourite buns


    1. Add all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl, except for cheese and buns. Mix gently as to not overwork the turkey and form into 4 to 6 patties. Refrigerate the patties for 45 minutes.

    2. Turn the BBQ on and let heat to 400°F. Once heated, lightly oil the grill so the patties will not stick.

    3. Place the burgers on the grill, close the lid and let cook for 5-6 minutes then flip with a spatula. Turkey burgers typically take 10-12 minutes to cook and are cooked at to an internal temperature of 180°F. During the last minute, place the gruyere and edam on the burgers and close the lid halfway.

    4. Serve with your favourite toppings and homemade bistro frites.



  • Thai Grilled Beef Salad & Rose

    Vancouver Sun - Thai RecipeFrom the Vancouver Sun, a fantastic recipe for two by Steven Raichlen that they recommend with our 2016 Rosé. Steven Raichlen is widely regarded as America’s foremost authority on live fire cooking. The five-time James Beard award winner has a new cookbook out: Barbecue Sauces, Rubs and Marinades. As the Sun notes, the Project Smoke celebrity chef is in the Barbecue Hall of Fame, so you can trust him. This light meal employs a unique post-grilling marinade for super fresh flavour.

    Wine columnist, Anthony Gismondi writes on the Vanessa Vineyard Rosé wine pairing… “A richer Tavel style gives this savoury, spicy, dark berry flavoured rosé all it needs accompany the beef and seasoning in a Thai salad.”

    Thai Grilled Beef Salad Recipe:

    • 1 lb (454 g) skirt steak
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • 2 tbsp (60 mL) canola oil
    • Bibb lettuce
    • English cucumber
    • Cherry tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh mint leaves
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) Thai or regular basil leaves
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) cilantro leaves
    • 1 jalapeno, minced
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped peanuts

    Preheat grill on high. Season beef with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil. Brush grill with oil and grill steak until cooked to taste, 3 or 4 minutes a side. Rest meat 1 minute. Thinly slice and toss with two thirds of the Thai Flavour After Marinade. Arrange lettuce, sliced cucumbers and halved cherry tomatoes on a platter. Top with beef, herbs and peanuts. Serve with remainder of marinade.

    Thai Flavour After Marinade

    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2-inch (5 cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
    • 1 stalk lemon grass, peeled and minced
    • 2 tbsp (60 mL) cilantro root, washed and minced (optional)
    • 5 tbsp (75 mL) sugar
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) black pepper
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) fish sauce
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) lime juice

    In a bowl, combine garlic, ginger, lemon grass and cilantro. Sprinkle with sugar and mash. Add fish sauce and lime juice and set aside.

  • Summer grilling: Chicago Style Steak Recipe

    chicago styleIt’s the first day of summer and we’re celebrating all things barbecued.  We’d like to share a classic recipe that is fantastic with our Meritage. This dish is courtesy of one of our favourite steakhouses, Gotham. Our full-bodied Cabernet based blend pairs beautifully with the rich and meaty flavours of this well grilled steak.

    lots of butter
    canola oil
    Kosher salt
    cracked black pepper
    good quality steaks at least 2″ thick


    • Turn bbq on high, put cast iron skillet on grill, close lid and leave it for fifteen minutes. preheat oven to 500.
    • Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper, then brush with canola oil.
    • Scoop pad of butter in pan and let melt, place steak in pan and add more butter. (Expect a great deal of smoke, (this is why you are outside!)
    • Add more butter and flip steak, add more butter and leave for a minute, do not let butter dry up.
    • Remove steak and allow it to rest on the cooling rack
    • Just before serving dinner place all the steaks on the rack in the oven on a cookie sheet and leave it for 1 1/2 minutes, serve.
  • How to Grill a Moose

    steaks-with-mushroom-sauceIt’s Victoria Day weekend and officially barbeque season! What could be more Canadian than grilled moose steaks?

    Our co-owner John Welson has shared his recipe for how to grill a moose, which he pairs with the Vanessa Syrah.  This full-bodied and earthy red is a delightful match to the strong flavoured game and mushroom elements of the meal.

    Originally published in Western Living Magazine, this meat lover’s dish is fantastic with a porcini sauce drizzled over the grilled steak. His chef’s tip – keep in mind that wild game is low in fat and easy to overcook; thus he recommends not to cook beyond medium-rare.

    NOTE: if you don’t have a hunter in the family, the moose can be substituted with venison (perhaps a bit easier to find) or traditional beef steaks. If desired, you can also replace the porcini with portobello mushrooms.

    Serves: 4

    Wine Marinade
    2 cups Vanessa Vineyard Syrah
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 carrots chopped
    1 onion chopped
    2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
    1/2 cup chopped parsley
    freshly ground black pepper
    1 sprig fresh rosemary, crushed and chopped
    2 large or 4 small moose or venison steaks (a tbone or porterhouse cut is best)
    olive oile

    Simmer wine for 10 minutes over low heat to cook off alcohol; allow to cool.
    Mix all ingredients in stainless steel, add steaks and cover bowl; marinate overnight in fridge.
    Remove steaks, preserving marinade. Pat steaks dry and brush with olive oil. Grill over hot coals, turning only once. Allow meat to rest on a warm plate for 10 minutues before serving.

    Porcini Sauce
    1 cup boiling water
    2 cups dried porcini
    reserved wine marinade
    1/4 cup demi-glace
    2 tbsp flour
    1-2 tbsp soft butter

    Soak dried porcini in boiling water for 15-20 minutes; drain and reserve liquid. Coarsely chop porcini and set aside. Reduce reserved marinade by half in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add porcini soaking liquid and reduce again by half. Add porcini, stir in demi-glace and simmer for 5 minutes. (Note: you can make your own demi-glace by cooking 1 cup of good quality beef stock in a saucepan over medium heat until it reduces to 1/4 cup.) In a separate pan, toast flour over medium high heat until golden, tossing so it won’t burn, about 2 minutes. Put toasted flour into a small bowl and work in butter to make a paste or roux. Slowly add paste to sauce until it thickens, stirring constantly. Serve over grilled steaks.