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The Keg x Archway Wines

Pinot Noir Launch

Today I was invited down to The Keg Yaletown’s rooftop patio to celebrate the launch of their new house wine. This is Archway, a wine company that is owned and operated exclusively by The Keg. Solely making this bottle of Pinot Noir for all of their Canada-wide restaurants.

I found this a clever business idea, considering red wine naturally pairs so well with red meat. And that The Keg is known as the local purveyor of steak from their casual, accessible, and more affordable steakhouses.

Archway is a Pinot Noir blend made with Pinot Noir grapes from various wineries across California. And to their credit, this non-vintage red is a good one. It is the perfect definition of crushable, an excellent choice as a table wine. Specifically crafted to pair well with red meat, in that it is big and bold without having too much acidity.

And tonight we would put it to the test, pairing it with an assortment of small bites from The Keg’s kitchen.

Guests were invited to check-in and head straight up to the patio, via elevator in the lobby. This was a mingling affair with pockets for seating as well as counters to lean and graze on. It was just a shame that the weather was rainy and clouds filled the sky, leaving the uncovered patio area closed for the evening.

Event goers were welcomed in with a glass of the red of the hour, and were able to go back for multiple pours across stations set up around the top floor. Waitresses even came around and offered top ups.

For food there were grazing stations set up with warming heat lamps keeping the cheesy dips creamy to enjoy with chips.

The crispy breaded and fried crab cake sitting in a dollop of tart and tangy tzatziki sauce was a lovely mouthful.

Shucked oysters on ice included a large collection of sauces, mignonettes, horseradish, and lemon wedges for you to help yourself too.

If anyone was looking for a drink to pair with the oysters, they also had bottles of white wine chilling on ice for their consideration.

At the bar they had a healthy selection of cocktails we could order, including one with guava and another with a float. Both visually exciting and delicious and worth revisiting during a proper sit down meal.

They were shrimp rolls on sweet buns that were toasted and tasty. Think a creamy lobster roll with dill, but make it shrimp. These were fantastic, and I am not shy to admit that I had six.

And my favourite food option was the prime rib and ribeye carving station. Here, we were able to watch slices being carved and assembled into sliders.

This too was soft and fluffy bread holding together lush cuts of still pink beef, and a big squeeze of horseradish aïoli. I had about three of these, before wising up and ordering the steak sliced up as is.

Overall, I was really impressed by this showing. Typically at such large gatherings and functions the food is understandably cold or subpar. Where the kitchen just isn’t able to keep up with the demand, and as a result execution suffers. However, here and tonight the food was impeccable. There was no dip on quality and standards. And everything came out as I would expect it to dining in on my dinner plate. Kudos to the kitchen staff and the wait team that kept rounds of everything coming. Guests did not have to wait for anything, but made to order drinks at the bar, and there was plenty of everything to go back for more of.

The only thing is the event ran from 5pm to 8pm and if you stayed the entire duration, they all became the same of the same. But in truth, this was a reception style, meant to give a taste of how the wine will pair with their food, not to be a replacement for a meal.

In short, this was a great introduction to The Keg’s new house wine and I will not hesitate to order myself a glass the next time I am visiting. And for those who want to taste of this Pinot Noir, but maybe don’t want to dine in, I hear that it will also be available at BC liquor stores soon.

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar – Yaletown
1011 Mainland St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5P9
(604) 633-2534

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