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Wines of the Rhone, la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs

Our latest la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs event was a more casual affair, an exploration of the red wines of one of France’s great wine regions.

For those unfamiliar, la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an international gastronomic society, and I am a member of the Vancouver Bailliage. Our group comprises of more than 80 professional and non-professional members, and are the local chapter of a worldwide organization of more than 25,000 members from 80 countries; dedicated to preserving, “promoting and celebrating the world’s great culinary traditions, fine wines and the art of the table” (as taken from the organization’s website).

This is an open club for those who love “exquisitely prepared food created by Vancouver’s top chefs, coupled with exceptional wines, enjoyed in the company of others who share the same passion for fine dining”. For those curious, anyone can attend one of the many fine dining and wine-tasting events held throughout the year.

And tonight, it was a lightening round of wine tasting, uncorking bottles from the member’s vault and tasting our way through each; discussing the notes and preferences of each, with one another. This was a more intimate affair of 18 members, gathered at the Vancouver Club’s private lobby lounge. A members only establishment, that frequently opens its doors to la Chaîne.

The space held was narrow, with long tables overlooking the club’s wine cellar. We sipped and savoured over a cured meat and cheese board; and partook in canapés from the Vancouver Club’s kitchen. The likes of compressed watermelon, arancini, duck spring rolls, and salmon cups passed around.

Our two hour time slot also allowed members to visit the inner workings of the Vancouver Club, traversing through the behind the scenes corridors, getting a look at the kitchen, the Club’s private barber shop, and even their boxing gym. The goal, to reach their wine and spirit stockroom and explore some of the vintages held within.

The actual tasting focused on the “heartland of big, bold red wines is France’s Rhone valley, exploring some of the various villages and styles from the Rhone River region, dominant in Grenache and Syrah”. This was a more self guided affair with bottle free for the pouring and signs describing what it was you had in your glass. Guests sipped and mingled at our leisure, everyone in agreement that the next bottle was better than the last; as a number of these wines have been patiently ageing in the la Chaîne cellar, and were now showing at their peak.

In short this was another successful gathering and a great event for some extracurricular drinking. We would follow this with a later dinner at Arc Restaurant, within the area.

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