Two books for Summer reading – One from Vikram Vij on his life and career and John Schreiner on BC Icon Wines.
And Sommelier Jill Spoor creates her first wine with Christine Coletta from Okanagan Crush Pad.
What kind of person would stop his car in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge and jump out to celebrate being a free man?
Vij reveals the story of Vikram Vij, one of Canada’s most celebrated chefs and entrepreneurs. Co-owner of the world-famous Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver, his story is a true rags-to-riches tale of a college dropout from northern India who made it to Europe’s temples of high cuisine, then with a one-way ticket bound for Canada, found fame serving some of the world’s most transcendent Indian cuisine. Vij’s Restaurant, originally a fourteen-seat establishment known for its extraordinary flavours and spice blends, along with a firm no-reservation policy, received accolades from restaurant critics and patrons alike.
A culinary journey that began in India as a boy enjoying the praise of visitors for his chai and biscuits, Vikram’s passion for Indian cooking and his lifelong mission to bring awareness to the culture he left behind have fueled his tireless drive in building a world-renowned food empire. Driven to succeed, Vikram realized his dream to launch five major initiatives under the Vij’s brand by age fifty, but with challenges and sacrifices along the way.
For the first time, Vikram opens up about his struggles with prejudice, his mentors’ lasting lessons, and the painful demise of his marriage—both the successes and the failures that have shaped and sharpened one of Canada’s most unique and revered culinary talents.
That’s what the press release wanted you to know. Fair enough.
I knew some of the story but what I really wanted to know was the rest of the story!! This interview attempts that reveal.
Vikram Vij was born in India and grew up in Amritsar and Mumbai. He studied hotel management in Salzburg, Austria, before moving to Canada to work at the Banff Springs Hotel. He opened the original fourteen-seat Vij’s Restaurant in 1994, and has appeared on many television shows and regularly cooks for events, including the James Beard Awards gala in New York. A certified sommelier, he is passionate about pairing wines with Indian food. In addition to running Vij’s and Rangoli with Meeru, Vikram is the chef and owner of My Shanti.
The RAW version of the interview can be heard on TastingRoomRadio.com
https://youtu.be/DBVGzZD_Yn4 Check out Vikram’s wonderful TedX Talk
John Schreiner – Icon. Flagship Wines from BC Best Wineries
British Columbia now has such an array of high-calibre winemakers that John Schreiner has compiled a book showcasing the icon wines from BC’s best wineries. An icon wine is the very best wine that a producer can make, and the prestige of an icon wine cascades across a winery’s entire portfolio.
For each wine profiled, readers will learn the behind-the-scenes story of the winery and winemaker, as well as the history, provenance, and inspiration behind each wine. The most recent vintage is listed, along with detailed tasting notes for as many vintages as are available, information on number of cases produced, percentages of varietals in the case of blends, and even the clone number of particular varietals.
My personal favourite is the cellar life of a particular wine. How long to hold on to the wines and when enough is enough. Drink it NOW!
The essential guide for any collector of BC wine, this book is also the culmination of research that illuminates John Schreiner’s passion and unique contribution to BC’s wine region.
“BC wine fans love John Schreiner. He’s always been there for us. With the explosive growth of BC wines, he has paved the way for our all-important next step: how to choose and cellar the best of those wines, the icons.” ―Terry David Mulligan, host of “Tasting Room Radio” program on Roundhouse Radio.
For John’s follow up comments on wineries that didn’t make the book please read his blog
Jill Spoor and Christine Coletta – Okanagan Wine Campus
Okanagan Wine Campus, created in 2011 by Okanagan Crush Pad, is a mentorship program that provides selected Vancouver Sommeliers with the unique chance to make a small lot wine using the grape variety and style of wine they wish. The proceeds from the sale of the wine are given to the BC Hospitality Foundation wine scholarship fund to support students pursuing their higher level wine education certification. To date, $30,000 has been donated from seven projects including Kurtis Kolt (2010), Owen Knowlton (2011), Terry Threlfall (2012), Samantha Rahn (2013), Mike Bernardo (2014), Jason Yamasaki (2015) and Jill Spoor (2016).
Jill Spoor joined Fairmont Pacific Rim in 2011 to open Giovane Winebar, implementing an all-Italian wine program. Spoor’s enthusiasm and dedication to the wine program at the hotel led her to her role as Wine Director.
Jill Spoor has developed Botanist’s wine program to reflect exclusive terroir-driven wineries that support sustainable, organic and biodynamic farming and winemaking practices.
Recently, Spoor was designated Okanagan Crush Pad Winery’s ‘2016 Harvest Intern,’ and has been hard at work developing her own wine label – a beautiful white blend.
The wine label was designed by her niece Taryn Brown, who is a gifted artist living in Victoria.
Jill recommends pairing with scallop or ling cod from the Botanist menu. Juicy green melon with entrancing high-notes of newly cut grass, fresh thyme and sage. A rounded mouth feel on the mid-palate gives way to a refreshing, zippy lime finish. Assembled specially by Jill Spoor, Matt Dumayne, David Scholefield and world-renowned terroir expert, Dr Pedro Parra, this blend of Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc is a pure expression of what the Okanagan does best.
About the blend:
Juicy green melon with entrancing high-notes of newly cut grass, fresh thyme and sage. A rounded mouth feel on the mid-palate gives way to a refreshing, zippy lime finish. Assembled specially by Jill Spoor, Matt Dumayne, David Scholefield and world-renowned terroir expert, Dr Pedro Parra, this blend of Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc is a pure expression of what the Okanagan does best.
Available at select private retail stores, at The Botanist Restaurant, Fairmont Pacific Rim or from WWW.OKANAGANCRUSHPAD.COM
And Christine Coletta is – one of the leaders in the BC wine industry and the co-owner of Okanagan Crush pad.
STORIES WE’RE WORKING ON
Planeta and Boutinot pours in Vancouver
Naramata Bench pours in Vancouver
Okanagan Falls pours in Vancouver.
Lots of pouring going on.