Our annual Vancouver IWFS Christmas Dinners have always been very special and very popular events, evenings of the best of food and the best of wines from our cellar. They were all possibly surpassed by this year’s dinner, also celebrating our 55th Anniversary, at the iconic Vancouver Club. Our entry to the Ballroom was truly grand, with giant nutcracker soldiers standing at attention at our entrance to a brilliantly illuminated cavern, elegantly set with white tablecloths and full sets of glassware ready for our dinner. A pair of giant screens showed our chapter’s exploits over the past decades, all in glorious colour!
Our eagerly awaited reception presented with a dozen bottles of Champagne Veuve Clicquot, expertly sabred by General Manage Tim Ellison, and accompanied by the most tasty morsels of Compressed Watermelon, Coconut Prawns, Chicken Satay and Tomato Mozzarella Arancini. We then sat, with reverential respect, to observe the award of Certificates of Membership for 10 years, 20 years and even 50 years (to our members Joan and Sid Cross) followed by the award of the IWFS Americas Gold Medal to Dr. Lawrence Burr in recognition of his support over the past decades and his organisation of the Biennial Okanagan Wine Tours for our chapter.
Our dinner commenced with an Endive Salad with pecans, pickled apple, Danish blue, maple vinaigrette accompanied by 2015 Chateau Marjosse blanc from Bordeaux followed by Lobster Velouté with roasted chestnuts, vanilla Chantilly paired brilliantly with 2014 La Chablisienne Chablis 1er Cru Vaulorent, a very fine wine from an excellent vintage.
Next came a flavoursome Braised Lamb Cannelloni with porcini fonduta, rosemary breadcrumbs and 2013 Domaine la Barroche Châteauneuf-du-Pape. At this point, we took a break from food and enjoyed a few Christmas carols, led by choristers Larry and Maggie Burr and Ted and Dorothy Chaisson which were followed by a serious main course of Beef Wellington with vichy carrots, fondant potato, red wine jus and 2008 Chateau Les Ormes de Pez, a Bordeaux wine from St. Estèphe.
Our sweet finish was the presentation of the Club’s Christmas Pudding, dramatically flambéed by Mr. Tim Ellison and accompanied by a glass of excellent 20 year old Graham’s tawny port.
Such a spectacular celebration, one that will be treasured and talked about for months to come. We owe a vote of thanks to the Burrs and Chiassons for leading our carols, to Jim Esplen for speaking to the wines, to Susan Man and Milena Robertson for their photos of the evening and to General Manager Tim Ellison and his team for a magnificent evening!