Gold Medal Plates 2016 Results
- Chef: Eric Hanson
- Restaurant: Prairie Noodle Shop
- Pairing: Summerhill 2014 Ehrenfelser
Best of Show
Culmina 2015 Unicus Gruner Veltliner
- Chef: Doreen Prei
- Restaurant: Get Cooking
- Pairing: 2014 5oth Parallel Pinot Noir
Best of Show
50th Parallel 2014 Pinot Noir
- Chef: Shane Chartrand
- Restaurant: Sage
- Pairing: Culmina 2015 Unicus Grüner Veltliner
Best of Show TIE
Hester Creek 2013 Syrah Viognier
Tinhorn Creek 2013 Cabernet Franc
by James Chatto by National Culinary Advisor
Edmonton – and the first great big GMP party of the year! The Shaw Centre was sold out weeks ago and the city had come to party, giving boisterous ovations to a host of Olympians introduced by our brilliant emcee, Scott Russell, and then to our awesome musicians Alan Doyle, Corey Tetford, Barney Bentall, Dustin Bentall and Kendel Carson, not to mention another one to the chefs who performed their own dazzling gastronomic decathlon to the delight of all. The standard was higher than ever and it was a privilege to taste their creations, especially in the company of an elite posse of judges led by Senior Judge Mary Bailey, who is a food, wine and travel writer, certified sommelier and publisher of The Tomato Food & Drink. Judging with us was chef Chris Wood; chef, author and owner of Kitchen culinary studio, Brad Smoliak; and two guest judges – the chef who won the Canadian Culinary Championship for Edmonton in February 2015, Ryan O’Flynn, and the executive chef from the Hotel Ranga in southern Iceland, where some of us will be going next June, Chef Karl Johann Unnarsson, who had flown in to Edmonton to see a GMP event for himself. Rounding off the panel, of course, was last year’s Edmonton gold medal winner, Chef Jan Trittenbach of Solstice Seasonal Cuisine.
Edmonton Wine Report
by David Lawrason, National Wine Advisor
On a perfect, crisp fall in evening in Edmonton, Gold Medal Plates set off on its 2016 cross-Canada wine journey that will see over 4,000 people taste Canadian wines, beers and spirits from almost 100 producers – the majority of it donated in support of our Olympic athletes.
This year we are joined in the effort to solicit these donations by the Ottawa-based Canadian Vintners Association as well as their partners in three provinces: The B.C. Wine Institute, the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario, and Wines of Nova Scotia. The wine industry in Canada is behind Gold Medal Plates and our athletes all the way.
In all – as in successive previous years – a sold-out Edmonton crowd of almost 800 people got to sample up to 20 different wines, spirits and beers (see list below) on the competition floor, then on the Celebration tables as the chefs and athletes were honoured. During this portion of the evening guests enjoyed the very nicely balanced, approachable Calliope Figure 8 White and Red donated by Burrowing Owl Winery.
Two hours prior some of Edmonton’s best palates gathered in a kitchen area of the Shaw Conference Centre to preview the selection and select the Best Wine of Show, an award created to bring attention to the generous contribution of Canada’s wineries, breweries and distilleries.
This year four Edmonton wine authorities returned to judge. Gurvinder Bhatia is a judge of the National Wine Awards and wine commentator for the Edmonton Journal and CBC. William Bincoletto is a noted wine educator and owner of Vines Wine Merchants. Juanita Roos of Color del Vino is a WSET Diploma holder, and certified sommelier Mary Bailey is also the lead GMP culinary judge in Edmonton.
Our winner was picked by a clear vote margin. The judges were asked to rank their top five wines – and all five ranked Culmina 2015 Unicus Gruner Veltliner from the Okanagan Valley as either first, second or third. It won because the quality is excellent – a dynamic, interesting BC take on a white variety that has come to fame in Austria. Culmina has only a small parcel planted at their new property in the South Okanagan’s Golden Mile, but it has received rave reviews from the start.
Second place went to 50th Parallel 2014 Pinot Noir, from New Zealand trained, Okanagan veteran Grant Stanley. Here is pinot that is just so expressive of BC’s rugged, foresty terrain – like a mouthful of slightly tart mountain wild berries with very fine oak, great tension, balance and length.
Third place actually ended in a tie between the rich, smoky, northern Rhone inspired Hester Creek 2013 Syrah Viognier, and the always, smooth and nicely herbal, fruity and generously oaked Tinhorn Creek 2013 Cabernet Franc.
Later in the evening the winning chefs and their wine pairings were announced by Chief Culinary Judge James Chatto. Bronze medalist Shane Chartrand of Sage chose the Culmina 2015 Unicus Gruner Veltliner with his dynamic spot prawn creation. Silver medallist Doreen Prei from Get Cooking chose the 5oth Parallel 2014 Pinot Noir, and Gold Medal chef Eric Hanson of the Prairie Noodle Shop paired Summerhill 2014 Ehrenfelser with a subtle delicious scallop dish.
So Summerhill becomes the first winery in Canada to earn a birth at the Canadian Culinary Championships, being held just down the road, at the Delta Grand Hotel in Kelowna, Feb 3-4, 2017. And Culmina earns a possibility of winning a week’s stay at a private villa at Borgo San Felice in Tuscany in 2017.
The Edmonton Wines and Spirits
in tasting order, full reviews can be found at www.winealign.com)
Calliope Fig 8 2015 White, Okanagan Valley
Culmina 2015 Unicus Gruner Veltliner, Okanagan Valley
Summerhill 2014 Ehrenfelser, Okanagan Valley
Quails’ Gate 2014 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley
Tinhorn Creek 2015 Gewurztraminer, Golden Mile Bench
Stoneboat 2013 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley
50th Parallel 2014 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley
Calliope 2014 Figure 8 Red, Okanagan Valley
Quails Gate 2014 Merlot, Okanagan Valley
Red Rooster 2014 Merlot, Okanagan Valley
Laughing Stock 2013 Blind Trust Red, Okanagan Valley
Tinhorn Creek 2013 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley
Sandhill 2013 Small Lots One, Okanagan Valley
Hester Creek 2013 Syrah Viognier Okanagan Valleyt
Fallen Timber Saskatoon Mead, Alberta Premium Rye Whisky, Birch syrup, Saskatoon berries, spices
Thank you to the Gold Medal Plates sponsors and supporters who provide vital support to the project