Earlier in June, Eating in Vancouver & the World received an invitation from the fine folks at the Red Rock Winery to head on up to West Vancouver for a very special evening of great food and fine wine. The intent of the event was to showcase their highly acclaimed 2010 Reserve Malbec in a comfortable setting to a small group of local media. Having thoroughly enjoyed other Red Rock wines in the past like the 2010 Reserve Merlot, we happily RSVP’ed and attended the event for several hours on the 14th.
When I first arrived at the West Vancouver address, my jaw must have unhinged and dropped to the floor. For some reason I had convinced myself the dinner was taking place at a winery or vineyard so I definitely did not expect the lavish home I walked into. In one word: stunning. I was later told that a lot of time and effort had been spent to find the perfect venue for this event. Surrounded by natural forests and water, the panorama of ocean, mountains and sky was priceless. To be quite honest, my awe of the view never quite wore off even as I was leaving 3+ hours later.
One of the first things I remember seeing after getting settled in was a very focused gentleman stacking rocks on the patio floor. At first I thought nothing of it but looking closer at the Red Rock bottle, I noticed that the sculptures he was building were exactly like the corporate logo of the Red Rock Winery. I would later find out how everything tied together into the central theme of the evening which was ‘balance’.
About an hour or so into the evening, one of our gracious hosts stood up and spoke briefly about the Malbec. For the Red Rock Winery as a whole, she said that making good wine iss all about balance. By combining fruit and hints of oak together, the goal is always to achieve harmony so that no one element overpowers another. After hearing this objective conveyed to us, it really made me look at the Malbec more critically throughout the course of the evening.
Served alongside a seemingly endless supply of delicious wine was an extravagant spread of food ranging from meat wrapped asparagus to baby tomato skewers. As with every aspect of the evening, I felt the selection of the food served was quite deliberate. As I sampled each new dish or platter that left the kitchen, I could not help but appreciate how diverse and varied the selections were. From light salads to heavy meats, each and every dish was seemingly tailored to showcase the versatility of the 2010 Malbec in a real world dining environment. I will not narrate my thoughts on every single dish (as there were far too many) but I did want to briefly dwell on how the Malbec paired with some of the hot rock skewers I had.
When it comes to wine pairings and meat, my choices are usually quite traditional. For a good steak, I usually have a nice Cabernet Sauvignon. For salmon, duck, lamb etc. I go with a Pinot Noir and for grilled meats, I have never regretted a good Zinfandel. Now, what I was most interested in was how versatile this 2010 Red Rock Malbec was across a varied selection of meats. Sampling one meat skewer after another, I was surprised at how well the Malbec went with seemingly everything I tried. Trying to compare the Malbec against my favorite Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir proved impossible as they were too different but ultimately I enjoyed the Malbec very much. The vibrantly fruit-based character of the wine created some very interesting flavor profiles with many of the dishes I tried.
At its core, the Red Rock Malbec is a very smooth, fruity wine that presents itself very confidently in both aroma and finish. With hints of current and cherry, the dark vibrancy is intriguing as the wine does not come off dark or heavy in mouth at all. I was told that the Red Rock winemakers blend in a few different varietals into this Malbec to soften the tannins and give it that exceptionally well balanced feel. Having had a chance to sample a glass or two with a wide variety of dishes, I can confidently say this Red Rock Malbec ranks up there as one of the most competent dining wine selections I have had in recent memory. Discussing the wine with several other food writers throughout the evening, there was a clear agreement that at its price point, this Red Rock selection was definitely a very strong performer even against its more expensive competitors.
To wind things down with a few final thoughts, this evening proved to be an unforgettable education for me as both a food writer and wine enthusiast. As I said earlier, I have tried the Red Rock 2010 Reserve Merlot in the past and quite enjoyed it. Now having tried their Malbec, I have no problem adding another Red Rock bottle to my wine cellar. To those just getting into wines or even those quite experienced, I believe almost everyone will find this Malbec to be very easy to drink and enjoy. Fundamentally, it is everything a good Malbec should be and it is clear to see how it is the #1 Premium California Malbec in the United States.
To the amazing PR team and everyone at the Red Rock Winery that made this evening possible, thank you so much! It truly was a brilliantly planned and executed event and one I will not forget for years to come. To all of you from all of us here at EatinginVancouver, cheers!