Pure Chablis Blind Tasting Puts Pairings Before Labels

Dec 19 2017, 9:50 am

#PureChablisYVR was an exclusive event put on by Pure Chablis, an organisation representing a particular wine region in France. It went down last week at Secret Location in Gastown, inviting a select crowd of Vancouver wine enthusiasts to find out more about the area and its wines.

The format consisted of blind wine pairings handpicked by three promising sommeliers:

  • Brooke Delves (Wildebeest)
  • Jason Yamasaki (Chambar)
  • Roger Maniwa (Hawksworth)


The sommeliers were tasked with create the best food and wine pairing with Chablis wines, based on a single menu prepared by chef Jefferson Alvarez (Secret Location). The sommeliers did not get to see or taste the dishes before selecting their complementary wines, something that apparently happens quite a bit in real life.

IMG_1141Course 1: Lobster, freeze dried pea, green asparagus, 64 degree egg

Each course was served blind with three white wines, and guests were invited to electronically vote on which wine paired best with the food combination.

IMG_2186Course 3: Roasted chicken, wild mushroom and shaved truffle

The food was, for the most part, beautifully presented and executed. The exception was the first dish – the runny yolk from the 64 degree egg overpowered all of the other ingredients, and also made deciding on the first winner much harder. The roasted chicken, however, was divine and paired beautifully with everything.

Otherwise, it was a fun and accessible method of pairing the flavours with Chablis wine. Conversations at my table frequently touched on how different all of the wines were, which was surprising given the relatively small region that the wines all originate from.

The winner, by popular vote, was Roger Maniwa of Hawksworth. One thing I wish the event had done differently was not to give away which wine went with which sommelier.


Still, I believe the guests were still able to accomplish what Pure Chablis had set out to do: put the complex combinations of food and wine first, before preconceived notions of label, vintage, and price point.


#PureChablisYVR happened at Secret Location on February 25, 2014. Find out more about Pure Chablis wines.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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