If there’s anything better than sitting down to a delicious glass of wine, it’s having it successfully paired with a plate of food. A properly balanced pairing should add to the enjoyment of both; the whole should always be greater than the sum of its parts. A simple pleasure—but one that can seem very daunting to the home cook—now made easy with the publication of The BC Wine Lover’s Cookbook.
This smart concept (by food and wine writer Jennifer Schell) visits 53 of our province’s best wineries to talk to the mostly family-owned businesses and collect their favourite home recipes to pair with a specific bottle of wine from their vineyard. The result is a compendium of great wines and great dishes designed to bring harmony and joy to your dinner table. Unpretentious, achievable—and unquestionably delicious.
Try Janine Meyer’s chicken Marbella with a bottle of Meyer Family Vineyards’ excellent Old Block pinot noir, or Kathleen Munn’s bibimbap paired with Fritzi’s Vineyard riesling from Martin’s Lane (where Kathleen’s husband, Shane, is the winemaker).
At Quails’ Gate, Jan Dobbener serves cauliflower soup with apple curry marshmallows and the winery’s Chasselas pinot blanc–pinot gris blend, while the province’s first Indigenous winemaker, Justin Hall of Nk’Mip Cellars, cooks crispy-skin sockeye salmon with saskatoon berry sauce and pours Nk’Mip rosé in his glass. Finish up with a slice of the Holler family recipe for Hubbard squash chiffon pie and a glass or two of their Poplar Grove Late Harvest viognier. Hungry yet?
If you’re tempted to try your hand at one of these pairings, we have a treat for you: an excerpt from Schell’s book (published by Appetite/Penguin Random House Canada) that combines a bottle of B.C. wine with the cuisine of Japan. Enjoy!
Summerhill Okonomiyaki With Smoked Salmon
Okonomiyaki is a type of Japanese savoury pancake that can be made with a variety of ingredients. In Japan, it is made in every household, and it is totally addictive.
Ria Cipes is from Japan and loves to make okonomiyaki for her family. She creates a special heart-healthy version for her husband Stephen (note below). Summerhill executive winery chef Jeremy Luypen helped create this delicious base recipe.
This recipe makes four medium-size portions or two large. If you are a beginner, divide the batter into four, and don’t worry if your first one isn’t perfect! You will get the hang of it.
Pair with: Cipes Brut NV. Made in the traditional method from organic riesling, chardonnay, and pinot blanc, this brut has aromas of apple, lime, pear, almonds, and grapefruit. On the palate, Cipes Brut exhibits crisp acidity, a soft, creamy mousse, and a long finish, and has won gold medals every year since it was first released in 1992.
1 cup flour
2¼ teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup vegetable stock
1½ pounds red or green cabbage, chopped into small pieces
¼ cup pickled pink ginger, chopped
2–4 tablespoons canola oil
½ cup mayonnaise
Sliced chives, to garnish
½ pound thinly sliced smoked salmon
Chives for garnish
Note: To make Ria’s heart-healthy version of this recipe, use tofu instead of eggs, and cook the batter in a nonstick pan with no oil.
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fish or oyster sauce
In a large bowl, mix the flour, ¼ teaspoon of the sugar, salt, baking powder, and stock until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Make the okonomiyaki sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, Worcestershire, fish sauce, and remaining sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
Set the chopped cabbage on paper towel to remove the moisture.
Remove the batter from the fridge. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and pickled ginger until well combined, then stir into the batter. Gently stir in the cabbage.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in a medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add a quarter of the batter mixture (or half if you are making two large servings) and spread into a circle on the pan. You can make it as thin or as thick as you like, but you should cook only one pancake at a time. Cover and cook until the bottom has browned, about 5 minutes. Flip over, cover, and cook about 5 more minutes. Transfer to a plate, then repeat until all the batter is cooked, adding another 1 tablespoon oil to the pan before starting each pancake.
To serve, okonomiyaki is traditionally topped with okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise applied in a criss-cross design (squeeze bottles make this easy). Sprinkle with chives and arrange the smoked salmon on the plate.
This recipe excerpted from The BC Wine Lover’s Cookbook by Jennifer Schell. Copyright © 2020 Jennifer Schell. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.
For more delicious recipes, head to our Food and Drink section.