{Date night: Enjoying summer with wine and cheese at the Vin Room}

Warm summer nights after a long work week is always a great excuse to sit on a patio and enjoy a glass of wine. Tonight we decided to go to Vin Room in the Mission Area.

One of the popular wine bars in Calgary, Vin room stocks a diverse selection of wine for tasting and a tapas style menu. It was voted Best New Restaurant by John Gilchrist in 2009 and for Best Wine List by Avenue Magazine in Feb 2010.

We made resos as the place can fill up on weekend nights, we were seated on their rooftop patio and both decided to get 3 tasting wines each. I told the waiter what kind of whites I like – full-bodied, fruity and not too sweet and let him decide which wines would best suit my tastes. The boy did the same with the reds – bold and robust flavours.

The first was a 2008 Foxes Island Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand), a light and fresh wine, a bit too mild for me though. I loved the second one best, 2008 Dobbes Family Vineyards Viognier (Rogue Valley, United States) a great fresh and fruity flavour – under the sweet, elegant and provocative category.The last one was a 2008 Mastroberardino Rosé Aglianico (Campagnia, Italy) – a very unique taste, kind of had a skunky aftertaste to it, probably my least favourite.

I didn’t catch all the names of the reds. The boy’s favourite was the first one, the 2008 Andeluna Malbec (Mendoza, Argentina). The last one was VERY strong, had an aftertaste similar to a cognac.

The service seemed very slow after out drinks, we had to hunt down the waitress to get our orders in. We picked a few selection from their charcuterie menu (which has various meats, cheeses and accompaniments categorized by price). We were both craving a cheese board so we went with the following (pictured in order from left to right):

  • Truffled Moliterno Pecorino semi-firm raw sheep’s milk – Italy – very strong earthy flavour – normally I’m a fan of truffled cheese, but the taste was almost reminiscent of a blue (I’m not a fan of blue, but the boy was thrilled)
  • Valdeon blue semi-firm cow/sheep’s milk – Spain – as per usual, the bluest-blue on the menu for the boy
  • Vintage Gouda firm cow’s milk – Denmark – a rich burnt amber color, firm and flaky, full intense flavours. YUM.
  • Brie de Meaux soft cow’s milk – France – nothing out of the ordinary, a typical Brie. It’s no Dauphin for sure.

The accompaniments included some dried mission figs, thinly sliced granny smith apple, two types of crackers, a small baguette and a blueberry compote. Mmm…

We ordered a side of bread and balsamic, not knowing it came with bread. Oops.

We also ordered the Bison short ribs, braised in red wine and served with a side of sweet onion jam and garlic crostini.

Tender meat that flaked off without any effort, great paired with the sweetness of the onion jam. Me and the boy eagerly dipped the crostini to soak up the broth.

Overall, a lovely meal. A bit expensive, coming in at about $74 for the two of us. But the food did not disappoint as usual. I did notice the menu changes here often (as does the wine menu). I was upset to not see the serrano ham risotto croquettes and the salmon gravlax with pickled onions on rye crisps 😦

The only other negative thing, which is not the fault of the restaurant was the couple of girls dining next to us at the bar table who I could NOT tune out. I felt like I was in an episode of “The Hills” listening to their conversation. Definately a damper to my plans to having a nice relaxed evening with the boy. GAHHH!! More wine please!

Vin Room2310-4th St SW (in the old Mission Cycle building)

Vin Room on Urbanspoon

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