Palate Pleasure - Pairing Wine with Oyama Sausage Meats
Words & Pix: Henry Yuen

1/ Wagyu Beef Bresaola

The availability of the well sought-after Wagyu beef has widened the yum spectrum for gourmands. Thinly sliced to enhance the mouth-feel and laced with delightful marbles and juicy softness in every bite, Oyama’s wagyu bresaola stretches the lingering flavour of this hormone-free farmed meat even further. To satisfy different wine preferences, I have selected a red and a white to pair with, both are BC VQAs that go nicely with the air-dried beef.

White: 2016 Quails’ Gate Chardonnay

– Only 30% of oak aging that preserves the freshness and acidity of the fruit. Well-balanced and with a delightful level of buttery note, this wine compliments the marble structure and grabbing flavour of the meat from start to finish. Red: 2015 Quails’ Gate Merlot - 18 months in French oak allows this wine to develop caressing softness that rounds up a lengthy finish. The abundance of ripe red fruits, elegant body and delicate tannins match the umami of the Wagyu Beef to the fullness.     

2) Spicy Venison Salami

Game lovers will fall in love with the exotic and perfectly spiced flavour of the venison salami again and again. The fact this is not commonly available elsewhere adds notoriety to Oyama’s culinary insight. Smoked and aged, this velvety Venison Salami is rustic with a Spanish flair can easily fulfill the desire for something wild, rare and sumptuous. Also farm-raised, these free-roaming animals in their natural habitat forage on indigenous vegetations and produce exquisite meats with rich textures and distinctive flavours. Oyama Sausage adds a liberal dose of pimento de la vera picante (hot smoked paprika) to intensify the flavour profile.

With increasing numbers of BC wines garnering international awards, wine pairing for this mouth-watering Venison Salami is relatively easy. I have chosen a white and a red from Liquidity Winery for obvious reasons –   sensational integration and intriguing palate pleasure.

White - The Liquidity Viognier 2015:

 From the Similkameen Valley comes this attractive wine that packs in a lot of richness and nice floral notes with delicate white peach and stone fruits aroma. It will downplay the spiciness of the salami while refining the expressive smokiness and leaves a tingling, illusive sweetness in the palate.

Red - Liquidity Dividend 2015: Top pairing choice for hard-core red wine fans, this full-bodied red infused with ripe blackberries and dried plum aromas and a dash of mint, sage and earthy tones as the backdrop will not disappoint. 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc aged 15 months of aging in mostly French oak (24% new) ensuring its full suppleness, yet the tannin is soft and enticing.  Nicely balanced to harmonize both the texture and flavour of the salami, thus providing a lasting savoury finish.

3) Duck Morel Pâté

Oyama Sausage has been making unusual pâté with their very own recipes using premium quality local, natural ingredients. I am one of Oyama pâté addicts who brings home handful of their products whenever I visit their Granville Island store. My recent Oyama indulgences include a Duck Morel Pâté made with 100% free-range premium duck meat and locally foraged fresh morel mushrooms. Gently infused with aromatic herbs and secret blends of spices, the flavour of this silky-smooth pâté may seem mild at the beginning, but it slowly explodes as it massages your palate. Morel is in season till early June so now is the prime time to enjoy this enthralling terrine.

I have picked two of my favourite BC wines from JoieFarm Winery to pair with this ultra-delectable pâté. A farm-turned winery, JoieFarm has been impressing the wine world with their very own signature blends as well as varietal winners. 

White: The Joie Noble Blend is a perennial winner, exemplifying the wine-crafting skill of Heidi Noble, the winery’s proprietor and head winemaker. This is a delicious and refreshing wine with   a style “inspired by Alsace” as described by Heidi. Reminiscing the old-world whites found in Alsace region of France, blended in are Germanic varietals of Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Pinot Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc and Muscat. This wine is full of Asian stone fruits such as guava and apricot aromas. Attacking the palate are sensual lychee notes with a dash of spice to liven up the finish. Vitalizing and juicy, try it with the Duck Morel Pate on baguette, crackers or crisps.

Red: Joie Pinot Noir is crafted in the Burgundian style using only Okanagan fruits but with a European twist that expresses the cool climate character brilliantly. The oak program employs Burgundian coopers of medium toast to give this wine the mellow and smooth tone. Backdrops of black berries and toasted plum makes the sipping easy and delightful. Finishes with an enticing savoury note, this Pinot Noir and pâté pairing can be served as the second dish.

4) Okanagan Red Wine Prosciutto

Talking about outlandish culinary creations, Oyama Sausage has been on the ace list since day 1.  Breaking out of traditional modes and coming up with happily married flavour and texture, their exotic products say it all.  Even after five generations in the charcuterie business, they never slow down; they are simply passionate about trying out new recipes and making great products. The Okanagan Red Wine Prosciutto is one fine example of such products. Full-bodied Okanagan red wine is infused into the meat before the aging process to perfect the meat texture and rendering a knock-out flavour to this prosciutto. Kneaded into the moist, tender bites are flows of savoury umami. How you enjoy this complex and elegant delicacy is up to you.

To go along with the product paying tribute to the Okanagan, I have selected two wines from one of the founding wineries Hester Creek Estate Winery, a true stalwart with their roots running deep in the Golden Mile Bench who is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.

White: Pinot Blanc 2017 - Known to be a finicky varietal, Pinot Blanc loves BC weather and Okanagan terroirs. This wine happens to be one of the more popular BC whites. Fresh and juicy, this Pinot Blanc is blessed with tropical fruit aroma. Streaming hints of peach and apricot to call for full attention; and a dash of sage with a light creamy fume on the finish. The wine handles the layered flavour and subtle saltiness of the prosciutto in a lovely manner.

Red: Block 2 Reserve – Fruits are from old vines planted in the seventies, this Merlot is dense and chewy with ripened dark plums, prunes and sun-dried cherry notes. The silky soft tannins on the palate syncs nicely with the cocoa and earthy hints. The lusciousness of this solid red pairs exceptionally well with the velvety texture and intense flavour of the Okanagan Red Wine Prosciutto.