Friday, March 9, 2012

Ballet BC & Bao Bei

Ballet BC has never been much for presenting pieces that feature tutus, swans or princes. I know that it can be a bit of a hard sell to convince Boo to join me, but I was able to do so for tonight's performance of three disparate pieces - Walking Mad, Vitulare and between disappearing and becoming. The dances may not be as immediately recognized as Nutcracker or Giselle, but that likely has much to do with the fact that two of the pieces were world premières and the third was a Canadian première.

Don't look to me if you're wanting a critique on contemporary ballet - or classical for that matter - I'm not your man. I have enough trouble trying to discover the nuances of wine, let alone dance. I do, however, know that I love the fact that Vancouver has such an innovative and talented dance company - and, while the pieces rarely enthral me from start to finish, I inevitably enjoy aspects of the show enough to draw me back. Tonight's little triumphs included the integration of the moving wall into Walking Mad and the ebb and flow of the continually changing partners and dancers traversing the stage en pointe throughout between disappearing and becoming.

But enough of the arts review. If I'm posting the evening here, you can pretty much be guaranteed there's a bottle of wine involved. And, naturally, there is.

Before we traipsed off to Ballet BC, Boo and I stopped in for dinner at Bao Bei, the contemporary Chinese brasserie that opened in Chinatown awhile back and was seen as one of a few moves that might help invigorate the area. I've wanted to try the restaurant for some time but just haven't gotten around to it yet.

1080. 2010 Château de Sancerre (AOC Sancerre - Loire - France)

Bao Bei, which we're told translates from Chinese as "precious," originally grabbed some headlines for innovative cocktails. The wine list was far more pedestrian - or maybe "limited" is a better word - as there wasn't much choice. Since the dishes we chose were all over the map - from squid with pork belly to beef tartare (which I've never really thought of as Chinese), I thought a white might match up better. Boo didn't want to go the Riesling route; so, we settled on a Sancerre. I'm not sure that the acidity and minerality of the Sauv Blanc matched our dishes all that well, but we managed to work our way through both food and wine without too much difficulty.

I wasn't aware of Château de Sancerre - what with the region being called Sancerre and all - but the winery is part of the Marnier-Lapostelle holdings (most notably Grand Marnier) and the family owns the historical castle in the region. Hence, this is the only wine from the Sancerre appellation that can be named Château de Sancerre.

I don't drink a lot of Sancerre - nor do I drink a lot of Sauvignon Blanc in general - but I tend to gravitate to what I see as a more stylistic integration of all the flavour points that make up the Sauvignon Blanc profile. To me, this Château de Sancerre seemed to be a little more forthright in its flavours. If I hadn't known it was a Sancerre, I might have mistaken it for a New World Sauv Blanc. Maybe that's why I didn't find it subtle enough to match up with the varied flavours of the food.

An evening full of food, wine and dance. Sounds pretty swellegant and I'm glad we did it. I'm not sure that any of those three components knocked it out the park though. That being said, I'm fairly certain that each of Ballet BC, Sancerre and Bao Bei will still figure in our plans down the road.

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