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#30DaysToABetterMe The Year of The Horse, How Not To Become A Pig

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How can you stay slim or trim with all this amazing food and wine being offered to you.

OH MY GOD how am I ever going to reach my dream for this year to be under 200lbs and healthy when I get invited to fabulous food and wine events every week? I know first world problems, and I totally agree with you except I have to find a happy medium because I can’t go on the way I have been, it’s not sustainable for my well being and quite honestly it gets expensive buying new clothes all the time. For example just last night I went to two great events hosted by some friends of mine. My plan for the evening was to enjoy myself, soak up the atmosphere and nibble & sip. Yes you heard me right nibble and sip. My goal for the night is a small bite of everything they offer and a sip of what they pour. That shouldn’t be too hard, after all it’s 30 Days To A Better Me and I have willpower.

Chinese New Year The year of the Horse

Town Hall Team

First event of the evening is at the Bambudda Restaurant in Gastown (99 Powell St). The event is a media preview of their upcoming new menu celebrating Chinese New Year which begins on January 31st. I arrived a bit before the crowds of other media and bloggers descended upon the space since I had another event to go to at 6pm. To start off the event I get a lovely cocktail called Tsui Hang. It’s absolutely delicious and small so already I’m off to a good start.

Welcome cocktail from Banmbudda Restaurant in Gastown

Next up though I feel my willpower starting to weaken, just look at these beautiful cocktails and they were made for me! Dragon’s Descendant and Red Packet cocktails, crafted just for Chinese New Years and right in the middle a Tamarind Sour, a regular on their menu. I was a good boy though, I drank the Sour and photographed the other two! That’s better than I would have done in the past.

Cocktails created just for Chinese New Year at Bambudda Gastown

I’m feeling a little peckish now though and can’t wait to sample some of the fare they have created for the upcoming Chinese New Year menu. Luckily my willpower wasn’t put to the test, the portion sizes were perfect nibble bites. Of course for regular dining they would be full portions but for an event like this bite size is just what the Doctor ordered. Unfortunately for me, I lost the tasting notes I made getting of a cab later. I can tell you that they were all delicious, the Duck and the Eggplant Steam Buns were my favourite! In fact I’m already looking at my calendar to find a free night to go back for dinner with a friend.

Bite size Gizzards

Beautifully flavoured Duck

Eggplant & Pork Steam Buns

Just as the rest of the invited media guest arrive I scoot off to my next event, another Chinese New Year media dinner but this one is all about pairing wine with Asian cuisine. Lord help me this is going to be tough. Right off the bat we are greeted with some of the most drinkable BC bubbly Haywire’s The Bub. It’s crisp, clean and so adaptable I drink it with almost anything.

Haywire The Bub

This event is a little different from the earlier one at Bambudda. Instead of cocktail size portions this event is a full 10 course dinner with wine pairings for each course. YUMMY and EEK all at the same time. First course is Samosas and Chicken Satay skewers paired with Haywire The Bub. I had one samosa and one skewer but The Bub is so good I’m having a couple of glasses.

Chicken Satay Skewer with peanut sauce

For the rest of the night we take our seats, let the courses begin. First up is a Japanese styled Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab and a BBQ Duck Salad with Cantonese Dressing. Both of these dishes are paired with Haywire’s Gamay Noir Rose. I’m very familiar with the Rose as it’s one of my favourites and I probably drank a couple of cases of it this summer. I never would have thought to pair it with Duck or Crab but I have to say it was a delicious contrast to the richness of the dishes. How did I do on my portions here you wonder? I stayed true to my plan and just took a small bite as each dish was shared by the other invitees at my table, PHEW!

Haywire The Bub Pink

Japanese styled Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab

BBQ Duck Salad with Cantonese Dressing

Our next course was a soup course paired with Haywire Gewurztraminer. A traditional Mandarin Hot & Sour Soup followed by a Thai Seafood Soup. By this point I’m already starting to feel full so I enjoy a taste of the broth of each soup and of course pair it with the wine. For my palate I much preferred the Gewurztraminer with the Thai Seafood Soup but according to our hosts the Hot & Sour Soup was sweeter than expected so perhaps at another occasion I’ll try it again. I escaped this course with enjoying the great flavours while not consuming much, WINNING.

Mandarin Hot & Sour Soup

Thai Seafood Soup with Haywire Gewurztraminer

For the next course we are enjoying Haywire Pinot Noir with Taiwanese Stir-fried Eggplant and Korean-style Grilled Sablefish. I’m so grateful all of these dishes are shared with my table partners because they are all so tasty if I was left to my own I might eat way to much. Pinot Noir is one of my all time favourite wines and it’s one of the superstars in the Haywire Wine family. This Pinot is drinkable with food and on it’s own, what more can you ask for. Pinot Noir is also one of the rare red wines that pair well with Asian cuisine.

Taiwanese Stir-fried Eggplant

Korean-style Grilled Sablefish

Korean-style Grilled Sablefish photographed by Sean Nelid & Jeremiy Inglett

I’m really full at this point but there are 4 more dishes to go not to mention more wines to drink. I’ve been great so far on the food front enjoying great tastes but tiny bite portions. As for the wines well what can I say, they are so drinkable. This course is carb hell, Kaya Wok-fried Egg Noodles with Shitake & Siuchoy followed by Vietnamese Shrimp & Scallop Fried Rice. These dishes were paired with the Haywire Switchback Vineyard Pinot Gris. A delicious pairing. I really enjoyed the lightness of the Pinot Gris contrasted to the noodles and the rice.

Kaya Wok-fried Egg Noodles with Shitake & Siuchoy

Vietnamese Shrimp & Scallop Fried Rice

One last course to go and this is my danger zone, dessert. Deep Fried Banana & Vanilla Ice Cream alongside Berry & Rice Pudding paired with Haywire Gama Noir Rose & The Bub. I don’t think I need to talk about this at all. NomNomNom

Deep Fried Banana & Vanilla Ice Cream alongside Berry & Rice Pudding

So now you can see my challenge. How do I maintain a healthy weight when my job is to go to events like these. I guess if it was easy I wouldn’t need a whole 30 Days To A Better Me to figure it out. Smile A few people asked me to share some tips and tricks for pairing wine with Asian cuisine. I could do that or I could share the amazing booklet that the team at Okanagan Crush Pad put together for the evening which does a much better job than I could do. Click here to get your own PDF copy of the evenings menu and wine pairings.

Asian Cuisine & Wine pairing tricks from Haywire Wines

It is no surprise to me that the Haywire Lunar Wine Pairing event was such a success, after all it was produced and designed in part by my friends at Town Hall. I’ve got to say if you need some branding, graphics, PR and strategy for your business you couldn’t do any better than Town Hall. Town Hall, based in Vancouver BC, offers public relations, media relations, special events, social media outreach, logo and graphic design, and more. Whether it is your marketing strategy, packaging, advertising campaigns, or getting your word out in other ways, they’ve got the team and experience to bring your project to life.

Town Hall - Do you look legit

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