Appellations: Vacqueyras and Gigondas
Recipe: Bacon Wrapped Bison
The Sommelier: Domer Rafael, Best Sommelier of Manitoba, Food and Beverage Director The Manitoba Club

About the Pairing: To me, Vacqueyras and Gigondas scream late spring in Manitoba. After a long cold winter of drinking heavy tooth stainers and eating rich stews, we transition to foraging morels and consuming more complex wines. With the wines of Vacqueyras and Gigondas I think about a bacon wrapped bison tenderloin grilled to perfection and topped with a rich, herbaceous morel cream sauce. The wines of Gigondas and Vacqueyras are spicy, earthy, and display beautiful baked red fruit. They are a perfect weight for this dish. Big enough but not too big to overpower the dish. Their live acidity helps cut through the sauce, and the dish’s subtle smokiness enhances the flavours making this a magical pairing.


Bacon Wrapped Bison with Morel Cream Sauce

4 Servings

4 6-ounce bison tenderloin steaks, room temperature
4 pieces bacon, partially cooked
Pinch salt
Pinch cracked pepper
1/6 cup butter
1 shallots, minced
8 fresh morel mushrooms, halved lengthwise
1 sprig thyme, leaves removed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/6 cup Parmesan, grated

Wrap tenderloins with partially cooked slices of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-heat for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Melt butter in pan over medium-low heat. Add shallots. Sauté until soft (5 to 6 minutes). Add morels and thyme. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add cream. Raise heat to medium. Reduce until half its volume (about 7 minutes). Whisk in cheese to finish. Season sauce to taste. Serve and enjoy.