Winemakers ‘Black Dog’ Dinner at Township 7 Vineyards and Winery – South Langley, B.C.

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I couldn’t reply ‘YES’ quickly enough when I received an invitation to join Township 7 Winery and Vineyard for their wine club member’s holiday dinner with winemaker Mary McDermott.

On Saturday evening, December 4th, my dear friend Brandi Jones and I drove up the gravel driveway to the quaint three-acre vineyard and winery in South Langley, twinkling with lights. After a welcoming greeting by Cody, the GM, we were handed a beautiful glass of 2016 Seven Stars Equinox sparkling wine to sip as we enjoyed expertly prepared canapés from Bon Vivant Catering. Canapés included: Sicilian Caponata, Garlic Shrimp, and Prosciutto Wrapped Roasted Asparagus.

Mary took the floor and welcomed us all to this special event, and we raised a glass to the season upon us and the blessings we have then invited the crowd to the dining area, tastefully appointed with holiday décor.

Sitting immediately across from Mary, my seat had a ‘Reserved’ sign waiting. Our dinner started with a Gold Beet Salad paired with 2019 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc – absolutely perfect. The main course was Braised Beef Short Ribs with parmesan risotto and parsnip chips. Now, talk about a luxurious pairing; we had two wines to savour. Both the 2014 and 2018 Black Dog awaited our verdict on what we preferred. I enjoyed both wines, but the shining star was 2014. With only 398 cases made, this stunning red blend is one of the best wines I have tasted this year.

The Black Dog release is always a different blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah, made only from the best barrel selections each year. The Black Dog series is the wine that launched their wine club as everyone wanted to get their hands on it. The wines are aged for 24 months in French and American oak. Seriously swoon-worthy, this wine is only available to members of their two wine clubs: Club 7 and Seven Stars. The 2014 vintage holds an emotional connection for McDermott. It was her first Black Dog vintage she made after moving to British Columbia after leaving an esteemed winemaking career in Ontario.

I didn’t think anything could top the main course until dessert came. Typically, I steer away from dessert and instead have another glass of wine. But on this magical evening, I wanted to savour everything placed in front of me. Dessert was an Orange Crème Brûlée paired with the 2020 McMillan Fortified Muscat. It is not often I am at a loss for words, but this combination rendered me speechless. Instead of writing notes on the wine (sorry!), I remained in the present moment and took it all in.

I had one of my best friends’ sitting beside me. I watched McDermott speak passionately about the company, vineyards and wines. I appreciated the expertly prepared meal by Bon Vivant Catering. I entirely enjoyed every delicious wine placed in front of me.

If you have been pondering over a wine club to join, I suggest Township 7. With no initiation fee and the ability to cancel at any time and gain access to some impressive wines, Township 7 is an outstanding choice.

Thank you, Mary McDermott and the entire team at Township 7, for inviting me to be a guest at my first winery dinner in years. Indeed, a highlight of my year.