by Treve Ring | Mission Kits is that rare room that covers a lot of bases, well. Neighbourhood anchor, comfort destination, unpretentious fine dining (heck, tasting menus even!), locavore-centric, and – most importantly for me – a smart, tight wine program. Sommelier/owner/manager Chase McLeod has woven a list of hard-to-find eclectics and trusted gems, with nearly every offering available by the glass. After finishing his sommelier diploma and spending the better part of a year tasting and working the wine route in 15 countries including Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and Germany, he returned to Vancouver to open Fable, where he worked with Mission Chef Curtis Luk. Chase is well-schooled at pairing wines from near and afar to BC’s seasonal bounty. I recently chatted up Chase about what he currently has LISTED at Mission Kits.
How many wines on your list? Currently 56.
How is your list organized? Sparkling / Red / White (old world and new world)
What one wine are you most excited about right now on your list? Rene Geoffroy Millesime 2004 Champagne. Just an incredible grower champagne. 10 years on its lees, rich, complex and a great vintage.
What’s the top selling wine on your list? Our top seller is usually the label we are pairing on our crossover course on our tasting menu (both vegetarian and meat), so currently it is White Rose Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley (reserve pairings) and Tantalus Juveniles Pinot Noir (local pairings).
What’s the newest arrival on your list? Louis Cheze St. Joseph Caroline Cuvee, brought in to pair with our new Lamb course. We’re excited for that combo.
The one product you will never list? That’s easy…. Anything that I don’t get excited for or that I can’t talk passionately about. I have to feel comfortable recommending any wine to whomever walks in.
Money/availability is no option. What one wine would you list? I’m a bit obsessed with Madeira right now, so let’s say anything from the 1700’s, that would be fun. Same question next week could be a different answer.
Your fave food/beverage pairing currently in your restaurant? We just received our first asparagus delivery of the season, which is exciting. Usually difficult to pair, last year I stumbled upon something that kind of blew my mind. Famille Laplace Ode d’Aydie Pacherenc du Vic Bilh Sec from Madiran, France. A blend of gros and petite manseng grapes. Medium-bodied white with loads of minerality and very floral. Pair it with the asparagus and it pulls out all the freshness and fruit in the wine. I didn’t see that one coming.
Your top food/wine pairing tip? Experiment and taste. So many of my favourite pairings at Mission haven’t been my initial thought. Everything looks and sounds good on paper but you can only find out what works when you try it all together. If it still isn’t quite right…Synchromesh’s Storm Heaven Riesling works with pretty much everything.
Favourite wine list in Vancouver, other than your own? AnnaLena. It’s a constantly changing, small, concise list with really passionate staff. Plus it’s right down the street from Mission. Lucky me!