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Posts Tagged ‘Rose’

It was two years ago during our visit of Evolve Cellars, we learned from Christa-Lee that her family winery business ENCORE Vineyards had acquired the PenMar Theatre in Penticton and was converting the space into a winery. Now, we just got a sneak preview of the soon-to-open TIME Winery & Kitchen.

Time Winery & Kitchen, Penticton

At the time this was written, the winery was just one inspection away from getting the permit needed to open its door to the public. So during our visit, the staff was still putting on some finishing touches.

Time Winery & Kitchen, Penticton

Time Winery & Kitchen, Penticton

The PenMar Theatre was a four-auditorium theatre, originally built in the 50s with just one auditorium. Harry McWatters, CEO of ENCORE, has some fond memories of the theatre. He pointed to a corner of the now winery, and told us that’s where he sat on a date decades ago, as a boy, when the movie and popcorn was just 25¢.

Harry McWatters, Time Winery & Kitchen

The reconfiguration from movie theatre to winery took longer than expected.

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While we were in the Okanagan, of course Hester Creek wasn’t the only winery we visited. On this trip, we ventured out to Summerland, specifically the Bottleneck Drive area, and we discovered Evolve Cellars.

Evolve Cellars was open in 2015 and above the tasting room is e, its dining room. Simple decor – white wall, white table cloth, with big window panes overlooking a gorgeous view of its vineyard and Lake Okanagan. Bryan, Kathryn, Mr. and I made a lunch reservation prior to getting there, and we’re patting our back for making a good choice.

View of Evolve Cellars

Food

e’s lunch menu is quite interesting. I like that they incorporate their wine into many of the dishes. We shared a few appies, including the Seared Scallops. There was nice caramelization on one side of the scallops, the scallops were cooked to the right temperature, tender and sweet. The roasted corn salsa gave it some smokey flavours and crunch. For us, they were served on a spoon and it made a perfect bite (Mr. really liked it, because he always wants “a bit of everything in each bite”).

Seared Scallops

The Bruschetta was probably my least favourite appetizer. Don’t get me wrong, it was quite good.

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Friends and I (including Joyce and Bryan) have formed a beer club called Garibaldi Club. To date our Garibaldi Club has had 13 beer nights, so it was about time we had a wine night. Plus it was good timing for not one, but two couples in our club, who are getting married this year, to obtain some feedback/ideas on potential wines for their nuptial-day shenanigans. Please note: Prices listed below are mostly based on the BC Liquor Stores website and may vary depending on monthly promotion, and it will be priced differently at private, independent liquor stores as well.

Wine Tasting Party

Whites

Sumac Ridge Private Reserve Gewurztraminer (2012/2013)
Canada – Alc 12% – Sweetness 02

If you are looking for something light and crisp to go with a spicy meal (or samosas, which we just so happened to have whilst sipping on this semi-sweet Gewurz) then this is a great choice. It’s got a lovely balance of flavour and sweetness without being too much. Out of 11 people there was only one or two people who said it wouldn’t be their choice, but overall it was quite enjoyable. BC Liquor Stores: $13.29 – good price for a VQA

Saint & Sinner Pinot Grigio (Vintage Not Specified)
Canada – Alc 12% – Sweetness 00

Now for someone who isn’t usually a Pinot Grigio fan I actually really enjoyed this white. It’s sweetness rating is 00 yet in my palate’s opinion it was closer to a 01 – not super dry as a 00 rating may suggest. Overall there wasn’t a negative comment in the house – it was easy drinking and quite refreshing – this may very well be seen at one (or both) of the weddings! BC Liquor Stores: $11.29

Gazela Vinho Verde (Vintage Not Specified)
Portugal – Alc 9% – Sweetness 00

I’m not going to lie, this was just not my style. (more…)

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As Kathryn mentioned in her debut post, we checked out the Restaurant Australia event as part of the Vancouver International Wine Festival. Being the featured country this year, it’s only fitting that there was an event highlighting the Aussie culinary culture and how it pairs with wine.

Restaurant Australia

Even though it’s prepared by the executive chef and culinary team at the Vancouver Convention Centre, they utilized some interesting ingredients unique to Australia, such as kangaroo, crocodile, wattleseed and of course, lamb. Here is a quick peek at the menu and some food photos: (more…)

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[Editor’s Note: Please give a warm welcome to Kathryn, our new blogger. With her experience working in the wine industry and sipping her way through many bottles, Kathryn is going to bring some new insight in wine tasting. Check out her debut post below!]

Hello foodies! Thank you for inviting me into your food/beer/wine loving homes. And what is the best way to start my wine blogging debut? It’s to talk to you about the 37th Annual Vancouver International Wine Festival of course!

Joyce and I attended the Restaurant Australia and International Festival Tasting events together. What terrific events full of food and wine to tantalize and quench anyone’s craving for flavour and variety. I will leave the food portion to Joyce (needless to say I enjoyed the food) and focus on the wines of the day.

Restaurant Australia Event at Vancouver International Wine Festival

The first event, Restaurant Australia, wet the whistle and eased us into the day by pairing food with wine for 2.5 hours. It was then followed by the 2-hour afternoon International Festival Tasting – such a short time to give the tasting room, filled with 170 wineries, justice! However, I sacrificed myself and tried as many wines as possible so I could share some tasting notes plus provide you with some behind-the-scenes information that perhaps you can’t just read on a wine label or website.

Vancouver International Wine Festival International Tasting Room

Firstly, if you are not a fan of the herbaceous or mineral flavours that Sauvignon Blanc usually provides, then do I have a Sauv Blanc for you!
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Is it a holiday tradition at your home/party to pop open a bottle (or two, or more) of sparkly? To prepare for the holiday season, we had the opportunity to sample the Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s Cipes Rose. I remember trying the Summerhill Brut at the FBC 2014 conference back in October and I quite enjoyed it, so I was quite excited about the Rose. But should it be added to your list of party wines? Let’s find out.

Summerhill Cipes Rose

According to the Summerhill website, the Cipes Rose is made with 100% organic grapes. The first 75% of juice was pressed after a 48 hour cold-soak on the skins. It has quite a pretty red hue, which would be fitting for Christmas.

As soon as we pop-opened the Rose, we were immediately hit by a sweet aroma. The amount of carbonation was just right, and there was a prominent strawberry note. It was light and refreshing, and easy drinking. Felt like a summer wine, but the bubbly would also make a great party wine. The Brut was drier, more crisp, and I prefer the Rose over the Brut.

Summerhill Cipes Rose

The Cipes Rose would be great to pair with lighter protein such as fish, pork, chicken and turkey. We paired it with a tomato fish stew and the wine went quite well with the lightly spiced dish. In addition, we also prepared some Quinoa Crusted Falafel Mignon, a recipe provided by Summerhill. I thought I’d share with you here as well. (more…)

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If you think our Okanagan trip ended on the Golden Mile Bench, you’re wrong. We decided to venture further north, driving more than 50 km, to Penticton, and visit another famous wine region – Naramata Bench. That area has just as many, if not more, wineries as Oliver/Osoyoos. We only had time to check out four wineries, so it was really difficult to shortlist from the dozens of wineries in the area.

Nichol Vineyard

Wines Along the Naramata Bench

The wineries in this area are situated above sand cliffs that rise from the Okanagan Lake, with vineyards sloping up to the mountains behind. While you are enjoying some great wine, you will also get to take in a gorgeous view of the Okanagan Lake. Here is a recap of the wineries we visited, and wines we liked and didn’t like, strictly from a personal preference standpoint.

Nichol Vineyard

While most wineries in the region compete with each other over attractive signage, or even grandiose wine shop and tasting room, Nichol goes for the opposite. Located at the north most end of the Naramata Bench, if you don’t pay close attention, you might actually miss the turn-off to the winery.

It’s a neat little wine shop at the top of the vineyard, and it looks just like someone’s house. But it has some patio seating that allows you to enjoy a glass of wine, or even your packed lunch, over this view:

View at Nichol Vineyard

Because they sold out some of the varietals over a busy summer, we only got to try 4 of their wines. The Pinot Gris is definitely the gem in the lineup. The grapes were gently crushed and left to settle on the skins for 36 hours, giving the wine this salmon hue and a hint of tannin. It’s dry, citrusy, with the aroma of stone fruit. I usually prefer slightly sweeter white but I really enjoyed this one.

I was hoping to try its Cab Franc but it wasn’t available for tasting. Now I need to try finding it elsewhere; I think I will like it as well.

Winery website: www.nicholvineyard.com

Nichol Vineyard

Bench 1775 Winery

Remember I talked about the lack of flashy sign for Nichol? What caught our attention about Bench 1775 was its successful use of signs — “Canada’s Best Pinot Gris”, “The Best View of the Lake” — now we’re intrigued.

Bench 1775 Winery

Bench 1775 certainly has a great view! What makes it better is that its patio is extended right to the water so you are much closer to the Okanagan Lake and the water view is quite spectacular.
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