Archives for category: wine

A little while ago I posted about Eat Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards. The awards are separated to three categories; Vancouver, Victoria Island and the Okanagan. There were many awards given out, such as best place for lunch, best bartender, best restaurant, best food truck etc. There was even a category for best local food blogger and tweeter and guess what….. VineVie.com won for best in the Okanagan! I can’t believe it! My little food blog actually won a top award! Thank you so much to everyone who reads my blog! I love sharing my passion for food and writing and it’s such an honour to be recognized for that, it’s craziness really! A massive thank you to everyone that took the time to vote!

Here’s the link to see other awards winners throughout BC.

www.eatmagazine.ca

I’ll share a few of the Okanagan winner’s list here for you:

Restaurant of the Year: Local Lounge & Grill, Summerland

Best Place for Lunch:The Bench Market, Penticton

Best Restaurant Cooking Local: RauDz Regional Table, Kelowna

Best Meal Under $10 – Mad Mango Cafe, Kelowna

Best Burger – Burger 55, Penticton

Best Healthy Meal – Poppadums, Kelowna

Best Food Truck – Jefferz’s Fryz, Penticton

Top Chef – *tie* Robert Cordonier(Hillside Bistro- Naramata Bench) and Paul Cecconi (Local Lounge-Summerland)

Best Barista – Good Omens, Summerland

Best  Wine – Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, Summerland

Best Fruit Wine – Elephant Island, Naramata Bench

Best Beverage – Poplar Grove Cab Franc, Penticton

Best Cooking Classes – Mission Hill Culinary Workshops, West Kelowna

Best New Addition to the Scene – Okanagan Food Truck, based out of Kelowna

Congratulations to all the winners and the runners up and don’t forget to check out the list of all the winners.

I think I’ll celebrate tonight with a little glass of Okanagan wine. Cheers!

Hello everyone, I hope that your sweethearts spoiled you this Valentine’s Day! Did you stay home and make dinner or go out somewhere romantic? I stayed in and shared homemade pizzas and Okanagan wine with my Valentine. We stopped at retro themed doughnut shop Krispy Kreme in Delta a couple of days before V-Day and I was so excited (it’s the small things) to be there when they were actually making the doughnuts. Plus I also liked all their cute Valentine’s Day themed decorations. Did you know that you can get a 50% off a box of a dozen doughnuts after 9pm? Now that is a deal! Doughnut party anyone? Haha! Check out my pics below.

Check out that icing waterfall!

The little doughnut factory .

I also wanted to share with you my latest article that has been published in the Asia Pacific Post as well as the Filipino Pacific Post newspapers. It’s an article about Vietnamese noodle soup a.k.a. pho. Check it out here at  www.asianpacificpost.com and let me know if you have any other delicious ethnic food ideas or restaurants for me to try!

Earlier this summer my boyfriend and I finally got around to checking out Blasted Church winery in the Penticton area. I’ve always been a fan of their cartoon like labeling and heard a lot good things about the wine but never been to the winery itself.  I used to pass their sign everyday when I rented an awesome lakeside house with my friends on Skaha Lake; so I was due for a visit. So on a sun-shiny Okanagan summer day we decided to check out the winery. It is such a picturesque site, and the view was so much more than I expected. The first thing we saw when we arrived at the winery site was this. Nothing short of beautiful right? The beauty didn’t stop outside, it continued right into the bottle. Now, I’ve done my  fair share of wine tasting. From silly nights with my best friend in highschool discovering  the parents wine collection, to working at various wineries on the Naramata bench hosting tastings and tours, to having dinners and tasting alongside Harry McWatters the founder of Sumac Ridge Estate Winery.  So, at the risk of sounding completely pretentious; I like to think I know my way around a good bottle of vino.  What we found at Blasted Church was some of the best tasting I have tried all season. We couldn’t leave without walking away with a bottle of their  ‘2008 Nothing Sacred Meritage’. 

It’s a Bordeaux style blend of

Merlot 50%

Cabernet Sauvignon 40%

Malbec 5%

Petit Verdot 5%

With a cedar smoked, cassis bouquet and a heavy yet smooth earthy toned flavour I couldn’t resist this god like nectar. We had to get it! Even though it’s a bit pricer at $40 per bottle it’s worth the indulgence. If you only  get one bottle this season then this is the one.  To date there are only 5 cases left so get yours in a jiffy. I’m going to let mine age for a few more months and then possibly pull it out to celebrate our anniversary. What better way to celebrate than with a great bottle of  red and an even better boyfriend?

Follow the brick path through trendy Gastown in Vancouver, turn down a shadowy pungent alley way and there hides an alluring hole in the wall. Salt Tasting Room is an underground hot spot for the true wine aficionados. On any given night you are sure to find members of the wine industry tribe, lovers, tasters, worshippers all gather here to sip on the nectar of gods mated with divine petit fare.  Salt  is a simple room with basically not much other than a couple of tables, chairs and a chalk board menu to choose from. This is a place for light fodder; recommended for either before or apres dinner. Salt offers with up various ‘tasting plates'($15) with a diverse spread of  artisan cheese, meat and other tantalizing condiments. With the menu constantly rotating you are sure to never have to try the same item twice on the menu at salt although you may want to. Salt features meats from local charcuterie artisans such as Oyama Sausage Co., Moccia’s and N & Z Deli.  Fine cheeses are also written on the chalk board from local and international cheesemongers such as Poplar Grove from Naramata, Moonstuck Organic Cheeses hailing from Salt Spring Island and Neal’s Yard cheeses from across the pond. Grainy Guinness mustard, sweet pickled onions &  crunchy slices of fig bread are just a few of the palatable choices to put together your tasting plate. Typically a guest chooses a flight of 3 wines accompanied by 3 meats,3 cheeses and 3 condiments. This is not a place to just order the house wine, Salt has an extensive cellar ranging from the sweet and bitter Crab Apple wine hailing  from Elephant Island in Naramata to Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Robert Craig Wine Cellars.The welcoming and knowledgeable staff  are very helpful in choosing the best pairings,with abundant information on everything listed on the chalk board and then some.  Once you’ve received your tasting plate with wine pairings your server writes out and gives you a list of what you’re about to enjoy and precedes to explain more about the wine to you in which to have a better understanding of it. The pairings are extremely impressive the people at Salt truly are passionate with what they do and it shows. Dessert plates are offered as well in the same fashion as the tasting plates, a sample of usually chocolate ( mousse, ganache etc) or lemon (think meringue, key lime cheesecake) treats are equally mouth-watering. Salt Tasting Room is lovely mix of rawness and sophistication. A true diamond in the rough.

The Vancouver International  Wine Festival is just over a week away and there are plenty of tickets available. Voted in the Georgia Strait newspaper as the #1 Wine Festival in British Columbia this is an event that any wine enthusiast does not want to miss.   There are still tickets left for what is considered to be one of the main events; the International Festival Tasting. There are 196 wineries partaking in this years festivities with 761 wines available for tasting.  This is a essential event for anyone who is looking to broaden their wine knowledge and mingle with the wine crowd as each booth is represented by someone intimately involved with the winery or wine making. The event goes from April 22, 23 & 24  from 7-10pm. Tickets are $89 or $80  for groups 8 or more on the weekend. There are also many wine & food pairing events available such as the opening “Get UnCorked”($49) event showcasing wines from Argentina & New Zealand at Earls on Hornby on Monday April 19th. For those looking  to discover a truly local British Columbia Experience there’s the “BC Food and Wine Event: Our Land Revealed” ($65)  happening at O’Doul’s Restaurant & Bar on April 24th. Featuring local inspired dishes and wine from some of BC’s top VQA wineries such as Mission Hill Family Estate, Osoyoos Larose & Gray Monk Estate Winery. Many educational seminars will be going on as well during the festival with plenty of tickets remaining for a few of these events.  “Rose-Rama”($40) is an educational seminar going on at VCC West on April 22nd from 5-6:45pm. Presented by DJ Kearney and wine educator David Scholefield this informative tutorial explores aspects of the majorly under estimated pink drink. Featuring  exceptional rose’s as Peju Dry Rosé of Syrah, Napa Valley, Canadian Quails’ Gate Rosé and Henkell Rosé to note a few. This event could make for a fun ladies get together! The Bacchanalia Gala Dinner & Auction is an exquisite journey of wine & food pairings featuring creme de la creme vintages from such wineries as Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Rosé NV,  Fuse Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 and Peller Estates Signature Series Riesling Icewine 2007. All accompanied by culinary delights from Chef Robert LeCrom from the The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. There will also be auctions benefitting the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company.Tickets for the Gala dinner are still available for $400 per person or $3200 for a table of eight. With plenty of tickets left for many events the Vancouver International Wine Festival is sure to be a connoisseurs heaven. For more information on the Vancouver International Wine Festival & events please  visit http://playhousewinefest.com/

Strut is a Canadian VQA label wine brand that come out with a very sassy wine series that is perfect for ladies night! There is a label to match each personality or taste. With wines aptly named Chardonista & Red Over Heels. They boast that they are the ‘wine with legs’ and each label has a different pair of sexy legs and shoes to compliment the wine within. It’s fun and a definite conversation starter. Although the marketing may seem to overshadow the actual it actually is very good, especially for the price. All very fruit forward wines; the fruitest and girliest of them all is the ‘Risque Rose’  which comes wrapped in a label featuring  sexy legs in fish net stocking and buckled strappy high heels.  It is a crisp rose’ with soft strawberry and spicy undertones. Recommended pairings are tomato based pasta dishes, butter chicken or a fondue night with your girlfriends. With recessionista pricing,  3 bottles available for $33 it’s a must-try for belle vinos. Cheers!