What an insanely fantastic week I have had full of birthday wishes, glasses of wine and loads of love – a 100% perfect way to start my next year around the sun.
I was up in Penticton for B.C. VQA panel last week and I had such an excellent time that I thought I would share some highlights with you…along with some great suggestions for Rosé!
On Monday when I first arrived, I went up to Naramata to visit Tightrope Winery and to try their current releases with the always delightful and smiling, Heather. I am such a fan of Lyndsay and Graham O’Rourke’s style and respect for their wines. One of the winners for me was their 2015 Rosé. Mostly Pinot Noir with a dash of Barbera – this wine is fantastic for the patio in the sunshine. I enjoyed the entire lineup, as usual, and will be doing a more detailed profile in upcoming weeks.
After panel on Tuesday, I met up with my friend Erin Korpisto (of Liquidity Wines) to have a walk through the Okanagan College sensory lab where I will be instructing May 2nd and 3rd. I am beyond excited and looking forward to instructing these two courses. After the shop talk, we went to Mile Zero Wine Bar for a ‘white’ tasting flight of three wines. The inside space is über cool as a converted garage and the wines available were some of B.C.’s finest options.
While sitting at the bar, Rob Van Westen, of Van Westen Winery, strolled up and joined us for a glass. Not very often, in Vancouver anyway, does a winemaker walk into a wine bar and sit at the bar. Brilliant. The three of us had a great chat about the state of our B.C. wine industry while we sipped away on our wine. It felt like a Sideways moment.
Onto dinner, Erin suggested we try a new restaurant in Penticton, Front Street Brasserie. I have recommended this perfect little spot to as many people who will listen to me for French inspired cuisine with local ingredients. I had the Halibut and can honestly say I have never enjoyed it more. Delicious. A great evening with Ms. Korpisto indeed…
After my panel on Wednesday, I headed up to Quails’ Gate for lunch with outstanding winemaker, Nikki Callaway. Nikki and I became fast friends after I interviewed her for the The Alcohol Professor. We found out that our birthdays are one decade apart minus two days so we have celebrated the last two years with a birthday lunch at the always fantastic Old Vines Restaurant. Nikki ordered us a glass of her 2015 Rosé that is destined to sell out soon. Juicy, fruity, crisp and refreshing – this is her best Rosé yet. It never feels like Nikki and I have a long enough time together so we made plans for a Vancouver visit this summer.
After lunch and an impromptu PR tour, I headed over to Tantalus Vineyards to taste through the current releases with one of my favourite tasting room people, Ryan. Refined, great quality and well-crafted wines – go say hello when you are up in Kelowna next!
Whew – one of my more social visits to the Okanagan, indeed, but also one of the most enjoyable!