OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS | “Quails’ Gate” On Lookout For Pastry Chef (Maternity Leave)

Quail’s Gate is located at 3303 Boucherie Rd in West Kelowna | 250.769.4451 & 1.800.420.9463 | quailsgate.com

The GOODS from Quail’s Gate Winery

West Kelowna, BC | Located in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, Quails’ Gate’s Old Vines Restaurant offers an excellent venue to build or continue your career in the culinary arts. Open year-round, opportunities exist for advancement and gaining knowledge of pairing wines with the bounty of ingredients we are so fortunate to have in the Okanagan Valley. Our belief in farm to table cookery marries well with our family business values and philosophy.

Our successful candidate will assume the position of Pastry Chef- maternity leave. This position is responsible for managing the Pastry station and supervising 1-2 Pastry Cooks. Pastry is responsible for production of all breads & pastry items, all plated desserts and special occasion items. Pastry Chef duties include but are not limited to line service, staff leadership and inspiration, inventory and ordering. Pastry Chef works amongst and in support of the ingredient inspired Culinary brigade.

Applicants must have successfully completed a formal culinary training program or have equivalent years experience in the industry. Applicants must have 2+ years’ experience in a similar leadership role, preferably in a fast-paced, fine dining establishment and demonstrate excellent line cooking skills. As business levels fluctuate throughout the year, applicants must be able to work a flexible schedule.

If you are seeking a position with a dynamic winery that is intent on establishing itself as Canada’s leading premium brand, please forward your resume with covering letter to employment [at] quailsgate.com. Read more

AWESOME THING WE DRANK #678 | The Idiosyncratic Tahbilk Marsanne 2010 (Aus)

photo-5-1

by Treve Ring | In my line of work I get to drink taste a boatload of wines, many good, most average, a lot of plonk, and a slight few, awesome

Tahbilk Marsanne 2010 | Nagambie Lakes, Victoria, Australia | $20 +559716

Still think all Aussie wines are cheap and cheerful? C’mon mate! It’s a new day and that thinking is as dated as foam on a plate. Australia is a place of outstanding regional diversity, wine history and talent, and if you’re not open to accepting that terroir is a renewed and serious focus, then I hereby sentence you to Yellow Tail, for life!

Tahbilk {ta-BILK} is one such winery with a lineage rivaling that of our own country. The winery and original vineyards were established in 1860, and purchased by the Purbrick family, the 4th generation of which oversees operations today. Tahbilk’s ties to the rare, French-born Marsanne grape stretches back to the 1860’s when the first grapes were ever recorded. Though those initial plantings are no longer around, the Estate still produces Marsanne from 1927 plantings – some of the oldest in the world. In fact, Tahbilk claims to have the largest, single holding of Marsanne anywhere (take that, France!). Tahbilk releases library vintages from time to time (yes, even the 1927), so if you ever see “Museum Release” on the label, just trust me and buy it.

This is an idiosyncratic wine that gains so much complexity with time that it’s boggling. While juicy and bright in its youth, your patience will be exponentially rewarded (5-20 years+). The 2010 is still a junior, opening with whiffs of lemon, white peach, light petrol, marmalade and wild herbs. A medium-bodied positively oily palate bears pear, honeysuckle, earth, lemon, thyme, and stony spice. Its well-knit rope of herbal earthiness and floral perfume, bright acid and stone fruit is capped by a lengthy finish. All this for $20 and I’m pretty cheerful.

EVERY AWESOME THING WE DRANK 

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE | Testing Tantalus Vineyards’ Experimental “Riesling Lab” 2013

IMG_6025

by Treve Ring | Here’s how wine geeks think: “Lessee what would happen if I took all my grape pressings leftover from the entire Riesling vintage and squeezed them together really hard to capture all the juice and good bits and then fermented it entirely with wild yeast…”

Tantalus Vineyards Riesling Lab 2013 | Kelowna, Okanagan Valley, BC | $19

Kiwi-Canadian wine geek and Tantalus winemaker David Paterson isn’t afraid to push – or in this case press – the envelope of experimentation. With Riesling Lab, the atypical results have proven so consistently interesting that the winery decided to slap labels on the bottles and sell them. The first Lab experiment (2011 vintage, #1) was tiny – just a handful of cases were produced. 2012’s Lab #2 was more of a purpose-driven exercise, with production bumped up to 70 cases or so. And last year, proven in method, Paterson produced 155 cases of Lab #3, sold solely out of their East Kelowna tasting room (also to a very few restaurants in Vancouver).

The playfully nerdy label is a clear departure from the norm (an indication that this ain’t your typical Tantalus wine), but the #03 Lab Results: Riesling is nevertheless a firm handshake. Pink and orange flowers, ripe peach and pear, apricot pit and a broad, solid, textured palate, amped up further through fermentation in old chardonnay-use barrels. Not shy on sugar, acidity or alcohol, the trio striking a chord that sounds like more, please. Especially at the price ($19!). Intrigued, I put the following 5 questions to Paterson…

Straight up – why did you make this wine? I originally created this wine in 2011, which was a cold growing season. I felt that the Riesling (Our biggest sku) would need some weight in a cold year and I did not want to use manufactured products to do so. I pressed all the Riesling really hard after making my original cut and took the resulting phenolic brown juice and fermented it wild in barrels. I did this to naturally oxidize out the phenolics. When it came time to put the 2011 wines together this new piece of the puzzle just didn’t fit but was really interesting and textural on its own…. so we bottled it. Since then we have made it every year and has been a really successful little wine in our tasting room with the general public and also with wine geeks because it has that different

Where are the grapes from? All the wines made under the Tantalus label come from our own 75 acre estate in SE Kelowna.

Your ideal pairing with this wines would be…? This wine is very versatile to pair with but I would say that something with sweetness and a little heat from the huge world of Asian food would go down pretty well. A classic Alsatian bacon and caramelized onion tart would be mighty fine, too.

What do you drink when you’re not drinking BC wine? When I’m not making wine, I’m golfing in the summer and skiing in the winter, so I’m drinking German and Burgundian wines.

Favourite BC wine, other than yours? Blue Mountain stripe label Pinot Noir or any of their vintage bubbly wines. They are always consistently excellent from vintage to vintage and their pricing has remained low compared to the demand for their product. They are the benchmark that the rest of the Okanagan should look too when deciding pricing and quality parameters.

THE DRINKER’S ARCHIVE

GOODS | “CedarCreek Estate Winery” Releases New Vintage Of Platinum Viognier

CedarCreek-Pavillion_LoRes

CedarCreek Estate Winery is located at 5445 Lakeshore Road in Kelowna, BC | 250-764-8866 | cedarcreek.bc.ca

The GOODS from CedarCreek Estate Winery

Kelowna, BC | CedarCreek Estate Winery is pleased to announce the release of the 2013 Platinum Viognier. Some of the 2013 Platinum Viognier was fermented and aged in a 660 litre concrete fermenter they call “The Egg.” Because concrete is porous, it acts like oak and allows the wine to breathe, which concentrates the flavours beautifully. Concrete is neutral and so imparts no flavour of its own, allowing the character of the fruit to shine. The result? 765 cases of honeysuckle and apricot-rich Viognier. Without “The Egg”, the Viognier wouldn’t be Platinum… Read more

GOODS | “Meyer Family Vineyards” To Lead Morning Hike & Host Brunch On August 23

Meyer Family Vineyards | 4287 McLean Creek Rd | Okanagan Falls | 250-497-8553 | meyerfamilyvineyards.com

The GOODS from Meyer Family Vineyards

Okanagan Falls | On August 23rd, proprietors JAK & Janice Meyer will lead a morning hike up Peach Cliff Bluff in beautiful Okanagan Falls. From the top of the Bluff, enjoy the views of Skaha Lake, Vaseaux Lake, Okanagan Falls. After the hike, come and relax amidst the vineyard in our garden area at our family owned McLean Creek Road Vineyard; sip on Sangria or one of our award-winning wines, and savour a delicious homemade brunch. Tickets are only $30 + gst, limited availability. For more information visit our website at www.MFVwines.com or call 250 497 8553. Learn more about Meyer Family Vineyards after the jump… Read more

DRINKER | On More BC Liquor Law Stupidity And French Wine Bars For The Terminally Ill

Chambar-Feast-(32-of-47)

by Treve Ring | CAMRA outlines the knee-jerk reaction that caused the BC Liberals to change minimum beer pricing not once, but twice, within a week. The result? Lower minimum price on pitchers of beer (from .25 cents an ounce to .20 cents an ounce – still Canada’s highest) but not pints. So basically it’s much more cost effective for you to down a pitcher of beer than a pint. Way to promote health and well-being BC Liberals! Not that anyone has any clue how much a pint is anyhoo.

If you really want to enjoy that beer, no matter the size, you had better be playing the right music.

A 22 year old Australian man was arrested after he was caught driving under the influence down the middle of a suburban street. The tip off? He was riding a motorised beer cooler. Full of beer.

Lest you think that all Aussies are riding beer coolers down the street, some are into serious business. Like the filmmakers who have successfully completed the world’s first documented shark cage wine tasting – Great White Wine with Great White Sharks.

Incentive for cleaning up that spilled wine in your car? A Warsaw military university has developed a laser beam that can detect alcohol vapours in a passing car, at levels as low as 0.1%. Just don’t drink and drive, or drive anyone who has drank. Or burp. Or spill.

Drink a beer, safe a life? Spanish scientists have developed a new biomaterial from waste discarded after beer brewing which can be used to regenerate human bones.

USA Today headline asks “Good Idea? Coffee-flavored Wine in a Can”. Intelligent humans everywhere answer “Hell no”

Dentists in Manhattan are offering free wine to patients to take the edge off before treatments. I’m wondering what dentists in Washington and Colorado will propose…

Sex is natural, so why not on the natural wine label? Punch Drink tells us.

Logical-not-so-logical warning: Do not buy booze from “an independent off-license at a discount price” in Britian, as “fake” spirits are laced with bleach, nail polish and anti-freeze.

Flyers spend more money on booze than any other in-flight purchase, according to GuestLogix, which tracked 8 million transactions across five U.S. airlines between November 2013 and March 2014. What – the $5 plastic headsets and $9 Rondelé® Peppercorn Parmesan Cheese Spread wasn’t raking in the dough?

The Best Beer Ad Ever? Totally in the running.

Where’s Mr. Floatie when you need him? Vancouver’s spike in microbreweries could be clogging our sewer system.

Leave it to the French to exit in style. A French hospital is set to open a wine bar for terminally ill patients. Says the doctor who proposed the idea, “”Why should we deprive people reaching the end of their lives of the traditional flavours of our land?” Santé et bon voyage!

THE DRINKER’S ARCHIVE

GOODS | “Fort Berens” Receives Prestigious Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence

Fort Berens is located at 1881 Highway 99 North in Lillooet, BC | photo: Brad Kasselman/coastphoto.com

Fort Berens Estate Winery is located at 1881 Highway 99 North in Lillooet, BC | Brad Kasselman/coastphoto.com

The GOODS from Fort Berens Winery

Lillooet, BC | Saturday marked a momentous day for Lillooet’s Fort Berens Estate Winery. The dry, hot sun shone brightly in Lillooet as Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon presented Fort Berens the prestigious 2014 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in British Columbia Wines for their 2012 Estate Riesling.

In addition to the Lieutenant Governor, there were close to 40 members of the Vancouver Consul Corps, local dignitaries including Mark Strahl, Member of Parliament for Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, Jacquie Rasmussen, Electoral Area B Alternate Director, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, Lillooet Mayor and Councillors Dennis Bontron, Marg Lampman and Wendy Parker, media, staff and local residents in attendance at the awards presentation.

The Fort Berens team and a crowd of steadfast supporters all choked back feelings of pride and gratitude as Her Honour presented the award. Rolf de Bruin and Heleen Pannekoek, founders of Fort Berens, accepted the award on behalf of the entire team. Rolf first expressed his heartfelt appreciation for this recognition. “One hundred and fifty years ago, early pioneers came to Lillooet to realize their dreams, and with this award, today we realize one of our own dreams. As we look into the future, we see a landscape with the potential to help achieve many more dreams.”

Heleen continued, “Today we are celebrating a Riesling made exclusively with grapes grown in Lillooet. A Riesling deemed to be among the best wines in British Columbia. The viability of grapes in Lillooet was a key milestone, and this marks a new milestone that proves grapes from Lillooet can be of exceptional quality. We are thrilled to be a part of this growing wine region and we are excited to explore all that this region will produce in the coming years.”

The awards ceremony took place outside on the deck of the gorgeous, new winery that opened up earlier this month. Talk about a special way to commemorate the opening! “We have come a long way, and today’s milestone is another important marker on our journey that still has many exciting times to come,” Heleen explained. At the end of the day, Rolf, Heleen and the team raised a glass to celebrate this milestone. It was a very special day where special memories were created for the Fort Berens team. Read more

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE | Sipping Summer In Orofino’s “Celentano Vineyard” Gamay 2013

IMG_5237

by Treve Ring | From the stony, steep sided Similkameen Valley comes this single vineyard Cawston Gamay from Orofino. Planted in 1999 on sloping Stemwinder soils and granitic shale (gamay crushes on granite), this pale cherry-hued red should be your summer go-to.

Orofino Celentano Vineyard Gamay 2013

Because it’s hot out! You don’t want a giant, chewy, sweat-beading, muscular, heavy, oaked red. Too much work! You want this bright, fresh, light red – tart and earthy rhubarb acidity to refresh you and your palate, and finely spiced tannins to take on your dinner. This savoury, lissom red is laced with cured meats, wild strawberry, a swipe of stony minerality throughout, and an alluring bitter cherry note on the finish. Serve slightly chilled, and this versatile wine will suit anything from grilled pizza to charcuterie to salmon. Only 100 cases produced, so get on it.

I put 5 questions in front of winemaker, sports coach dad, fellow ping pong advocate, outdoor pizza oven afficianado, Similkameen stalwart and co-owner, along with his equally active wife Virginia, John Weber.

Straight up – why did you make this wine? We started taking these grapes in 2007. This style came out in 2010. We just loved the freshness and unmasked fruit that comes from these grapes. We started drinking a lot of Cru Beaujolais and thought we might try to imitate that style and see what we could do in BC with Gamay.

Where are the grapes from? A little vineyard about a 5 minute walk from the winery. It is owned and managed by an Italian couple Antonio and Carmela Celentano. They grow mostly Riesling but have a tiny little section of Gamay that comes to us. Shale and rocks all over the place. It is a stunningly beautiful vineyard. We make around 100 cases a year.

Your ideal pairing with these wines would be…? Summer. We chill it down just a bit and barbeque some sausages or roast a chicken in our cob oven. It is also a terrific Thanksgiving turkey wine with savoury stuffing.

Favourite BC wine, other than yours? Our friends Rhys Pender and Alishan Driediger from Little Farm Winery just down the road from us are making delicious Rieslings and Chardonnays – wines that have Similkameen Valley written all over them.

What do you drink when you’re not drinking BC wine? Can I say BC craft beer? Our cellar has a good mix of old world stuff. Chablis, Cru Beaujolais , Loire. We have a soft spot for dirty Spanish wines. Things with a little bit of funk are always fun to try and talk about. We drink Rieslings from Australia too.

THE DRINKER’S ARCHIVE

GOODS | “Blue Mountain” Releases Two New White Wines Just In Time For Summer

Blue Mountain | 2385 Allendale Rd. | Okanagan Falls, BC | 250-497-8244 | www.bluemountainwinery.com

Blue Mountain | 2385 Allendale Rd. | Okanagan Falls, BC | 250-497-8244 | www.bluemountainwinery.com

The GOODS from Blue Mountain

Okanagan Falls, BC | We are pleased to announce that we are now 100% through bloom and looking forward to seeing the berries begin to form and grow. And with summer solstice behind us, it is now time to release the first of our 2013 white wines: the Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. The former displays complex flavours of stone fruit, white peach, and apricots with a touch of honeysuckle. A full mouth feel with peach flavours leads into a long finish. The latter displays complex flavours of citrus, boxwood and lemon/grapefruit, on the nose and palate. A full mouth feel with a lemon/grapefruit flavour leads into a rich long, finish. The structure of both wines will allow them to age beautifully for 3-5 years. Learn more about the winery after the jump… Read more

GOODS | “Le Vieux Pin” Releases Vaïla Rosé & Syrah Cuvée Violette In Time For Summer

Le Vieux Pin is located at 34070-73th Street outside Oliver, BC in the Okanagan Valley | 250-498-8388 | levieuxpin.ca

Le Vieux Pin is located at 34070-73th St. outside Oliver in the Okanagan Valley | 250-498-8388 | levieuxpin.ca

THE GOODS FROM Le Vieux Pin & Lastella

Oliver, BC | Le Vieux Pin Winery has released two very special wines – the 2013 Vaïla Rosé and 2012 Syrah Cuvée Violette - just in time for summer. The Vaila Rosé is a delicate wine perfect for summer sipping.Winemaker Severine Pinte used the Burgundian method of Saigneé (meaning to bleed) from free run juice of Pinot Noir grapes sourced from vineyards on Black Sage Bench and the Golden Mile. Just 505 cases of it were produced. The Syrah Cuvée Violette was sourced from three vineyards – Crowley, Dead Man, Le Grand Pin – for a total of 616 cases. This noble varietal was aged 14 months in French oak. With bright acidity and a round structure to the body, it is a floral-noted, fruit forward red that is silky and smooth on the palate. Enjoy it now or save it in your cellar for 5-7 years. Either way, it will surely be fantastic. Read more

DRINKER | Judging 1,335 Different Wines In Only 4.5 Days At ‘The National Wine Awards’

by Treve Ring | 1,335 wines, 4,000 bottles, 4.5 days, 16-ish judges, 2 bottles of emergency couriered Nardini, 6 judges cannonballing into a pool at a hosted event, 2 types of Sensodyne toothpaste, 1 looping blur of guitar-led singalong on a bus, 1 unconfirmed sighting of Ogopogo…

By the numbers, that pretty well sums up last week in Penticton and my annual jaunt to judge The National Wine Awards of Canada. Of course, that doesn’t include the pre-figures (countless hours by the BOH team to organize, input, ship and unpack bottles, or the thousands of Aeroplan points redeemed to move judges from one side of the country to the other), or the post-figures (1 trip to the dentist for me this week). Math was never my strong suit – but wine, on the other hand…

Non-industry and non-wine people (I call them laypeople, or “civilians”) look at my career as a wine writer and judge it as either a dream job or a lark. I get a lot of “I like wine. I write good. I like to travel. That’s not work. I can do that!” While I’m thinking “Not enough. Not well. Not for long. Like hell it’s not. Highly doubtful”, I just smile and nod and feign concurrence.

I get that my work is different than most folks. The fact that my kitchen pantry has had all food replaced by wine bottles with little tags on their necks indicating drinking windows and soil types might be curious. And blind tasting hundreds of wines during the work week before going out in the evening to taste dozens more with winemakers might sound bizarre, but it’s as ideal as gamay on granite to me (really freaking ideal).

Wine judging has a veiled mystery to it – even amongst wine professionals. “I work with wine, I want to wear a badge and be a judge.” That’s like saying “I like to eat, I can wear whites and be a chef.” Not everyone who works in wine makes for a good wine judge. Being a sommelier, buyer, instructor, winemaker, collector or enthusiastic layperson does not make you a good wine judge. Years of dedicated tasting, evaluating, listening, travelling and learning from folks way smarter than you will get you started – plus you need a strong bent for detail, stamina, focus, humility, critical thinking and confidence to treat the wines and process respectfully and judiciously. And shit – when all is said and done and poured, you have to be able to taste.

I’m still learning, thank Bacchus.

And the lark bit? Well, I work every day, and think about wine, write about wine, and taste wine 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, without the security of a pension or benefits or car allowance or whatever else civilians get, and have zero complaints – so yes, I guess so. Dream job? Damn straight! What follows, then, is a hand-scribbled look inside my week as a wine judge at The Nationals, flight by flight by flight… Read more

GOODS | Laughing Stock’s 2011 “Portfolio” And Syrah Win Awards At Home And Abroad

Laughing Stock Vineyards is located at 1548 Naramata Rd. in Penticton, BC | 250-493-8466 | www.laughingstock.ca

Laughing Stock Vineyards is located at 1548 Naramata Rd in Penticton, BC | 250-493-8466 | laughingstock.ca

GOODS from Laughing Stock Vineyards

Naramata, BC | Our flagship wine, Portfolio 2011, was awarded the very prestigious Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Excellence in BC Wine 2014. Of the 436 wines entered by 119 wineries, only 12 wines are honoured with this award as determined by a blind tasting panel of esteemed and qualified judges.

Laughing Stock has won 3 times in the past 4 years, previously for Pinot Gris 2010 and Syrah 2010, but this is the first time that Portfolio has received this accolade. Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon will be visiting the winery in late July to present the award in person to David & Cynthia Enns. This award is well timed to launch the upcoming celebration of the 10th vintage release of Portfolio in October 2014.

Laughing Stock’s other big red, Syrah 2011, was also triumphant this week on a world scale, being awarded a highly coveted Regional Trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards for Best Canadian Red in London, England. Regional trophies are only awarded to the top rated medal winner from that region and thus it is a huge accomplishment to be recognized in the world’s largest and most influential wine competition. 2014 saw another record-breaking year of entries, with over 15,000 wines entered into the competition from 46 countries.

Grown at our estate vineyard, “The Perfect Hedge” in Osoyoos, BC, Syrah has been winning regular top award honours including Lt. Governor Award in 2012 and GOLD at National Wine Awards in 2013. Unfortunately we have limited supply of Portfolio 2011 and are pretty much sold out at the winery for the Syrah 2011, but have held back a few cases for orders until July 1st (2 bottle maximum order limit). Read more

GOODS | Fort Berens’ 2012 Riesling Wins Lieutenant Governor’s Award For Excellence

Fort Berens Estate Winery is located at 1881 Highway 99 North in Lillooet, BC | 250-256-7788 | fortberens.ca

Fort Berens Estate Winery is located at 1881 Highway 99 North in Lillooet, BC | 250-256-7788 | fortberens.ca

The GOODS from Fort Berens Winery

Lillooet, BC | Fort Berens 2012 Riesling was just awarded the very prestigious 2014 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in British Columbia Wines. Located in Lillooet, in the Fraser Canyon, this award marks the first ever Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Fort Berens and the first for this emerging wine region.

Rolf de Bruin, founder and one of the owners of Fort Berens expressed his heartfelt appreciation for this recognition. “This prestigious award is an important milestone for our growing business and the emerging wine region in Lillooet. We have worked very hard on achieving a level of quality that would be worthy of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in BC Wines. This award for our 100% estate grown 2012 Riesling shows that the Lillooet region has the capacity to produce grapes of such high quality.”

Winery co-owner Heleen Pannekoek explained, “We established Fort Berens as the first winery in Lillooet in 2009. To be just five years along this journey and to win such an honour is incredibly humbling for Rolf and myself, the rest of our ownership team and our staff. We have been able to form a great team of very passionate and dedicated people. Our winery attracts pioneering spirits seeking new adventures that provide them with a chance to mindfully and responsibly explore uncharted territory. Together, we have discovered a new viticultural region in British Columbia that we continue to explore and develop.” Read more

GOODS | Chef Jeremy Tucker Cooking Al Fresco At CedarCreek’s “Vineyard Terrace”

CedarCreek-Pavillion_LoRes

CedarCreek Estate Winery is located at 5445 Lakeshore Road in Kelowna, BC | 250-764-8866 | cedarcreek.bc.ca

The GOODS from CedarCreek Estate Winery

Kelowna, BC | The Vineyard Terrace at CedarCreek Estate Winery is the perfect setting to enjoy wine, food, and a wonderful vista. The open-air restaurant wraps around the CedarCreek Wineshop with every seat affording a breathtaking view of vineyard and lake. Following our farm-to-table philosophy, new executive chef Jeremy Tucker will be showcasing local, seasonal ingredients at their freshest all summer long.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown, Jeremy has had the pleasure of working in notable restaurants in P.E.I., Alberta, Bermuda, and at New York City’s James Beard House. Most recently, he was the executive chef at the Snowwater, a boutique backcountry heli-ski lodge near Nelson. Learn more about the winery and restaurant after the jump… Read more

Next Page »