Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Winemaker's Cup 2010

WineMaker's Cup 2010, Mt. Baldy, Photo by Voth Photography, Subject to Copyright

If there’s an Okanagan wine or winery you’ve fallen for you have perhaps, at some point during the sipping and the savoring, wondered what magical creature, besides Mother Nature, is responsible for crafting such an elixir?

Winemakers Cup Mt. Baldy, Katrina from Bellstar Resorts in Background, Photo by Voth Photography

Well, we’re here to tell you that when it comes to the Okanagan winemakers, you’re much better off letting your imagination run wild. Because if you ever end up actually meeting this crew of culinary outlaws, this wild bunch of winos ( i.e. winemakers) all your grand illusions of the finesse, elegance and cultured expertise that you thought went into the making of your favorite Okanagan wine, will be dashed once you put the face to the label. At least, that is, before you’ve finished off your first bottle. Perceptions can change…

Winemakers Cup 2010, Photo copyright by Voth Photography

What you will find if, say, you get so lucky as to hang out with the valley’s vintners at next year’s Winemaker’s Cup, is a rowdy group of fun-loving, hard working, big appetite and wine appreciating people…people who come from all walks and all backgrounds and now find themselves growing, harvesting, crushing and sorting grapes on vineyard outposts somewhere, anywhere, between Black Sage Rd. and Vernon.

Held this year, the 3rd Annual, under the springtime sunshine up on the snow-covered slopes of Mt. Baldy, the Winemaker’s Cup is the brainstorm of Glenn from Black Hills Estate Winery, Mohammed, formerly of Spirit Ridge and now of Enotecca, Katrina of Bellstar Resorts and anyone else who cares to claim credit.

Winemaker's Cup 2010, Mt. Baldy, Photo Courtesy Voth Photography, Copyright

Really what it is is an excuse for the winemakers to pit themselves against one another on the treacherous bunny slopes of Mt. Baldy, braving the harrowing blue- and red-marked racecourse as they jettison downhill at Olympic speeds. Or not. It depends on who’s telling the story…and how much beer and wine they’ve had before, during and after the telling.

Jesse from Black Hills Estate, Photo by Voth Photography

Conditions this past weekend were so perilous up on the mountain that Jesse, chief bottle washer and cork capper at Black Hills Estate, turned up wearing his pajama pants…and skied all day in them. Later that evening, an undisclosed source assured us that he, in fact, had not slept in them the night before. We strongly suspect that Jesse is traveling incognito, in furlough from the That 70’s Show, we just can’t think of which episode…?

View the Paul Cotton WineMaker’s Cup Video HERE >>>

Winemaker's Cup 2010 bbq lunch, Mt. Baldy, Photo by Voth Photography, Copyright

Bbq lunch out on the Mt. Baldy patio was limited to (succulent) prawns (perfectly herbed and spiced) and a few ribs (smothered in tangy bbq sauce and falling off the bone) with beer served in (recyclable!) plastic cups. The dark beer proved so popular among these grapegrowers that it was drunk up within the first round of pours.

Winemakers Cup 2010, Photo copyright by Voth Photography

Which only left a few kegs of the pale ale to work through for the rest of the balmy, sunny afternoon. What a departure from last year, when, tells Kathy from Hillside, the wind blew and the mountain shook. She admitted at the After Party later that she wished she hadn’t gone golfing that day, where the wind had blown and the golf tees had shook, and had joined her kindred up on the sunny ski slopes.

Pat(Nk'Mip), Jay (Enotecca), Mohammed (Enotecca), Winemakers Cup 2010, Photo by Voth Photography

Yay to Jay! Who took home the most prestigious of Winner’s Cups – the Trophy for the Best Crash. Now that Mohammed will be overseeing that ranch, we’ll expect no less of Jay next year! Dinner at Spirit Ridge kept everyone busy and Jay and Mohammed earned additional stripes by pouring for their comrades. Pat, fully relaxed from a Hot Tub soak just prior to the mega chow down, let his Passo Tempo staff do the honors of hard work and slave-cooking for the culinary crowd that evening.

Skiiers, Winemakers Cup 2010, Photo by Voth Photography

After-Party rules of entry are bring – at least – one bottle. You grab a glass as you walk in, then you just start pouring for yourself and you don’t stop until you tell yourself to. Best wine tasting party rules I’ve heard of! Among the seen and heard at the After Party were Mark Anthony’s Lori, Nk’Mip’s Sam, Church and State’s Jeff, Summerhill staff, Road 13 was there to represent…and so many more that the room began to take on the feel of a Hollywood and Vines episode…best to check All She Wrote’s real time Tweets from Saturday night for the full roster of the valley’s Society names and the people who make them [the wines, yes, the wines].

Winemakers Cup 2010, Photo by Voth Photography

Funny thing too is that these winemakers did – almost – start to take on a magical patina as the evening marched on and bottles of Okanagan’s finest were emptied…

Jesse and Mohammed, Black Hills Estate and Spirit Ridge/Enotecca, Photo by Voth Photography

Then again, we wouldn’t want to get carried away. We’ll just say…Until next year’s Winemaker’s Cup!

All photos by Voth Photography

subject to copyright. For more Info

Please go to Voth Photography.

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Posted via web from Okanagan Food And Wine

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Okanagan Food And Wine, Even The MLA's Are Doin' It

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick promotes Okanagan food and wine showcased at the BC Canada Pavilion.    

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wine Country B.C.

Closeup on Gamay and Desert Hills Gamay 2008

Posted by winecountrybc on March 23, 2010

This is the second in our Close Up series on wine varieties in the Okanagan valley and this time we’re featuring Gamay. Gamay is sometimes denied its dues as a serious wine grape and sometimes can get ignored altogether. But here in the Okanagan, there are some high quality producers that are making great wines that are extremely easy to sip and savour. In this case, the reputation of the product precedes it and you can hear Amber and AJ smiling just before the wine gets poured.

Wine Country B.C. podcast Desert Hills Gamay 2008

Click on Photo for Wine Country B.C.'s Podcast


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BC’s 5 DVA’s and a Mystery Wine

Posted by winecountrybc on February 23, 2010

There is more to BC wine that the Okanagan Valley. Although the Okanagan is the largest producer of grapes in BC, there are other regions that are putting themselves on the map for quality viticulture. What grapes are being grown in these viticulural areas? Can they all grow similar varieties? Do all the wines that a winery produces have to be from within their own DVA or can they buy grapes from elsewhere? We’ll blind taste a wine from a newer DVA (hint: it isn’t from the Okanagan) and compare notes on all the regions.

B.C.'s 5 Designated Viticultural Areas Click Here or on Image for Podcast >>

UBC's Osoyoos, Okanagan Grape Vines


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Wine and Mood Pairings and Little Straw Tapestry ‘08

Posted by winecountrybc on January 26, 2010

Sometimes pairing wine with food just isn’t enough. If our mood or the atmosphere of our surroundings can influence how we perceive wine, then why not be selective of which wine we enjoy in whatever state we find ourselves in? Do our wine choices change with the seasons? So light some candles, pour a glass of your favorite comfort wine and join us in our zaniest podcast to date.

Wine And Mood Pairings Click Here or on Image Below for Podcast.

Little Straw Tapestry Winery, B.C.

By Luke Whittall

...This topic has been buzzing in my head for a while and was one of the reasons that I started Wine Country BC. I’ve been reading Vines and Wine Access and Wine Spectator and Decanter and Northwest Palate and Vancouver Magazine’s Wine Awards issue and all of their online versions and review sites and all that stuff and I can’t really ever find anything truly negative or positive about wines from Canada. Some blogs can have great and brutally honest critiques ( or for a more local example) but most of the time the passion for the subject (or maybe for the act of blogging itself) propels people into posting things about wines that are most interesting only to themselves. That’s why I stayed away from blogging for so long – who cares what I think? Who the hell am I to write about this stuff? What brought me into the new wave of blogging was the idea that maybe I can contribute constructively to the industry within which I literally live.

The wine industry in BC has been growing at a bizarre rate compared with the rest of the world, where oversupply has created excess product. Wineries here can’t make enough wine and some sell out well before the next vintage is even ready. (Good luck finding any La Frenz product after the fall wine festival. Find More by Luke Whittall on...WineCountry B.C. >>>


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Posted via web from Local Food And Wine

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mt. Baldy's 3rd Annual Winemakers Cup

Mt. Baldy's 3rd Annual Winemakers Cup

Saturday, March 27, 2010

3rd Annual Winemakers Cup returns to Mt. Baldy.  This year on a tougher course that is sure to be a challenge for all involved.  A popular event as the Wine industry takes a break and has some fun. After the race join in the Banquet at Spirit Ridge, featuring the band, Double Magnum!  After, head over to the conference centre for the famous after party.

For full details and registration, contact Katrina Scarlett

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Taste of Kelowna March 28th

Taste of Kelowna - Sunday March 28
Sample delicious food and drink from some of Kelowna’s finest restaurants, wineries and breweries!
Live entertainment including clowns, magicians, bands and dancing. Grand Prize Draw Win hundreds of dollars in gift Certificates!
Date: Sunday March 28th, 2010   |   Time: 11 am - 4 pm
The Kelowna Curling Club
551 Recreation Ave, Kelowna
ADMISSION  Adult: $5   |   Children 7 - 12 yrs: $3   |   Kids under 6: Free   |   Taste Tickets: $1
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Okanagan Spring Wine Festival April 29th - May 8th

April 28th, 2010 Casabella Princess Wine Tasting Cruises

Treat your palate to a special wine and food adventure on Okanagan Lake!
Taste a selection of finest Okanagan wines exquisitely paired with gourmet Hors d'oeuvres, served at your table. Our wine steward unveils the secrets of wine tasting and shows you the panorama of Okanagan wines while we cruise along the beautiful Naramata benches.
Groups of 12 or more can request individual sailing times. Visit our unique paddlewheeler online:
Wednesday, 28 April, 2010
04:00 PM - 06:00 PM


Casabella Princess
Marina Way, Penticton Marina
Penticton, BC
Event Contact Info
Casabella Princess
Phone: 250.492.4090
Website: Click to Visit
29 April, 2010

10:00 AM - 06:00 PM
10:00 AM - 05:30 PM
11:00 AM
03:00 PM - 05:00 PM
06:00 PM - 11:00 PM
06:30 PM - 08:30 PM
All Day Event
All Day Event
Friday, 30 April, 2010

09:00 AM - 06:00 PM
10:00 AM - 06:00 PM
10:00 AM - 06:00 PM
10:00 AM - 06:00 PM
10:00 AM - 05:30 PM
10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
11:00 AM - 05:00 PM
11:00 AM
11:30 AM - 02:30 PM
12:00 PM - 04:00 PM
04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
05:00 PM - 10:00 PM
05:00 PM - 09:00 PM
05:00 PM
06:00 PM
06:00 PM - 11:00 PM
06:30 PM
06:30 PM
07:00 PM - 10:00 PM
All Day Event
All Day Event
All Day Event
Calendar of Events Continued Below Video>>>>>

FUDDYTV's Demystifying Wine with Chuck Storm #1 from FUDDYTV on Vimeo.

Saturday, 01 May, 2010
12:00 AM
09:00 AM - 10:00 AM
09:00 AM - 06:00 PM

Event Listings Continued HERE >>>

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ned Bell Cooks Like A Chef - Supremely So

Chef Ned Bell

Chef Ned Bell - Okanagan Bred
Ned Bell is one of Canada’s foremost culinary talents. Born in the Okanagan, British Columbia’s wine country, Bell has always had a passion for cooking and is steadfast in his vision and drive to create new, imaginative dishes with fresh, local ingredients.

Bell began his career in Vancouver working under two local restaurant legends: first under the tutelage of Le Crocodile’s Michel Jacob and then as Sous Chef for Rob Feenie’s Lumiere restaurant.

In 1997 Bell set his sights eastward where he enjoyed successful stints as Executive Chef at Niagara on the Lake’s Peninsula Ridge Estate Winery, and at Toronto’s Accolade and Senses restaurants where he earned significant recognition by the city’s culinary cognoscenti. During his time in Toronto, Bell was a regular on Food Network Canada’s “Cook Like a Chef.”

Ready to make his mark on the up-and-coming Calgary restaurant scene, the new millennium saw Bell moving west to cook up a storm at Murrieta’s Grill in Calgary, where his list of accomplishments included winning Where Magazine’s Rising Star and Best Overall awards.

Wanting to get further engaged in the business side of restaurants, Bell joined the team at Vintage Chophouse and Red Water Grille as Corporate Chef where his passion, knowledge, creativity and focus turned the restaurants into two of Calgary’s most exciting culinary locales.
The vibrant, young chef is thrilled to return to his roots where he is excitedly living his dream of being both Executive Chef and an owner at Cabana Bar and Grille in Kelowna, BC.

Bell’s talent and charisma continue to propel him forward. Since opening Cabana Bar and Grille, Bell has begun filming “It’s Just Food” for CTV, and has been voted one of Western Living’s Top 40 Foodies Under 40

Bell is also lending his good taste to Vancouver Cooks 2.0--a coveted collection of recipes from Vancouver’s best chefs.
most talked about wines. 

Best of the Okanagan—B.C. food and wine are a perfect match. March 22, 2010 Vancouver  Click HERE for More Info.

Sample the best from the Okanagan larder paired with some of the regions most popular wines.
Okanagan Chefs

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How To Get On A Restaurant's Hit List

By Anne Kingston

[re-posted with permission]

The owner of a popular Toronto gastropub who asks to remain nameless is showing off what he calls his 'nightly journal,' dull details of restaurant life - nightly sales, tables turned, supplier snafus. Where reading turns interesting, even salacious, is in its dutiful recording of customer misbehaviour collected via staff and fellow customer complaints. Names are used when they're known. Otherwise, physical descriptions suffice.


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Friday, March 5, 2010

Nk'Mip Cellars' Randy Picton

Nk'Mip Cellars, Osoyoos, Okanagan
"Qwam Qwmt means the best of our Reserve Tier wines. QQ Chardonnay, for example, is one of our upper tier wines. It starts with the grapes in the vineyard," says Randy. "I know going into it that this crop of grapes will be giving us our Reserve Tier wines. These wines we put into French oak," he explains, noting their toasty vanilla and butterscotch essences.
Randy Picton, Nk'Mip Cellars, Winemaker
Picton was the pioneer in the Okanagan who began the method of picking the grapes at different times in the harvesting season. "Even three weeks later, so there's an evenness in the wine/grapes," he explains. He began at Nk'Mip Cellars, the celebrated first winery in North America to be aboriginal owned, in 2002.

Nk'Mip is known for their Pinots and Chardonnays. Picton is the first to admit that pinot, at least in the Okanagan, can be a "fussy" grape to grow well.  Their $20 bottles of Merlot are very popular choices however the winery is shifting their portfolio focus to upper tier wines. They are capped at about 18,000 cases per year production so they are looking to focus on, for example, a Q2 Riesling and a higher end Meritage that will retail for approximately $50-$60 a bottle.

The pairing of Nk'Mip's outstanding wines with Kanata Cuisine's tasting menu is the making of a perfect culinary evening. If you are one of the lucky ones to opt in for this culinary adventure, your tastebuds and senses await delight.

Aboriginal Feast and Wine Pairings. Doesn't just the sound of that say it all?  The evening of fine dining and entertainment is the brainchild of a partnership between Theresa Contois and chef Ben Genaille, owners of Kanata Cuisine.

Kanata Cuisine was formed in the last six months when Theresa was noted for her exquisite "front of house" hospitality skills while putting the finishing touches on her training at Vancouver Community College's Aboriginal Culinary program. Chef Ben Genaille, an expert in Aboriginal Cuisine, and Theresa got to talking and Kanata Cuisine is the result of their pairing strength with strength.

Nk'Mip Cellars winemaker, Randy Picton, has chosen versatile pairings for the cuisine, including selections from their critically acclaimed Qwam Qwmt, known in the vernacular as their Q2 selections.
Kanata Cuisine, Chef Ben Genaille and Theresa Contois
Nk'Mip Cellars

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