Posts in Food and Drink

Kelowna Wineries Pour for the Continent

With so many great wineries in the Okanagan it can be easy to miss some of the great things that are happening.  Tourism Kelowna hosted a houseboat tour for over 35 journalists from across North America to show off the new ‘Wine Trails’ guide, with plenty of great wineries on board pouring some of their best vintages.

Gord Fitzpatrick from Cedar Creek Winery poured 2006 Platinum Meritage, ‘Colbert Edition.’ The story behind the vintage is lovely and is bound up in the story of the oak casks the wine was aged in.  “If a 350-year-old-oak tree falls in the French forest of Bertrange, we wanted the wood.  So we acquired four of the impossible-to-get 40 barrels handmade from that tree.  In that exquisite Louis XIV era Colbert oak, Cedar Creek aged a hand selected blend of 40% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Malbec, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot.”

Proprietor Gord Fitzpatrick of Cedar Creek Winery holding a bottle of 2006 Meritage

On the Lake Country Scenic Sip wine trail, the northern tip of the Kelowna wine region, Ex Nihilo Winery is winning support from a global audience.  The Rolling Stones themselves have endorsed Ex Nihilo wines. Partners, Jeff Harder and Jay Paulson bring tremendous agriculture and wine industries to the winery.  Lake Country wines have come into their own.

Jay Paulson and a Bottle of Ex Nihilo Wine

Westbank Outdoor Market Starts Tomorrow

The 2011 Westbank Outdoor Market kicks off the 2011 season tomorrow Saturday, July 9 at the Westbank Community Centre at 2466 Main Street in historic downtown Westbank.  Join the new and returning vendors every Saturday morning and enjoy a weekly pancake breakfast and free entertainment – something for everyone in the family.

The Westbank Outdoor Market is a joint project of the Westbank Lions Club and the Historic Westbank Association. Booths at the Market feature hand-made clothing and craft items from local artisans as well as prepared food items (in season) from local orchards.

For a list of vendors, latest information or to take part, visit the Westbank Outdoor Market website.

Get Vampt

It is an Okanagan success story that right now is taking place in the United States: Vampt.  This Kelowna adult beverage business is in 10 US states with their agave infused drink that is becoming the drink of choice for club and concert goers.

Tuesday night local investors were treated to anniversary party at Nineteen at Two Eagles Golf Course. The company is  gearing up for the Canadian release of Vampt a year from now. Look for the refreshing citrus or sweetly perfect nectarine flavours to hit the Canadian club scene in the next 12 months.

For Canadian release updates visit www.vampt.com

Two of Vampt's co-founders Roberto Rodriguez (l) and Ian Toews(r)

Make it Light All Day

Summer was never my favourite season growing up. It was too hot for me to wear my standard uniform of a hoodie and jeans, and my parents expected me to, like, do stuff just because it was nice out. I know, total child abuse. For years, I spent as little time as I could in the heat. I made friends based on whether or not they had air-conditioning and if they’d let me come over whenever I wanted to lay over an air vent with the blinds closed. Needless to say, my friends group was somewhat limited.

Kasugai Gardens

However, summer in the Okanagan is an entirely different animal. After living here for 6 years, I’m still not over how spectacularly beautiful this place is. Really, look around you at the unbelievable mountains, shimmering lake, and gorgeous greenery. Try to tell me that you don’t feel “at one with nature” or something similarly saccharine.

In the dead of winter, when I’m longing for summer most, there are a few Okanagan delights that I crave in particular: driving down to Sun-Oka for a day of lounging in the hot sand, followed by a stop in Penticton for the most incredible fish tacos from Salty’s Beach House.

Salty's Beach House

Or spending a beautiful, sunny afternoon with friends on the Greenroom patio, ordering pitcher upon pitcher of sangria and later walking off the afternoon buzz with some impulsive shopping.

Wandering around City Park for hours, watching the ecclectic locals with their hula hoops and hookah pipes and hand-made jewellery. Finding a shady spot in the grass to take in one of the dozens of live shows that take place during the Parks Alive! Festival.

City Park

Strolling down sunny South Pandosy with an iced mocha from the adorably eclectic Marmalade Cat Café, browsing the craft fairs and the Wardrobe for vintage treasures.

And, of course, wine-tastings. So very many wine-tastings.

What are you most looking forward to this summer? Hit me up with your recommendations in the comments!

Lake Latte – The Ogopogo Makes a Splash!

So I must say that this was the best part of my day. You know, one thing you have to love about AOK is that we have so many unique and wonderful creative people. This is just a little taste of how awesome it really is. Our friends at Blendz downtown created this latte’ art.

How Sparkling Wine is Made — Eat. Drink. Drink.

I found this very cool video from Vancouver/Okanagan based Eat. Drink. Drink. Blue Mountain Winemaker/Founder Ian Mavety explains the making of sparkling wine (champagne) in the Methode Traditionale. We aren’t allowed to embed the video itself, so you’ll have to watch it after the jump.

Easter Weekend Adventures

It started Saturday morning with a quick trip to the Kelowna’s Farmers Market off Cooper Road with Kayla and Adrian. We were on the lookout for Valley-wide famous Breakfast Wraps. I didn’t know it at the time but the Okanagan Street Food truck has a real location now, almost disappointing until we find other breakfast wraps that are good approximations of the taste we were looking for. The Farmer’s Market surprises yet again! PS, there were Alpaca’s.

The day was sunny and the weather getting warmer so the next logical progression was to meet Rob and Ryan downtown for a nibble on a patio under the sun. We take in the atmosphere at Hanna’s Lounge at 1352 Water Street but staring out at the South Okanagan and down the lake proves too tempting. We hit the road, looking for any excuse to travel along the lake. We reach Penticton and feel the vibe at Salty’s Beach House at 1000 Lakeshore Drive. They have sangria, mussles and fish tacos and all of these things are A-OK with us.

We bake a little longer and go for a quick walk Lakeshore. The boys regail me with tales of Naramata, I’ve never been so we hit the road again. I’m excited to visit Therapy Vineyards at 940 Debeck Road, I’ve enjoyed the wine on many occasions and we try to sneak in a tasting but get there when they close at 6pm. People leaving their jobs recommend places in town that are must-see and must-taste, the locals are very welcoming!

The sun starts setting and the view is ridiculous. We begin our casual drive back to Kelowna, so ends our Saturday. Sunday the weather tried to one-up itself. The weekend is still in full-swing and our adventure continues. Adam and I head downtown Kelowna for brunch at The Boh at 524 Bernard Avenue. Eggs Benedict, we stick with the usual but are allowed to add personal additions to our meals by the easy-going staff. Breakfast is delicious, as usual.

After spending the previous day on the other side of Okanagan Lake, we head down towards Pandosy Village in Kelowna (keep your eye on this part of town, this is going to be the next hip place to live) and see if the Kelowna Cycle is open, missed them but made a serious note to return soon. We keep traveling up Lakeshore taking in the breathtaking scenery and pointing out houses we “would totally buy.” A few stops at cliff’s overlooking the lake and I remember a delicious treat resides over the next hill… you may remember from a previous post our trip to Carmelis Goat Cheese Farm at 170 Timberline Road. It’s warm out so some goat cheese gelato sounds perfect. We also see our goatly friends.

We head back home to fix up the bikes and consider maybe the first longboard of the season. It’s only 3:45 on Sunday and the adventure isn’t done yet.

A-OK Launch Party, Certified Awesome

The video from our Awesome Okanagan Launch Party at the Laurel Packinghouse on April 16th, we had fun, food, fashion and lots more! Check out this quick recap of the night.

Thanks again to all the businesses that took part (DunnEnzies Pizza Co., Tree Brewing, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Habitat, Tweaked and Yummy Vintage Apparel, Deviate Board Shop, Blonde, CREAM Hair and Makeup Lounge, Roxi Salon, Loyal Hair Therapy, Shar Skincare and Rouge, Mosaic Books, Lakefront Sports, Posh, Hemp City, Okanagan Naturopathic Healthcare, KBAAD, Tisa Konev and the Downtown Kelowna Association), all the musicians (Thomas Kjorven, Fields of Green & Behind Sapphire), the Ecotone artists (Richard Clegg, Kyle Zsombor, Darrin Sim, Chad Pratch, Amy Burkhard and anyone we missed) and S.O.W., Kelowna Permaculture and Green City Acres. Music on this video is “A Liquid Mouth” by Fields of Green.

Especially thanks to everyone who attended, showing the Okanagan how truly Awesome we all are when we come together. Let’s do it all again in a year!

Love.