Hi all!  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.

As you know, 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!

Enjoy your day!