Wednesday, July 20, 2011
When was the last time you drank Rye and Coke or Vodka Tonic? if you answered yesterday you are in a tiny minority of drinkers these days. It seems as though the Martini, Bellini, Margarita crowd has become the last bastion of mixed drink consumers. Sure Single Malts and Aged Rums are getting some press along with Flavored Vodkas and Small Batch Gins but these are more likely a 1 drink a night style of libation. So what does this mean for the consumer and the Bar those standard drinks drove margins for both the manufacturer and the bar. so now they sell less and costs are climbing I expect prices will rise to match the drop in sales and that will only drive another nail into the coffin. Now don't get me wrong I'm not suggesting we go back to that style of drinking it just means we need a new strategy and some creative new trends to keep us interested.
Last Week the Inaugral Battle of the Benches took place at the Ramada Inn in Penticton. An enthusiastic crowd filled the ballroom for a casual tasting of many of the Okanagans finest wines, unfortunately I didn't have much time to mingle as I had judging duties that evening. The Judging panel consisted of Mark Filatow, Terry David Mulligan, myself and our esteemed leader Rhys Pender who had the unenviable task of keeping us focused and on time. The concept seemed easy enough, taste 100 plus wines in under 3 hours and pick the best of each varietal. It is not quite that easy as it turns out there are many good wines and they differ tremendously style wise so you have to move your personal style preference out of the way and try to choose the best crafted and true to varietal wine in the bunch. flights were as small as 2 Cabernet Sauvignons, to 22 Aromatic Whites.Probably the most amazing thing was how often there was a consensus as to which wine was the top very few debates ensued.
And the Winners are:
- Volcanic Hills Pinot Gris 2010 Kelowna West and Peachland
- Blasted Church Chardonnay Musque 2010 Skaha Lake
- Wild Goose Vineyard and Winery Autumn Gold 2010 Okanagan Falls Vaseaux Lake
- Hollywood and Vine Don't Mess with the PMS Blush 2010 Summerland
- Tinhorn Creek Gewurztraminer 2010 Oliver Golden Mile
- Gehringer Brothers Dry Rock Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Oliver Golden Mile
- Gehringer Brothers Optimum Pinot Noir 2010 Oliver Golden Mile
- Fairview Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Oliver Golden Mile
- Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Merlot 2007 Osoyoos Lake Black Sage Bench
- Mission Hill Family Estate Oculus 2007 Osoyoos Lake Black Sage Bench
- Moon Curser Syrah 2009 Osoyoos Lake Black Sage Bench
- Seven Stones Winery Cabernet Franc 2009 Similkameen Valley
You will Notice wineries winning in more than 1 area or from places the winery is not. It was determined that the wine followed the Terroir so the region it was grown is featured. This year the area producing the most winners was the Oliver Golden Mile.
After attending 2 more events All you Need is Cheese at Watermark in Osoyoos and the Polson Pouring in Vernon a couple of outstanding wines you might want to seek out are Gold Hills Cabernet Franc and Blasted Churches Gewuztraminer.
This is turning into a long post but my last thought for summer wine festival is it was great to see how different wineries dealt with the 2010 crop and manged the acids to create some stunning wine.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
We held another worst kept secret wine club meeting this past Saturday and were able to taste 6 very interesting wines from a diverse trio of wineries. They represent a true commitment to handcrafted experimental and passion for what the Okanagan has to offer.Each winery brought both a red and a white for sampling.First up was the Sauvignon Blanc from Serendipity
Crafted to mimic a New Zealand Style of Sauv Blanc with great grassy and vegetative notes it was a crisp start to our tasting. We followed with Gewurtztraminer from Rustico
a nice dry Alsatian style Gewurtz with a bit of tropical fruit on the nose and a floral finish. The last white was a Chenin Blanc from Inniskillin
This turned out as a real crowd pleaser with soft buttery notes and a nice balance of acid and sweetness.
Before we talk to the reds I should mention that Judy Kingston from Serendipity and Erin Korpisto representing Rustico were both attending to present there little secrets about their wines and I was given the pleasure of presenting for Inniskillin. It adds a lot when the people who know the most about the wine give their stories and answer all the tricky questions Thank you to both of them for their participation.
The reds were a real eclectic mix starting with a Pinot Noir from Judy that is going to cellar forever and get better and better. Followed by Tempranillo from Inniskillin which just proves that the Okanagan can grow damned near anything, try this with Chorizo and Tomato Tortilla. The big finish was the Zinfandel from Rustico, bold fruit and soft tannins my favorite stand alone red, great to drink while the steak is cooking on the BBQ.