Category Archives: Wine

October Vineyards

Even though the vines are still green, the harvest is coming.

Vineyard view from Black Sage Bench.

Some grapes will come off soon …

… while others will be allowed to freeze

… concentrating their flavours to make sweet or dessert wines.

But it won’t be long before the fields will be sleeping, resting for next year’s bounty.

Happy Saturday.

Winery Visit

We recently did a visit to a nearby winery on the Black Sage bench between Oliver and Osoyoos, British Columbia. This particular area is known for red wine production.

A view of the grape fields from the winery’s deck.

The wine grapes are now reaching their most luscious and will soon be harvested in stages, depending on the processing for the various wines they will become.

Merlot grapes.

Some grapes will remain in the fields until the first frost. Among them are grapes that will be allowed to develop a certain type of “rot” and will be harvested to produce various kinds of dessert wines.

Pinot noir grapes.

The Okanagan also produces ice wine. This means that the grapes freeze on the vine at temperatures between -1C to -8 C ( 30F – 18F). The frozen grapes are harvested at night and processed quickly so that they don’t defrost to spoil the concentration of sugar in the juice. Ice wine is a type of dessert wine, but is much more concentrated. It’s commonly served with cheese in order to get that lovely sweet/salty flavour combination.

Lots of grapes!

The Okanagan is starting to come into its own as a wine-producing region and is branching out into lesser known varietals that are being handled well. If, like me, you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a nice dessert wine after dinner, a visit to some of the Okanagan’s many wineries might be if interest to you. If not, the scenery, beaches and walking and hiking trails are great!

To your good health. 🍷

A Mystery Plant and a View

When I first saw this plant I thought it was a fake, but then I touched it and discovered that it’s some sort of succulent.

Do you recognise this plant?? I tried looking it up but had no luck.

Nevertheless, speaking of plants, here’s a vineyard view from the southern Okanagan’s Black Sage Bench. The grapes are plump and nearing harvesting.

Today’s grapes become tomorrow’s wines. 🙂

Happy Saturday.

Mushroom Pasta Recipe

This recipe is in metric, but I’ve done some imperial conversions that I hope work out. It’s really easy and you can play around with the amounts (more mushrooms!) to your taste. If you would like, you can also add chicken. I don’t always have mascarpone on hand so it’s sometimes left out, and if you’re watching calories, that will help, but the result will be less creamy. I compensate by adding a bit more of the pasta cooking water to make a light sauce. Also, if you’re watching your salt intake, you will need to leave it out of the pasta cooking water.

Ingredients:

– 450 grams (2 cups) pasta, whatever kind you like. I like spaghettini best.

– 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

-2 chopped shallots

– 1 clove minced garlic

-450 g (2 cups) sliced fresh mushrooms, any kind you like or a mixture. In a pinch I’ve used dried ones, but you will need to increase slightly the amount of stock and wine.

-120 ml (half a cup) white wine (the same kind you’re going to have with the pasta)

-120 ml (half a cup) vegetable stock (you can also use chicken stock)

-200 ml (1 cup) mascarpone

-Parmesan

-parsley

– a few red pepper flakes if you would like a little heat

Directions:

In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and add the pasta; cook for about 10 mins. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat the oil and the shallots and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use a pan large enough to avoid crowding the mushrooms (this step is really important so that they don’t become soggy). Add the red pepper flakes (optional). Cook for about 6-7 mins. Turn the heat up and add the wine; cook until it has completely evaporated and the pan is de-glazed. Then add the stock until it reduces to a sauce-like consistency.

Remove the pan from the heat. Add the mascarpone cheese. Stir until it becomes creamy. Drain the pasta, reserving about 200 ml (1 cup) of the pasta water, and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the mushroom mixture and the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste if desired. Toss well to coat the pasta, adding the reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Garnish with the chopped parsley and lots of parmesan. Serve immediately and enjoy with a glass of wine.

Kayak2016 and Vanessence, I hope this recipe turns out well for you. Cheers!

Grape Vines

The wine grapes are heavy and lush and ready for harvest.

These look like they might be pinot noir grapes.

Grapes have been cultivated and sold for thousands of years, a trade that started in Israel, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran and Turkey. At present, about 75 percent of the grapes grown worldwide are used to make wine. We certainly like our grape juice!

Happy Saturday. 🙂