Saturday, September 18, 2021

 


The Keg Whistler

For our final night in Whistler and to celebrate our 29th wedding Barbara and I along with friends Ken and Jane decided to dine at the Whistler Keg. It turned out to be a very good choice.

Our experience did not start out so well . Despite the car's guidance system, we had trouble finding the restaurant. After spending fifteen minutes driving around and failing to find the Keg we called the restaurant for help.

The problem being the Keg was located in an area designed for walking not for driving. Rob came on the phone and tried his best to help us navigate our way. Rob you were terrific. He guided us to the general area of the restaurant. I spot withsome hotel employees who were able to point us in the right direction to complete the journey. They did say one disturbing thing"there is no parking"

Ken managed to find a spot near the restaurant but a little far for Barbara whose COPD is a concern in cold weather. Barbara made the walk but was having some trouble as we entered the restaurant. Imagine our dismay when we were informed the restaurant was actually up a long flight of stairs.

We explained our concerns to the hostess and asked if they had an elevator. With a lovely smile the hostess said "yes" I can take you up in the elevator. The elevator was located in the hotel next door. The hostess guided us there. She remained with us all the way.

It was not a short walk and Barb's slowness was responded to by the hostess with a smile and always a kind word. We wish we had gotten her name. Her attitude and kindness were a comfort.

We made it up the elevator and to the door of the Keg where a young lady awaited us. She informed us that Ken and Jane were waiting for and she would guide us to the table. However, she quickly realized  Barbara was tired. She sat us in the nearest table.  She then went off to get Ken and Jane. She also quickly provide Barb with a glass of water. We were all extremely impressed with how the Keg staff handled the matter. We will always remember their concern and kindness.

It also seemed that everyone on the Keg's staff knew it was our anniversary and offered their congratulations. 

Shortly after been seated Rob arrived at the table. Although it was unnecessary he apologized for not providing us with better direction. Rob is the Keg's Culinary manager. He took the time during his busy dining schedule to help and come to the table. Now that's how to run a successful restaurant. Thank you Rob.

Our waitress Christine was a delight. She provided us with an Anniversary complimentary Margitritas. For every request, we made she responded with a smile and a cheerful "yes". Her service was total perfection.

We relaxed and enjoyed a very nice meal. Ken and I had the Prime Rib. Barbara had the Pistachio Crusted Salmon. Jane enjoyed a Blacken Chicken Oscar.

On our way out numerous staff members thank us for coming and said good night. Some even extending anniversary congratulations.

It was a wonderful evening with good food wonderful hospitality. 

Thank you Whister Keg your staff did you proud!




 


Saturday, August 28, 2021


 Lunch at Chaberton Estate Winery

The oldest and perhaps most popular winery in the Fraser Valley is Chaberton Estate Winery. Chaberton opened its doors in 1975, popularity has grown over the years, mostly due to the fine cellar of wines. The parking lot has been increased in size three times to accommodate visitors to the site which includes a lovely picnic area and a large tasting and wine salesroom

Chaberton is best known for its Bacchus and Ortega wines; the Madeleine Sylvaneris is gaining popularity. The 2017 Tribute Fortified is a must-buy, as is the 2017 Estate Grown Dessert Siegerrebe.

Having been curtailed in winery visits over the last couple of years Barbara and I were delighted to make an August 27th lunch date with our good friends Jane and Ken at the Bacchus Bistro. The bistro is rated as one of the top three Fresco restaurants in Metro Vancouver. WinesofCanada.com rates it among the very best dining experiences in the province.


The picnic grounds were full, most of the visitors were enjoying a "flight", which is four wines presented to you at the same time, usually on a wooden glass holder.

We had booked our reservation well in advance knowing how busy the bistro could be, we were right, both the restaurant and patio were filled with happy diners. We were shown to a very nice patio table. The restaurant is renowned for its Baked French Onion Soup and Beef Bourguignon. I have enjoyed the Bourguignon the last four visits; it was time to try something different.



We started with a bottle of 2020 Bacchus, Jane was very impressed and declared she was going to be taking a couple of bottles home; I had to agree with her assessment. The Bacchus features fresh citrus flavours featuring peaches and pear.  Chaberton Bacchus is among the very best white wines in Canada.
Ken and Barbara are staunch red wine drinkers but agreed the Bacchus hit all the notes after tasting it.

For our meal, we all chose the Chicken/Bacon Pannini and were not disappointed; Ken and I went all out and added the Baked French Onion soup. Barbara and Ken also enjoyed a glass of the Valley Cab 2019 leaving Jane and me to finish the Bacchus, we did not complain. 



Overall the service was excellent, the ambience perfect, and the food scrumptious. 

Chaberton Estate Winery
1064 -216th St
Langley, BC



Monday, August 2, 2021


 In the heat of the summer, Barabra and I decided to re-introduce ourselves to Matches. The restaurant at the Langley casino. The restaurant features a very nice patio. The seating is most comfortable.

I like Matches as it serves one of the lower mainland's best Beef Dips. 

Parking is always easy at the casino. where a three-story parking structure provided shade for the car. It is also a short walk to the patio. Where we were nicely greeted by the manager who directed us to the hostess. She in turn provided us with a very nice table.

Being a Wednesday the wine was half-priced. I had the Jackson-Triggs Reisling-Gewurztraminer. It was nice some good fruity notes but a little too sweet. Barbara had the Wayne Gretzky Cabernet Syrah, which missed the mark. Barbara did not finish her glass.

On the food side, Barabara ordered the Macaroni and Cheese. She was disappointed in the disApparently the receipt had been changed since she last enjoyed the dish. Pulled Pork had been added, which Barbara did not want. The sauce was not as creamy this time.

My Beef Dip was served on a wooden plater. I do not approve of wooden platers. The receipt was also changed by adding a horseradish aioli sauce. To me, a Beef dip is a slightly toasted bun smothered in melted buttered. The beef thinly shaved and dipped in hot au jus before been piled high on the bun. No additives at all.

The service was excellent. We had a very charming waitress.  Overall it was relaxing .


* Please note our blog posting will b limited untillSept.

Please visit www.winesofcanada.com


Sunday, July 11, 2021


 Blind Tasting

On a warm summer's day, Barbara and I joined our friends, June, Peter, Jane, and Ken in our yearly ( actually, we pay three times a year each couple hosting) bocce ball game. We gathered at  Ken and Jane's. The day starts with the actual game followed by appetizers and wine. The hosts also provided dinner.

As we settled in after the game. I introduced a surprise wine for a blind tasting.  I prefer white wine, especially on a hot summer's day. Barbara and our friends prefer red; especially Ken and Peter.

I was definitely expecting negative reviews from Peter and Ken since the wine was white.

They surprised me. Everyone seemed to like the smooth fresh taste of the wine.  Positive comments were provided by everyone. Numerous guesses were made by everyone as to what the wine was. I had them enjoying a product they most likely would never have bought. 

I was even more surprised when Peter said it was good and requested a second glass. Wow! Even Ken had a second glass as did June. June and Barbara had mentioned one of the flavors of the wine was honey. I thought June may have been going in the right direction.

The wine was a Mead! Juno Melomel( dry pear) from Festina Lente Estate Winery  in Langley Township. 

I believe I now have a few more people interested in Meads.

On a side note, the afternoon and evening were a major success with a very delicious dinner provided by Jane and Ken. A BC wine, Seaside Pearl The Connaught-Syrah received better reviews than a more expensive wine from Spain.





Friday, June 25, 2021


 Mead

Mead, often referred to as honey wine, is an alcoholic drink made by the fermentation of honey. Mead is, in all likelihood, the oldest alcoholic beverage known to mankind. Before agricultural techniques were developed, humans were traditionally hunters and gatherers. After gathering honey from the hive, the natural yeast and high moisture content would cause the honey to ferment, producing mead. It is no wonder mead is often referred to as ‘the nectar of the gods', as its appearance seemed miraculous. 


The term "honeymoon" has been associated with drinking mead during the month-long celebration following a wedding in pagan times. In addition to the health-giving properties of honey; mead was thought by the Romans to lengthen life and possess unique healing qualities. The ancient Nordic people considered the drinking of mead as the most important aspect of daily life. Legends of great mead halls, feasts, and celebrations abound in the cultural histories of present-day countries of this area. 


Mead (Honey Wine) is the oldest art of fermentation. Consumed by all, from kings to peasants, mead has gained a reputation as a giver of life, wisdom, courage and strength down through the ages. The traditional drinking vessel for mead is called a mazer and was generally bowl-shaped, made of wood and often inlaid with silver. 

Melomel: Mead made with fruit added 


Braggot (or Bracket) Mead made with malted grain (usually barley) 


Hydromel: This is the term for a weak or watered down mead 


Pyment: This is mead made with grape or grape juice added. This is also the term for a grape wine that has honey added to it. 


Cyser - A mead made with apples or apple juice 


Metheglin: A mead made with added spices - often considered to have medicinal traits. Some common spices are cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves 


Rhodomel : An ancient Roman term for a mead made with rose petals 


Sack Mead: A mead with a very high honey content. It has a high density and is often sweeter than typical meads. This can be thought of as a dessert wine of meads. 


Show Mead: This is a term that has come to define a plain mead with no spices or fruits added. 


Short Mead : (Also referred to as a quick mead) this is a mead that is made in a fashion so it matures quickly. Short meads are often very similar to ales. 


Great Mead: Kind of like the opposite of a Short Mead. This mead is designed to be bottled and aged for several years. 


Sparkling Mead: A carbonated mead much like a sparkling wine. This is usually achieved by adding a small amount of honey or sugar just before bottling. This causes a small secondary ferment while in the bottle that will elevate the pressure and sweetness. 


Morat: A Melomel made from Mulberries 


Hippocras: A Pyment to which spices have been added 


Omphacomel: mead made with verjuice which is the juice of unripened grapes. This is often considered to be a type of pyment. 


Oxymel - Made with wine vinegar 


Acerglyn - Mead made with maple syrup 


Bochet - refers to a mead that was made with the honey caramelized or burned before it is added to the water. Creates several different flavours including toffee, chocolate or marshmallow. 


Capsicumel - Flavoured with chili pepper 


Black Mead - Made with Black Currants 


Mulled Mead - This refers to a mead that is heated before drinking. Typically it has spices for flavouring. 


Chouchen - which is a French Brittany mead... which sometimes contains apple juice: 

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

 



A Glorious Day in Vancouver.


Barbara and I meet with four of our closest friends to visit the Van Gogh Immersive Exhibition at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Afterwards, we were booked at the Cactus Clubs across the plaza.

The exhibition was truly amazing. Barbara and the gang took hundreds of photos as we watched the artistic displays. It was memorizing, What a talented artist!

We stayed until our old legs wore out on us as it was still too early for our reservation at the Cactus Club we settled in at the Lot185 cafe in the Centre. Where we were greeted like King and Queens the service was an exception. We drank a couple of rounds of BC wine from Mission Hill. Good time!



We can strongly recommend the fine hospital of Lot185. The chef was johnny on the spot when a glass of water (No one dares spill good wine) knocked over. Barbara received a small shower. We all laughed although the chef was more concerned that everyone was okay. 

We now walked across the Jack Poole Plaza to the restaurant.

We were amazed at the size of the outdoor patio and how busy the restaurant was. It was perfect on such a sunny warm day. Sadly we had made our reservation when it was raining and we were inside. The hostess overhears our comments about how nice it would be to be outside. She informed us a table was available on the patio. Now that hospitality!

Our server was charming and we all settled in with a drink as we studied the menu.

Two friends went for a shrimp pasta dish, two others for the Pepper Steak. Barbara had her favourite the Rocket  Salad and I had the Jack Daniel Ribs.  A most enjoyable diner with plenty of laughs.

A perfect day in the heart of Vancouver.

Did I mention we all had a Peanut Butter Crunch for dessert?


Tuesday, May 18, 2021


O'Rourke Peak Cellars Winery
2290 Goldie Rd, Lake Country, BC

 The amazing Lake Country winery is owned by Edmonton businessman Dennis O’Rourke, who made his millions in the heavy construction business in Alberta. He has chosen to invest some of those millions into two excellent Lake Country wineries.

Peak Cellars is one of the most interesting and exciting full-service wineries ever to open in BC.  It was built for the outdoors.

The Garden Bistro team is taking extra measures to provide a safe and healthy environment while delivering an outstanding winery experience. 



They currently offer 80 scenic seats on the vineyard-side patio with breathtaking views of surrounding orchards, rolling mountains, and Okanagan Lake. An onsite ½ acre organic vegetable garden and two greenhouses, only steps away from the Bistro, gives our culinary team the freshest veggies and herbs to incorporate into his daily menu showcasing true local flavours; the ultimate farm to table experience all year round!


Noted  wine author John Schreiner wrote:

The wine released this summer by O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars are among the most impressive Okanagan wines that I have tasted this year.