similikameen / TAG ARCHIVES

Get Paid to Drink Fine Wine!

Published in employment
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VV - Tasting Room Mgr adWe started over a decade ago on the principle of growing and selling high-quality red wine grapes that reflect its terroir. We’ve achieved that goal and are now building a new tasting room in the beautiful Similikameen Valley to showcase our wines from one of the most unique vineyards in Canada, and accordingly are hiring!

We’re seeking a Tasting Room Manager commencing May 1, 2017.   We’re looking for a passionate person with hospitality management experience. Some benefits to the position besides a good salary and fantastic new tasting room:  promote “absolutely stunning” 95+ points wine, work with fun/smart people, plus as Wine Enthusiast Magazine noted — we’re situated in “the next great Canadian wine region” — only 20 minutes from Osoyoos, 15 minutes from Keremeos.  For the full job description please contact Sandeep Sangha.

Judgment of Geyserville

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Judgment of Geyserville 2016We were surprised and delighted to see our 2012 Syrah included in a blind tasting this spring by a small, exclusive group of wine critics in California.  The judges meet annually in the quaint Sonoma wine community of Geyserville for the “Judgment of Geyserville”. Each year they select a theme, then select three examples each from various regions across North America.

This year, the theme they chose for their tasting was cool-climate Syrah, and the judges found superb examples from up and down the West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington State and BC).

They noted one of the most difficult tasks of this particular judging was defining what “cool climate” means. The participants decided that in this case, cool-climate Syrahs come from regions that have somewhat cooler and longer growing seasons but are still capable of reliably ripening Syrah grapes each vintage. The goal was to find examples of Syrah that were not big, rich and overripe. Rather, they hoped to taste Syrahs that showed complexity that goes well beyond the jammy, ripe flavours often found from inexpensive Aussie Shirazes or California Syrahs — i.e. one reason Syrahs grown in France’s northern Rhône Valley are so great is the cooler climate — and the complexity of aromas and flavours that follows.

The participants consisted of :

  • Mike Dunne – longtime wine columnist for The Sacramento Bee and one of the top wine judges in California.
  • Ellen Landis, master of wine, former Sommelier for the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay California, and one of the top professional wine judges in the United States, wine blogger at Ellen On Wine
  • Eric Degerman, president and CEO of Great Northwest Wine, is co-founder of Wine Press Northwest magazine and a regular judge across western North America
  • Andy Perdue, editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine, is the wine columnist for The Seattle Times
  • Ron Washam – former Sommelier of the Year by the Southern California Restaurant Writers’ Association, a regular wine judge for Bay area competitions, and writes the HoseMaster of Wine blog

We have summarized their interesting results (see the blog links above for the full articles), and we are thrilled that our inaugural 2012 Syrah was honoured with a silver (one of the 12 medalists). They describe the Vanessa Vineyard Syrah as:

“It is rare to find wines from the remote Similkameen Valley, which is west of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia’s Interior region. This is a classic cool-climate Syrah with aromas of wild mushroom risotto, dried herbs, jasmine and vanilla bean. On the palate, flavors of Marionberry and dusty black cherry are backed by juicy, fine-grained tannins. This will be fascinating to taste again in another half-decade.”

We look forward to many more “judgments” in the coming months and years!

How to Grill a Moose

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steaks-with-mushroom-sauceIt’s Victoria Day weekend and officially barbeque season! What could be more Canadian than grilled moose steaks?

Our co-owner John Welson has shared his recipe for how to grill a moose, which he pairs with the Vanessa Syrah.  This full-bodied and earthy red is a delightful match to the strong flavoured game and mushroom elements of the meal.

Originally published in Western Living Magazine, this meat lover’s dish is fantastic with a porcini sauce drizzled over the grilled steak. His chef’s tip – keep in mind that wild game is low in fat and easy to overcook; thus he recommends not to cook beyond medium-rare.

NOTE: if you don’t have a hunter in the family, the moose can be substituted with venison (perhaps a bit easier to find) or traditional beef steaks. If desired, you can also replace the porcini with portobello mushrooms.

Serves: 4

Wine Marinade
2 cups Vanessa Vineyard Syrah
1/4 cup olive oil
2 carrots chopped
1 onion chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup chopped parsley
freshly ground black pepper
1 sprig fresh rosemary, crushed and chopped
2 large or 4 small moose or venison steaks (a tbone or porterhouse cut is best)
olive oile

Simmer wine for 10 minutes over low heat to cook off alcohol; allow to cool.
Mix all ingredients in stainless steel, add steaks and cover bowl; marinate overnight in fridge.
Remove steaks, preserving marinade. Pat steaks dry and brush with olive oil. Grill over hot coals, turning only once. Allow meat to rest on a warm plate for 10 minutues before serving.

Porcini Sauce
1 cup boiling water
2 cups dried porcini
reserved wine marinade
1/4 cup demi-glace
2 tbsp flour
1-2 tbsp soft butter

Soak dried porcini in boiling water for 15-20 minutes; drain and reserve liquid. Coarsely chop porcini and set aside. Reduce reserved marinade by half in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add porcini soaking liquid and reduce again by half. Add porcini, stir in demi-glace and simmer for 5 minutes. (Note: you can make your own demi-glace by cooking 1 cup of good quality beef stock in a saucepan over medium heat until it reduces to 1/4 cup.) In a separate pan, toast flour over medium high heat until golden, tossing so it won’t burn, about 2 minutes. Put toasted flour into a small bowl and work in butter to make a paste or roux. Slowly add paste to sauce until it thickens, stirring constantly. Serve over grilled steaks.