Winter magic of Sun Peaks village at night
Happily, I was commissioned by Savour Magazine to do two short online pieces on the Winter Okanagan Wine Festival 2012. One was intended to help shine light on the event and promote participation in this year’s festival. The other was to check out some of the festivities and then share a firsthand experience to get folks planning to attend it in the future. Oh, I love my freelance work!
I’ve attached my articles, with permission from Savour Magazine, and will let them tell the story. Following those, I’ve added a few more pictures to entice you to pull out your calendar and start planning for the 2013 Winter Okanagan Wine Festival at Sun Peaks Resort.
Online story promoting Winter Okanagan Sine Festival at Sun Peaks:
Enjoy The Winter Festival Of Wine -January 14 to 22
by Roslyne Buchanan
The balance so passionately pursued in food and wine extends to new meaning at the Winter Festival of Wine where a perfect blend of gastronomic and recreational pursuits is served.
Picture the idyllic alpine setting of Sun Peaks Resort decked out in winter whites and glimmering lights featuring assorted wine varieties of B.C.’s Okanagan with an array of culinary events, wine tastings, educational seminars and outdoor recreation.
In its 14th year, the Winter Wine Festival caters to an assortment of interests and tastes. Embrace the snowy wonderland through activities such as skiing, snowboarding, skating, snowshoeing, sleigh riding, dog sledding, tubing, or swimming in the outdoor pool. Of course, you can find your recreational balance in an indoor fitness facility or spa, shop until you drop in the boutiques, or simply absorb the ambience of the pedestrian-friendly village. With seven hotels, all ski in/ski out, varying in amenities and options such as kitchenettes and spas, guests can select accommodation based on what’s important to them.
Diverse events are designed for wine rookies and experts whether for professional development or purely for pleasure. The spectrum ranges from the highly casual M Room Fondue, a new concept where Executive Chef Steve Buzak navigates the nuances of fondue paired with Okanagan wines, to the Wine Masters Dinner, an epic journey of gourmet food and flights of extraordinary wines.
The apres ski scene offers From Russia with Love…and Wine…and Vodka, in the Globe Cafe’s Oyster & Caviar Bar where you learn about making sparkling wines from Summerhill Pyramid Winery and distilling premium vodka from Kelowna’s Urban Distilleries. Taste port-style Okanagan wines paired with fine Canadian cheese presented by the Dairy Farmers of Canada at the popular Port & Cheese. Discover the Okanagan’s lesser know varietals paired with tapas in a seminar with renowned wine educator Gerrit Van Staalduinen from Anderson & Co. Wine Brokerage. There are brunches such as Brunch with Bubbles with 8th Generation Winery, the Bella Italia Brunch Buffet, and the Winter Okanagan Wine Festival Brunch starring a locally inspired menu with samples of award-winning wines and blended creations. The Sun Peaks Progressive Tasting is a flagship event where you wander throughout the village to taste wines from over 20 wineries in the various hotel lobbies accompanied by a range of live music.
The Taste of Sun Peaks, another outstanding culinary/wine experience with live music, is an opportunity to gain insight on the talented chefs of Sun Peaks through a selection of small plate creations served with fine Okanagan wines. In addition, the Dairy Farmers of Canada present some of Canada’s best cheeses. While the Winter Wine Festival has expanded beyond its original Icewine tribute, it still celebrates this elixir in Worshipping Icewines, where respected winery hosts lead a sampling of grape varieties linked to Canada’s leadership in Icewines. If wine isn’t your libation of choice, the Sun Peaks Bartender Mixology Face-Off or Mixology to Music may be for you! Events sell out quickly advises Melanie Simmons, Sun Peaks media relations, so if you’re late this year, schedule January 16 – 20, 2013.
(Note: Original online version included Photos: Courtesy of SunPeaks Resort, which can be viewed on its website.)
Online story relating experience at Sun Peaks:
Chilling Out at The Winter Okanagan Wine Festival 2012
Just a few weeks ago our favorite food blogger and regular contributor, Roslyne Buchanan set out for snowy Sun Peaks in Kamloops for the Annual Winter Festival of Wine. Here is what she discovered.
By Roslyne Buchanan
Taking poetic license with lyrics from Let It Snow, “the weather outside was frightful,” the hospitality inside was delightful, best describing the experience mid-week at the 14th Winter Okanagan Wine Festival, held January 14-22.
At Sun Peaks Resort’s alpine setting, the Winter Wine Festival has evolved from an icewine salute to a full-out culinary celebration of food and drink balanced by a breadth of winter outdoor adventure.
In a quest to check out the new From Russia with Love…and Wine…and Vodka, we arrived Tuesday for the season’s coldest weather. Owners Jude Brunt and Paul Doherty, of Globe Cafe’s Oyster & Caviar Bar and the Globe locations at Kelowna’s Big White and Oroville, Washington’s Veranda Beach, proffered this category-expanding selection. Playing on the James Bond theme, oysters were paired with sparkling wine from Summerhill Pyramid Winery and caviar with premium vodka from Kelowna’s Urban Distilleries. Summerhill’s chilled Cipes Ice fired the first festive flavour, featured with a risqué Oysters Ménage à Quatre designed by Chef Dale Fletcher and Sous Chef Baer. It was comprised of B.C.’s Cortes Island Royal Miyagi Oysters and P.E.I.’s Malpeque Oysters Caesar on the half shell. Vancouver Island Gorge Inlet Oysters were served Rockefeller, and Barkley Sound Effingham Oysters served Kilpatrick. Each bivalve was a sea-salty sensation of singular character and the Kilpatrick supported today’s notion that adding bacon pops the palate with almost anything!
Okanagan Winter Festival of Wine-2012
Next 007 missile was Kelowna’s Urban Distilleries Spirit Bear Ultra Premium Vodka with Black Swedish Caviar and Salmon Roe Caviar served on a delectable blini. Jordan Urban expanded our knowledge of Urban Distilleries granting samples of the Spirit Bear Gin and Espresso Infused Vodka as well as the Urban Single Malt Whisky, Amber Rum and White Rum. A snapshot of a regular Globe evening was provided in a trivia contest with a Bond slant for this instance including a prize of 30 grams of Northern Divine White Sturgeon Caviar from Sechelt, B.C. (I’m ecstatic to report I won it, fair and square, and was impressed with the Globe ensuring that it would be chilled properly in an ice-pack.) The extravagant prize was courtesy of Northern Divine’s General Manager Justin Henry who contacted the Globe after other caviar had been purchased for the inaugural occasion. Who knows maybe the eco-friendly Canadian caviar will star next year because I do believe From Russia will return given its success!
After the generous portions, we settled into the comfortable room at the Delta Sun Peaks, enjoyed a cheese plate sourced locally and snuggled down for a goodnight’s sleep in anticipation of Wednesday’s outdoor activities. Dawn dealt a chilly day with a temperature around -23 C and about -34 C windchill so skiing was punctuated by many breaks including lunch at Mantles where a Mitchell Mountain Burger flaunting beef from a local ranch fuelled the fires for further outings. In this rare weather, some outdoor activities were cancelled such as the sleigh ride out of concern for the horses. Regardless of the icicles forming outdoors, the warmth of Melanie Simmons, media relations specialist, and all the staff at Sun Peaks plus the array of spectacular indoor options made it all seem cosy.
Tod Mountain Coffee House and Creperie hosted Doi Chaang Coffee providing a rare opportunity to taste a $30 to $40 cup of Wild Civet (Kopi Luwak) Coffee. It is made from coffee cherries that have been spat or passed through the digestive system of a wild civet, a small nocturnal animal that forages the Doi Chang Village, high in the hilltops of Northern Thailand. Fermenting in the civet’s stomach gives the coffee intriguing tones of earthy, floral citrus and a chocolate molasses finish. We also tasted a single-origin roast and learned more about this unique Thai-Canadian cooperative in which the coffee is grown in Thailand as part of a self-help movement benefiting the Doi Chang farmers and roasted in Canada. In this arrangement, growers are paid more than The Fair Trade Organization recommended price and retain 100 per cent of their green bean sales proceeds. Plus, the Thailand farmers have a 50 per cent interest in the Vancouver-based Doi Chaang Coffee Company. All Doi Chaang Coffee is 100% Arabica, Certified Organic, Fair Trade, Kosher and Halal. Sandwiches and dainty squares, compliments of Ryan Schmalz, owner of Tod Mountain Coffee and Mountain High Pizza (one of Sun Peaks Village first restaurants) were tasty clues of the longevity and popularity of the establishments.
Events sold out such as the new M Room Fondue, where Chef Steve Buzak navigated nuances of fondue with Okanagan wines, the Wine Masters Dinner – an epic journey of gourmet food and wine flights, and the Sun Peaks Progressive Tasting.
To encapsulate the essence of the festival, Taste of Sun Peaks, is a signature culinary/wine phenomenon. Within an ambiance of live music by John Kelly, insight was gained in short order on fine Okanagan wines, talented Sun Peaks chefs and some of Canada’s best cheeses presented by the Dairy Farmers of Canada. Featured wineries were Cassini Cellars, Ex Nihilo, Gehringer Brothers, House of Rose, Nk’ Mip Winery, Rustic Roots, Saint Hubertus Estate Wines, Stag’s Hollow, Summerhill and Tinhorn. Small plates developed by chefs from the Black Garlic Bistro, The Globe, Mantles Restaurant, Masa’s and Upper Level strutted exquisite fare such as tuna tartar on wonton crisps, crab balls, mini Yorkshire, sundried tomato with parmesan froth, shrimp, eggplant tapenade on crostini, sundried pepper on cucumber, marinated mushrooms, smoked salmon and sushi. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory set out a temptation extravanganza, for example, ripple chips and strawberries dipped in chocolate, and chili infused chocolates. In its own category from The Globe was what could best be described as S’mores as a drink – a lovely concoction of hot chocolate and Jack Daniels with a homemade marshmallow served in a tasting glass rimmed with honey-graham crumbs. Need more be said?
Sun Peaks’ many options are worth exploring in any season. Plan now for the 15th Winter Okanagan Wine Festival, January 16 – 20, 2013!
Here’s a few more photos to illustrate this amazing winter activity:
RBuchanan – Delta Sun Peaks
RBuchanan – Delta Sun Peaks stunning reception
RBuchanan – Wood carving in Delta Sun Peaks
RBuchanan – All season pool Delta Sun Peaks
RBuchanan – Passage to outdoor pool Delta Sun Peaks
RBuchanan – Cheese plate Delta Sun Peaks
RBuchanan – Skiing Sun Peaks Resort
RBuchanan – Ambiance at Globe Tapas
RBuchanan – I won Northern Divine Caviar!
Doi Chaang Wild Civet Coffee Tasting (Winter Okanagan Wine Festival event) Sun Peaks Resort at Tod Mountain Coffee
RBuchanan – Tasting Doi Chaang Wild Civet Coffee
Taste of Sun Peaks (Winter Okanagan Wine Festival event) Sun Peaks Resort
RBuchanan – Globe Tapas pour S’mores drink
RBuchanan – Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
RBuchanan – Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory