WBC13 Countdown – BC Winery Each Week – Posting 2

September 12, 2012 – Naramata Tailgate Party

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In the first entry I advised my selections would be quite random. The beauty of having your own blog is you can play it as you wish. So rather than a snapshot of a single winery this week, I’m going to highlight the Naramata Bench Winery Association and more specifically its annual Tailgate Party.

In the true spirit of the namesake tradition, the 21 members of the Naramata Bench Winery Association gathered together and dropped their tailgates to offer an evening of festivities and tantalizing tastes of wine. For the food, a highlight for the 2012 event was A Salmon Showdown in which top chefs of the Okanagan teamed with wineries to compete for the best wine and salmon pairing. It featured salmon by Codfathers, supporting Ocean Wise (a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program).

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The Bench Artisan Market rounded out the eating component with additional nibbles such as charcuterie, cheese and crackers. If you were lucky enough to snag the SuperGate tickets and stayed for the after party, you also got to enjoy fresh shucked oysters a la Codfathers and tasty treats from The Bench Artisan Market. A bonus was a selection of fine beers from Cannery Brewing.

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Picture yourself (with a designated driver or on the complimentary shuttle from Penticton) winding your way through orchards and vineyards past inviting wineries catching glimpses of the sparkling Okanagan Lake and surrounding mountains and forests. You arrive through a beautiful lakeside village to a beachside park reminiscent of childhood memories – or memories borrowed from nostalgia movies like My American Cousin that you wish you had. Manitou Park is a well maintained park complete with a sandy beach on the lakeside, lawns, a baseball diamond, volleyball court, children’s play area, washrooms, and parking. According to Wikipedia, Manitou refers to spirits and the interconnection and balance of nature and life. A fitting concept to the joy that unfolds in uniting great wineries and eateries and their talented teams with enthusiastic fans on a glorious September evening!

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Live music by Vancouver Island’s Shane Philip punctuates the party atmosphere and Master of Ceremonies Terry David Mulligan, host of Tasting Room Radio and author of Mulligan Stew, ensures guests are kept informed of the evening’s highlights. A Canadian actor, radio and television personality of Vancouver, Mulligan once lived in the Naramata/Penticton area and is no stranger to its key attributes.

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Food and wine pairings included:

Darin Paterson, P. Inc Patio at Red Rooster Winery and Bogner’s of Penticton – paired with Red Rooster and Moraine

Bruno Terroso, The Vanilla Pod at Poplar Grove WineryPoplar Grove and Monster

Mark Ashton, The Patio Restaurant at Lake Breeze  – Lake Breeze Winery and Upper Bench

Abul Amante, The Kitchen at Misconduct Wine Co.Misconduct, Therapy, D’Angelo

Rob Cordonier, The Bistro at Hillside WineryHillside Winery and Van Westen

Deb Linton (who substituted for Stuart Glynes) – from the Bench Artisan Market  – Elephant Island and Kettle Valley

Chris Remington, Penticton Lakeside ResortTownship 7 and Serendipity

Mark Filatow, Waterfront Restaurant & Wine Bar Kelowna – Nichol and 3 Mile

Derik Bendig, Hotel Eldorado KelownaLa Frenz and Perseus

Thomas Render from the Naramata Heritage Inn –  Laughing Stock and Black Widow

Judges included:

Shelley Boettcher, Calgary Herald Wine Columnist and Wine Access Magazine Editor

Doris Bregolisse, Global Television Okanagan

Robert Clark, C Restaurant Chef from Vancouver

Gloria Macarenko, CBC TV News Anchor

Jamie Maw, Food Writer

Neal McLennan, Western Living Magazine Editor

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If I heard right amid all the revelry with the Golden Boot trophy, the showdown winners were:

Gold: Waterfront’s Mark Filatow @WFWines with @Nicholvineyard

Silver: Eldorado’s Derik Bendig @EldoradoKelowna with @PerseusWine

Bronze: Penticton Lakeside’s Chris Remington @The_HOOD with @Township7

People’s Choice: Hillside Bistro’s Rob Cordonier @hillsidewines with @winegrower99 (Van Westen)

As I have said before in such showdowns, the real winners are the folks with tickets who get to enjoy all this great food, wine and beer! The witnesses to this fact are found in a colourful group of friends who call themselves “the pink ladies” and travel each year from Vancouver to take in this fun affair.

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All good things must come to an end and the sunset gave way to dark. As if to spark our memory for next year’s Naramata Tailgate, guests were treated to a stunning Naramata Tailgate Party 2012 fire stick dance.

Note: I will be revisiting many of these fine wineries of the Naramata Bench Winery Association in my return to the “pure” Winery Each Week format. I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to spread the word on this super event which supports the “whole family” of Naramata Bench wineries.

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About rozsmallfry

Live. Learn. Write. I’m the behind the lenses, author of the words kind of person. In classic drama or opera or the Robertson Davies’ book of the same title, I’d be the player called Fifth Business. Fifth Business is neither heroine nor villain yet instrumental in making the plot happen. I’d far rather learn about you than talk about myself and building relationships is at the core of who I am. The more I learn, the more I realize I have lots to learn. When I was a child one of my nicknames was Small Fry. Now I understand. I really am a small fry in a great big world of learning.
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1 Response to WBC13 Countdown – BC Winery Each Week – Posting 2

  1. bellini says:

    This sounds like one amazing evening and something to consider for next year like Le Diner en Blanc. So many world class chefs and wines all in one place.

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