Another year and another adventure. And although this one is somewhat less grandiose than those in prior years, it will be no less fulfilling.
The title says it all…the wine cellar has all but diminished to nothing but a fond memory. Given there are no across-the-pond visitations this year, and Niagara is a little too removed, the Okanagan Valley beckons. The two hundred plus wineries, fabulous climate and ease of access has once again pulled us westward.
Previous sojourns have provided much in the way of grape juice tasting (some well-aged and some…not so much). Numerous cases (over the years) have found a new home in our basement cellar, but always with a bit of trepidation. As many of you have realized, ~some~ laws in Canada seem rather antiquated. My personal belief is that the one that forbid interprovincial transportation of wine (by the actual consumer, no less!) has always been in that category. Finally, that law has been…relaxed…somewhat. Not repealed totally (at least not that I am aware of), but now it seems more accommodating.
It is a little too early in the year to enjoy the real wine season (which won’t arrive till September/October time frame), but there will still be many, many benefits. The selection from last year may be less, true enough, but what there will be, should have had the benefit of better aging. In addition, there should be fewer consumers to fight over what there is to choose from. The heat of the summer season is not yet present and accommodation rates (in some cases) are also less.
Our first night is in Golden, B.C. The drive from Edmonton all the way through to Summerland just seemed too pushed given that this is supposed to be a holiday, not a panic-driven speed-trip. To this point, nothing special has been seen and little has been newly discovered. However we did find one little gem in Golden. There is a restaurant called The Turning Point (906 – 11 Ave S) that you really should visit when next you pass through (or stop in) Golden. They have a good, balanced menu with a Greek theme for most things. What sets them apart is their French fries. I will not profess to be the world’s authority on potatoes, prepared in any fashion. But I will state these are the BEST (let me repeat – BEST) fries I have ever had. Period. Fried perfectly (totally crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth inside) is the first part. The second, and arguably more important part, is the seasoning. Salt, yes, but ~just~ enough…a hint of lemon and pepper and some other undefinable goodness. Asking the waitress did not reveal anything as she has not been made privy to ‘the secret’. So be it…the world is full of secrets and this remains yet one more. Go there…have them….they are worth the stop. (BTW…the rest of the fish and chip dinner was Very good as well. Looking around at what other patrons were enjoying suggested our dinner was not an accident…more the norm.)
The day uneventful with little traffic and much in the way of great weather. If this is (hopefully) an indication of the trip in general, I should have no complaints. The truth shall be in the wine! 🙂