Category Archives: drinks and wine

Only One Grape? Preposterous

LOVE this commercial! And, not just because it’s about wine…though, that helps.


2006 Deerfield Ranch Red Rex

Holy crap, this is one delicious bottle of wine.

I like my wines big, red and juicy. The bigger, the better. I like a good long finish that lets me sit and dwell on it for a while. I like rich and complex flavours and aromas. If it’s spicy and peppery too, well, I’m in heaven.

The ’06 Red Rex missed out on the black pepper, except as an aftertaste, but it hit the bell on every other check on my list. I had never tasted wine as dense as this fella, to the point that I had to ask the Wine Chef what the proper terminology was for that kind of texture and mouth feel. I’d never had anything like it! Viscous. Or, I could say it’s incredibly chewy (though, that doesn’t sound nearly as appealing, does it?) You could just roll it around on your tongue and keep pulling different notes from it.

I don’t want to make you think Red Rex tastes like a sherry or a fortified wine, it’s not sweet. In fact, the heavy tanins could almost make it seem bitter to some. But, the way they make your mouth water and help deliver those black cherry, blackberry and blackcurrant notes more than put me into winegasm.

The aroma of Red Rex is as big as it’s taste. The fruit definitely comes through, but you also get the hints of smokey meat (which is more delicious that it sounds), and even a bit of sage.

Definitely not a wine for everyone, you need to be prepared to get your ass kicked by Red Rex. But if you like them big and beautiful, give this complex bad boy a try. I’m looking forward to my next bottle.

WHO: Deerfield Ranch
WHERE: Sonoma County, California
WHEN: 2006
WHAT: Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Syrah (23%), Merlot (19%), Sangiovese (7%), Malbec (5%), Cabernet Franc (2%), Petit Verdot (2%)
COST: $29 at The Winehouse

Things I Discovered on the Weekend

(1) I seem to have a natural talent for pole dancing

It was the oh-so-fantastic Lindsay‘s 30th birthday on Saturday so Christina put together a pretty wonderful surprise celebration. Super fun to watch the Twitter feed all day Friday as Lindsay tried to guess exactly what she had planned for her. Her guess was bowling. The truth was a lap dance/pole dancing class.

Good lord it was fun! I’ve been to the peelers more than a few times in my life and, whether it’s your thing or not, you have to admire the strength it takes to spin around that pole. So, I was pretty dang nervous heading into it! (Especially since the day before I’d gone a little to hard at the gym and I was already having a hard time raising my arms above my shoulders. Not such hot planning, there.) But, as much as it wasn’t easy…it wasn’t ridiculously hard either. I’m not saying that anyone would want to watch me attempt to swing my stuff around. I just feel now like I could take a pole dancing class without feeling so intimidated. We learned how to do a fireman spin, a reverse spin and I actually managed to hold my body off the ground with just my arms! (All about the small victories.) If you’ve ever wanted to try it, whether full fledged classes or just a party like we did, I totally recommend Aradia Fitness here in Kelowna. It was a great workout and gave me some inspiration for when I jumped the hubby after I got home 😉

(2) Cabana has Free Ride Home Fridays!

After we strutted out stuff – literally – we took Lindsay out for dinner at Cabana. Always a great experience! Food was delicious, drinks were awesome and our server, Cam, was fantastic. (Mind you, I rarely have issues with attractive men that listen to everything I say and bring me alcohol.) One of our group is a celiac, so they had a gluten free cake brought in for us. Holy delicious! I’ve had some pretty awful GF food in my time – really chewy or really heavy. This was nothing like that! It was a moist, chocolatey Black Forrest Cake that I never would have guessed was gluten free. If you’re on a GF diet and are jonesing for some dessert, give Cabana a call.

Now, I usually prefer to drink my dessert, but I’d driven to the restaurant so was being nice and responsible, limiting myself. Until the server told me that, not only do they offer free rides home on Friday night, but they drive your car home too! So, while I wasn’t a gong show, I did have a couple drinks and my car and I both got home safely. #winning

What a great weekend!

Caffeinated Meat

That’s right. A meat stick with the flavour of beef jerky, but the same kind of pick you up you’d get from a cup of coffee. In a world of energy drinks, mints, chewing gum and even caffeinated soap, why wouldn’t they start to energy infuse our food too?

Sadly, it doesn’t look like the incredibly cool artwork in the picture; it looks like a regular Slim Jim. And, the reason behind caffeinated meat makes a lot of sense. It was developed for soldiers at a research facility outside of Boston as part of their field ration program or as an MRE, Meal, Ready to Eat. It’s really hard to brew a pot of coffee in the field, so they were looking for a way to improve performance and alertness, while keeping soldiers well fed. A quote in The Star, says the aim is to “keep more war fighters on the battlefield for longer periods of time and reduce lost time from their mission and the injuries sustained in daily activities such as climbing mountains, searching through caves and carrying 75 to 100 pounds on their back.”

A vegetarian equivalent has been served up by the US military for the last two year called Zapplesauce. It uses maltodextrin, a complex carbohydrate, instead of caffeine, that offers energy mixed with applesauce. They’re also working on foods that can contain anti-inflammatories from supplements like omega 3s and curcumin. Same goes with a hyped up version of that energy goo that marathon runners use.

If you’re wondering why companies and governments are spending their money and the time of some of the world’s top scientists on this, remember trying astronaut food when you were little? Or any dehydrated camping rations? Fun to try once, but image eating that for every single meal. Blech.

So, these new food sciences have replaced the mystery meat and dehydrated ice cream with salsa verde, ratatouille and a strawberry-banana dairy shake. The big difference now between your dinner and theirs: theirs can withstand an airdrop from thousands of feet and has a shelf life of three years at 80 degrees.

And, while they won’t be serving caffeinated meat in the field for another two years, as a civilian you can always try Perky Jerky. You can let me know how it is. I’ll just take your word for it.

Hopscotch Favourites

Over the weekend, the Hopscotch Festival was in town: a premium Scotch,Whisky, Spirit & Premium Beer Festival. Now, I should mention that I’m not a scotch drinker. The Wine Chef is a big fan though and went last year. He thought there was some booths that I would enjoy so we made a date night out of it!

I love shows like this because it lets you step out of your comfort zone. You’re not likely to shell out money for a whole bottle of something that you’re not sure you’re going to enjoy. But, for one or two tokens, why not give them a go!

So, despite my not being a scotch drinker, I did try a few out. Yup. Still not a scotch drinker. But, I did discover I’m a huge fan of spiced whiskey!

First thing I saw when I walked in was Phillips Union. I love their Vanilla Whiskey and have been looking for it in liquor stores ever since I moved to BC. Found out the only place in town that carries it is the OK Corral liquor store! Consider that added to my shopping list. A great spiced whiskey with a delicious, smooth vanilla flavour to it. I love it on the rocks on a winter day and the Wine Chef used to make the most amazing creme brulee from it. Yum.

Now, same sampling table but a way sweeter selection was the Trader Vic’s Macadamia Nut Liqueur. This was like boozy candy. Unless you’re a big sugar fan you wouldn’t be able to handle too much of it, but shake it on ice and serve it on the rocks. The chill and the bit of dilution made this a great winter sipper too.

Proud to say another highlight was from Kelowna’s own Tree Brewing! Just in time for Thanksgiving, they have a Jumpin’Jack Pumpkin Ale and it’s freakin’ fantastic. You NEED to try this and you should probably go pick it up pretty quuckly as they’re expecting to sell out. Enough complexity for a beer lover to really appreciate it and enough delicious pumpkin flavour for a non-beer drinker to be convinced to have another bottle.

Was also really impressed with Okanagan Spirits new gin which has a really soft juniper flavour and hints of rose petals. They served it with the Fentiman’s Tonic Water, which has a hint of lemongrass.  While not normally a G&T drinker, this was bloody good.

What were your top picks from the night?

Who Dat!!

The Wine Chef asked me to make him a gold and a black drink (2 drinks total) so even his booze could be cheering for the Saints tonight.

I came up with these:

Black Widow

0.5 oz white tequilla
0.5 oz Jack Daniels
0.5 oz Black Sambucca

and for gold, straight JD on the rocks!