Uncovering Old Vines at Blue Grouse Estate Winery

by Megan Hill

With 35 wineries and more than 430 acres under vine, Vancouver Island isn’t quite the grape growing paradise of, say,…


We Northwestern folk may love our food and drink by the small-batch, but we love our love by the heaping ton—and perhaps no occasion is a better emblem of this than the region’s annual Pride Month celebrations.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about British Columbia’s Similkameen Valley, a picturesque and quiet wine region. The Okanagan Valley is equally picturesque, but far less quiet, especially in and around Kelowna, a city that was described to me as “the Jersey Shore of Canada.

When it comes to cracking cans of our favorite sparkling ciders or IPAs, we don’t bat an eyelash. Even some of the more outlandish canned products (ahem, canned bread) maintain enough of a fan base to keep the stuff on grocery shelves. Surely the wine world is ready for some of the same innovative marketing.

My grandfather is the one who did all the cooking in my grandparent’s small apartment in Queens, New York. Wrapped in a dirty white apron and wearing a thin undershirt, my memories of him are in the kitchen, standing at the stove, alone. We never crossed the threshold of the kitchen and frankly, never had any interest. Grandpa was cooking for himself and we left him alone—it was not a family affair.

Pesto is one of those unique foods that can be enjoyed about one thousand different ways. It can be used as a condiment on a sandwich, a sauce for your pasta or the singular topping on your pizza. Sometimes it’s a condiment, other times is the main attraction. And, if you’re as big of a pesto fan as I am, sometimes a spoon is all you need.
While I typically enjoy my pesto pure and simple, sometimes it’s fun to switch things up.

Trying to get your head around the British Columbia wine scene can be a bit tricky from within the United States, because so little of the wine is exported outside the province. In hopes of clearing up some of my confusion, and to hopefully find some great wine that’s currently all but unknown, I toured the area this past weekend.

Five-star meals don’t need to be all-day productions. Sometimes, the best meals require the least amount of work. Consider a pan-seared steak with mashed potatoes. All you need is a frying pan, a pot with water, steak, potatoes and some seasoning. This combination on its own is enough to wow your dinner guests, but add a drizzle of a balsamic red wine reduction, and you’ll have everyone at the table thinking you spent all day pouring over a hot stove.

An authentic slice of France moved into the Ribbon Ridge AVA of the Willamette Valley when Bruno Corneaux and his engaging wife, Isabelle, planted a vineyard in 2014.
As a fourth generation Burgundian vintner, Corneaux’s passion to share the similarities and the differences of grape growing through captivating storytelling bridges the miles and makes visitors feel truly connected in an intimate way.

We are now accepting submissions for our fifth annual Best of the Northwest issue! Out in October, this issue will feature the top picks for wine, beer, spirits and cider the region has to offer and will announce the winners in print to more than 120,000 readers. The top three winning submissions of each category will be awarded medals and the issue will also cover industry leaders, trends, travel and products.

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