For some reason we have not been drinking very much wine lately, likely because I cannot remember the last time we cooked a meal and a good bottle of wine is not always appropriate with frozen pizza. So this week we decided to change that. Monday night we did not cook but rather made a trip to Urban Fare to pick up a nice dinner. This night we chose a bottle of 2005 Cedar Creek Estate Select Pinot Noir. We chose it mainly because we had two bottles and thought that we might want to get into the second one as well. Cedar Creek is located in the Okanagan Valley south of Kelowna close to Peachland. They produce a Classic, an Estate Select and a Platinum Reserve series each year. We purchased these two bottles from the BC Wine Information Center in Penticton about a year ago. If you have never been there it is a great place to choose from a large selection of Okanagan Wines without having to go to each winery individually.

Now back to the wine. While we do not pretend to be wine authorities, we do know what we like and what we do not. This Pinot Noir was medium red in color, not too dark and had a fruity, but not too fruity aroma. It had a bit of a spicy taste but was very smooth and is definitely on our ‘like’ list. Cedar Creek does make a number of wines that we like (including a Syrah and a Meritage) which we tend to forget about but will look for on our next trip.

Later in the week after another trip to Urban Fare we opened a bottle of 2005 Mission Hill Reserve Shiraz. Mission Hill is located just south of Kelowna across the floating bridge. We bought two bottles of this Shiraz and several other varieties during a visit to the winery last fall. The winery courtyard is a great retreat from busy Highway 97 and the view of the valley and Lake Okanagan are spectacular. The wine itself was very dark in color (almost black) and had a very spicy/peppery aroma which was a bit too strong at first but mellowed after the wine was allowed to breathe. The best word to describe the flavor is ‘big’, rich with some oak and is very enjoyable. The Reserve series is definitely worth the upgrade from the winery’s basic ‘Five Vineyards’ series.

The next day we tried a 2007 Red Rooster Bantam (white wine) with a seafood dinner. Red Rooster is located on the Naramata bench near Penticton and last fall we decided to participate in the winery’s Adopt-a-Row Program. We were not able to attend the spring event for members but had our wine shipped to us at home and this was the first bottle that we tried. The wine was very fruity and ‘fresh’ with a very pale color and a citrus smell. While we enjoyed the wine with our meal, we will try the next bottle on the patio on a warm summer day as it is light and fruity enough to be enjoyed on its own. It also reminded us that we should try more white wine this summer as we always tend to steer towards the red section of wine shops.

We managed to have three ‘almost homemade’ meals (thanks to Urban Fare) with three good bottles of wine (thanks to the Okanagan valley). Not bad for a busy week!

Comments about this post, email tara AT