Rites of Spring #8 – Tasting menu and wine at SIPS James Bay

SIPS Artisan Bistro 25 dollar Wine sampling meal - you kidding me?!Going to regret blogging this big time.

Wine tasting and meal… at SIPS in James Bay… once a month.
And dig this: Appetizer, entree and dessert + 7 wines.

For $25.
Not a misprint. Twenty five smackers.

I had the seafood chowder and the baked halibut on a bed of leek infused mashed potatoes. Apple crumble for dessert. Andrea had the cheese plate and the pork belly confit plus the caramel cheesecake for dessert. Friend Alan M. had green salad with smoked salmon and the pork belly with Tiramisu for dessert. Friend Steve P. had chowder, Halibut and crumble. Sharon P. had cheese plate, Halibut and Tiramisu.

The featured wines were from Hillside Estate Winery – Penticton B.C. Canada:

Ottonel – 100% Muscat Ottonel grown on their estate – Only wine of its kind produced in the Okanagan Valley. A very light and fruity white wine.

Gamay Noir Planted in 1984, Gamay Noir vines are some of the oldest in the Okanagan Valley. Barrel aged for 8 months, this wine is made in a Burgundian-style, resulting in a medium bodied, fruit forward wine. Raspberry and cedar notes highlight the aroma with a silky texture on the palate.

Un-oaked Pinot Gris Stainless fermented Pinot Gris shines with fresh fruit, white peach, citrus and melon are backed by a bright core of tree-fruit flavours – bright finish.

Oaked Pinot Gris Made from fruit sourced from the Naramata and Black Sage benches and fermented in both stainless vats and Hungarian oak barrels. Orange blossoms and vanilla mingle with tropical fruit aromas followed by a rich and supple mid-palate.

S. African Pinotage Fruit was sourced from a single family vineyard in Oliver. A deep black currant aroma dusted with sagebrush, toasted nutmeg, and mesquite is echoed on the palate along with Mission fig, racy spice and leather. Aged 9 months.

Syrah From grapes sourced from our Hidden Valley vineyard on the Naramata Bench. The wine is full-bodied, rich and fruity – tasted blackberries and dark spice.

Rosé A blend of Merlot, Syrah and Gamay sourced primarily from their Naramata Bench vineyard. Wild berries and Cherry on the palate + long finish.

Hillside Estate Winery Penticton B.C CanadaWe showed up at 6PM and left at 9PM – 3 hours of great conversation, food and drink at an astounding $25/person less healthy tip. It is not often we say yes to a completely different eating event on a couple of days notice but this really worked for us – made a few new friends in the process and hooked up with some fine wines and awesome eats. My buddy Alan’s partner works as a sous chef at SIPS and we were knocked out by the quality of the offerings. I would compare SIPS quite favorably to a local eatery like CAFE BRIO. Yup, that good!

Now listen up readers! I hope to do this again in a month. Seating is limited and you can put yourself down for an e-mail alert on events (and I did) – but I discourage anyone else from doing this or going to this eating/drinking event. We loved it… but we are pretty sure you won’t. 🙂