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Julie Planiden
 
February 26, 2015 | Julie Planiden

Cheese in British Columbia - Happy Days Dairies

 

In the Shuswap area of the North Okanagan is a productive organic goats cheese company called Happy Days.

Happy Days Dairies mission is to produce premium quality, 100% Canadian, Goat and Organic cow dairy products with the utmost care and attention given to farmers, animals, customers and business partners.  Each one of their dairy farmers is committed to treating their animals humanely with access to clean bedding, dry and warm shelter, open air barns, access to the outdoors, pastures, fresh clean air, high quality nutritious and natural food, clean and fresh water. They encourage their goats and cows to engage in their natural behavior by placing them in social groups where they can live in a herd to run and play.

Happy Days Dairies vision is to be the leader in producing 100% Canadian Goat Dairy and Organic Cow Dairy products without compromise on quality, service and the humane treatment of their animals.

Here are some interesting wine and goat cheese pairings:

Sauvignon Blanc - The crispness of this wine is a perfect accompaniment to the soft creamy Okanagan Goat Cheese - This soft unripened cheese is available in several flavours, including: Plain, Garlic and Parsley, Lemon Pepper, and Olive Oil and Rosemary.  Try it in summer salads or on crackers with this elegant wine.

NV Brut - The saltiness of this cheese lends itself to the effervescence of the Brut Sparkling.  On a crostini or with salad, bubbles and feta are an interesting match.  Goat Cheese Feta - available in crumbles or brine. Fresh and tangy.

Pinot Gris - The rich butteriness of Pinot Gris will capture the nuttiness and depth of character in this Organic Gouda - mild flavoured with a semi firm texture & creamy taste with a hint of nut on the finish.  Grate on salads, add to pastas or enjoy on its own with some crackers and jelly.

 

Happy Days Dairies
691 Salmon River Rd
Salmon Arm, BC
V1E 3E9
Sales and Customer Service 250-899-1445
info@happydaysdairy.com
 

Time Posted: Feb 26, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Julie Planiden
 
February 10, 2015 | Julie Planiden

Valentine's Day

No matter what your views are on Valentine's Day from worth celebrating to way too commercial, one simple thing that you can do is enjoy some sparkling wine and celebrate with your special someone. 

We have four Sparkling wines to choose from 2006 Reserve Brut, 2007 Blanc de Blancs, 2010 Brut Rosé and the NV Brut. See below a recent review by Beppi Crosariol from the Globe and Mail of our Brut Rose sparkling wine:

Brut Rosé R.D. 2010: "The colour is an enticing delicate rose-petal pink, like a faint blush on a pretty face. It’s serious bubbly from one of Canada’s best sparkling wine producers, aged for 36 months in contact with the bottled yeast prior to having the sediment disgorged. Bone dry in that electric Blue Mountain style, it shows bright lemon, green apple, berry and toasty baguette flavours over a satisfyingly chalky texture."

We suggest starting the evening off with some bubbly. Looking for a super easy appetizer to enjoy? Try this recipe for Smoked Salmon and Caper Cream Cheese Toasts and pair it with our 2010 Brut Rosé Sparkling wine.

If you plan to treat your loved one with a special Valentine's Dinner, consider any of the locations in the Okanagan or Lower Mainland where Blue Mountain Sparkling wine can be enjoyed.

Reviews for our other Sparkling wines can be found on our website.

Happy Valentine's Day!

 

 

Time Posted: Feb 10, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Julie Planiden
 
January 29, 2015 | Julie Planiden

Cheese in British Columbia - Natural Pastures

 

 

This story is about green meadows, happy cows, fresh thinking and age-old cheese making traditions taking place in the lush landscape of Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley.

Natural Pastures specialty artisan cheeses are known for having a unique, delicious taste or “terroir”, developed from the fresh, pure milk which the pristine soils, waters and pastures produce here in the Comox Valley.  The animals are stress free and live in healthy environments. Because the cows eat the local grass and herbs, generously watered by Pacific Ocean-soaked rain, the milk used to make the cheese has its own “terroir” or distinct flavour. The term is familiar to wine-makers, where different regions have their distinct terroirs.

Selected local dairy farms are committed to environmental sustainability, and the natural wildlife habitat has been enhanced. Their enhanced stream habitats raise thousands of wild Coho Salmon each year. Their pure, fresh milk complements Natural Pastures artisanal cheese-making traditions which are managed by Doug Smith and Paul Sutter, head cheesemaker, leading their dedicated team to capture the essence of the unique flavours of the privileged environment of Comox Valley with their fine artisan handmade cheeses. Edgar notes that “Natural Pastures Cheese Company’s world-class cheeses are due in part to the traditional Swiss training and professional accreditation of their cheesemaker, originally from Switzerland, and to the consistent and hard work of all the employees of Natural Pastures at their federally inspected production facility in the city of Courtenay.”

Here are some wine and cheese pairings worth trying:

Pinot Gris - Buffalo Brie - An exotic twist on their world champion Comox Brie, their new Buffalo Brie is the very essence of traditional and inspired cheesemaking. Rich water buffalo milk from the Island transforms this cheese’s texture and allows your taste buds to explore new pathways. The creaminess of this brie will compliment the rich creamy notes of the Pinot Gris with enough acidity to bring out the earthy character of the cheese.

NV Brut - Parmadammer - A parmesan style cheese with a deep, rich nutty flavour. Available at the cheese shop and farmers markets. Sparkling is a natural partner for stronger, harder cheeses.  Try it with some spicy pecans.

Pinot Blanc - Boerenkaas - Dutch for ‘Farmer’s Cheese,’ award-winning Boerenkaas has a sweet nutty flavour and bold, tangy finish. Superb in soups, salads, omelettes and pizzas.  The sweet nutty flavour and tangy finish will match the Pinot Blanc simplicity and bring out the best in both. 

Cheese Factory & Shop
635 McPhee Avenue
Courtenay, BC
Canada V9N 2Z7
Tel: 250 334 4422
Toll Free: 1 866 244 4422

Time Posted: Jan 29, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Chantelle Bruwer
 
December 23, 2014 | Chantelle Bruwer

Staff Selections: Christmas Holiday Traditions

A few of our Staff members shared their favourite Christmas Holiday Traditions - Dinner Ideas and Wine pairings!

 

Christie Mavety & Jason Michiel

"Jason Michiel is the chef in our household and therefore I would like to add his input…Our tradition on Christmas eve is to have Cassoulet and pair it with a Beaujolais Cru, Daniel Bouland Morgon", Christie.

Recipe: Smoked Sausage Cassoulet

Wine pairing: Beaujolais Cru, Daniel Bouland Morgon


Ernst & Chantelle Bruwer

"Christmas in South Africa is in the middle of summer, so Christmas tradition would be to enjoy Cold Cuts - think Ham, Leg of Lamb and lots of salads for Christmas Eve or for Christmas lunch. Since we will be Celebrating Christmas in Canada this year, we will make a traditional South African Chicken Pie (Meraai se Paai), Roasted Potatoes and Veggies. Our wines of choice would be Hamilton Russel Chardonnay, Hemel en Aarde Valley, South Africa or Blue Mountain's Estate Chardonnay", Chantelle.

Recipe: Chicken Pie ("Meraai se Pie")

Wine pairing: Hamilton Russell Chardonnay or Blue Mountain Chardonnay


Julie and Roger Planiden

" A holiday tradition in our family is to have lobster for Christmas Eve (which happens to be my birthday) We always pair this with a rich buttery Chardonnay.  While Roger is preparing dinner we always enjoy a glass or two of bubble. Some of our favourite chardonnays are: MerSoleil, Rombauer, La Crema Chardonnay" , Julie

 


Bill Adams and Petra

"For many years this French Canadian classic was prepared by my Grandmother for our family dinner on Christmas Day, and it is a tradition that I still carry on. Chef David Lee has added venison for a slight twist, which provides a more “gamey” taste to compliment this rustic dish", Bill

Recipe: Venison and Pork Tourtière

Wine pairing: Blue Mountain Gamay Noir, Quails Gate Old Vines Foch Reserve or Pfaffenheim ‘Steinert’ Grand Cru Gewürztraminer

 

Do you have Holiday traditions? Feel free to share them in the comments section below. Happy Holidays!

Time Posted: Dec 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Julie Planiden
 
October 14, 2014 | Julie Planiden

Sparkling goes with everything!

   
The old adage is sparkling with everything.  But is that really true? 
 
When pairing sparkling wine and food the acidity of the wine is key. There are some classic pairings – caviar, oysters – but there are also more unexpected foods that might surprise you.
 
Potato Chips - Take a lesson from the Brits, the crunch, saltiness and fattiness of a great potato chip will sing with a sparkling wine with some good acidity.  Sparkling Rose is also an extraordinary match, both will make the other better.
 
Sushi and an extra dry sparkling refreshes the palate between bites of raw fish and delicate sushi rice.  Some of the compatibility comes from the high yeast content of both Sparkling and soy sauce.
 
Indian Food! Crunchy poppadoms can be perfect with Sparkling.  Makes a great snack or starter, kick it up with some mint sauce, mango chutney or raita.

 

Breakfast, more specifically eggs, a rich eggs benny and your favorite sparkling are the best way to start your day.
 
Cheeses - Full-bodied Sparkling pair quite well with hard cheeses such as Cheddar, Gouda and Parmesan while lighter bodied Sparkling complement soft cheeses such as goat cheese and brie. 

 

Fish n Chips, another British specialty.  The mousse or fizz of the bubbly work with the crispy skin of the chips and the acidity again cuts through the oil in the batter.  Casual but elegant.

 

Fruit, different types of fruit naturally, sit better with different types of Sparkling. At the top of the fruit list are berries. They lend a sweetness to the palate that accompanies the flavour of a light sparkling. Stone fruits such as peaches and plums can also pick out some of the flavours in Sparkling.

 

Sparkling does go with everything but try it for yourself.  Experiment with a wide range of foods.  You could even host a party where everyone needs to bring bubble and something to try with it.  Either way it is meant to be fun. Let us know what your favourite pairings are with sparkling wine. Most importantly enjoy!

 

Our 2010 Brut Rosé R.D., 2007 Blanc de Blancs and 2006 Reserve Brut will be released on Monday, October 27th. Check back next Tuesday for Chantelle's blog, "Where to enjoy a glass of Blue Mountain Sparkling in the Lower Mainland and Whistler".
 

 

Time Posted: Oct 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Julie Planiden
 
August 28, 2014 | Julie Planiden

Cheese in British Columbia - Kootenay Alpine Cheese

  

Made in the century's old cheese making tradition of Europe, Kootenay Alpine Cheese wanted to create specialty cheese that reflected the landscape, culture and life of the place it comes from. 

Towering over Mountain Valley Farm pastures is the magnificent Thomson Mountain range. The farm is situated in the heart of the Kootenays, on benchland above the Creston Valley, 10 minutes from the Idaho border and 4 hours from the Alberta border. Mountain Valley uses no pesticides, GMO’s or chemical fertilizer on the land. They nurture and replenish the soil through many sustainable management practices, including the application of composted manure from the farm and whey from their new cheesemaking facility. The health of the herd is maintained following organic practices, with no hormones being used. They are certified organic with Pacific Agricultural Certification Society and also belong to Kootenay Local Agricultural Society whose mandate is to foster local, sustainable agriculture.

These farmstead cheeses are handcrafted following the tradition of artisan cheese-makers, and made using only the raw milk from their own certified organic herd. Each cheese is carefully aged in order to develop a rich, complex flavor that is unique to the milk, their farm, and their region. 

Wine and Cheese Pairings:

Pinot Gris & NOSTRALA: “Of this place.” A firm cheese with mild earthy notes, a subtle creamy texture, and a pale golden interior. Resembles a firm Italian Fontina, often referred to as the Italian cousin of French Gruyere.

NV Brut Sparkling & MOUNTAIN GRANA: A hard cheese modeled after an Italian Piave with a dense grainy texture and a sweet flavour, with hints of nuts and fruit. With extra aging, a full-bodied flavour develops, resembling a young Parmigiano Reggiano.

Chardonnay & ALPINDON: “Gift of the Alpine,” Their premium cheese, is a firm cheese carefully modeled after French Beaufort d’Alpage. Following centuries old tradition this cheese is hand-rubbed and made only with milk from summer pastures. It exhibits a smooth nut flavour, a complex finish, a rich golden interior and a dark textured rind. Additional aging concentrates its flavours, deepens its complexity, and increases the sweet crystals that develop throughout the body of the cheese.

Alpine Cheese Company
3071 16th Street
Creston BC (on the corner of Sinclair Rd and 16th St, and right beside the Lister Park)
250-428-9655
info@kootenayalpinecheese.com

SUMMER HOURS:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
10:00am to 5:00pm
(May to Thanksgiving)

WINTER HOURS:
Saturdays only
10:00am - 5:00pm
(Thanksgiving to May)

 

Time Posted: Aug 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Julie Planiden
 
July 31, 2014 | Julie Planiden

Cheese in British Columbia - Salt Spring Island

   

Salt Spring Island Cheese Company specializes in handmade goat and sheep cheeses.  Started in 1994, they made cheese for 2 years and then started selling it in 1996. Known for their chèvres, they also make several other types of goat cheeses (feta cheeses, surface ripened cheeses, and even a hard cheese).

The cheese is made at their farm on Salt Spring Island, off Canada's west coast, and while you can buy their cheese as far east as Toronto, you are encouraged to come to the island, wander the farm and taste the cheese fresh for yourself.

On Reynolds Road, about 2 kilometers from Fulford Harbour, and only a short detour on the way to Ruckle Park. Also at the Saturday market in the grace point park on Saturdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. when the market's open.

Wine and Cheese Pairings:

Sauvignon Blanc - Sauvignon Blanc and Chèvre goat cheese were made for each other.  Any of the chèvre made at Salt Spring Island cheese would go beautifully, however the simplicity of the Flower Chèvre really brings out the brightness and acidity of the Sauvignon Blanc.

Gamay Noir - This mild blue cheese from Salt Spring Island called Blue Juliette is the perfect accompaniment on a cheese board and would be delicious on a sunny afternoon with either a slightly chilled juicy Gamay Noir or a Pinot Noir.  The earthiness in the wine is complimentary to the same characters in the cheese. 

Pinot Gris - Blue Juliette's sister cheese Juliette is made the same way only no blue mold is added.  This goat camembert loves the crisp acidity and lush stone fruit flavours of the Pinot Gris.  Have it with some apricot jelly and your cheese board will sing!

Salt Spring Island Cheese Farm Shop
285 Reynolds Road
Salt Spring Island
(250) 653-2300
May to September: 11-5 daily
October to April: 11-4 daily

 

Time Posted: Jul 31, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Chantelle Bruwer
 
July 24, 2014 | Chantelle Bruwer

A Celebration of Okanagan Bubbles with Joy Road Catering at Linden Gardens

On July 18th we were invited to pour our NV Brut Sparkling wine at an inaugural and exclusive Sparkling Wine-only event. This Gatsby-themed event got hosted by Joy Road Catering at Linden Gardens in Kaleden with pours from some of the Okanagan's favourite sparkling wine producers and food pairings from Joy Road.

 

Sumac Ridge Stellar's Jay
                -
Gruyere Gougiere with House Cured Prosciutto
Herbed Truffle Omelette

  

 

Therapy Fizziotherapy
                -
Spicy Thai Cucumber Salad with Thai Basil, Humpback Shrimp, Peanuts & Cilantro

  

 

Blue Mountain NV Brut "Gold Label"
                 -
Wild Salmon Caviar with Crème Fraiche Chantilly & Chives
Purple Potato Chips

 

  

 

 

Bella Sparkling Rosé
        -
Pissaladiere
Puff Pastry with Heirloom Tomatoes Anchovy & Caramelized Onion

  

 

 

Elephant Island Methode Champenoise Sparkling Wine
              -
Pork Belly Steam Buns with Apple, Cabbage & Picked Pink Onions

 

 

 

8th Generation Confidence
             -
Salt Cod Fritters with Local Espelette Aioli

  

 

Haywire The Bub
         -
Browned Butter Halibut Cheek
Cauliflower, Fried Capers, Lemon & Parsley

  

 

Orofino Muscato Fizzante
-
Freshly Shucked Outlandish Shellfish Oysters with Strawberry & Cracked Black Pepper Mignonette

  

 

 

 

Time Posted: Jul 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Julie Planiden
 
May 29, 2014 | Julie Planiden

Cheese in British Columbia - Village Cheese

The Village Cheese Company is a micro cheese plant based on the estate winery concept in Armstrong, BC. Their old fashion good times atmosphere will return you to a time when life was relaxed and fun. A time when delicious cheese was as close as your local dairy. When butter on your table was churned from field fresh cream just hours earlier. When a dip in the old swimming hole couldn't beat a scoop of luscious homemade ice cream.

Wine and Cheese Pairings:

Pinot Gris - A mild cheddar is a good partner for this crisp, lively wine.  Enjoy a fresh salad, and your mom's home made grilled cheese on hearty baked bread for lunch. It doesn't get any better.

NV Brut - The expression is bubbles go with everything. In this case a nice sharp parmesan crumbled on a cheese board with some crostini's just out of the oven.

The Village Cheese Company
3475 Smith Drive
Armstrong BC, VOE 1B1
Phone: 250-546-8651
Fax: 250-546-8659
vcheese@villagecheese.com

HOURS OF OPERATION:
Mon to Fri 8:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday 8:30am to 5:00pm
Sunday 9:00 am to 4:30pm

Time Posted: May 29, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Chantelle Bruwer
 
May 15, 2014 | Chantelle Bruwer

Shelter Restaurant, Tofino BC

Shelter restaurant in Tofino offers the basics - food, wine, shelter - at its best. Shelter combines a sophisticated seasonal menu with a relaxed attitude and panoramic view.

At Shelter Restaurant they use local, organic ingredients and ethically raised, all-natural meats whenever possible. The salmon, halibut, and prawns are caught by Tofino's fisherman.  The poultry is free run and farmed on Vancouver Island. Shelter offers hormone free, grass-fed beef, as well as anti-biotic and hormone free pork, including bacon from the Fraser Valley.

Located behind the restaurant is a garden they have started in 2010 that supplies produce and fresh herbs to the kitchen and bar for many months of the year. In addition, they have implemented an extensive two-tier composting program as well as a rainwater catchment system that helps reduce their dependency on the delicate municipal water source.

Shelter aims to minimize their global footprint and are happy to be able to work with like-minded suppliers. With the help of the Tofino Ucluelet Culinary Guild, they are consistently moving forward in the world of sustainability and local cuisine. "After all there is no more a gracious host than one who shares with their guests that which their habitat has provided"

Chef Matthew Kane has provided a great Pan Roasted Spring Salmon, roasted garlic emulsion, marinated asparagus & gnocchi recipe to pair with Blue Mountain Chardonnay. "To pair with the Blue Mountain Chardonnay, I have chosen a very springtime dish to compliment it’s crispness, but also chose to add some richness to the dish to compliment its buttery finish. The cream in this recipe lends really well to the hints of vanilla found in this light Chardonnay", Chef Matthew Kane - Shelter Restaurant, Tofino.

 

Shelter Restaurant
601 Campbell Street
Tofino, BC
250-725-3353
 

 

Time Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:00 AM
Christie Mavety
 
August 17, 2018 | Christie Mavety

Blue Mountain On The Road - Priorat, Spain and the i4C

Some thoughts on Spanish vineyards at 700m above sea level and the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration  Continue »

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