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Living the Dream

Quails’ Gate Winery

Last weekend I took a little road trip to Kelowna in BC’s Okanagan to support my friends as they competed in the Ironman Challenge in Penticton. I took this opportunity to do a wine tour at Quails Gate Estate Winery (cuz it’s wrong to visit the Okanagan in the summer without stopping in at at least one winery…)

I headed to the winery with my friend Bruce around lunch time. I had heard that their food was incredible and their patio was amazing, so I wanted to see for myself.

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We started with the Wild Coast Mussels and Clams (shallots, garlic, parsley, tomato broth, grilled crostini), and then I moved on to the delicious Albacore Tuna “Tartine” (confit tomato, egg, potato salad, pickles & olive house made focaccia, anchovy vinaigrette), and Bruce had the Yarrow Meadows Duck Leg Confit (quinoa and cabbage salad, sprouted beans, carrot, cilantro, cucumber, mirin dressing). We paired our meals with a bottle of the 2012 Chenin Blanc, and it was a party in my mouth! See more of the menu here.

Mussels at Quails Gate Winery    Tuna Tartine at Quails Gate Winery

 

After lunch we took a walk around the vineyard and took a little afternoon break to take in this gorgeous view:

Mariska at Quails Gate Winery

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From there (after dreaming of never leaving), we headed into the tasting room and tasted their delicious wines. Having had the Chinin Blanc with lunch, we tasted the Dry Riesling, the Rose, and the Quails’ Gate Old Vines Foch. I have to say that I enjoyed the whites and the rose more than the red, but all were excellent!

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Then, of course, we couldn’t leave without doing a little shopping! (I might have left with half a dozen bottles of fermented goodness…)

If you’re a lover of food and you appreciate good wine, I would highly recommend visiting the Quails’ Gate Estate Winery in Kelowna. I can’t wait to get back to the Okanagan to sample some of the other wonderful wineries! Who’s coming with me?? : )

Which Okanagan wineries have you visited? Please share your experience and recommendations in the comments below.

Travel to Bali: Vancouver to Taipei

Right from my check in experience at the Vancouver airport (YVR), I was very impressed by China Airlines and their efforts to accommodate my seat request for my 13 hours flight from YVR to Taipei (TPE) Taiwan. My seat was decent to begin with, 9A by the window fairly close to the front of the Airbus 330-300, but the clerk at the desk said he could probably do better for me and find a similar seat with an empty one beside me as the flight was only at 70% capacity. He would let me know at the gate if he was able to make the change. And SUCCESS! I ended up in 12K, a window seat on the opposite side, with the whole row to myself! YES!

The flight was smooth for the most part, a few bumps and fasten seat belt warnings along the way, but nothing major. The food was… well… it was airline food… But surprisingly, I was able to sleep away about 7 hours of the flight… Almost like a time machine deleting these hours from the flight time! 🙂

The landing at Taipei was smooth. There was an attendant waiting there to help passengers find their next gate. So after a short train ride and a bit of a walk, I found Gate 1A, complete with drunk-airport-crazy-lady and all!

When I first arrived at the gate, drunk-airport-crazy-lady was passed out at the end of the people mover (you know, those escalators that don’t actually escalate? they are just flat people movers)… Then I decided to find myself a snack and some tea, and when I passed her for the second time, she was awake and ranting at everyone who passed her. Then she stumbled her way to my gate, and caused a bit of a ridiculous scene. Yelling, screaming and waving her arms like a crazy person. (ah-hem, straight jacket please!) The airport crew then moved her to a separate area in hopes, I think, to calm her down… But lemme tell ya, I sure hoped she wouldn’t end up on my 5-hour flight from Taipei to Denpasar!

Honestly, I’d be surprised if they let her on a plane at all…. but no security had shown up yet, so who knew…? If this was Vancouver, they would have tackled, pepper sprayed, tazed and handcuffed her by now! (ok, ok, bad joke… but still… the point is that this would never be acceptable airport behaviour at YVR…)

Anyway, now I have some dude sitting behind me in the waiting area and a China Airlines worker, who claimed to be the purser for our flight, hijacked his guitar and played Eric Clapton tunes flawlessly! Loved it!

Hehe, if the rest of my trip is this interesting, I think the next month will be an amazing one!

I later ended up talking to said “dude” with guitar (who ended up being from Vancouver Island) and he was telling me how he got upgraded to business class on his flight from Miami to Taipei and how great that was. I was pretty happy having an empty seat beside me, but I had to agree that a 13 hour flight in business class would have kicked ass!

So, that’s it for the first leg of my 30-hour travel adventure. Stay tuned for Part II in my next post about the flight from Taipei to Denpasar