Cutting edge: Haywire and Bartier Scholefield vial samples, Tim Pawsey photo

Yesterday we took time out from our pre-holidays deadline whirl, and Zagat Survey wrap-up (hence the lack of posts here), to catch lunch with the Okanagan Crushpad gang and consulting winemaker  Alberto Antonini.

His best quote of the day was:

“If I was a yeast, I wouldn’t want to spend my life in stainless steel!”, which led to an update on OCP’s new concrete eggs, in service at the now fully operational winery.

The other, equally memorable but more troubling comment was that the life of the average commercial vineyard (read chemically farmed) is now considered to be about 20 years. Needless to say, Antonini, whose method is to be as non-interventionist as possible—reminds us it really is “all about fruit integrity.”

Lunch was in ‘the garage’ at Edible Canada at the Market. If you haven’t seen it yet, this is a very functional, casual private room, created by a glass garage door that neatly closes off the noise, but not the light, from the main bistro and kitchen. Could be the town’s most exhibitionist dining room—next to Yew, of course.

General comments:

David likes his rosé, Tim Pawsey photo

• Bartier Scholefield 2010 Rosé gets better every time we taste it. Looks pretty too. Lovely salmon colour in the glass, raspberry earthy notes on top. But, “Really, who cares about descriptors?” asks the (ever unbiased) David Scholefield, who notes:

“It’s dang delicious!”

“The best use for Gamay.”

and, above all,

Rosé you can gargle with” …

—and an excellent match with Edible’s winter frisée salad, arguably the best use of frisée ever, thanks mainly to its lashings of lardons.

The wine is $25-ish at Private Wine Stores in BC.

Edible Canada scallop and smoked tomato vinaigrette, Tim Pawsey

• It was also good to revisit Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris 2010, ($23-ish PWS) which has become more textured, citrus toned and mineral-y complex, with some zingy acidity, all of which served to bump the wow factor on Edible’s Qualicum Bay scallops with peppy chorizo and an assertive, wonderfully smokey tomato vinaigrette.

We’re thinking we’ll be back. Very soon.