Last week—on yet another glorious Okanagan summer’s day—we found ourselves on the patio at Wild Goose. Nothing unusual about that. But this was the first time I had managed to get back to check out Smoke & Oak Bistro, which they launched late last year.
Some of my best food and wine moments ever have involved barbecue and Riesling—and somehow I knew that Wild Goose would not disappoint.
They describe Smoke & Oak’s style as ‘Southern “Okanagan” BBQ infused with German Soul’—aided in no small part by a substantial, genuine Tennessee smoker.
It all fits so perfectly with the Krugers’ laid back form and honest, down to earth approach.
Chef Sarren Wolfe’s fare adds up to some of the best tasting—and best value—winery dining you can find anywhere in the Okanagan.
We indulged in succulent ribs, irresistible re-cooked beans (with Merlot reduction) and addictive späetzle (a generations old family recipe). And it went really, really well with Wild Goose Stoney Slope Riesling 2012.
It’s impossible not to be impressed by the stunning view, but even more so when you realise that this (25 year) old vines Riesling comes from the very vineyard at your feet, its meticulously tended vines marching up that gravelly slope with an abundance of small rocks left in place.
Look carefully further up and you can still see the piles of larger rocks that Adolf Kruger and family cleared when they planted. As luck would have it, we ran into Adolf in the wine shop. He reckons they moved 100,000 rocks or more, each one touched by hand.
No wonder the Stoney Slope Riesling so much embodies Wild Goose. It offers up distinctive orchard fruits and a hint of petrol on the nose, followed by a luscious, mineral toned, vibrant green apple palate, with a lingering close—and that unique stoniness is there throughout. VQA stores, $20-$22, 91 pts. And it is a perfect match for barbecue and ribs.
With its highly affordable fare—and well priced wines to go along, Wild Goose’s Smoke & Oak is fast becoming an Okanagan Falls destination.
There’s also a whole lot more than ribs, from roasted half chicken and excellent salads and desserts. Check out the full menu here