While in the Okanagan, in trying to book a reservation for supper, we found that the restaurant, the Cellar Door Bistro was closed for a private function, Feast for your Senses at Sumac Ridge. To our delight we found out that there were 2 spots left for the dinner menu wine paring that evening, the first day of the fall wine festival.
"Oh.. I don't think we should wear these!!!"
On arrival, we were greeted with Sumac Ridge sparkling wine and given eye blinders and asked to use them before each dish was served. It was a four-course meal paired with wine with commentary by Christa Lee McWatters-Bond and blindfolding was to heighten our sense of taste and smell. Some of the people like Boris and Sonja were not too pleased to be blindfold and that was the beginning of this couple bickering most of the evening.
The prawns were plump and juicy. Although the tomato froth was sweet and tasty, none of us could distinguish the taste as been smoky. The variety of greens used were not recognised by anyone us.
With blinders on, we were asked to identify the smell of the next dish. The presentation was very clever! A bowl off mushroom soup was placed into a larger bowl that had fresh cedar, pine, rosemary and thyme. The fragrance of cedar and pine filled the air as hot water was poured over to release the forest essence. The soup, although tasty was served lukewarm and did not scream out wild mushrooms given the variety of wild mushrooms pureed for the soup, ie oyster, chanterelles. lobster mushrooms, pine.
For this serving when blindfolded, large martini glasses were passed around with chopped green peppers, coffee beans, and peppercorns and after smelling each glass we were asked to taste and identify the wine. Only one person was able to identify the wine as a meritage.
Sumac Ridge was the first winery outside of the United States to produce. Meritage are wines blended from traditional "noble" Bordeaux varieties according to set standards.
The beef tenderloin was served with a small bowl with about ¼ cup of vanilla olive oil powder. This was to be sprinkled on the beef which I unfortunately sprinkled all of it on my meat and it tended to over power the taste of the beef, Bill felt the piece of meat was very small. The smoked potato croquette, which plated with the meat on top was soggy and didn’t compliment the dish.
Chocolate Pana Cotta , Mint Syrup with 2007 Gewurztraminer Ice Wine
The remarks around this dessert where comical as the American at our table kept trying to decide whether it was Crème brûlée or mousse. The Chocolate Panna Cotta was heavy, firm and not very chocolate tasting! The texture was not creamy. It really lacked taste, even with the mint syrup. Paring with the dessert with Gewürztraminer icewine was way too sweet.