Wine before nine?

The coffee masters were on hand to answer participant questions on coffee. Photo SPIN

“This was great! I’ve never mixed wine and coffee before,” a friend exclaimed at the Starbucks Sparkling Brunch hosted by Voyageur Bistro (VB) during the first weekend of the 2017 Winter Okanagan Wine Festival.

It was true. I hadn’t paired the two before either but perhaps it was because I don’t generally drink in the morning? But when you’re about to be treated to a four course brunch with sparkling wine and coffee pairings it seemed like the thing to do.
The sold out event took participants through an educational morning, filled with facts on coffee and wine varieties from four certified Coffee Masters and Wayne Currier, a sommelier from Bench 1775 located in Naramata.

Built around a standout menu created and prepared by the VB team led by head chef Annie Campbell, it was a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning.
We began by learning that one doesn’t drink coffee to taste it. One slurps it. Like a gentleman.

A cold Kenyan coffee was served alongside a tuna tartar and a cute-as-a-button quail egg. The Ex Nihilo sparkling was so nice —light and fresh with wonderful zings, setting the stage for the remaining courses.

Next, the best version of French toast I’ve ever tasted came across my plate. It was thick like a cake and contained wonderful fruits. The savory and sweet notes were paired with an amazing sparkling rosé brute by Bench 1775.

A more blonde coffee was next in line with citrus notes created in a wash process with an easy drinking sparkling with fruity notes. It set off the savouriness of a frittata made with mushroom and smoked gorgonzola.

The dessert course saw a bold-tasting coffee from Africa with a wine varietal I’d never tried called a Frizzante —both were filled with berry notes and a lot flavour. Paired with an amazing berry custard tart and the similar flavours of all three components, it was a nice way to finish.

The Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival ran until Jan. 22. Look for this annual event in January 2018, which will most likely include a few opportunities to taste some vino in the morning.