Allison Markin is the food and libations columnist for the Penticton Western News. Western News file photo

Okanagan Taste: Snacks and what to pair with them

Your guide to for the go-to snacks and beverage pairings for sports season

At this time of year, a triad of “sportsing” happens.

It’s post-season in baseball. Start of season in hockey. And just the season of football. Each year I have a look at what to enjoy, food and drink wise, for your sport of choice. Most years, I get depressed that the Jays aren’t playing and I can’t suggest, that buttery popcorn and a bottle of Steller’s Jay Brut is great for baseball date night.

Maybe a Houston Astros game with chicken-fried steak and a pumpkin ale instead? Or deep-dish Chicago pizza paired with the Cubs and a bottle of Cabernet Franc? Last year I suggested dill pickle Spitz with a fragrant, flavourful gin. I stick by that pairing.

And, I stick by Hawkin’s Cheezies as a staple of fall snack food, and note that I have served them recently with an un-peated Scotch, and a California bourbon for those seeking something with a hint of caramel. Eventually, the drink overpowers the bright orange snack, and then it’s time to cool your palate with salted caramel ice cream and a small glass of Madeira.

Speaking of ice cream, according to a report that recently floated by on social media, Canadians eat more of this treat in the winter than during any other time of the year. Relive summer with strawberry ice cream and the last bottle of your rosé. And there’s your pairing with Hockey Night in Canada. Vanilla ice cream? Pour on some ice wine made from red wine grapes for fruit flavour. Chocolate? Maybe an Okanagan port-style wine or a stout.

I have yet to appreciate football, but this year I am watching some of it for the political discourse. For that reason, it may be good to remain sober for the games. Start checking out gourmet hot chocolate recipes in preparation for tailgate parties in the cold. Pumpkin spice hot chocolate? Why not. It’s on trend and is a tip to Halloween. Truffle hot chocolate, chocolate chip cookie hot chocolate — it’s all out there by simply asking Siri or Google.

Pass the salt and vinegar chips and a glass of pinot gris.

Save the Date (click the links for more info)

Oct. 21, Penticton: Tickets are on sale for Penticton’s Oktoberfest at the Trade and Convention Centre.

Oct. 21, Oliver: Hester Creek hosts a long table dinner with Chef Rod Butters, author of the new cookbook, An Okanagan Table: The Art of Everyday Cooking. Call 250-498-4435 ext 228 to reserve.

Oct. 24, Penticton: Liquidity Winery teams up with Okanagan College for the third installment of Wine Talks, this time featuring John Peller, Chair and CEO of Andrew Peller Ltd.

Oct. 26, West Kelowna: Join a wine education seminar and learn to blend wine at Quail’s Gate.

Oct. 27, Kelowna: CedarCreek After Hours, an intimate gathering in the wineshop, takes place on Friday nights with live music and canapes.

Oct. 28, Naramata: Bench 1775 hosts a multicourse harvest dinner, limited seating.

Fridays till Dec. 1, Okanagan Falls: Enjoy a three-course dinner at Liquidity Bistro with wine pairings.

Oct. 13-30, Vernon: Take a road trip to Vernon for Dine Around Downtown, as ten restaurants prepare special three-course menus.

Nov. 4, Penticton: Front Street Brasserie hosts a winemaker’s dinner with Blasted Church. Call 236-422-2008 to book your seats

Nov. 5, Summerland: Saxon Estate Winery hosts Flamin’ Pumpkin Chunkin. Pumpkins are fired up and tossed by a professional Trebuchet crew.

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