Allison Markin is the food and libations columnist for the Penticton Western News. She can be reached at Allison@AllSheWrote.ca and on Twitter @OkanaganTaste.

Allison Markin is the food and libations columnist for the Penticton Western News. She can be reached at Allison@AllSheWrote.ca and on Twitter @OkanaganTaste.

Markin: What to tailgate with while watching Blue Jays and other sports

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

Now that the Blue Jays are safely in the MLB playoffs, hockey is starting, and one of the most popular wine and food pairing graphics on Pinterest is what to drink at your tailgate party during football season, it’s time to revisit a critical topic:  what to drink with all of these games?

I’ve previously examined this topic, and in the couple of years since I first wrote about it, have tried to develop an appreciation for football. I have not been successful. But, the snacking options I can get behind. Hawkins Cheezies, to start, pair well with whiskey. Specifically, a Canadian Rye whiskey, because both are Canadian-made, and it’s good to be patriotic. Time for some Crown Royal.

Speaking of which, the Jays. The obvious wine choice is Steller’s Jay Brut from Sumac Ridge, but maybe let’s save the bubbly for when they advance to the World Series. Meanwhile, the snack of choice for baseball:  Spitz. Long gone are the days of simply salted sunflower seeds. Dill Pickle? Not bad with a fragrant gin and tonic. Ampersand Gin from the Cowichan Valley is good straight up, and very cold.

BBQ Spitz? After extensive taste tests, pairs well with a slightly fruit forward red wine, as these Spitz have some sweetness. Quail’s Gate Merlot, or a lighter Pinot Noir – I sacrificed my last bottle from Eau Vivre in the Similkameen – or even a Gamay Noir.

If you’re munching on Rainbow Spitz, covered in chocolate and a candy-coated shell, it’s probably time for a port-style wine, and to ask yourself why you didn’t just get a big bag of M&Ms and call it a day.

Hockey is back, and often the default is a good Canadian beer. At least buy local from any of the local breweries, especially if your favourite pizza is en route. Why does pizza pair well with beer? The cheese and richness of pizza, combined with the bready crust, needs a carbonated palette cleanser to refresh your taste buds for the next slice.

But if you’re playing on the ice theme, how about an icewine cocktail? A simple option is a shot if icewine in your vodka, skip the vermouth. Or a suggestion from Monte Creek Ranch:  a white icewine, vodka, pomegranate juice, ginger ale. Enjoy in a martini glass.

And if you’re trying to be healthy and include a veggie tray in you sports “snackage”, aim for a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, or Viognier. Or maybe a nice glass of water.

Save the date:

Oct. 7 and 8 — Cropped by Valley First takes place at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, bringing 80 wineries under one roof. thewinefestivals.com

Oct. 8 — The Perfect Pairing of Wine and Cheese at Upper Bench Winery. Sample wines and artisan cheese from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Oct. 19 — Family Dinner, Front Street Brasserie: Four-course family-style dinner, limited seating. $45 per person. Call 236-422-2008 to reserve.

Oct. 20 — Brewphoria, Tree Brewing, Kelowna:  10 casks from 10 Okanagan breweries, $25.www.treebrewingbeerinstitute.com

Oct. 22 — Oktoberfest, Penticton: The seventh annual, beer, dancing, food, and wine.pentictonoktoberfest.ca

Nov. 1 — Join Bad Tattoo Brewery for their third annual release party of the 2016 edition of Cerveza Fuerte and La Resurreccion. Tickets are $40 and includes a collector bottle of Dia de Los Muertos Cerveza Fuerte. www.badtattoobrewing.com

Friday and Saturdays, Dinner features, BRODO:  Each Friday and Saturday night, BRODO in downtown Penticton features a special dinner, rotating through perogies, gnocchi, ribs, burgers.www.tastebrodo.com/blog/

Allison Markin is the food and libations columnist for the Penticton Western News. She can be reached at Allison@AllSheWrote.ca and on Twitter @OkanaganTaste.