Author: Laura Milnes
Silk + Coupe
Let me share my passion of food + wine with you
There are two types of people on Valentine’s Day:
Those who dine out at the hottest new restaurant, sparing no cost and splurging on a 5 course wine paired meal. Afterward, a strategically placed bear skin rug awaits them, strewn next to a crackling fire, calling for a re-enactment of something along the lines of Total Recall. Lingerie is adorned, white wine chills on ice and perfectly ripe slices of mango are hand fed - the ultimate elixir. The cherry on top - a movie the likes of “50 Shades of Grey” is screened as a final ode to the day. (I did this one year – please allow me to hide in shame now).
Alternatively, there is an outright refusal to acknowledge the day entirely, with mumblings of “cash grab”, “commercial holiday” and “everyday should be Valentine’s Day!”, allowing the day to pass inconsequentially. Football highlights reverberate in the background, while boring chicken breasts quietly roast in the oven, only to be consumed in solitary, depressing confinement with no whispering of even an unremarkable Pinot Grigio to bring it some life.
Why are these the only two options we make available to ourselves? Instead - why not eat and drink well regularly, celebrating small wins and fleeting moments, as opposed to the endless quest for fabricated and transactional events? (ie: Valentine’s Day)
Recently, a friend came to visit my partner and I. We’d prepared a meal for his arrival to enjoy after a long day of travel. The meal was something we’re accustomed to eating on the daily – miso and leek sausage with charred vegetables, atop a lentil stew, paired with BC Riesling. My friend stopped in tracks, only to utter (after he’d licked the bowl clean, no less) “Do you guys always eat this well???”.
If you slow down and take the time to enjoy the “small things”, there will be less of a nagging need to plan overt celebrations. With daily practice, you’ll feel grateful, satiated and content. (isn’t that a weird notion)
Perhaps it’s opening a bottle from Meyer Family Vineyards, for example, located in a special little pocket called Okanagan Falls, known for producing world class examples of Pinot Noir. Once you overcome the shock of enjoying a bottle of $40 pinot on a Tuesday night, you’ll come to realize that because you did open it on a Tuesday, is what made it an event. Pretty soon you’ll be planning your meals nightly around what food and wine pairing you’re going to relish in. Make sure to try it with a decadent mushroom risotto drizzled with truffle oil.
What if you opened Painted Rock’s 2015 Cabernet Franc with Thursday’s dinner – one of the Okanagan’s famed varieties. Cabernet Franc is akin to a beautiful woman – but maybe someone you didn’t initially notice. The more you look, the more you can’t look away. With each sip, the wine changes, opening up in ways you didn’t think possible - paired with something unexpected, like a pizza, loaded with kalamata olives. It’d be ok, too, if the pizza came from a less than desirable franchise like Pizza Hut – making it the ultimate hi-lo experience.
Or how about a wine to make those Monday blues melt away? Throw a bottle of Poplar Grove’s Viognier in the fridge when you leave for the office, knowing it’ll be just the right temperature for that perfect après work splash. To make it even more decadent – get a wheel of brie, cut it in half horizontally, filling it with fresh parsley, garlic and lemon juice, then bake it for 10 – 15 minutes. Paired with the viognier, you’ll forget that your week has only just begun.
It’s a sentiment we don’t cherish enough – that life truly is a cumulation of all the small moments – so why don’t we curate our world around them more? A great way to start - drinking and eating better.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Read more about Laura Milnes at Silk + Coupe