I was up for some revelry this week and found myself in one of downtown Kelowna’s newer music venues, the Revelry Food+Music Hub at 1383 Ellis St. 

Housed in a location that once served as an apple packing warehouse, Revelry has been transformed into a spacious live music venue, capable of accommodating up to 600 patrons. It marries rustic elegance with an industrial flair, creating a unique ambiance. The venue boasts a large, 35-foot stage, reminiscent of the loading docks once prevalent in the area’s packing house district. 

The bar pays homage to the venue’s heritage, featuring the labels from vintage apple boxes. 

In true Sippin’ Pretty fashion, I ask if they have wine. The answer is yes and on tap!

I opt for one of my favourite Rosé wines in the Okanagan, Dirty Laundry’s Hush Rosé. This 2022 vintage is a blend of red varieties, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Once again, the cellar crew at the Summerland-based winery have blended a savoury sipper, this one juicy with bright red apple, cranberry and ripe strawberry flavours.

The Revelry team partnered with several local wineries to offer these wines on tap, including four reds, three whites and the lovely pink in my glass.

 

Intrigued by the listings, I ask for a taster of the unoaked Chardonnay from Haywire. The golden liquid is as I remember: crispy and zingy.

I choose something bolder for my friend, and he’s pleasantly satisfied with the Lakeside Cellars Portage Red. It’s a Bordeaux-style blend crafted in the South Okanagan that is deep, dark, and complex. We’re not sure what mischief the Revelry team got up when sourcing this beauty because, by the bottle, the wine is exclusive to wine club members only.

My Hush is a worthy complement to the food offering, including a vegan twist on slow-cooked BBQ: a Pulled Eggplant Bao Bun. Ginger and hoisin add umami flavour to the roasted vegetables, and the zing of the pickled cucumber and cabbage salad offers crunch and creaminess. 

Kudos to the Revelry team for sourcing B.C. wines for this hip music venue. For a winery, securing a spot on any menu can sometimes be a formidable challenge as they try to rise above a swell of competing world wines.

At the recent Vancouver International Wine Festival trade tastings, Okanagan wineries presented their finest bottles to restaurant owners and liquor store proprietors aiming to secure coveted spots on menus and shelves.

Sipping my way through the tables of B.C. wineries, I found a few gems I hope we can find on restaurant menus this spring.

Founding partner Rolf de Bruin pouring at Vancouver’s Cornucopia event.

The 2022 Pinot Blanc from Lake Breeze was a show-stopper for me. This signature white wine from the Naramata Bench winery is a consistent award winner. Fruity and bright, with a whiff of sweet honeysuckle, this Pinot Blanc awaits your next sun-soaked afternoon.  

It was an honour to have my glass filled by Fort Berens Estate Winery founder, Heleen Pannekoek, decked in her bright (and on-brand) orange blazer. Pannekoek has been a force behind the push to add the emerging wine region from the Lillooet area to the B.C. wine map. The climate in Lillooet is very similar to the traditional grape-growing regions in the Okanagan Valley, with long, hot, dry summers. However, cooler nights preserve the fresh, crisp acidity in the wines.

The Riesling is a fine example of this classic table white: aromatic, balanced and refreshing. Here’s a poster child for cool-climate Canadian wines that offer bright acidity, which can enhance the natural flavours and add a vibrant character to any meal.

There are still tickets ($60) for tonight’s show at the Revelry Food+Music Hub. Blues on the Balcony, billed as “a moveable, consumable beer-hall feast + show,” sees Blue Moon Marquee take to the stage. The kitchen staff has paired up with the team at West Kelowns’s Lakesider Brewery Co. to offer a selection of pairings and pours. The feasting takes place on the open balcony of the Revelry, which offers great sightlines from which to see the artists and take in the grandeur of the venue. 

Watch for more insider takes on venues in the upcoming Thompson Okanagan Trends Magazine as their writers dive into the Okanagan live music scene. Subscribe to Trends.


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