Dirty Laundry 2012 Woo Woo Vines GewürztraminerDirty Laundry 2012 Woo Woo Vines Gewürztraminer

Having attended the Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival in Banff this past weekend, I discovered a new winery in Summerland, BC called Dirty Laundry. They actually produce three different varieties of Gewürztraminer, ranging from dry to sweet depending on when the grapes are picked and how long they are allowed to ferment. If you are looking for something that is not too sweet but not too dry, go for the “Woo Woo.” For the record “woo woo” refers to unfounded or ludicrous beliefs, however I guarantee that the only thing that is ludicrous about this wine is how great it tastes! Plus it’s fun to say!

About $30 at select liquor stores. dirtylaundry.ca, @DirtyLaundryVin

— Mallory Frayn, contributor, @cuzilikechoclat
Il Sogno have released their summer menu with new dishes to try — and what better way to spend an evening than doing just that. There are lots of very tasty and tempting offerings on this menu, but here’s a starter and a pasta.

Sunchoke Velouté – Il SognoSunchoke Velouté – Il Sogno

Sunchoke Velouté sounds, and is, totally delicious. Otherwise known as Jerusalem Artichokes, sunchokes are native to Canada and have a nutty taste that makes a great soup. It’s silky and smooth with delicious toppings. I’m a Gorgonzola junkie, so that, with the toasted almonds, is icing on the cake for me.

$13.95 at Il Sogno.

Rabbit Ravioli – Il SognoRabbit Ravioli – Il Sogno

Il Sogno’s pasta is made fresh daily, and coniglio, or rabbit, is very traditional in most areas of the country. Here a generous portion arrives in a brown butter sauce with English peas and marjoram, with a sprinkling of cheese on top. Perfect for sharing after your starter and before your entreé.

$14.95 at Il Sogno, 24 4 Street NE, 403-232-8901, ilsogno.org, @ilsognocalgary

— Linda Garson, editor-in-chief/publisher, @vineanddine
Rocket and Squash Salad – Nourish Bistro (Banff)Rocket and Squash Salad – Nourish Bistro (Banff)

Nourish Bistro is a must-try restaurant in Banff; don’t let the fact that it serves only vegetarian deter you. Most of the dishes are made for sharing so we started with the Rocket (Arugula) and Squash Salad. The mix of candied beets, olives, roasted butternut squash and goat cheese was fresh and vibrant, andt he serving size was the perfect portion for two.

$14 at Nourish Bistro.

Wild Mushroom Ravioli – Nourish Bistro (Banff)Wild Mushroom Ravioli – Nourish Bistro (Banff)

For our main, we chose the Wild Mushroom Ravioli. The soft pillows of pasta covered in garlic, red pepper and lavender cream sauce filled our bellies after a day of sightseeing. As a testament to how good it was, we didn’t speak a word until our slices of toasted bread scooped the last bit of sauce up. And then we asked for more!

$28 at Nourish Bistro, 110 Bison Courtyard 211 Bear Street, Banff, 403-760-3933, nourishbistro.com, @NourishBistro

— Laura Lushington, digital media editor, @LauraLushington
Le Vieux Pin 2013 Vaïla RoséLe Vieux Pin 2013 Vaïla Rosé

A chef once told me “rosé is totally bad@ss” – meaning that a good (dry) rosé can handle just about any type of summertime eating. Despite past iterations attempting to mislead us, pink doesn’t always mean sweet; more British Columbia wineries are now hopping on the dry-is-better bandwagon. Le Vieux Pin’s Severine Pinte Kosaka taps into her Montpellier winemaking roots by crafting a traditional saigneé-method rosé made from south Okanagan pinot noir: delicate and lengthy, bursting with juiciness and finishing dry-dry. Bring on the blue skies and potlucks.

$31 at select liquor stores. levieuxpin.ca, @LeVieuxPin

— Jeannette Montgomery, contributor, @OkanaganWriting

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