Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dining Out for Life

One of my favourite charity events of the year is always Dining Out For Life. Started in 1991, Dining Out For Life now spans 55 cities throughout Canada and the United States. As their promotional materials over the years have said, "If you only dine out once this year, make it tonight" and "It's the easiest good deed you'll do this year."

For this one day of the year, over 200 restaurants in the Vancouver area donate 25% of all their food receipts to two of my favourite charities in town. The first, A Loving Spoonful ( provides free, nutritious meals to men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS and the second, Friends For Life Society ( is a wellness centre that provides a broad range of complementary and integrative therapies and is founded on the premise that no one should face a serious illness alone.

This year, Boo wouldn't get home from work until after 8.00. So, rather than coordinate with a large group of friends, we decided to just keep things simple and head over to The Drive. I was happy to see that there were close to a dozen participating restaurants to choose from on The Drive this year. We decided on Clove as it's been one of our favourites since we moved into the area and we haven't been there in awhile.

For the last couple of years, Sumac Ridge Winery has been a major sponsor of Dining Out For Life. For the entire month of March, the winery donates $1 from every bottle of wine that they sell to the cause. I go out of my way to patronize the winery because of this generousity and I'm thrilled to have heard that Sumac Ridge's sales spike every March. We would have ordered a bottle tonight at the restaurant but Clove has a small wine list and they don't offer any Sumac Ridge.

We soldiered on with dinner though and managed to find another bottle to fill the need.

396. NV Kettle Valley Brakeman's Select (Okanagan Valley)

I find that Kettle Valley has a fairly large portfolio of wines and this is probably their easiest drinking red. It's a blend of Pinot Noir, Merlot and other selected red varietals that might be available and suit the blend. This appears to be the only non-vintage wine that Kettle Valley produces (save their fortified Starboard); so, my guess is that they're aiming for a consistent flavour profile with an entry level wine - as opposed to allowing for more vintage and seasonal variation on their bigger red wines.

I was a tad concerned that it might be too big for the Asian inspired food, but it matched surprisingly well with the duck wraps and pad thai. At least as well as we might have hoped for with a red.

For a dinner on the later side of the evening, we might have ordered a bit more than we needed, but we figured we could sacrifice ourselves for a good cause. Here's hoping that lots of other folks did as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment