Okanagan Valley

Work and travel have kept me busy for the past couple of months, but the past week really was the cherry-topper! So what have I been up to?

I just returned from a five-day trip from the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. We went up for a wedding that took place right on Lake Okanagan in Lake Country. The next day, I was there to celebrate Canada Day too. Canada Day is July 1, so it was a super long weekend celebration that moved right into the Fourth of July.

The Okanagan really is an amazing place. It is the heart of BC's wine and fruit industry. It is lake and cottage country. Most of BC’s wineries and orchards surround Lake Okanagan, a spectacular 82-mile long lake.

Canadians take great pride in protecting their environment. The small towns we drove through dotted along the lake were pristine. Free of trash and graffiti, with main streets featuring well-kept storefronts, cafés, and long-time businesses. It was really refreshing to see and I am already ready and looking forward to going back for another restful vacation!

All dressed up for Sarah and Jason’s wedding in Lake Country

All dressed up for Sarah and Jason’s wedding in Lake Country

Property at Lock + Worth Winery and Poplar Grove Cheese overlooking Lake Okanagan

Property at Lock + Worth Winery and Poplar Grove Cheese overlooking Lake Okanagan

Sunset at Nichol Vineyard on the Naramata Bench

Sunset at Nichol Vineyard on the Naramata Bench

Oktoberfest

October kicks off the fall fundraising season here at srdorsey auctioneering! Instead of the bevy of beer and bratwurst that defines Oktoberfest, our month is chockerblock full of benefits and galas, special appeals and fundraising auctions.

This year, we are back at the World of Speed Museum. We are working again with Chad Brown and his Soul River Foundation in Portland, then onto San Francisco for the Wild Salmon Center 25th anniversary celebration at the end of the month. We will likely raise over a million dollars at these three auctions alone. Very exciting stuff.

On the car side of things; I worked a collector car auction with my old boss Mitch Silver, over the weekend. We'll be meeting up again in Southern California and Las Vegas. Check back in with us at the end of the month to see how we made out!

Family

This morning, my sister sent me a text that one of my aunts had passed away.

I was lucky to grow up with a mother who had eight other siblings. As kids, we always enjoyed family camp-outs together in the summer and big celebrations during the holiday seasons. We would have to rent out a hall big enough to hold everyone. It was a wonderful experience to reconnect with my extended family a couple times a year. Maybe my time filter seems a little distorted; but those days with my cousins, uncles, and aunts made the days seem longer and the sun that much brighter.

Those were fun times to be a kid. 

My mom is the baby being held by one of her siblings. My Aunt Mary is the little blonde with the sun in her eyes, standing front and center of everyone.

My mom is the baby being held by one of her siblings. My Aunt Mary is the little blonde with the sun in her eyes, standing front and center of everyone.

Bourbon Bonanza

We got into a little bit of bourbon over the holidays. While I'm not a huge spirits guy, I don't mind a good cocktail once in awhile. My co-writer for this piece, Al, enjoys a scotch on the rocks every now and again. So we tried a couple of new bottles and discovered a few gems.

Portland's own Burnside Bourbon paired perfectly with homemade Bananas Foster, continuing along with our steakhouse-themed Christmas dinner. Then we prematurely popped the cork on the Jefferson's Reserve a night before our official New Year's Eve toast. It was an amazing bottle; still lingering on the palette nearly an hour after our last sips.

A summer sipper that we have also enjoyed is Long Table Distillery's Bourbon Barrel Aged Gin. While not whiskey-based; with a hint of caramel and smoke, it's a great alternative for those who prefer clear spirits, but are open to a little more depth and complexity. It's only available at the downtown distillery in Vancouver, Canada. I would say well-worth the trek.

Happy Holidays

Here's a little Christmas cheer from our house to yours in the form of a photo collage. We baked to our hearts' content. I roasted a 5-boned, nearly 15-pound prime rib and served it with garden-grown horseradish. We paired that with mashed Yukon Gold potatoes from my folks' property and Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley. Leftovers transformed into steak and eggs for breakfast the next day and today, we're enjoying it as an overnight, slow-cooked beef and barley stew!

I hope you and your loved ones are having a safe and very happy holidays! Wishing you all the best of health and happiness for the coming year. See you soon.

Gobble Gobble

Wow. Can you believe it's that time of the year again? Turkey time!

We're all ready for company. Shopping is done. Pies are baking. House is tidy. Tables are clothed. I would have to say Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I love the tradition and the meaning. It's all about getting the family together and celebrating for what we are grateful with food and wine. And there really is so much to be grateful for in our lives.

We always do a big bird with mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce. The vegetables may vary from year to year. The sweet Hawaiian rolls never do. We always have pie - lots and lots of pie. There are five kinds on the menu this year. This year we're also having Oregon roses from Bergstrom and Winderlea with our meal. It'll be the last of the bottles that we brought back from the Willamette Valley, when we were there earlier this fall.

So whatever you celebrate and however you celebrate with your families, I hope that you enjoy happiness and good health this holiday season. Safe travels and full stomachs to all! Gobble gobble!

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