Visa Infinite Dinner at Old Vines Restaurant

Old Vines Restaurant, Quail's Gate Winery
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How to Create a Lasting Memory

Ever wonder why some memories remain vivid for years while others fade away like a summer tan? The answer is emotion. Occasions like weddings and birthdays are obvious examples of sentimental events that are easy to recall but sometimes the moment is a little less grand – less expected. The emotion might come bubbling to the surface at the glimpse of a spectacular sunset or wash over you in waves after a chance meet with a stranger. Either way, the memory charged with emotion is richer in detail and easier to recall than the one that hasn’t been linked to a strong feeling.

Powerful memories are also associated with the pleasure of sharing truly good food and wine. For many of us, the sight, taste and especially smell of a particular food can hit us like a neutron bomb, triggering memories so potent they could have happened yesterday.

Every now and then you may be lucky enough to have both memory-enhancing factors fire simultaneously and, when they do, you’re guaranteed a memory that will last a lifetime.

That’s what happened to me last weekend when I had the good fortune to be invited to a magnificent, multi-chef collaborative dinner at Old Vines Restaurant, located in one of Canada’s foremost wine regions, the Okanagan Valley.

Visa Infinite Dinner at Old Vines Restaurant at Quail's Gate Winery |

Start with an Evocative View

Aside from their obvious visual appeal, some vistas are so stunning that they have the power to stir your soul.

There is a place where the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland meet that will stay with me forever. I was standing at the castle gates on a damp November morning, looking across the river to Wallace Monument, where it jutted from the crag like a rocket ready to launch. The history there was as thick as the Scottish mist, and the melancholy it stirred in me remained long after I left Sterling for Inverness. Across the Channel a few years later and out of breath from the climb, I leaned out over the edge of one of Paris’ most famous monuments and was astonished to see the chaos below. In Europe’s craziest roundabout, history and modernity were on a collision course as a dozen 19th-century boulevards converged into ten lanes at the base of the Arc de Triomphe; a situation made utterly insane because the right-of-way belongs to the vehicles entering the circle. As I watched on that hot summer night, car horns blared and the wind whipped my hair. With my cheeks stinging and my ears ringing, I felt intensely alive.

In both cases, it wasn’t the view that made the moment unforgettable. It was the feeling it evoked.

Last weekend, as I admired the splendid panorama of Lake Okanagan from the south-facing slope at Quails’ Gate Winery, I couldn’t help but appreciate how Old Vines Restaurant has capitalized on their spectacular vineyard setting. With a lovely terrace and floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining room, guests never have to take their eyes off the gorgeous scenery. Near the end of the evening, Kathy (a TV producer from California and all-around fabulous person to be seated next to at a dinner party) remarked on how late the sun set in the summer months this far north. It was nearly 10:00 pm when we looked out the window at the outline of Okanagan Mountain, still visible in the dusk, and that’s when I felt it.

Gratitude. Immense gratitude. This is where I live!

Vineyards at Quails' Gate Winery

Photo Courtesy: Quail’s Gate Winery

Old Vines Restaurant at Quail's Gate Winery | Photo Credit

Photo Courtesy:

Then Add an Epic Meal

Is there any doubt about the potency of food memories? Whether it’s the sticky-sweet taste of cotton candy as it melts on your tongue, the bliss-inducing aroma of your Mom’s Toll House cookies, or the charred-chewy-soupy crust on the Pizza Marguerite you gorged yourself on in Naples – food roots us in time and place.

On July 19, Chef Roger Sleiman of Old Vines Restaurant collaborated with farm-to-table guest Chefs Chris Whittaker of Forage, Vancouver and Andrew Winfield of Calgary’s River Café to present a special dinner featuring inventive wine-country cuisine; each dish of the multi-course meal paired with carefully chosen, celebrated BC Wines.

Food and drink this incredible, in a setting this intoxicating, are not likely to be forgotten any time soon.

Menu at the Visa Infinite Wine Country Exclusive Dinner at Old Vines Restaurant

Plates presented at Visa Infinite Wine Country Dinner at Old Vines Restaurant | #infinitedining | TheCulinaryTravelGuide.comPhotos Courtesy: Dina Honke

Chef Chris Whittaker's Award-Winning Chowder |

And Remember..

The best thing about memories is making them.





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Laura Goyer is a world traveler and culinary travel professional, on a mission to help busy prime-time women find the best local food when they travel.


5 thoughts on “Visa Infinite Dinner at Old Vines Restaurant

  1. Dina says:

    Laura, thank you for inviting me to join you as your guest at the dinner. It was a memorable evening in every way: the food, wine, company and new people we met. I hope more opportunities like this one present themselves.

    • Laura Leigh Goyer says:

      Dina – I’m so glad you came with me. It really was a wonderful night! Thank you so much for sharing your photos of the chefs’ plates.

      Hope you didn’t get caught in the storm today.


  2. Murissa says:

    What an amazing evening Laura!
    I love hiking to a great look out point or simply just standing on the beach of Lake Okanagan in summer and being thankful I live here.
    Such good food, special wineries and passionate people.

    PS I hiked to the top of the Arc de Triomphe too! Was such an amazing look out point and really gave you a good grasp of the city.

    • Laura Leigh Goyer says:

      Thanks Murissa! Wasn’t the view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe incredible? For me, it was even more impressive than the one from the Eiffel Tower (and views from both monuments were much, much better after dark.) Aside from the cooking classes and the food, it’s probably my most vivid memory of Paris. It must be time for a return trip soon. But first…Spain and Portugal 🙂

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