Year before last, I came home from a trip somewhere or another and received a text message from my daughter aka our Assistant Vineyard Manager, saying “HHLL6”. This meant she was inviting me to join her for Happy Hour at the Love-Love Tree at 6 p.m. The Love-Love Tree is one of our destination areas on the property.

When she arrived with the glasses and wine, she was also carrying a plate of Stuffed Grape Leaves. She had found a recipe and taken advantage of the bounty in the vineyard to make them. Tasty things they were too. Last year we repeated the event, this time working together in assembly line fashion. This week I have made them all by myself. It took part of a day to shop for the fresh herbs, wash & chop them, and to cook the rice. It took part of the next day to pick the grape leaves, blanch and cool them, stuff them, put them in the pan, cook them and cool them.

It was a lot more work doing it alone and not nearly as much fun as last year. I think the Stuffed Grape Leaves would also be greatly improved with a bottle of crisp white wine, Sauvignon Blanc perhaps – liberally inserted into the cook. If you’re interested in the recipe, it will be on the Chinook Cook page shortly.

Bon appetite!