Life in a slow place that quickly steals your heart.


January 28, 2016

Carpe Diem Bitches

IMG_6809Clever marketing or quelle horreur?

Wines with funny names are cropping up all along the Naramata Bench and in the Okanagan Valley. A French friend once said she only buys bottles with standard labels and classy names respecting the French tradition where the Chateaux was of prime importance. Deeply suspicious of the quality of a product with a name like “Well La-Di-Da”, (Church and State), said friend felt the name was a key indicator of how seriously the winery took itself and its product.

A more recently made French friend brought the above pictured bottle to us a gift. “Names like this would never fly in France, but this isn’t France.” She appreciates the more light-hearted approach and we enjoyed a very nice glass of Carpe Diem Bitches, merci beaucoup.

A forerunner of fun names and well respected Naramata winery, Therapy Vineyards has gone to town with its wines dispensed from its Farmacy wine shop. Freudian Sip and Freud’s Ego are two of their world-class wines. On the doctor’s couch I would confess to a bit of pinot envy about their naming genius.

Another winery, staggering distance from our house, Van Westin has gone a bit haywire with “V” names: Voluptuous, Vixin, Vulture and Vrankenstein are Very fun, particularly the latter as volunteer pickers harvest the grapes at Halloween in costumes and proceeds are donated to charity.

More ominously, Black Widow offers a very nice Phobia, Red Eyed or White Knuckle are Monster Vineyards’ offerings, Tightrope sells Vertigo and Tip-Toe and Laughing Stock sells lots of Portfolio and Blind Trust.bigbangA short drive to OK Falls and you can taste OMG, Hatfield’s Fuse and Big Bang Theory from some bottles featuring some very cool, award-winning artwork.

Misconduct’s wine tourers can decide if they prefer Misfit or The Big Take. Can’t decide? Quidni suggests, Why Not Red or Why Not White.

If you think bubbles up the fun quotient Therapy’s solution is Fizzio Therapy. Too many bubbles and you see Pink Elephants from Elephant Island. Ruby Blues pops your cork with Peace & Love & Bubbles.

I’m with my new delightful French friend. It’s all in good fun and inside those cleverly-named bottles is some very nice wine. Oliver’s Church and State really does take the cake though with: Oh Bloody Hell, Tonight is the Night, I’d Shave My Legs for You and You’d Better Delete That. I think they have their demographic nailed. I dare any 20 to 30-year-old to buy Oh Yeah Post This and not.

Castanet used my blog post. Check it out here.








IMG_3502In a village of only 2,500, there is a bit of gossip. An in-the-know neighbour gave me the rundown on who is spending time with which Naramatian (yup, that’s really what we are called…kind of like Martians). “Things are pretty active in Naramattress at the moment.”

Oh well, Nevermatters – another  fondly used nickname for the village where people come to get away from pretty much everything.

IMG_8460In summer, I call it Bearamatta.

IMG_5940This very healthy black bear kept me up in the tree fort, wondering if she would attempt to get in the trap door, until she decided to move along. My what big claws you have…

Nicknames aside, the legend behind Naramata’s naming is the most appealing story of all.

In 1905 Naramata was originally called East Summerland which was too confusing, I guess. The postmaster’s wife, Mrs. Gillespie was a bit of a hippie dippie in her day apparently. She was a medium of the American Spiritualistic church and invited some of her pals over for a get-together at which she went into a “spiritualist trance.” The spirit of a great Sioux Indian Chief, Big Moose, came to her and spoke of his dearly loved wife calling her Nar-ra-mah-tah, as she was the Smile of Manitou. All and sundry were struck by Mrs. Gillespie’s revelation, a few extra letters were dropped and here we are. (I wonder if Big Moose every worried about Narramahtah’s faithfulness…)

Like discovering the biggest used bookstore in Western Canada just down the road, living in a Village named during a “spiritualist trance” is too good to be true…and I haven’t even begun to talk about all the wineries in my hood.



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