• Sips Artisan Bistro

    June 27, 2009

    What a find! “Sips” was the perfect little bistro to experience some of British Columbia’s unique wines and grab a bite to eat. 

    I’m not sure if a reader suggested Sips or I read about it myself, but I’m so glad that Mal and I decided to stop in. 


    The decor inside Sips is modern, yet simple, and seems to suit the bistro well. Check out some more photos of Sips.


    A colorful, hand-painted mural covered the back wall of Sips.  


    Our server started our “tasting” with a delicious, dry, oak-fermented white wine: 2007 Venturi-Schulze “The Bad Boys.”

    From the Venturi-Schulze website:

    “Pinot Noir and Zweigelt weren’t going to take the cool 2007 season lying down, so they went undercover – took the law into their own hands, you might say. They’d been on capers together before, when things were hot … red hot … but this time, they decided not to let their true colours show: a white wine so good, it’s almost criminal! They had help from the rest of the Venturi-Schulze gang: no irrigation; no herbicides or insecticides; hand selection of grapes; whole cluster pressing and French oak barrel fermentation.”


    Mal absolutely loved the Bad Boys wine! In fact, he liked this particular wine so much, he ended up drinking 3 glasses.


    Our server kept pouring us “sips” of wine to taste. By the end of the night, we must have tried at least 6 or 7 different wines.

    I drank a lot of sips at Sips!


    Mal and I had eaten a rather large lunch earlier in the day, so we ordered the Local Cheese Plate to share for dinner.

    Local Cheese Plate: Village Cheese Company’s Horseradish Jack, Hilary’s Valley Blue, Natural Pastures’ Comox Camembert: A Cheese Epiphany


    Crusty sourdough was served along side the cheese plate.


    I really loved this combination of foods– wine, cheese, and bread– so much, in fact, that I decided it would be my “last meal” (if I ever had to decide). Mal said his “last meal” would be Thanksgiving dinner.


    I didn’t snap photos of all of my wine sips over the course of the evening, but, let’s just say, there were many


    One of the wines that I really enjoyed was a 2006 Pinot Noir– also from Venturi Schulze

    “2006 was a near perfect growing season, producing exceptional quality Pinot Noir grapes. The resulting wine has the dark cherry and brambleberry fruit aromas and a big, dark juicy palate typical of our recent vintages with sweeter and riper tannins than before. The luscious dark berry fruit, minerality and spice are seamlessly clothed in the subtle vanilla and nutmeg contributed by a combination of new and one year old French Nevers oak barrel ageing. The wine can be enjoyed young, yet the rich tannins, alcohol of 14.9% and the bright natural acidity will enable ageing for several years for further softening and rounding. It is unfined and not sterile filtered, so we recommend storing it upright (it is closed with a crown cap) and decanting it off any sediment before serving.”


    And more sips…


    And more! 


    I definitely had more than enough sips, but I had such a blast enjoying new wines paired with delicious, fresh foods, and chatting with my hubby, I didn’t care that I splurged so much. It was totally worth it! 

    Sips is a great, little place. I highly recommend it! :mrgreen:

    Healthy Summit Ticket Winner

    Thanks to everyone who entered the HLS Ticket Giveaway! I wish I could give everyone who entered a ticket, but I could only select one winner (via Random Integer Generator). And the winner is… 

    Ali from Food, Fitness, Fashion!!! :mrgreen:

    I let Ali know as soon as she won, but I never had a chance to announce it on the blog. Sorry, guys! It’s been a crazy week with traveling across the country and then to another country for a few days. 

    Hopefully, you were able to snag a ticket to the Healthy Living Summit!!!

    Question of the Day

    What would you pick as your “last meal”?

    We’re heading back to Beantown this afternoon. Back to regular scheduled blogging soon! 

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    { 48 comments… read them below or add one }

    Jocelyn June 26, 2009 at 7:55 am

    looks good!!! This is why I LOVE being from Canada :D

    My last meal……..hmmmmmmm…. It might have to be something mexican..something with lots of spicy cheese and veggies and all the fixens ;)


    Shannon (The Daily Balance) June 26, 2009 at 8:02 am

    This place looks fantastic! Romantic, too! <3

    My last meal would be a HUUUUUGE basket of garlic twist rolls and dipping sauce from my favorite mom and pop italian restaurant (which unfortunately, is two hours away from where I currently live.

    A big ice cream sundae for dessert — maybe some cake, too ;)


    Melissa June 26, 2009 at 8:04 am

    I snagged my ticket!!

    I don’t think I’d ever be able to decide my last meal. I don’t like buffets but I’d almost had to say a buffet meal that way I could have a little bit of everything!!


    Justine June 26, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Last meal? Thats a hard one!! It would be lots of my favorites and would have to include chocolate and PB somewhere in there. What I cute little restaurant find. Glad you had a great plate and good wine.



    Jocelyn June 26, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Humm my last meal would have to be sushi! I love love love all kinds of sushi and it’s pretty healthy for you!


    Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats June 26, 2009 at 8:16 am

    I would pick all Japanese food – gyoza, tokyo ramen, sushi and gyudon! Mmm!!! Enjoy the end of your vacay!


    Meghan@traveleatlove June 26, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Your shirt is really cute. Glad you got to try some Pinot Noir from that area too! I think my last meal would have to have many components and would involve cheese, oysters, some sort of Mexican food. Maybe not the best combo, but its my last meal. . .


    Leah June 26, 2009 at 8:24 am

    I would have to say that it would be Indian food from this restaurant in Hong Kong – I haven’t been back since my first trip in 2005, and I don’t think I will ever find a place in the US that can top it!


    Meg C. June 26, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Nicely done, Tina! That wine bar looks like it was the perfect opportunity to indulge.
    I’d have to say my last meal would have to be macaroni and cheese with ice cream for dessert.


    MarathonVal June 26, 2009 at 8:29 am

    I would have Italian, with some Mexican (lots of cheese in both!) and chocolate and Nutella for dessert!


    Becci June 26, 2009 at 8:29 am

    That cheese plate and bread looks so good!

    My last meal would probably be something Mexican, like a big burrito, or maybe just lots of tortilla chips with even more melted cheesy goodness!


    brandi June 26, 2009 at 8:35 am

    congrats to Ali!

    Sips and that afternoon tea both look so neat! I hope you guys have a safe trip back!

    My “last meal” would probably be Thanksgiving Dinner, too. It’s my favorite holiday anyways :)


    Emily @ The Experimentarian June 26, 2009 at 8:36 am

    ooh! I would KILL to try some of that horseradish jack–how cool! I couldn’t even begin to pick my last meal–there is too much food that I love or would love to try before I die. I’d probably eat so much knowing it was my last meal, that I would die from stuff-ation instead! For sure cake though ;)


    Jaime (Embracing Balance) June 26, 2009 at 8:41 am

    OMG, you are making me so homesick! Sips is new since the last time I was home, but Spinnakers is a Victoria institution! So glad you had such a lovely experience. :)


    Erica June 26, 2009 at 8:45 am

    yummmm….love all the fresh local cheeses. I think I’d do giant platters of cheese and fruit for my last meal :) hahah although Mal’s selection of Thanksgiving is a pretty good one too ;) Enjoy the rest of your trip


    leslie June 26, 2009 at 8:47 am

    i loooove restaurants that focus on wine. so much fun.

    last meal – that’s too hard! it would definitely end with some rich chocolate ice cream.


    Stacy (Eating To Live Love Laugh Tri) June 26, 2009 at 8:51 am

    My last meal would definitely involve coffee but beyond that I have no idea. There are just too many great foods out there!


    Whitney June 26, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Sounds like a fabulous ‘last meal’.

    I am so excited to meet everyone in Boston!


    Sues June 26, 2009 at 9:29 am

    This looks fabulous! I’m going on a wine tasting tomorrow and cannot wait! I have noo idea what my last meal would be but it would definitely be something my parents cook!

    See you in August!!! :)



    Emily (Healthy Fit Mama) June 26, 2009 at 9:31 am

    My last meal would be a huge breakfast with oats, eggs, and fruit. I love breakfast!!


    Jennifer June 26, 2009 at 9:34 am

    not sure about the meal part but I agree with Justine that chocolate and PB would be prominent features… and it looks like you’re having an awesome time Tina! I’m so glad you’re not hung up on exercising each day but rather enjoying the place and time with your hubby!


    Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn June 26, 2009 at 9:47 am

    The first thing that came to my minf for the last meal:

    dinner: simple spaghetti in marina sauce, with lots of parmesan cheese.

    dessert: warm cinnoman bun with a glass of milk.

    yesss :)


    Katie June 26, 2009 at 9:47 am

    No doubt Pioneer Woman’s lasagna followed by chocolate cake and homemade ice cream ( I NEVER eat dessert not really tempted by it, but last meal definitely would like ot see what I have been missing out on!)


    Menden (SkinnyMenny) June 26, 2009 at 9:54 am

    This is a tough question! I have to agree with you that wine and cheese would definitely have to be involved, and maybe some sushi, and definitely something involving strawberries for dessert. Plus some mac ‘n cheese. Ok, I guess that’s enough ;)


    Danielle C. June 26, 2009 at 9:56 am

    I’ve always thought my last meal would be something like cheesy, gooey french onion soup, a big fat prime ny strip steak, garlic mashed potatoes, and then a huge dessert platter.


    Amanda @ Cakes and Ale June 26, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I always think about this and my answer always is different! Right now, I think I would say Chicago-style deep-dish pizza!


    Allyson June 26, 2009 at 10:52 am

    My last meal would be an enormous warm brownie ice cream sundae with peanut butter cup ice cream and oreos broken up on top with hot caramel poured over the whole thing!

    I would eat that every day if I could. Sounds good right now!


    Rebecca platt June 26, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Eggplant Parm with extra cheese from my favorite place in brooklyn NY, and Large sunda for dessert, both would be with a great bottle of wine or two.


    Nicole (dishin') June 26, 2009 at 11:55 am

    That looks like so much fun! Perfect dinner.

    I think my last meal would have to be pizza and a brownie sundae for dessert!

    I agree that is a tough question but cheese, bread and chocolate need to be involved.


    Evan Thomas June 26, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    My last meal would probably be Pad Thai with extra sauce and peanuts, and all the sodium you could pile on. And for dessert, just fill an ice cream cone with cake frosting.


    Victoria June 26, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    This place is just around the corner from my house – so neat that you found it! It is a fairly new addition to the neighbourhood.
    Glad you have enjoyed your trip to Victoria. If you have time, here are some other “foodie heaven” suggestions:
    Cafe Brio
    Rebar in Bastion Square
    Red Fish, Blue Fish (built using a recycled shipping container down on the docks)
    Victoria is a big foodie town – so much to choose from!


    Christina June 26, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Last meal? That’s way too hard to decide! Maybe some sort of garlic pasta in a wine sauce. But I think that’s just because I’m feelin’ pasta right now. It’d be something totally different tomorrow!


    Sarah June 26, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Last meal…just give me a jar of peanut butter and some crusty bread :)


    Barbara(Blood, Sweat and Heels) June 26, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Sips looks mighty yummy. We recently went to a wine place but were unsatisfied with the cheese plate:(

    Last meal would be pure gluttony:)

    Monty Cristo Sammy, Baked Brie with raspberry jam in filo dough,A rich Amaretto Pina Colada made with ice cream and Whole Foods Carrot Cake:)

    *le sigh:)


    Olga June 26, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    CHEESE AND WINE! My favorites :)


    Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now June 26, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    That looks like such a fun meal! Glad you’re having such a great trip.


    April June 26, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    I just want to say I’ve been reading your blog over the past few weeks and it has served as a huge source of inspiration for me. Do you feel weird taking pictures at restaurants? Are their “rules” for taking photos for blogs at restaurants? I ask because I just started my own blog, and when I visited NYC a few months ago, I wanted to take photos at a few of the restaurants. I did, however, take photos at a little coffee bar in midtown. I felt totally awkward and thought maybe I shouldn’t.


    Marianne June 26, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I totally forgot to suggest Spinnakers, and didn’t even know they had this Bistro as well! I can’t even think where it’s located – I must hunt it down.

    The Natural Pastures Comox Camembert is an excellent cheese.


    Melissa @ For the Love of Health June 26, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I am glad Canada is treating you well! :-) Enjoy!
    What a gorgeous resturant with amazing foods and wines.

    Have a great evening!


    Beth June 26, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    For my last meal, above all I’d want to share it with my husband. It would taste delicious but not be too filling — after all, I’d need room for dessert! I really don’t care exactly what the menu is, just that it’s tasty and I enjoy every moment with my hubby.


    Lauren June 26, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Without a doubt, wine, cheese, and bread would comprise my last meal too! I absolutely love cheese plates…


    Johanna B June 26, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    My last meal would be shrimp boiled New Orleans style, with a big baked potato, fresh corn on the cob, and fresh Georgia peaches and a big ole glass of Diet Coke. Subject to change.


    Johanna B June 26, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    I forgot to add sliced vine ripened summer tomatoes with a little salt and pepper.


    T!Van June 26, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Frozen Yogurt with Almonds and Strawberry Shortcake from Safeway. I get it every year for my birthday!


    Robin June 26, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    I love wine tasting! I live here in Alberta but I plan on going to the Okanagon in BC this September for my 30th to visit some wineries. Can’t wait!


    Tay June 26, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    You have been having some fancy schmancy eats lately, girl!

    My last meal?? Oooooh toughy! I would have to pick um….a turkey burger smothered in BBQ sauce. Plus a BBQ chicken salad on the side. And sweet potato fries. With frozen yogurt for dessert :-)


    Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) June 27, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Last meal would probably be pizza with fresh mozzarella, black olives, and veggies galore. :D

    Although I have to agree that your favorite “last meal” choice of cheese, wine and bread tops my list too! :D


    Tina June 27, 2009 at 7:44 am

    @April: Nope, no rules. Just be brave and snap away! :)


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