Craving BBQ on this hot summer’s day we found ourselves in Okanagan Falls for lunch. Specifically “Wild Goose winery” and their bistro, “Smoke and Oak”. I have yet to visit this winery so it would a double treat to see it and eat at it.

We were able to call ahead and grab a table on their patio, overlooking their winery. A covered sun deck kept cool with the whirl of fan blades and shade. It was just a shame that our table was in front of their outdoor stage, set up for their concert series. Between the metal scaffolding we got a glimpse of the rows of green grape vines ripening by the unobstructed sun.

Each table was laid with a yellow and white gingham cloth and plastic, to further the outdoor, picnic feel. And classic rock played overhead, taking you back. I kept the vibe going with their “Wild Goose Rose”. A refreshing glass with berry notes and a very pink hue.

To eat we shared their “Smoked and oak BBQ platter”, a customizable plate of meat, where you pay based on how many of the 4 types of meat you wanted. Half an order of pork ribs, angus beef brisket, apple maple pulled pork, and/or shredded chicken leg. Each platter comes with their lemon dill corn bread and sweet pickles, but you get a choice of two sides. Either their mixed greens with blueberry balsamic dressing, tater tots, Mac and cheese, a caramelized apple and tarragon coleslaw, maple roasted garlic baked beans, and/or a grainy mustard potato salad.

We went with the ribs, pulled pork, and beef brisket and to it added the tater tots and Mac and cheese. It was feast for the eyes with all its fulsome glory.

The Mac and cheese was garlicky, with a great soft and chewy mouth-feel. But then you would get bits of crispiness from the Panko topping. It helped to balance out all the meat with its creamy texture. This was both my and my partner’s favourite side.

The tots on the other hand were crispy, but bland. I wanted ketchup, but didn’t ask. As a side, it didn’t help to rejuvenate the taste of everything else, but the dish of halved gherkins did.

The cornbread was airy, with a subtle sweetness from the whole corn kernels, coupled with the strong flavour of dill.

As for the meat, the brisket was perfectly tender but far too fatty, there was more fat that we discarded than meat we ate.

The pulled pork had a familiar sweet and tangy flavour, but was over cooked. At least my partner liked it just fine

The ribs were meaty and smokey, but it lacked its own flavour. Thankfully the trio of table barbecue sauces helped, it added life to the platter and gave much of it some needed kick.

The “rosemary chipotle bbq” was new, the herbaceous of the rosemary added a unique addition to a familiar flavour profile. The sweet and sour “signature bbq” was another tried and true bbq sauce. And the “jalapeño peach” was something completely different. You didn’t get much peach flavour, and I only noted a slight lingering heat from the jalapeño.

And to round out your meal, there is also charred pineapple spheres for a palette refresher.

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
I do enjoy checking out wineries when in the Okanagan, and I enjoy them all the more when they have a bistro on premise. The wine was great, the food was average, but the experience and the view is why you visit anyways. Don’t deny your cravings.

SMOKE & OAK
2145 Sun Valley Way, Okanagan Falls, BC V0H 1R2
(250) 497-8919
wildgoosewinery.com