So as I explained in last week’s installment of Vine Lines, my cousin Paige got married on the U.S. side of Lake Metigoshe last year. Having grown up in Goodlands/Deloraine, and in the family cottage on the Canadian side of Metigoshe, she wanted to get married at the lake on which she’d spent her youth. But since there are few services for a wedding on our side, she opted to have her wedding across the border.
I was amazed by what I found there, and wanted to share this fabulous little escape with readers of the Brandon Sun who, like me, may not have been aware it existed.
Anyway, last week I talked about the Birchwood Steak House & Lounge, where we found great food and a massive selection of really good wine, both at amazing prices. That was at the rehearsal dinner. But more delights awaited, which is the reason for this follow-up column.
After the dinner (and the rehearsal in a GORGEOUS rustic church that was fronted and backed with glass that let the pastoral outdoor setting in), we ended up meeting my other cousins, the bride’s uncles and their families, at a restaurant and bar called the A-Frame, which was across the street from our hotel — Quality Inn & Suites. Our hotel was basic but perfectly fine, and its location was ideal — close to A-Frame as mentioned, and also right across the road from the Twin Oaks Resort and Convention Center where the immediate family was staying and where the reception was being held. More on that in a sec.
Anyway, at the A-Frame, the cousins were having beer, but hubby and I opted to share a bottle of wine — there, too, just like the Birchwood, the wine list was extensive and impressive. We picked the Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay which sells at home for $18.45 a bottle. The price at the A-Frame? Nineteen dollars!!
We partied much of the night away — there was a very good live band playing on the A-Frame’s outside deck — cousin Doug arranged for me to sing with them, I did, it went well, and added to the festive nature of the weekend.
The next morning, we got up and went back to the A-Frame for lunch (I get up as late as is humanly possibly, so I never eat breakfast. I just can’t face food in the morning unless I’m forced to rise at the crack of dawn, which I try to avoid at all costs.) My husband and I both ordered Philly cheese steaks, which they made for me without green pepper, which I appreciated. And they were terrific! I don’t remember the price, only that it was reasonable, and the food was so good it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
Then it was back to the hotel to change and off to the church for a beautiful 2 p.m. ceremony. Once Mike and Paige were officially husband and wife, it was back to the hotel(s) to reconnect with my cousin Val and some old friends, and then across to the Twin Oaks to visit with my cousins Michael, Joseph and Greg and their families. I don’t remember whose room we congregated outside of, but it was on the main level, RIGHT on the water, and it was spectacular. If you visit, try to snag one of these rooms. I couldn’t believe the proximity to the lake — the view was lovely and it made what was already a wonderful day that much better.
Then the reception. My god! What a feast! The Twin Oaks did itself proud — the buffet featured salmon AND prime rib, both of which I adore, and both of which were perfectly prepared. I was in seventh heaven. (I’m betting if the Twin Oaks can serve up the splendid meal it did for 300 people, the food in the dining room HAS to be incredible as well.)
And then — sigh — there was the wine.
Mike, the groom, is really into wine and Paige has grown to share her husband’s passion as well. And the wines Mike so carefully chose to accompany the wedding dinner were absolutely fabulous! With the salmon, the 2009 Ranch 32 Pinot Noir from California was a splendid pairing. With black cherry and a hint of rose petal, it was one of the loveliest pinots I’ve ever had.
And the Francis Coppola Diamond Collection 2010 Black Label Claret was to die for with the prime rib! A 79 per cent cabernet sauvignon wine blended in the Bordeaux style, this was indeed a memorable beverage. Full of berry and plum, it was lush and smooth and finished with just the slightest hint of licorice.
While we can’t get the Claret at Manitoba Liquor Marts, Coppola’s Diamond Collection cab, red blend and malbec are available here at around $25 a bottle. The Director’s Cut Zinfandel is $31.95 here, and it’s wonderful, too. But if you’re in the States and have a chance to try the Black Label Claret, I can’t urge you more strongly to do so. Same goes for the Ranch 32 Pinot. I’m salivating just thinking about them both.
Following a night of dancing and visiting and celebrating, we dragged ourselves off to bed. In the morning — well, OK, noon again — we made our way back to the A-Frame, where I enjoyed the best Reuben I’ve ever had in my life. Before that, the best had been at the Macy’s lunch counter in New York City. But the A-Frame blew that storied locale out of the water.
As usual, I’m going on far too long. Suffice it to say the American side of Lake Metigoshe is more than worth a visit, not just for the scenery and the water, but for fabulous food, divine wine and more-than-reasonable prices. I hope to make a return trip there before the summer's over.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 3, 2013