Issue 47 - July/August 2013

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THE CITYBITES 45 continued from page 21

Summer Drink Events AUGUST 3, 2013 1 TO 7P.M., 2013

Griffin Session Muskoka

Looking for an excuse to soak up the sun in the charm of cottage country? Enjoy the warm weeks of Ontario’s summer while sipping on cider, enjoying local lagers and savouring Muskoka this August long weekend. It’s the best way to experience beers, bearded bands and the annual brewmaster Olympics. Tickets are $25 and include entrance and five sample tokens. Annie Williams Park, Bracebridge, muskokabeerfestival.ca AUGUST 9-11, 2013

The Ultimate Winery Weekend Escape in Niagara

Experience the best of Ontario Wine Country with a thrilling weekend of exceptional tastings and unforgettable meals. While you have to be a Visa Infinite cardholder in order to purchase tickets, oenophiles are guaranteed to pop their cork in a big way. $1,575 per person includes 2-nights accommodation, guided winery tastings and multi-course meals from leading chefs. Niagara, visainfinite.ca AUGUST 29, 7 TO 11P.M., 2013

iYellow Wine Club Summer Wine Jam

Worried that summer coming to an end? Don’t be! What better reason to celebrate another season in Toronto at than the transformation of the stunning Airship 37 event space into a supersized cellar. $55 ticket includes tastings of more than 40 wines, music and food catered by Berkeley events. Airship 37, 37 Parliament St., iyellowwineclub.com SEPTEMBER 13-21, 2013

PHOTO: ALEJANDRO SANTIAGO

Toronto Beer Week

What could be better than spending seven days raising a glass to the golden goodness of beer? Rather than a beer tent, Toronto Beer Week is hundreds of events around the city designed to advance the craft beer movement. From tastings and beer dinner to tap takeovers and whacky one-offs, it will quench your cravings for characterladen craft beer Various locations,torontobeerweek.com

Rosewood Estates Semillon

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By Dick Snyder

Hollis Bulleit By Adam McDowell Moments after we sit down to chat about her family’s namesake whiskey, Hollis Bulleit—greatgreat-great-granddaughter of Augustus Bulleit— takes my notebook and jots up a chart that plots popular bourbons along two axes. Sweetness versus spiciness, and the proportion of clean distillate, known as “heart,” that is used in the final product. Bulleit Bourbon, she insists, uses quite a small heart and throws away plenty of less-optimal liquid in the name of quality. And it’s spicy, partly because it’s made with 28 percent rye grain, a notably high proportion. Bulleit Bourbon sits all by its lonesome in the lower-right quadrant of Hollis’ graph. The message: Bulleit is something different, even unique. Spirits reviewers and bartenders have tended to view the product positively, but the truly decisive factors helping Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey shoot its way into the forefront of the worldwide cocktail revival of recent years would probably include the eye-catchingly old-timey bottle and the approachable price point (currently a nickel shy of $38 in Ontario). It also helps that Bulleit works well—very well—in cocktails. You’ll find it just about everywhere a fine cocktail is poured.

Niagara’s Rosewood Estates winery takes their Semillon very seriously. A recent tasting of their estate-grown Semillon revealed a range of Semillon styles over five vintages from 2008 to 2012. Each wine, while exhibiting stylistic Semillon character, was highly individual, due to the effects of a variety of factors, from weather and vintage conditions to cropping, fermenting and, especially, ageing. The hand of nature and the hand of human could both be felt and tasted. Older vintages with low cropping revealed oily, wet stone and citrus notes, and an unmistakable beeswax aroma and taste. Is it only coincidence that Rosewood also raises bees and makes honey? Winemaker Luke Orwinski assured us that no honey was added to the wine. It’s clear that this is one of the flavour components that develops as the wine ages. In more youthful vintages, delicate wildflower honey notes may be present. The 2008, long since sold out at the winery, is a formidable wine, with pine spice, wax and wet stone aromas and a suppleness dominated by tropical and citrus. The 2011, currently at Vintages, comes from similar vintage conditions, and currently shows grassy, herbaceous aromas and a green apple palate with lime and bracing acidity. It’s very appealing now, but will likely evolve in a manner similar to the powerful 2008. Rosewood Estates 2011 Semillon, $18 at Vintages (#177758).

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Tonica Kombucha By Nick Green | @andfabulous

It’s a good idea to try Kombucha before finding out what it is. Best enjoyed on a hot day, this sparkling drink is light and crisp, with a certain something you can’t put your finger on. Well, it turns out it’s fermented mushroom. Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it? This is actually another name for the Kombucha SCOBY, meaning “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast,” not the mystery-solving dog. According to Toronto’s own Tonica Kombucha, made popular from their stint on Dragon’s Den, the brewed beverage boosts your metabolism and your energy while delivering minimal calories. With its distinctive taste, Kombucha may not become a daily drink, but considering its liver-cleansing properties, it may be a good thirst-quencher for the morning after the enjoyment of a few brewed beverages of another variety. tonicakombucha.com

July/August 2013

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