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city palate T H E


O F C A L G A RY ’ S S I N C E 19 9 3



the wine & beer issue CITYPALATE.CA




WE’VE BEEN SUPPLYING IN-THE-KNOW CALGARIANS WITH OUR OWN LOCALLY ROASTED COFFEE FOR OVER 40 YEARS. We created our true Italian-style blend to shine in the fabulous machines we brought in from Italy. Now this incredible coffee – with its seriously loyal following – is available in the coffee aisle at Calgary CO•OP.


Try some and see why it became our family legend.







table of contents


14 16 18 21 23

FEATURES The Iron Sommelier Shelley Boettcher






Lisboa, Uncorked Kate Zimmerman

Gardening For Your Dinner Table Shelley Boettcher

The Wick John Gilchrist

Two Portals into Wine’s Colourful History Tonya Lailey



WORD OF MOUTH Notable culinary happenings around town


EAT THIS What to eat in May and June Ellen Kelly


GET THIS Must have kitchen stuff Wanda Baker


ONE INGREDIENT Cider Julie Van Rosendaal


THE SUNDAY PROJECT Hey, Pipirrana with Karen Ralph


STOCKPOT Stirrings around Calagry


7 QUICK WAYS WITH... Pistachios Chris Halpin


BACK BURNER... SHEWCHUK ON SIMMER Orange is the new blah Allan Shewchuk

We don’t kid around about coffee.

In our shops, we grind and serve tens of thousands of kilograms of Italian coffee beans to fuel the morning drive to work, much deserved afternoon breaks and to accompany a little dolce in the evening. With over 30 brands from all over the world we take our beloved café VERY seriously and serve every espresso, cappuccino and latte with pride.

Grocery. Bakery. Deli. Café. Italiancentre.ca

COVER ARTIST: Samantha Gee is an Algonquin College student who entered this cover in City Palate’s annual cover competition for Algonquin students. This cover fit our May June issue perfectly. Thank you Samantha!

EDMONTON Little Italy | Southside | West End


CALGARY Willow Park



Is this a man’s heart or a woman’s?

city palate publisher/editor Kathy Richardier (kathy@citypalate.ca) editorial consultant Camie Leard (camie@citypalate.ca) magazine design Nataly Gritsouk (nataly@citypalate.ca) contributing editor Kate Zimmerman contributors Wanda Baker John Gilchrist Shelley Boettcher Chris Halpin Ellen Kelly Tonya Lailey Karen Ralph Allan Shewchuk Julie Van Rosendaal Kate Zimmerman

Welcome Back! J u s t a Wa l k i n t h e Pa r k Lunch Dinner Brunch Afternoon Retreat river-cafe.com @rivercafeyyc

New! Sage & Meringue 25% off in-stock products

Not researching the difference is proving fatal for women. Heart disease and stroke affect women differently than men. Yet, two thirds of participants in life-saving research are men. That’s why Heart & Stroke is on a mission to ensure women are represented equitably in research we fund. We are doubling the dollars invested in research for women. And we’re funding a community of scientists to help us finally understand how women’s hearts and brains are different from men’s.

Together we can fund life-saving research for the women we love.

contributing photographers Kathy Richardier Camie Leard Nick Olexyn for advertising enquiries, please contact advertising@citypalate.ca account executives Ellen Kelly (ellen@citypalate.ca) Debbie Lambert (debbie@citypalate.ca) website management Todd Robertson (todd@vilya.com) controller Jesse Fergstad (citypalatecontroller@gmail.com) prepress/printing CentralWeb distribution Gallant Distribution Systems Inc.

Help CloseTheResearchGap.ca

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Thank you to our Founding Partners.

City Palate is Published 6 times per year: January -February, March -April, May-June, July-August, September-October and November-December by City Palate Publishing Inc., Suite 419, 919 Centre St. NW, Calagry, AB T2E 2P9 Subscriptions are available for $48 per year within Canada and $68 per year outside Canada Editorial Enquiries: Please email kathy@citypalate.ca

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word of mouth


Read these

SAIT is Becoming Well Known World Wide! SAIT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management moved up in ranking from 37 in 2018 to 27 for 2019 of the Best Hospitality and Hotel Management Schools in the World – the only school in Canada on the list! WOW, SAIT, we knew you were great, but now the world knows and the only school in Canada – WOW – you ARE good, and people do know that. Good for you, keep it up!

GABY Good Food Gabriella’s Kitchen, a leading North American manufacturer of better-for-you products, has set up a partnership with Calgary Co-op stores throughout southern Alberta. The GABY line of products are high-quality, nutritional food products that use healthy and unique ingredients in innovative ways to create healthy alternatives to traditionally unhealthy comfort foods. Products available include high protein, superfood, gluten free and kids’ frozen entrées. As a leading innovator in the “better-for-you” foods market, GABY continues to expand its offerings and looks forward to launching more products in the coming year. Visit www.gabyinc.com for more information and for sure find them at the Co-op stores, we have, good food!

This is an Establishment for All Congratulations to one of Calgary’s newest breweries, The Establishment Brewing Company, who brought home gold for its Fat Sherpa porter at the Alberta Beer Awards just a few weeks after opening their doors on January 26. Founders Mike Foniok, David Ronneburg and Brandon Hart, met through a notoriously successful home-brew club. The Cow Town Yeast Wranglers has actually spawned three new Calgary breweries this year, including Cabin and Inner City. Never ones to rest on their laurels, The Establishment team invites you down to their “Barley Belt” location (4407 1 St. SE) to try their brand new citrusy, fruity and oh-so-silky New England Style IPA, Sky Rocket.

Brand new Sky Rocket New England Style IPA

Alberta Beer Awards Gold Medal Porter – Fat Sherpa

A good word from Forage…..

The Establishment founders David Ronneburg (left) and Mike Foniok.

I just wanted to let you guys know about a new feature at our takeout shop in Marda Loop. We will be hosting a long table dinner in our back room on the last Wednesday of each month. This is an opportunity for us to showcase some amazing dinners that don’t really work as a takeaway option, and to spend some more time with our customers and community members, as always our menus will be focused on sustainable ingredients from local farms. Each dinner will have a different theme and the price point and service styles will vary. Visit www.foragefoods.com for all the tasty details.

Spring Dinner Series Cilantro is excited to announce the return of its Spring Dinner Series on April 10, May 22 and June 26, 2019! Chef Lancelot Monteiro, along with Brad Royale, will be teaming up again for these intimate and engaging evenings of food and libations. There are only 22 tickets available for each of these dinners, which will take place in Cilantro’s upstairs lounge. The evenings will be hosted by Brad Royale who will walk you through hand-picked wines that have been carefully paired with three courses and one amuse-bouche prepared by Cilantro’s culinary team. “Step into Spring with us as we explore innovative cuisine from our talented chefs who will be sourcing local and seasonal ingredients to create the courses for these dinners. Brad Royale will be digging deep into the cellar as he curates the wine pairings for the evening. Get ready to sample some exceptional and unconventional wines, all while enjoying Cilantro’s cozy yet classic space that was renovated last year.”

Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan ($39.95, Random House) Arabic for olives, one of Palestine’s staple ingredients, Zaitoun is a dazzling cookbook with vibrant recipes, captivating stories and stunning photography from Palestine. From a colourful array of bountiful mezze dishes to rich slow-cooked stews flavoured with aromatic spice blends, it’s a cuisine that represents the very best of modern Middle Eastern cookery. In this beautiful Palestinian cookbook, food writer Yasmin Khan shares recipes and stories from her travels through the region. Find this at The Cookbook Co. Sister Pie by Lisa Ludwinski ($34, Random House) At Sister Pie, Lisa Ludwinski and her band of sister bakers are helping make Detroit sweeter one slice at a time from a little corner pie shop in a former beauty salon on the city’s east side. The granddaughter of two Detroit natives, Ludwinski spends her days singing, dancing, and serving up a brand of pie love that has charmed critics and drawn the curious from far and wide. Illustrated throughout with 75 drool-worthy photos and Ludwinski’s charming line illustrations, and infused with her plucky, punny style, bakers and bakery lovers won’t be able to resist this book. Find this at The Cookbook Co. Double Awesome Chinese Food by Margaret Li, Andrew Li and Irene Li ($47, Random House) Too intimidated to cook Chinese food at home but crave those punchy flavours? Not anymore. Put down that takeout kung pao chicken and get in the kitchen! Full of irresistible recipes that marry traditional Asian ingredients with comforting American classics and seasonal ingredients, Double Awesome Chinese Food delivers the goods. The three fun-loving Chinese-American siblings behind the acclaimed restaurant Mei Mei take the fear factor out of cooking this complex cuisine, infusing it with creativity, playfulness, and ease. Featuring more than over 100 delicious recipes, this book is your ticket to making the Chinese food of your dreams any night of the week. Find this at The Cookbook Co.



Local. Unique. Convenient. FOOD & DRI NK


Britannia Wine Merchants

Ginger Laurier

Suzette Bistro Britannia Starbucks


Sunterra Market

Britannia Kitchen & Home

Village Ice Cream


Owl’s Nest Bookstore | Owlets

Britannia Dermedics Britannia Hair Company & Esthetics Britannia Pharmacy Chinook Optical Britannia Medical Clinic The Ritual Fitness Studio








Whether you’re a novice or experienced professional, the WSET Award courses are the perfect way to increase your knowledge.

(registration closes 2 weeks prior to start date)

WSET Level 1 Award in Wines May 14, 21, 28 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM Crowfoot Tasting Centre WSET Level 2 Award in Wines May 1, 8, 15, 22 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM Oakridge Tasting Centre WSET Level 3 Advanced Certificate April 27, 28, May 4, 5, 25 & June 1 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM Shawnessy Tasting Centre WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits June 11 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM Oakridge Tasting Centre coopwinespiritsbeer.com/wset



eat this

by Ellen Kelly

WHAT TO EAT IN MAY AND JUNE Ilustrations by Eden Thompson

Let’s just say it – you can call March 21 the first day of spring all you want, but here on the prairies, it’s May that truly launches our most anticipated season. Until then, with too few exceptions, our fancy does not turn to the spring (except in our imaginations). However, while our own plots are still thawing, we can partake in an imported spring of sorts; thankfully B.C. and Washington bring us a taste of what is soon to come from home ground. RADISHES may be the exception and epitomize that first flush of the season. Spring (and fall, for that matter) are still cool enough to keep them from getting unpleasantly hot and woody… and the short maturation time means an early harvest and multiple plantings, if you’re so inclined. A simple but elegant spring appetiser is as easy as washed whole new radishes with pristine greens attached served beside sea salt and sweet butter. While a radish is at its best unadorned, another variation -- a kind of compound butter -- can be made with grated radish, soft butter, Maldon salt and lemon zest and then spread on crusty baguette. This, along with slicing, is a good way to use less-than-perfect radishes… still firm and spicy, but perhaps slightly past their prime. SORREL is another garden treat seldom found in grocery stores or markets. It is compact, hardy and undemanding and deserves a corner in any plot, regardless of size. There is wild sorrel and red-veined sorrel, but the best tasting and most common variety is a plant called French sorrel. It has pale green, arrow-shaped leaves with a pleasant, tart, lemony flavour. The inimitable Jane Grigson tells us to keep it “well picked” and thereby we are sure to have greens for salads, soups and sauces from early spring until the first hard frost. A lovely bright soup can be made with minimal effort by sautéing chopped onion or shallot in butter until opaque. Add diced potatoes, salt and some good chicken stock and continue to simmer at a slightly lower heat until the potatoes are cooked. Tip this into a blender along with a goodly amount of washed and stemmed sorrel leaves and purée until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and add some heavy cream, being careful not to boil, which will diminish both colour and flavour. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg (optional) to taste; garnish with chopped chives and lots of buttery croutons. Sorrel sauces are incredibly versatile and even easier to make. Sorrel purée can be added to a hollandaise or béchamel or simply added, off the heat, to scalded heavy cream. To make the purée, wash and trim sorrel leaves and sauté them in butter or bacon fat until cooked down. Deborah Madison offers a fresh sauce by combining 2 c. packed washed and stemmed sorrel leaves, a thoroughly mashed clove of garlic, 1/3 c. full fat yogurt or sour cream in a blender and puréeing until smooth. Stir in chopped chives and salt to taste. This is lovely on grilled vegetables and fish, but sublime on potatoes of any stripe. FAVA (OR BROAD) BEANS are another spring delight, not readily found in grocery stores. They require more preparation than green or yellow “snap” beans but are well worth the effort. For the gardener, fava beans need considerable space to grow but earn their real estate. They’re beautiful plants with whitewinged black-eyed flowers and large almond shaped leaves. Moreover, the sprouts and young leaves, like pea plants, are tasty and interesting in salads. With thanks to Alice Waters, a fava bean crostino becomes the perfect start to an alfresco dinner. Once the shelling and peeling is done (see TIPS at right), add about 2 c. skinned fava beans to ½ c. warmed olive oil in a roomy sauté pan. Add salt, 2 cloves minced garlic, a small bay leaf, a sprig each of rosemary and thyme and a splash of water. Cook gently for about 30 minutes, until beans are soft and easily mashed. Add a little more water as needed to keep the beans from drying out and sticking. Discard the herbs and mash or purée (depending on desired texture). Stir in salt to taste, some good olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Loosen the mixture, again if needed, with olive oil -- fava beans love olive oil. Serve in a pretty bowl surrounded by slices of crusty grilled bread.

BUY: Always buy radishes with the greens still attached. Look for bright green unblemished leaves and a firm root, whatever the colour. A discreet squeeze will give you an inkling -- a spongy radish with wilted yellowed leaves is sure to be disappointing. TIPS: Toss radishes into a sink of cold water and ice as soon as you get them home. Once washed and refreshed, they can be put on the table right away, or you can pat them dry and keep them for a day or two in the fridge. DID YOU KNOW? The entire radish is edible from tip to tail, as it were. The greens, while still young and fresh, have the same peppery quality as arugula, not surprising since they’re related. The flowers and new seed pods are tasty as well. Radish sprouts taste lovely and are very pretty as a garnish or in a salad or sandwich.

BUY: If you are lucky enough to find bunches of sorrel in a market, look for clean cuts on the stems, with leaves that are fresh, springy and free of water marks. TIPS: Sorrel is often a dull green colour when cooked. If this bothers you, a brighter green colour can be attained by adding some spinach leaves. It’s unnecessary to put cooked sorrel through a sieve, especially if the stems and middle veins have been removed; the leaves cook down into a purée quickly and completely. DID YOU KNOW? The tart, lemony flavour comes from oxalic acid, also found in rhubarb leaves. However, the trace amount is negligible and not harmful.

BUY: Buying fava or broad beans requires some attention in order to avoid chalky and starchy beans. It’s not a bad idea to pop open a pod, skin a bean and taste it to determine whether they will be sweet and tender. Look for firm bright green pods without wrinkles or black marks and plump green beans nestled in a moist, slightly furry interior. TIPS: Some people say that skinning the individual beans, once shelled, isn’t strictly necessary, but I think it best. With the exception of the very youngest, freshest beans, the skin can be chewy and unpleasant. Shell the beans and blanch for 1-2 minutes in boiling water. Immediately plunge into ice water until cooled, then drain. Nick a little hole on the seam with a thumb nail and gently squeeze… the inner bean will pop right out. Voilà, as they say. DID YOU KNOW? Fava beans are the hardiest and toughest of all the legumes. They are often used as cover crops in fields, plowed under in the fall to put nitrogen back into the soil. Ellen Kelly has written about food, among other culinary pursuits, for years and is a regular contributor to City Palate.



get this

by Wanda Baker


Wine shopping made easy The team behind the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival and the store bearing the same name launched a new online company last year called Virtual Vino. They wanted to share their wine knowledge and give wine enthusiasts the chance to select a unique set of mixed six packs, six of the same or splurge on new wines for great prices. The simplicity of ordering wine is now a mouse click away. Choose from Battle of the Blancs or Women in Wine to name a couple, make your purchase, set up delivery to your door and get ready for a new adventure in wine tasting.

Wine Packs, Virtual Vino, www.virtualvino.com, $79.98 - $139.99

Getting to know your food George and Heather Briggs, of HGB Bison Ranch in Olds, believe that raising bison through stress-free management and treating them with kindness and respect, results in a herd that is quiet and non-aggressive. After 32 years, they’ve proven this method works. The bison graze on the pastures year-round, are given no added growth hormones or antibiotics and never fed grains to fatten them up quicker. HGB currently offers 55 different cuts of bison. We’ve tried the smokies and hotdogs that are naturally smoked, made with 100 per cent pure bison, spices salt and can say we are really impressed with the taste. ChEF MANUEL

Take home a different gourmet Meal-to-Go every Friday... For two... In one easy to carry bag! Lina’s is proud to present Chef Manuel’s Friday Night Special, a three-course gourmet dinner for two, including a first course, main course and dessert. This generous Friday meal for two is made from the freshest ingredients in the morning by our chef, and ready for you to pick up by 11:00 am. Simply heat and serve at your leisure, with nothing left to do but open the wine! Find out what’s on the Friday menu and order weekly at linasmarket.com!

TAKE-OUT & DELIVERY NOW AVAILABLE Check out our website to see the Menu GROCERY ~ BAKERY ~ DELI ~ CAFÉ


Bison Hot Dogs & Smokies, HGB Bison Ranch, available in Avenida Food Hall & Fresh Market, $21.38 - $22.70

Get your pinot to the party safely Riding your bike on Calgary’s many bike paths just got a whole lot more enjoyable. Now you can easily stop at your favourite wine store, choose a bottle, strap it in for the ride and still have room in the basket for the rest of the picnic. Sturdy and secure leather straps hold the front and the back of the wine bottle tightly in place by fastening to your top tube for a worry-free ride. Works with any 750ml bottle. Enjoy the ride and please bike responsibly.

Wine Caddy, Bike and Brew, $59.95 8


Fire up the fun Wondering what to buy the fisherman or woman in your life? Check out these hot dog and marshmallow roasters that look and feel like a fishing pole. Pick up some bison smokies or hot dogs and get ready for some fun around the fire. With spring in full bloom and summer right around the corner, we are excited to start the fire pit and get roasting again. Try cooking both hot dogs and marshmallows at the same time or double up your dogs. The best thing about these roasters, simply flick your wrist or jig your fishing line and your food flips to roast evenly.



Fire Fishing Pole, Barbecues Galore, $24.99

Reusable cotton produce bags Eliminate the need for plastic bags the next time you do a grocery run with reusable produce bags. Each set includes three different sizes allowing you to fit a variety of fruits and vegetables. We love finding better and reusable alternatives to use in our everyday lives. These bags are cotton, can be washed and used for storage of other nonperishable items when not being used to transport groceries.

June 15 to October 5 SATURDAYS 9AM - 2PM

M i l l a r v i l l e R a c e Tr a c k . c o m 403.931.3411 JUST 30 MINUTES FROM CALGARY

Produce Bags, Zest Kitchenware, $17.95

Hand crafted with love from Indonesia Lombok is one of more than 17,000 islands in Indonesia. Having just returned from Indonesia I can proudly say we visited two of those islands. The Lombok Pottery Center (LPC) works with local Indonesian potters to improve the standard of living for them and for their families. Ten Thousand Villages is a nonprofit fair-trade company purchasing products from Artisans like LPC around the world. Lombok pottery is special and unique. Each piece is hand-etched and formed by women potters, low fired over a wood fire and packed in straw. It’s then painted with a mixture of fine clay, water and oil before firing and rubbed with a smooth stone. These pots are perfect for clay pot cooking, from oven to table. Additional pieces are available in store and online.

Tamarind Casserole Dish, Ten Thousand Villages, $49

Wanda Baker is a Calgary food writer and author of bakersbeans.ca who writes about life, adventure and food.



one ingredient

Cider Baked Beans Julie Van Rosendaal


Calgary loves its beer, but it isn’t much of a cider city—we explode with craft breweries, but Calgary’s Uncommon Cider Co. stands alone as Alberta’s first locally owned and operated craft cidery. Uncommon has been making interesting, complex ciders out of B.C. apples and rescued fruit from urban back yards since 2016. Earthy and floral, the ciders’ flavour profiles are as elaborate as those of wine. Other breweries, like Village, are jumping on the popularity of alcoholic cider and making their own, in part to provide a gluten-free option for visitors to their tasting rooms. Cider’s popularity is growing, but although people are ordering it more often as a beverage, it’s a little slower to catch on as an ingredient. Beer, wine and spirits have been used in the kitchen for as long as they’ve been brewed and fermented, yet cider is often overlooked. Sweeter than both beer and wine, it’s not strong enough to overpower a dish, and has a punchy acidity that makes it a perfect marinade, cooking medium for rich braised meats like lamb and pork shoulder, cooking liquid in a pot of real baked beans, or base for gooey, buttery cheese fondue. Try simmering it in a saucepan—with herbs, spices, ginger, citrus or other aromatics, if you like—to reduce it to a sticky syrup or glaze for baked ham, grilled ribs or fatty fish like salmon or steelhead trout, or to make a wonderfully complex almost-caramel for drizzling over ice cream, cake, fritters or other desserts. Make a quick gravy by pouring cider into a hot pan after browning sausages, using it to scrape up any browned bits, and spoon the sweet and savoury sauce over the sausages and any mashed potatoes you happen to have on the plate. If you’re a fan of winter squash soup, swap a cup or so of apple cider for the stock in any recipe. (And if you have any of that cider reduction left, swirl it on top with a spoonful of crème fraîche.) If you’re not into the boozy version, regular unfiltered, unfermented apple cider can be used in any of these recipes – and coming up with a drink pairing for your dinner should be a no-brainer.

Cider Fondue Dry white wine is traditional for cheese fondue and a non-hoppy beer is a tasty alternative, but cider adds a wonderful sweetness that pairs well with nutty Swiss cheeses like Emmenthal and Gruyère. 1 garlic clove, halved (optional) 2 c. grated Gruyère 2 c. grated Emmenthal 1 T. cornstarch 1-1/2 c. dry cider Cubed bread, cured meats and apple slices, for dipping.

If you like, rub the inside of a fondue pot with the cut garlic clove. Toss the grated cheese with the cornstarch. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the cider to a bare simmer. Start whisking in the cheese in small amounts, adding more as each batch melts. Stir until the mixture is smooth, then place the fondue pot over the burner; pour in the cheese mixture and keep warm. Serve with cubed bread and veggies. Serves 6-8.

Cider-Glazed Salmon Sweet cider and fatty salmon are an unlikely but delicious combination, and can be pulled together with little effort. 1 c. apple cider 1-1/2 lb. salmon filet or steelhead trout olive oil salt and pepper, to taste 2–3 sprigs fresh thyme Heat the apple cider in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat and simmer until it’s reduced to about ¼ cup, and has the consistency of runny syrup. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the salmon or trout skin side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pull the leaves of a few sprigs of thyme to sprinkle over top. Roast for 15–20 minutes, until the fat rises to the surface and the thin end flakes with a fork, but the fish is still moist in the middle. Serve drizzled with the cider. Serves 4.



A pot of true baked beans is divine – and the sweetness and acidity of cider is perfectly suited to its long-simmered sauce. 2 c. dry navy (little white) beans 1 can or bottle cider (or 1-1/2 cups non-alcoholic cider) 1 small onion, finely chopped 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed 1/2 c. ketchup 1/4 c. packed brown sugar 1/4 c. molasses 2 T. grainy mustard 2 T. balsamic vinegar 1 t. Worcestershire sauce 1/2 t. each salt and freshly ground black pepper In a bowl or medium pot, cover the beans with enough water to cover by a couple of inches and let soak for several hours, or overnight. Put the beans into a medium pot (if they aren’t in one already), add enough water to cover by a couple of inches and bring to a simmer; cook for 30-45 minutes, or until the beans are just tender. (If they don’t soften, add a pinch of baking soda to the cooking water.) Drain, transfer to a braising dish or Dutch oven, and add the cider, onion, garlic, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, mustard, balsamic, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, for 2-3 hours, adding more water if the mixture seems dry, until the beans are tender and the sauce is thick and sticky around the edges. Serves 8-10.

Cider Fritters Apple fritters are surprisingly easy to make at home—and there’s no need for a special doughnut cutter. Sautéing the apples first ensures that they cook through; keep the dough pieces small, as they’ll puff slightly as they cook. 1/2 c. cider, warmed or at room temperature 2 t. active dry yeast 2 c. all-purpose flour, plus extra 1/4 c. butter, melted 1 large egg 2 T. sugar 1/2 t. salt canola oil, for cooking 1 large apple, fairly finely chopped 2 T. brown sugar cinnamon

Glaze: 1 c. icing sugar 2 T. cider Put the cider into a large bowl and sprinkle with yeast. Let stand for 5-7 minutes, until foamy. Add the flour, butter, egg, sugar and salt, and stir until the dough comes together. Continue to knead, or mix with the dough hook attachment of a stand mixer, until the dough is smooth and elastic, and slightly tacky. Cover and let stand for a couple of hours. Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat and sauté the apple for 3-5 minutes, until softened and turning golden. Add the brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon and cook for another minute or two. Roll or pat the dough out into a 10-inch square and using a knife or pastry cutter, cut into 4 strips in each direction, making 16 squares. Place a spoonful of apples

on each, sprinkle with a bit of flour (which will make them less slippery) and gather up in a bundle, pinching to seal. Flatten them with your hand to make rough patties about half an inch thick—don’t worry if they look messy, the more craggy they are the better. Place on a sheet, cover with

a tea towel and let rise for another half hour or so.

When you’re ready to cook, heat about 2 inches of oil in a shallow pot until hot but not smoking—a thermometer should read about 350˚F. Cook the fritters in batches, cooking for 1-2 minutes per side, or until deep golden. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined sheet. Whisk together the icing sugar and cider and drizzle over the fritters while they’re still warm. Makes about 1-1/2 dozen fritters.

to spread on grilled cheese or hot dogs, or to add to a cheese and charcuterie board. canola or olive oil, for cooking 3-4 large onions, halved and thinly sliced 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed 1/2 c. apple cider 2 sprigs fresh thyme


2 T. brown sugar 1 T. balsamic vinegar

& Restaurante

In a medium saucepan or heavy skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until turning golden. Add the garlic, cider, thyme, brown sugar and balsamic and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until thick, golden and jam-like. Makes about 1 cup.


Cider Onion Jam

(403) 454-2550

A tasty condiment to stash away in your fridge to serve with roast chicken or pork,

136 2nd STREET SW

Julie Van Rosendaal is a cookbook author and blogs at dinnerwithjulie.com

www.minassteakhouse.coM CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2019


the sunday project

with Karen Ralph


There are many variations on the Spanish Pipirrana salad, which is traditionally made with diced and pulverized tomatoes. The fare of field workers in Andalusia and La Mancha, this recipe is a variation I came up with and it has became a go-to recipe when we are in need of crunchy, hearty sustenance. Start the day before by marinating the onions and making the dressing, giving the flavours time to meld. The dressing recipe will make about 1-1/2 cups – the extra can be used to add Basque flavour to soups, stews, sandwiches or as a toast spread. It’s addictive! And of course, you can always add grilled sausage, chicken, shrimp, pork, or tofu.

plant based and cruelty free

Spanish Salad A T D A L H O U S I E S T A T I O N 403.286.5220 www.zestkitchenware.com

2 heads Romaine lettuce 1 cup pitted black olives Remove and discard any wilted outside leaves, wash and pat dry the lettuce leaves, tear into bite-sized pieces. Keep refrigerated until ready to dress. Pit the olives by laying them on a cutting board and crushing them with the flat side of a knife or the palm of your hand. The pits can be easily picked out. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble the salad.

Peppers, tomatoes, garlic roasted and ready to blend


PATIO SEASON OPENS MAY 18! NEW SUMMER MENU From our garden to your plate.

LOBSTER BOIL | THURSDAY JUNE 27 East coast meets west coast with a traditional family-style lobster boil on the exclusive Founders’ Lounge patio. TICKETS REQUIRED

Reservations and Tickets 403.268.8607 or www.SelkirkGrille.ca SEE OUR WEBSITE FOR RESTAURANT HOURS



Shepherd peppers, tomatoes, Russian red garlic

Blended into pipirrana-style dressing

Pipirrana Dressing

Small Group and Private Trips exploring local cuisines and wines around the globe!

4-6 mild red shepherd or 4 bell peppers 1 head Russian red or other mild garlic 1 lb. small tomatoes (about 14) 1 T. capers 1 lemon, juiced (about 2 T.) 2 or 3 anchovy fillets (optional) salt and pepper to taste Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Place the peppers and tomatoes on parchment paper. Place the garlic on its own square of parchment paper, cut the top off the garlic, add olive oil and salt and wrap in the parchment square, leaving it on the baking sheet with the peppers and tomatoes. Roast for about 25 minutes until the tomatoes and peppers have softened and their skins are dark and blistered. Use tongs to place the peppers and tomatoes into a bowl and cover them until they are cool. When the garlic is soft and easily pierced with a knife, it’s cooked. Poke the garlic with a knife. When it is soft it can be cooled with the peppers and tomatoes. When the peppers and tomatoes are cool, their stems and skin are easily pulled away. Scrape out the pepper seeds. Pull the skins from the tomatoes, slip the garlic from its skin and add to the food processor along with the peppers, tomatoes, capers, lemon juice and if you’re using them, the anchovies. Blend to a smooth consistency, add salt and pepper to taste. The dressing will last for a week refrigerated in a sealer.

Africa • Asia • Indian Subcontinent • Latin America • Europe North Africa • Middle East • South Pacific • Polar Region

Onion Marinade 2 small red onions 1/2 c. sherry or rice vinegar 1 T. sugar 1 t. kosher salt Peel and thinly slice the red onions, using a mandolin if desired. Place onion slices in a bowl and add the vinegar, sugar and salt. Cover and leave in fridge overnight or for at least 8 hours, stirring occasionally.

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Croutons 5 thick slices stale sourdough 2 T. olive oil 2 T. onion marinade (just the liquid) The perfect way to use up stale, leftover bread! Thickly slice leftover sourdough bread and rip the slices into bite-size chunks. Place on a cookie sheet and toast at 375°F. Cool, place in a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil and onion marinade.

the ultimate in refined living

Assembly Combine the lettuce, olives, onions and croutons with 1/4 cup dressing – more if you prefer. We often serve this wonderful salad with roasted chicken and peas. It’s delish!

Premier 40+ Resort Style Community Located on Calgary’s Picturesque Fish Creek Park Dressed salad, ready to eat and delicious. Dinner is served. Yum! 2330 Fish Creek Blvd S.W. Calgary, Alberta | Phone: (403) 460-3771 Karen Ralph is a co-cookbook author and long-time contributor to City Palate, whose syrups and shrubs can be found at Eau Claire Distillery

Wine Cellar | Movie Theatre | Games Room Fitness Centre | Swimming Pool | Bowling Alley Woodworking Shop & Much More 2330 Fish Creek Blvd S.W. Calgary, Alberta www.sandersonridge.ca Phone: 403-460-3771



The Iron Sommelier

1 dish, 3 sommeliers, 3 judges, 3 wines and 3 beers

By Shelley Boettcher Photography by Nick Olexyn

The sommeliers and their pairings:

Some wine pairings are easy, even for a beginner: pizza and Chianti, for instance, or steak and a California Cabernet Sauvignon. But get a top-notch chef to make a complex dish with a lot of ingredients and flavours, and suddenly your wine pairings get significantly more complicated. Add beer to the table, and it’s time to call in the professionals. With that in mind, three of Calgary’s top sommeliers — Peter Smolarz, Brad Royale and Mike Roberts — gathered one afternoon to show off their considerable wine and beerpairing talents. They were taking part in City Palate’s 14th annual Iron Sommelier Challenge. Their goal: to come up with two winning pairings — one beer, one wine — for grilled organic Tofino salmon with yuzu, Ethiopian pistachio and truffle oil.

Peter Smolarz, director of fine wines and purchasing, Willow Park Wines & Spirits

Mike Roberts, sommelier-manager, Co-op Wine Spirits Beer

Brad Royale, Brad Royale Consulting



Ettore Germano 2019 Herzu

Baron de ley Tres Vinas 2011 Blanco Reserva

(Langhe, Piedmont, Italy, $29)

(Rioja, Spain, $33)

Comte Leloup du Chateau de Chasseloir Cuvée des Ceps Centenaires, 2014 Muscadet Sevre et Maine

“It’s a bone-dry riesling aged in amphora. I chose it because it has good acidity and a herbaceousness — thyme, basil — with a mineral backbone.”

“It’s delicate, but really flavourful, and barrel-fermented. That gives it these savoury notes with a caramel sweetness, although it’s a dry wine. It has sotolon, a flavour compound in some wines that gives it almost a maple characteristic.”


Chef Dave Bohati prepared the dish in his role as head chef at Murrieta’s Bar & Grill. THE WAY IT WORKS: Each sommelier had a chance to try the dish a week before the judging, so they could go back to work, taste and brainstorm to come up with what they believed were ideal pairings. A week later, we all met at Murrieta’s Bar & Grill downtown, so they could present and defend their choices to the three judges. Then they left the room, allowing each judge to taste the dish with every wine and beer selection. As they tasted, the judges shared their opinions on what worked — and what didn’t. Finally, the judges had to agree on a winning wine pairing and a winning beer pairing. The sommeliers were called back into the room, and the top beverages were announced. Some years, it’s easy to pick a winner. Other years, not so much. This was one of those years where, when it came to the wine pairings in particular, the judges were overall all pretty happy with what they were drinking. In other words, if you’re trying to reproduce the tasting at home but you can’t find the winning wine, you may be just as happy with one of the others. Like our own sommeliers and judges, however, you won’t know for sure unless you try. 14


BEER 1 Twin Sails Brewing, Vapor Wave

(Port Moody, British Columbia, $23 for a four-pack) “This beer is lighter in body, with a bit of acid to let the fish shine. It finishes with a tiny hint of salt that’s meant to match the salt of the dashi, and the tartness is for those yuzu citrus notes.”

BEER 2 Wild Rose Brewery, Barrel-Aged Goldspur Belgian Strong Golden Ale

(Calgary, $11) “This wheat ale has a bit of a citrus character in it that’s to match the yuzu in the dish. The beer has been aged in French oak barrels and has a malty sweetness with low bitterness, that makes for a sweet-savoury pairing.”

(Loire Valley, France, about $21) “This Muscadet is beautiful from the nose to the mid-palate to the finish. This wine is perfectly poised as a pairing to allow the dish to remain intact, without interfering with the chef’s original concept. Muscadet is one of the world’s most classic white wines; we should all drink more of it. This one is from 100-year-old vines, some of the oldest Melon de Bourgogne in the world. It’s amazing.” BEER 3 Banded Peak Brewing Co. Plainsbreaker Pale Ale

(Calgary, about $18 for a fourpack) “The original beer that came to mind was Bud Light, served ice cold. But this Banded Peak Plainsbreaker Pale Ale has killer mandarin orange, 
grapefruit and Meyer lemon notes, which are complementary to the yuzu and
work with the grill influence. The beer is intense enough to clean the palate, but not so much that it’s distracting.”

Our judges, L to R Jeff Jamieson (JJ), co-owner of Proof and Vine Arts Elizabeth Chorney-Booth (ECB), Calgary Herald restaurant columnist Dewey Noordhof (DN), general manager, Bridgette Bar

WINE 1: Ettore Germano 2019 Herzu ECB: “Balanced. I really like this one. I’d drink it. I am drinking it.” JJ: “This wine pairs really nicely. Both are crisp and straightforward, with a lot of flavours going on.” DN: “This wine may be a bit too loud for the dish. It’s obviously exceptional riesling, and I can see why he paired it with this dish. I would have probably chosen the same thing.” BEER 1: Twin Sails Brewing, Vapor Wave ECB: “I love the beer but I don’t like the match. It doesn’t suit the fattiness of the dish.” JJ: “Too much fruit on the nose and the salt was overpowering on the palate.” DN: “A dish like this, I just wouldn’t drink beer with it. I love beer, just not with a dish like this. Not this beer, anyway.” WINE 2: Baron de ley Tres Vinas 2011 Blanco Reserva ECB: “It’s a great pairing. There’s a contrast but not tension. I really like this pairing. My favourite.” JJ: “A really good pairing. This is the style of wine that I want to pair with this dish. It complements by contrasting.” DN: “I love this wine. I’m going to buy this wine.”

BEER 2: Wild Rose Brewery, Barrel-Aged Goldspur Belgian Strong Golden Ale ECB: “The pairing is not convincing me, but there’s less saltiness than the first beer, which is good.” JJ: “I liked the pairing because of the similarities of the malt characteristics between the dish and the beer. I actually picked that beer.” DN: “There’s a contrast but that’s why it works. I really like it.” WINE 3: Comte Leloup, Chateau de Chasseloir 2014 Muscadet Sevre et Maine ECB: “I like it a lot. I don’t have much to say, really, that hasn’t already been said. It’s a good balance, a great pairing. I think it does what Brad intended.” JJ: “A perfect pairing. The body and the acidity levels are right between the other two wines. There’s a bit of fruit and the salinity of the wine — it just pairs perfectly.” DN: “I haven’t found a Muscadet that I loved until now. But I love this Muscadet. It’s not just a good pairing. It’s great.” BEER 3: Banded Peak Brewing Co. Plainsbreaker Pale Ale ECB: “I like the fruitiness of the beer, but I found the hops distracting.” JJ: “I thought the malt of the beer was perfect, but the hop content was maybe a little much. It overpowered the dish.” DN: “The orange flavour in the beer is really complementary to the yuzu. I like it.”


Dave Bohati’s Iron Sommelier Dish


Because the belly of most animals contains the most flavour, it happens to be a chef’s best friend. We marinate our salmon in a blonde miso paste with grated ginger and green onions or chives. 1. Miso cure a 12 oz. piece of salmon for at least 12 hours before flash grilling on one side while leaving the other side raw. Slice and serve room temperature. 2. To make the miso cure, mix 1 T. grated fresh ginger with 2 T. finely chopped scallions in 3-4 T. blonde miso paste. 3. Meanwhile, make the ponzu sauce, as follows, and refrigerate:

1 c. dashi broth 1/8 c. mirin 1 T. soy sauce 1-2 t. yuzu juice (mix of half lemon and half lime juice, in a pinch)

½ t., each, sesame oil and Worcestershire sauce

This dish is intended to have a full range of flavour or total “umami.” When ready to serve, lightly rinse the salmon, pat dry and plate in a shallow bowl. Garnish with spiced pistachio nuts, a small bit of rinsed sauerkraut, a touch of good truffle oil, chopped avocado, 3 -4 thin slices of cucumber that have been lightly salted and drained, 2-inch pieces of chives and a few cilantro leaves. Drizzle about 2-3 T. ponzu sauce over all.

Note: this is an appetizer dish, so 12 oz. salmon will feed 4 people.

Wild Rose Brewery, Barrel-Aged Goldspur Belgian Strong Golden Ale THE WINNING WINE – Brad Royale

Comte Leloup, Chateau de Chasseloir 2014 Muscadet Sevre et Maine




smacking Casa Santos Lima wines here at Black Stallion Spirits. Established at the turn of the 19th century by Joaquim Santos Lima and mostly replanted in 1990, Casa Santos Lima’s soil is full of clay and limestone from the Superior Jurassic period. (The femur of an Apatosaurus found there rests on its front lawn.) According to CEO José Luís Santos Lima Oliveira da Silva, “Nature is very generous in this region, and we just try to take advantage without interfering too much.” That philosophy also applies to the proprietors of tiny Vinhos Cortem, near Caldas da Rainha. London native Christopher Price and his German wife, Helga Wagner, established their charming organic winery in 2004 within an old operation, adding stainless steel tanks, and do much of the work themselves. Well worth a visit, Cortem produces small, glorious batches of award-winners, sells directly to consumers and exports a bit (though not here yet).

By Kate Zimmerman Casca Wines co-owner, Helder Cunha Well, shiver me timbers! It turns out Portugal, land of legendary seafarers, has been a bit of a pirate, keeping much of its own booty to itself. Let’s pick the lock on a treasure chest that includes plenty of loot from outside the Douro Valley. You probably don’t know much about Portugal’s Vinho Regional de Lisboa, stretching 150-200 km. north of Lisbon to Lieria. Our ignorance about this centuries-old wine region – the most productive in the country -- is understandable. Lisboa’s wine spokespeople say the wine made there was originally created for the region’s own citizens, with quantity the goal, not quality. Since Portuguese wine drinkers usually drink from their own region exclusively, Lisboa natives easily kept their industry chugging along without us. Another obstacle to fame: until 2009, Lisboa was known as Estremadura, which foreigners confused with Spain’s Extremadura. Around then, the region’s winemakers began shifting their emphasis from cheap ‘n’ cheerful to bold ‘n’ bodacious. Portugal has some 250 native grape varieties, many of them rarely found elsewhere, including fernao pires/maria gomes, arinto, and touriga nacional. A dozen or so years ago, Lisboa winemakers began growing international varieties, like petit verdot and chardonnay, and blending them with Portuguese ones to create dazzling flavour combinations. Now such wines are winning awards world wide, making best-of lists, and their marketers have Western Canada in their sights. A recent visit to Lisboa revealed a nascent wine tourism industry and friendly winery owners, eager to promote their wares to Canadians in particular. They do this from tiny organic wineries, hundreds of years old; historic family-owned villas (or

16 16


“quintas”) overlooking gnarled vines and rolling hills; and ultra-modern spots whose tasting rooms feature pop-up spittoons. If you’re heading for Portugal, this is a can’t-miss region – definitely call ahead to book tastings. Even if you’re just wine shopping in Calgary, scope out the Portugal section. The country’s unique varieties mean that quirkiness is one of its wine industry’s assets. Perhaps its most unusual growing situation is in the microregion of Colares, in Bucelas, just north of Lisbon, on Portugal’s central Atlantic coast. For nine centuries, grapevines there have been planted in clay that’s then packed with sand. The vines’ deep foothold allowed them to resist the influx of the sand-unfriendly aphid phylloxera that threatened European vineyards in the mid-1800s. These malvasia de Colares and ramisco vines inch horizontally above the ground; before the grapes start softening, the vines are propped up with stakes just high enough so the orbs still absorb heat from the sand. Colares wine is iconic, highly ranked by such oenophiles as those at Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Meanwhile, in Bombarral, the Fonseca family has presided over the gorgeous Quinto do Sanguinhal and two other wineries since 1926, under the banner of the Sanguinhal Agricultural Company. Diogo Pereira Da Fonseca Reis says what characterizes the quinta’s wines are “elegance, finesse and balance.” In addition to its delicious red, white and rosé wines, Sanguinhal turns out aguardentes (brandies). Find its delectable awardwinning wares at Liquor Depot and Wine + Beyond. Nearby, in Cadaval, there’s a striking contrast between Quinta do Gradil’s 18th century manor house – once the property of the famous 7th

Promoters of Lisboa wines generally note that they’re meant to accompany food. Portuguese cuisine emphasizes pure, clean flavours rather than intense spice mixtures or sauces, and centres on ultra-fresh seafood, including octopus and gooseneck barnacles, reconstituted salt cod, pork, cured meats, hearty breads, local cheeses, boiled potatoes and steamed greens. Most Lisboa winemakers also promise value for money. Casa Santos Lima, located 45 minutes north of Lisbon in Alanquer, prides itself on appearing on “best buy” lists; in 2017, The Washington Post called its 2013 Confidencial Red one of the 10 best bargains of the year. Find lip-

Vinhos Cortém owners, Christopher Price and Helga Wagner

Marquis of Pombal, governor of Lisbon (1750-1777) -- and the gigantic vats of its modern wine-making operation. One of the top five wine producers in the region, it produces 15 million bottles a year. Watch for its Castela do Sulco Reserva and Mula Velha Red at numerous wine stores in Calgary, including Co-op. Another big regional player is DFJ Vinhos, whose estate dates back to 1897. Named one of Europe’s Top 5 Wineries in 2017 by the Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Awards, and Portugal’s Wine Producer of the Year in 2016 at Berlin’s International Wine Challenge, DFJ produces more than six million bottles annually. In Calgary, find its wines at Craft Cellars, Willow Park, Zin and Calgary Co-op. Watch for its Portada Reserva Red, whose 2014 vintage was a Wine Enthusiast best buy, and its Escada Douro, whose 2011 vintage ranked 29th on that magazine’s Enthusiast 100.

mother, it boasts a highly sophisticated tasting room. Taste Adega Mae’s highly praised wares in Portugal and bring ‘em home. Casa Romana Vini, 60 km from Lisbon, adjacent to a Roman bridge, is a new 17-hectare vineyard 10 km from Obidos. Though not sold here, its wines are already impressing judges: its 2015 White Wine Quinta Nogueira Reserve won the Great Gold Medal in the Portugal Wines Contest in 2017. Better yet, its stylishly redecorated 100-year-old villa features 12 rentable rooms in which visitors can fantasize about being a Portuguese winemaker.

the Marques de Pombal’s 18th century palace property, a partnership between the Oeiras Town Council and the Ministry of Agriculture means civil servants study how its grapes work with different technologies and barrels. Sadly, the winery’s lush Villa Oeiras Carcavelos is not available in Calgary. But that makes it the perfect souvenir of your travels to the Vinho Regional de Lisboa. Kate Zimmerman was the guest of the Lisbon Wine Commission (CVR Lisboa), which did not approve this story.

Mixing old and new is integral to the vitality of Lisboa. That approach is personified by the effort to revive the cachet of the famous fortified wines of Carcavelos. Since the early 1980s, on

Located in Merceana, Quinta do Pinto is a female-run winery, focused on sustainability and indigenous blends. It’s owned by the Cardoso Pinto family, whose members still live in the estate’s 17thcentury villa. Architect-turned-sommelier Ana Pinto says the vineyard’s gentle, windy slopes produce great “fruit-driven” wines whose minerality is “more salty than stony.” Thus far, Calgary’s missing out. The extraordinary Adega Mae, at Quinta da Archeira, unites tradition and technology in a handsome ultra-modern facility that produces 1.5 million litres of wine per year. Established by the sons of a salt cod magnate in tribute to their

Adegamae winemaker Diogo Lopes

Healthy Wholesome Delicious The go-to for getting into hunting, harvesting, and wild game cooking.



7 steps to great gardening in Calgary’s climate And you can feed your friends and family, too.

1. First and foremost, think

about what vegetables, herbs and fruits you buy (and, we assume, eat) regularly. “If you eat a lot of lettuce, plant lettuce. If you like tomatoes, grow tomatoes,” Smyth says. “Grow what you eat and what you like.”

Lefevre, on the other hand, is particularly excited about the sesame seeds, cucamelons (a tiny melon that tastes like cucumber), goji berries, quinoa and chickpeas in stock this year at Plantation. There are more than 20 types of herbs this year, too, including bay leaves and cumin. “There are some fabulous new peppers —


2. Grow what grows best where

you live. Put a pot of herbs on your patio, or buy a big tomato plant to start. Where does your yard or patio get the most sun? How much time will you have to weed and water? By Shelley Boettcher There’s nothing quite like pulling fresh carrots from your garden for dinner, and pinching crisp green beans from the plant. Or gathering handfuls of raspberries for breakfast, under the early morning summer sun. Nothing tastes better than food you’ve grown yourself. Even if you’re new to gardening or you live in a condo or apartment, you can still grow edibles for your table this summer. “Anything you can do to help yourself grow good, organic, edible food, that’s a good thing these days,” says Merle Lefevre, manager of Plantation Garden Centre in northwest Calgary. Kath Smyth, staff horticulturalist at the Calgary Horticultural Society, echoes her words. “Gardening is so relaxing and it gets you outside,” Smyth says.

If you don’t know what will grow best where you live and in our climate, ask a professional at the garden centre where you shop. “Certain things can grow from seed. Others are best if you start with the plants. Still others are best if you start with shrubs,” Lefevre says.

3. Take a course or attend a

talk to learn more. The Calgary Horticultural Society regularly offers classes on everything from landscape design to growing pumpkins, and you don’t have to be a member to attend. Find out more at calhort.org or call 403-287-3469.


Visit a community garden for advice, and to pick up valuable gardening tips from others. “Sometimes they offer classes you can attend, or you can just join a good conversation,” Smyth says.

5. Try growing something new every year. That’s what keeps gardening interesting for long-time gardeners like Smyth and Lefevre.

Smyth is growing peppers and all kinds of squash, both winter and summer varieties; she’s especially fond of the little patty pan kind.



shishitos, for one, and the Trinidad scorpion pepper,” she says. “And wasabi radishes, too.”


Don’t be shocked if things disappear. I’ve had zucchinis nicked from my front yard garden, as well as herbs and flowers. I’m not alone. One year, Smyth’s tomatoes kept vanishing, just as they were reaching peak ripening on the vine. Smyth couldn’t understand where they were going — until she caught her dog neatly nipping them off. “She was very delicate about it. She liked the cucumbers, too,” Smyth says with a laugh.

7. Try, try again. Remember, even if something doesn’t thrive in your garden this year, you can always try again next year, Smyth adds. “Just let nature do its course.”

READ ABOUT IT: Dozens of gardening books in the market will give you inspiration and ideas for your own patch of land. The down side? Few are written for our harsh prairie climate. Here are two new titles to consider:

The Canadian Gardener’s Guide, third edition, edited by Lorraine Johnson, is scheduled for release this spring. Described as a “onestop manual for both beginner and more experienced gardeners,” it will give you everything you need to know, from soil management to pest control.

Gardening with Emma by Emma and Stephen Biggs (Storey Publishing, $27). Thirteen-yearold Emma Biggs and her gardener dad have written this fun, interesting and practical book designed to encourage kids to get outside and grow things.

Shelley Boettcher is a local food, wine and travel writer. Find her at drinkwithme.com or on Twitter@shelley_wine



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photographer Adrian Dorst


t’s early evening and we’re on a trail through the rainforest on Vancouver Island’s west coast, a few kilometres south of Tofino. The trail is lush and dense with huge cedars and Sitka spruce, drops of the afternoon rain still dripping from the forest canopy. We round a corner and there stands a smiling server dressed in black and white, a tiki torch behind her, and a tray of glasses bubbling with Blue Mountain Brut in her hands. We take a glass and a sip and soldier on to Shell Beach, one of the Wickaninnish Inn’s special places, where we are to indulge in dinner on the beach.

The Wick By John Gilchrist

sturgeon caviar to the table, skillfully prepared by chef Warren Barr and his talented staff. The Wick has a long tradition of fine chefs, dating back to its first in Rod Butters, now of Kelowna’s RauDZ. Mark Filatow (Kelowna’s Waterfront Wines) and Nick Nutting (Tofino’s Wolf in the Fog) also spent some time there, honing their skills, and Calgary’s Duncan Ly (Foreign Concept) and Justin Labossiere (Concorde Group) started their careers in The Wick’s kitchen. (You’ll find many of their

Yes, roughing it in West Coast style is the thing at the Wickaninnish Inn. (Regulars, once initiated into the ways of the 75-room Relais & Châteaux property, call it “The Wick.”) Perched on rocks above the sweeping Chesterman Beach, The Wick has helped transform Tofino and area into a year-round tourist destination.Built for storm-watching, the Wick’s two buildings face the ocean, offering views from a number of comfortable settings. As the waves, seemingly rolling all the way from Japan, crash on the shore, you can lounge inside and enjoy the view, or don The Wick’s weather gear for a stroll outside. As owner Charles McDiarmid says, “On the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, there is no such thing as bad weather, just poor clothing choices.” Cozying up in The Pointe Restaurant or The Driftwood Café are good – and much drier – options. The menu of seafood -focused regional cuisine brings spot prawns, Dungeness crab, halibut and Northern Divine

recipes in The Wickaninnish Cookbook, a new – and gorgeous – collection of recipes from many of The Wick’s chefs.) Back in the rainforest, we take a nature walk – another service offered by The Wick -- with local guide Nora Morrison, a delightful and knowledgeable U Vic student. She talks about the history of the area, the names of the trees and the delicate balance between the area’s natural world and our impact on it. There’s no bubbly on this walk, but when we emerge from the forest onto Chesterman Beach and see surfers cresting the waves and the tide creeping up the shoreline, no enhancements are needed. The Wick is an intoxication in itself, a bit of West Coast therapy in any weather. Note: The Wickaninnish Inn was recently recognized by Conde Nast Traveler readers as being the number 1 resort in Canada. This was the third time the inn has won this award, with a score of 98.81 out of 100. (It also won in 2013 and 2014.) The Wick also appears as one of only two Canadian hotels on Conde Nast’s Gold List of favourite hotels around the world, chosen by the magazine’s editors. Note: The Wickaninish has recently announced that Carmen Ingham has joined their culinary team as executive chef. The North Vancouver native held senior positions at the Villa Eyrie Resort and the Sonora Resort.

photographer Tom Ryan

John Gilchrist is a Calgary-based food and travel writer CITYPALATE.ca MAY JUNE 2019


stockpot STIRRINGS AROUND CALGARY Pig & Pinot coming down the highway….. For the past 8 years, talented local chefs and wine merchants have come together for the annual Pig and Pinot Culinary Fundraiser at Hotel Arts. Local chefs showcase their culinary creativity and genius resulting in a flavourful funfilled evening that will impress even the most sophisticated palate. This event began with City Palate’s desire to promote Calgary’s unique dining scene while raising funds and awareness for local causes. Since 2012 Calgary Meals on Wheels has been the recipient of the charity event and we are happy to share that City Palate has passed the torch, allowing Calgary Meals on Wheels to present the event as its own. MOW says, Thank you, City Palate! On Thursday, June 6, in the Hotel Arts ballroom, the annual Pig and Pinot Culinary Fundraiser will be in full swing AND full swine! Over 200 guests will have the opportunity to sample creative and delicious pork dishes paired with the perfect pinot, all while being entertained by musical guests and emcee of the evening, the talented Phoenix Phillips. The Pig and Pinot culinary fundraiser is guaranteed to make your taste buds dance! AND, one important thing, a couple of judges will decide which dish is the best and the chef will be awarded the Divine Swine! For event details please visit www.mealsonwheels.com/ upcoming-events

RESTAURANT RAMBLINGS The big news is River Café is OPEN! After an extended winter closure for necessary flood mitigation and building lifecycle maintenance work, River Café is open again beginning May 1. The team was busy researching and menu developing over the break and the refresh includes new menus for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch and cocktails. New summer Picnics are available beginning on June 1st. To welcome diners back, River Café is offering their “friends and family” pricing for the early spring chef’s tasting menu for the month of May, check out the new website for menu and pricing details and reservations. www.river-cafe.com. Book now for Mothers day brunch, your Stampede breakfast party, or drop in for drinks on the glorious patio – it’s just a walk in the park. The wildly popular Live Jazz Sunday Supper at Deane House continues into



the spring and summer season and will move out into the stunning garden patio as soon as the weather permits. Deane House is hosting its first annual Rosé and Croquet summer garden party to welcome The YW (former YWCA) to the neighbourhood.  Wedensaday, June 19th. Tickets at www.deanehouse.com and proceeds to support YW’s new Inglewood home. The garden and grounds at Deane House are available for weddings, garden parties, stampede breakfasts and long table dining. Deane’s winemaker’s dinner series continues in May with the famed Ridge Vineyards from California on Thursday, May 2nd. Details on this event and all others at www.deanehouse.com Newly opened is a great Vintage Group restaurant, Allora Everyday Italian, starring two pretty well recognized chefs – chef Thipp is the executive chef and Chef Justin Labossiere is the head honcho chef overall. Their philosophy is simple – everything they do is local and handmade, or directly imported from Italy. From pasta forming to salumi shaving, experience your meal being prepared right before your eyes inside the glassenclosed pasta bar! You can taste the love in every bite of the simple, scratchmade food, where every ingredient is the best quality possible. Located in Aspen Glen Landing, visit www.allorarestaurant.com for all the tasty details. Thanks Vintage Group, you do good restaurants! Buffo Ristorante has made some changes to its programming and part of this is the monthly Sunday Supper series. Every month a different chef partners with Buffo’s chef, Michel Nop, to create a family-style dinner. The first dinner features Daniel Pizzaro from Teatro and will be held on April 28th. 6455 MacLeod Trail SW (located next to Saks Fifth Avenue at CF Chinook Centre). The evening will feature a three-course dinner served family style with additional wine pairings. To reserve, call (403) 351-2316 or go online www.buffocalgary.com/ Cilantro’s Spring Dinner Series is back in action bringing you the best flavours of the season complete with fantastic wine pairings – May 22 and June 26 at 6:30 p.m. AND don’t miss these other tasty events: May 1, Casamigos Tequila and June 5, – The Botanist Gin. Visit www. cilantrocalgary.com for details and tickets.

Heritage Park invites you to the Selkirk Grille’s Lobster Boil, Thursday, June 27. East coast meets west coast with a traditional family-style lobster boil on the exclusive Founders’ Lounge patio. Reservations and tickets (403) 268-8607 or www.SelkirkGrille.ca

DRINK DOCKET Ice Age Glacial Water brings a rare level of purity – a taste of the glaciers – to all of us. Ice Age Glacial, an ultra-pure water sourced from Ancient glaciers in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. What sets it apart from spring water is its purity, smoothness and low mineral content. Ice Age Glacial is nitratefree, sodium-free and chlorinefree. Ice Age is available on shelves in health food and grocery stores in select markets across North America. Visit www.iceageglacial.com For the months of May and June, Sukiyaki House will be presenting a new sake every week, available by the glass or the bottle. Judith Wong and her talented and well-informed team will take you through the fascinating backgrounds, histories and regions of each sake. This is an excellent opportunity to try several different sakes in ideal surroundings, paired with the perfect dishes. Sukiyaki House will also be re-creating some classic

provide lots of orangey hop flavour with little bitterness. Rich Kanazawa says: “I always want the process of making something to be fun, and the result to be unique and delicious. The collaboration between Main Street Brewing and Kanazawa Wines gives me the opportunitiy to experience all of that.” Nikka whisky is a delicious Japanese scotch, fragrance of peat and smoke with a hint of sweetness. Japanese whisky has developed a firm following around the world in recent years, and you can find it throughout Calgary liquor stores. Eau Claire Distillery, the Turner Valleybased craft distillery, has launched its new Saskatoon Honey Gin as a seasonal product. Eau Claire Distillery’s Saskatoon Honey Gin was originally developed as a special edition release for Eat North’s Prairie Grid Dinner Series and was a sell-out success during its original launch. The infused spirit incorporates flavours of the Canadian prairies to pay homage to the distillery’s Alberta home. Eau Claire Distillery’s Saskatoon Honey Gin is an Alberta version of a British-style sloe gin and is infused with locally sourced honey, Saskatoon berries, rose hips and Alberta malted barley, in addition to classic gin botanicals. Find it at Kensington Wine Market, Bricks Wine Co, Craft Cellars, Vine Arts, Sobeys Millrise & Tuscany, Safeway Shawnessy, Highlander Liquor Stores and Co-op Tasting Centres liquor stores and soon to be Wine & Beyond! Blackbird Vineyards announces the arrival of the 2016 Blackbird Vineyards Illustration, Paramour and Contrarian Wines, a stellar vintage from Napa Valley. 

cocktails (like Manhattan, Negroni, Old fashioned, to name just a few), giving them a decidedly Japanese twist using premium sake, Japanese whisky, yuzu, sudachi and shisho. We’re looking forward to a Japanese-influenced Bee’s Knees! Vancouver’s Main Street Brewing is celebrating the release of its newest beer, the Brut Moscato, a collaboration with Kanazawa Wines. It’s a dry and effervescent base beer combined with 400L of orange Muscat juice. Saison yeast and low mash temps combine to minimize residual sugars, while a generous dose of Mandarina Bavaria hops added in whirlpool

“The stars aligned in 2016 to produce wines of wonderful concentration and balance. The wines have depth and will age beautifully. These wines are crafted with finesse, all the while showing incredible complexity. As providence would have it we have been blessed with a string of wonderful vintages from 2012 to 2018, surely 2016 will be remembered as one of the best.” Eight Ounce Coffee invites you to come by for a fun and informative class or coffee tasting! For the month of April, you can taste coffee from a variety of amazing Calgary roasters (April 24). In May, learn how to pour latte art in a hands-on 5-week latte art course! Head over to www.eightouncecoffee. ca for more details.  

COOKING CLASSES SAIT: Downtown Culinary Campus: May 2, Mexican; May 10, Date Night; May 11/June 15, Artisan Bread; May 16/June 13/25, Thrill of the Grill; May 27 to June 24, June 15 & 22, Introduction to Cooking; May 30, Thailand; June 1, Viennoiserie; June 7, Date Night; June 27, Pasta. Main Campus: May 3, Date Night; May 4, Chocolate; May 7, Herbs and Spices; May 8 to June 5, Introduction to Cooking; May 11/June 22 Viennoiserie; May 14, Fish Cookery; May 25, Sausage Making and Assorted Buns; May 27 to 31, Cooking Boot Camp; May 27 to 31, Desserts and Confections Boot Camp; May 28, Vietnamese; June 4, Knife Skills; June 8, Cupcakes; June 11, Italian; June 14, Curry. The Tastemarket by SAIT: May 31/ June 21, Date Night; June 12 to 26, Cooking for Your Health. The Cookbook Co. Cooks: Indian meets Wine: Curry some Favour with these Modern Flavours, April 29; Rise, Dine & Shine! The Best of Brunch, May 4, morning, hands-on; Beyond “Zoodles,” a Twisty, Turny Spiralizing Workshop, May 4, handson; A Good Day to Brülée: Sweet & Savoury Excuses to use a Blowtorch in the Kitchen, May 5; Cinco de Mayo Fiesta!A Mexican Feast, May 5 handson; Vietnamese Cooking, May 11, hands-on; Risotto and Prosecco: Fast Foods, Fast Friends, May 11, hands-on; Frutti di Mare: Mediterranean Seafood Dishes, May 16, hands-on; Thai Classics, May 22, hands-on; griller and smoker, Rockin’ Ron Shewchuk’s classes: Grilling Essentials: Beginner to Intermediate, May 29, demonstration and hands-on; Beyond Barbecue Basics: Intermediate to Expert, May 30, demonstration and hands-on; A Night Out: Grilling Class for Couples, May 31, demonstration and hands-on; A Culinary Bootcamp Just for Men!, June 2, hands-on; Girls’ Night Out: Cocktails & Hors D’Oeuvres, June 6, hands-on; Perfecting Paella, June 10, hands-on and includes a paella pan. To register, phone 403-265-6066, ext. 1 and visit www.cookbookcooks.com/ cooking-classes for more details and classes.

GENERAL STIRRINGS With June fast approaching, Amato Gelato Café located in West Hillhurst at 2104 Kensington Rd NW will be celebrating its 15th Year Anniversary. Just having completed a full renovation in February, Calgary’s original Italian gelato destination has added a few new elements to the café’s menu. With imported pastries and cakes direct from Italy, expanded food menu, extensive Italian specialty coffees and just in time for spring Imported Italian craft beers, vino, liqueurs and soft serve gelato.

Two Portals into Wine’s Colourful History By Tonya Lailey While not a common colour reference in contemporary Calgary, it was a touchstone in the Champagne region of France in the middle ages. There, the phrase became the name for a hue and a style of wine made from pinot noir. It endures both as a moniker and as the title of an appellation in Switzerland, around Neuchâtel. As it is with so many pleasures, the discovery of this style of wine was unintentional. It’s the product of a medieval rivalry between Burgundy and Champagne as the regions rallied for the attention of the royal court and to dominate the Paris market. As champagne was not yet a thing, the Champenois had to distinguish themselves. Their pinot noir could not compete with the rich heady versions from Burgundy, so they decided to try something new – make white wine from pinot noir. It was an innovation that would be the precursor to champagne. Experiments in making white from red yielded more colour than planned. The wines were pretty much pink, including the specific pale pink of the eyes of a partridge enroute to the after world. And, surprisingly, the wines were a success. The style became known as Oeil de Perdrix and the Champenois won the hearts and palates of the royal court as well as the popularity of the Paris market – at least for a time. What I like about the name is that it reveals a specific relationship to the land, the cultural part of terroir we often miss. It’s one of those connective tissues wine has a way of rendering, when the principle drive in making it – and drinking it – is, in fact, to relate. You won’t find Swiss Oeil de Perdrix in Alberta, at least not so far. You will find some gorgeous vins gris, made in a similar method: hand harvested grapes (typically red-skinned like pinot noir) are pressed gently and the extracted juice is fermented without skin contact. The idea is to remove juice from skin with as little skin time as possible, thereby extracting but trace amounts of pigments and polymers (colour and tannin). “Gris” describes the resultant grey complexion, on the colour scale between rosé and white and inclusive of the pale eye of the parting partridge. The approach is distinct from the classic rosé method, rosé de saignée, by which red-skinned grapes are crushed and the juice is bled out from the mass, extracting skin pigments and tannins along the way.

Still-Life Orange Dying Partridge Eyes Wine drinkers are becoming familiar “Oeil de Perdrix” translates from French with the growing category “orange as “eye of the partridge.” Specifically, wine.” Orange describes the colour of throwbacks to an ancient method it describes the pale pink colour of a of white-wine making in which whole dying partridge’s eyes. clusters of grapes grown organically are soaked and fermented with wild yeast (skins, seeds, stems) for extended periods (days, weeks, months). The wines are typically bottled unfiltered and unfined, with little to no added preservatives (sulphites). Their cloudy, colourful mien owes its origins to skin pigments and the lignin in seeds and stems. If you’ve met one of these wines, you’ll know that orange is a loose adjective, for the colour is more like a faded, dusky orangey brown. Think the orange fruit in an 18th century French still life or the orange murk in a 2018 Alberta summer sunset. The Italian term for pinot grigio made in this manner is ramato, which translates as “auburn” or “copper.” White wines were thus made in ancient Rome, the extended period of skin contact taking place in clay amphorae buried in the ground. Josko Gravner, a winemaker in FruiliVenezia Giulia, Italy is credited for raising contemporary interest in this approach, clay amphorae and all. Whereas Oeil de Perdrix is all about minimizing skin contact, orange wines are all about maximizing it. The winemaking decision about what to do with the skins and the other main architectural components of the grape (stems, seeds), and for how long, has a radical impact on the finished wine. By accessing the whole botanical package of a grape cluster, winemakers and now wine drinkers, are discovering (or rediscovering) characteristics and idiosyncrasies of classic grape varieties they thought they knew inside out. Call it a holistic approach, call it natural, this old-made-new-again wine making practice invites and pays attention to a broader range of elements in the conversion of grapes to wine. And so far, this has only served to make wine more colourful and to show us that varieties like pinot gris have more to say when we make way, listen and let them. Tonya Lailey sells wine in Alberta made by people she knows and from places she loves. She writes about wine and other things that have a spark.



7 quick ways with...

by Chris Halpin


Although we all call pistachios a nut, they are actually a seed from a plum-like fruit that grows in clusters, like large grapes – but on trees. Having said this, I will continue to refer to them as nuts and one of my favourites. They are native to the Middle East and recent finds suggest that they were cultivated as early as 7000 B.C. in Turkey.

Pistachios chèvre grapes These are one of my “go to” hors d’oeuvres, I have been making these for years. They are perfect with a glass of wine, any glass of wine! In a bowl put 1 small tube of soft goat cheese, approximately ½ c., a pinch of ground coriander and of white pepper, and mix well. In another bowl put ½ c. chopped pistachios. Using 12 or so grapes, take 1 grape and about 1 T. chèvre mixture and evenly coat the grape, then roll in the chopped pistachios. Repeat until you have used all the cheese, arrange on a platter and serve. Makes about 12.

Quinoa tabouli with pistachios and kalamata This recipe is so nutrient dense and so satisfying. Great on its own or wonderful as a side with fish and the like. Into a bowl put 3 c. cooked quinoa, 1 c. finely chopped parsley, ½ c. finely chopped mint, 2 green onions, sliced, ½ c. chopped kalamata olives, ½ c. roughly chopped pistachios, ¼ c. olive oil, juice of 1 lemon and salt to taste, mix well and serve. Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side.

Seared striploin with pistachio Stilton butter This is a fun twist on an old classic. In a bowl put ½ c. soft butter, ½ c. Stilton cheese and ½ c. finely chopped pistachios, 1 garlic clove, finely minced and 1 t. black pepper. With a fork mash and mix. Spoon out onto a piece of parchment and roll into a 1-inch tube that is about 6 inches long. Twist the ends and refrigerate for about an hour. Salt and pepper 2 striploins. Place a skillet over high heat and allow it get very hot before adding 2 T. canola and 1 T. butter, sear to preferred doneness. On two plates, arrange some arugula and a steak onto each with a coin of the compound butter that is about ½-inch thick, before serving. Make 1-1/2 c. of compound butter and it will keep in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Pistachio and tarragon crusted lamb rack The pistachios and tarragon are perfect counterpoint to the lamb. Preheat your oven to 450°F. In a blender or food processor, put ½ c. pistachios, ¼ c. lightly packed tarragon leaves, 1 shallot, roughchopped, and pulse until fine, but not pasty. Add this to a bowl with ½ c.



panko breadcrumbs, ¼ c. white wine, 1 t. salt, ½ t. Sriracha and mix well. Generously pack the mixture on top of the fat cap and roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is well browned and the lamb is done to your liking. Remove and let rest for a couple of minutes before serving. Serves 2.

Pistachio and Chinese 5-spice chicken wings Chicken wings are a guilty pleasure of mine. I like to use the whole wing that I turn the tip back and fold it into a triangle. Half the price and twice the chicken! Preheat your oven to 450°F. Arrange 12 whole wings or 24 split wings on a baking sheet, salt and pepper to taste. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until they have started to brown and get crispy. Remove from the oven, place in a bowl with ¼ honey and 1 T. Chinese 5-spice, mix to evenly coat and sprinkle with about ½ c. chopped pistachios and return to the oven for another 5 minutes before serving. Serves 2 to 4 people.

Linguine with pistachio, green onion, pesto The creamy qualities of pistachios are highlighted in this recipe. So simple and remarkably satisfying. In a large pot with rapidly boiling water, boil your pasta to your preferred doneness. While that is happening, make the pesto. In a food processor or blender put ½ c. pistachios, ½ c. chopped green onions, ½ c. chopped parsley, ½ c. parmesan, 1 dash fish sauce, 1 c. olive oil, ½ t. black pepper and salt to taste, pulse to a rustic finish. Drain pasta, roll with an amount of pesto to your liking. Arrange on plates and finish with more parmesan and pepper. The remaining pesto will keep in the fridge for about 6 days. Try it on a sandwich or roll with salad fixings and a dash of cider vinegar. Makes about 2 cups.

Pistachio baklava I’m not sure why people seem to think that baklava is so difficult? When in fact, it’s a cakewalk and so delicious! Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a medium pot put 1 c. water, ½ c. honey, ½ c. sugar, the zest and juice of 1 mandarin. Place over medium-high heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved, then from time to time. Once it has come to the boil, allow it to boil rapidly for 3 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside for later. While you are waiting for the syrup to do its thing, melt ½ c. butter over low heat. When the butter has melted, remove from the heat and set aside for later. Roughly chop 2 c. pistachios. Lightly butter 1 sheet of phyllo and place another on top and do the same. Repeat this until you have 10 layers, then cut this in half so you have two, 9x13 inch pieces. Place one phyllo stack into a baking pan, make an even layer of pistachios and place the second stack on top of this and cut into 6 squares, then each square into a triangle. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until evenly browned. As soon as the baklava comes out of the oven, pour the syrup evenly over the top of the pastry. Serve warm or at room temperature. This will keep out of the fridge for about 4 days. Makes 1 dozen. Chris Halpin has been teaching Calgarians to make fast, fun urban food since 1997 and is the owner of Manna Catering Service. mannaonline.com. Recipe photos by Chris Halpin.



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Allan Shewchuk


In the spirit of a time-honoured tradition, I recently asked my son out to have a beer with me. I wanted some quality bonding time and thought that meeting at a pub would be an easy way to get it. But my boy is a millennial, and nothing about going out for a drink is “easy” with that generation, as they must only frequent hotspots that serve kooky cocktails and bizarre beverages. He therefore insisted on meeting at a new micro-brewery, and I agreed, thinking that regardless of how “in” the place was, a beer is a beer and we could hoist a nice father-son pint together. Upon arrival, I discovered that in these new establishments, there are no big brand or familiar labels. Instead, all of the beer is made in-house and has to be wildly unconventional. And so what should have been a straightforward, pleasant evening soon turned into hipster hell, since I had been wrong: at millennial joints, a beer is never just a beer. The trouble started at the menu. I recognized a few styles of brewing listed there, but every beer had a host of weird ingredients, like wild yeast and roasted heirloom wheat. The tasting profiles revealed beers with “notes of coffee” and “a finish of chocolate.” None of it sounded appealing, so I asked for some small tasters to try. The first sample was an IPA, which is a style I like. But this was not like any IPA I had ever sipped; it was so hoppy that when it crossed my taste buds, my jaw nearly popped out from the raging flood produced by my saliva glands. The next taste was stout, which again held promise but which had the colour, texture and taste of oil sands bitumen. In fact, if they tried to transport this beer in a pipeline, I have no doubt that environmentalists would be laying their bodies down across roads to protest the ecological damage that would be caused by a stout spill. The last sip was Wild Sour Ale, which had such a sour fruit taste that I concluded it must have been the brewer’s stomach contents. At this point, I threw up the white flag and wished that I could just order a glass of wine. I thought that at least millennials couldn’t screw up wine with their crazy ideas and recipes. But it turns out, I was wrong about that, too, because I’ve discovered that the “hip” new drink craze is something called “orange wine.” My first thought was “Tropicana,” but once again, I was mistaken. Orange wine is not made from oranges, but from white wine grapes that are mashed, stems and all, and left to ferment for as little time as four days or for as long as more than a year. Normally, white wines spend no time with their skins, but this method of leaving the crushed grapes without being separated from their skins turns the wine a darker colour than you see in white wine, ranging from golden straw yellow to Tony the Tiger orange. Orange wine can also be cloudy with sediment and usually has a tannic structure that is dry, like a red wine. Often it also has a harsh sourness, similar to a fruit beer. Apparently, with millennial tastes, all roads lead back to stomach contents. Stomach contents! Yum! (Said no one, ever….) I sampled some orange wines and felt I was back sipping those microbrew beers, since the flavours varied from odd to off-putting. Notes on orange wines reveal the following “typical” tastes: jackfruit, brazil nut, bruised apples, dehydrated apricot, juniper, sourdough, linseed oil and wood varnish. Gosh! Just what we all want at the end of a busy day -- a nice glass of wood varnish. (Said no one, ever….)




I felt wine snobbish about disliking orange wine until I read what the New York Times’ wine critic said about them. He tasted a bottle and took a shine to it, describing it as “cloudy pink with grippy tannins and beautiful aromas of mint.” He took it home and, upon popping the cork, said that it showed promise, as “on the palate it was focused and beautifully bitter.” But, shockingly, after being open for only an hour, the wine fell apart and took on the aroma of tires -- as in steel-belted radials. So for now, along with avoiding weird craft beers, I’m going to pass on orange plonk. For me, in wine it’s important to taste a good year, not a Goodyear.

Allan Shewchuk is a lawyer, food writer and sought-after Italian food and wine guru. He currently has kitchens in both Calgary and Florence, Italy, but will drink wine pretty much anywhere.












Profile for City Palate

City Palate May June 2019  

City Palate May June 2019