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ALBERTA / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES :: VOLUME 7 NO.5 :: OCTOBER 2018

The Best of the 2018

Alberta Beverage Awards Hundreds of Award Winning Wines, Beers, Spirits... And so much more!

Show-Stopping Thanksgiving Sides | Squash | Roast Once, Eat Twice


local is always in season.

Shop your local Blush Lane Organic Market, or have it delivered by SPUD.ca.


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20 16 14 Volume 7 / issue #5 october 2018

Features 14

A Guide To Fall Squash When the temperatures start to drop and the leaves begin to change, fall is the season for squash. We’re looking at some easily available varieties, and the best way to treat each one. by Mallory Frayn

16

Roast Once, Eat Twice Who can resist the smell of chicken roasting in the oven? Not us! Possibilities of what to do with leftovers are endless, so here’s a start that’s perfect for speedy weeknight meals. by Renee Kohlman

32 Prosecco One of the most well-known and loved sparkling wines

33 Cabernet Sauvignon Captivating our senses… and it’s the perfect pairing with Alberta beef

45 Gin The love affair continues…

49 India Pale Ales It's the heyday of IPAs

The Results of the 2018 Alberta Beverage Awards In its sixth year, the Alberta Beverage Awards stay strong and meaningful. So much so, that we had to increase the number of judges on our panels from 20 to 25 of Alberta’s finest palates! by Tom Firth

Departments

Alberta Beverage Awards 29 Fruit Wines Some standout wines for Alberta’s specialty

20

66 Open That Bottle Michael MacDougall, creator and owner of Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival by Linda Garson

6

Off The Menu – Upper Crust Café’s Orange and Lavender Cake

9

Book Review – The Wickaninnish Cookbook

10

Chefs’ Tips and Tricks: Thanksgiving Showstoppers

On the Cover: Special thanks to Jason Dziver who took all the bottle shots and judges’ photos for our Alberta Beverage Awards Results, and a big thank you to Ingrid Kuenzel who designed and created our cover featuring just a handful of our 2018 Best In Class winners. 3


Letter From The Editor grown in respect, renown, and reputation, as the province’s most important and meaningful beverage awards. While it occupies the Culinaire team for much of the summer, the only way possible for such a ginormous endeavour is thanks to many people: our judges – 25 of Alberta’s most experienced and professional palates; our ten behindthe-scenes stewards, who expertly pour thousands and thousands of samples for the judges; and the staff at Hotel Blackfoot who keep us supplied with an unending quantity of clean stemware.

We’re back with our biggest issue of the year! And our most collectible too – we so often hear that this issue is a “keeper” and is referred to time and time again over the next year when you’re deciding which wine, beer, or spirit, to purchase for yourself or as a gift. Our Alberta Beverage Awards is a huge undertaking, and we’re thrilled with the way it’s evolved over the last six years, and has

And, of course, to the producers and importers who continue to support the competition and enter their products to be judged; and to our Competition Director, Tom Firth, who brings it all together (and we’re not sure how, but still manages to keep a sense of humour!). No sooner than our Awards are finished, we dive straight in to our 3rd annual

Edmonton Treasure Hunt. And what a day! Edmonton you always do us proud. Many, many thanks to our 30 destinations; to The Westin Edmonton for our launch; to Craft Beer Market for our wrap; to all our participants; and to our lead in Edmonton, Jenni Lavoie, for all her hard work to make it happen! Cheers, Linda Garson, Editor-in-Chief Emails like this make it all worthwhile.… Hello Linda, Thank you for providing another opportunity for a fabulous culinary experience on Saturday, here in Edmonton. This year I flew my daughter in from Kelowna, BC to partner with me! She enjoyed every minute of the race. Please pass on our thanks to the organizing team. Sincerely, Brenda T

Abbondante (Ab-OH DON-te)

This is how we say “bountiful” in Italian. For Italians, delicious, bountiful meals are a way of life and the dinner table is where we bond. It’s where families come together, friends are found, and memories are made.

Gather with family and friends and celebrate a bountiful harvest season with us. Grocery. Bakery. Deli. Café. EDMONTON Little Italy | Southside | West End CALGARY Willow Park

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ALBERTA / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Linda Garson linda@culinairemagazine.ca Managing Editor: Tom Firth tom@culinairemagazine.ca Multimedia Editor: Daniel Bontje web@culinairemagazine.ca Sales Consultant: Gillian Roberts 403-990-1512 gillian@culinairemagazine.ca Sales Consultant: Chris Clarke 587-998-2475 chris@culinairemagazine.ca Edmonton Lead: Jenni Lavoie 587-336-7613 jenni@culinairemagazine.ca Contributing Photographer: Ingrid Kuenzel Design: Emily Vance Contributors: Anna Brooks Jason Dziver Mallory Frayn Dong Kim Renee Kohlman Karen Miller

Contact us at: Culinaire Magazine #1203, 804 -3rd Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2P 0G9 403-870-9802

To read about our talented team of contributors, please visit us online at culinairemagazine.ca. info@culinairemagazine.ca www.facebook.com/CulinaireMagazine Twitter: @culinairemag Instagram: @culinairemag For subscriptions, competitions and to read Culinaire online: culinairemagazine.ca

Our Contributors < Anna Brooks

Anna Brooks is an award-winning Canadian journalist currently studying for a Masters degree in New York City. She has travelled and written in Thailand, Africa and India, and has been published in local publications including Culinaire Magazine, the Calgary Herald, and FreeFall Magazine. The tireless life of a writer means Anna loves a good fine dining experience when she can afford it. Follow her on Twitter

< Jason Dziver

Native Calgarian Jason Dziver has been working as a photographer for the past 22 plus years, and estimates he has taken over 20,000 bottle photos since he started covering wine and beverage competitions. He also likes to take photos of architecture, food, people and products for local businesses and magazines. When he doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a camera in his hands you can find him cycling, building bikes or messing about in his garage/workshop. See more of his work

< Mallory Frayn

Mallory is a food writer and PhD student living and learning in Montreal. She loves to combine her two passions, food and psychology, to help people develop healthier relationships with food. Her site, becauseilikechocolate. com, aims to do just that (and obviously chocolate is always included). When she isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t busy with research or writing, Mallory is most likely jogging, or eating (or both!) her way around Montreal. Follow her @cuzilikechoclat.

All Trademarks presented in this magazine are owned by the registered owner. All advertisements appearing in this magazine are the sole responsibility of the person, business or corporation advertising their product or service. For more information on Culinaire Magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Privacy Policy and Intention of Use, please see our website at www.culinairemagazine.ca. All content, photographs and articles appearing in this magazine are represented by the contributor as original content and the contributor will hold Culinaire Magazine harmless against any and all damages that may arise from their contribution. All public correspondence, which may include, but is not limited to letters, e-mail, images and contact information, received by Culinaire Magazine becomes the property of Culinaire Magazine and is subject to publication. Culinaire Magazine may not be held responsible for the safety or return of any unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and other materials. Reproduction of this publication in whole or in part without written consent from Culinaire Magazine is strictly prohibited.


Off The Menu by Linda Garson

We received an email from a reader who wrote:

“LOVE your magazine! Great to see some Edmonton content. I particularly enjoy “Off the Menu”. It would be wonderful to see the recipe for Orange Lavender Cake from Upper Crust Café here in Edmonton. The flavour and texture are delightful. Not too sweet and I believe it’s gluten free to boot.” —Charlotte P. We couldn’t wait to try this cake, and we agree with Charlotte – it’s completely delicious. Many thanks to Edmonton’s Upper Crust Café for sharing this recipe with us!

Orange Lavender Cake Makes 1 cake

2 oranges, zested and juice reserved 1 lemon, zested and juice reserved 2 1/3 cup ground almonds (almond flour) 1 1/3 cup sugar 1 Tbs baking powder 2 tsp dried lavender Pinch salt 8 eggs 1 2/3 cups (400 mL) canola oil Candied orange peel, for garnish 6

Glaze Reserved orange and lemon juice 1 tsp cinnamon 3-4 whole cloves ¼ cup sugar

4. Cover with a baking tray and continue

to bake until set, 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Cake will be set in the centre but still moist. Poke hot cake with a wooden skewer to allow glaze to seep in.

Preheat oven to 300º F. Grease a 25 cm (10”) round spring-form cake pan with cooking spray, and line bottom with parchment paper.

strain into a measuring cup. Brush glaze on cake, making sure to cover whole cake.

1. In a medium bowl mix zest and all dry

6. Allow to cool a minimum of 2 hours

2. Make a well in the centre and add eggs and oil. Mix wet ingredients with a whisk, gradually bringing in the dry ingredients. Mix half, then finish off with a rubber spatula.

Orange lavender cake is best made ahead and chilled. It can keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 days, and freezes well.

ingredients.

3. Pour batter into prepared pan and

bake for approximately 20 minutes, until cake starts to brown.

5. In a small pan, bring glaze to a boil then

before serving. Garnish with candied orange peel.

If there’s a dish in a restaurant in Alberta that you’d love to make at home, let us know at culinairemagazine.ca/contact-us, and we’ll do our very best to track down the recipe for you!


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Book Review

by Karen Miller

The Wickaninnish Cookbook

Many recipes have included tips for a step up “Inn style” presentation (see p.118 for Mini Beef Tartare Burgers). Even the breakfast offerings elevate simple oatmeal to an “Ancient Grain Porridge” (p.30). Do not be discouraged by the steps involved, all are simple and can be done ahead – and the end result is delicious!

Appetite By Random House 2018. $45 The restaurant of this Relais & Chateaux property has often played second fiddle to its setting looking out over the rocks and rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean. There is no question the Inn has become the destination it was intended to be.

The recipes are even categorized with activities including storm chasing, beach picnics and fireside eating. The photography of both the food and the scenery is spectacular, and it is not hard to see how they are intertwined.

It has also been the springboard for a number of talented Canadian chefs, and so the book includes recipes from those who have manned the kitchen in the past as well as best-loved favourites at the Inn. From the beginning, it has been the owners and the chefs’ mission to make everything in-house, and to work as much as possible with the bountiful catch from the surrounding ocean, and from the forest and fields of Vancouver Island or nearby.

With such an impressive list of chefs leading the kitchen, the repertoire of recipes can be technique-driven but many are simply classics with a local twist (such as West Coast Waldorf Salad on p. 85), with the focus on bringing out the best flavours.

So even if the view does not have you mesmerized, the food may be an inspiration for more storm watching or at least a fabulous dining experience in nature’s setting. Karen Miller is a former lawyer who got on the “know where your food comes from” bandwagon earlier than most, and now forages her daily food from local growers.


Chefs' Tips

Tricks!

Thanksgiving Showstoppers by Anna Brooks photography by Ingrid Kuenzel and Dong Kim

Whether it’s your grandma’s savoury stuffing or mom’s marshmallow sweet potatoes, there are some dishes so special they’re saved for the most feast-worthy day of the year: Thanksgiving. We all know straying from a holiday menu your family has lovingly gorged on for decades is tantamount to treason, so this year our most trusted local chefs cooked up some tips and tricks for spicing up all your favourite Thanksgiving sides and starters. The turkey might be the grand finale, but it doesn’t always have to steal the show! Scott Downey, owner and chef at The Butternut Tree (with the unbeatable view of Edmonton’s historic legislature building), isn’t one to deviate from his family’s well-established turkey traditions, but this year he’s putting a new spin on stuffing.

If you’re cooking a turkey, there’s a lot that can go to waste, and it’s often offal - aka, organ meats. Yes, heart and liver may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of stuffing, but Downey says it can make a dish seriously delicious, while making good use of your bird’s innards. “Wild mushrooms and nuts are right in season. You can mix those in with some shredded potatoes and the offal to make the dish a bit more approachable,” he says. “It would be a cool way for people in your family to try something new, plus you have a really rich bite that goes with everything.”

If offal isn’t up your alley, here’s a recipe for a family favourite Downey doesn’t dare change - it’s just too darn delectable.

Downey Family’s Broccoli Casserole Serves 4

500 g broccoli 2 eggs, beaten 226 g cottage cheese 1 Tbs melted butter 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated 3 Tbs flour Salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil broccoli until tender, and then let cool. 2. Mix broccoli with beaten eggs.

Add the remaining ingredients, putting half the cheddar cheese in the mixture, and half on top.

3. Bake at 350º F for 30 to 40 minutes. 10


For Jason Barton-Browne, executive chef at Hayloft - arguably one of the best restaurants in Airdrie for locally sourced ingredients - a pierogi casserole was always on the Thanksgiving table. Delicious, sure, but it’s also a dish he says sits in your stomach for about five days following. Now, Barton-Browne aims for things fresh and from the garden. Produce peters out pretty quickly once October hits, but it’s still the perfect season for veggies like beets, zucchini, and squash.

Sour cherries also make a spectacular substitute in cranberry sauce Root veggies can be prepped and cooked a day or two in advance, which can save you a lot of hair pulling on Thanksgiving day (strands of hair never make for a good garnish). We aren’t all lucky enough to have a cherry tree in our backyard, but BartonBrowne says if you have some sour cherries, they also make a spectacular substitute in cranberry sauce. “Thanksgiving is literally a celebration of the bounty of harvest,” he says. “But the one thing I’d not bother with are fresh salads - pick dishes you can do ahead of time. Something like a three-bean salad sits really well and actually gets better after a few days in the fridge.” Save yourself some stress, and make Barton-Browne’s mouthwatering vegetable salad ahead of time— or if you live for kitchen chaos, it’s just as good cooked on the day.

Thanksgiving Roasted Root Vegetable Salad Serves 4-6

100 g pancetta, diced 1 red onion, peeled 1 yellow onion, cut into wedges 20 g garlic, thinly sliced 3 large carrots, cut medium pieces 3 large parsnips, cut medium pieces 1 butternut squash, cut medium pieces 10 (around 900 g) baby yellow beets, peeled To taste salt and pepper 10 g fresh thyme 5 g fresh rosemary 5 g fresh sage 900 g kale 100 g balsamic vinegar 100 g Dancing Goat Feta (or your favourite Feta)

For canola oil vinaigrette: 135 g shallot, finely diced 3 g thyme, finely chopped 4 g tarragon, finely chopped 8 g basil, cut into thin strips 4 g dill, finely chopped 5 g chives, finely chopped 5 g parsley, finely chopped 5 g mustard seed, roughly crushed (mortar and pestle works best) 300 g cold-pressed canola oil       100 g red wine vinegar 20 g honey

1. To make vinaigrette, whisk together all ingredients. Season with salt. 2. Preheat oven to 400º F with a large cast iron pan inside.

3. Add pancetta to pan with 1 Tbs of cooking oil and stir. Cook in oven until fat is rendered and pancetta is crispy. Do not remove fat from the pan. 4. Add onions, garlic, and all other

vegetables to pan and return to oven. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Stir every eight to 10 minutes, and

cook for about an hour, or until veggies are tender. At 30-minutes, add the fresh herbs to the pan.

6. While the vegetables cook, remove kale leaves from stems. Wash and pat dry. 7. Use 2 Tbs of vinaigrette to massage kale by hand until “wilted.”

8. Add balsamic vinegar to deglaze

veggies. Transfer to a serving bowl with marinated kale.

9. Top with vinaigrette, and season

with salt and pepper. Crumble feta on top.

11


Potato Tartiflette Serves 4

No matter how much prep work you do, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a little craziness in the kitchen. While appetizers might seem gratuitous when you’re preparing a meal so big you won’t be able to button your pants for the next week, a tasty starter is a perfect way to distract guests as you juggle one too many hot pans behind the scenes.

1 Kg Yukon gold potatoes 125 g bacon lardons 1 large white onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, chopped ½ cup (120 mL) white wine ½ + 1/3 cup (200 mL) heavy cream 1 whole Reblochon cheese (about 450 g), sliced To taste salt and pepper

Blair Lebsack, owner and chef at RGE RD in Edmonton, knows Alberta’s appetite, and if there’s one thing we’re committed to, snow or sunshine - it’s barbecuing. If you want to surprise your guests with a fun twist on starters, Lebsack says to grill up some skewers. Not only are they easy to cook (and don’t require the oven, which is probably full anyway), you can also tack on seasonal vegetables like zucchini, squash, or chunks of corn.

Preheat oven to 400º F.

“I’m back to that idea of using the grill to make a quick snack like meat on a stick,” he says. “It’s a fun thing people can enjoy when they arrive, and you can incorporate lots of different flavours into it.” If you’ve already honed your skewer skills, try making Lebsack’s tartiflette, a decadent side dish with a French flair. 12

1. Cook potatoes in a saucepan of salted, boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just cooked. Drain and set aside to cool slightly. 2. Add bacon, onion, and garlic to a hot frying pan. Cook for about five minutes, or until golden-brown.

3. Deglaze pan with white wine,

and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.

4. Thinly slice potatoes and layer them

in an ovenproof gratin dish. Add bacon mixture, and pour cream overtop. Season with salt and lots of fresh black pepper. Layer Reblochon slices on top.

5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese is golden-brown and bubbling.

There’s no shortage of ideas for Thanksgiving dishes when you work at a restaurant known for its fall-forward food. Tobias Larcher, chef at Heritage Park’s Selkirk Grille, says one of his favourite Thanksgiving dishes (with an extra Canadian touch) is maple-roasted parsnips. Parsnips and other homegrown veggies, like beets, can also be used to make a


starter we should give more credit to, especially when they’re made from scratch. Yes, we’re talking about pickles! Larcher says you can pickle just about anything, and whetting your appetite with a refreshing snack (with that classic crunch only the best pickles have) prevents you from filling up before the heavy hitters make it to the table. Plus, pickles are simple to make and can be made well in advance.

It’s still the perfect season for veggies like beets, zucchini, and squash “We love using homemade pickles as starters using different beets from the garden or whatever we can find at the farmers’ market,” he says. “You can use all types of vinegars like sweet vinegar, apple cider, and champagne vinegar to give your pickles a different flavour every time.” Another Thanksgiving side dish you can do a day ahead is Larcher’s stuffing. And his traditional Bavarian recipe has a few secret ingredients we think all Albertans will catch on to.

Pretzel Bacon Stuffing Serves 4

3 Tbs butter 2 cups bacon, diced 2 celery stalks, diced 1 large onion, finely chopped 2 large carrots, finely chopped 10 cups soft pretzels, toasted and left out to harden 3 cups (720 mL) vegetable stock To taste salt and pepper 1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Over medium heat, melt butter in a large skillet. Add diced bacon and render out fat. 2. Add celery, onion, and carrots. Cook until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Experiencing

3. Stir in thyme. Season with salt and

the

4. Put pretzels in a large bowl, and add

Iberian

pepper.

cooked vegetable mixture. Pour in stock. Toss until combined, and season with salt and pepper.

5. Butter a baking dish, and spoon

in stuffing mixture. Bake until cooked through and golden, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Anna Brooks is an award-winning journalist and graduate student currently living and studying in New York City.

Peninsula One Taste at a Time


A Guide To Fall Squash: 5 Varieties And Ways To Treat Them by Mallory Frayn

Fall is the season for squash. Acorn, kabocha, delicata, you name it; these gourds are all mainstays when the temperatures start to drop and the leaves begin to change. Despite their diversity, it can be easy to fall into the trap of familiarity. Sticking to basic varieties like butternut or spaghetti squash are surely safe bets, but you can’t go wrong with other options, all of which are readily available at farmers’ markets and many grocery stores.

Certain squash are better suited to particular ways of cooking Whether you’re working with kuri or buttercup, they all generally take well to similar methods of cooking. The simplest applications range from basic roasted squash with salt, pepper, and a glug of good oil, to blitzing the works down to a creamy puree or soup. However, based on their starch and sugar content, certain squash are better suited to particular ways of cooking. Let’s break down the different varieties and the best way to treat each one.

Butternut Squash

easy to peel, and thus reduces the risk of losing a finger. Butternut holds up well when cooked, so is ideal for applications which require that your squash does not turn to mush. Try making squash ravioli with thinly sliced trenches of blanched butternut in place of pasta. Fill with ricotta or any soft cheese mixture and drizzle with brown butter and roasted hazelnuts.

Acorn

This small, nut-shaped squash is also widely available at grocery stores and markets alike. The inner cavity is quite large, yielding less flesh than other varieties. This makes acorn squash ideal for roasting (skin on), rather than scooping out the innards to puree them.

14

Delicata

Delicata is one of the smallest squash varieties and is oblong in shape, with white and green striations on its skin. The beauty of delicata is that its skin is entirely edible, no peeling necessary. Just be sure to wash thoroughly to remove any residual dirt and grime.

Delicata

Butternut

One of the most familiar squashes on the market, butternut is a mainstay for its ease of prep and its versatility. Because the skin is relatively thin, it is

You can also take advantage of its petite size and use it as a squash bowl of sorts. Fill with squash soup, or a hearty grain salad, which can be a great vegetarian or vegan option come Thanksgiving.

Acorn Squash

The inner seeds are also quite tender and can be left in for ease of preparation. Try this variety roasted and glazed with a mixture of maple syrup, soy sauce, and sriracha.


Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti

Any ingredient that shreds into thin, noodle-like strands when cooked is interesting to play around with, although admittedly the texture is one of the few redeeming qualities of spaghetti squash. More watery and less flavourful than other varieties, it really needs to be bolstered by a flavourful sauce or topping. Serve it with a mushroom Bolognese or the ever-popular cacio e pepe, a simple Italian sauce comprising cheese and plenty of freshly cracked black pepper.

Kabocha

This Japanese squash has a forest green exterior and is prized for its sweet, creamy interior. Despite maintaining its shape when cooked, it’s also ideal for pureed soups and sauces. Just make sure that you don’t confuse it for buttercup, a prevalent imposter that is less sweet with higher moisture content. The two can be distinguished, as buttercup is more boxy and has a notable bump on the bottom. Alternately, just ask your grocer to help you differentiate.

Kabocha Squash Crisp Serves 4 as a side dish

1 knob butter 1 Kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1-1½ cm cubes 3 springs thyme ½ shallot, minced 1 clove garlic, minced To taste salt and pepper 1 cup rolled oats ½ cup flour 1/3 cup melted butter ½ cup Parmesan, freshly grated ½ tsp salt Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste Mascarpone cheese, to garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Grease a deep baking dish with the knob of butter. 2. Toss the squash, thyme, shallot,

garlic, salt and pepper together and place in the greased dish.

3. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the squash has started to soften slightly but isn’t fully cooked through. 4. While the squash is baking, mix

together the oats, flour, butter, cheese, salt and pepper. The mixture will be fairly sandy but should clump together when squeezed between your palms.

5. Take the par-cooked squash and top it with the crumble mixture. Continue to bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.

6. Serve hot with a dollop of whipped mascarpone.

Kabocha

Mallory is a Calgary freelance writer and grad student now living, learning and eating in Montreal. Check out her blog becauseilikechocolate.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @cuzilikechoclat

Chef de Cuisine

Tobias Larcher


Roast Once, Eat Twice by Renee Kohlman

I don’t know if there is anything more comforting than the smell of chicken roasting in the oven. It’s a smell that wafts throughout the house and onto the street. 16

Neighbours will hope they have an invitation to dinner. Cats will hang around the kitchen, hoping for the smallest morsel to drop onto the floor. Teenagers will offer to set the table, in hopes that they have the first crack at the crispy chicken skin. Roast chicken has always been one of my favourite things, and admittedly, I salivate

a little just thinking about it. It is a family favourite likely because there is nothing particularly fussy about it. Take a chicken, pat it nice and dry. Stuff it with lemon, garlic and fresh herbs. Brush the bird with melted butter and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt. Do not be shy with the salt. If you think you’ve sprinkled too much, add a little more.


bones make the best stock. Cover them with plenty of cold water, a couple of stalks of celery, a little onion, a carrot or two, some fresh parsley if you have it, a few peppercorns, and whole clove. Bring it to a simmer and let it burble away on the backburner for a few hours. It’s the best base for whatever soup you fancy this fall.

Classic Roast Chicken

Roast for 90 minutes or so, and…. abracadabra! There is dinner. Roast chicken is a classic dish that is easy to master, and once you have, the possibilities of what to do with any leftovers are endless. The only thing better than one roasted chicken is two. It’s just as much (or little) work to cook two birds and you’re sure to find something to do with that lovely leftover meat. Like for instance, tacos.

The only thing better than one roasted chicken is two

Everyone loves tacos, and because the meat is already cooked, these come together in no time. I added a Korean twist with the kimchi, and it’s a welcome one. A little spicy, with lots of texture from the crunchy coleslaw and radishes, these tacos are great for speedy weeknight noshing. In reality you can eat three times from two roasted chickens, because those

and pat the outside dry. Don’t bother rinsing it, as you’re more likely to get salmonella floating around the sink than not.

3. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chickens. Stuff the cavities with the halves of lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs. Brush the outside of the chickens with the butter and generously sprinkle again with salt and pepper.

2 x 2-3 kg each, roasting chickens Kosher salt Black pepper 1 lemon, halved 1 whole garlic bulb, cut in half crosswise 1 bunch fresh thyme several sprigs fresh rosemary ¼ cup (60 mL) butter, melted

4. Tuck the wing tips under the body

1. Preheat the oven to 425º F.

6. Slice the chickens onto a platter

2. Remove the chicken giblets. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers

of the chicken. Place in a roasting pan large enough to fit the birds snugly.

5. Roast the chickens for 1¾ hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chickens to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes.

and serve them with roasted vegetables. Each chicken is four servings. Save any leftover chicken for the next recipe.


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RESERVE TAWNY PORT

Korean Chicken Tacos Serves 4

8 corn tortillas ½ cup store-bought kimchi 6 radishes, sliced ½ cup chopped cilantro 1 lime, cut into wedges

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Slaw: 3 Tbs (45 mL) rice vinegar 2 tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil ½ tsp salt 3 cups (750 mL) thinly sliced cabbage 1 sweet red or yellow pepper, thinly sliced 4 green onions, sliced ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

Chicken: 2 Tbs (30 mL) canola oil 1 small onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 Tbs grated fresh ginger 3 cups shredded cooked chicken 3 Tbs (45 mL) tamari 3 Tbs (45 mL) kimchi liquid

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, sugar, canola oil, sesame oil, and salt until the sugar dissolves. 2. Add the vegetables and cilantro. Toss well. Season to taste. 3. For the chicken, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, and when it is warm stir in the diced onion. Cook one minute, then stir in the garlic and ginger. Cook for another minute, then stir in the chicken. Stir often to heat through, about 5 minutes. 4. Add the tamari and kimchi liquid and cook for 1 minute.

5. To serve: warm the corn tortillas in

the microwave or in a dry skillet. Top with the slaw, chicken, kimchi, sliced radishes, and chopped cilantro. Serve immediately. Note: If you're not a fan of cilantro, either just leave it out altogether or replace with parsley.

Renée Kohlman is a busy food writer and recipe developer living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her debut cookbook All the Sweet Things was published last year.


The Results Of The 2018 by Tom Firth, Competition Director photography by Jason Dziver

20


The future always seems so far off, yet in hindsight, it seems just like yesterday. Just six years ago, we launched the Alberta Beverage Awards, fully knowing that running a solid and reputable drinks competition is a huge effort, and most definitely not a way to get rich. But we did it anyway, and I’m pleased to say that in our sixth year, we are starting to feel as though our efforts are paying off. We expanded the judging panels this year from 20 judges to 25 of Alberta’s finest palates, comprising restaurateurs, retailers, educators, consultants, sommeliers, and media. All people that we feel have the expertise to be a judge, but also experts who can shed some of their own biases (we all

have them, mine is pinotage), to work though innumerable flights, hundreds of blind pours, and many hours of judging to find the best examples in their categories. This is serious work my friends. We saw huge growth with Alberta-based producers, and many of them shone very brightly against national and international examples, but overall, we were down a little from the year previously. On the plus side, we had a lot of work on the back end of the competition trying to determine where the cut-offs had to be – since only about one-third of the entries will earn any sort of award, yet the quality this year was stupendous. In each category there is a “Best In Class”, which is the top performing bottle or can in its category, followed by “Judges’ Selection” which are the other high performing products in the category. In several categories, there is also a “Top Value”, which is a Judges’ Selection product that has been identified by the Culinaire editors as providing excellent value as well. Each listed product has an approximate retail price - every retailer is different, and we’ve included a range in many cases. With so many entries from Alberta producers, some of these products are

only available at the brewery/distillery or at local farmers markets, in those cases we’ve tried to use their price rather than a retail price. Each product also has a “CSPC” number, which can be used to help you find it at your local retailer or online at liquorconnect.com. Some products also have a symbol after them to identify product that not only did well this year, but also in previous years, indicating that this product is not only good, but also consistently good, year after year. With so many moving parts, the competition has to be a team effort, and we could not even begin to call it a success without our partners, the Hotel Blackfoot, The Import Vintners & Spirits Association, and Liquor Connect. Special thanks go to Len Steinberg, our judges, and our wine stewards: Mairi, Paul, Patrick, Danielle, Darin, Lana and Chelsea, Kelsey, and Patricia, who keep the back room spinning like a top. And a big thank you to Jason Dziver, our talented photographer who shoots all the bottle samples that you see throughout the results issue, somehow finding time to also photograph our judges. 21


Rosé

The explosion of rosé options is happy news for wine lovers, especially coming off this past season’s heat. Dozens of grape varieties and growing regions from both the old and new worlds means we can select our style. From lean, racy, and crisp to soft, fleshy, and fruity, there’s pink out there for every palate. Charles & Charles Rosé - our Best In Class, has roots in southern French tradition but with a modern approach. Look for a crisp edge with pretty red fruit, flint aromas, and a concentrated, vibrant finish. Matt Browman BEST IN CLASS

top value

Charles & Charles 2017 Rosé Columbia Valley, United States $18-20 CSPC 739223

Honoro Vera 2017 Rosado Jumilla, Spain $15-16 CSPC 780358 judges selection Red Rooster Rare Bird Series 2017 Rosé Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $25-30 CSPC 802959 Monte Creek 2017 Rosé British Columbia, Canada $20 CSPC 880054 Meiomi 2017 Rosé California, United States $27-30 CSPC 799716 Gabriel Meffre 2017 ‘GM’ Cotes de Provence Rosé Cotes de Provence, France $17-18 CSPC 764743 L’Ostal Cazes 2017 Rosé Languedoc, France $15-16 CSPC 764464

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Italian Reds Sangiovese & Blends Of course, knowing that Chianti is one of the most popular wines from Italy, it’s with little surprise the judges at this year’s awards gave kudos to a 2015 Chianti that sees mostly sangiovese, balanced by a native grape called canaiolo to give it a bit more backbone. Easy on the wallet, Cantella could very well become the table wine for every red-blooded Albertan this winter! Marcia Hamm BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Fontella 2015 Chianti Tuscany, Italy $13-15 CSPC 730108

Umberto Cesari 2014 Liano Emilia-Romagna, Italy $27-30 CSPC 927707 Frescobaldi Nipozzano 2014 Riserva Chianti Rufina Chianti, Italy $22-25 CSPC 107276 Ruffino 2015 Il Ducale Toscana Tuscany, Italy $18-21 CSPC 723921 Poderi dal Nespoli 2016 Nespolino Rubicone Romagna, Italy $11-14 CSPC 745196 Toscolo 2015 Chianti Classico Chianti Classico, Italy $22-25 CSPC 606111

Italian Single Red Single Varietals

Speaking of corvina…it’s much rarer to see it as a single varietal, but judges awarded top honours for a red single varietal. No drying of grapes here, just pure corvina with well-integrated oak and big black fruit aromas and flavours. Zenato Cresasso Corvina is definitely unique, but obviously delicious as this wine received as this wine was awarded Best In Class. Marcia Hamm

BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Zenato 2011 Cresasso IGT Corvina Verona Veneto, Italy $45-50 CSPC 740293

Mezzomondo 2015 Negroamaro Puglia, Italy $11-12 CSPC 713694 Giusti 2015 Augusto Recantina Veneto, Italy $40-44 CSPC 783188 Feudo Maccari 2015 Nero d’Avola Sicily, Italy $18 CSPC 744207

24


Veneto Blends

Italian Reds (continued)

Some well-known wines from Italy come from Veneto where we see red blends with mostly corvina from Valpolicella. Grapes are dried to give increased alcohol, higher tannins and a mouthfeel that is very velvety. Not just corvina, but merlot too is being air dried. Gran Passione has long been a favourite amongst consumers, not just for its sexy name, but taste too. Here it is again, a blend of corvina and merlot, receiving top billing from the judges. Marcia Hamm BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Botter 2016 Gran Passione Rosso IGT Veneto Veneto, Italy

Giusti 2013 Ripasso Valpolicella Valpolicella, Italy $40-43 CSPC 767318 Emotivo 2016 Gran Rosso Veneto, Italy $17-19 CSPC 784012 Masi 2014 Campofiorin del Veronese Veneto, Italy $18-19 CSPC 155051 (2017) Speri 2014 Valpolicella Classico Superiore â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Sant Urbanoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Appassimento Valpolicella, Italy $33-37 CSPC 736517

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Malbec

Ever-popular malbec was again well-represented at this year's Alberta Beverage Awards. While indigenous to south-western France, it is the grape’s adopted home of Argentina that now produces most of the bottlings we see. While the entries overwhelmingly exhibited the classic deep hues and intense flavour we have come to associate with malbec it was exciting to see more and more of our wines backing that up with additional nuance and complexity. The Best In Class hails from Lujan du Cuyo in Mendoza. Rich and toasty with plum, blackberry, and fig flavours, and a few years of bottle age to integrate and soften the tannins, this is sure to delight lovers of this variety. A great option to enjoy with that steak calling out for a grill, just like they do in Argentina! Margaux Burgess BEST IN CLASS

top value

Mi Terruño 2014 Mayacaba Malbec Luján de Cuyo, Argentina $47-52 CSPC 787755

Bodega Renacer 2017 Punto Final Malbec Mendoza, Argentina $14-16 CSPC 727233 judges selection Kaiken 2015 Ultra Malbec "Las Rocas" Mendoza, Argentina $21-24 CSPC 723333 Clos de Chacras 2015 Cavas de Crianza Malbec Mendoza, Argentina $20-23 CSPC 781479 Famiglia Bianchi 2014 Reserva Malbec Mendoza, Argentina $24-27 CSPC 721279 Tinto Negro 2015 Limestone Block Malbec Mendoza, Argentina $21-24 CSPC 767923 Catena 2015 Malbec Mendoza, Argentina $19-22 CSPC 478727 Uko 2017 Select Vineyard Reserva Malbec Valle de Uco, Argentina $25-28 CSPC TBD Trivento 2016 Golden Reserve Malbec Luján de Cuyo, Argentina $23-27 CSPC 778835

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Bordeaux Blends

How great are these results? You go Argentina! We knew there was more to you than malbec, although it belongs in a Bordeaux blend as much as the two cabs, merlot and petit verdot. I love that four countries are represented in the top seven wines in this category - two of them from BC, and Mexico making its first showing here too. With a range of prices and styles of Bordeaux and… Meritage if you will, there’s definitely something here for every pocket and palate. Linda Garson

BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Mascota Vineyards 2013 Unanime Gran Vino Tinto Uco Valley, Argentina

Chateau Despagne 2015 Reserve Red Bordeaux, France $21-24 CSPC 802940 Clos du Soleil 2014 Celestiale Similkameen, British Columbia $26-30 CSPC 216622 Hillside 2013 Mosaic Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $42-48 CSPC 80036 Chateau Pey la Tour 2014 Reserve du Chateau Bordeaux, France $20-22 CSPC 442392 Mi Terruño 2013 Limited Reserve Malbec/ Cabernet Sauvignon Uco Valley, Argentina $30-34 CSPC 781111 Monte Xanic 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot Mexico $20-24 CSPC 784417

28


Fruit Wines

Western Canada has a pile of fruit wine producers offering a range of flavours and colours as wide as a foothills rainbow. Saskatoon berry, blueberry, rhubarb, and raspberry (and blends thereof) are staples in the market, and come in styles ranging from dry and tangy to viciously sweet. While the category produces a wildly varied line up in terms of drinkability there are certainly some standouts. The category champ this year was Field Stone’s Cherry fruit wine, who put forward a boisterous head-explosion of candied cherry madness. For those who crave a full-throttle cherry blast reminiscent of a body plunge into cherry scented Fruit Loops, this is what you’ve been waiting for. Brad Royale

BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Field Stone Cherry Fruit Wine Alberta, Canada $19-22 CSPC 792631

Birds & Bees 2010 Hard Core Apple Alberta, Canada $25 CSPC 725972 Field Stone Raspberry Fruit Wine Alberta, Canada $19-22 CSPC 792628 Birds & Bees 2015 Big Tease Raspberry Alberta, Canada $25 CSPC 731365 Field Stone Strawberry-Rhubarb Fruit Wine Alberta, Canada $19-22 CSPC 777796 Monte Creek Blueberry British Columbia, Canada $22 CSPC 261644 Birds & Bees 2015 Multiple Berry Orgasm Alberta, Canada $25 CSPC 743725 Shady Lane 2017 Rhabarber (Rhubarb) Alberta, Canada $24 CSPC 769799

29


Merlot

Merlot simply rocks. Once firmly derided as a “flabby” grape suitable for blending or disparaged by some deranged and misguided wine enthusiast who obviously didn’t know anything, merlots today are much improved, offering serious balance and some food friendly tannin and acid. The judges this year seemed to prefer American and Canadian examples which warms my heart. Definitely give them a try, I know you’ll be impressed too. Tom Firth

BEST IN CLASS

top value

Wente 2015 Sandstone Merlot Livermore Valley, United States

Monster Vineyards 2016 Merlot Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $17-19 CSPC 873422 judges selection La Storia 2015 Merlot Alexander Valley, United States $31-34 CSPC 753300 McManis 2015 Merlot California, United States $20-23 CSPC 715934 Tinhorn Creek 2015 Merlot Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $25-28 CSPC 530725 Castoro de Oro 2016 Merlot Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $24-27 CSPC 778355 The Social Collection 2016 Bin # 110 Merlot California, United States $22-24 CSPC 797579

30


Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio

Is it just me, or is this humble grape finally shedding its reputation as the safest of safe white wine choices. These days, there are of course plenty of “safe” examples, but in the right hands these wines have plenty to offer with rich fruits, a little extra zip of acids and minerality. Dare I say…terroir? Our Best In Class this year comes from Italy, in fact, L’Ora won the category last year too, but surprisingly, our winners this year span the wine-making globe. Time to give pinot gris a little extra love….Tom Firth

BEST IN CLASS

top value

L’Ora 2016 Pinot Grigio Alto Adige, Italy $16-18 CSPC 786344

Prospect 2017 Pinot Grigio Ogopogo’s Lair Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $14-16 CPSC 307082 judges selection Smoking Loon 2016 Pinot Grigio California, United States $14-16 CSPC 797633 Santa Margherita 2017 Pinot Grigio Alto Adige, Italy $18-20 CSPC 282434 Hillside 2017 Reserve Pinot Gris Okanagan Valley, British Ccolumbia $25-28 CSPC 536219 Adorada 2017 Pinot Gris Mendocino County, United States $18-21 CSPC 804565 Tiki Estate 2017 Marlborough Pinot Gris Marlborough, New Zealand $19-22 CSPC 794055

31


Chardonnay

Chardonnay can be a tricky category to judge in a panel because there are so many different styles. There are fans of lean and flinty Chablis-style chardonnay showing lemon and minerality, and lovers of the ripe, oaky California style with lots of pineapple and peach flavours. But both in the preliminary and final rounds, this lovely 2016 chard from Montalto shone the brightest. From Australia’s cool and windy Mornington Peninsula, a little south of Melbourne, the Pennon Hill Chardonnay hits that sweet spot, with flavours of lemon, lime, pear and mandarin orange, zippy acid and a slightly creamy mouthfeel from lees contact. Darren Oleksyn BEST IN CLASS

top value

Montalto 2016 Pennon Hill Chardonnay Mornington Peninsula, Australia $25-26 CSPC 798769

Ménage à Trois Gold 2015 Chardonnay California, United States $16-18 CSPC 787927 judges selection Marques de Casa Concha 2016 Chardonnay Limarí Valley, Chile $22-24 CSPC 342857 La Crema 2016 Monterey Chardonnay Monterey, California $28-30 CSPC 737430 Plantagenet 2017 Three Lions Chardonnay Great Southern, Australia $22-25 CSPC 792101

Prosecco

Oh Prosecco! You can’t make an Aperol Spritz without it, and it makes a mean mimosa too. Prosecco is probably one of the most well-known, accessible styles of sparkling wine. It’s fun, it’s fizzy - and it’s fruity! You can usually find really great examples for under $20, but if you spend just a little bit more it opens you up to a few of the real stunners in our market. Keep your eye open for Col Fondo style Prosecco too! Erin Loader BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Gigglewater NV Prosecco Trevesio, Italy $18-20 CSPC 791849

Giusti NV Brut Prosecco Asolo, Italy $20-22 CSPC 767763 Vaporetto NV Prosecco Brut Veneto, Italy $17-19 CSPC 761873

32


Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon seems to roll off and onto the tongues of Albertans more than any other grape. It is not surprising as cabernet tends to be provocative, bold and confident in itself, often delivering a forthright and resolute wine style. Typically, in cabernet sauvignon, noticeable tannins, fresh acidity and a hi-fidelity flavour profile make for an invigorating wine experience that can captivate our senses. All this, and it also offers the perfect pairing to Alberta beef, meatcentric cuisine and hardy dishes that oft grace our tables in our cool climate. Best In Class was the Outlot Cabernet of Sonoma, California that will not disappoint. Layered with the complexities of 30 months in oak and bursting at the seams with a flavourful gusto that will keep you coming back for more. A viscous and rich style with a long finish, just what we are all looking for! Mike Roberts BEST IN CLASS

top value

Outlot 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma, United States $28-30 CSPC 801793

La Mascota 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza, Argentina $16-17 CSPC 758058 judges selection Freemark Abbey 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, United States $48-50 CSPC 728673 La Storia 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, United States $26-30 CSPC 744552 Intriga 2014 Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley, Chile $25 CSPC 725356 Kendall-Jackson 2015 Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma, United States $25-27 CSPC 369702 Montes 2014 Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley, Chile $20-22 CSPC 322586 Tsantali 2014 Klima Klima Cabernet Sauvignon Halkidiki, Greece $19-22 CSPC 793095

33


Rhone-Style Blends

This category pays homage to the juicy, earthy red wines from the classic Cotes-du-Rhone wine region in southern France. These wines are blends, each varietal contributing a unique personality trait to the final wine, such as: syrah enhances the structure and complexity, grenache for it’s easy-drinking fruitiness, and the brooding, leathery mourvedre. Waltzing Matilda is a Rhone-styled red wine from Southern Australia with shiraz (syrah) and grenache – a winning blend that’s easy-drinking, fresh, juicy and smooth with pure fruit characteristics along with splashes of spice and floral notes, very quaffable. Juanita Roos BEST IN CLASS

top value

Waltzing Matilda 2016 Shiraz Grenache, South Australia $20 CSPC 793940

Remy Ferbras 2015 Ventoux Rhone Valley, France $14-15 CSPC 775462 judges selection Louis Bernard 2015 Côtes du Rhone Village Rhone Valley, France $16 CSPC 391458 Domaines Barons de Rothschild 2014 Blason d’Aussieres Corbieres, France $18.50 CSPC 781476 M. Chapoutier 2016 Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Côtes du Roussillon Villages, France $17 CSPC 739422 Grant Burge 2011 The Holy Trinity Barossa, Australia $45 CSPC 709827 Remy Ferbras 2016 Costieres de Nimes Terre de Mistral, Southern Rhone Valley, France $14-15 CSPC 775455 Terroir de la Baume 2015 St. Paul Tautavel Côtes du Roussillon Villages, France $24-25 CSPC 283556 Les Halos de Jupiter 2016 Côtes du Rhone Côtes Du Rhone, France $21 CSPC 254995

34


Red Blends

There can be something magical about red blends. Sure, there are a lot of bland, even flabby, fruit bombs in red blends, but so many wines exhibit the simple harmony that comes from a wine being greater than the sum of its parts. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top Red Blends represent a number of styles, and come from a range of countries, but above all â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they are worth a try. Tom Firth

BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Guelbenzu 2006 Lombana Ribera del Queiles, Spain $29-33 CSPC 781036

Road 13 Vineyards 2013 5th Element Okanagan Valley, Canada $45-50 CSPC 741856 Venstisquero 2015 Vertice Apalta, Colchacua Valley, Chile $36 CSPC 750674 Inniskillin Okanagan Estate 2016 Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Okanagan Valley, Canada $20-21 CSPC 772952 Spier 2014 Creative Block 3 Coastal Region, South Africa $25-27 CSPC 752023 Shed Horn Cellars 2015 Non Typical Red Lake County, United States $40 CSPC 783441

35


White Single Varieties

Whenever I am asked about what new wines are interesting to drink, the first thing that comes to mind are white wines. Specifically, those from grapes that are a little weird, a little different, but most importantly, exciting to drink. This year, we had an influx of Spanish white wines- which is pretty awesome, since they are some of the trendiest wines around, and damn good these days. Please, find out for yourself why verdejo, albariño, and even Rioja are the wines to try. Not to be outdone, we also have a number of other white grapes that might not quite have had enough entrants to warrant their own category in the results, but scored high enough to be entirely deserving of our accolades. Here, we saw a tie for Best In Class between a stunning South African chenin blanc and a homegrown (Okanagan Valley) hero made from muscat ottonel. Tom Firth BEST IN CLASS (TIE)

judges selection

Spier 2015 21 Gables Chenin Blanc Tygerberg, South Africa $28-30 CSPC 260646

Dry Creek 2016 Chenin Blanc Clarksburg, United States $20-22 CSPC 281253

Hillside 2017 Muscat Ottonel Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $25-28 CSPC 434803

Tightrope 2016 Viognier Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $31-34 CSPC 796089 Gruber Roschitz 2017 Grüner Veltliner Weinviertel, Austria $20-22 CSPC 785338 Black Hills 2016 Viognier Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $25-27 CSPC 746273 Santadi 2017 Vermentino “Villa Solias” Sardinia, Italy $18-21 CSPC 751035 Grace 2015 Gris De Koshu Yamanashi, Japan $41-45 CSPC 784981

36


Spanish White Varieties BEST IN CLASS

top value

Tardencuba 2016 Verdejo Rueda, Spain $18-22 CSPC 783035

Marques De Caceres 2017 Ruedo Verdejo Rueda, Spain $11-13 CSPC 774466 judges selection Valserrano 2016 Blanco Rioja Rioja, Spain $21-23 CSPC 793304 Paco & Lola 2016 Luzada Rias Baixas Albarino Rais Baixas, Spain $18-22 CSPC 886333 Bodegas Verum 2016 Malvasia Tierra de Castilla, Spain $18-22 CSPC 787716

WELL PAIRED

CHARDONNAY AND PINOT NOIR

37


Pinot Noir

The pinot noir category is always hotly contested and can be hotly debated amongst the judging panels. A notoriously finicky grape, pinot noir can inspire love and disappointment in equal measure. While most of our examples came from North America or France it was lovely to see an Australian dark house take the win. A grape that thrives in the cooler wine-making regions, it shines in the cooler Mornington Peninsula of Australia as exemplified by our winner. Montalto has crafted an elegant and approachable offering that is an excellent expression of the warmer days and cool nights of the Mornington. Cherry, black tea, florals, and spice, can all be found in this pinot noir that is adaptable on the dinner table or equally enjoyable on its own. Margaux Burgess BEST IN CLASS

top value

Montalto 2016 Pennon Hill Pinot Noir Mornington Peninsula, Australia $30-33 CSPC 794228

Undurraga 2016 “Sibaris” Gran Reserva Pinot Noir Leyda Valley, Chile $14-17 CSPC 761205 judges selection Tiki Estate 2016 Waipara Pinot Noir Waipara, New Zealand $24-26 CSPC 794056 Murphy Goode 2016 Pinot Noir California, United States $19-23 CSPC 739674

Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wine tends to be reserved for special occasions, and while I am a firm believer in poppin’ a bottle of bubbly to celebrate, I also believe that a boring ol’ Tuesday (Wednesday, Thursday… you catch my drift) is deserving of bubbles too! We’re spoiled rotten in Alberta with the amazing selection of sparkling wine we have access to; whether you’re looking for a bottle of cava that costs less than $20 or a bottle of vintage grower champagne, you’ll have a plethora of amazing options. Erin Loader BEST IN CLASS

top value

Champagne Deutz NV Brut Champagne, France $60-64 CSPC 56358

Monster Vineyards 2017 Rosie Okanagan Valley, Canada $20-23 CSPC 774741 judges selection Cavit 2009 Altemasi Reserva Graal Trento, Italy $47-50 CSPC 790665 Champagne Gremillet NV Brut Champagne, France $43-48 CSPC 737558 Parés Baltà NV Cava Brut Penedès, Spain $14-18 CSPC 717779

38


Red Single Varieties

Quite often, we get red wines entered that would make for a very small category. We rarely see enough varietally labelled petit verdot or petite sirah entered to make for their own meaningful result, so we often have to taste them as red single varieties. This also makes for some seriously challenging flights for our judges, as one flight might be a mix of zinfandels from both the new world and from the old, while the next flight might tax the judges to assess the characters of foch or touriga. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well-known that variety is the spice of life - can we tempt you to try something new? Tom Firth BEST IN CLASS (TIE)

judges selection

Los Clop 2015 Paraje Altamira Cabernet Franc Uco Valley, Argentina $26-30 CSPC 805149

Aranwa 2014 Reserve Cabernet Franc Uco Valley, Argentina $21-24 CSPC 799622

Monte Creek 2016 Foch British Columbia, Canada $20-22 CSPC 785866

Kingston 2010 Eminent Petit Verdot Riverland, Australia $24-27 CSPC 770605 Ponce 2015 P.F. Bobal Manchuela, Spain $26-29 CSPC 782638

Zinfandel & Petite Sirah BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

La Storia 2016 Petite Sirah Alexander Valley, United States $30-35 CSPC 734657

Shed Horn Cellars 2015 Zinfandel Lake County, United States $30-33 CSPC 777814 Miro 2016 Petite Sirah Dry Creek Valley, United States $39-43 CSPC 793479 Montico 2015 Italian Zinfandel di Puglia Puglia, Italy $16-18 CSPC 796648

39


White Blends

In the world of wine, the white blend continues to be immensely popular. Possibly because the quality, consistency and value are superb. At the risk of being overtly patriotic, this is a category that BC excels at. Wild Goose’s Autumn Gold has been winning accolades all over the country. A blend of gewürztraminer, riesling and pinot blanc, it’s clean and crisp, with a nose of fresh picked orchard fruit. The palate has a baking spice and floral feel with an easy finish. Careful with this one, it’s a little too easy to drink. Darren Fabian BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Wild Goose Vineyards 2017 Autumn Gold Okanagan Valley, Canada $21-23 CSPC 414755

Torres 2016 Vina Esmeralda Catalunya, Spain $15 CSPC 165316 Silver Lining 2017 Estate White Okanagan Valley, Canada $19-20 CSPC 778780 Calliope 2015 Figure 8 White Okanagan Valley, Canada $17-20 CSPC 333880

Fortified Wines

As someone who has a deep and abiding love of fortified wines, I am always waiting eagerly to see the results of our fortified flights – in fact, I usually taste through them all in the back room, make my own notes, and see what the judges thought. This year’s results feature some great fortified wines, in a range of styles. Tawny port again reigns supreme, but make sure to check out this excellent LBV and a lovely white port (very cocktail friendly too). Tom Firth BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Vasques de Carvalho 20 Year Tawny Port Douro, Portugal $76-80 CSPC 793199

Kopke 10 Year Tawny Port Douro, Portugal $38-40 CSPC 594792 Dow’s 2011 Late Bottle Vintage Port Douro, Portugal $20-25 CSPC 533364 Churchill NV Dry White Port Douro, Portugal $31-33 CSPC 793297

40


Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon blanc races and dazzles its way across your palate. Traditionally characterized to portray flavours of fresh cut grass, grapefruit, asparagus, and gooseberry, this bright varietal boasts heritage in the old world, but like any spirited child, it found its wings growing in many places around the world. This year’s clear winner hails from one of New Zealand’s leading wine makers. The Villa Maria is crisp and fruity. Notes of zesty lime and passionfruit shine through. The nose is a mirror of the palate with candied and tropical fruit as the stars. Refreshing acidity leaves you reaching for another glass, and wishing that summer never had to come to an end. Jynnifer Gibson BEST IN CLASS

top value

Villa Maria 2017 Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand $17-20 CSPC 342360

The Ned 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand $17-20 CSPC 742653 judges selection Outlot 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma, United States $24-26 CSPC 801791 Kim Crawford 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand $20-23 CSPC 100594 Giesen Estate 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand $23-25 CSPC 298679

Syrah/Shiraz

I’ve developed a soft spot for syrah in the last few years, as even the Australians have moved away from the fruit bombs of not that long ago, and the shelves are well-represented by syrahs and shirazes of note – in all prices imaginable. Rather than sweetness and fruit, we are treated to savoury and spice, herb, and smoke characters, making it a fine choice any day of the week. Tom Firth BEST IN CLASS

TOP VALUE

Langmeil 2015 Valley Floor Shiraz Barossa Valley, Australia $26-28 CSPC 564450

Take it to the Grave 2016 Shiraz Langhorne Creek/Barossa Valley, Australia $18-21 CSPC 800223 judges selection Sandhill 2016 Syrah Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $21-24 CSPC 798108 Peter Lehman 2015 The Barossan Barossa, Australia $21-24 CSPC 795102 Black Hills 2015 Syrah Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $40 CSPC 746272 41


Gewürztraminer and Riesling

“But is it sweet?” It’s the famous question that arises when people talk about riesling and gewürztraminer. Often two of the most polarizing grape varieties among wine drinkers, they nevertheless have an array of flavours and aromas that very few other grapes can rival. Riesling can range from dessert-sweet to bone dry, and is known for being particularly sensitive to its “terroir”, meaning it will have very distinct characteristics depending on which region of the world it is from. As for gewürztraminer, it’s like riesling’s exotic cousin, think of lychee and spice; it’s a grape that can pack an aromatic punch or be very delicate. Will Trow BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Wild Goose Vineyards 2017 Gewürztraminer Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $22-25 CSPC 414748

Red Rooster 2016 Riesling Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $19-22 CSPC 498840 Hillside 2017 Gewürztraminer Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $20-23 CSPC 505206 Monte Creek 2017 Riesling Kamloops. British Columbia $20-22 CSPC 782542 Wild Goose Vineyards 2017 Riesling Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $20-22 CSPC 414730 Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling Washington State, United States $20-22 CSPC 732562

Amaro and Vermouth

These are standout bottles. Amaro, at its most basic, is an herbal liqueur. But it is so much more than that. Rather than being something sticky and sweet for your glass. It's bitter, complex, and never able to hide behind sugar. If you haven’t quite caught the amaro bug, remedy that. Vermouth, on the other hand is an aromatized wine, most often used in a number of cocktails, perhaps most famously in the martini. The burgeoning growth of cocktail culture has thankfully expanded the market from those few vermouths your grandparents might have stocked at home, to new, and exceptional offerings. Tom Firth BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Bepi Tosolini Amaro Italy $44-46 CSPC 795127

Bodegas Vina Elena Vermucho Jumilla, Spain $12-15 CSPC 793175 Meletti Amaro Italy $34-37 CSPC 798855

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Pilsner

Craft Beer is always changing, and people are constantly on the lookout for the newest flavours and trends. Although there are many high-quality trendy beers being produced (and I personally very much enjoy many of the trending styles), it could be said that adding a ton of hops, chocolate, or candy-coated unicorn sparkles to a beer could potentially cover up brewing faults if there were any. Because of this, it is commonly believed that the true showcase of a brewer’s skill may be how well they can brew lighter, paler, and subtler styles of beer. Brand new Calgary brewery, O.T. Brewing Company has shown that they have what it takes to not only make great beer right out of the gate, but a great Pilsner in particular – no small feat. Look out for big things from these guys. Kirk Bodnar BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

O.T. Bush League Pilsner Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 808767

Banded Peak Mount Crushmore Alberta, Canada $16-19 (4-pack cans)

Big Rock Pilsner Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack bottles) CSPC 786917 Founders PC Pils United States $16-19 (6-pack bottles) CSPC 802923 Caravel Captain’s Log German Style Pislner Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 806213 Phillips Pilsner British Columbia $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 782750 Fahr Out Pilsner Alberta, Canada $6-7 (500mL bottle) CSPC 800039

Cream Liqueurs

A well-loved category in a place that knows how to stay sane over a long winter (when do you put your winter tires on? In fact, more telling – when do your summer tires go on?). Cream liqueurs can take on almost any flavour or style, but what they can struggle with is balance. How best to ensure that the rich creaminess is balanced by some sweetness, but also whatever additional flavours are found? In a challenging category, I think you’ll find our judges did a great job finding your next…ahem…addition to your weekend coffee. Tom Firth BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Cotswolds Cream Liqueur United Kingdom $54-56 CSPC 800396

Hansen Distillery Morning Glory Cream Liquor Alberta, Canada $33-36 CSPC 798543 El Dorado Golden Rum Cream Guyana $22-25 CSPC 734375

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Bourbon

When it comes to the exploding bourbon scene in the U.S., Wyoming I must admit, is not the first place that comes to mind. Not even the top five actually. But there is good reason, because Wyoming Whiskey is the state’s first legal distillery. Even though they have only been operating a few years, they started with a bang by recruiting the former master distiller from Maker’s Mark. A great bottle to share with other whiskey lovers, and I foresee it becoming a steady addition to the back bars of our finest cocktail-focused venues. Darren Fabian BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon United States $67-69 CSPC 782560

Elijah Craig Small Batch Kentucky Bourbon United States $44-47 CSPC 547729

Gnarly Oak Kentucky Bourbon United States $30-34 CSPC 795085

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Evan Williams Black Label Kentucky Bourbon United States $25-30 CSPC 721379

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Gin

Between gin-focused bars, advent calendars, super premium bottles, a plethora of flavoured gins, and aged gin… it is clear that gin is as trendy now as it’s been for decades. Traditional gin lovers will continue to sip on their favourites, experimental gin lovers are over the moon with all of the new, and premium products, and not-somuch gin lovers gave it another try and have now fallen in love with gin, and its versatility and freshness. I was very happy to see that the winning gin this year is from one of our local Alberta distilleries, Wild Life in Canmore. Whether you like your gin juniperfocused, bold, and powerful, or rounder, citrusy, floral, or fruity, the options out there for you are limitless! Nathalie Gosselin BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Wild Life Distillery Gin Alberta, Canada $52 CSPC 790937

Eau Claire Distillery Parlour Gin Alberta, Canada $47-50 CSPC 789514

Hansen Distillery Trouble Gin Alberta, Canada $42 CSPC 787955

Wild Life Distillery Barrel Aged Gin Alberta, Canada $60 CSPC 806375

Park Distillery Alpine Dry Gin Alberta, Canada $48-50 CSPC 781550 Sheringham Distillery Seaside Gin Canada $44 CSPC 793629 Tippa’s Lovebird Gin Alberta, Canada $42-49

Flavoured Gin

While gin is enjoying a wonderful renaissance, some slightly unusual examples are creeping up here or there. Rather than a bevy of juniper and other aromatics, these “flavoured” gins have different base aromatics, unusual ingredients, and sometimes a much different colour. These excellent gins are off the beaten path, but well deserving of their accolades. Tom Firth BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Long Table Cucumber Gin Canada $55-60 CSPC 816512

RAW Citrus Gin Alberta, Canada $53-55 CSPC 795907 Ungava Canadian Gin Canada $35-40 CSPC 753183

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Vodka

Vodka was our final flight of the competition - and it stirred the biggest debate. What should a vodka taste like? The distilled spirit is supposed to be neutral, but it certainly doesn’t taste the same from brand to brand. There were spicy spirits, smooth and creamy examples and some that fell somewhere in between. But the discussion was about the judges selections, since the Best In Class was obvious to us. The triple-distilled Stone Heart’s clean, creamy mouthfeel, with a bit of spice, gave it an outstanding balance that really stood out. Darren Oleksyn BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Stone Heart Vodka Alberta, Canada $40 CSPC 785419

Back 40 WTF Winter Time Frost Alberta, Canada $36 CSPC 788591 Wild Life Distillery Vodka Alberta, Canada $49 CSPC 787593 Banff Ice Vodka Alberta, Canada $21-24 CSPC 350397 Strathcona Spirits Single Grain Vodka Alberta, Canada $47-48 CSPC 787817

Liqueurs

I love liqueurs, though I rarely have them. One really wants to look for the purest expression of flavour, yet, one rarely enjoys these neat or perhaps just on the rocks. Cocktail aficionados might see it the other way around, much like a chef, they see these treasures as part of a recipe or culinary inspiration. However you like your liqueurs, there should be something here to impress you. Tom Firth

BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Zuidam Café Liqueur Netherlands $40-44 CSPC TBD

Barista Coffee Liqueur Canada $32-34 CSPC 803395 Burwood Cracked Green Walnut Liqueur Alberta, Canada $55 Burwood Rye Barrel Aged Honey Liqueur Alberta, Canada $70 Back 40 Ol’ Apple Betty Liqueurs Alberta, Canada $34 CSPC 788592

46


Fruit Liqueurs

The quality and range of liqueurs entered this year in the Alberta Beverage Awards necessitated that we split them into further categories. With the fruit-based liqueurs, judges were looking for purity of expression, and that elusive quality of “balance”. Not an easy task when faced with many numbered glasses to be evaluated blind – and tasted neat. I don’t always envy our judges, but I think you’ll agree; the judges found the very best. Tom Firth BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Zuidam Framboise Liqueur Netherlands $40-44 CSPC 805412

Krang Spirits Raspberry Krang Alberta, Canada $28 CSPC 960038

Zuidam Cassis Liqueur Netherlands $40-44 CSPC 798858 Meletti Limoncello Italy $32-36 CSPC 795797 Krang Spirit Sour Cherry Krang Alberta, Canada $28 CSPC 960044

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Sweet & After Dinner Treats

These are tough categories to judge any way you cut it. Not only are there sticky sweet bottles to work through, but also our after dinner treats can utilize a range of bases, flavour profiles, and let's face it, bottles you might not reach for on a beautiful July day – before lunch. These are notable bottles, and excellent ones to keep in hand for when the occasion calls. Our Best In Class is a vidal icewine from Lakeview which is a paragon of the grape in icewine form. Tom Firth BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Lakeview Cellars 2016 Vidal Icewine Niagara Peninsula, Canada $18-20 CSPC 722059 (2017

Royal Tokaji 2013 Blue Label “5 Puttonyos” Hungary $25-27 CSPC 254805 Old Facon Williams Pear Brandy Serbia $37-40 CSPC 745497

Hardy Le Coq D’Or Pineau des Charentes Pineau des Charentes, France $25-30 CSPC 776421

Orange River Cellars 2016 Straw Wine Orange River, South Africa $20-21 CSPC 798524 Torres Floralis NV Moscatel Oro Penedés, Spain $17-19 CSPC 722238

Amber Ale

The Amber Ale beer style is a broad category. There are many beers that could be considered amber in colour and there can be a lot of cross-over among styles that share similar characteristics. In general, amber ales tend to be a malt-forward beer, often possessing flavours of biscuit, caramel, or toffee, and depending on the beer itself, may or may not have a fairly strong hop character. Town Square Brewing Company’s Forged Rye Amber Ale stood out. It possesses complex flavours that are at the same time subtle. A distinct nuttiness combined with a touch of caramel and a nice crisp finish make this beer a great example. Kirk Bodnar BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Town Square Forged Rye Amber Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (4-pack cans) CSPC 800620

Brewsters Hammerhead Red Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack bottles) CSPC 770044 Stanley Park Brewing 1897 Amber Ale British Columbia $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 794778

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India Pale Ales

There’s no mistaking that we are living in the heyday of IPAs both globally and here at home. It seems like in the last five years here in Alberta we have gone through a West Coast, New England, Milkshake and now the newest trend - Brut IPA. I remember in the first edition of the ABA when we introduced the IPA category and the description of an IPA. I used terms like hop bite, malty backbone, pine needles, citrus and dry finish. Today not only have we added many different aromas and flavours from the hops, but now we also have cold pressed coffee IPAs, gin-barrel aged IPAs and IPAs with Rainbows and Unicorns in them; don’t believe me…. look it up. Russell Brewing Mango Milkshake IPA is exactly what it says it is. The beer is entirely turbid, hazy and unfiltered. The nose is wonderfully mango with a bit of vanilla from the lactose. It’s interesting how thick the beer is, it’s practically pulpy. The mosaic and galaxy hops add just enough acid and zip to make it finish with a pleasant mouth-watering feel. John Papavacilopoulos BEST IN CLASS Russell Brewing Mango Milkshake IPA British Columbia, Canada $18-20 (4-pack cans) CSPC 805836 judges selection Banded Peak Summit Seeker IPA Alberta, Canada $14-16 (4-pack cans) CSPC 800491 Town Square Megawatt NEIPA Alberta, Canada $14-16 (4-pack cans) CSPC 803196 Russell Brewing East Coast IPA British Columbia, Canada $14-16 (4-pack cans) CSPC 802227 Town Square Cornerstone IPA Alberta, Canada $14-26 (4-pack cans) CSPC 800515 Russell Brewing Dazy Double IPA British Columbia, Canada $5-6 (473mL) CSPC 805726 Red Bison Bent Path IPA Alberta, Canada $6-8 (650mL) CSPC 805500

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Coolers, Ready To Drink, & Mixers

Can’t remember the recipe some hipster mixologist gave you for a Moscow Mule? Camping and forgot to pack your antique cocktail shaker? Then this is the category for you! Why fuss with all that jazz when you can simply crack open a bottle of something unique and get down to business? But being convenient isn’t enough; it needs to taste great, too. Whip up a Dark & Stormy with this Great Jamaican Ginger Beer or fool your friends with Park’s Barrel-Aged Negroni. Put in on my tab! Fred Konopak

Non-Alcoholic Drinks BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

The Great Jamaican Ginger Beer Canada

Annex Soda Root Beer Canada Double Dutch Cranberry Tonic Water United Kingdom

Blumer’s Ginger Beer Canada Annex Soda Ginger Beer Canada Blumer’s Root Beer Canada Double Dutch Cucumber and Watermelon United Kingdom

Pre-mixed Cocktails, Ready to Drink

BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Park Distillery Barrel Aged Negroni Alberta, Canada $28 CSPC 793768

Russian Standard Moscow Mule Vodka Cocktail Canada $14-18 CSPC 804409 Gnarly Oak Old Fashioned United States $ 25-30 CSPC 749357

50


Coolers, Ready To Drink, & Mixers BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Crafty Elk Hard Juice Mango & Honey Canada $3-5 CSPC 804240

Crazy Uncle Hard Root Beer Canada $3-4 CSPC 779697

Bingtan - Bok South Korea $8-10 CSPC 792535

Crazy Barista Cold Brew Hard Coffee Fizz Canada $3-4 CSPC 800832

Craft Elk Hard Juice Cranberry, Blueberry & Acai Vodka Canada $4-6 CSPC 804239 Boxer Hard Root Beer Canada $14-16 CSPC 780741 SoCIAL LITE Lemon Iced Tea Canada $10 CSPC 801191


Sake

In 1995, while living on a small island in southern Japan, I was introduced to many traditions and delicacies. It was here where I gained an appreciation for sake (rice wine), umeshu (plum wine) and shochu (distilled spirit similar to vodka). I loved how pure, fresh and clean each tasted. It’s no wonder that the word “Kanpai”, the Japanese equivalent for cheers, became embedded in my vocabulary! Fast forward 23 years and I’m so happy to be able to go into my neighbourhood liquor store to find a growing selection of these products on the shelf. There is nothing more refreshing than a glass of umeshu on the rocks after a long day at the office! Laurie MacKay BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Aizuhomare Junmai Daiginjo Kiwami Sake Japan $39 CSPC 784983

Fukucho Seaside Junmai Sake Japan $37-39 CSPC 801590 Gekkeikan Black & Gold Premium Sake Japan $22-24 CSPC 791645

Fukucho Junmai Daiginjo Hattanso 50 Sake Japan $49-53 CSPC 797390 F - 60 Rokumaru Seishu Sake Japan $29-32 CSPC 795840

Ume & Yuzu BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Takasago Plum Sake Ume Japan $38-40 CSPC 768497 (2016) (2015)

Shin Premium Yuzu Wine Saitama Prefecture, Japan $30-34 CSPC 801668

52


Rum

Rum is enjoying a bit of a resurgence, perhaps not in the same way that gin is enjoying one, but it’s definitely a good time to be a rum drinker. With more options than ever before, and age statements that would make a Scotch whisky blush, and prices that are exceptionally reasonable, yes, it’s a good time to like rum. This year, we saw a great mix of new and old examples, but it was a 15-year old rum from El Dorado that rose to the top spot. Me, I like to sip my rum neat or maybe on some rocks… Tom Firth BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

El Dorado 15 Year Aged Rum Guyana $55 CSPC 411124

El Dorado 12 year aged Rum Guyana $35 CSPC 912402

Zaya Gran Reserve Rum Trinidad and Tobago $69-72 CSPC 710296 Flor de Caña Rum 12 Year Centenario Nicaragua $40-44 CSPC 715387 St. Lucia Chairman’s Reserve Forgotten Casks Saint Lucia $53-56 CSPC 749269

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Tequila & Mezcal

Coming only from separate delimited zones within Mexico, Tequila and Mezcal are made from species of the agave plant. The agave hearts (the centre part of the plant that is revealed when the leaves are cut back) must be roasted to bring out the sugars necessary for distillation. Mezcal does this in a very traditional way, bringing out the natural smoky flavour which creates the great complexity that made Sombra Mezcal the standout. Unaged versions are labeled as Blanco and have the purest agave expressions, where oak-aged versions, such as Reposado or Rested, Anejo or Aged, and Extra Anejo, add more layers of sweet spice and toffee. Peter Smolarz BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Sombra Mezcal Mexico $45-48 CSPC 793725

Corralejo Reposado Tequila Mexico $60 CSPC 710293 Tequila Clase Azul Reposado Mexico $120-130 CSPC 755540 Siempre Tequila Plata Mexico $60 CSPC 785712

Blended Whiskey

Sure, single malts tend to get all the glory, and yes, they certainly are worthy of the attention, but my go-to whiskies around the house tend to be the blended whiskies. My favourite things about them being their generally lighter expressions (and very rarely lots of peat) making for an excellent year-round tipple, they can be enjoyed neat, but I also feel no guilt about throwing in a splash of water or even an ice cube (on the hottest days of course). The variety of this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s competition in the blended whiskies was very welcome, and we were thrilled to have a few Irish examples, but also the UK, and a Japanese whisky too. There is a pleasant dram or two planned at my house this winterâ&#x20AC;Ś. Tom Firth BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Syndicate 58/6 12-Year Blended Whisky United Kingdom $75-80 CSPC 792743

White Oak Akashi Blended Whisky Japan $54-60 CSPC 798882 The Quiet Man 8 Year Irish Whiskey Ireland $50-54 CSPC 786604 Paddy Irish Whiskey Ireland $40-44 CSPC 789372

54


Single Malt Whiskey

I say Single Malt, you say? Scotch?! Yes, of course, but not exclusively. The term “Scotch” is reserved solely for whisky that comes from Scotland, but the term “Single Malt” refers to any whisk(e)y that’s made with malted barley, in pot stills, at a single distillery. That distillery can be anywhere in the world. And the selections submitted to the ABAs this year go to prove that really great Single Malt can come from anywhere in the world, with the Millstone Single Malt PX Peated Malted Barley from Sweden taking the crown for Best In Class. Erin Loader BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Millstone Single Malt PX Peated Malted Barley Sweden $80-85 CSPC 795964

Millstone Single Malt Olosoro Sherry Netherlands $80-85 CSPC 795962

Tamdhu 10 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky United Kingdom $70-75 CSPC 778216 Glengoyne 15 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky United Kingdom $80-85 CSPC 367474

Rye and Canadian Whiskey

Considering that Alberta is home to some of the finest whiskey making grain and glacier water in the world, it’s no surprise that the best whiskey in the flight was produced right here at home. The Canadian Rockies 21-year old is full-bodied. with delicious notes of vanilla, white pepper, cinnamon, creamy Butterscotch, and a long spicy finish. An outstanding whiskey that is an amazing bargain when compared to similar international offerings. Bruce Soley

BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Canadian Rockies 21 Year Old Canadian Whisky Canada $82 CSPC 776847

Canadian Rockies 17 Year Old Canadian Whisky Canada $70 CSPC 803920

Cooper’s Ransom Rye Whisky United States Price $110-120 CSPC 809793 Millstone 100 Barrel Proof Rye Whisky Single Cask Netherlands $89-91 CSPC 796871 Rig Hand Bar M Canadian Whisky Alberta, Canada $93-95 CSPC 798206

55


Flavoured Vodka

The world of flavoured vodka has exploded of late, revealing a cornucopia of flavours to suit Alberta’s needs. The dry and demure berry and citrus concoctions of years past have paved the way for much more adventuresome spirits. The finest examples offer an authentic punch of their namesake ingredient whilst allowing the quality of the vodka to shine as well. While the flavour of birthday cake is probably best administered in its actual cake form, a well stocked bar can confidently offer vodkas ranging from Dutch chocolate to Bison grass. Mike Burns BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Summer Love Spiced Pear Vodka Alberta, Canada $40-43 CSPC 796255

Park Distillery Espresso Vodka Alberta, Canada $48-50 CSPC 778453

Summer Love Raspberry Vodka Alberta, Canada $40-43 CSPC 782673 Park Distillery Vanilla Vodka Alberta, Canada $48-50 CSPC 778454 Rig Hand Raspberry Vodka Alberta, Canada $49-53 CSPC 796437

Unaged Spirits

I confess, I sometimes stay awake at night wondering about the fate of this category. Mostly a result of necessity, something for new distilleries to make (and sell) while most of the production is diverted to barrels for future release. Once Albert-made whiskies and other barrel-aged spirits hit the market, what will happen to these “raw” spirits? Personally, I hope they stick around, since they offer such a cool, pure expression of what is to come. Tom Firth BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Ross Creek Rye Grain Spirit Alberta, Canada $46 CSPC 791041

Wandering Elk Foundation Spirit Alberta, Canada $46 CSPC 791043

Park Distillery Glacier Rye Alberta, Canada $48-50 CSPC 778465 WOT5th White Lightning Alberta, Canada $30-33 Hansen Distillery Red Cask 47 Rye Spirit Alberta, Canada $42-45 CSPC 793696

56


Red Single Varieties: Tempranillo & Grenache

My favourite flight to judge at this year’s Alberta Beverage Awards was Tempranillo and Grenache. Both grapes that can offer light, juicy and easy drinking wines, all the way to full bodied, textured and rich. Tempranillo, while often blended with other varietals, offers strawberry, cedar and dusty aromas. Grenache shows aromas of plum, cherry, baking spice and Provençal herbs. While some New World options are available in the market, look to countries like Spain and (Southern) France for affordable, overdelivering bottles. Kyle McRae BEST IN CLASS (TIE) Faustino V 2011 Reserva Rioja, Spain $25-28 CSPC 22798

Anciano 2015 35 Old Vines Garnacha Calatayud, Spain $26-29 CSPC 795756 BEST IN CLASS 2017 muscat ottonel

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judges selection Torres Celeste 2014 Crianza Ribera del Duero, Spain $24-27 CSPC 754090 Honoro Vera 2016 Garnacha Calatayud, Spain $15-18 CSPC 768724

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Stouts & Porters

Stouts and Porters are well-known as being those dark beers. They are full of roasted characteristics - often perceived as dark chocolate or coffee, and can include notes of caramel, nuts, fruit, and smoke. Though typically associated with winter months, stouts and porters are becoming increasingly popular as year-round offerings due to the variety of styles and alcohol levels. Popularized in the 1700 and 1800s by London porters who hauled goods and produce to and from the marketplaces, it is only in the last few decades that they have made a comeback, particularly in North America as a foundation beer of the craft brewing movement. Rheannon Green BEST IN CLASS (TIE)

judges selection

Collective Arts Brewing Stranger Than Fiction Porter Canada $5-6 (473mL) CSPC 778446

Tool Shed Flat Cap Stout Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 778816

Innis & Gunn Kindred Spirits United Kingdom $4-5 (330mL bottle) CSPC 797550

Medicine Hat Brewing Brick & Mortar Porter Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 791759

Siding 14 Coal Pusher Stout Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 801872

Brewsters Hawaiian Coconut Porter Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack bottles) CSPC 787140

Medicine Hat Brewing Gentleman’s Stout Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 791762

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Lager

Let’s face it, the simple yellow fizzy lager still dominates almost every country’s brewery production. Because of that, the early craft brewers avoided making them. However, as the market has matured, you’ll now find an amazing variety of craft lagers. The difference between them and their big brewery cousins is the absence of rice and corn adjuncts, and a more prominent use of hops and different malts. Our Best In Class is Calgary’s Carvel Brewery, whose Cold Brew Coffee Light Lager is exactly what you think it is; light and crisp with added dark roast coffee which becomes obvious in the aroma and flavour. David Nuttall BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Caravel Cold Brew Coffee Lager Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 809252

Medicine Hat Brewing Boomtown Lager Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 791758 Big Rock Honey Brown Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 709686

Medicine Hat Twin City Lager Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 791769 Caravel Dunkel Munich Style Dark Lager Alberta, Canada $14-16 (4-pack cans) CSPC 800217 Margaritaville Landshark Island Lager Canada $16-19 (6-pack bottles) CSPC 781992 Something Brewing Dark Side Schwarzbier Alberta, Canada $10-11 (4-pack cans) CSPC 766643

Pale Ales

Pale Ale continues to be a very popular beer style among beer lovers. Even though IPA still reigns as king of craft beer styles, most IPA drinkers also enjoy the hop-forward characteristics of a well-crafted pale ale. Both styles are somewhat similar after all, though pale ales tend to be a bit more subdued compared to their IPA cousins. The current trend is to showcase fruity/citrusy hop aromas and flavours, but lessen the overall bitterness in the beer. The Best In Class, Annex Ale Project’s Forward Progress Pale Ale does just that. The tropical fruit and citrus elements shine though, while maintaining a good malt backbone and a nice silky mouthfeel. Kirk Bodnar BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Annex Ale Project Forward Progress Pale Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (4-pack cans) CSPC 807097

Annex Ale Project Metes and Bounds Extra Pale Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (4-pack cans) CSPC 807099

O.T. Flagstick Hazy Pale Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) Phillips Short Wave West Coast Pale Ale British Columbia $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 791357

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Brown & Cream Ales

Before pale malt production in the 1700s, most commercial beers were considered to be brown ales. While they have been a longstanding staple in the UK, we are seeing increasing popularity here in North America. Most North American examples are full-bodied and dry on the palate with light to moderate bitterness and caramel notes. Cream ales are essentially another manifestation of mass-market lagers, but with slightly more bitterness and are often fruity. Don’t let the name fool you – they do not contain any dairy or lactose. Grizzly Paw’s Big Head Nut Brown tops this category. A great example of an English Brown Ale, it is smooth with a sweet caramel body, mild hops, and a gentle finish. Rheannon Green BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Grizzly Paw Big Head Nut Brown Alberta, Canada $6-8 (650mL) CSPC 797192

Wild Rose Barracks Brown Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack bottles) CSPC 766770 Siding 14 Brakeman Brown Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 796107

Good Mood Cream Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 804438 Something Brewing Gimme That Nutt Brown Ale Alberta, Canada $10-11 (4-pack cans) CSPC 766646 Big Rock Traditional Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 903914 Canmore Brewing Georgetown Brown Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (4-pack cans) CSPC 790029

Belgian Style Ales – Sours & Saisons

The Belgians love making beers that have a balance of acidity and flavour complexity and so when we looked at which beer styles we could group together as a segment, we decided on Sours and Saisons. Saisons are a beer style that evolved out of necessity; originally brewed in Wallonia, Belgium before commercial refrigeration. Saisons were made in the early spring to be robust enough to last through the Summer but still thirst-quenching enough to drink in hot weather. The dry-hopped or fruited kettle sours trend is a newer phenomenon but has become very popular in North America because ingenious brewers use hops or fruit to impart those same fruity, citrusy and spicy characteristics to an otherwise boring beer style. John Papavacilopoulos BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Collective Arts Brewing Mash Up The Jam Dry Hopped Sour Canada $4-6 (473mL) CSPC 799951

Tool Shed Saison Alberta, Canada On tap only

Banded Peak Chinook Saison Alberta, Canada $12-16 (4-pack cans) CSPC 800489 Russell Brewing Belgian Saison British Columbia, Canada $4-6 (473mL) CSPC 805467 Freehold Brewing Lacy Saisy Saison Alberta, Canada $20-21 (4-pack can) CSPC 798499

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Hefeweizen & Wheat Beers

From country to country, wheat beers vary in flavour and style, for example: the wonderful banana, clove and bready flavours from a German one or the bright floral and citrus character of a Belgian Wit. Judging wheat beers can be very difficult as there is a range of styles, and the judge has to decipher how good each is in their particular style. The Grain Bin Prairie Horizon was the first to my lips on the final flight, and I almost knew right away-we have a winner with absolutely no flaws whatsoever, so an easy choice. Dave Gingrich BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Grain Bin Prairie Horizon Alberta, Canada $7-9 (650mL) CSPC 784130

Something Brewing The White Wit Alberta, Canada $10 (4-pack cans) CSPC 774952

Banded Peak Imperial Plainsbreaker Double Dry Hopped Wheat Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (4-pack cans) CSPC 800488 Phillips Electric Unicorn White IPA British Columbia, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 791356 Medicine Hat Brewing Hefeweizen Alberta, Canada $6-9 (650mL) CSPC 79393 Grizzly Paw Grassi Lakes Hefeweizen Alberta, Canada $4-6 (473 mL can) CSPC 804335

Mead

The ancient beverage of kings, queens and Vikings alike. Mead is made from a simple base of honey, yeast and water, however there are a few different styles. Traditional - just the 3 ingredients, melomel - fruit infused, and metheglin - with spices or herbs added. There are more styles but that is what the net is for. Judging mead in Alberta is not so easy as each meadery has different flavours based on the honey the bees produce from the environment. We tasted a lot of meads on the panel, but the stand outs were the melomels and the metheglins; and Grey Owl's Apple Pie Mead was absolutely spectacular - nice, lightly spicy hints and apple notes that made it unmistakably - apple pie. Dave Gingrich BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Grey Owl Apple Pie Alberta, Canada $21.00 CSPC 807609

Grey Owl Haskap Alberta, Canada $21.00 CSPC 800718

Grey Owl Apple & Black Alberta, Canada $21.00 CSPC 805953 Spirit Hills YeeHaa! Alberta, Canada $23.00 CSPC 773294 Tamarak Jack’s Meadery Sawyer Hopped Mead Alberta, Canada $8.00 CSPC 806790 Birds and Bees Winery Honey I Have Meads Alberta, Canada $30 CSPC 726216 61


Fruit Beers

Outside Belgium, fruit beers used to be the forgotten stepchild of the beer family. However, since 2010, the highest percentage of new beers brewed each year have been fruit beers. It’s now gone far beyond the purview of just tiny craft breweries; when “Big Beer” gets involved, it’s not just a little market niche anymore. Since any beer style can have fruit added to it, there are no limits to variety, and the beers entered in the competition this year were no exception. David Nuttall BEST IN CLASS (TIE)

judges selection

Wild Rose Ponderosa Gose Alberta, Canada $14-16 (4-pack cans) CSPC 790638

Kronenbourg 1664 Fruits Rouges France $16-19 (6-pack bottles) CSPC 799042

Grizzly Paw Beavertail Raspberry Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack cans) CSPC 803922

Wild Rose Wraspberry Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack bottles) CSPC 766766

Alley Kat Main Squeeze Grapefruit Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack bottles) CSPC 733630 Innis & Gunn Mangoes on the Run United Kingdom $3-5 (500mL) CSPC 801561 Brewsters River City Raspberry Ale Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack bottles) CSPC 770047 Village Squeeze Alberta, Canada $16-19 (6-pack bottles) CSPC 780540

Cask Aged Beers Simply put, judges LOVE barrel aged beers because it adds exciting new depths of aroma and flavour to beer. When aging beer in a barrel, the beer will initially absorb some of the various chemical compounds present in the exposed wood as well as any leftover flavours from the previous wine or spirit that was in said barrel. The real fun begins when over time the beer will soak deep into the staves before being pushed back out again, that step imparts rich and delicate flavours to the beer. Those are truly special beers that are sought after and have the ability to mature for many years. It’s very exciting for me to see our industry embrace barrelages beers and produce them on a more consistent and high level. John Papavacilopoulos BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Grizzly Paw Gin Barrel-Aged Evolution IPA Alberta, Canada $14-16 (650mL) CSPC 793466

Brewsters Bourbon Aged Russian Imperial Stout Alberta, Canada $13-15 (650mL) CSPC 801786

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Cider

The cider category has been growing for years in Alberta. Last year alone saw a 19 percent increase in volume sold in the province. Partly because of this and for other reasons (not the least of which it makes a great gluten-free drinking option), craft cideries have begun to emerge along with their brewery and distillery brethren. Alberta is no exception and Calgaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Uncommon Cider wins for their Great Northern Wild Cider. This cider is partly cloudy, and made with a combination of apples and crabapples, which are fermented with wild yeast. Dry, tasty, and refreshing. David Nuttall BEST IN CLASS

judges selection

Uncommon Cider Great Northern Wild Cider Alberta, Canada $12-14 (500mL) CSPC 795422

Uncommon Cider Apple Haskap Cider Alberta, Canada $12-14 (500mL) CSPC 795421

Uncommon Cider Dry Craft Cider Alberta, Canada $12-14 (500mL) CSPC 787249 Big Rock Rock Creek Pear Cider Alberta, Canada $14-16 (6-pack cans) CSPC 769474 No Boats on Sunday Cider British Columbia $12-16 (4-pack cans) CSPC 800712 Somersby Semi-Dry Cider Denmark $12-16 (4-pack cans) CSPC 800378

Willow Park Village - 590, 10816 Macleod Trail SE, Calgary 403-225-9650 www.thebrokenplate.ca


Judges Our selection process for our judges isn’t easy. We look for talented palates, a combination of experience and enthusiasm, how well we think someone is respected in the drinks industry, and finally, they can’t be involved in representing or importing products into Alberta. We want skilled palates, and also people

that understand what we are trying to accomplish, to find the very best wines, beers, spirits, and everything in between – oh and we do this in July – right after the Stampede. I’m very proud to introduce our 2018 judges below, and I’m very grateful for their herculean efforts too.

Mike Burns Teatro Group

Darren Fabian Alloy

Brad Royale Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts

Matt Browman Consulting/ Various

Bruce Soley River Café

Juanita Roos Color de Vino

Nathalie Gosselin Vine Styles

Kyle McRae Highlander Wines and Spirits

Margaux Burgess Alberta Liquor Store Association

Peter Smolarz Willow Park Wines & Spirits

Darren Oleksyn Calgary Herald

Mike Roberts Co-op Wine Spirits Beer

Mary Bailey The Tomato Food & Drink, Edmonton

Laurie MacKay CBC Radio

James Werner Hotel Arts

Fred Konopaki Spirits West Bragg Creek

Marcia J. Hamm Hicks Fine Wines

Will Trow Bar Von der Fels

Jynnifer Gibson National Music Center/King Eddy

Erin Loader Bricks Wine Co.

Dave Gingrich Willow Park Wines & Spirits

Kirk Bodnar Beers n’ Such Consulting

John Papavacilopoulos Oak and Vine

Dave Nuttall Epicurious

Rheannon Green Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance

Tom Firth Competition Director

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advertising feature

HOME GROWN Question: What do a couple of young adventurous entrepreneurs get when they mix Alberta wheat, barley, and juniper with a distiller’s skill and craftsmanship? Answer: Award winning vodka, gin and now an annual batch of ‘Alberta Botanical Gin’, made exclusively from grains and flora grown in our wonderful province. At the time of writing, the Bow Valley duo of Keith Robinson and Matt Widmer, founders of Wild Life Distillery are watching the calendar and planning their next foraging trip. Allowing Mother Nature to call the shots, the botanical forage takes place each summer when the season permits. After harvesting the botanicals by hand (juniper berries, Labrador tea, rose hips, yarrow and more), the magic of craft distillation begins. “We are proud of all of our products, but people keep asking when we will have our next batch of Botanical Gin ready.” says Matt.

Wild Life Distillery has already received some impressive accolades from the industry. In 2017 the WLD Gin was awarded an Alberta Beverage Awards ‘Judges Selection’. This year, both the WLD Gin and Vodka took home International SIP awards, receiving a ‘Double Gold Medal’, and a ‘Gold Medal’ respectively. With whisky now in barrels, this young distillery has a golden future.

"This year we were fortunate to partner with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), and went out with their amazing team for a day of foraging. After collecting the botanicals, we re-distill our awardwinning vodka infusing it with the essential oils from the botanicals to create something very special. Last summer, Batch 001 sold out within two months. This year, Batch 002 of the Alberta Botanical Gin is on the distillery shelves now. We will produce a limited edition of roughly 400 bottles, making this product extremely unique.”

“Clear spirits are what we have started with,” explains Keith. “Brown or aged spirits are what will come down the road. You need to build a solid foundation of products to support a whisky program, as well as build a brand. Oak barrels, grain, overhead and storage all cost money, with no return on your investment for 3+ years. Therefore, our foundation of ‘the basics’ (vodka and gin) are what will allow us to keep our humble heads above water going forward. We feel like now that we have our spirits getting some great reviews, it allows us to take the next step into the exciting world of whisky.”

Every decision Keith and Matt make related to building the brand is also about staying true to their values and their commitment to ‘local’. “We love the Bow Valley – it is our home, we have both traveled around the globe and have chosen Canmore as the place to remain, and plant roots. Our valley is full of amazing people doing amazing things in a spectacular environment, and we are happy to add another dimension to that.” Keith adds.

When Keith and Matt first started researching their Wild Life Distillery dreams, they were committed to three things: staying friends, working hard, and celebrating their Bow Valley roots living the lifestyle they love. These underlying commitments are at the core of what they do, and exude a fresh perspective and motive to the distilling industry in Alberta.

“This gin is a way for us to stay ultra-regional.” says Matt. “99% of gins in the world use ingredients sourced from across the globe – so for us to be able to honestly offer our local consumers something that contains only ingredients grown within Alberta is pretty sweet.”

Judges Selection 2018 Alberta Beverage Awards

Best in Class 2018 Alberta Beverage Awards

Next time you are in Canmore, be sure to stop in and say hello and sample some of their fine sipping spirits.

Judges Selection 2018 Alberta Beverage Awards

Wild Life Distillery Alberta Botanical Gin

For full Alberta Beverage Awards results, see page 20 Wild Life Distillery is located at 160-105 Bow Meadows Crescent, in Canmore, AB Distillery Open Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 12-8pm, Sunday 12-6pm - Tours at 3pm 65


Open That Bottle

by Linda Garson photography by Ingrid Kuenzel

“I’m from a small town – it’s one of those places where you learned to play well in the sandbox because it was such a small community, so everybody had to get along,” says Mike MacDougall. He grew up in the Scottish farming community of Glengarry County, Eastern Ontario, in a town of 300 people; only leaving to study at Carleton University, in Ottawa. “I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, but I discovered that it meant a lot of time sitting behind a desk,” he explains. “We have a farm so I was always pretty active. I bumped into the food and beverage industry when I was in university, and I liked the social aspect of meeting people.” MacDougall was hired at Molson Brewery, and spent 10 years learning about marketing, branding, packaging, and sales, but then it was time to go on his own. A friend had the idea of starting a wine and food show in Calgary, and he followed up with it in 1998 – and started the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival, now in its 21st year. To date, the festival has donated over $200,000 to charity. Liquor agents were asking him to bring the show to Edmonton, and he launched there a couple of years later. “It’s gone extremely well; Edmontonians are really savvy buyers,” says MacDougall. 66

“Calgary has had a bit of a hit, but Edmonton is just continuing to grow, and I think last year it surpassed Calgary for the first time.” He purchased WineFest in 2007, as Shaw Conference Centre’s Hall D was opening - and sold out in the first year. “And we’ve been selling out every year since,” he adds. “It’s one of the most beautiful venues in the province, with 30 foot of glass overlooking the valley, it’s gorgeous.” From there, MacDougall has expanded into in-store and online retail sales. Starting online ticketing at rockymountainwine.com for the festivals in 2001 - with low expectations and exceeding them tenfold - he recalls saying to Festival Director, Cathy Miller, “We’re going to be selling wine one day.” “The problem was it took me 17 years to get there,” he laughs, “We had a few road bumps along the way.” There were many challenges in the three years it took to find the right retail space, but the SE Calgary location has worked out really well, and they were able to launch an online store, virtualvino.com, a few months later. The online store specialises in themed 6-packs, so during the World Cup they featured Portugal v Spain, and

Argentina v Uruguay. People just pick up their cases from one of over 20 Sobey’s stores across the province. “We will be expanding in the future as we’re quite impressed with how well it’s gone,” MacDougall says. “I think consumers are more savvy now. They just want to go online and order, grab the product and pick it up. There’s no membership.” So what bottle is MacDougall saving for a special occasion? When Taylor Fladgate was launched in the province 20+ years ago, he really enjoyed their 10-year tawny port. “And the next thing you know, they brought the 20, and the following year they brought 30, and they just kept reeling me in, but I love port and I think there’s not a better pairing than blue cheese and tawny port,” he says. “I don’t need to be with anybody if I have those two products.” Now he has a 1968 Taylor Fladgate port. “I think I’ve had the last five iterations of the 50-year port. When I first saw it, I wasn’t born but now I’m a bit older than them,” he laughs. “When I find someone who enjoys it as much as I do, then it’ll probably be the time that I open it.”


NOVEMBER

What’s

COOKING

LUNCH ‘N LEARN DEMONSTRATION

These noon-hour weekday classes include a light lunch, a demonstration lesson on how to make the dishes you are served, and the featured recipe sheets are included.

Downtown Learning Centre

EVENING AND WEEKEND CLASSES

Depending on the class selected, the class will either be a demonstration only or a combination of demonstration and hands-on. Food & beverages are served at each classand the featured recipe sheets are included.

Downtown Learning Centre

PASTA POSSIBILITIES $25 | 12 – 1PM | Thursday, Nov 1 & Friday, Nov 2 SEASONAL SQUASH $25 | 12 – 1PM | Thursday, Nov 8 & Friday, Nov 9 TASTE OF THAILAND $25 | 12 – 1PM | Thursday, Nov 15 & Friday, Nov 16 PORK EXTRAVAGANZA! $25 | 12 – 1PM | Thursday, Nov 22

HANDS-ON: MEDITERRANEAN TRADITIONS $75 | 6 – 8PM | Thursday, Nov 8 HANDS-ON: HOLIDAY HORS D’OEUVRES $75 | 3 – 5PM | Saturday, Nov 17 EVENING DEMO: RUSTIC MEXICAN $35 | 6:30 – 8PM | Thursday, Nov 22

FILIPINO FLAVOURS $25 | 12 – 1PM | Thursday, Nov 29 & Friday, Nov 30 ATCO Park Learning Centre

HIGH TEA: BRUNCH STYLE $35 | 10:30AM – 12PM | Saturday, Nov 3

CHEF’S TABLE: SEAFOOD SUPPER $95 | 6:30 – 9PM | Saturday, Nov 24 ATCO Park Learning Centre

CASUAL ITALIAN CUISINE $25 | 12 – 1PM | Friday, Nov 9

EVENING DEMO: UKRAINIAN CLASSICS $35 | 6:30 – 8PM | Thursday, Nov 15

SOUTHERN PORTUGAL $25 | 12 – PM | Friday, Nov 16

EVENING HANDS-ON: SIMPLY STUFFED PASTA NIGHT $75 | 6 – 8PM | Friday, Nov 16

INDIAN FAVOURITES $25 | 12 – 1PM | Friday, Nov 30

CHEF’S TABLE: GERMAN GASTHAUS $95 | 6:30 – 9PM | Saturday, Nov 24

PD DAYS - KIDS COOKING CAMPS (Ages 9-12) Downtown Learning Centre

ATCO Park Learning Centre

EASY EVERYDAY ITALIAN $90 | 9AM – 4PM | Friday, Nov 23

A TASTE OF FRANCE $90 | 9AM – 4PM | Friday, Nov 2

EASY EVERYDAY ITALIAN $90 | 9AM – 4PM | Friday, Nov 23

Downtown Learning Centre - 909 11 AVE SW, CALGARY ATCO Park Learning Centre - 5302 FORAND ST. SW CALGARY Contact us at 403 245 7630 or visit atcoblueflamekitchen.com for details. 67


BIG FISH

Profile for Culinaire Magazine

Culinaire #7.5 (October 2018)  

Alberta's freshest food and beverage magazine for dining in, dining out, wine, beer, spirits and cocktails. October's issue has the full res...

Culinaire #7.5 (October 2018)  

Alberta's freshest food and beverage magazine for dining in, dining out, wine, beer, spirits and cocktails. October's issue has the full res...

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