CALGARY / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES :: VOLUME 3 NO.5 :: OCTOBER 2014
THE BEST OF THE 2014 ALBERTA BEVERAGE AWARDS 175 AWARD WINNING WINES
Hunting And Foraging | Perfect Poultry | Thanksgiving For Two
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VOLUME 3 / ISSUE #5 OCTOBER 2014
Forest To Fork The quest to know where our food comes from is drawing a rapidly increasing number of people to hunt it for themselves. by Jeff Collins
Blink - A True Gem In Calgary’s Downtown Dining Scene Staying consistently true to classic cooking styles and delivering memorable experiences is keeping Blink busier than ever. by Dan Clapson
2014 Alberta Beverage Awards: Wine Results The second Alberta Beverage Awards was a huge success with over 500 wines to be judged by our panels of ten local wine experts. by Tom Firth
Porter’s Tonic Bringing love to your tonic and gin by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth
24 Sense Of Place - Sense Of Taste How did our ancestors feed themselves? by Renée Delorme
30 Thanksgiving For Two A delicious dinner on a smaller scale by Renee Kohlman
66 Open That Bottle Kirk Bodnar, beer sommelier by Linda Garson
Salutes and Shout Outs
Step-By-Step Candy Apples
Chefs’ Tips and Tricks!
22 7 Ways to Spice Up Apple Pie 26 Soup Kitchen 28 Menu Gems
Front cover photography by Ingrid Kuenzel with thanks to Howard at Engraved Memories for etching the bottle.
Letter From The Editor when southern hemisphere winemakers drop by, while they’re quieter. We’re enormously proud to bring you the wine results of the second Alberta Beverage Awards – 175 winners over 22 categories, from over 80 different grapes and 17 countries. It was a huge undertaking, and a very successful one, with a leap of over 30% in the number of quality wines entered from last year.
October’s a busy month with autumn in full swing, there’s Thanksgiving and Halloween to prepare for, and lots of great food events while our markets are overflowing with fresh produce.
Thanks very much to everyone involved; wine producers; competition judges, volunteers, director and coordinator; and the Blackfoot Hotel who looked after us so well. Next month we’ll be showcasing the beer and spirits winners, then you’ll have the complete list of the best in Alberta for your fall/winter beverage choices!
More new restaurants are opening, and there are wine and beer events; it’s also
Cheers, Linda Garson, Editor-in-Chief
From a Culinaire reader: Q: “I’m a huge fan of these magazines. I always use lots of the recipes for friends’ potlucks, and when I have friends over. I used to have all the issues from 2012 till now, but they got drowned when my kitchen flooded. Now I can order them, but why is there a charge on the site and for the last couple of years I have been getting them free from the stores?” Talysha, Calgary A: We’re really happy to hear that you like Culinaire Magazine and our recipes too. You’re right, the magazine is free to pick up at any of our outlets - the charge for subscriptions just covers the postage ($3.10 for each magazine), cost of the envelope and someone to address them and mail them. But if you can pick them up from us, then there’s no charge.
These four friends are The life of The parTy
This 12 bottle variety is available only for a limited time.
TOP VALUE PORT & FORTIFIED WINES
CALGARY / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Linda Garson email@example.com Consulting Publisher/ Keiron Gallagher Advertising: 403-975-7177 firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Food Editor: Dan Clapson email@example.com Contributing Drinks Editor: Tom Firth firstname.lastname@example.org Digital Media: Mallory Frayn email@example.com
Our Contributors < Jeff Collins
Jeff Collins was a familiar voice on CBC Radio in Calgary for more than 20 years. After he retired in 2009, he moved to the Village of Delia, near Drumheller, and was elected as a Councillor in 2010. Jeff is an active shooter and hunter, and runs his own firearms consulting business. He has returned to Calgary and now lives in New Brighton.
Design: Emily Vance Contributors: Elizabeth Chorney-Booth Jeff Collins Renée Delorme Natalie Findlay Mallory Frayn Renee Kohlman Ingrid Kuenzel Laura Lushington Karen Miller David Nuttall
To read about our talented team of contributors, please visit us online at culinairemagazine.ca.
Contact us at: Culinaire Magazine #1203, 804 -3rd Avenue SW Calgary, AB T2P 0G9 403-870-9802 firstname.lastname@example.org www.culinairemagazine.ca www.facebook.com/CulinaireMagazine Twitter: @culinairemag Instagram: culinairemag For subscriptions, competitions and to read Culinaire online: culinairemagazine.ca
< Karen Miller
Karen is a lawyer by trade. She claims to have been on the “know where your food comes from” bandwagon sooner than most. Always willing to impart knowledge to absolutely anybody who asks, Karen is practical but creative, having taught many styles of cooking classes. She was also part of the Calgary Dishing girls (producing two cookbooks).
< Tom Firth
Tom Firth is a freelance wine writer, wine consultant, wine judge, Competition Director for the Alberta Beverage Awards, and Culinaire Magazine’s Contributing Drinks Editor. His work frequently appears in other publications as well as related online content. His typical week involves several wine tastings, wine seminars, and wine related travel. Tom blogs at cowtownwine.com and tweets as @cowtownwine.
Salutes … Happy Silver Anniversary to Quails’ Gate, who are celebrating 25 years of producing wines in the Okanagan Valley!
Congratulations Rupert! 24-year-old Chef Rupert Garcia, from the Calgary Golf and Country Club, represented Canada at the 2014 Concours International des
Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition in Durban, South Africa – coming in second and taking the silver medal!
He did it! Chef Ned Bell, of Four Seasons’ Yew Restaurant in Vancouver and one of Canada’s most vocal ambassadors for sustainable seafood, set out on July 1st to cycle 8,700 kilometres from Newfoundland across Canada to raise
awareness for sustainable seafood. His journey, Chefs For Oceans, was to rally support for a National Sustainable Seafood Day every March 18. Riding 140 to 200 K each day, and holding signature events in key cities along the way, Chef Bell arrived back in Vancouver on September 12, having raised over $24,000 for Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program, SeaChoice and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).
and Shout Outs … “Hidden Gem YYC” contest launch Help your favourite “Hidden Gem” restaurant to look as good as they taste! For a chance to win a $25,000 signage and graphic design makeover from West Canadian Digital Imaging Inc. and their design agency, Orange Door Direct, nominate your favourite Hidden Gem by submitting a brief description of why you think they deserve a polish.
and featured in Culinaire Magazine’s January/February issue. Visit westcandian.com for rules & regs.
and in two hours your 16”x 20”painting is complete! All you have to do is decide where to hang it.
Paint & Sip!
We’ve been eagerly awaiting these restaurant openings…
No experience is necessary at the new Vin Gogh Paint & Sip Studio – it’s fun, social and easy. You’re provided with a canvas, easel, paint, brushes and apron, and a glass of wine (or beer, coffee or tea). Step-by-step guidance is on hand,
The space that was UBU Lounge in the historic Grand Theatre, is now WORKSHOP. Chef/owner Kenny Kaechele is taking no prisoners - the
“This competition represents a wonderful opportunity for food lovers and restaurateurs to showcase lesser known establishments that have great food but could use a little polish,” says Jodie Suitor, West Canadian Director of Marketing. Submissions are accepted via West Canadian’s Facebook and Twitter pages using #hiddengemyyc or by email at HiddenGemYYC@westcanadian.com until 5pm October 31st. The top five submissions will be judged by a panel of celebrity judges, and the winner announced November 7, WORKSHOP Photograph by Bernice Hill, dishnthekitchen 6
food, like the décor, is a no holds barred approach with robust flavours and hearty servings. Starters, as the mains (and desserts too!), are for sharing. Better still; go with a crowd so you can try more dishes – like Gin and Juniper Cured Trout with sweet potato croquettes; very moreish Fried Cauliflower, with garlic and harissa aioli, the contrasting textures of Ancho and Sasparilla Glazed Pork Belly, with jicama, lime and peanuts; and the simply stunning Miso Cured Sablefish with roasted scallops, celeriac and bacon compote. But do be sure to leave room for Yuzu Custard Tart with foraged berry sorbet. Lunches include 3 courses plus a housemade artisanal soda for only $25, and rumour has it there’ll be Midnight Brunch on Saturdays with guest chefs! Added bonuses – acoustics are good so you can hear your companion, and the teapots don’t drip! Modern Steak, in the totally refurbished Muse location, is a new style of steak house. Owner Stephen Deere is planning not just for special occasions, but more approachable dining and drinking. He’s applied the philosophies of Muse; working with local ranchers and farmers, and Ocean Wise seafood, and added a little bit of Mediterranean, a dry-aged burger program, and multiple sizes of each cut of steak for every size appetite. There’s a new private dining room too at Modern Steak, and they’re serving lunch and dinner as well as a late night menu, with a unique brown spirits cocktail program for winter.
November 5th - 9th THE CALGARY SUGARCRAFT GUILD
HOSTED AT NORTH HILL CENTRE
Sugarcraft Guild Cake Judging November 5th, 6pm – 9pm Calgary Community “Cake Off” November 6th, 1pm – 2pm
You Could Win! Vote for your favourite cake in-mall or online and be entered to win the cake of your dreams personally designed by “you” for your next event! Contest closes November 9th, 2014
N O RT H H I L L CE N T R E . C O M
October Events Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival
by DAVID NUTTALL
Ghosts and Gourmet
charities. The Vintage Fund Charity has supported over 300 charities, and focuses on education, healthcare and seniors’ needs in our community. willowpark.net
Is there any better way to celebrate Halloween than by enjoying a frightfully delicious dinner with the ghosts in the Wainwright Hotel? Only if it was to be followed by a spooky tour through the dark and deserted streets of the Historical Village! heritagepark.ca
Whisky in the Warehouse
October 29-31, 6:00pm-9:30pm Wainwright Hotel, Heritage Park 1900 Heritage Drive SW Tickets $64.95
Ghosts and Gourmet
Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival
The 17th annual Calgary Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival is the city’s largest food, wine, beer, and spirits festival. Enjoy a wide array of worldclass beverages from over 200 exhibitor booths along with an assortment of local culinary creations. Take part in Dairy Farmers of Canada Cheese Seminars, The Great Big Taste Awards, and much more. Explore new products, interact with the experts, discover new gems and even stop by the on-site Sobeys Liquor store to purchase your favourites to enjoy at home. rockymountainwine.com/calgary Also Edmonton Rocky Mountain
Wine & Food Festival
October 24-25 Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton rockymountainwine.com/edmonton 8
Willow Park’s most important whisky event of the year brings together distillers from Scotland, importers and whisky lovers. With over 200 whiskies, and pipers, Highland dancers and some of the city’s top chefs.
Thursday, November 6, 7:00 pm Tickets $40
October 17-18, Halls D & E Stampede Park’s BMO Centre Friday, October 17: 5:00-10:00pm Tickets: $30-$36 Saturday, October 18: 12:00-4:00pm Tickets: $19-$23 Saturday, October 18: 6:00-10:00pm Tickets: $31-$37
Wednesday, November 5, 7:00 pm Tickets $100, VIP tickets $150 includes 5:30 pm entrance.
November 6-16, Whistler, BC Tickets: Free-$250 depending on event Cornucopia, the 18th annual celebration of food and wine, returns to Whistler in November, with more than 50 events over 5 days. This festival celebrates local chefs and regional wines with winemaker dinners, interactive seminars, gala wine tastings and electric after parties. Cornucopia’s flagship event CRUSH - The Grand Gala Tasting is on November 8 and features wine from over 75 wineries. whistlercornucopia.com
Charity Auction Week
November 5-8 Willow Park Wines and Spirits 10801 Bonaventure Drive SE Celebrating 21 years, the auction has raised over $4 million for local
Beer Bash has over a hundred reasons to attend - and all those reasons are beer! Paired with delicious bites from some of the top beer restaurants in Calgary, this festival keeps getting bigger and better.
Friday, November 7, 7:00 pm Tickets $60 Welcoming 14 of California’s top wineries for a flavour-packed event with restaurants delivering fabulous pairings. The silent auction focuses on large bottle formats seldom seen on the retail floor.
21st Charity Wine Auction, Arabian Nights
Saturday, November 8, 7:00 pm Tickets $225 The 21st Charity Wine Auction will top all others with dramatic decor, fabulous food and the world’s top wineries.
Book Reviews by KAREN MILLER
The Deerholme Foraging Book
BEST IN CLASS Poplar Grove
by Bill Jones Touchwood Editions 2014
I have picked wild blueberries and raspberries before the bears get to them, I have gone on a mushroom picking walk in the forest (with people who knew what they were doing) and I have been to restaurants with chefs who have foraged some of the ingredients for the evening meal. But for the most part my foraging is done in any city I am in, sourcing out the best ingredients they have, not in the wild!
OUR CHARDONNAY, PINOT GRIS, CABERNET FRANC, & MERLOT HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AS TOP PERFORMERS AT THE
Jones does not intend for his book to replace the many guidebooks available on foraging but rather to showcase the beauty of using the edible delights. Jones goes beyond general advice on all the potential hazards, and has written an interesting primer on getting started, whether it is backyard foraging or out in the wild. He provides extensive information on all types of wild food, found in the forest, fields and seashore. The recipes do not rely exclusively on the use of foraged ingredients; instead incorporating them in a modern diet. The â€œWeed Pieâ€? recipe on page 93 is a marvelous way to use springtime greens. Even though foraged foods must be examined and cleaned well, and eaten fairly soon after harvesting, Jones provides many tips on storing and preserving the seasonal bounty. Jones is based in the Pacific Northwest but his experience is relevant. So whether planning a trip into the wild or just in your own backyard, keep your eyes open and try not to get lost.
Karen Miller is a lawyer by trade, giving her a knack for picking apart a cookbook. She has taught many styles of cooking classes and was part of the Calgary Dishing girls.
TO YOUR DOOR Visit www.poplargrove.ca to order online
Ask Culinaire by TOM FIRTH
My local store doesn’t carry the wines I’m looking for. How can I find out where they are?
You’d be surprised how often I am asked where someone can find a certain wine that they tried and want to buy again. I’ve been asked by text, phone, twitter, facebook, email, and believe it or not - I’ve been stopped on the street by people looking for a certain wine.
distributed to stores and restaurants. It can tell you which products are in the market, who the importer is, and most importantly, which liquor store ordered it recently. With your postal code, it can tell you the closest shops that might have it in stock.
Alberta has about 1,400 liquor vendors and around 19,000 products filling those shelves - far more than any other province in Canada. If selection is your only criteria, we are the greatest province for beverage alcohol in the country. The downside is that there is no centralized website or service that can tell you where everything is or how much it will set you back when you get there.
What it doesn’t do, is tell you how much that store is selling it for, how many they might currently have in stock, or give you a way to hold that product without you calling the store. This is the Alberta “dis-advantage” when it comes to our liquor system. Sure we have the selection, but we don’t have a centralized system for consumers.
Go online my friend. The best bet for Albertans to find a wine is LiquorConnect.com. This website is the “front-end” of the government warehouse, where all the liquor comes into the province before being
Another option, and this is more for the serious collector, avid consumer, or the trade, is a subscription service called Wine-Searcher (wine-searcher.com). This service has an annual cost of $39 USD for the Pro version (the free to use version is still good, but isn’t as helpful), and you can use the service as often as you want, whenever you want - but
only on one computer at a time. You can fine-tune results for vintages, countries (helpful if travelling), and prices. It only works with retailers and auction houses that have their inventories online, but it can tell you that a certain store has it, how much they are selling it for, and you can also contact the retailer directly by
If selection is your only criteria, we are the greatest province for beverage alcohol in the country
email to enquire about the product you are looking for. The good news is that if it shows up at one of these stores, it’s a better than good chance the product is available elsewhere. Of course, you could just phone or go to the website of your local retailer as well, but that might just be a little too obvious.
Envision a steakhouse and cocktail lounge unlike any other... An evolved steakhouse, in both cuisine and design.
OPENING OCTOBER 2014 @ModernSteakCA
In the Heart of Kensington - 107 10A Street NW â€˘ Information and Reservations please call - 403.670.6873
Step By Step:
My personal favourite for candied and caramel apples are Fuji and Granny Smith.
Fall’s Sweet Allure
Coats 5 small apples
story and photography by NATALIE FINDLAY
As we descend into fall, discarding the carefree attitude of summer for the layered necessity of winter, we discover that the precious harvests of the season have much sweetness to offer. Candied apples put a smile on everybody’s face, young and old alike.
250 g granulated sugar 2 Tbs (30 mL) light or medium corn syrup 4 Tbs (60mL) water 5 drops red food colouring (or colouring of your choice) 4 drops cinnamon oil (to taste)
Candied apples put a smile on everybody’s face
You will need a baking tray, size depending on the amount of apples you are candying, or you can also use an area of your counter. Cover the tray or your counter top with parchment paper and brush it with a light coating of unflavoured oil. If you’re adding toppings to the candied apple, make sure they are prepared and available to dip, close by.
1. Wash and dry apples, remove the
stems and insert a stick (popsicle sticks are a favourite) in its place.
2. Bring sugar, corn syrup and water
to a boil on high heat in a small highsided saucepan (a smaller pan makes it easier to swirl and coat the apples, and keeps more heat in the pot so you have a longer working time before the sugar starts to harden).
3. There is no need to stir the mixture while it comes to boil, but be sure to place a candy thermometer into the mixture so you can keep a close eye on the temperature.
4. The temperature of the boiled sugar will continue to rise after you turn off the heat, so remove the pot from the heat at 300º F and add the food 12
Caramel apples were invented in the 1950s as a Kraft employee was using the popular caramel candy and decided to melt the caramels and coat apples for another fall apple treat. There are 2 different ways to make caramel apples, each recipe coats 6 small apples: Option 1 60 caramel candies 2 Tbs (30mL) milk
Place caramels and milk in a medium bowl, and microwave for 45-second intervals, stirring in between until all candies have melted and the milk is absorbed (if too thick then add more milk, heat and stir). Dip apples in caramel and place on oiled parchment. Option 2 250 g granulated sugar 2 Tbs (30mL) light or medium corn syrup 4 Tbs (60mL) water 3 Tbs + 1 tsp (50ml) whipping cream
1. Bring sugar, corn syrup and water to a boil on high heat in a small high-sided saucepan with a handle. Watch boiled sugar as the temperature can rise very quickly.
colouring and then the cinnamon oil. If the sugar starts to harden, place over a low heat to try and extend the working time.
temperature, but you do need to watch for the change in colour from clear to brown; it moves quickly from brown to burnt so be careful. You will also start to smell the syrup browning. Turn the heat to medium.
There really are no limits as to what you can add to coat your candy or caramel apples. The main requirement is to make sure it is chopped finely or crushed into a powder. You will need to dip the coated apples into the topping immediately in order to get the toppings to stick, as the candy or caramel hardens very quickly.
5. While holding the handle of the pot,
3. Add the cream. This will cause the
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Boiled sugar has an exacting temperament and waits for no one
swirl the boiled sugar until the colouring is completely mixed. Start coating your apples and placing them on the oiled parchment paper. Work carefully and quickly. Note: Anytime you are working with boiled sugar it is best to have everything in place before the sugar reaches its required temperature. Boiled sugar has an exacting temperament and waits for no one.
2. You donâ€™t need a thermometer for
boiled sugar to bubble and rise up the sides of the saucepan. Stir until the caramel is smooth.
4. Start coating your apples
immediately. Caramel has a bit longer working time than candy coating, but time is not on your side.
5. After coating, dip the apples
immediately in any of your favourite toppings, place on the parchment.
Ginger snap cookies Salted walnuts, pecans or cashews Cheesies Pretzels Crunchie Bar Caramel popcorn Coloured sprinkles M&Ms Natalie is a freelance writer, photographer and pastry chef. A graduate of Cordon Bleuâ€™s pastry program, she manages her own business too to create custom-made cakes. 13
Bringing Love to Your Tonic and Gin by ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH photography by INGRID KUENZEL
When a friend gave Nicole Fewell a bottle of tonic syrup that she’d picked up while travelling, Fewell was intrigued.
As the proprietor of the ever-popular Cheezy Bizness food truck, Fewell has long been interested in food and drink, both from an industry point of view and as a home cook, but she’d never tried tonic syrup (basically a flavour concentrate that can be mixed into a cocktail, typically with gin and soda water). After mixing herself up an upgraded G&T, Fewell liked the syrup better than standard canned tonic, but knew that it could be improved upon. “Although I really liked it there were some notes in it that I didn’t love: clove and something else I couldn’t pinpoint,” Fewell says. “I started researching recipes to see if there was something I could make on my own and came up with one I really liked with lemon, lime, and lemongrass.” Fewell started serving her concoction to guests and would give friends mason jars full of her homemade syrup as gifts. Before long, those friends were encouraging her to sell it commercially. Since she already had a commercial kitchen at her disposal in the form of the Cheezy Bizness truck, Fewell got to work creating the first batch of Porter’s Tonic, naming the elixir after her son, Porter. Now Porter’s Tonic has been available for about two years, and for a small business that’s still run out of Fewell’s grilled cheese truck, it’s booming. Depending on the month, Fewell single-handedly produces up to 1,000 bottles of syrup, which is now available in three variations: the original lemon, lime, and lemongrass combination that Fewell first dreamed up in her kitchen; a grapefruit variety; and a cardamomorange flavour. Each bottle is made of entirely natural ingredients and handcrafted in the Cheezy Bizness kitchen by Fewell herself. The syrups are available at several local liquor, food, and specialty retailers and can also be found in drinks on the cocktail menus of restaurants like Ox and Angela, Taste, Boxwood, and several others, many of whom appreciate not only
Porter’s flavour, but also that the small apothecary-style bottles take up less room in a small independent restaurant’s storage room than bulky cans of tonic. How has a local producer found so much success with a product that most home bartenders don’t even know they want until they’re lucky enough to try it? The answer is twofold: first of all, Porter’s Tonic is incredibly delicious. Whether you mix it straight into your favourite gin (the most fashionable clear spirit these days) with a cucumber or citrus garnish, or try something a little fancier (Fewell recommends trying the cardamom-orange flavour with Prosecco, or making a grown-up float with a scoop of Village Ice Cream) it is an unbelievable improvement over your standard can of grocery store tonic water. Fewell recommends trying the cardamom-orange flavour with Prosecco “Once you’ve had it, it’s a game changer,” Fewell says. “You can’t go back to having Schweppes after having a natural tonic syrup.” Porter’s Tonic’s success has also benefitted from the spirit of collaboration and support that runs through Calgary’s ever-vibrant food and drink industries. Jesse Willis, General Manager and co-owner of Vine Arts, was an early supporter of Porter’s Tonic and he thinks Fewell’s product came just when Calgarians were ready to support and use something like naturally made tonic syrup.
“I think it’s a great example of what’s happening in Calgary right now,” Willis says. “We have this growing food and booze movement, and people want to grow and support that. We have restaurants and tonic syrup and new breweries and distilleries and wine stores, and it goes along with that. If people have an opportunity to buy something that’s craft or has a story behind it, or is small batch, especially if it is local, they’ll go for it.” And go for it they have. Now that food truck season has wrapped up for the summer, Fewell has plans to slowly grow Porter’s Tonic and is thinking about introducing a new flavour and hiring some extra help to make the tonic as she expands to other markets and more retailers. Her priorities remain the same as they did when she first opened Cheezy Bizness though — to enjoy what she does and create a good balance between work and life. Mostly, she’s proud that she’s been able to create something with such a grassroots feel that’s been so warmly embraced by the local community and is gaining popularity by work of mouth, and cocktail by cocktail. “Really, it’s about getting people to taste it and once they’ve tried it they won’t go back,” she says. “And then they tell their friends about it.”
Elizabeth Chorney-Booth is a Calgary-based freelance writer, and co-founder/co-editor of RollingSpoon.com. She enjoys exploring the connection between music and food through interviews with musicians and chefs. 15
Chefs' Tips Tricks! story by MALLORY FRAYN photography by INGRID KUENZEL
Seared Duck Breast with Plum Mostarda, Duck Confit and Haricot Vert
As the colder months approach and the snow starts to fall, it is the perfect time of year to cook poultry. From whole roasted turkey throughout the holiday season, to succulent duck confit, the bird is quite literally the word.
Chef Jamie Harling, Rouge Restaurant For Chef Jamie Harling at Rouge Restaurant in Inglewood, poultry is one of his favourite proteins to work with. As he puts it, “Everyone eats beef at home, so each person has their own opinion of how they like it cooked.” But with poultry, you don’t have to worry about whether or not your version of mediumrare is compatible with another, though it is still important to cook poultry properly. “The biggest mistake is overcooking it,” Chef Harling says. Food safety guidelines suggest cooking white-meat poultry like chicken and turkey to 165º F, but as long as you are working with high quality product, such a high temperature is unnecessary. Chef Harling suggests taking a chicken breast off the heat when it reaches an internal temperature of 150º F, letting it rest and allowing carry-over cooking to bring it up closer to 160º F. That way you don’t dry it out and lose all of the moisture.
are cooking the breasts or the legs, the key is to go low and slow. Rather than scoring duck breast to render out the fat, prick it with a pin to help ensure that all of the fat melts out, leaving you with skin that shatters it is so crispy.
Seared Duck Breast with Plum Mostarda, Duck Confit and Haricot Vert Duck Breast 190 g salt 90 g sugar 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 3 sprigs thyme 4 L water 4-6 duck breasts
2. Rinse duck legs under cold running
1. Place ingredients in a container and
Plum Mostarda Place 4 cups pitted plums in pot with 1 cup (240 mL), 1 cup (240 mL) red wine vinegar, 1 cup sugar and a sachet of 1 cinnamon stick, 2 star anise, 3 sprigs thyme and 1 bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, remove sachet, let cool and blend until smooth. Fold in 2 Tbs grainy mustard.
stir until salt and sugar dissolves, add duck breasts and leave 30 minutes.
2. Season breasts with salt and pepper and place in cast iron pan skin side down over very low heat, for about 30 minutes.
3. Strain off fat as duck cooks and reserve for other uses.
The biggest mistake is over-cooking it If you are looking to try something different when it comes to poultry, Chef Harling encourages hunting down some duck, which is relatively easy to find at the grocery store nowadays. “Poultry is the easiest of all proteins to fabricate, plus it is basically the same process no matter what type you are using,” explains the chef. Whether you
Chef Jamie Harling
4. When fat is rendered and skin is
crispy, flip duck breasts and place in 425º F oven for 2 minutes, take out and let rest in warm place for 10-15 minutes. Slice thinly and serve. Duck Confit 1. Place 2 cups salt, 1 cup sugar, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp peppercorns, 1 Tbs thyme in food processor and pulse, cover duck legs with mixture and place in refrigerator over night.
water, dry and place in pot with 2 cups duck fat to cover, place in 250º F oven for 4 hours, or until meat easily pulls away from bone. Let rest and pull meat off bone.
Haricot Vert Top and tail green beans, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch until tender. Refresh in iced water. To Finish Warm plates in oven, warm duck confit and green beans in pan with a little bit of butter. Slice duck breast as thin as possible. Place plum mostarda on plates, add green beans and duck confit, place duck over top and garnish with scallions.
impress when you have friends over for dinner.
Chef Dilan Draper
Chef Dilan Draper, Avec Bistro If there is one thing to emphasize about these birds of a feather, it would have to be their versatility. With so many different birds to choose from, and such a wide range of techniques to apply, there’s no reason to go back to boring boneless, skinless chicken breast time after time. One of Chef Dilan Draper’s favourite varieties to work with is pheasant. Leaner than chicken and slightly more gamey, it can be roasted whole or broken down into various cuts, and is available at your local butcher. For those looking to experiment in the kitchen, pheasant paillards, stuffed with ground pheasant and wrapped in caul fat, are something to try your hand at. Although the finessed, fat-enveloped “torchons”, or rolls, can be a bit more time-consuming to make than your typical poultry recipe, they won’t fail to
What is caul fat you ask? Otherwise known as the fatty membrane that surrounds the large internal organs in animals like pigs and cows, it is really just a spider-webbed sheet of fat. When working with lean poultry like pheasant, Chef Draper stresses the importance of adding caul fat to help prevent it from drying out. “It’s an off-cut so you can get it at virtually any butcher shop for next to nothing. Its general purpose is to help moisten the pheasant as it is four times leaner than chicken, making it easy prey to overcooking! Caul fat has a very neutral flavour and is generally quite clean & odourless,” he says. Of course if this seems a bit too challenging, you cannot go wrong with a simple roasted turkey, or even sous-vide chicken breast – as long as you don’t overcook it. “People are still concerned with 1970s problems like E. coli and such. Sure you don’t want raw chicken but you don’t have to cook it to charcoal either,” Chef Draper says.
Pheasant Paillard Serves 4
4 pheasant breasts with tenders 454 g pork caul fat 8 g fresh thyme 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine 1 medium shallot, chopped fine 1 oz brandy or cognac 45 g unsalted butter
1. Sweat the thyme, garlic & shallots
in a pan and deglaze with brandy. Add butter and let cool completely.
2. Next, remove the tenders from
the pheasant breast and grind. You can also use ground chicken, roughly 100110 g will be sufficient. Mix the ground meat with your sweated aromatics and brandy.
3. Butterfly open the pheasant breast
carefully without creating any holes along the seam. Form little cylinders with ground mixture that reach from the pheasant bone to 3/4 the way down to the tip. They should not be too fat because the paillard will burst when cooking.
4. Take the outside flap and roll tightly over the ground mixture inwards, tuck the bone in. Let the portions sit in the fridge for 15 minutes.
5. Lay out your caul fat evenly, nice
and flat. Lay the pheasant breast down one at a time rolling just one layer of the fat tightly around the portion. Too much caul fat will result in a chewy unpalatable texture! Wrap each pheasant tightly in saran wrap and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
6. Preheat oven to 400º F. Heat an
oiled pan on high heat, season and sear the pheasant on three sides to a nice golden brown. On the fourth side of searing, place directly in the oven for 12-15 minutes. A thermometer should read 142º F for perfect moisture and consistency. Let it rest for 4-5 minutes before slicing. You will have 3 nice layers to present from the seared caul fat to the flesh, down to the ground meat. My favourite way to eat pheasant!
Pheasant Paillard 18
Mallory is a food writer and blogger living and learning in Calgary, Alberta. Check out her blog becauseilikechocolate.com and follow her on Twitter @cuzilikechoclat
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Forest to Fork by JEFF COLLINS
Ten years ago, only 28,000 Alberta hunters were between 18 and 35 years old. By 2010, they numbered almost 37,000 and out-numbered the middle-aged. Many are drawn to the sport by a desire to follow their food from start to finish. Carlene Deutscher is young, universityeducated, an unabashed “foodie”, and a bow hunter. She’s part of a trend. People who want to really know where their food is coming from are hunting it for themselves. Deutscher got her first deer last December during a vicious cold snap. “It is as organic a meat as you can get. It is not like shipping a cow thousands of kilometers in a cattle trailer where they are stressed out. You are a lot more connected to your food source and I find you just treat that dish with much more respect.” Deutscher’s food blog, “BS in the kitchen” features recipes such as “Braised Wild Boar” and “Red Duck Curry”. “This whole ‘farm to fork’ idea is people wanting to understand how the animals they are eating have been raised and where they come from,” says Culinary Arts instructor, Desmond Johnston. “I’m seeing a lot more interest in that.” Johnston teaches at SAIT and owns Brassica Mustards. He is a lifelong hunter, who tries to explain to his young students the connection he feels with the food he hunts. “Once you’ve harvested your own game, it becomes a part of you. The amount of love that you put into the preparation of that food is massive and I think that comes out 100 percent in the product you put on the plate.”
production and vows to “hunt as long as I can. My family grew up on wild meat. They never really ate much else.”
Joe Mathes, manager and co-owner of La Chaumiere restaurant on 17th Avenue SW, has hunted all over the world. He grew up in Austria and still remembers taking his first deer. It was a Roe Deer, a species we don’t find here in Alberta. “I remember shooting it, and I got a good shot at it, but then I couldn’t get out of the tree stand because I was so shaky, so nervous. You never forget the first animal you hunt.” Mathes hunts to put meat on the table for his family. He is concerned about the chemicals used in commercial
Mathes can serve his family wild deer he hunts, but his customers find only farmed elk on the menu at his restaurant. “You are simply not allowed to harvest an animal from the wild and sell that either to a retail operation or to a restaurateur, or to anybody for that matter,” says Kris Vester, the Convivium Leader for Slow Food Calgary. “You can harvest that for yourself, and only for yourself and your family.” Slow Food embraces the hunter as a fellow traveler. Says Vester, “We allow animals to be kept in completely unnatural conditions and we raise them to maturity relying completely on antibiotics to keep them alive because the conditions are so incredibly unnatural, but we allow that to be sold into the food system. And we can’t take an animal from the wild that has
Chefs’ Tips on game
had a very natural clean diet and put that into the food system? That’s really regrettable.” This fall, Quebec will launch a pilot project to put hunted game meat on restaurant menus. The Globe and Mail reports that “Ten restaurants, including Normand Laprise’s Toqué! and Martin Picard’s Au Pied de Cochon will be part of an experiment…to allow licensed hunters to kill certain species in the wild and sell them to the eateries.”
La Chaumiere’s Joe Mathes says, “You can overcook game in a hurry and then it is dry and it is tough and it gets a bad rap. But if you cook it perfectly, it is a way better meat, a way, way better meat than any other meat you can buy.”
love to see it. I think it would make it really, really special.”
Both Mathes and Johnston are already making plans to hunt this fall. They will join more than 100,000 other Albertans on the journey from forest to fork. Carlene Deutscher will also bundle That makes Joe Mathes nervous. up against the cold and spend hours in He points out that there is no way her blind, waiting for the right animal to look at a piece of game, or even a to get close enough to take it cleanly whole carcass, and know if the meat with a bow. As a young woman, she will taste “gamey”. Des Johnston is finds it empowering. “I can provide and more enthusiastic. “Would I love to put this on the table. I killed it. I cooked see hunted game in restaurants?” asks it. I’m competent in the field and I am - CulinaireAd.pdf 2:01 PM Johnston.KimCrawford “One hundred percent I’d1 2014-09-02 competent in the kitchen.” Once you’ve harvested your own game, it becomes a part of you
Executive Chef Bob Mathews sears elk tenderloin medallions in a hot pan with canola oil, allowing them to caramelize, and encouraging browning and crusting with a little butter and basting. He aims for no more than medium rare. Easy on the “medium” please. He allows the meat to rest then gently brushes it with grainy mustard, often one of Des Johnston’s Brassica products. Rolled in a combination of breadcrumbs, pink peppercorns, and thyme, it is ready to be topped with a quail’s egg and served with chanterelle mushrooms. Jeff Collins is an avid shooter who hunts deer every year near Fort MacLeod. He lives, works, cooks and eats in southeast Calgary.
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Ways to Spice Up
by LAURA LUSHINGTON
Nothing says fall quite like an apple pie. The aroma of cinnamon and apples baking together is undeniably comforting, and can warm us up on those first cold weather days. Whether you serve it à la mode or just on its own, it’s a classic autumn dessert that’s easy to make and even easier to eat. 1. Types of Apples
Talk to any baker and they’ll have a favourite type of apple to use in their pies. Many say McIntosh apples are the best because of their crisp outsides and soft insides. They are also sweet, tangy and juicy, making them the number one choice for pie fillings. However, try mixing in other types of apples for a change in flavour and texture. Try: - Granny Smith - Golden Delicious - Honeycrisp
2. Adult Apple Pie
Enhance the flavour of your pie by adding 2 Tbs (30 mL/1 oz) of dark liquor. Calvados is a good choice because it is made from fermented apples. Try: - Calvados - Dark rum - Brandy 22
3. Apple-Cheddar Galette
Adding cheddar cheese to an apple pie may seem out of place but it is actually a classic combination. For a simple version of an apple pie, roll out your pie dough on a baking sheet, place your apple pie filling (see recipe below) in the middle, and fold pastry around the filling, overlapping if necessary. Top with butter and sugar as in the recipe below, but add ¼ cup of flour and ¼ cup finely shredded cheddar cheese. Simply delicious!
If your sweet tooth is over-the-top like mine, you might want to consider adding a touch of caramel to your pie. Drizzle on top, add to pie filling, or serve on the side so your guests can add their own. Simple Caramel Sauce:
1 cup brown sugar 1 cup (240 mL) heavy cream ¼ cup unsalted butter
In a small saucepan, heat sugar over medium heat until melted. Add in butter and when well combined, add in heavy cream. Boil for one minute and then remove from heat. Allow to cool before using. To make salted caramel, use salted butter and after boiling, add in 1 tsp of salt.
5. Sugar, Spice & Everything Nice
Most apple pie recipes use cinnamon as their main spice. Make an impression with your next apple pie by swapping out cinnamon for another yummy spice, or combining a few to make the perfect spice blend, like in a Chai tea. Try: - Cardamom - Ginger - Cloves
6. Fruits and Nuts
You can add in more fruit or some crunchy nuts to your pie too. When adding additional fruit, watch the quantity and juiciness, as you might have to adjust the flour or cornstarch in your filling to compensate for the added liquid. For nuts, toast them beforehand for the best flavour. Try: - Pears - Cranberries - Walnuts - Pecans
Mom’s Apple Pie
Pie Dough (recipe adapted from thekitchenmagpie.com) 5 ½ cups flour 1 tsp salt 464 g lard 1 Tbs (15 mL) vinegar 1 egg, lightly beaten Cold water
1. Preheat oven to 450º F.
1. Mix together flour and salt, then cut
cornstarch and cinnamon together. Layer into pie shell and cover with dabs of butter.
lard into mixture until crumbly.
2. In a measuring cup, combine vinegar 7. If you don’t have time for pie…
Make a 5-minute apple crisp! This is my go-to recipe when I get a craving for an apple pie but don’t have the time to make one. 1 or 2 apples (depending on size), peeled and sliced 3 Tbs rolled oats (not instant) 1 Tbs brown sugar 1 Tbs whole wheat flour 1 tsp flax seed meal (optional) 1/8 tsp cinnamon 1 Tbs melted butter
Slice apples very thin so they easily soften. Spread apple slices evenly in a small microwavable bowl. Stir together dry ingredients and then mix in melted butter. Add dry mixture on top of apples. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until apples are soft.
and egg. Add enough cold water to fill to 1-cup (240 mL) line.
3. Stir liquid into lard mixture. 4. Once dough forms, divide into six
equal balls. Cover balls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before use. Dough must be cold before using to ensure a flaky piecrust. Freeze unused portions.
2. Roll out one dough ball to form bottom crust. Place in pie plate.
3. Stir sliced apples, sugar, salt,
4. Roll out second dough ball and cover apples. Trim and pinch top crust to bottom crust. Prick top with a fork.
5. Sprinkle top with a mixture of
1 Tbs sugar and 1/8 tsp cinnamon.
6. Bake in preheated over for 10 minutes.
7. Reduce oven temperature to
Filling (recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking)
350º F and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes or until pie top is golden brown.
8-10 McIntosh apples (5-6 cups, pared, cored and thinly sliced) 1/3 cup white sugar 1/8 tsp salt 2 Tbs cornstarch ¼ tsp cinnamon 1 ½ Tbs butter
Laura Lushington is a graduate of Mount Royal University’s Journalism program. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @LauraLushington
Sense of Place Sense of Taste by RENÉE DELORME
Discouraged, I watch the deer eat the lettuce in my garden and shrew moles peak their heads between my carrots. Gardening in the foothills is a hopeless passion. Between hail, frost, drought and animals - how did our ancestors feed themselves anyway? I pondered this epicurean question with Julie Walker, naturalist, guide and forager. She looked at me and said “Simple! It is all about working ‘with’ nature not ‘against’ nature. I sat back, smiling; Walker’s passion shines through as she proceeds to educate me in the ways of the past: the forgotten wisdom of First Nations and resourcefulness of the early settlers. Alberta’s prairies, foothills and mountainous ecosystems offer incredible arrays of edible plants that
are truly delicious and nutritious. Cattail, that mundane plant that grows in wetlands can be eaten raw, pounded into flour, or its green flower spikes cooked and eaten like corn on cob. Who knew? First Nations people in Southern Alberta - the Piikani, Blood, Stoney, Tsuu Tina and Siksika followed the seasons, harvesting plants to create a diet rich in culinary delights. Their knowledge of the flora was vast and mostly held by women. “So, you are
“For me as a Chef, cooking with wild plants is a very interesting and rewarding challenge. Balancing flavours I have never tasted before with much beloved local ingredients really gets my creative juices flowing and gives me a deep sense of connection to the land. When I see Fireweed on a journey through the Alberta countryside I don’t see a weed, I see an ingredient!” Chef Stephen Gilmour, Festival of Food Ltd 24
Photograph courtesy Pam Asheton
Naturalist Julie Walker holds a Cow Parsnip plant.
telling me I am surrounded by food?” I asked. “Well of course!” Walker replied. For example, Wild Rose (Rosa Arkansana), a native shrub, produces “hips” or berries used for teas and berry mash, just like Saskatoon. Other local plants, such as Arrowhead, Chicory and Cow Parsnip can be mashed, boiled, roasted or pounded to make a variety of foods, teas, and medicines. As she looked at my garden, Walker continued, “Settlers brought with them plants we consider today wild or undesirable. Some of these “foreigners” like Lamb’s Quarters, (Chenopodium Album) a tasty, full flavour plant, loves to grow in rich healthy soil. Similar to spinach, they grow from May to September and are very productive. Two or three plants can supply a family.” Another “foreigner” is the Plantain leaf (Plantago Major) known to First Nations as “White Man’s footprint”, as wherever the white man went, this plant shot up. Perhaps the most infamous food plant is the Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). Growing almost everywhere, it can be used for a myriad of purposes. According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, the pesky dandelion is full of vitamins A, B, C, and
D, as well as many minerals. The plant came over to North America with the first settlers because of its diverse properties; its leaves are delicious in salads and teas, the roots can be made into coffee substitute, and the flowers to make wine. Concoctions can also made to treat several common medical conditions. I looked at my lawn with all its dandelions. No wonder deer love us we practically have a 4 star Michelin restaurant in front of the house. I also have a fleeting thought about mead in the region successfully using dandelions, wild roses or local herbs and berries. Perhaps there is a revival of sorts happening. Visit northernbushcraft.com for an extensive list of Alberta edible plants and their uses. The pesky dandelion is full of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as many minerals ISG and WSET graduate, Renée is passionate about food and wine, and is a consummate home cook. She is a freelance writer and columnist for Radio Canada, and offers sommelier services. Visit tastingpleasures.ca or twitter @tastingpleasure
Soup Kitchen by DAN CLAPSON
If you’re not eating pumpkin in some shape or form this month, then you’re not doing October right. Try making this soup for a light dinner on a chilly night (they’re back now, sadly) this month. It will taste so good, it will help your autumn weather depression subside, if only temporarily... Roasted Pumpkin and Bacon Soup with Candied Pumpkin Seeds Serves 4, Total cook time 40 min 2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil 3 strips double-smoked bacon, diced 1 yellow onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, loosely chopped 4 cups roasted pumpkin flesh, canned pumpkin purée in lieu 3 cups (720 mL) chicken stock 1 cup (240 mL) water 1 Tbs brown sugar 1 Tbs (15 mL) white wine vinegar ½ tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp lemon zest 1 tsp chilli flakes salt and pepper
1. Heat canola oil on medium-high in a large pan. Add diced
bacon and cook until crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to paper towel to absorb any excess grease and set aside for now.
2. In the same pan, cook down onion and garlic until softened, approximately 5 minutes.
3. Transfer to a blender along with the roasted pumpkin and stock, and purée until very smooth.
Candied pumpkin seeds:
3 Tbs brown sugar 1½ Tbs (22 mL) water ½ cup unsalted, roasted pumpkin seeds 1 Tbs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1. Place sugar and water in a small pan, stir to dissolve
4. Pour into a medium pot, add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat.
and cook on medium heat until almost all of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick and bubbly, about 3-4 minutes.
5. Reduce to medium heat, add cooked bacon to the soup,
2. Add seeds and rosemary to the pan and stir until well
cover and let cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 26
coated. Pour out onto parchment paper and let cool until seed mixture is brittle. Give the mixture a good chop and use to garnish soup.
Tomato and Beet Soup Serves 4-5, Total cook time 45 min 2 cups (480 mL) crushed tomatoes 4 golden beets, peeled and roasted 1 bulb roasted garlic 4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock 1 Tbs (15 mL) Three Farmers camelina oil 1 Tbs (15 mL) soy sauce 1 Tbs (15 mL) red wine vinegar 1 Tbs smoked paprika ½ tsp cayenne pepper 1 small green zucchini, thinly sliced 1 small yellow zucchini, thinly sliced salt and pepper
1. Place the first 5 ingredients in a blender and puree until very smooth. Transfer to a large pot, along with the next 4 ingredients and bring to a simmer on medium-high heat.
2. Once simmering, reduce to medium heat and let cook uncovered for 35 minutes, stirring intermittently.
3. Add the sliced zucchini and let cook for another 10
minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving. Dan Clapson is a freelance food writer and columnist in Calgary. When he’s not writing about Canada’s amazing culinary scene, he is likely listening to 80s rock or 90s boy bands. Follow him on twitter @dansgoodside
Menu Gems At Thanksgiving time our attention turns to birds of a feather, so we asked our contributors for their favourite poultry dishes in our city’s restaurants…
Pulled Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich with Poutine, Charcut Charcut are masters of the rotisserie, and nowhere is this better realized than with their lunchtime chicken sandwich. This bad boy is accentuated by boar bacon, cheddar cheese and a tangy piri piri aioli. Sure, Charcut has excellent Parmesan fries, but when you can upgrade to duck fat poutine, the choice is pretty simple. Consider yourself warned that productivity after this lunch will be compromised. Adrian Bryksa
Gochujang Wings, Anju
I couldn’t be happier that this refined Korean eatery is back and better than ever at its new snazzy location on 17th Avenue and 4th Street. After the very first time I bit into these wings years ago, I was hooked. Sweet, smoky, spicy. The holy trinity of flavours that I look for in a chicken wing. Damn, now I want some! Dan Clapson
Roast Chicken, Diner Deluxe
A classic for those raised on the four cornerstones of mealtimes - protein, potato, bread, and a vegetable. For 21 bucks, a classic roast chicken dish with loads of mashed potatoes and gravy. Tom Firth
Grilled Celery Root and Crispy Chicken Skin, Workshop
This dish, at the brand new Workshop, is one of those offthe-wall fun dishes that just works. The contrasting textures and flavours of chicken skin, cooked till cracklingly crispy, on top of a deep and tasty charred leek purée, with soft and crumbly Spanish blue cheese and slices of grilled of celery root, is playful and inspired. Linda Garson
Duck Cassoulet, Yellow Door Bistro
Duck Duet, Bavarian Inn, Bragg Creek
Regional cuisine with a twist - Chef Greg knows how to do this. Roasted duck breast and confit duck leg sing in harmony with the gratin potatoes, green vegetables and an Okanagan plum & orange reduction. German influenced Rocky Mountain cuisine to pair with pinot noir. Well worth the drive. Renée Delorme
Why have chicken when you can have duck? This classic dish is prepared perfectly, from the thick, smoky sauce to the tender duck breast. It’s a hearty dish that satisfies hunger and the yearning for big bold flavours. Diana Ng
Chicken, almond pesto, goat cheese and red pepper pizza, Posto After a long workweek, we often stop at Posto on our way home from Avec and enjoy a glass (or bottle) of wine along with their chicken pizza. Their crust is the star - always perfectly cooked, crisp and soft. We sit at the bar to chat with Chef Ben and he sends us a little something to taste that he is playing around with for a new menu. Jackie Cooke
The winner will be selected by a panel of celebrity judges!
prize pack consists of up to $25,000 worth of design and print to help the winning establishment look as great as their food tastes! PLUS, THE WINNER WILL BE FEATURED IN CULINAIRE MAGAZINE.
to enter or to nominate
or email your entry to:HiddenGemYYC@westcanadian.com
For full contest details, visit westcanadian.com
Culinaire CALGARY / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES
Deadline for submission 10/31/14
Thanksgiving For story and photography by RENEE KOHLMAN
Traditional Thanksgiving typically means a giant spread, complete with turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, a couple of veg, maybe a salad, and the grand finale is almost always pumpkin pie. But maybe this year you’re downsizing and it’s just you and your sweetheart, or your grandma...or your cat.
For a delicious dinner on a much smaller scale, ever so elegant Cornish hens steal the show. Commercial Cornish hens are a hybridized breed, made by crossing Plymouth Rock chickens with Cornish chickens. Those found in the grocery store are typically called Rock Cornish Hens and weigh between 1-2½ Kg. Predominantly white meat, they don’t taste gamey, and have a more delicate flavour. Super cute in their singleserving size, you may just create a new Thanksgiving tradition.
Cornish Game Hens with Wild Rice Mushroom Stuffing and Cranberry Orange Glaze Serves 2
½ cup wild rice 1 cup (240 mL) chicken stock or water 1 tsp butter 3 strips bacon ½ cup diced onion ½ cup sliced mushrooms 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/3 cup sliced dried mission figs ½ cup croutons ½ cup arugula 1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped 2 tsp each fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, finely chopped 3 Tbs (45 mL) water or chicken stock 2 Cornish hens, approximately 750 g each olive oil salt and pepper
Cornish hens don’t taste gamey, and have a more delicate flavour
Preheat oven to 425º F.
1. In a small saucepan, add rice and
stock or cold water, and butter. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat for about 1 hour or until all of the liquid is absorbed and rice is fully cooked. If it’s too dry, add more liquid.
2. Meanwhile, fry bacon over medium high heat until crispy-ish. Remove to paper towel lined plate, then chop into small pieces.
3. Cook onion in bacon fat until
starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and garlic. Cook until mushrooms have released most of their liquid. Remove to large mixing bowl.
4. Stir in sliced figs, croutons, arugula
and herbs. When rice is cooked, add this
to the mixture, as well as sliced bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
until thick, whisking often. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over hens immediately before serving.
5. Rinse and pat dry Cornish hens.
Cranberry Orange Glaze
Place both in a 9x13 baking dish. Season cavities with salt and pepper. Stuff each bird with rice stuffing.
6. Tuck wings under bird. Tie legs
together with kitchen twine. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes.
7. Reduce heat to 400º F. Brush with
Cranberry Orange Glaze and return to oven. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove hens from oven and brush with glaze again. Cover with foil if getting too dark. Roast 10 more minutes then reserve to individual plates or serving platter. Cover with foil.
300 g fresh or frozen cranberries ½ cup cane sugar 1 Tbs orange zest ½ cup (120 mL) fresh orange juice, about the juice of 3 oranges 2 Tbs (30 mL/1 oz) Brandy or Port
1. Combine all ingredients except
alcohol in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook until berries break apart and thicken, about 8 minutes, stirring often.
2. Add alcohol and cook 2 minutes
longer. Strain half of sauce through a fine mesh sieve. Discard solids.
8. Pour the pan drippings through a
sieve into a medium size saucepan. Add the reserved cranberry sauce and cook 31
You may just create a new Thanksgiving tradition
Salted Pumpkin Panna Cotta Serves 6
Creamy Mashed Potatoes & Squash with Kale Serves 4
450 g fingerling or Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and chopped into 2 cm pieces 1 Delicata squash, cut in half, seeds scraped out and sliced into 5 mm pieces olive oil salt and pepper ½ cup baby kale, packed 2 Tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped 1 Tbs fresh chives, finely chopped 3 Tbs butter ½ cup (120 mL) whole milk chopped chives for garnish
Preheat oven to 400º F.
1. In a medium saucepan, cover
potatoes with cold water and sprinkle with salt. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until fully cooked.
2. In a small roasting pan, add squash
slices, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, 32
remove from oven, stir and roast for another 10 or until very soft.
3. When potatoes are cooked, drain
liquid, return potatoes to pot, stir in cooked squash, kale, herbs, butter and whole milk. Mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
1½ cups (360 mL) whole milk 1 envelope (2½ tsp) unflavoured gelatin 1 cup (240 mL) heavy cream 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs granulated sugar 1 cup canned pumpkin purée 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla ½ tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground ginger ¼ tsp ground nutmeg ¼ tsp ground cardamom 1/8 tsp ground cloves
For garnish: sweetened whipped cream, cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon.
1. Place milk in medium saucepan.
Sprinkle gelatin on top. Let stand 5 minutes for gelatin to soften. Meanwhile, place remaining ingredients in blender. Blend until completely smooth.
2. Whisk pumpkin mixture into milk
mixture. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to steam. Do not boil. Remove from heat and divide into 6 - 4oz serving dishes. Let cool for one hour. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving or overnight.
3. Dollop each serving with slightly
sweetened whipped cream, a dusting of cinnamon and a cinnamon stick. Renée Kohlman is a food writer and pastry chef living in beautiful Saskatoon. She writes restaurant reviews for The Saskatoon StarPhoenix and whips up delicious gluten-free dessert creations at Leyda’s Café. Check out her blog sweetsugarbean.ca.
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A True Gem In Calgary’s Downtown Dining Scene by DAN CLAPSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL
“Well, we’re definitely not ‘hip’,” says Leslie Echino as she laughs, starting to explain what her definition of her restaurant, Blink, should be if I looked it up in the dictionary. 34
happen sooner and I’ve been watching the restaurant evolve ever since.
Leslie Echino and Chris Dewling
For the past seven years, in a city that is now bursting at the seams with contemporary restaurants, Blink has solidly stood it’s ground on Stephen Avenue. Its owner, Leslie Echino, is one of Calgary’s top wine aficionados, and executive chef Chris Dewling, though somewhat reserved (a refreshing trait these days, to be quite honest), who happily cooks the day away in the beautiful open-concept kitchen, come together to compose one of the nicest, most well-balanced dining experiences in town. “Blink is very consistent and it’s very classic. We’re not hip, we’re not trendy, but it’s based in French technique. Everything is done in a very classic style with a friendly approach,” says Echino. “The front of house is very proper here, service is always done the same, so consistency is definitely number one to all of the staff.” If you’re not a frequent visitor to Stephen Avenue, the street can be a little bit overwhelming when you’re deciding what to eat. Restaurant, pub, bar, restaurant, restaurant, restaurant... Sometimes, it’s easy to walk right by something and not even realise what you’re missing. When I first moved to Calgary, that’s what Blink was for me. I’d pass by on the way to wherever I was headed. When I’d walk past Blink, I’d think ‘Oh, I need to eat here next time.’ When that day finally came, about four years ago, I was a little sad it didn’t
Echino herself is a dedicated and knowledgeable restaurateur, and with years of experience ranging anywhere from top restaurants in Whistler to working as the director of operations for a large restaurant group in Newcastle, England, this woman certainly has the resume to back it up. Though she has a great line-up of service and front of house management, it would be unusual not to see Blink’s owner gliding through the room during service talking with tables and making sure the ebb and flow is as it should be. “This is my number one love. I live for what I do. I live for visiting with tables, talking about wine. Oh, I’m in love with Spain, I love to push the Spanish wines!” she says.
“Well, we’re definitely not ‘hip’”
The room Echino keeps her watch on here is an approachable one. A heritage building in the Calgary’s downtown, it boasts long walls of exposed brick on either side with a back bar and - even further back - an open kitchen that will draw your eyes and likely your noses too during lunch and dinner. The best seats in the house though, are the two booths by the front windows, which flood with light during the day (perfect for warming up from outside) and become cosier as the sun sets, the perfect seats for a romantic evening.
“We all work together, instead of a top down situation where the chef yells at everyone. It’s a group effort here,” says the chef regarding his leadership philosophy (oddly enough, Dewling also has a degree in philosophy from the University of Calgary). “Some of my kitchen staff have been here for 4 years or more, which is unusual for this city. We all work as a team and they make my job very easy. My team is all really fantastic at what they do...there’s ideas flying around all of the time, it’s great!” Blink’s food has always been a great example of taking beautiful ingredients, whether that’s apples from the Okanagan or Alberta lamb and beef, and elevating them without overthinking them. Take Dewling’s confit duck for example. Combined with an onion and potato terrine, black Alberta garlic and a homemade rhubarb jam, the flavours are clearly harmonious and the plating speaks for itself, elegant and eyecatching, thankfully lacking fussiness or unnecessary edible flowers.
Originally, the kitchen was run by Andrew Richardson with Chris Dewling as his sous chef since day one. After Richardson decided to head west just over two years ago in search of different opportunities, Dewling stepped in as executive chef. Since then, the restaurant has really been hitting its stride. 35
With well-crafted food comes an expectation of the appropriate liquid accompaniments. Blink has never been big on craft beer nor eager to ride the trendy cocktail wave (although their hard liquor collection is quite impressive), but they don’t have to be when they have one of the most well assembled wine lists in the city. Whether it’s a flatiron Alberta grassfed steak being grilled up in the kitchen, a simple bowl of soup at lunch, or even just a flight of cheese, the restaurant’s wine menu will have a match for the order.
“You want to have great food and to be honest, great food isn’t getting apples from Chile in January, it’s using what’s available,” says Echino on her and Dewling’s culinary mentality. “It’s been seven years of us establishing that sort of restaurant ‘brand’ together. People get it when they walk in here. They know that they may get a B.C. cherry tart in July or August, but you’re not going to see that here in November.”
“This is my number one love. I live for what I do”
Indeed, November is more of a season for more comforting desserts featuring hearty stone fruits like Blink’s Apple Tarte Fine. Buttery pastry topped with caramelized, tender apples, candied almonds and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream for good measure. I mean, who wants a light and bright cherry tart in late fall anyway?
“We work together on wine pairings and things, of course. Her knowledge far exceeds mine, obviously. I can’t afford to always drink the fancy stuff that she does,” jokes Dewling as he chuckles “but seriously, we do a lot of research for wine dinners, find out the regions the wines are coming from, that kind of thing...The wine choices go through her, and then we talk about it while we taste all of the wines. And that’s always a good learning curve for me!”
“The last couple years have been busier and better than ever. Part of being a restaurateur is not just doing what you want, but doing what will work in the community that you’re in,” says Echino as our conversation wraps and the wine our glasses dwindles. “You need to find that balance between what the customers want and what you want, without compromising your vision. I think we’re enough of an entity now and we’re very fortunate that diners will look for a certain experience when they come here.”
Your chance to win a wine and food pairing lesson for two with Blink’s owner, Leslie! Known for their delicious cuisine, Blink also pride themselves on their wine and food pairings. For your chance to win this great prize, simply go to culinairemagazine.ca and let us know your most memorable food and wine paired dish in a restaurant or at home (and why) to win this wine and food pairing lesson for two with Blink’s owner, Leslie. Of course, there will be some sipping too! Good luck, we can’t wait to hear from you! 36
Sweet and Sour Rhubarb Jam Yield: 3 cups Cook time 20 min
All of the components of Dewling’s dinner plates might be too much for a home cook, so just try making his simple rhubarb jam, which makes for a great addition to poultry, game and more. 1 Kg rhubarb stalks ½ cup (120 mL) water ½ cup cane sugar 2 tsp (10 mL) grenadine 1 cm fresh ginger peel
1. Peel rhubarb and cut into julienne strips.
2. Combine water and sugar in a
medium pot and cook on medium heat until sugar has completely dissolved. Add rhubarb, grenadine and ginger to the pot and cook down to a thick syrup, approximately 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a container, keep in the fridge to use as desired. If serving jam, gently re-warm before plating.
Visit culinairemagazine.ca for Blink’s Okanagan Apple Tarte Fine with vanilla ice cream and candied almonds recipe
Dan Clapson is a freelance food writer and columnist in Calgary. When he’s not writing about Canada’s amazing culinary scene, he is likely listening to 80s rock or 90s boy bands. Follow him on twitter @ dansgoodside
The 2014 Alberta Beverage Awards Wine Results
The Best Alberta Has To Offer by TOM FIRTH, COMPETITION DIRECTOR
Starting a new competition is a bit like throwing a party, you send out the information and details and you wait, and hope that just about everybody shows up at the expected time. We must’ve done something right last year, because this year’s competition was bigger than we ever expected. By the numbers, we had over 80 different grapes from 17 different countries represented this year, and over 500 wines ready to be evaluated blind by our panels of top-notch sommeliers, journalists, educators, and retailers from both Calgary and Edmonton, to determine the best from among all the entries to publish here. In each category there is a “Best in Class”, which is the top performing wine in its category followed by “Judges’ Selection” which are the other high performing wines in the category. In most categories, there is also a “Top Value” which is a Judges’ Selection wine that has been identified by the Culinaire editors as providing excellent value. Each listed wine has an approximate retail price and is followed by a “CSPC” number. This number is an identification number for alcohol products in Alberta and can be used to help you find a certain wine at your local retailer or online at Liquorconnect.com. Some winners also have a 2013 symbol after them to identify wines that not only did well this year, but also last year, indicating that this product is not only good, but also consistent. Producing a competition involves a tremendous amount of work, and our successes wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of everyone involved.
Special thanks to the Import Vintners & Spirits Association, Liquor Connect, Len Steinberg, our hardworking judges, and our volunteer stewards, Mairie, Pat, Brian, Toria, Pierce, and Patrick, who know their jobs so well we never
have to worry about them. Thank you once again to the Hotel Blackfoot who are a perfect venue for our event, and their staff who were so attentive and anticipated our needs so well that it bordered on precognition.
After Dinner Wines Fortified Wines
I keep my ear to the ground regarding fortified wines, I’m a purist and when it comes to fortified wines I think Portugal has it all figured out. That doesn’t mean that good fortified wines aren’t made around the world - but I still hold them to a high standard. When the results came back from the judges, I rushed to the flight in the back room and had to taste this year’s top fortified - from Moldova - which was impressive. The category was still fairly small, but high hopes for the 2015 competition that we continue to see growth (from both Portugal and elsewhere) in this awesome category. I hope you can try one or all of these top bottles this winter with some blue cheese, a roaring fire, and maybe wearing your slippers. By Tom Firth. JUDGES’ SELECTION Fonseca NV 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Douro, Portugal $69-72 CSPC 422022 Taylor Fladgate NV 10 Year Old Tawny Port, Douro, Portugal $36-40 CSPC 344101 TOP VALUE Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port, Douro, Portugal $20-24 CSPC 46946
Again, a tremendously tough category to judge, the sweetness can be a bit overwhelming, especially if there isn’t enough acidity to balance it, but also, not everyone drinks a lot of dessert wine meaning you may have to shrug off your biases or preferences and just go with what tastes best. We were very happy to see some growth in this category including more Canadian examples and examples from abroad. Whether you give them as gifts or save them for special occasions, you’ll be impressed with these wines.
BEST IN CLASS Rubin Garling Stradivari NV Fortified Wine, Ciumi, Moldova $28-30 CSPC 754831 Perhaps a little less intense than the other fortified wines, there was no denying the rich fruit, sweet and spice, and floral/herb characters, and above all, this wine had some excellent balance. BEST IN CLASS Mission Hill Family Estates 2011 Reserve Riesling Icewine, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $62-67 CSPC 728730 I still believe that riesling makes the best icewine and this is an elegant and noteworthy example. Bright citrus and stone fruits, all the sweetness of icewine adding texture and hitting all those “sweet” spots in the mouth, and some excellent acids bring balance. Delicious.
JUDGES’ SELECTION Alvear NV PX Solera 1927, Montilla, Spain $27-32 CSPC 724804 Torres, Floralis NV Moscatel d’Oro, Spain $23-27 CSPC 222844 TOP VALUE Sileni Cellar Selection 2009 Late Harvest Semillon, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand $16-20 CSPC 723434 39
The Best of Italy Italy is easily one of the world’s most diverse winemaking countries, with wine made in each of its 20 provinces. Best-known for wines such as Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Barolo, and Amarone, consumers can find wonderful diversity in some of the lesser-known grapes such as montepulciano, aglianico, and barbera. Italian wines are made for the dinner table, usually trending toward bright, clean acidity to match a wide variety of foods and situations. Try an Aglianico from Campania or Basilicata with a margherita pizza or Montepulciano d’Abruzzo with cured meats like Capocollo or Lonza. Look to Italy for quality and diversity at all price points – discoveries abound. By Alex Good. BEST IN CLASS (TIE)
Antinori 2010 “Peppoli” Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy $24-26 CPSC 606541
Fontanafredda 2012 Barbera Briccotondo, Piedmont, Italy $16-18 CSPC 729958
Here’s a wine that, vintage over vintage, has stood the test of time and has delivered authenticity and quality year after year. It’s a great buy in Tuscan Sangiovese showing bright fruit, spice, cedar, dark cocoa, and dusty tannins. Talamonti 2010 Tre Saggi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo, Italy $18-21 CSPC 745479 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo can be one of Italy’s most prosperous hunting grounds for great value red wine and this is no exception. Dark fruits, chocolate, roasted almonds, vanilla, and earthy aromas overlay a big, spicy, nourishing palate replaying the dark fruit and earthy notes.
Borgo di Colloredo 2007 Aglianico, Molise, Italy $20-24 CSPC 755661 Tenuta di Arceno 2011 Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy $20-22 CSPC 734677 Rivera 2008 Il Falcone, Puglia, Italy $24-26 CSPC 579490 Ricasoli 2009 Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy $27-30 CSPC 704912 Fattoria Rodano 2008 Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy $22-25 CSPC 758945 Musella 2009 Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso, Veneto, Italy $26-29 CSPC 806224 Santa Cristina 2011 Toscana, Tuscany, Italy $14-16 CSPC 76521
The Best of Italy (continued)
JUDGES’ SELECTION (continued)
Braida 2011 Il Baciale, Piedmonte, Italy $28-32 CSPC 702970
Mezzomondo 2013 Negroamaro, Puglia, Italy $10-13 CSPC 713694
Terrici 2006 IGT, Tuscany, Italy $46-50 CSPC 761437 Fontanafredda 2008 Serralunga d’Alba Barolo, Piedmont, Italy $42-45 CSPC 714434 Illuminati 2012 Riparosso, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo, Italy $14-16 CSPC 328997
4 St NW
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Oak & Vine, Calgary’s Destination for Craft Beer! Over 600 craft & import beer in stock, New brands & seasonal styles arriving every week, Home to the “Pick 6” Craft Wall (make your own sampler six-pack), Independently owned & operated.
The Best of Spain and Portugal The beauty of Spanish and Portuguese wine production is that they occupy the point of collision between modern and traditional. Both have traditional varieties in unique locations that nonetheless take advantage of modern growing techniques and winemaking approaches. The result is wines of both subtlety and power. As we’re required to generalize, it would be safe to suggest that while both are close to the line, Spain stands on the new world side with richer, riper, plusher styles, while Portugal is an arm span across the Duero/Douro river with fresher acidity, earthier aromas and subtler overall expression. By Matt Browman. BEST IN CLASS
Torres 2010 Gran Coronas, Penedès, Spain $20-22 CSPC 36483
Lemos & Van Zeller 2011 Douro Tinto “Rufo”, Douro, Portugal $18-20 CSPC 920660 Montaria 2011 Tinto, Alentejo, Portugal $14-16 CSPC 745835 Luis Cañas 2011 Crianza, Rioja, Spain $18-20 CSPC 762355 Rolland & Galarreta 2010 Ribera del Duero, Spain $24-26 CSPC 762360 Fado 2011 Red, Alentejo, Portugal $13-15 CSPC 739412 Ramos Pinto 2011 Duas Quintas Classic Red, Douro, Portugal $20-22 CSPC 359893 Bodegas Castaño 2013 Lujura, Yecla, Spain $11-14 CSPC 77149 TOP VALUE Solaz 2011 Tempranillo Cabernet, Rioja, Spain $11-14 CSPC 610188
Bordeaux Red Blends The day is coming when Bordeaux will no longer be a necessary descriptor for these styles, especially considering that grapes like syrah and mourvèdre can sometimes make their way into the blends and still qualify for the category. These are wines based around the Bordeaux red varieties of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec, petit verdot, and cabernet franc. Because of the Bordeaux comparison, it can be a tough category in which to compete, as many a winemaker will wake up from a blissful dream of crafting top-growth Bordeaux with a pallet of perfect grapes from the gravel outcrops on either side of the Gironde, only to realize that they are managing young vines on sandy soils in a brand new region. The good news is that winegrowers are celebrating more and more the unique character of their own locales, and working to guide the wine into a proud local expression versus the comparative one. By Matt Browman. JUDGES’ SELECTION
BEST IN CLASS
Intriga 2011, Maipo, Chile $25-28 CSPC 725356
Mascota Vineyards 2009 Unanime, Mendoza, Argentina $17-20 CSPC 915108
Road 13 Vineyards 2011 Fifth Element, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $40-45 CSPC 741856 Luigi Bosca 2011 De Sangre, Mendoza, Argentina $26-30 CSPC 745106 La Storia 2011 Cuvee 32, Alexander Valley, California $35-39 CSPC 734655 Tinhorn Creek 2010 Oldfield Series 2 Bench Red, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $35-39 CSPC 741602 Phasion Estates 2011 Haute Couture, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, $20-24 CSPC 760506 TOP VALUE Cono Sur 2012 Organic Cabernet Carmenere, Colchagua Valley, Chile $14-16 CSPC 715036
Cabernet Sauvignon The big, the bold, the beautiful…cabernet sauvignon is a red grape that has much to say and isn’t afraid to say it. A crossing of cabernet franc (a red) and sauvignon blanc (a white) vines, “Cab Sav” originated in Bordeaux, France in the 17th century. There it found a home as the signature grape of the Left Bank, and source of some of the world’s most expensive and sought-after wines. The cabernet grape’s thick, dark skin gives the wine its deep colour and foretells the powerful experience to be enjoyed. Its trademark blackcurrant and cedar notes reflect on the flavour profile of wines produced with this grape the world over. With a reputation for full body and large complex tannins, cabernet sauvignon can be overwhelming for some, and cherished by others. Vintners typically blend cabernet with other grapes like malbec, merlot and cabernet franc to balance flavour profile and enhance drinkability, while it is really only from the new world where it stands alone. The perfect steak wine, Cab Sav’s powerful tannins and bright acidity usually require cellar ageing in order to achieve peak readiness. This can be for a period of years or even decades. By Nathalie Gosselin. BEST IN CLASS
Cameron Hughes CAM Collection 2012 Lake Country Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake Country, California, $22-26 CSPC 763099
Montes Alpha 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua Valley, Chile $24-26 CSPC 322586
All the cedar, cherry, and cassis flavours one could want with firm tannins, spice box, and tobacco. Great cab all around.
Mascota Vineyards 2011 La Mascota Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipu, Argentina $16-20 CSPC 758058 J. Lohr 2010 Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Helena, California $60-65 CSPC 717539 Perez Cruz 2011 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo, Chile $16-19 CSPC 126235 Zolo 2011 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Uco Valley, Argentina $24-26 CSPC 727529 TOP VALUE Santa Rita 2010 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo, Chile $15-16 CSPC 211623
Chardonnay I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the quality of chardonnay this year, with very few examples having the balance and appealing aromatics I look for. Some had residual sugar and were flabby, others much too simple for how this grape variety should be performing in the vineyards and how it is handled in the winery. On a positive note, the trend of less oak in chardonnay continues, which is very encouraging, especially when vineyards are not producing top quality fruit. Better vineyard practices and a higher quality of fruit are much more likely to support heavier handed oak use, while still producing a balanced wine. Overall the simplicity of this category was the most noticeable, although most submissions would fall into the value category for chardonnay. I’d really love to see more chardonnay entered next year from entry level and upwards, as there are so many outstanding wines in our market that we aren’t seeing in this competition quite yet. Hopefully, 2015 will be the year for chardonnay! By Jackie Cooke.
BEST IN CLASS (TIE)
Mission Hill Family Estates 2011 Perpetua, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $36-40 CSPC 761625
Poplar Grove 2012 Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $21-25 CSPC 750083
14 Hands 2012 Chardonnay, Washington State $16-18 CSPC 750419 Lindeman’s 2013 Bin 65 Chardonnay, South Eastern Australia $12-14 CSPC 142117 Joseph Drouhin 2012 Pouilly-Fuisse, Mâconnais, France $30-35 CSPC 701204
Tropical fruits led the way here, with stone fruit, melon, and citrus and a long, almost delicate finish. Lake Breeze 2011 Seven Poplars Chardonnay, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $26-30 CSPC 353821 Judges enjoyed the toasty, coconut, and lemon flavours of the Lake Breeze with the softer oak presence on the finish.
TOP VALUE Kendall Jackson 2012 AVANT Chardonnay, California $17-19 CSPC 745198
Fruit and Honey Wines The Fruit and Honey wines category is a bit of a mash-up. Both categories saw too small a number of entries to keep them separate, but the results were strong enough to get some clear winners. Personally, I love to judge fruit wine (though I am not able to judge at this competition); I love the purity of fruit that the hands of a skilled fruit winemaker can coax into the glass. Good fruit wine is a treat. We saw entries mostly from western Canada although a Judges Selection entry also made the grade from South Korea. Honey wines also had a small presence at this year’s competition and again, we hope to see some growth in 2015 and beyond. Alberta is a leading producer of honey world-wide and it only makes sense to see mead and honey-based wines on the table. The top honey wine was local producer Spirit Hills with their dandelion and honey wine “Dande” which is certainly worth a taste or two. You can also try their Saskwatch made from Saskatoon berries. By Tom Firth. BEST IN CLASS
Fieldstone Strawberry-Rhubarb Fruit Wine, Alberta $18 CSPC 750751
Spirit Hills Dande, Alberta $23 CSPC 756234
A classic blend for fruit wines, the sweetness of the strawberries is balanced by the rhubarb with bright, clean flavours start to finish. Serve chilled on the deck or patio for best results.
Spirit Hills Saskwatch, Alberta $23 CSPC 758136 Forbidden Fruit Pearsuasion, Similkameen Valley, British Columbia $22-24 CSPC 739573 Spirit Hills Bastard, Alberta $23 CSPC 762438 TOP VALUE Bokbunja-Um Black Raspberry Wine, South Korea $12-15 CSPC 783555
I love the purity of fruit that the hands of a skilled fruit winemaker can coax into the glass.
Malbec The Malbec category continues to show a strong role in the Alberta market, making up a good deal of below $25 retail sales and by-the-glass in restaurant listings. There are currently over 304 different bottles of malbec or malbec blends from across the planet available to the Alberta market. Argentina has the majority stake in this grape, showing the highest amount of entries in our competition. Cahors is the French answer to the Argentina’s malbec, but has remained largely quiet in the province despite recent marketing attempts and some notable importers leading a French charge. From my judging notes, the French were outnumbered 1 to 10 by the Argentina Malbec Cavalry; and even fewer showed from countries like Chile, Australia, and even Canada. The best wines showed elegance, restraint and purity, eschewing overly sweet or woody wines. Malbec is in its late adolescence with plantings getting older and wineries beginning to discover distinct terroir traits. This category will grow in terms of quality over the next few years, with Albertans sure to benefit handsomely. By Brad Royale. JUDGES’ SELECTION
Trapiche 2011 Broquel Malbec, Mendoza Argentina $17-19 CSPC 732871
Dona Paula 2013 Los Cardos Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $12-14 CSPC 633628
R N E W I N
CLA N I T BES
BEST IN CLASS
Gauchezco 2009 Grand Reserve Plata Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $33-36 CSPC 749987
Tilia 2013 Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $12-15 CSPC 760785 The category champion Tilia, did a lovely job highlighting this grape’s floral, dark fruit, and refreshing acidity qualities.
Dona Paula 2012 Estate Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $17-19 CSPC 631291
Altamira de los Andes 2009 Reserve Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $33-36 CSPC 758614
A BOLD & RICH WINE DELIVERING INCREDIBLE VALUE & CHARACTER
Merlot Many would argue that it is easier to say where this variety does not grow versus where it does! Merlot as a category grew leaps and bounds in this year’s competition, as it commanded a category of its own-and Canada came out the leader! Merlot is one of the often overlooked and under-appreciated varietals, which is quite sad really. This wine, depending on where it comes from, offers many different expressions; New World merlot offers great structure, juicy red to dark fruits, fantastic price points, some with cellaring potential, and are nothing like the weak, one dimensional/flabby merlots of the past. Some of these are nice as an easy drinking wine after a day’s work, ones that are perfect to open with a friend and enjoy, others are great paired with Alberta beef or a tasty lamb dish. What more could a wine lover ask for really? So ask yourself this: When was the last time you tried a merlot? Here are several for you to choose from. Happy sipping! By Erin Chipchura.
BEST IN CLASS
Poplar Grove 2010 Merlot, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $26-30 CSPC 1828811
La Storia 2011 Merlot, Alexander Valley, California $33-37 CSPC 753300
Bursting with dark fruits, spice, and tannin-this is a new classic coming out of the Okanagan. Drinking well now and can also improve over 2-5+ years.
Tinhorn Creek 2011 Merlot, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $25-26 CSPC 530725 Hester Creek 2011 “Block 2” Reserve Merlot, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $30-35 CSPC Mission Hill Family Estate 2010 Reserve Merlot, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $25-28 CSPC 772244 Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series 2010 Merlot, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $36-38 CSPC 723924 TOP VALUE Peninsula Ridge 2012 Merlot, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario $15-17 CSPC 718489
Vina Falernia Elqui Valley - Chile
This is an innovative venture given that Viña Falernia is produced in the Elqui Valley. Chile’s most northerly wine estate a considerable distance from the country’s main winegrowing areas. The driving force has been a passion for the wine and the challenge of transforming a tract of desert into a green vineyard with enormous potential for producing premium wines, availing ourselves of the latest technology, the support of agronomists from Chile’s universities and of worldrenowned oenologists.
Rated 93 Pts. Decanter Magazine
Toll Free: 1-877-737-0018 Web: www.dhs-wine.com
Other Red Blends This was one of my favourite categories to watch the results come in. Many of the wineries or brands included here are well known to wine trade and consumers alike, but there is also a “blend” of both traditional styles of wines and newer, almost unusual ones. As an added bonus, generally these wines deliver great value. Almost all the wines earning awards in this category come from the new world, reflecting generally more fruit-driven wine, but also modern wines showing versatility at the table or even just wines suitable for entertaining. While most of the following wines won’t improve significantly in the cellar, it may be worth having a few on hand for a Tuesday night or when guests come calling. By Tom Firth. BEST IN CLASS
Casillero del Diablo 2012 Devil’s Red, Chile $17-20 CSPC 762367
19 Crimes 2012 Shiraz Durif, Victoria, Australia $18-21 CSPC 746969
Blended around syrah with carmenere and cabernet sauvignon, this gem has big fruits with plenty of herb and spice tones to balance out the tannins. Great for the barbecue or even just chilling out on a cooler evening.
Masi 2011 Passo Doble MalbecCorvina, Mendoza, Argentina $17-20 CSPC 718441 Kendall-Jackson 2008 VR Summation, California, $25-27 CSPC 728128 Montes 2012 Twins Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon, Colchagua, Chile $16-18 CSPC 630004 Voga 2013 Red Fusion, Puglia, Italy $18-21 CSPC 738404 Gnarly Head 2012 Authentic Red, Lodi, California $18-20 CSPC 748137 Clos de Los Siete 2010, Mendoza, Argentina $22-25 CSPC 128710 Wayne Gretzky Okanagan 2011 The Great Red, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $18-20 CSPC 684126 Phenolia 2011 Red, France $18-21 CSPC 754713 TOP VALUE Wolf Blass 2012 Red Label Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon, Barossa Valley, Australia $14-17 CSPC 756168
Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio Pinot gris has a funny reputation. On one side it can be fruit driven, clean, and appear to be slightly sweet and juicy while on the other hand it can be a serious example of minerality, finesse, and elegant texture. The wines we tasted were overall very expressive, with substantial fruit behind them, brightly textured and reminiscent of the places they were from. Pinot gris in the Okanagan Valley is a serious contender with some pretty elegant examples coming from an area predominantly known for its big structured reds. While French Pinot Gris’ almost always remain the most elegant version, it was the northern Italian samples that proved there are quality-driven contenders right next door. This grape family showed really well this year, giving us wines that truly displayed notes of their terroir. I always enjoy Pinot Gris more as a patio wine, a great starter to a meal as an aperitif with items such as salty cheeses, lightly scented cured fish, and citrusdominated salads. By Erika Tocco.
BEST IN CLASS
Mission Hill Family Estate 2012 Reserve Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $20-22 CSPC 677658
Poplar Grove 2013 Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $30-31 CSPC 733118
Hillside Estates Un-oaked Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $25-27 CSPC 65672
The top pinot gris in the 2013 Alberta Beverage Awards as well as this year’s competition, judges loved the balance of fruit and texture from Poplar Grove.
Lake Breeze 2013 Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $22-25 CSPC 721784 Kim Crawford 2013 Pinot Gris, Marlborough, New Zealand $20-22 CSPC 743691 Pierre Sparr 2012 Reserve Pinot Gris, Alsace, France $20-22 CSPC 373332 Livio Felluga 2012 Pinot Grigio, Friuli, Italy, $40-42 CSPC 709104 Baillie Grohman 2013 Pinot Gris, British Columbia $24-25 CSPC 741958 TOP VALUE Ruffino 2013 Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT, Veneto, Italy $12-15 CSPC 710510
Pinot Noir Pinot Noir is a challenging grape for both the grower and consumer alike. The region it comes from has a dramatic effect on its flavor profile, which separates the lovers of Pinot on what makes a “good one”. Are you a lover of the barnyard earth of Burgundy, or the blackberry jam of Sonoma County? This year’s competition was dominated by New World entries, with Cloudy Bay 2011 from Marlborough New Zealand taking the top over all spot. Pinot causes more discussion and dispute than any other grape, most of which centers around its true expression. Each region is unmistakeable, yet leaves no doubt about what is in the glass. The wonderful quality of pinot noir is that it offers something for everyone. The New World, with its youthful aromas of cherry and strawberries, can be enjoyed now with some longevity, while the terroir-driven expressions of the Old World reward the patient drinker. I myself, enjoy spending my time in both worlds. No matter the occasion, I always have at least one pinot noir within reach. By Darren Fabian. BEST IN CLASS Cloudy Bay 2011 Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand $43-48 CSPC 718297 Lush and juicy, it has earthiness and dried herbs on the nose with spicy red fruit on the palate. An excellent, accessible wine that bridges the gap between the Old and New world.
JUDGES’ SELECTION Carmel Road 2012 Pinot Noir, Monterey, California $33-35 CSPC 722142 Sherwood Estates 2012 “Stratum Series” Pinot Noir, Waipara Valley, New Zealand $22-25 CSPC 763724 Artesa 2010 Carneros Pinot Noir, Carneros, California $26-29 CSPC 705186 Domaine Carneros 2011 Estate Pinot Noir, Carneros, California $33-27 CSPC 516484 J Russian River 2012 Pinot Noir, Russian River, California $37-40 CSPC 740586 Tantalus 2011 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $35-40 CSPC 740495 TOP VALUE Hob Nob 2011 Pinot Noir, Languedoc, France $15-18 CSPC 822296
Red Single Varieties This category is akin to “Everybody’s Got Talent”, where individual varieties stand in the spotlight with no backup band or dancers, and do their best to strip away their inhibitions and tell their story in all its pure, raw glory. Though each story is different, the wines are judged on their authenticity, creativity, and pure entertainment value. Some tap out a jig, others soliloquize about a macabre toil. It’s all in the execution. Cabernet franc took the top spot (from the Okanagan), while zinfandel, carmenere, grenache, and even some petit verdot made the grade. Hopefully zinfandel will be able to make up its own category in 2015, but even cab franc is making waves and we hope to see more selection here. By Matt Browman.
JUDGES’ SELECTION Rodney Strong 2012 Knotty Vines Zinfandel, Sonoma, California $20-24 CSPC 264739 Carmen 2011 Grand Reserve Carmenere, Colchagua Valley, Chile $17-21 CSPC 439166
BEST IN CLASS Poplar Grove 2011 Cabernet Franc, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $40-45 CSPC 738640 Cabernet franc is making waves in the Okanagan with well-made examples popping up all over. Look for cherry fruits, pepper, perfume, and a decent tannin presence. Poplar Grove is drinking very well now.
Cline 2012 Ancient Vines Zinfandel, Lodi, California $23-26 CSPC 396564 Pirramimma 2011 Petit Verdot Reserve, McLaren Vale, Australia $25-28 CSPC 608216 Yalumba 2012 Old Bush Vine Grenache, Barossa, Australia $18-22 CSPC 531228 TOP VALUE Castillo de Monseran 2012 Grenache, Carinena, Spain $10-13 CSPC 197806
Rhone Blends In the second year of the Alberta Beverage Awards, this category did not disappoint for its consistency and overall good value of the wines that were submitted. While there didn’t seem to be any exceptionally high scoring examples, the comments from our judges were very encouraging for this category. The wines showed impressive varietal character and restraint, with notes ranging from jammy plum to smoked meat, fig, and olive. The wines we tasted are all easy on the pocket book and represent fantastic value for everyday drinking with tomato-based pasta sauces to lighter meat dishes. Hopefully we will see more wines submitted from outside France, Australia, and South Africa next year, although these countries are handling these wines with a lighter touch and more moderate alcohol levels, which is a refreshing change. By Jackie Cooke. BEST IN CLASS Yalumba 2012 “The Strapper” GSM, Barossa Valley, Australia $23-25 CSPC 749854 A blend of grenache, shiraz, and mataro to pull out the best of big fruit, earth, and spice. Tasty and quaffable.
JUDGES’ SELECTION Mas Janiel 2008 Côtes de Roussillon Villages, Côtes de Roussillon Villages, France $19-22 CSPC 756515 Chateau de Montfaucon 2011 Côtes du Rhone Rouge, Côtes du Rhone, France $18-20 CSPC 722865 Les Halos de Jupiter 2011 Côtes du Rhone, Côtes du Rhone, France $20-22 CSPC 254995 Spier 2011 Creative Block 3, Coastal, South Africa $23-25 CSPC 752023 TOP VALUE Gabriel Meffre 2013 “Plan de Dieu” Côtes du Rhone Village, Côtes du Rhone, France $16-18 CSPC 752620
The wines showed impressive varietal character and restraint, with notes ranging from jammy plum to smoked meat, fig, and olive
Riesling Riesling is not an underdog. It is not the high-school cheerleader who has fallen out of favour, nor the football quarterback who never left town. Riesling has always been the confidently quiet, complexly sweet combination of beauty and brains, albeit in a more ‘hot-librarian’ or ‘sensitive guy’ kind of way. Riesling is simply not as noticed, and is generally misunderstood, but it likes it that way. The trick is creating wines that have acid excitement behind any sweetness. The rapier wit of acidity adds character to the disarming sweetness of the initial fruit appearance. The selection of top rieslings covers a number of regions making note-and cellar worthy wines from Germany to Canada, along with Australia and Washington State making the grade. Enjoy! By Matt Browman. JUDGES’ SELECTION Pewsey Vale 2012 Riesling, Eden Valley, Australia $19-21 CSPC 617712 Wolf Blass 2011 Gold Label Riesling, Eden Valley, Australia $17-19 CSPC 716417 Mission Hill Family Estates 2012 Reserve Riesling, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $21-23 CSPC517458 Tantalus Vineyards 2013 Riesling, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $30-32 CSPC 740494 Dr. Zenzen 2013 “1636” Riesling Hochegewachs, Mosel, Germany $20-22 CSPC 749956
Anew 2012 Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington $17-19 CSPC 761054 BEST IN CLASS St. Urbans-Hof Estate 2012 Old Vines Riesling, Mosel, Germany $19-21 CSPC 730217 Germany reigns supreme with this captivating and pretty example of riesling. Crisp acidity, tart fruits, and excellent minerality from start to finish.
Schloss Schonborn 2012 Estate Riesling, Rheingau, Germany $20-22 CSPC 761563 Kung-Fu Girl 2013 Riesling, Washington State $22-25 CSPC 732562 Andreas Bender 2012 Paulessen Riesling, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany $17-19 CSPC 755682 Domedechant Hochheimer 2009 Holle Riesling Kabinette, Rheingau, Germany $27-30 CSPC 707522 55
Rosé Drink pink? Yes! The French say rosé and drink it on ice on the beaches of Provence. In Spain, it is rosado, the Italians say rosato, and in Germany, it’s weissherbst. Rosé ranges in colour from the palest blush of coral to fullon looks-like-red wine. And, like red wine, the colour comes from the skin; the intensity of colour and flavour from the length of time the juice is in contact with the skin. Saignée (to bleed) is the most traditional way of producing rosé: the grapes macerate in a vessel until the skins separate and float to the top creating a cap. The red wine process keeps the cap moving in the juice; with rosé it is the signal to bleed the juice after it’s picked up colour, flavour and texture. By Mary Bailey. BEST IN CLASS Chapoutier 2013 Beaurevoir Tavel, Rhone, France $25-27 CSPC 936061 The wine has the deeper ruby colour typical of Tavel, aromas of pepper and ripe cherry, tasting of red stone fruits, with fresh acidity and a hint of tannic structure. The Beaurevoir is delicious with game birds such as duck or pheasant, Thanksgiving turkey or, serve with a charcuterie board.
JUDGES’ SELECTION Mission Hill Family Estates 2013 Five Vineyards Rosé, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $17-19 CSPC 601161 Fat Bastard 2012 Rosé, Vin de Pays d’Oc, France $16-18 CSPC 726880 Serendipity 2013 Rosé, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $23-25 CSPC 649871 Baillie-Grohman 2013 Blanc de Noirs, British Columbia $22-25 CSPC 741957 Cantine Faliesi 2013 Piesco Rosato IGT, Campania, Italy $17-19 CSPC 743967 TOP VALUE Miguel Torres 2013 Santa Digna Cabernet Rosé, Curico, Chile $13-15 CSPC 721431
ILLUMINATI Riparosso 2012
MONTES Twins 2012
PIRRAMIMMA Petit Verdot 2011
MONTES Alpha Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
FONTANAFREDDA Briccotondo 2012
TILIA Malbec 2013
FONTANAFREDDA Serralunga d’Alba Barolo 2009
Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon blanc rivals pinot grigio as North America’s most popular white wine. As has been the case in recent years, the mould has been considerable refreshment value, but generally short on complexity. Things are changing though. Emerging regions for sauvignon blanc, like the cooler regions of Chile, South Africa, and even the Okanagan, have joined New Zealand and France at the top, with California seeing a stylistic and qualitative renaissance as well. Sauvignon blanc has versatility and range with a variety of food types from seafood, to vegetables, chicken, or as an aperitif depending on the style of course. Richer examples can tackle white meats and seafood, while the leaner, crisp types can slide in with lighter fare and double as a patio sipper. All in all, this is a good time to be a lover of sauvignon blanc as there is such a wide range of choices available, and the trend is thankfully moving toward increased quality and complexity. By Alex Good.
BEST IN CLASS
J. Lohr 2012 Carol’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, St. Helena, Napa Valley $28-30 CSPC 748951
Miguel Torres 2013 Santa Digna Sauvignon Blanc, Curico, Chile $15-17 CSPC 188474
From the warm St. Helena district of the Napa Valley comes this creamytextured, complex Sauvignon displaying green gooseberry, grapefruit, and passion fruit.
Seven Terraces 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand $16-18 CSPC 717467 Nautilus 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand $22-25 CSPC 328377 Babich Black Label 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand $20-23 CSPC 722810 Lake Breeze 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $23-25 CSPC 726108 TOP VALUE Francois Lurton 2013 Les Fumeés Blanche Sauvignon Blanc, Languedoc, France $15-17 CSPC 472555
Sparkling Wine Sparkling wine is my favourite type of wine to drink these days. Champagne or traditional method wines are popping up from all corners of the world giving us plenty to choose from. The success of sparkling wine production lies in the winemaker’s ability to create a product that reflects a style that is essentially unchanged from vintage to vintage. Each individual wine we tasted reflected a character entirely their own. We tasted a range of sparkling wines from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, USA, and yes, France. Each had balanced fruit, racy acidity, and reflected freshness on the palate. Some examples, such as moscato, had a substantial amount of residual sugar, while others were bone-dry. Bubbles are so versatile; they can go with almost anything you would like to pair with them - a sommelier’s secret weapon if you will. Not just for special occasions, us North Americans should embrace the European way and drink it anytime, anywhere. By Erika Tocco.
JUDGES’ SELECTION Taittinger NV Brut Reserve, Champagne, France $58-62 CSPC 40873 Summerhill Cipes NV Brut, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $28-32 CSPC 314419
BEST IN CLASS H. Blin NV Brut, Champagne, France $48-55 CSPC 756346 Relatively new to the Alberta market, the NV champagne from H. Blin was the top scorer here. Toasty notes with bright fruits, mineral presence, and a long, lean finish.
J Cuvee NV 20 Brut, California $27-30 CSPC 740583 Freixenet NV Cordon Negro, Cava, Spain $15-18 CSPC 88591 Bernard-Massard Cuvee De L’Ecusson NV Brut, Grevenmacher, Luxembourg $20-24 CSPC 95158 TOP VALUE Terra Andina 2013 Sparkling Moscato, Vale do Sao Francisco, Brazil $15-18 CSPC 755914
Shiraz/Syrah For the most part, I am an unabashed syrah drinker, always French, always northern Rhône. But it was a pleasant surprise to partake in the shiraz/syrah category this year as there were many great examples of Aussie shiraz as well as other parts of the world working with this grape to please my palate. All too often I get overwhelmed when I taste too much black, jammy, fruity, and spice in Aussie shiraz, however this year’s examples showed remarkable restraint, purity of fruit, earthy, mint character, bright pleasing acid, and rounded tannins to balance out the finish of most of the wines. Shiraz is typically made in the medium-full bodied category, which is a great contender for pairing alongside grilled meats, rich charcuterie, smoked meats and earthy dishes. While all the wines we tasted had luscious textures, they all displayed a fruity balance that displayed all their individual assets well. By Erika Tocco.
BEST IN CLASS
Harcourt Valley Vineyards 2012 Heathcote Shiraz, Heathcote Valley, Australia $29-32 CSPC 762473
Longview Vineyards 2010 Yakka Shiraz, Adelaide Hills, Australia $26-28 CSPC 716775 Moon Curser 2011 Syrah, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $29-32 CSPC 764950 Gilga 2010 Syrah, Stellenbosch, South Africa, $21-24 CSPC 758332 Vina Falernia 2010 Reserva Syrah, Elqui Valley, Chile $18-20 CSPC 732579 Harcourt Valley Vineyards 2012 Sightings Shiraz, Australia $26-28 CSPC 762471 TOP VALUE Fat Bastard 2012 Shiraz, Vin de Pays d’Oc, France $16-18 CSPC 563122
new stores new looks..
more than you remember! Autumn is the best time of year for comfort food! Visit Willow Park Village for chef-prepared soups, beautiful meats for roasting, specialty cheeses, and all the other essential ingredients of the season! Visit our Newest Store: Oil & Vinegar (next to Caesar’s Resturant)
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ALBERTA BEVERAGE AWARDS WINNERS
+721431 +165316 MIGUEL TORRES SANTA TORRES VINA DIGNA CABERNET ROSE ESMERALDA 2013 2013 (CURICO, CHILE) (CATALUYNA, SPAIN)
+749854 YALUMBA THE STRAPPER GSM 2012 (AUSTRALIA)
+36483 TORRES GRAN CORONAS 2010 (SPAIN)
+936061 CHAPOUTIER TAVEL BEAUREVOIR 2013 (RHONE VALLEY, FRANCE)
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White Blends Old world regions do have blends in their winemaking traditions; think the elegant semillon, sauvignon blanc blends of Bordeaux; the majestic rousanne-marsanne whites of the northern Rhone, and the lively Edelzwickers of Alsace. But most wine drinkers are more familiar with Chablis’ chardonnay, steely German rieslings or the smoky sauvignon blanc of the Loire Valley. Not anymore. Around the world it’s anything goes. No longer is a winemaker hemmed in by the hegemony of a single varietal. Why are blends becoming so popular? From a practical perspective it allows optimum usage of fruit. A blend allows winemakers to play with flavours, to blend by taste, not to a set of rules; to create a wine uniquely their own. For example in the AB Bev Awards top eight, Faces, Lidio Carraro’s official FIFA World Cup wine, was blended with 13 grapes to represent the Brazilian football team. By Mary Bailey. TOP VALUE
JUDGES’ SELECTION Cellar Hand 2013 Free Run White, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $20-$24 CSPC 750650
Miguel Torres 2013 Vina Esmeralda, Catalunya, Spain $15-17 CSPC 165316
Lake Breeze 2013 Windfall, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $22-25 CSPC 756864
BEST IN CLASS
Castoro de Oro 2011 Heart of Gold, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $25-27 CSPC 285320
Wayne Gretzky Okanagan 2012 The Great White, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $18-20 CSPC 889386 A modern blend of primarily sauvignon blanc and riesling with a bit of chard, pinot gris and semillon in the mix. The result? An easy-going drop, mediumbodied with honeyed-citrus flavours; a fabulous popcorn and a movie wine.
Lidio Carraro 2012 Faces White, Serra Gaucha, Brazil $19-20 CSPC 760257 Hardy’s Stamp Series 2013 Riesling-Gewurztraminer, South Eastern Australia $11-14 CSPC 448548 Gnarly Head 2012 Authentic White, Lodi, California $18-20 CSPC 762722 Masi 2012 Masianco, Veneto, Italy $15-17 CSPC 713110 Maverick Estate 2012 Origin, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $24-26 CSPC 271171 Lake Breeze 2013 Bench White, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $20-23 CSPC 760930 Henry of Pelham 2012 Sibling Rivalry White, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario $16-18 CSPC 126144
White Single Varietals With the sheer number of different styles of wine out there, the white single varietals category includes all those unique or slightly less common grapes that can be easy to overlook. From viognier to torrontés and pecorino to pinot blanc – there are plenty of great wines here. Stylistically it’s hard to pigeon hole any of these wines as there was a wide range of grape varietals, and country of origin. The top scoring wines demonstrated balance, whispered of terroir, while maintaining a clean persistence of fruit. The range of aromatics were off the charts, from pink grapefruit and pomelo in ehrenfelsers to a brilliant sea shell minerality in the silvaner. The winners are perfect for fresh summer salads, patio quaffers, or when you just want to bring something different to dinner. By Kim Spence. JUDGES’ SELECTION
BEST IN CLASS
Pierre Sparr 2012 Reserve Gewürztraminer, Alsace, France $22-25 CSPC 373399
Graf Von Schönborn 2012 Estate Weisser Burgunder, Franken, Germany $20-22 CSPC 761565
Graf Von Schönborn 2012 Estate Silvaner, Franken, Germany $18-21 CSPC 761564 Cono Sur 2013 Bicicleta Viognier, Colchagua, Chile $12-15 CSPC 566836
This is 100 percent pinot blanc from Germany (more than just good riesling comes from Germany), judges loved the texture of this wine with its good concentration of fruit, mineral, and colour.
Michel Torino CUMA 2012 Torrentés, Cafayate, Argentina $14-17 CSPC 213389 Yalumba Y Series 2012 Viognier, South Australia $18-21 CSPC 624502 Talamonti 2012 Trabocchetto Pecorino d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo, Italy $18-21 CSPC 757908 Hester Creek 2013 Pinot Blanc, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $25-26 CSPC 467316 Spier 21 Gables 2013 Chenin Blanc, Tygerberg, South Africa $26-30 CSPC 260646 TOP VALUE Two Oceans 2013 Moscato, Western Cape, South Africa $11-13 CSPC 756452
The Wine Judges
Judging blind is tough work; our judges work hard, tasting for about 8 hours a day swirling, sipping, and yes, spitting.
We look for people that can draw on years of experience, but also shake off some of those biases that can creep into our palates whether about wines from certain countries, certain producers, or even certain price ranges, to find the wines that stand head and shoulders above their peers. Our judges are selected from among the best and brightest in Alberta covering some of the finest wine shops and restaurants, and commentators on wine in the land.
Brad Royale Wine Director, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts
Kim Spence National Beverage Director, Sommelier, Moxieâ€™s and Chop Steakhouse
Darren Fabian Sommelier, Alloy Restaurant and Candela
Mary Bailey Editor and Sommelier, The Tomato, Edmonton
Erika Tocco Wine Director, Vin Room
Matthew Browman Operations Manager, Highlander Wines and Spirits
Erin Chipchura Sommelier, Co-op Edmonton Jackie Cooke Owner/Sommelier, Avec Bistro
Matthew Browman 64
Alex Good Sommelier, Merlo Vinotecca
Nathalie Gosselin Chief Experience Designer, Vine Styles
Yalumba The Strapper (GSM), Category Champion for Rhône based blends, Alberta Beverage Awards 2014. The Strapper is part of the Yalumba Samuel’s Garden family of wines, born of old Barossa vines grown from cuttings brought to Australia from the Rhône Valley in the late 1830s. These wines celebrate this direct lineage to Rhône and reflect Yalumba’s dedication to creating wines with regional character, varietal flavour and individual personality. Their roots go all the way back to France but they are firmly planted in Barossa.
Alberta, who have just started a chapter here. Bodnar is, in his words, a ‘glutton for knowledge’, leading him to learn more about beer, and become the second out of only three certified cicerones (beer sommeliers) in Calgary. He’s also certified with BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program), and an avid home brewer. So what bottle is Bodnar saving for a special occasion?
Open That Bottle by LINDA GARSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL
“You can just drink whatever, and if you don’t know much about it you can enjoy it for what it is, but I need to know more, especially from a beer and brewery perspective, I just need to know more.” Kirk Bodnar is a teacher, but as a history teacher and a history fanatic, he loves anthropology and culture too, which encompass food and beverage culture. After grade 12 he went to Germany on an exchange trip from Regina, spent a summer with a family outside Munich 66
– and has never looked back. “They got me into history because they were very into cultural everything,” Bodnar explains. “They would literally have wine for lunch, and as an eighteen year old, I was very impressionable. My only experience to that point was having Molson Canadian.” Since then, he has travelled to Europe many times, recently living in Dusseldorf for three years. Being less than two hours from Paris, he could hop in his car at weekends and visit new restaurants and breweries. A teaching job brought Bodnar to Calgary in 2008, and soon after he was contacted by old friends at Charcut to start up their beer program, before working with Pig & Duke on their beer program, and now Camra (Campaign for Real Ale)
“I bought this Black Butte XXIV when I was down in Oregon about three years ago, from Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon,” he says. An anniversary reserve release, Black Butte is produced as a porter, but as an imperial porter it’s twice as strong with added chocolate nibs, dates, and figs. “This particular style of beer is ideal for aging, so it has sat in my cellar for a while on purpose. It could age indefinitely, I would say it probably would peak around five years or so, but it would be delicious right now, guaranteed.” Bodnar adds. And when will Bodnar open the bottle? “I’m totally guilty of the special occasion thing, I have over 100 bottles in my cellar and some of them are definitely due to be opened. Someone will bring me a beer, and it might be a fairly light lager, which isn’t meant to age, or an IPA, which has a lot of that hop character that will dissipate really quickly. I’m guilty of putting it down for way longer than it should be and I don’t just want to open it because I’m watching a hockey game, I want it to be special occasion,” Bodnar says. “This beer will handle a lot of age, for a good amount of time and get better, it has a ‘best after’ date rather than a ‘best before’ date,” he continues. “Talking about it gets me all inspired to crack it open, so I don’t know, I’ve got a friend visiting from out of town right now, so maybe tonight would be a good time.”
Savanna is proud to have won “BEST IN CLASS” at the 2014 Alberta Beverage Awards
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