CALGARY / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES :: VOLUME 4 NO.5 :: OCTOBER 2015
WHAT’S INSIDE? THE BEST OF THE 2015
ALBERTA BEVERAGE AWARDS
WINNING WINES, BEERS AND SPIRITS
Thanksgiving | All About The Fixings | Reasons To Be Thankful In YYC
24 VOLUME 4 / ISSUE #5 OCTOBER 2015
Features 12 Wurst: Schnitzel, Steins and Everything Fine After changing concepts upstairs and weathering floods downstairs, Wurst is on solid ground and ready for their “Stampede” – Oktoberfest! by Dan Clapson
Cocktails with Calvados …rich with romance, passion, and tradition by Patricia Koyich
Feeling Thankful Local chefs and food lovers celebrate the bounty of the season, and let us know what makes them thankful about our city’s food and beverage scene by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth
66 Open That Bottle Peggy Perry of Willow Park Wines & Spirits by Linda Garson
2015 Alberta Beverage Awards Judges 16 local experts spent three long days, sipping and judging this year’s entries
2015 Alberta Beverage Awards Results The third Alberta Beverage Awards was a huge success with a total of 125 flights representing 28 countries, poured into 5,000 glasses by Tom Firth
Chefs’ Tips – and Tricks!
On the Cover: Many thanks to Jason Dziver for our front cover photography, to Matt Browman for his help in setting the scene, and to Tom Firth and Dan Clapson for their art direction.
5 Ways to Spice Up
22 Soup Kitchen
A LITTLE SIBLING RIVALRY NEVER HURT ANYBODY
c il a nt ro 113 - 8th Avenue SW
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FOUR SETTINGS, ONE PHILOSOPHY
340 - 17th Avenue SW
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Letter From The Editor But the vast majority of this month’s magazine is devoted to our Alberta Beverage Awards winners – over 225 of them, across all sectors of the alcoholic beverage market. It’s hard to believe it’s our third year of the awards, and even in times of economic downturn, we are thrilled with not only the quantity of entries to be judged, but also the quality of the entries. It’s my favourite time of year – autumn! And as the start of autumn brings Thanksgiving, we’ve been looking at different ways to celebrate and enjoy your dinner, traditionally and creatively, along with all the accompaniments, whether you’re feeding an extended family or yourself. We also asked some of Calgary’s notable chefs and foodies what it is that they are thankful for in our city’s vibrant culinary scene.
With such a great selection of outstanding wines, beers and spirits, it’s even harder for our panels of experts to choose the best of the best – and even more meaningful for those that took the coveted Best in Class, Judges’ Selection and Top Value awards. Look in your local liquor store for stickers on the bottles denoting our winners! Cheers, Linda Garson, Editor-in-Chief
CORRECTION On page 24 of our September issue, we included an incorrect photo for the Red Cap mushroom. Thanks to all our knowledgeable and observant readers who called and emailed to let us know. We’ve since updated the correct photograph, approved by the Alberta Mycological Society, in our digital magazine, on our website culinairemagazine.ca and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. As we mentioned in the introduction to the article, caution should be exercised when picking any mushrooms in the wild unless you are absolutely sure or have consulted an expert. Also in our September issue, we mistakenly referenced the Caruso family when it should have been the Carosco family of Calona Vineyards, apologies!
Celebrate a bountiful harvest season with us!
#stepintoitaly Willow Park 9919 Fairmount Drive SE 4
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CALGARY / FOOD & DRINK / RECIPES Editor-in-Chief/Publisher: Linda Garson firstname.lastname@example.org Commercial Director: Keiron Gallagher 403-975-7177 email@example.com Sales Executive: Joe Steinberg 403-819-3775 firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Food Editor: Dan Clapson email@example.com Contributing Drinks Editor: Tom Firth firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Contributors < Lynda Sea
Lynda is Culinaire’s digital media editor. She’s a Calgary writer and editor whose work has appeared in Avenue, Westjet Magazine, Flare, enRoute and the Calgary Herald. Lynda is shameless about her love of bacon, seafood and her mom’s cooking. You’ll never hear her say no to pie, especially if it's apple. If she’s not eating, Lynda is usually out hiking a big mountain. Follow her on Twitter at @lyndasea
Digital Media Editor: Lynda Sea email@example.com Contributing Photographer: Ingrid Kuenzel Design: Emily Vance Contributors: Elizabeth Chorney-Booth Mallory Frayn Renee Kohlman Patricia Koyich Karen Miller Lynda Sea
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.facebook.com/CulinaireMagazine Twitter: @culinairemag Instagram: culinairemag For subscriptions, competitions and to read Culinaire online: culinairemagazine.ca
< Tom Firth
Tom is a freelance wine writer, wine consultant, and wine judge, whose work in wine and the beverage industry stretches back to the mid-90’s. Tom is the Contributing Drinks Editor for Culinaire Magazine and is the Competition Director for the Alberta Beverage Awards. He has no qualms about tasting first thing in the morning, and his poor desk is completely covered in paper and bottles. Follow him on twitter @cowtownwine
< Patricia Koyich
Growing up in a restaurant family, Patricia was destined to work in the Industry, and opened a fine dining restaurant, Il Sogno, in 2000. In 2011 she joined SAIT, teaching dining room service, bar mixology and wine service to the Hospitality Management and Culinary students in the Highwood dining room, and believes we have a responsibility to share the traditions, passions and stories with our future industry leaders.
by KAREN MILLER
breads (and flours ground from the wide variety of grains available) and ending with plentiful fruit desserts. Seasonal advice is given, and Canadian grown ingredients are the centre of attention, but other condiments are added when needed (see: Stir Fried baby Bok Choy). There are recipes for Shaved Asparagus Pizza and even Gourmet Poutine not bad for Home Economists!
Mairlyn Smith, Editor Whitecap Books 2015 No one really expects a recipe book by the Ontario Home Economics Association to be anything but full of too much information. However, with Mairlyn Smith - a home economist with effervescence and attitude - at the helm, this book delivers so much more. The tag line reads "Celebrating the Canadian foods, we grow, raise and produce", and nothing could be truer about this book. From summer bounty, western grains and legumes and dairy, poultry and pork, lamb and beef producers across the country, all aspects of Canada's food economy are represented. Edited by Smith and her team of home economists and nutritionists, even the most basic recipes seem
more creative. We are also assured of the most complete nutritional information and values, allowing you to make the necessary smart choices for any personal dietary considerations. The recipes are sorted by main ingredients, starting with all types of
The book is not oversaturated with glossy, perfectly composed pictures of beautiful meals. Instead you’ll find real portraits of what should be the start of all our meals at home: a showcase of homegrown bounty; the beautiful ingredients that our country has to offer.
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.
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Chefs' Tips Tricks! Thanksgiving Side Dishes by LYNDA SEA photography by INGRID KUENZEL
While the golden turkey may be the spotlight stealer on your Thanksgiving Day dinner table, the side dishes are what truly make the meal. The centerpiece bird is just not the same without a spread of dinner rolls, creamy potatoes, traditional stuffing and seasonal greens as accompaniments. For some new spins on hearty holiday sides, three local Calgary chefs revisit the classics and share their tips so you can prepare the best Thanksgiving feast for your family and friends. Chef Lancelot Monteiro – Bar C If the mention of Brussels sprouts makes you cringe or remember your childhood distaste of them, you probably just haven’t had them done right. When preparing them for Thanksgiving especially, Chef Lancelot Monteiro of Bar C says they make a great greens dish. “I think Brussels sprouts are overlooked. They are high in iron and good for you. Aside from the actual nutritional value, they also taste great and have great texture if done right. They’re cabbagelike and savoury and a bit bitter which can complement the saltiness of the turkey and gravy.” Before you start, make sure to trim and quarter the Brussels sprouts. However, the main mistake Chef Monteiro says most people make is overcooking. 8
“If the leaves start to fall off, you’ve gone too far.” Treat the Brussels sprouts gently and cook them quickly for five to 10 minutes tops.
Chef Lancelot Monteiro
“You deglaze with a white wine and the steam kind of cooks them just enough to give a crunch factor and texture,” he says. Let the wine evaporate and avoid
Spiced Yam Puree
covering the Brussels sprouts when they are done. Otherwise, the bitter flavour will intensify. Chef Monteiro says this glazed Brussels sprout recipe is quick and easy to adapt. “Play around with balsamic vinegar or you can always change up the cheese and instead of parmesan, go with a pecorino or mozzarella soft cheese. You can always replace the bacon with something like prosciutto too.” Or for a vegetarian option, leave out the bacon altogether. If you still think you don’t like Brussels sprouts, this delicious recipe will be sure to change your mind!
Glazed Brussels Sprouts 4 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed, chopped and quartered 2 Tbs unsalted butter ¼ cup (60 mL) dry white wine 1 Tbs shallots, chopped small and diced 1 tsp minced garlic ¼ cup cooked bacon, diced 1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano To taste salt and pepper
This glazed Brussels sprout recipe is quick and easy to adapt.
1. Place frying pan on medium to high heat. Add butter, olive oil, Brussels sprouts, shallots, and garlic, and sauté until the shallots turn light brown.
2. Deglaze with wine. Add bacon, salt and pepper.
3. Cook until all wine has evaporated. 4. Finish with olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Chef Stuart Leduc
Chef Stuart Leduc – 80th & Ivy Yams are a staple in the Thanksgiving menu and no one knows that better than Chef Stuart Leduc of 80th & Ivy. “But just give it a bit more kick,” he says. For his spiced yam puree, he likes to use cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice for a home-cooked, homey feeling and to play off the seasonal flavours of fall. Leduc says to look for medium-sized yams with uniform shapes when you’re at the grocery store. This way, they don’t take too long to roast and they’ll also cook evenly. “You get more sweetness the longer you roast them,” he adds. On the day of, Leduc says to be prepared and put the yams on early, as the roasting process always takes longer than planned for. “This recipe can be made ahead of time and just reheated right before you serve your meal. When reheating you can add water or milk to help the process, or if you want to get crazy, a little drizzle of the turkey drippings to help incorporate that amazing flavour!”
1.3 Kg whole red skin sweet potatoes (yams), not peeled 250 g unsalted butter 1 orange, zested 1 Tbs (15 mL) lemon juice 1 Tbs ginger powder 1 Tbs all spice 2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg ¼ cup light brown sugar To taste salt and pepper
1. Prick the potatoes with a fork to
help with roasting. Drizzle the sweet potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, wrap with tin foil individually.
2. Place on a baking sheet and put in a preheated 350˚ F oven until extremely soft. This could take up to 2 hours depending on the size of the sweet potatoes.
3. While the potatoes are hot, remove
the skin, it should peel off like wrapping paper.
4. Place the sweet potatoes in the food processor with the butter. If you don’t have a food processor, push the roasted yams through a strainer using a rubber spatula, then fold in the butter.
5. Stir in the spices, orange zest and lemon juice, and season well.
While using a food processor is easiest to blend the puree, there’s also no need for fancy appliances — even a strainer and rubber spatula will do the job. At the final step, while most people use extra cream, Leduc says, “I trust in the butter.” And remember to use unsalted butter when cooking so it allows you to control the amount of salt. When serving the yam puree, a nice casserole dish that can be baked to heat it back up is ideal. You can also sprinkle brown sugar on top to make it a bit more sweet. 9
Chef Michael Allemeier – School of Hospitality and Tourism, SAIT For Chef Michael Allemeier of SAIT, turkey dinner leftovers are almost just as good, sometimes even better than the Thanksgiving turkey itself. “They’ve had more time and there’s more depth of flavour,” he explains. With this in mind, Allemeier is a big proponent of preparing and cooking as much ahead of time as possible, even preparing any sides the day before Thanksgiving. “Don’t be a hero, spread the work out,” he says. “I actually like doing the stuffing the day before and to let it sit in the fridge. It’s like soup; it always tastes better the next day.”
“It’s fun and exciting to have two different types of stuffing”
A family tradition of his is to do turkey with more than one stuffing. “It’s fun and exciting to have two different types of stuffing,” he says. With the bird’s two cavities, the smaller one is perfect for a ground pork sausage stuffing while the larger main cavity houses a vegetarian bread-style stuffing. The front cavity Chef Michael Allemeier
only takes about 25 per cent of the main cavity’s stuffing capacity so you don’t need a lot to pack in the flavour. “What’s nice about this is that the front cavity is smaller so it takes less sausage meat. As the turkey cooks, it renders its flavours into the pan and you can baste it on your bird and keep introducing more flavour,” says Allemeier, adding that the result is “kind of like an English breakfast sausage flavour that’s compatible with the turkey and not too overbearing. What I love best is the part that is sticking out because it gets all crispy and builds up this nice texture, almost like a crouton.” Allemeier has a few ground rules when it comes to stuffing: make sure the stuffing is at room temperature before stuffing into the bird, and to stuff right before placing the turkey into the oven. “If you overstuff, it will all come up. Stuff it just inside the cavity and it will definitely expand as it heats.”
For Allemeier’s bread and potato stuffing recipe, visit culinairemagazine.ca 10
Pork Sausage Stuffing 500 g ground pork 1 Tbs salt 3 Tbs (45 mL) maple syrup ½ tsp black pepper, ground 1 Tbs coriander seed, ground ½ tsp dry mustard powder 2 Tbs fresh sage, chopped 5 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, no stems 1 clove fresh garlic, chopped
1. Mix all ingredients together. This will taste better if allowed to sit overnight before being stuffed into the turkey.
2. Place stuffing in the front cavity in between the two turkey breasts, just before cooking. Lift the front skin flap and using a spoon, place all the pork stuffing in the front cavity.
3. Fold the skin over top and secure the stuffing in the front.
4. Make sure the stuffing is cooked to an internal temperature of 165˚ F.
Lynda Sea is Culinaire’s digital media editor. You’ll never hear her say no to pie, especially if it's apple. Follow her on Twitter at @lyndasea
2015 GRAND TASTING HALL ALBERTA’S LARGEST SELECTION OF FINE WINE, SPIRITS, BEER & GOURMET FOOD
CALGARY October 16 - 17 Stampede Park BMO Centre
Friday Evening Session: 5 - 10 pm Saturday Afternoon Session: 12 - 4 pm Saturday Evening Session: 6 - 10 pm Supporting SAIT culinary school, Calgary Food Bank, Mealshare, and Jumpstart.
For Tickets, Festival & Contest Details, visit rockymountainwine.com Please enjoy your beverages responsibly. Minors are not permitted.
LEGACY 2011 IS NOW AVAILABLE
Mouth-watering food and jaw-dropping scenery. Could get messy. Bon Appétit Banff is back. November 12 to 22 – over 30 of the finest restaurants in Banff and Lake Louise will create unique three-course menus at fixed prices. For all the delicious details, visit BanffLakeLouise.com/BonAppetitBanff
Schnitzel, Steins And Everything Fine At Canada’s Premier Beer Hall:
by DAN CLAPSON photograpy by INGRID KUENZEL
It’s hard to believe that before Spring 2011, Calgary didn’t have any beer halls. Yes, we were but a barren wasteland with tumbleweeds bouncing across avenues and streets, just yearning for a sizeable place to enjoy some good food and interesting beer. Alright, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but with Calgarians’ seemingly undying love for beer culture, you’re hard-pressed to walk a block downtown and not pass by a beer-focused establishment. One of the things that truly makes Wurst stand out from this city’s beer hall pack, is that it’s one of the only contemporary German beer hall concepts in the country. 12
Sure, you can sit round a long plank table at most craft beer-focused establishments these days, but finding a thick stein, hearty enough to withstand a solid cheers, and some schnitzel with a little finesse? Now that’s a little tougher. A well-oiled machine these days, serving up contemporary German food in a fun and lively atmosphere, Wurst has become a staple for many Calgarians, for weekend brunch, family friendly hours, European beer selection, and of course, the lively beer hall on their lower level. Like any restaurant, there’s bound to be a few hiccups when they open, and Wurst was no exception. Originally, they aimed to split concepts in the space,
offering a more upscale German dinner experience upstairs, with the classic beer hall atmosphere downstairs. The split concept didn’t work out as well as everyone had hoped. “It was just such a huge contrast to each other. In the dining room everything was different... the music, the wine list, the menu... they were both great [separately], but it just didn’t work.” says general manager, Andrea Wales.
Anyone is welcome to stand up with beer and yell, “Prost!”
Wales continues, “We’ve since melded them together and it works really well. We have one menu all day; the same type of drinks available on both floors, and it’s nice. It’s a one-stop German beer hall shop. The upstairs still has that nice restaurant setting, but you can walk downstairs, head into this big beer hall and let loose a little if you want.”
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The space is still as striking as it was the day it opened. Walking in, you’ll see large trees with hanging lights in the
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With chef Rudy’s experience in German cuisine, his menu offers both a contemporary take as well as an emphasis on comfort food. His maultaschen dumplings are a common dish in the Southwestern region of Germany (where the chef hails from) and are the perfect little bundles of ground beef, spinach and onion joy to warm you up when it’s cold outside. middle of the dining room, and the 20 foot ceilings, giving the space an airy, outdoor sort of feel. “Sometimes people will say, ‘You have trees!’ when they walk in, and we reply, ‘Yes! We have trees!’” says Wales laughing. “I saw it recently where a couple of girls walked in and just looked up at the big indoor trees and started taking pictures. I hadn’t seen that in a while, but it gets me every time.” In the warmer months, getting a seat on Wurst’s south-facing patio is highly sought after, even once the sun has set, It’s one of those dishes that’s begging to be accompanied by a stein of cold beer because of the big banquet seating in the back that wraps around a firepit. Just a little something to look forward to next spring. If you’re coming for the full beer hall meal deal in the lower level, you’ll find a huge room with mostly solid wood plank tables and an accent wall dedicated to people’s personal stein collections. Whether you’ve got your own stein or 14
not, anyone is welcome to stand up with beer and yell, “Prost!” (cheers!) whenever they please, and even more so this month since it’s Oktoberfest, of course! Come on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday during the festivities to be serenaded by the restaurant’s house oompah band too. It’s a whole lot of brass and whole lot of fun. As the hall gets busier with each passing hour in the evening, you’ll find tabletops full of chef Rudy’s creations, like giant bacon fat-brushed pretzels, pancakebattered calamari, or the signature Bavarian chicken wing. The latter is a sausage-stuffed, pretzel-breaded and hot sauce coated chicken wing that needs to be tackled with a fork and a knife, or the hands of a giant. It’s big, it’s messy and it’s one of those dishes that’s begging to be accompanied by a stein of cold beer. “We have traditional German menu items, but all of them with a little twist,” says chef Rudy on creating his menus at Wurst. “I don’t love using the word ‘twist’, but you know... our calamari for instance is breaded on the outside with a little pancake batter and topped with a radler syrup. It’s just different to the regular ones you’d find in town.”
Yes, from the German classics like wiener schnitzel and platters of big, juicy house-made bratwurst, to spätzle with Gouda and ham, or a pear and apple streusel, there’s no denying that Wurst’s food is best appreciated in the fall and winter. With Oktoberfest in full swing, something both Wales and Rudy dub as “Wurst’s Stampede”, the restaurant is
busy all day and night. “You know, a lot of restaurants celebrate Oktoberfest now, but what’s more authentic than this right here? We are German! Ha, ha, ha. Well, I’m German and my sous chef is from Switzerland, so we have our hands [rooted in that type of culture].” says chef Rudy. When asked about the evolving Calgary food scene, and how Wurst will continue to capture the attention and appetites of Calgarians, Wales knows just to what to do. “I’m German and my sous chef is from Switzerland, so we have our hands [rooted in that type of culture].” ALBERTA’S
Ruffle some feathers ravenswoodwinery.com
* ACD Alberta Data through May 2015. Please enjoy our wines responsibly. 15RW0743
“We can all get so caught up in the next big thing and what not, so now four and a half years later, the longevity of this concept is up to us. We need to make sure our service always stays great, we keep things interesting with our food, and that we throw fun parties! Think about Oktoberfest and what else do you think about than a great time, enjoying beer and good food? We want people to feel that right when they walk in here.”
Step By Step: Chicken Ballotine story and photography by RENEE KOHLMAN
With fall firmly at our feet, it’s no wonder that thoughts turn to autumnal feasts. Slow roasted turkeys, warm apple pies, hearty soups and stews... and how can we forget those foamy lattés spiked with pumpkin spice (and everything nice). It’s time for hibernating indoors - just you, your cat and Netflix, or a gathering of your closest friends for Thanksgiving dinner. Cooler temperatures mean comfort food is king and a chicken ballotine is perfect for any and all occasions this fall and winter.
favourite part of the chicken: the thigh. Affordable, tasty and incredibly versatile, chicken thighs have a wonderful meat to fat ratio, one that’s perfect for the ballotine. We’re all preparing for hibernation after all, and we need that crispy chicken skin!
What is a chicken ballotine, you ask? Good question. It’s essentially chicken paté or forcemeat wrapped in it’s own skin, roasted and served hot. Poached in stock, cooled in the stock, sliced and served chilled it’s called a galantine.
It’s quite simple to remove the bone, and the skin should pull off easily, creating a delicious container for the filling. Don’t be put off by the words paté or forcemeat. They are just fancy terms for sausage you make by chopping up the thigh meat with onions, garlic and dried cranberries. Simply divide the meat filling into the chicken skin and make individual parcels.
Some recipes call for deboning the whole bird or the entire leg, but I’m keeping it simple and just using my 16
Roasted at a high temperature to create that wonderful crispy exterior, the inside remains juicy and succulent. Guests at your dinner table will be impressed that the oh-so-ordinary chicken thigh could be turned into something so elegant and delicious. Affordable, tasty and incredibly versatile, chicken thighs have a wonderful meat to fat ratio Surrounded by good food, good wine and good friends, there is indeed so much to be thankful for this year!
Cranberry Pesto Chicken Ballotine
4. In the bowl of a food processor, add the cranberry mixture, the chopped chicken meat, and pesto. Season with a generous pinch of salt and a grinding of fresh black pepper. Pulse the mixture until roughly chopped, and all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
2 Tbs butter ½ onion, diced small 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced ½ cup dried cranberries 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs 2 Tbs (30 mL) pesto 2 Tbs panko breadcrumbs To taste salt and pepper 2 Tbs Parmesan cheese, sliced or grated 1 Tbs (15 mL) olive oil
5. Scrape into a bowl and stir in the
breadcrumbs. Lay the pieces of chicken skin out on a cutting board. Divide the chopped meat filling evenly between the skins, mounding it in the middle. Add Parmesan cheese on top of each bundle.
6. Carefully wrap the chicken skin
Preheat oven to 450º F.
1. In a large skillet over medium
high heat, sauté onion until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.
2. Stir in the garlic and cranberries,
and sauté another 4 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and cranberries are soft. Let this mixture cool while you proceed with chicken. Guests will be impressed that the oh-so-ordinary chicken thigh could be turned into something so elegant and delicious
3. On a cutting board, remove bone
from thighs and set aside for another use, such as chicken stock. Carefully remove thigh meat from the skin, being sure to keep the large piece of skin intact. Chop the thigh meat into bite size pieces.
over the filling and make small packages. Place in a small roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until the skin is crisp and the interior reaches 160º F on a thermometer. Renee is a food writer and pastry chef living in beautiful Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her columns appear in The Saskatoon StarPhoenix and her desserts can be enjoyed at Riverside Country Club. Also, check out her blog www.sweetsugarbean.com
Ways to Spice Up
pumpkin pie by MALLORY FRAYN
Pumpkin pie is the quintessential autumn dessert; no Thanksgiving feast is complete without it. Despite being traditional, it’s not the most original offering, so forget the advice not to mess with a classic, and try these suggestions to tweak Grandma’s recipe. Just don’t tell her it was our idea! 1. Make mini pies
2. Creative crust
Getting your own mini dessert is always the preferable option because then there’s no obligation to share. Whether you downsize your pumpkin pie recipe into individual tarts, or even make bitesized tartlets, it’s a great way to feed a crowd. Not to mention you save on dishes when you make a treat you can pop straight into your mouth! You can also make pumpkin hand pies if you really want to switch things up; plus they make for a grab-and-go dessert that can almost pass as breakfast. Almost.
Typically pumpkin pie is made with a basic 3:2:1 pie dough, that is 3 parts flour, 2 parts butter, and 1 part water, all by weight. While this recipe works
to let the flavour of the pumpkin come through, it doesn’t impart much flavour of its own. Add your own flair to your pie by mixing spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice into the dough. Adding bran or oats also lends a nuttiness that works well with pumpkin. Or, you could take it a step further by using a shortbread or sweet shortcrust pastry (known in French as pâte sucrée) that is enriched with egg yolks and sugar – or even filo pastry. Dessert is the final act of the meal, after all!
3. Limitless toppings
Pumpkin Crème Brûlée Tarts
Are you a purist or do you take your pumpkin pie with a healthy dollop of whipped cream? If you opt for the latter, why not swap the whipped cream for another topping? Marshmallow and pumpkin are a natural pairing (think sweet potato casserole if you don’t believe me), so you can start there.
Make your own marshmallow or meringue, pipe it on top of the baked pie, and brûlée for that extra roasty, toasty touch. Other topping and garnishes include: – flavoured whipped cream (think warming spices or even teas like chai or Earl Grey) – whipped coconut cream (skim the solids off the top of a can of coconut milk and whip until stiff peaks form) – white chocolate mousse – candied pumpkin seeds or nuts like pecans or walnuts – oat and brown sugar streusel – pieces of candied ginger – hot fudge sauce (chocolate and pumpkin make for a surprisingly delicious combination)
½ cup + 2 Tbs softened butter ½ cup + 2 Tbs icing sugar 1 egg yolk ½ tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla 1¾ cup pastry flour
4. Transform it into cheesecake Who doesn’t like the idea (and taste) of pumpkin cheesecake? Swap out pie dough for a graham cracker crust, blend some cream cheese into the filling, and that’s about all you have to do to transform a humble pie into a showstopper dessert. You don’t have to limit yourself to cream cheese either – mascarpone, strained Greek yogurt, or even ricotta cheese could all play the part. Finish by sprinkling sugar on top and brûléeing for added finesse.
5. Think outside the can (make your own pumpkin puree) Pumpkin pie is pretty foolproof in the sense that you can open a can of pumpkin, stir in some eggs, sugar, and spices, pour the works into a piecrust and you’re ready to bake it. However, cooking and pureeing your own pumpkin is definitely the better option in terms of flavour and freshness. Plus you can use everything from sugar pumpkins, to butternut squash, to sweet potato if you want to try something really outside of the box.
1. Sift the icing sugar into the butter,
and cream together until smooth. Add the egg yolk and vanilla, mixing until combined. Finally sift in the flour.
2. Once it is fully incorporated, wrap
the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (shape it into a log, it will be easier to slice and roll later).
3. After it has firmed up, slice it into 8
portions and roll each out to between 5 mm and 3 mm thick.
4. Press the dough into each tart shell
and dock the bottoms with a fork. Chill the dough again for 10-15 minutes. Bake at 325º F for about 15-18 minutes. Cool completely prior to filling. Filling 250 g light cream cheese, softened 1 cup brown sugar 7 egg yolks 1 cup (240 mL) pumpkin puree ¼ tsp cinnamon 2 Tbs (30 mL) cognac
1. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. 2. Fill the cooled tart shells and bake
at 325º F for 18-20 minutes or until the filling has set. Cool before removing the tartlets from the moulds. Refrigerate if you aren’t serving immediately. Sprinkle the tops with sugar and brûlée before serving.
Mallory is a Calgary freelance writer and grad student now living, learning and eating in Montreal. Check out her blog becauseilikechocolate.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @cuzilikechoclat 19
Feeling Thankful: Local Chefs And Food Lovers Celebrate The Bounty Of The Season by ELIZABETH CHORNEY-BOOTH
The roots of Thanksgiving are all about being thankful for the bounty of the fall harvest. While most of us in Calgary aren’t growing our own food, we certainly can celebrate the opportunity to enjoy it, especially when we’re eating at our favourite restaurants that celebrate locally grown food. We caught up with some key players in Calgary’s culinary scene to ask what makes them thankful about our city.
I’m most thankful for the support I get everyday from my community! I love and respect all the chefs and industry people in Calgary, and love that they always come together to support each other in collabs, fundraisers and events. What a great city we live in, I look forward to furthering my career here!
Essentially I’m very thankful for the quality of the Calgary food scene; there are so many good restaurants out there now with so many having been opened by the “next-gen” of Calgary chefs and restaurateurs… with so many more on the horizon. (I feel that Calgary is totally overlooked on the Canadian food scene and never gets its due credit in national polls/lists).
For me, the true joy in life is making real, meaningful human connections. I’m thankful that the Calgary food scene has helped me build and be part of a community. A community of entrepreneurs, farmers, servers, cooks, and of course, the people we serve. I’m grateful for all these people.
former executive chef at Black Pig Bistro:
executive chef at Rouge: Aside from the camaraderie of chefs in Calgary, I am most thankful for the great suppliers. All of my producers genuinely care about how they raise their animals, how they grow their produce, and they make sure they do it the right way. Between Green Eggs and Ham, Driview Farms, Top Grass, Broxburn, Hotchkiss and many others, I am very lucky to use the great products that I do. 20
Chef/Proprietor at The Nash and NOtaBLE:
owner Dairy Lane, Blue Star Diner, Cannibale:
John Jackson and Connie deSousa co-chefs at Charcut:
We are most grateful for our city’s food culture that promotes and celebrates collaboration, community and connections with each other. As chefs in our city we crave this, and together we will put our city on the world culinary map.
owner Janice Beaton Fine Cheese: I delight in my “food route” — how easy it is to visit my favourite haunts to gather provisions for my table and my pantry, that fuel my body, and my heart: Sidewalk Citizen, Calgary Farmers’ Market, Community Natural Foods, Sunnyside Market, Crossroads Market, The Cookbook Company, Manuel Latruwe, to name a few. I am grateful too for those who take care of that other “food group” — our cadre of fabulous boutique wine shops!
Julie Van Rosendaal Karen Anderson
owner Calgary Food Tours: I’m thankful for the maverick spirit of the food entrepreneurs in this city. When I first started my business, even if a business owner did not know me, they were willing to take a chance and try something new based on my pitch to them. Now in my 10th year in business, with over 50 business partners, we are like family. I’m deeply grateful for the quality and generosity of our culinary community and am proud to showcase all it has to offer.
food writer, CBC Radio columnist, cookbook author: I’m thankful for the talent we have in Calgary, the diversity and creativity. When I was in Parma last year, they had some wonderful food — but it was very much the same. All the restaurants were Italian. People say there’s no bad food in Italy, but at the end of the week I was craving the diversity of the Calgary food scene — the wonderful bakeries, fantastic pizza, and dishes that are helping make Calgary a culinary destination.
Jay del Corro
owner Eats of Asia:
Calgary Herald food columnist, cookbook author: I’m thankful that Calgary’s food scene is so diverse and creative, with so many chefs offering up their visions on a plate. No matter my whim or cravings, whether for comfort food or something more unusual, there is a restaurant or cocktail bar that will fit the bill.
I am thankful for the cultural diversity and creativity in today's culinary scene. The sheer selection of ingredients in Calgary today, as well as the number of new and incredible places to eat here, are a far cry from what was considered exotic or adventurous back in the late ‘70s and ‘80s when I was growing up.
co-owner Sidewalk Citizen: There is a lot to be grateful for in Calgary’s food scene; there is an incredible culture of collaboration and support between restaurants, chefs and food growers. The food scene here is vibrant, growing with great care for more local and specialized quality items, and people are happy to try new foods and support local businesses. It’s an exciting time to live here.
There is also a real strong sense of community. I’ve been so lucky to meet an amazing group of chefs, producers and restaurateurs that immediately accepted me as part of the culture, and I’m happy to now call friends. It is such a great time to be here, when you look at places like Native Tongues, Proof, Anju, Pigeonhole... all those places would thrive and be relevant in any market.
I am thankful for the sense of community with the Calgary food scene. Chefs really unite together in true spirit of collaboration, which only helps to strengthen our food scene and create national exposure. I am also grateful for the wonderful foodies we have in Calgary who really support local chefs pushing the boundaries, and doing things that make a difference to our city.
Culinary Director at Corbeaux Bakehouse:
former executive chef at Hotel Arts:
owner Cheezy Bizness food truck: The thing I’m most thankful for is the ever-evolving creative and diverse talent in our culinary community. Everyone is constantly growing and upping their game, which is so inspiring.
Soup Kitchen story and photography by DAN CLAPSON
Once you’ve had your fill of reheated Thanksgiving leftovers and turkey sandwiches smothered in gravy, what else are you supposed to do with that extra meat? It’s October now, so make a few batches of soup, of course! If you’re not a carnivorous type of person, just omit the turkey from either recipe below and throw in a few more veggies, the soup will be just as filling and taste just as comforting. Cream of Turkey, Celery and Sage Serves 4-5 Total cook time 35 minutes 1 Tbs butter 1 yellow onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes or 3 medium red potatoes, peeled and diced 2 cups (480 mL) water 1 cup (240 mL) vegetable stock 2 cups (480 mL) half and half 3 celery stalks, diced 2 Tbs fresh sage, finely chopped 2 Tbs (30 mL) white wine 2 cups cooked turkey meat, roughly chopped To taste salt and pepper Garnish sage leaves and canola oil, optional
1. Heat butter in a medium pot on
medium-high heat. Add diced onion and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add leftover mashed potatoes,
water and vegetable stock to the pot, 22
and puree with an immersion blender until very smooth. If using raw potatoes, add to pot along with water and stock, bring to a simmer and cook until tender, then puree contents of pot with an immersion blender or in a blender.
3. Add the next 4 ingredients, allow
mixture to come to a simmer, reduce to medium heat, cover and let cook for 15 minutes.
4. Uncover, add turkey meat and let
cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving. For optional garnish: Heat canola oil in a small pot on high heat until very hot. Add a few sage leaves at a time and fry for approximately 15 seconds. Transfer to paper towel to absorb excess oil, season with salt, and place on top of soup before serving.
Turkey and White Bean Soup 1. Heat olive oil in a large pot on
medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the next 9 ingredients and bring to a simmer.
2. Reduce to medium heat and let cook, uncovered for 20 minutes.
If you’re not a carnivorous type of person, just omit the turkey from either recipe and throw in a few more veggies
Serves 5-6 Total cook time 30 minutes 2 Tbs (30 mL) olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 398 mL can quality chopped tomatoes 5 cups (1.2 L) chicken or vegetable stock 2 cups (480 mL) water 1 cup fresh corn kernels 1 cup green beans, 5 mm sliced
3. Place remaining ingredients in the 1 cup dry mini-sized pasta (like ditali or orzo) 1 Tbs (15 mL) red wine vinegar 2 tsp dried oregano 2 tsp dried basil 1½ cups navy beans, cooked 1½ cups turkey meat, cooked and diced 2 cups spinach leaves To taste salt and pepper
pot and let cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Season to taste with salt and
pepper, and keep warm on stove until ready to serve. 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
Cocktails With Calvados by PATRICIA KOYICH
Don’t rush it! Sit, sip, and savour! Autumn is beautiful in Alberta, and growing up, I remember the stirring excitement as the fall months approached. In contrast to the back to school blues, the house would fill with stewing smells from the crab apples harvested in our back yard, and bountiful selections found on our weekend farmers market visits. The bounty of Mother Nature would inspire my mom to bake fruit pies and muffins, apple sauce/butters and even make a crabapple liqueur (I come by it honestly!). So when it comes to cocktails to talk about for early fall, it makes perfect sense to choose Calvados. This oftenunderappreciated, incredibly delicious “eau de vie” (“water of life”) is made from apples and/or a small percentage of pears - a distilled cider if you will.
The history of Calvados is rich with romance, passion, and tradition. The production of Calvados can be found dating back to the 1500’s, with many family-run producers passing down the business to the next generation. Calvados hails from the Normandy region of France, although apple brandies can be made in other parts of the world. True Calvados is governed by the appellation d’origine contrôlée regulations in Normandy, France. This governance stipulates the amount of trees that can be planted which will bear the over 100 varieties of apples and 30 varieties of pears that can be used in Calvados production. The apples (which aren’t very good eating apples) look very much like crabapples, and are sought after for their acidity and tannin found in the skins. After pressing, the cider goes through a double distillation process. Once the spirit exits the stills it will go into an oak aging process of a minimum of 2 years, where it will pick up colour, notes of vanilla, spice, and caramel.
In my career I would often find Calvados in the kitchens, where the chefs would use it to enhance the existing flavours, such as in incredible flambés, but that’s when I noticed it was found more often in the kitchen than requested in the dining room. For self-professed “spirit nerds” like me, the romance is found in the moment of consumption; one of my favourite traditions on a crisp fall evening is to sip on a snifter of calvados embracing the smell of fallen leaves and the looming chill of winter.
The history of Calvados is rich with romance, passion, and tradition Then why mix it into a cocktail creation and not just enjoy it on its own? Why not I ask? So with a little help from my friend and award-winning mixologist Madeleine MacDonald (Model Milk and Model Citizen) we rediscovered and came up with a few that you’ll be sure to enjoy. Refreshing and simple, these cocktails can be enjoyed as a simple highball, for a celebration (after the gold rush) or as a digestif (sidecar). Even more fun to consider - try making your own tonic too! The most fun in the task at hand? Discovering the secret of how to name a cocktail! Or at least Madeleine’s secret, “I am creating cocktails on a weekly, if not daily basis, and one day we were exhausted with the challenge of the perfect naming process, so one day I just threw my hands up in the air, grabbed one of the albums we play in the restaurant, and said whatever the song is on Side A track 4, it shall be!” in our case “After the gold rush”… genius and fitting when you see it sparkle. Cheers!
Calvados Sidecar 1.5 oz Calvados .5 oz Cointreau .5 oz fresh lemon juice
Shake and then strain over ice into a sugar rimmed rocks glass. Calvados and house made tonic 2 oz Calvados 1 oz tonic syrup (recipe to follow) Dash fresh lime juice
Top with soda over ice in a rocks glass, and stir.
“After The Gold Rush” (Sparkling Cocktail) 1 oz Calvados .5 oz Tio Pepe Fino sherry .5 oz ginger liquor 4 oz Cava
Add all ingredients to a champagne flute, and garnish with a lemon twist. House made tonic: (Ingredients can be found at specialty grocers such as Community Natural Foods) 4 cups sugar 4 cups water 3 stalks lemongrass, roughly chopped 3 Tbs citric acid 3 Tbs cinchona bark Juice and zest of 3 limes
Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, fine strain. Holds for 2 weeks. Patricia Koyich was born and raised in Calgary, and considers Calgary one of the best cities in the world. She continues to inspire, learn and achieve within the Food, Beverage and Tourism industry.
The Results OF THE 2015
Alberta Beverage Awards by TOM FIRTH, COMPETITION DIRECTOR
Three years of the Alberta Beverage Awards. Wow. When we launched the ABAs in 2013 we didn’t really know what to expect. You hang out a sign, start talking to people and see who wants to take a chance on their products. Three years later, I have to say that the wines, beers, and spirits entered are better than ever and we have some great talent judging them too. All told, entered in the competition we had products representing 28 countries-some familiar and a few less so, and in a tough year for many companies we are pleased to report that the numbers were pretty well on par with the year previous. Just under 500 wines and almost 200 beers and spirits were judged over three days by our panels of sommeliers, restaurateurs, journalists, and retailers over a total of 125 flights, poured into about five thousand glasses. Through all that hard work, only about a third of all the entries are featured here – representing the best of what was tasted. In each category there is a “Best in Class”, which is the top performing product in its category, followed by “Judges’ Selection”, which are the other high performing products in the category. In most categories, there is also a “Top Value”, which is a Judges’ Selection product that has been identified by the Culinaire editors as also providing excellent value. Some products are also identified by a or symbol, these products are 26
ones that, in addition to their success this year, also won an award in a previous Alberta Beverage Awards – proving that they are consistent performers year after year, and ones that we highly recommend. Each product is identified with a CSPC number to help you find it at liquorconnect.com, and locate the stores carrying it. Producing a reputable competition involves a tremendous amount of work, and our success wouldn’t be possible without the efforts of everyone involved. Special thanks to the Import Vintners & Spirits Association, Liquor Connect, our hardworking judges, Len Steinberg, and our volunteer wine stewards, Mairie, Patricia, Paul, Patrick, Danielle, Darin, Lana, Rick, and Moi who are always on the ball and keep us on our toes. A big thank you to Jason Dziver, our talented photographer who photographs the competition – including all the bottle shots – and somehow manages to take innumerable “action” shots of the competition and photos of our judges that somehow make it look like we are enjoying ourselves. Thanks again to the Hotel Blackfoot who never disappoint us-their staff spends many hours polishing glasses and yet are always helpful and cheerful, and the delicious lunches that were enjoyed by everyone helped us get through some long days!
American and Canadian Whisky The whisky category is on fire in the Alberta market- and it’s not that fire in your throat. It seems to be that the days are numbered for the flavour of a good whisky being completely obscured in a highball glass with cola, and more and more drinkers are taking their time slowly sipping a glass of whisky neat, on the rocks, as a martini, or a light cocktail that still shows off the spirit. Perhaps there is a correlation, as it may seem that both Canadian and American whisky is slowly becoming silkier and smoother, fuller and sweeter as they evolve to please the broader market. The top Canuck and Yankee drams displayed crafted stylings of smooth, sweet vanillin oak, charcoal, and spice notes with integrated alcohol and a generous mouthfeel. Mike Roberts JUDGES’ SELECTION Evan Williams Black Label United States $28-30 CSPC 721379 Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey United States $38-40 CSPC 734590
BEST IN CLASS Spicebox Canadian Spiced Rye Whisky Canada $30-34 CSPC 744265 Stalk and Barrel Rye-Single Cask Canada $66-68 CSPC 771214
Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Canada $40-42 CSPC 774762
George Dickel No.12 Tennessee Whisky United States $37-39 CSPC 759936
First off, ciders have been able to ride the wave of the craft beer boom. A large part of beer culture is trying new things. Whether it’s the latest hopped Saison, or a new collaboration beer by two rival breweries, exploration is part of the fun. And now, many craft beer drinkers are trying cider - and loving it. Hard cider’s fresh, crisp, and dry characteristics are a nice change of pace to beer. Ciders, in addition to being gluten-free, which is an important consideration for many of us, have roughly the same alcohol content as craft beer. The two ciders that we landed on during our testing, Cidre Kinkiz and Lonetree Authentic Dry Cider, show the breadth of variety within the category. From the crisp, light, tart and candied Lonetree to the earthy, intense and refreshing Cidre Kinkiz. It’s time to give ciders their moment to shine. John Papavacilopoulis JUDGES’ SELECTION
BEST IN CLASS
Cidre Kinkiz France $17-18 (750ml) CSPC 773592
Lonetree Authentic Dry Cider Canada $16 (6 pack cans) CSPC 744173
Ale As ales are a wide-open category, it makes them quite difficult to judge because there are only two actual classes of beer: Ales (a top fermenting brew) and Lagers (a bottom fermenting brew). So right away, one has to judge beer based on its overall ability to deliver a good taste, mouth feel, aroma, and it has to look appealing. The lineup went from light to dark slightly bitter to mildly sweet. There were a lot of ales at the beginning of judging but in the end one special little dark Alberta ale stood out. Being that this beer created its own category "The Alberta Black Ale", really blows open a new era in local brews. This beer also held up as the best overall with the beer judges this year. Dave Gingrich BEST IN CLASS
Village Blacksmith $16 (6 pack bottles) Calgary, Alberta, CSPC 768794
Brewster’s Hammerhead Red Ale $16 (6 pack bottles) Calgary, Alberta CSPC 765509 Stanley Park Windstorm Pale Ale $16 (6 pack bottles) British Columbia, CSPC 767282
Take a casual look at liquor store shelves or any beer menu and it’s apparent fruit beers are becoming more and more popular. From Belgians to radlers to craft brewers adding seemingly the entire contents of the produce aisle into every beer style, there are certainly no shortage of options out there. So why this increased popularity? There is no single reason, but the increased consumption of beer by women, the public’s desire for lower-alcohol beer, and the beer drinker’s appetite for anything new and different, are part of the reason. In fact, fruit beer is currently the fastest growing category of all beer styles. As their variety is endless, look for more of them to hit the market. David Nuttall BEST IN CLASS
Früh Radler Germany $3 (330ml bottles) CSPC 762918
Grizzly Paw Beavertail Raspberry Canmore, Alberta $7 (650ml bottle) CSPC 785696 Stanley Park Sunsetter Summer Ale British Columbia $16 (6 pack bottles) CSPC 771574
GREATNESS IN A GLASS
Best in Class Bordeaux Based Blends
Judges Selection Bordeaux Based Blends
Judges Selection Bordeaux Based Blends
Chateau Grand Chateau Chateau De Clocher 2010 Denisiane 2008 L’Annonciation St. Emilion, France Pomerol, France 2010 St. Emilion Grand Cru Contrôlée, France
Judges Selection Pinot Gris/Grigio CSPC 752736
Grand Cru Hengst Pinot Gris 2008 Alsace, France
SELECTION Poplar Grove THE LEGACY CABERNET FRANC
& SYRAH AWARD WINNERS
TO YOUR DOOR
Bordeaux Blends Blends can be some of the most exciting wines to taste. They can easily become the most homogenized as well. Bordeaux blends made by winemakers with passion and respect for varietals, and a clear vision can be absolutely sublime for the palate. But like most blends, it’s all about the base. The main Bordeaux blends begin with either cabernet sauvignon or merlot, followed by varying percentages of cabernet franc, petite verdot, malbec and occasionally carménère. We tasted a wide spectrum of Bordeaux blends, many with beautiful structure and balance. This year’s Best in Class hails from the region of Bordeaux itself; the 2010 Chateau Grand Clocher St. Emilion. This “Right Bank” Bordeaux is predominantly merlot with great mouth feel and grip, both food-friendly and age-worthy. Steve Goldsworthy BEST IN CLASS Chateau Grand Clocher 2010 St. Emilion Bordeaux, France $32-35 CSPC 747811
TOP VALUE Mission Hill 5 Vineyards 2012 Cabernet-Merlot Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $21-24 CSPC 257816 JUDGES SELECTION Chateau Recougne 2010 Bordeaux Superieur France $20 CSPC 765014 Monteversa Versacinto 2011 Rosso Veneto, Italy $35-40 CSPC 771835 Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate 2010 Grand Reserve Meritage Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $28-30 CSPC 988340 R&D 2013 Red Blend by Culmina Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $30-35 CSPC 773530 Chateau Denisiane 2008 Pomerol Bordeaux, France $52-56 CSPC 747812 Poplar Grove 2011 The Legacy Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $67-70 CSPC 674580 Chateau De L'Annonciation 2010 St. Emilion Grand Cru Bordeaux, France $48-52 CSPC 747810
At the crossroads of classic winemaking and California innovation lies Sonoma’s legendar y La Crema. Long known for La Crema’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir set the bar for California’s beloved coastal appellations. For more than 30 years, this family-owned and operated winer y has focused exclusively on cool-climate coastal appellations, where grapes ripen slowly and of a unique personality, consistent
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/ L AC R E M AW I N E RY
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Cabernet Sauvignon Is it New World or Old World? Is it classic Napa valley floor, or mountain fruit? Every country seems to produce a cab, all with exciting expressions of terroir. That is, a sense of place that reflects in the wine character. Many winemakers choose to blend a certain percentage of other grapes into their cabs such as merlot, cabernet franc, malbec, or any number of varietals. But you will know when you are tasting cab; a rich, full-bodied red with notes of leather and tobacco on the nose, deep red berry components on the palate, and punchy acidity. The leader this year was the Santa Rita Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 from Chile. A well-rounded, earthy red, with a nod to the old world. Great structure and length.Â Steve Goldsworthy BEST IN CLASS
Santa Rita 2011 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo, Chile $15-17 CSPC 211623
Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $19-23 CSPC 543884 JUDGES SELECTION Rodney Strong Vineyards 2012 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma, California $23-25 CSPC 226944 Kilikanoon 2012 Killerman's Run Cabernet Sauvignon Clare Valley, Australia $23-26 CSPC 717572 Aranwa 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza, Argentina $20-22 CSPC 770117 Joel Gott 815 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, California $21-24 CSPC 118596 Jean Leon Reserve 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon PeĂąedes, Spain $28-31 CSPC 716166 Eberle 'Vineyard Selection' 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles, California $26-30 CSPC 744199 Santa Rita Medalla Real Gran Reserva 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo, Chile $21-25 CSPC 275594
Chardonnay While the best-known chardonnays occupy a range of stylistic extremes, like Chablis from northern France with its Granny Smith apple, citrus and marine stone flavours on the one hand, versus the Australian and Californian versions with riper tropical fruit, vanilla, butter, and toasty oak, the pendulum is settling happily in the center for many of the most exciting wines emerging today. After the generally uninspiring lineup from last year, a good number of judges from this year's panel agreed that the chardonnay entries were much improved. Matt Browman
BEST IN CLASS
Callia Alta 2014 Chardonnay San Juan, Argentina $14-17 CSPC 727269
Rodney Strong Vineyards 2013 Sonoma County Chardonnay Sonoma, California $20-22 CSPC 226936
JUDGESâ€™ SELECTION Joseph Drouhin 2013 Chablis de Vaudon Burgundy, France $30-33 CSPC 730705 Lake Breeze Seven Poplars 2012 Chardonnay Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $30-33 CSPC 353821 Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve 2013 Chardonnay California $22-24 CSPC 369686 William FĂ¨vre 2012 Espino Chardonnay DO Pirque, Maipo Valley, Chile $20-22 CSPC 746705 Joseph Drouhin 2013 Pouilly-Fuisse Maconaise, France $22-24 CSPC 701204
The Best of Italy Italian wine can be a bit… confounding to the consumer. Names like Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Barolo, Barbaresco, Amarone, and Valpolicella offer some familiarity, but outside of these, Italian wine is tricky. Wine is produced in all 20 of Italy’s provinces, but few of these are well known outside their particular areas. Grapes like sangiovese and nebbiolo are known to those who are passionately interested in Italian wine, but for the most part, Italy remains an enigma among wine drinkers. However, for the adventurous shopper, grapes such as aglianico, barbera, montepulciano, and nero d’Avola from regions such as Campania, Abruzzo, Sicily, and beyond, can provide wines of great personality. These are wines meant for the dinner table, offering structure and acidity to match a wide variety of food. In regards to the top wines, in Sangiovese and its Blends, the Jacopo Biondi Santi hails from one of my favourite appellations in Tuscany, this Morellino gives notes of redcurrant, cedar, purple plum, and a hint of leather on the nose, supple tannins supporting cherry, cocoa, and spice flavours. For Other Italian Blends, The Jasci & Marchesani Montepulciano d’Abruzzo stood out for its tremendous personality - boasting a huge nose of blueberry jam, chocolate, pepper, and vanilla - dense and powerful on the palate, but silky smooth. From Veneto, we favoured the Giusti Amarone- a full throttle amarone with big aromas of candied figs and raisins while very full on the palate. Finally, in our Other Italian Blends category, we have the merlot-dominant Arcanum Valadorna - a round, supple, espresso and cassis-scented red with background notes of cedar, tobacco, and graphite. Alex Good
Sangiovese And Its Blends BEST IN CLASS
Jacopo Biondi Santi Morellino di Scansano Maremma, Tuscany, Italy $25-28 CSPC 734945
Santa Cristina 2012 Tuscany, Italy $14-16 CSPC 76521 JUDGES’ SELECTION Banfi 2013 Centine Tuscany, Italy $17-20 CSPC 297374 San Felice 2011 Il Grigio Chianti Classico Riserva Chianti Classico, Italy $25-28 CSPC 310490 Fontodi 2010 Chianti Classico Chianti Classico, Italy $35-38 CSPC 718655 Il Nespoli 2010 Sangiovese Reserva di Romagna Romagna, Italy $23-26 CSPC 771038 Villa Antinori 2011 Rosso Tuscany, Italy $23-26 CSPC 713172 Serristori by Machiavelli 2013 Chianti Tuscany, Italy $13-16 CSPC 757509
The Best of Italy (continued) Other Red Italian Varieties TOP VALUE
BEST IN CLASS
Fontanafredda 2013 Barbera Briccotondo Piedmont, Italy $16-19 CSPC 729958
Jasci & Marchesani 2012 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “Nerube” Abruzzo, Italy $20-24 CSPC 773928
JUDGES’ SELECTION Banfi 2012 La Lus Albarossa Piedmont, Italy $27-30 CSPC 770090 Zaccagnini 2013 'Tralcetto' Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Abruzzo, Italy $17-20 CSPC 862003 Zabu 2013 IL Passo Nero D'Avola Sicily, Italy $20-24 CSPC 773273 Fontanafredda 2010 Serralunga d'Alba Barolo Piedmont, Italy $43-46 CSPC 768849 Marabino 2012 Noto Nero d’Avola Sicily, Italy $30-34 CSPC 764072
Pratts Annual Customer Appreciation Day!!! •
Complimentary wine, beer or spirit tastings every Friday.
Knowledgeable, experienced and helpful staff.
HUGE SAVINGS Saturday November 21st 10am-10pm!
t h e S AV DA E TE !
featured weekly “Hot Buy” products.
10-8, Thurs-Sat 10-10, Sundays & Holidays 12-6.
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Over 100 beers from around the world - Over 400 varietals of wine - Over 300 types of spirits
The Best of Italy (continued) Veneto (Valpolicella And Amarone) BEST IN CLASS
Giusti 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Veneto, Italy $105-110 CSPC 767182
Botter 2013 Gran Passione Veneto Rosso Veneto, Italy $17-20 CSPC 764358 JUDGES’ SELECTION Almadi 2009 Amarone della Valpolicella Veneto, Italy $45-50 CSPC 761582 Tenuta Sant'Antonio 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella Selezione Antonio Castagnedi Veneto, Italy $40-45 CSPC 616094 Palazzo Grimani 2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Veneto, Italy $53-57 CSPC 763675
Other Italian Blends BEST IN CLASS
Arcanum 2008 Valadorna Tuscany, Italy $52-55 CSPC 754956
Arcanum 2010 Il Fauno Tuscany, Italy $32-35 CSPC 761983 Banfi 2012 ASKA Bolgheri Rosso Tuscany, Italy $24-27 CSPC 769830 Casa Contini 2013 Verso Rosso Salento, Italy $17-20 CSPC 65565
Sparkling Wine The Sparkling wine category had its strongest showing yet this year, with diverse regions of origin and style, and also quite good overall quality across the board. Average retail price per bottle hovered just above or in the value-oriented price range, which offers the consumer a great opportunity to grab a bottle of bubble for a weekday meal. Having such great versatility, sparkling wines can be paired with anything from BBQ to simple salads or pre-dinner snacks, which means less coin tossing over choosing a white or red wine. Not to mention, the judges’ selections don’t require a special occasion splurge, these wines are available at very affordable prices. In terms of how to choose a bottle based on its style, this category is quite varied, with differing levels of sweetness, intensity and richness. Lighter, crisp wines like the Col de’ Salici prosecco are better paired with a vinaigrette or tomato based sauce, while the H. Blin Champagne is very rich and more suited to white or red meat, or heavier cream-based sauces. More importantly, there is a wine to please every palate on this year’s list, so try experimenting with them, buy a few for a dinner party and find your favourite! Jackie Cooke TOP VALUE
BEST IN CLASS
Col de'Salici NV Prosecco Italy $19-22 CSPC 753888
H. Blin NV Brut Champagne, France $48-55 CSPC 756346
JUDGES’ SELECTION Lanson Black Label NV Brut Champagne, France $53-57 CSPC 41889 Domaine Chandon NV Rose California $31-35 CSPC 749365 Taittinger NV Brut Reserve Champagne, France $57-63 CSPC 40873 Ferrari 2007 Perlé, Trento Italy $40-42 CSPC 414169 Louis Bouillot Perle d'Aurore NV Cremant de Bourgogne Rosé Burgundy, France CSPC $20-24 CSPC 745430 J.M. Monmousseau 2011 Cuvée Loire Valley, France $21-24 CSPC 531921
After Dinner Wines Fortified Wines
As a “Fort”ophile I love watching the results come in from the judges. I will admit that I have a bit of a bias for preferring the examples that come from Portugal, but there is no denying that several countries around the world are making clean, balanced fortified wines. This year we saw the “dethroning” of the Moldovan fortified wine that took top spot two years running (it was barely edged out this year), but we saw some big brands fill this list. The top spot might seem a bit strange here, but Muscat Beaumes de Venise is a sweet wine from France that has its fermentation halted by the addition of a spirit - much like in port, but a very different wine. If you love fortified wines, these are good picks to have around the house for a cheese plate with friends or a little tipple after dinner. Tom Firth BEST IN CLASS
Fortified Wine: Chapoutier 2012 Muscat Beaumes de Venise Rhone, France $25-28 CSPC 721563 Distinctly muscat Beaumes de Venise with floral, lychee, pineapple fruits along with rich textures and a long finish. Dee-lish.
Ferreira Dona Antonia Reserva Tawny Port Douro, Portugal $23-25 CSPC 157586
Dessert Wine: Paradise Ranch 2013 Riesling Icewine Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $52-56 CSPC 838110
JUDGES’ SELECTION Fonseca 20 Year Old Tawny Port Douro, Portugal $60-65 CSPC 422022 Fonseca Terra Prima Port Douro, Portugal $33-36 CSPC 726119 Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Old Tawny Port Douro, Portugal $35 CSPC 121749 Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port Douro, Portugal $25-27 CSPC 46946
After Dinner Wines (continued) Dessert Wines
I appreciate the dedication and hard work it takes to make great dessert wines as they are often difficult to create, and are seen in the wine world as a labour of love (like sparkling). Canada is no exception to this rule, as we are well known for making world-class late harvest wines and our treasured icewines. While we had great examples from many different parts of the globe to try, it was an Okanagan wine that took top marks. Paradise Ranch’s Riesling Icewine is like drinking golden nectar, rich in toasted nuts, quince, and grapefruit peel with hints of citrus and mandarin oranges. Erika Tocco JUDGES’ SELECTION Naked Grape 2012 Vidal Ice Wine Niagara Peninsula, Ontario $25-28 CSPC 981928 Field Stone NV Black Currant Dessert Wine Alberta $23 CSPC 750755 Alvear Pedro Ximenz de Anada Montilla, Spain $27-32 CSPC 569699
TOP VALUE Whistler 2014 Chardonnay Late Harvest Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $21-24 CSPC 197244
The thing about white blends— anything goes. Old world rules dictate the blend, for example the rousanne-marsanne whites of the northern Rhône or the refreshing Edelzwickers of Alsace. But white blends are the exception - not the rule in old world wines for the most part. In the new world however, you’ll find chardonnay blended with pinot blanc blended with gewürztraminer — it’s up to the winemaker to decide and the wine drinker to love… or not. This year’s category winner is a low alcohol, high acid, and completely refreshing white from Portugal, the Casal Garcia Vinho Verde, made from indigenous Portuguese grapes, ideal as an aperitif or with light meals. Mary Bailey JUDGES’ SELECTION
BEST IN CLASS
Torres 2014 Vina Esmeralda Catalunya, Spain $15-17 CSPC 165316 Marrenon 2011 Classique Blanc Luberon & Ventoux, France $16-18 CSPC 736024 JoieFarm 2014 A Noble Blend Okanagan Valley, Canada $30-34 CSPC 138263 Pagadebit 2014 Romagna Italy $18-20 CSPC 771039 Moon Curser 2013 Afraid of the Dark Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $26-29 CSPC 748103
Casal Garcia 2014 Vinho Verde Portugal $11-14 CSPC 715142
Fruit Wine The variety and colour spectrum of fruit wine in Alberta is wide ranging, anywhere from dark red pomegranate to vibrant, glowing orange raspberry… a wide palate, for sure. The key to good fruit wine is to capture the essence of the fruit, to secure the deliciousness that draws us to the fruit initially. This takes talent, as a good variety of variants are added to the process during handling and fermentation. Field Stone’s strawberry-rhubarb was the winner this year, delivering a pleasing and accurate version of this fruit-vegetable combination. Brad Royale BEST IN CLASS
Field Stone Strawberry-Rhubarb Fruit Wine Alberta $19 CSPC 750751
Takasago Plum Sake Ume Japan $40 CSPC 768497 Field Stone Black Currant Fruit Wine Alberta $19 CSPC 750747
Tempranillo Spain is so “hot” right now… not only in climate, but in the wine world! With the wonderful structure and quality, amazing ageing ability, and the outstandingly great values of their wines, that is no surprise. The wines of Spain are filling our shelves with amazing options for red, white, and rosé wines, as well as unbeatable value sparkling wines. The tempranillo-based wines are undeniably one of these stars, often referred to as Spain’s noble grape. Although we also see a lot of tempranillo in California, Portugal, and Australia, they are very rarely bottled as a single varietal, but blended with other grapes. Therefore, not surprisingly, our line-up of Red Single Varietal: tempranillo was all from Spain. Traveling from Rioja, to Ribera Del Duero and Toro, our tasting journey through Spain, discovering these great value wines, was a treat. Whether you see it as cencibel, tinto fino, aragonez, or tinta roriz, don’t get fooled by the different names, and try it! Nathalie Gosselin TOP VALUE BEST IN CLASS Torres 2012 Altos Ibericos La Rioja, Spain $18-20 CSPC735882
Montecillo 2010 Crianza Rioja, Spain $16-18 CSPC 144493 JUDGES’ SELECTION Faustino VII 2011 Tempranillo Rioja, Spain $17-20 CSPC 516997 Vega Sauco 2011 el Beybi Toro, Spain $18-20 CSPC 761962 Torres 2011 Celeste Ribera del Duero, Spain $26-30 CSPC 754090
Vodka: The Switzerland of spirits. Neutral. Plays nice with just about anything you put it with - right? While this is certainly the most approachable spirit, there is definitely a move amongst distillers to elevate this spirit and show that “clean” can have a range of flavours. Grape, wheat, potato, and a range of other base ingredients do lend a uniqueness to what otherwise would be innocuous. Repeated distillations and attention to detail DO provide a more textural and smooth sip. Also, for better or worse, vodka has seen a trend of flavour ‘enhancements”, the best I’ve tasted adding a depth of grassy, woody, spice notes, which quite frankly was a pleasant surprise. The top offerings of this flight showed a combination of smooth, textural notes, and mild flavours. Some citrus, some stoney, but again, a universal approachability. Andrew Stewart JUDGES’ SELECTION
BEST IN CLASS
Eau Claire - Three Point Vodka Alberta, Canada $37-41 CSPC 768931
Arbutus Coven Vodka British Columbia, Canada $50-55 CSPC 773257
Belvedere Pure Vodka Poland $50-53 CSPC 437772 Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka Poland $30-33 CSPC 35840 Russian Standard Vodka Gold Russia $47-50 CSPC 768383
Gin is the quintessentially British drink, once derided as being the “scourge of 18th century society”, how times have changed. A surge in the popularity of gin has spurred a renaissance of the juniper-flavoured spirit; there are now around 200 different gins available in Alberta. Gin has a greater diversity of flavour from producer to producer versus other forms of white spirits – as one Calgary bartender noted – “there isn’t a great deal of difference in character between different types of vodka comparatively speaking, but, with gin you get a huge swing in styles and flavours”. The emergence of craft distilleries has added to the repertoire for gin enthusiasts to further explore the diversity in this highly complex spirit, including selections from home-grown heroes such as Eau Claire. The top gin this year was from Berry Bros. & Rudd - which is one of the most “complete” gins on the market in terms of complexity, intensity of flavour, and balance. Alex Good JUDGES’ SELECTION
BEST IN CLASS
Eau Claire Distillery Parlour Gin Alberta $50-52 CSPC 768932
Berry Bros. & Rudd No.3 London Dry Gin United Kingdom $50-53 CSPC 741108
Victoria Spirits, Victoria Gin British Columbia $44-46 CSPC 645085
India Pale Ales The India Pale Ale (IPA) was originally crafted to ensure freshness on the voyage from England to India. Modern IPAs are usually medium- to full-bodied and generally higher in alcohol than the average beer. They contain more hops, and as a result, are generally quite bitter. North American craft brewers, and in particular our local breweries, have adopted a style of IPA that is heavy in grapefruit and pine resin notes while increasing the limits of bitterness. Brewers continue to evolve the IPA by creating hybrid styles including: Imperial IPA, Black IPA, and White IPA. The Grandfather IPA from Village is a great example of a big malty, rich, grown-up but balanced, hop-forward West Coast IPA. In contrast, the Maiden - again from Village, had many of the same pine and citrus notes but with a much lighter style beer supporting it that gave it a light, thirst quenching characteristic. John Papavacilopoulis BEST IN CLASS
Village Grandfather Calgary, Alberta $7-8 (650ml) CSPC 772877
Village Maiden Calgary, Alberta $16-17 (6 pack bottles) CSPC 768797 Wild Rose IPA Calgary, Alberta $16-17 (6 pack bottles) CSPC 766763
Kölsch and Kellerbier Kölsch and Kellerbier differ from each other, though they share a common trait in that they don’t really fit in all too easily with other styles of beer within their general categories, so what the heck, why not put them in a category all their own? Both styles of beer originated in Germany and both are somewhat unique, yet strangely familiar in their own right. Kölsch is an ale, but it is often mistaken for a European Lager. This mistake is almost forgivable, due to the beer’s blonde colour, and its light, fresh character. Kellerbiers can vary, though many are deep golden to dark amber in colour, and true Kellerbiers in Germany are allowed to condition in a cask, which somewhat resembles the lightly carbonated and unfiltered cask ales of the UK. There were a number of great Kölsch and Kellerbiers entered, but it was a true German Kölsch that ended up taking the category – an authentic Cologne staple – Früh Kölsch. Kirk Bodnar BEST IN CLASS
Village Grandfather Früh Kölsch Beer Germany $3 (330ml bottle) CSPC 760978
Wild Rose Natural Born Keller Calgary, Alberta $15-16 (6 pack bottles) CSPC 766769
Big Rock Rhine Stone Cowboy Calgary, Alberta $15-16 (6 pack bottles) CSPC 763932
Lagers Lagers may be the most common beer on the planet, but the mass-produced, generic yellow fizzy product that dominates television advertising is the bane of many a craft beer drinker’s existence. The truth is, a great lager can be as compelling as any other beer style, with a subtle and invigorating freshness that comes from a balance between the malt and hops, yet with a complexity and spiciness that demands attention. Being highly carbonated, these beers are popular in the hotter months, but their ubiquity results in consistent sales year round. The Best in Class, Wild Rose’s Switch Hitter, is as refreshing as other lagers, but with much more flavour than its cousins. David Nuttall
BEST IN CLASS
Peroni Nastro Azzurro Italy $17 (6 pack bottles) CSPC 525188
Wild Rose Switch Hitter IPL Calgary, Alberta $9 (650ml bottle) CSPC 771868
Stanley Park Noble Pilsner British Columbia $16 (6 pack bottles) CSPC 135962
Meads/Honey-Based Beverages Bees are a-buzzin’ in Alberta. Remember when you were a kid and you got stung by a bee for the first time? Nine out of ten kids get scared and run away the next time they see a bee, and then there is that one kid who realizes that when you leave the bee alone, they really don't bother you. Then some of these kids grew up and not only learned more about bees but helped create a whole new world for this important species to thrive, pollinate, and produce the sweet, sweet nectar of the gods. If one were to head towards Millarville, Alberta you not only start feeling buzzed but also embrace the “spirit of those hills”. The mead from this winery is so innovative and special that it has created quite the local buzzzzzz. Dave Gingrich JUDGES’ SELECTION
BEST IN CLASS
Spirit Hills YeeHaa! Alberta $23-25 CSPC 773294
Spirit Hills Wild Rosy Alberta $23-25 CSPC 756235
This is a tough category, and I never envy the judges when they are tasting through them. It’s for a simple reason really. These are ingredients, meant to be part of a larger recipe and rarely meant to be consumed on their own. Judging them accurately requires a little extra concentration to judge them on their merits, but to also view them with an eye to their possibilities. This year, the top liqueurs were the tasty Cabot Trail Maple whisky, bursting with pure (and real) maple syrup flavours balanced by the fiery whisky, while the Judges Selections were the classic Glayva, and the new to the market Laura Secord chocolate cream liqueur. Tom Firth BEST IN CLASS
Cabot Trail Maple Whisky Canada $28-33 CSPC 755851
Glayva United Kingdom $38-42 CSPC 201251 Laura Secord Chocolate Cream Liqueur Canada $25-30 CSPC7 63948
Sake The market for sake in Alberta has been growing slowly over the past few years, but recently has taken on a nice expansion. With almost 80 different sake products here in Alberta, there is no shortage of styles in the market, ranging from fruit flavoured variations to the pure junmai daiginjo. Toshi Uehara with Sake Gami (sakegami.com) has done a great job exposing Alberta to products like Mikotsuru and Kaiun, both of which showed well in our competition. The Kaiun Iwaizake Junmai Ginjo took top place from the panel, offering a gorgeous array of melon, macadamia nut, and cashew. Brad Royale BEST IN CLASS
Kaiun Iwaizake Junmai Ginjo Japan $35 CSPC 767618
Mikotsuru Junmai Ginjo Kuro Japan $35 CSPC 768499 Mikotsuru Kinmonnishiki Junmai-shu Japan $32 CSPC 768506
Malbec Malbec Rocks! Until you have to taste a few dozen over the course of a day or two... Packed with flavour, black as ink in the glass, and a staple on many tables, malbec isn’t really a new grape to many wine drinkers any more. We saw great depth and presence for this category this year at the ABAs, and I was happy to see the results come in without my own teeth turning black in the process. Predictably, in the results, most were of the Argentinian variety but a French example made the grade, offering a good alternative to those that might need a little change. Tom Firth TOP VALUE
BEST IN CLASS
Finca Los Primos 2014 Malbec Mendoza, Argentina $14 CSPC 632919
Kaiken 2012 Ultra Malbec Uco Valley, Argentina $22-24 CSPC 723333
JUDGES’ SELECTION Chateau de Haute-Serre 2010 Cahors, France $28-31 CSPC 766035
Kaiken is the just-over–the-mountains project of the Montes wine family of Chile. Kaiken Ultra took the top spot with strong varietal character and good balance, impressing the judges through several rounds.
Terrazas de los Andes 2012 Reserva Malbec Mendoza, Argentina $20-21 CSPC 735613 Luigi Bosca 2012 Malbec DOC (Single Vineyard) Mendoza, Argentina $24-25 CSPC 733047 Bodega Norton Barrel Select 2013 Malbec Mendoza, Argentina $14-15 CSPC 742736
There is clearly no love lost on merlot. Although the market these days may be favouring malbec winemakers, in Canada they have made an obvious choice to pursue the perfection of this hardy grape in the unique climate of the Okanagan. The quality level was nearing exceptional for this flight of wines, with some clear winners easily standing out amongst the crowd. There was great, ripe fruit expression with juicy acidity and always backed by complexities showing their personality in the form of savoury brown butter, cedar, tobacco, plum, toasted coconut, and so much more. Plump, fleshy, and meaty merlot needs to find its way back into your glass and these are great wines to bring you back into merlot’s loving arms. Mike Roberts BEST IN CLASS
Black Sage Vineyard 2012 Merlot Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $26-28 CSPC 754000
Tinhorn Creek 2013 Merlot Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $22-24 CSPC 530725 JUDGES’ SELECTION Summerhill Grasslands 2010 Organic Merlot Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $68-$70 CSPC 768814 Monster Vineyards 2013 Merlot Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $27-29 CSPC 873422 Upper Bench 2012 Merlot Naramata Bench Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $35-37 CSPC 783266
Moscato - Still and Sparkling Wines made from the Muscat grape have become so popular they now possess their own category in the ABAs. What’s not to like? The heady aromas and flavours of ripe stone fruit, jasmine and honeysuckle, sun-warmed citrus, cinnamon, and, perhaps, the fleeting echo of cool mint are completely decadent and delicious. The sparkling versions are from the Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains varietal while the heavier, sweeter wines (sometimes fortified) are Muscat of Alexandria (Orange Muscat). Expect lowish alcohol, an affinity for breakfast, birthday cake, cheese and, as demonstrated by the first place Beni di Batasiolo Bosc Dla Rei, Moscato d'Asti, an attractively subtle fizz coupled with the elegance of a Bottega Veneta handbag. Mary Bailey BEST IN CLASS
Beni di Batasiolo 2014 Bosc Dla Rei Moscato d'Asti Piedmont, Italy $16-19 CSPC 288449
Salton NV Intenso Moscato Serra Gaucha, Brazil $16-19 CSPC 758327
Monastrell/Grenache Two of my favourite grape varieties are monastrell (a.k.a mourvèdre in French) and Grenache (in Spain, it’s garnacha)! Often blended with the much more championed Syrah/Shiraz grape, Monastrell and Grenache seem to rarely be the go-to wine style for most. But it is precisely these wines that likely would appeal to a broad spectrum of palates. Both wines typically offer robust and dense fruit-driven concentration, spice, low-level tannins, and soft acidity making them tremendously easy to drink. At these price points and quality levels there is no reason not to be exploring these “berrylicous” and savoury, Mediterranean-styled wines. Perfect for gatherings and casual fare. Mike Roberts BEST IN CLASS
Yalumba 2014 Old Bush Vines Grenache Barossa, Australia $22-24 CSPC 531228
Castillo de Monseran 2013 Garnacha Carinena, Spain $10-12 CSPC 197806 JUDGES’ SELECTION Macho Man 2012 Monastrell Jumilla, Spain $24-25 CSPC 561977
This is possibly one of the most underappreciated varietals in the world of wine. Pros know that when it comes to terroir transparency, food friendliness, and straight up “give me more” deliciousness, riesling answers the call. Our flights showed that outside of the classic areas for riesling of Germany and Alsace, Australia’s Clare Valley, and of course our neighbours in the Okanagan, are making some great, accurate wines worth checking out! They range from the classic high-acid, fruit-driven, off-dry styles to lean, mineral, and super refreshing. Another huge plus of these flights was the pricing. A lot of solid, precise wines for $25 and under. That versatility and range ensure this dynamic varietal will never leave you bored, and the value makes it a thrifty adventure! Get busy and get ahead of the trends. This one is a classic for a reason. Andrew Stewart
BEST IN CLASS
Red Rooster 2013 Riesling Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $19-21 CSPC 498840
Deinhard 2013 Piesporter Riesling Germany $12-15 CSPC 106328 JUDGES’ SELECTION Robert Mondavi 2013 Private Selection Riesling California $18-21 CSPC 529685 Stags Hollow 2014 Riesling Amalia Vineyard Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $21-24 CSPC 777540 Wakefield Estate 2013 Riesling Clare Valley, Australia $19-22 CSPC 926246
Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio Picture yourself on a patio, with the sun shining, a board of semi-soft cheeses and a salad with grilled chicken: what could be missing? The answer for a lot of white wine lovers is a bottle (why stop at just one glass?) of pinot gris. There are three different areas where pinot gris specifically stands out from the herd. First, the beautiful, crisp pinot grigios from northern Italy. Second, the wonderfully aromatic and sometimes slightly sweet pinot gris of Alsace. Third, the mouth-filling, fruitier pinot gris of the North America, specifically the Okanagan Valley and Oregon. We were lucky enough in this pinot gris/ grigio flight to taste a number of styles, with all of their particularities and taste profiles. Pinot gris in BC is really standing out, and I was happy to see one as our top rated wine for this flight. Nathalie Gosselin TOP VALUE
BEST IN CLASS
Giusti 2014 Pinot Grigio “Longheri” Veneto, Italy $18-21 CSPC 767178
Hillside Winery 2014 Reserve Pinot Gris Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $24-26 CSPC 536219
JUDGES’ SELECTION Pierre Sparr 2013 Reserve Pinot Gris Alsace, France $22-$24 CSPC 373332 Lake Breeze 2014 Pinot Gris Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $23-$25 CSPC 568709 Wunsch et Mann 2008 Grand Cru Hengst Pinot Gris Alsace, France $37-$45 CSPC 752736 Bench 1775 2014 Pinot Gris Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $20-22 CSPC 64790 Tinhorn Creek 2014 Pinot Gris Golden Mile Bench Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $22-24 CSPC 530683 Banfi San Angelo 2014 Pinot Grigio Tuscany, Italy $20-$22 CSPC 255224 Santa Cristina 2013 Pinot Grigio Tuscany, Italy $14-16 CSPC 758151 49
It was a pleasant surprise to taste very few over-oaked, high-octane pinot noirs this year; most entries were fruit forward, balanced wines. There were strong showings from the Okanagan Valley and California, a few from Oregon and Chile, but sadly Burgundy was almost non-existent. Hopefully, we will see more submissions from France next year. The real excitement revolves around BC, earning the number two spot and with four wines in the top ten. Stylistically, this region has diversity, but the wines showed more focus on being pretty and expressing the delicate side of pinot noir, versus being smothered with oak and having high alcohol. It is a win for Canadian wines, competing with older, more established wine regions like Carneros and earning top marks. Jackie Cooke BEST IN CLASS
Fess Parker 2012 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills Santa Barbara, California $36-40 CSPC 701604
Red Rooster 2013 Pinot Noir Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $20-22 CSPC 628347 JUDGESâ€™ SELECTION Stags Hollow 2012 Pinot Noir Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $28-30 CSPC 37499 Liberty School 2012 Pinot Noir Central Coast, California $25-28 CSPC 773855 Domaine Carneros Estate 2012 Pinot Noir Carneros, California $40-44 CSPC 516484 JoieFarm 2014 Pinot Noir Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $33-36 CSPC 760429 Domaine Drouhin Oregon 2013 Cloudline Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, Oregon $23-26 CSPC 734833 Lake Breeze 2012 Pinot Noir Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $28-32 CSPC 353805 Mud House 2014 Otago Bay Pinot Noir Otago Bay, New Zealand $17-20 CSPC 726881
Get “seduced by the dark side”! Porters and stouts may range from very dark brown to jet-black, but there is nothing evil in their midst. These beers came out of London and Ireland and are enjoying a bit of a renaissance in the craft beer world after being all but forgotten by North American brewers for most of the last 150 years. The combination of chocolate malt, black malt, and roasted barley may give the beer its colour, but they also provide the chocolate, coffee, licorice, burnt caramel, and host of other flavours that define the style. These beers not only range from silky sweet to slightly bitter, but their alcohol content can fluctuate between below 5% to well into the double digits, depending on style. David Nuttall JUDGES’ SELECTION
BEST IN CLASS (TIE)
Dandy Brewing Company Smoke Boss Rauchbier Calgary, Alberta $9 (650ml bottle) CSPC 771532
Dandy Brewing Company Dandy In The Underworld Oyster Stout Calgary, Alberta $9 (650ml bottle) CSPC 767839 Calgary’s smallest brewery produces a classic milk stout with a light brown head, full of roasted coffee and chocolate notes on the nose and on the palate, finishing with a velvety smoothness.
Black Bridge Brewery Milk Stout Saskatchewan $11 (4 pack cans) CSPC 769217 This wonderful creamy stout comes newly branded out of Swift Current, with flavours that trend more towards coffee rather than chocolate due to its unmalted roasted barley.
Wheat Beer Wheat beers tend to fall into one of three style categories: German, Belgian, and North American. German wheat beers, commonly known as Hefeweizen or Weissbier, possess the classic banana and clove characteristics that derive from the use of unique yeasts. Belgian wheat beers (Witbier) tend to lean more toward a spicy citrus character due to the common addition of coriander and orange peel. American wheat beers are a bit harder to nail down, as they tend to be all over the map, some more closely resembling one or the other, or sometimes doing their own thing altogether. There were a number of strong entries in the wheat beer category this year. All of the general styles were represented and there were very tasty examples of each. In the end it was Minhas Microbrewery’s White Wolf Witbier that took top honours. Minhas may be better known for their more mainstream-focused beers, but this goes to show that they are also quite capable of producing beer for the craft beer lovers as well. Kirk Bodnar JUDGES’ SELECTION
BEST IN CLASS
Village Wit Calgary, Alberta $15-16 (6 pack bottle) CSPC 768798
Minhas White Wolf Wit Beer Calgary, Alberta $10-14 (6 pack bottles) CSPC 774036
Big Rock Wai-iti Wheat Ale Calgary, Alberta $15-16 (6 pack bottles) CSPC 771564 Canuck Empire StarGazer Chamomile Wheat British Columbia $6-7 (650ml bottle) CSPC 774157 51
Red Blends This year’s Red Blend category was an exceptionally strong class. Blends are among the most crowd-pleasing and food-friendly wines, and if you know where to look, some of the best values. Top standouts this year were from all over the world. Whether you are after the deep, smoky and meaty flavours of the Perlita by DiamAndes of Argentina, or the silky, smooth, red fruit tannins of the Okanagan’s Bench 1775 Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot blend, there are plenty of choices for all palates available this season. Darren Fabian
BEST IN CLASS
DiamAndes 2013 Perlita Valle de Uco, Argentina $18-20 CSPC 757010
Montaria 2013 Alentejo, Portugal $15-16 CSPC 745835 JUDGES’ SELECTION Ravenswood 2013 Besieged California, United States $30 CSPC 766369 Shot in the Dark 2013 Cabernet Shiraz Australia $15-16 CSPC 758713 Inniskillin Okanagan Estate Series 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $20 CSPC 772952 Cono Sur 2013 Organic Cabernet Carmenère Central Valley, Chile $15-16 CSPC 715036 Domaine de la Janasse 2012 Terre de Bussiere Principaute d’Orange, France $20 CSPC 722294 Palo Alto 2011 Reserva Organic Red Maule Valley, Chile $15-17 CSPC 749705 Bench 1775 2013 Cabernet Merlot Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $25-26 CSPC 483529
Red Rhône Blends The Rhône blends featured here are based on varietals that originated in southern France, more specifically, the Rhône Valley. Grouped in this category are wines that comprise grenache and/or syrah, often filled out with any number of their other cousins, such as mourvèdre and carignan. The wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes-du-Rhône have long been household names, as have the ubiquitous ‘GSM’ blends from Australia and beyond. These are timeless wines in terms of style and popularity – and more often than not, offer tremendous value for money at all price points. Australian versions trend toward the fruit-forward, well-oaked, soft, minty style, whereas the French versions lean to an earthy, underbrush-scented wine, often with notes of pepper, roasted herbs, and kirsch. Best in Class was Brotte’s La Fiole from the Rhône showing lifted aromas of black cherry, raspberries and peppery spice with medium tannins and a long spicy finish. Alex Good TOP VALUE
BEST IN CLASS
Delas Freres 2013 St. Esprit Côtes-du-Rhône Southern Rhône, France $18-21 CSPC 595736
Brotte 2012 Côtes-du-Rhône La Fiole Rhône, France $17-20 CSCP 745976
JUDGES’ SELECTION Yalumba 2012 The Strapper GSM Barossa, Australia $23-27 CSPC 749854 Gerard Bertrand 2012 Grand Terroir Pic St Loup Languedoc, France $23-27 CSPC 745013 Chapoutier 2013 Bila Haut L'Esquerda Languedoc-Roussillon, France $25-30 CSPC 760135 Yangarra 2013 GSM McLaren Vale, Australia $30-34 CSPC 728438
Rosé From the perspective of a sommelier, I love seeing the new-found enthusiasm from guests for drinking rosé. Gone are the days when rosé was seen as a feminine style of wine, sometimes in the form of sickly-sweet fermented grape juice that had no real varietal character. All of a sudden everyone is drinking rosé! It’s great to see such serious and well-made versions from all over the globe. Best in Class was the Chapoutier Belleruche Rosé with a mineral-driven edge tucked in the palate, with hints of dried red fruit and a sour cherry finish. Top Value was the Miguel Torres Santa Digna Cabernet Rosé- I’ve long been a fan of this winery and this wine was no exception. Fragrant redcurrant and fresh strawberry with a hint of pepper, this wine was juicy in style and fleshy on the palate. Erika Tocco BEST IN CLASS
Chapoutier 2014 Belleruche Rosé Cotes-du-Rhône, France $18-20 CSPC 357798
Miguel Torres 2014 Santa Digna Cabernet Rosé Curico, Chile $14-15 CSPC 721431 JUDGES’ SELECTION JoieFarm 2014 Rosé Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $29-32 CSPC 731772 Chapoutier 2014 Bila-Haut Rosé Rhône, France $17-19 CSPC 770805 Masi 2014 Rosa dei Masi Veneto, Italy $17-20 CSPC 756647 Quinta da Alorna 2013 Touriga Nacional Rosé Ribatejo, Portugal $15-17 CSPC 740857
Rum Rum is the spirit that where it is from, determines its flavour profile. Each region has its own way of blending and ageing the final product for desired results. Sugar cane is like tofu…it will take on the characteristics of its soil, and, for example, Jamaican rum will take on tropical fruit characteristics, while Barbados has that wonderful espresso style aroma produced from volcanic soil. The standouts in this year’s competition are Flor de Caña’s 25 Year Old Artisanal blend from Nicaragua, and Zaya Gran Reserva from Trinidad & Tobago. Both have great expressions of caramel, and tropical notes, but the Flor de Caña, being aged in exbourbon casks, has a smoky elegance that is too smooth to pass up. One glass turns into another! Darren Fabian
This is an innovative venture, given that Viña Falernia is produced in the Elqui Valley. Chile’s most northerly wine estate is a considerable distance from the country’s main
BEST IN CLASS (TIE) Flor de Caña Tradicion Artisanal 25 Year Old Nicaragua $175-180 CSPC 764903
Vina Falernia Elqui Valley – Chile
Zaya Gran Reserva Rum Trinidad and Tobago $69 CSPC 710296
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, we have availed ourselves of the latest technology, the support
JUDGES’ SELECTION Penny Blue XO Single Estate Mauritian Rum Mauritius $65-67 CSPC 766442
of agronomists from Chile’s universities, and of worldrenowned oenologists.
Lemon Hart Navy Spiced Rum Guyana $27-30 CSPC 756856
Toll Free: 1-877-737-0018 Web: www.dhs-wine.com
Red Single Varieties
I’m pleased to report that we had a fantastic selection of wines made from single red grape varieties, and I’m sure the judges were pleased too since there is far more out there than just cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These wines face tough flights and even tougher judges who have to taste wines such as bonarda or tannat and determine whether they are good quality, balanced wines, worthy of appearing here – the best of the bunch. Tom Firth
Gamay, Baco Noir, and Carmenere BEST IN CLASS
Chateau Bois de la Salle 2013 Julienas Beaujolais, France $19-20 CSPC 766911
Vina Falernia 2011 Carmenere Elqui Valley, Chile $18-20 CSPC 732577 Henry of Pelham 2013 Baco Noir Niagara Peninsula, Ontario $20-24 CSPC 270926
Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, and Pinotage BEST IN CLASS
La Storia 2013 Petite Sirah Alexander Valley, California $33-37 CSPC 734657
The Grape Grinder 2013 Pinotage Paarl, South Africa $16-19 CSPC 747257 JUDGES’ SELECTION Raats 'Dolomite' 2012 Cabernet Franc Stellenbosch, South Africa $27-30 CSPC 762697 Gauchezco Reserva 2013 Petit Verdot Mendoza, Argentina $24-28 CSPC 770074 Tinhorn Creek 2012 Cabernet Franc Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $22-24 CSPC 530717 Poplar Grove 2012 Cabernet Franc Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $45-48 CSPC 738640
Red Single Varieties (continued) Zinfandel, Tannat, and Bonarda TOP VALUE
BEST IN CLASS
Salton Intenso 2012 Tannat Campanha, Brazil $15-18 CSPC 758329
Chayee Bourras 2011 Bonarda Reserva San Rafael, Mendoza, Argentina $34-37 CSPC 764954
JUDGESâ€™ SELECTION Liberty School 2011 Zinfandel California, United States $20-24 CSPC 727655 Rodney Strong Vineyards 2013 Knotty Vines Zinfandel Sonoma, California $21-25 CSPC 264739 Ravenswood 2013 Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel Lodi, California $25-28 CSPC 599381 La Storia 2013 Zinfandel Alexander Valley, California $35-38 CSPC 734658 St Francis 2012 Old Vines Zinfandel Sonoma, California $27-30 CSPC 421974 Chayee Bourras 2011 Bonarda San Rafael Mendoza, Argentina $20-24 CSPC 764918
Sauvignon Blanc Alberta wine drinkers continue to lap up Sauvignon Blanc like a kitten with a bowl of milk, and we simply adore the crisp bright green flavours of the Kiwi style too. Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand dominates the category, demonstrated by this yearâ€™s number one, the classic Villa Maria Private Bin (one of the most affordable in the category as well). To expand your repertoire of Sauvignon Blanc - the most widely planted grape in the world after Chardonnay - do try bottlings from Niagara and the Okanagan valley, compelling and aromatic; fruitier styles from the US; excellent value wines from Chile; the mineral-driven Loire Valley examples, and white Bordeaux, where blending with Semillon and a bit of oak aging is de rigueur. Mary Bailey BEST IN CLASS
Villa Maria 2014 Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand $17-20 CSPC 342360
Sileni 2013 Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand $16-19 CSPC 723426 JUDGESâ€™ SELECTION Cloudy Bay 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand $31-35 CSPC 737024 Bench 1775 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $23-26 CSPC 652180 Greywacke 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand $27-30 CSPC 738965 Ned 2014 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand $17-18 CSPC 742653 J. Lohr 2013 Flume Crossing Sauvignon Blanc Arroyo Seco Monterey County, California $24-28 CSPC 767743
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ZAYA GRAN RESERVA RUM CSPC #710296
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Good news and bad news for the great Uisege Beatha. The bad news is that the number of entries was sadly unrepresentative of the vast range of amazing choices in the Alberta market. The good news is that a couple of them were outstanding. Scotch is tricky, as it is easy to mistake a fiery, robust whisky for 'harsh', while at the other extreme, a mellow, elegant charmer could be mistaken for 'simple' or 'light'. Knowing the difference, and your own mood, is the key. Matt Browman BEST IN CLASS
The Singleton of Dufftown 12 Year Old Scotland $60 CSPC 769355
Glengoyne 12 Year Old Highland, Scotland $68 CSPC 768532
Stronachie 18 Year Old Highland, Scotland $99 CSPC 743315
Glenfarclas 12 Year Old Highland, Scotland $68 CSPC 349670
Glenmorangie Lasanta 12 Year Old, Highland, Scotland $80 CSPC 770315 Oban Little Bay Small Cask Highland, Scotland $90 CSPC 770050 A.D. Rattray Cask Islay, Scotland $70 CSPC 750443
Brandy As a brown spirit, brandy and cognac have taken a step aside for the likes of bourbon and whiskey that are enjoying the spotlight right now. Like whiskey, these spirits have great complexity and also have the ability to provide distinctive cocktails. While Cognac and Armagnac are only produced in their relevant areas of France, Brandy is made all over the world. The Torres Pisco from Chile is a classic example of an unwooded grape spirit (that is still a brandy) that is great for blending in cocktails. Clear, with a strong alcohol profile and notes of sweet mineral, citrus fruit, roasted pears and ripe melon, Pisco is responsible for the classic Pisco Sour, a cocktail that originated in South America. Erika Tocco BEST IN CLASS
Torres Pisco Gobernador Chile $31-33 CSPC 844803
Nonino Gioiello Distillato di Miele di Castagno (Chestnut Honey Distillate) Italy $63 CSPC 759246 Delamain Pale & Dry XO Cognac Grande Champagne 1er Cru France $90-95 CSPC 107490 Torres Jaime 1 Brandy Spain $115-125 CSPC 743822
About three years ago, I was invited on a trip to Spain with a very successful and prominent importer from NYC. It was my first time there and it was so special - the wine, the people, and the food that it impacts the way I think about wine today. Spain is one of the most exciting wine regions in the world, and with such a diverse climate, innovative winemakers, great value and a huge amount of indigenous varietals, it’s easy to see why. When at your local wine shop or liquor store, Spanish wine always stands out as an incredible value at $15 a bottle or even $50 a bottle, and is always fun and exciting to taste. Perfect on a hot summer day, in your backyard with a bbq and friends, or in the heart of winter, hiding in your house and trying to keep warm. Leslie Echino JUDGES’ SELECTION
BEST IN CLASS (TIE)
Bodegas Borsao 2013 Tinto Seleccion Campo de Borja, Spain $ 16-19 CSPC 736019
Faustino V 2008 Reserva Rioja, Spain $26-30 CSPC 22798
Faustino I 2001 Gran Reserva Rioja, Spain $39-44 CSPC 517615
Bodegas Borsao 2011 Berola Campo de Borja, Spain $20-24 CSPC 75686
Gewürztraminer A small but sweet category, this grape is often overlooked due to its sometimes (too) off-dry expressions lacking substance. Gewürztraminer, although produced in a number of styles and regional expressions, does seem to be made in two main camps floral, mineral, expressive and quite dry, the second camp being tropical, and off-dry positively bursting with lychee and mandarin orange characters. Both styles have their fans. It was interesting and exciting to see the judges come back with two clear winners-both from Alsace at this year’s competition. Next year, I’d love to see a lot more of this fine grape so that we really can have a showdown. Tom Firth JUDGES’ SELECTION BEST IN CLASS Pierre Sparr 2013 Reserve Gewürztraminer Alsace, France $24-27 CSPC 373399
Kuhlmann-Platz 2013 Cuvee Prestige Gewürztraminer Alsace, France $18-21 CSPC 764132
Syrah was one of the most exciting flights of the competition, with lots of discussion amongst the judges about style and varietal character. Top wines showed beautiful notes of wild herb and lavender with savoury, expressive black plum/blackberry fruit. There seems to be a move from charred barrel and sweet/confected character in this category, which means these wines are more food-friendly and much more drinkable. It is becoming clearer every year that Okanagan Valley syrah is hitting its stride; the wines are gaining more complexity and are consistently achieving phenolic ripeness. Hopefully we will see an even greater focus on syrah from BC, rather than cabernet sauvignon, based on the strength of submissions this year. Jackie CookeÂ BEST IN CLASS
Moon Curser 2012 Syrah Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $30-34 CSPC 764950
Wakefield Estate 2013 Shiraz Clare Valley, Australia $20-24 CSPC 161935 JUDGESâ€™ SELECTION Road 13 2011 Jackpot Syrah Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $44-46 CSPC 741855 Gilga 2010 Syrah, Stellenbosch South Africa $22-26 CSPC 758332 Teusner 2012 The Riebke Shiraz Barossa Valley, Australia $27-30 CSPC 757000 Bartier Bros. 2012 Syrah Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $28-32 CSPC 511113 Yalumba 2010 The Guardian Shiraz Eden Valley, Australia $22-25 CSPC 524926 Black Hills Estate 2013 Syrah Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $29-33 CSPC 746272 Poplar Grove 2012 Syrah Okanagan Valley, British Columbia $47-52 CSPC 596668
The tequila category has taken its rightful place alongside that of single malt scotch, premium vodka, and cognac. There are many tequilas that are fine to mix in a margarita, but there are those meant to be sipped and savoured on their own. There are three main categories of tequila. Blanco sees no aging. Reposado spends between two and twelve months in oak barrels, and Añejo is aged between one and three years in small oak barrels. Full disclosure - I am a sucker for a good Añejo. At their best they can rival some fine cognacs. Whichever tequila you choose, always insist on 100% agave. Only sugar from the traditional agave plant goes into these tequilas. The tequila that came out on top was the Casamigo Blanco made by George Clooney and his buddies in Scottsdale, Arizona. For a Blanco it really delivers. You can certainly mix up a mean cocktail with it, but try the first sip by itself. A soft, smooth approach, with cucumber and jalapeño on the palate. Steve Goldsworthy JUDGES’ SELECTION
BEST IN CLASS
Tequila Clase Azul Reposado Mexico $120-$130 CSPC 755540
Casamigos Blanco Tequila Mexico $65-68 CSPC 765750
These four friends are The life of The parTy
Featuring two Signature Series favourites and two limited edition brews.
Big Rock Brewery
The Judges We are very proud of our judges, they bring their extensive expertise, valuable experience, and a certain enthusiasm to spend a few July days huddled in a windowless room judging flight after flight of wines, beers, and spirits. Some of the best and brightest in the trade, our judges are selected from some of the finest retail shops, restaurants, and beverage commentators in Alberta. We could not do it without them. Tom Firth
Tom Firth Competition Director
Alex Good Anew Table
Andrew Stewart Model Milk, Pigeonhole
Brad Royale Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts
Darren Fabian Alloy Restaurant and Candela
Dave Gingrich Willow Park Wines and Spirits
Dave Nuttall Beer School, Alberta Beer Festivals
Erika Tocco Vin Room
Jackie Cooke Avec Bistro
John Papavacilopoulos Oak and Vine Craft Beer, Wine & Spirits
Kirk Bodnar Beers Nâ€™ Such Consulting
Leslie Echino Blink
Mary Bailey The Tomato (Edmonton)
Matt Browman Highlander Wines and Spirits
Mike Roberts Co-op Wines Spirits Beer
Nathalie Gosselin Vine Styles
Steve Goldsworthy Britannia Wine Market
Open That Bottle
In Bordeaux she was hired temporarily by Seagrams, and lived at Chateau Magnol, until talking Peter Sichel into hiring her. He didn’t want to hire her, but said that if even one ounce of her passion would rub off on one of his five sons, it would be a good investment and they’re all in it today. Perry even worked their stand at VinExpo in 1987, but then Calgary called – the Olympics were coming and it was important for the couple to be based here.
“We were a family of eight, and I negotiated early in life to get out of doing dishes by cooking,” says Peggy Perry.
She worked with Janet Webb for a year to open a store, before returning to Mount Royal College to launch the cooperative education program. “It got me back into the educational environment, and more of a social conscience for giving back to the community, and that’s been a very big part of my role here at Willow (Park Wines & Spirits),” she says.
by LINDA GARSON photography by INGRID KUENZEL
Raised humbly in Prince Edward Island, Perry’s parents encouraged her love of wine and food as cooking was her passion, and she was also the family cook. But on graduating from UPEI in 1982 with a business degree in marketing and finance, her father, who had no formal education, asked her to reconsider being a cook – and she listened. As travel was also a passion, an education degree with a French major followed. First stop was Alberta, her new husband’s home, where he was a ski coach and she taught job search skills to high schools students, but after spending a year in Alsace while studying, Perry wanted to return to Europe. “It was exceptionally good advice that my dad gave me, as it forced me to really think and evaluate my own skill set and what my goals were,” Perry says. “And I figured out that I wanted to work in the wine business, but there was no wine business in 1984 in Canada, so back I went to Europe”. Her husband was hired as a coach by the national ski team, and Perry spent the year visiting wineries, and working harvests in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Champagne. 66
Perry spent a couple of years trying for her own liquor store, but was 8½ months pregnant the day she had her hearing! At home with her children, she spent a lucrative three years as consultant to the new wine boutiques, but watched the ALCB store that would become Willow Park Wines and Spirits, from the day it was built in ’87. She contacted them and was hired over the phone, saying that she could give them 14 hours a week - and here she is, VicePresident, Purchasing and Marketing. As Perry says, “It’s a lot easier than teaching French”. So what bottle is Perry saving for a special occasion?
“When I was working at Magnol, they discovered a bunker of wines that had been sealed up to prevent the Germans from accessing them in 1944, and I got to go through the bunker with the master tasters. I also helped organise the newly acquired wines from the ‘50s and ‘60s.” Perry explains, “So one day when we were sorting through a pile of wine, we came across d’Yquem "Y", and this one was in impeccable shape so they gave it to me when I left as it was my birth year.” And when is she planning to open the bottle? “I’ve always had the 1960 in my cellar,” says Perry, “and of course it’s the dry white wine. I love this wine - and this is what I’m going to drink on my 60th birthday!” Perry embraces the exciting challenges that each decade brings, so we think there’ll probably be a big celebration in July 2020!
A DISTINCTIVELY SMOOTH RYE
Calgary's freshest food and beverage magazine for dining out, dining in, wine beer, spirits and cocktails. The results of the 2015 Alberta B...