Cellar Door Wine a n d p o ss i b i l i t i e s b y Ba n v i l le & J o n e s W i n e Co.
Issue 31 October 2018 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; January 2019
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contents Features 24 Oak: Winemaking or Wine Makeup? Sylvia Jansen explores the role of oak in the art of winemaking.
40 Roll Out the Barrel: An interview with Franz Stockinger Andrea Eby speaks with premier Austrian master cooper Franz Stockinger about creating a niche market in the French-oakdominated barrel trade.
50 Perfect Pairings for Harvest With the help of some of our favourite local producers, we share our wine and food suggestions for a bountiful fall harvest dinner.
57 A Cellar Tour The Banville & Jones wine experts take you on a tour of the most memorable wine cellars in the world.
Cover photo by Casarsa Guru.
contents Columns 10 A Message from Tina Jones 12 Ask a Sommelier 16 Banville & Jones and Company
20 Gluggy Naked for the Holidays
32 Behind the Label McManis Family Vineyards
34 Garyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Corner The Taste of Oak
38 Trending Smells Like Funk
44 Profile Chef Timothy Palmer, VG at The Fairmont Winnipeg
46 Banville & Jones Wine & Food Events 66
48 Banville & Jones Christmas Baskets 64 Wine and Drinks College Manitoba 66 Sidebar A Tribute to the Other Oak: Cork
68 Culinary Partners 69 Shopping List 70 Top Picks
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In 1999, Tina Jones had the vision of opening Banville & Jones Wine Co., a fine wine boutique in Winnipeg, Manitoba that specializes in promoting wine education and lifestyle. It is located in a three-storey Tuscan-inspired facility that houses fine wine and accessories, an educational facility, and a private function room.
Banville & Jones Wine Co. 1616 St Mary’s Rd. Winnipeg, MB R2M 3W7 204-948-9463 Any amount that is allocated to a Any segregated amountfund that is invested allocatedattothe a segregated risk of the fund contractholder is investedand at the mayrisk increase of the contractholder and may increase www.banvilleandjones.com
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a message from tina jones TINA’S FAVES Moone-Tsai: I love the special wines of Moone-Tsai! Beautiful Napa fruit, with nuanced oak, the reds (Howell Mountain blend and Cabernet Sauvignon) show gorgeous texture and terrific food pairing potential. Their Chardonnay is a silky, wonderfully complex white where the oak treatment gives it structure and style. Hindsight: More of my Napa faves! The Cabernet Sauvignon, 20/20 blend, and Chardonnay all have loads of character, with the oak supporting the great fruit. Tolaini: I love that my family winery takes Old World varieties like Sangiovese and weaves them into such beautiful, modern wines. Both the single-vineyard Chianti Classico Gran Selezione and the Vallenuova Chianti Classico show the depth and complexity of using judicious oak ageing with the highest-quality fruit. Ventisquero Grey: This Chilean series shows the potential of the country and especially its darling Carménère. This is a terrific singlevineyard wine (aged in French oak) that I love with peppercorn steak!
Anyone who has visited a winery can almost always attest to viewing oak barrels or vats. But when we are asked to put our noses into wine, we can have a difficult time detecting which wines sat on the inside of those oak containers and which wines never saw that barrel room or oak vat. I can say I love oak when its presence is just a subtle element in the elegance and finish of a delicious wine. But oak that dominates the aroma seems so aggressive, hiding the wine’s character. I have thought that this preference is part of my “Old World” palate but if you read on, it is not so straightforward. Once again, our wine experts dive deeply into a technical subject and come up with a good story to tell. We have continued our tradition of seeking out the best experts in the world for our interview. Andrea Eby interviews Franz Stockinger, one of the world’s great artisanal coopers. In our feature article, Sylvia Jansen explores just how (and how many ways) oak is used in winemaking; Gary Hewitt helps us understand the many signatures of oak aromas; and Rob Stansel offers up a fresh look at a not-so-fresh side effect of oak-ageing. We round out the issue with a tour of some fabulous cellars, a harvest dinner with our local farmer friends at Hearts & Roots, a tribute to cork, and more. Welcome to our exploration of a winemaking tool that seems to have as many expressions as there are winemakers in the world. We hope to connect the dots between the barrel room and the glass in your hand! Enjoy!
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ask a sommelier Do you have any tips for opening a bottle of wine when there is no corkscrew to be found? —Sheryl Tittlemeyer Dear Sheryl, First: don’t panic! Then, remove the foil from the top of the bottle. Once that is off, there are a few different ways to put your MacGyver skills to the test.
Another common solution is to place the bottom of the wine bottle in the heel of a shoe (one with a soft heel works best). Holding on to the bottle and the shoe, bang the shoe heel gently against the wall until the cork starts to pop out. This method takes a bit more time and some finesse!
more of these characteristically Champagne-like flavours.
What should I look for when selecting a bottle of champagne? Should I select by region? —Lisa Lausch Dear Lisa,
My favourite way (and the easiest) is to reverse the cork—simply push it back in the bottle using a sturdy utensil with a blunt end: a wooden spoon or stick, a pen or marker, a screw driver, or even your toothbrush handle. Put the bottle on a sturdy surface and push the blunt end of the utensil against the exposed cork. Cover your hand and the utensil with a cloth in case the wine spurts out. You can also use little things around the house! For example, a plant screw hook works great! Screw it into the cork, then hook your finger around the hook and pull—the cork should come right out. You can also (carefully!) push the tip of a dull pairing knife or a strong key (one you don’t mind bending) into the cork about a quarter of an inch. Turn it slowly to release the cork and pull up as you turn. (Be very careful of the knife blade if you use this method.) If you have tools but no corkscrew, then find your inner Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor and use your drill! Drill into the cork and then hit reverse while gently pulling out!
While you CAN select a bottle of Champagne based on its region of origin, it may not be the easiest or most effective method. By their very nature, many Champagnes are a blend of wines from different regions within the Champagne appellation. It may, in fact, be easier to base your selection on the style of the wine that you most enjoy before considering individual terroirs. Champagne labels are full of information that can help you choose the right wine for you. Sweetness: Fans of dry wines should look for the words Brut Nature or Brut. If you like a touch of sweetness, watch for the terms Demi-Sec or Doux. Flavours: Labels sporting the term Blanc de Blancs, made from white grapes, will typically feature citrus, apple, and mineral flavours. Blanc de Noirs, made from black grapes, tend to be slightly fuller bodied and will feature strawberry and raspberry. Rosé Champagnes tend to be the fullest bodied and fruitiest. Ageing: Wines labelled Non-Vintage generally see the shortest ageing period and will have less of the toasty, bready, pastry flavours that some people love and some people hate. If you love yeasty flavours, look for bottles that specify a vintage on the label. These wines will have been aged on their lees for a minimum of 36 months and will have developed
—Andrea Eby I am hosting a dinner party and want to serve natural wines. Do you have some food-friendly suggestions?
Dear Ehren, Nichol Pinot Gris ($24.99) is awesome, and the 2017 is even better than the 2016. It is, as the natural gurus say, “very energetic,” with loads of fruit— not funky, just fresh and delicious, though the bottles might need a bit of air (the ones I have opened had some sulphury/reductive aromas that dissipated within a few minutes). The bright acidity will really cut through fat and cream. Their Syrah ($39.99) is always good, too, showing lots of granitic, peppery, meaty qualities wrapped in a core of black fruits. From Italy, we have the Pacina La Cerretina Bianco ($39.99). This is more classically “orange” in the sense of having noticeable tannin and grip from the extended skin contact, which makes it fun to pair with food, and more pairable to meat particularly. It’s funkier, cidery almost (like bruised apples), but with lots going on, texture and flavour-wise, including an almost fino sherry-like salinity. Also not to be missed is Le Boncie’s Cinque ($32.99), a very pretty, lively little blend from a vineyard just minutes from the Tolaini Estate in Tuscany. A compelling, bright wine showing that signature dusty cherry fruit that good Sangiovese always lures you in with. A nice bit of fresh pecorino is all you really need. —Rob Stansel
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The Cellar Door 10th Anniversary Advertisers’ Event: 1. The magazine’s founders, Lisa Muirhead, Tina Jones, Megan Kozminski; 2. Glenda Bruyere, Tim Palmer, Alison Dove; 3. Sylvia Jansen, Minna Goulet, Sharyl Eaglesham; 4. Patricia Veert with Patricia and Tim Dumore; 5. Riley Chervinson, Zac Chizda, Cassie Hamilton; 6. Kerri Irvin-Ross, Tina Jones, Doug Stephen, Lisa Muirhead; 7. Tina Jones with Wayne and Gisele Sage; 8. Banville & Jones welcomes the world’s top sommelier Véronqiue Rivest, with Rick Watkins, Jill Kwiatkoski, Rebecca Lechman, Todd Antonation, Alex Allardyce, Kristin Froese.
Banviile & Jones Summer Tasting Event: 9. The team from Joey Kenaston; 10. Mark and Jodi Candaele; 11. Michael Stans, Stephanie Willette, Toni Hudson, Tessa Tang; 12. Petra and Karl Dornetshuber with Tina Jones and Mike Muirhead; 13. Kendell Joiner and Thomas Stuart; 14 Dawn Neufeld and Vicky Wiens; 15. Donna Friesen and Jen Zoratti.
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Naked for the Holidays By Andrea Eby, DipWSET, CMS, Sommelier Naked, virgin, unwooded. X-rated movie descriptors? No. In fact, in this age of wardrobe malfunctions and ludicrous politicians, it seems that even wine labels have needed to up their shock value. All of these seemingly suggestive terms are really saying one simple, not-sorisqué thing: that the wine inside the bottle has not been subjected to oak. No barrels, no chips, no flavour enhancers, no powders, no oak. Why do marketers make such an effort to let consumers know that their wine is unoaked? Well, it seems that many people hate oak. Perhaps it is a hangover from the late 1980s and early 90s when Cali Chard ruled the universe and bullied us into submission with its overpowering flavours of toast and vanilla? Or, maybe it is because many people think they should hate oak? Either way, the prejudice against oak isn’t going away anytime soon. Personally, I am an equal opportunity drinker. I drink oaked wines, unoaked wines, and oaked wines that taste like they are unoaked—really, I’ll try anything. Despite my personal philosophy of acceptance, I will profess a preference for wines that are not dominated by the taste of wood. Many of the world’s best wines have spent some time mellowing and developing in oak barrels, but what often makes them great is that you can rarely taste the flavours of this time in oak. However, if the very notion of oak makes you cringe, do not despair: there are more than enough unoaked wines in the world to make even the pickiest barrel basher happy. A side benefit of loving unoaked wines is that they can often be less expensive than their oak-aged counterparts. And while terms such as unoaked and naked may be found on some labels, many wines will not sport such clues. If you are looking to explore the budget-friendly world of wines without oak, here are some to try.
Bianco Sans Barrique It is common for many white wines to have seen no oak influence in their élevage, because many white wines are crafted for immediate consumption. Wines made to be drunk young have no need of lengthy aging in expensive wooden barrels and are often prized for their pure fruit expressions. Claude Val 2016 Blanc IGP Pays d’Oc, France $12.99 (750 ml), $7.99 (375ml)
This crisp, refreshing unoaked white blend remains a perennial store favourite. Full of apple, citrus, tropical fruit and floral notes, this quaffable little wine punches way above its price point. Perfect for your next party, this wine is sure to please a crowd without bruising the budget. McGuigan 2016 Bin 9000 Semillon New South Wales, Australia $16.99
Semillon is a true chameleon. In its youth the variety can create fresh, focused, and fruit-forward wines that sport zippy acidity and flavours of lemon grass and citrus. However, tuck that same fresh and fruity wine away in a cool, dark corner and, with a few years, the wine will develop flavours of toast and honey. Reassi 2016 Terre d’Argilla Manzoni Bianco $22.99
This wine is worth the splurge. Manzoni Bianco is a cross between two prestigious grape varieties, Riesling and Chardonnay, and possesses the best of each of their characteristics: apple, pear, mineral, yellow plum, pineapple, and alpine flowers are supported by a palate with weight and persistence.
Rebellious Reds Traditionally, many red wines have been aged in oak barrels to take advantage of the oxidative effects of the wood. The slow exchange of oxygen that occurs through the pores of the wood can lead to softer, gentler wines with more complex flavours on the palate. However, if a red is made from less tannic grape varieties and winemakers are careful not to extract harsh tannins, some reds can also be made in the fresh, fruity, unoaked style.
Quadri 2016 Pinot Noir delle Venezie, Italy $13.99
Lighter in body and intensity, Pinot Noir is often the perfect introduction to the world of red wines. This Italian version is aged in stainless steel and is brimming with notes of cherry, plum, and liquorice.
Domaine de la Treille 2016 Anjou Rouge Loire Valley, France $14.99
Gorrebusto 2016 Tempranillo Rioja, Spain $13.99
Franceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Loire Valley is a treasure trove of unoaked whites and reds if one knows where to look. This 100% Cabernet Franc sports ripe raspberry and cherry flavours with hints of tobacco, blackcurrant leaf, and chocolate. Light on structure but not on flavour.
Historically, the Tempranillo grape has shared a deep affinity with oak. However, Tempranillo is also well equipped to make fruit-forward, quaffable, unoaked examples. Crunchy red and black fruit flavours remind one of biting into a fresh purple plum. ď&#x201A;&#x2014;
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WINEMAKING OR WINE MAKEUP?
By Sylvia Jansen, DipWSET, CSW, Sommelier 24 http://banvilleandjones.cornervine.com
Sometimes when we smell the aromas of a glass of wine, we think, oak. But sometimes it might be more subtle: the delicious smoothness of a fine young red or a mellow and elegant white. A great sparkling wine with nuanced complexity could be the result of ageing the base wine in casks.
Why oak? Oak is a hardwood that is supple enough to bend, but once coaxed into its shape, the grain is tight enough to be waterproof (no glue required), but not airtight (a benefit). It is also durable: an oak vessel can be used many times and for many years. Oak has been used in the wine industry for centuries, but for most of this time it has functioned mainly as a storage and shipping device. Ancient traders used clay amphorae and occasionally barrels made of palm. When the Romans took their wine culture north (land of oak forests), the use of oak casks came into play. Other woods such as chestnut, acacia, cypress, and pine have also been used, but oak is considered to have the best combination of character, availability, and strength for winemaking. Oak as a flavouring agent is a relatively recent trend. Fermenting or ageing a wine in a new oak barrel can impart its flavours and tannins to wine. Winemakers can also decide whether the wine goes into oak or whether oak goes into the wine. There are almost as many influences of oak in winemaking as there are winemakers in the world.
Toasting the barrel seals the seams and creates the distinct flavour of oaked wines.
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Oak Barrels: Big or Small? New or Old?
GLOSSARY Barrel: a vessel for fermentation, ageing, or (historically) transport. Chips: small pieces of oak, as small as almonds or as large as a fist, placed in a tank as a barrel alternative. Winemakers can purchase particular toast levels. Stave: A single plank, bent and shaped with others in a barrel or vat, or placed in a tank as a barrel alternative. Winemakers can purchase particular toast levels. Toast: the level of toast (light, medium, or dark) that the inside of an oak vessel receives, usually by an open flame, to seal the seams and flavour the wood
In traditional use, the wine or fermenting juice goes into an oak vessel, allowing for a subtle interchange with air and lending complexity, better structure, and mellowness to both reds and whites. The oak can also lend its own aromas and character to wine. There is a huge variance in oak influence, but generally speaking, the newer and smaller the vessel, the greater the influence from the vessel; older or larger vessels are more neutral. During ageing (sometimes several years), oak can lend a mellow, smooth mouthfeel and complexity to a wine. Many producers use a combination of new and used barrels for a broad range of influences. The character of wine that has undergone oak ageing is difficult to achieve through any other method. Cost is a factor, however, because oak barrels are expensive. A new Bordeaux barrique of 225L, for only 300 bottles of wine, costs between $1,200 and $2,000 CAD. Ongoing cleaning and maintenance of barrels also add to long-term costs.
Wine barrels come in a variety of standard and custom sizes.
Would You Like Chips With That? As an alternative, the oak can go into the wine: staves can be secured inside a stainless steel fermentation tank, or oak chips can be inserted into fermenting wine. The intent is to bring oak character to the finished wine without the expense (and arguably without the subtle influences) of the barrel. These alternatives are available at a fraction of the cost of barrels but are not generally publicized. When a modestly priced wine offers tasting notes that include “a touch of oak” or “oak influence,” it is likely that staves or chips were involved.
The Influencer There are hundreds of species of oak, but two European and one American species are the most important; most barrels in use today are either European or American. European oak barrels are generally considered superior because they show less obvious flavours and more subtlety. Henrik Poulsen, who is director of winemaking at Acumen in Napa Valley, a producer of polished,
expressive Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style blends, uses a mix of old and new French barrels. “This vintage will see barrels from 10 different coopers, 13 woods/forests, in 3 to 4 toast levels, and 3 stave thicknesses. These are closely matched to our five grape varieties from three Napa viticultural areas and different ages of vines.” Poulsen’s aim is to gain the micro-oxygenation benefits of air exchange and the structural contribution of the oak, rather than simply for the taste of oak. Jay Drysdale, the driving force behind Okanagan’s sparkling wine leader Bella Wines, uses barrels to ferment and store some of his base wines, purposely sourcing older barrels that have been well maintained. “As a small winery, older barrels are the perfect size for doing some of our natural fermentations. It gives some oxidation without hiding fruit behind oak.” Ultimately, as these winemakers suggest, oak in winemaking is not simply a question of whether or not to use it. It is a series of questions, careful thinking, solid financial investment, beautiful fruit, and the artistry to bring it all into balance.
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OAK OR NO OAK? A few examples Acumen Red Blend (Napa Valley): 18 months in (only) French oak, 72% of which is new. This is a blend that shows its barrel ageing in notes of mocha and cigar box, with bracing but smooth tannins. Bernard Defaix Chablis and Côte de Lechet 1er Cru (Burgundy): Old oak fermentation and ageing, no new oak barrels. Here the oak shows itself in a complex, rounder mouthfeel rather than oaky aromas and flavours. Bella Wines (British Columbia): French oak barrels only, 3–10 years old used for fermentation and ageing of pét-nat style sparkling wines. True to the use of old, neutral barrels, these wines do not show oak character. Tawse Wines (Ontario): Winemaker Paul Pender uses French barriques, with an emphasis on older oak: “Oak should play a supporting role, not a dominant one.” The Cabernet Franc Laundry Vineyard shows its 18 months of ageing in barrels in aromas of toasted coconut and vanilla; the Sketches Riesling and sparkling Spark see no oak in fermentation or ageing, to retain the freshness of the fruit character. Oak influence in other wines? Ask your friendly neighbourhood Sommeliers and wine experts at Banville & Jones!
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McManis Family Vineyards By Mike Muirhead, CMS, Sommelier For five generations, the McManis family has been farming in the San Joaquin Valley. In 1938, they started growing grapes and sold their crop to other wineries around California. It is the fourth generation—Ron and Jamie McManis—who has put McManis Family Vineyards on the map, creating premium California wine with a reasonable price tag. Located just outside of Ripon, California, about 130 km inland from San Francisco, McManis Family Vineyards is in a prime location for growing quality grapes, where summers are long and the weather is as ideal as it comes. American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) are the United States’ version of a French appellation (like Bordeaux or Champagne). Each region has geographical characteristics that make it unique from other regions (for example, Napa and Sonoma, although close geographically, are quite different in what they grow and produce). McManis has farms in both the Lodi AVA and their home appellation of River Junction—an AVA that they successfully petitioned to have created in 2001 due to its unique cooler climate and loamy soil. McManis is not a small operation, but it is a family one. Working with over 2,600 acres of vines, they produce 11 different varietal wines and one premium blend. Banville & Jones carries their Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Viognier, Chardonnay (all $22.99), and Pinot Noir ($23.99). They are committed to sustainable agriculture and have been awarded the Lodi Rules for Sustainable Wine Growing. Lodi Rules promote practices that enhance biodiversity, soil and water health, and community and employee well-being. “We feel that the Lodi Rules Program best reflects our standard of farming practices resulting in a higher quality of wine,” explains Ron McManis. “There is also great emphasis on protecting the environment, our workers and the community that we live in. It is very rewarding for our family to know that our efforts in sustainability help us to produce a quality wine for our consumers to enjoy.” 32 http://banvilleandjones.cornervine.com
McManis Family Vineyards is nurturing the next generation, with both of Ron and Jamie’s kids, Justin and Tanya, working with the family business. They plan to continue the work of their parents, growing the company while maintaining the “family” feel in the winery and the vineyards. McManis is our #1 selling Cabernet in the store—it is rich, full, and is a great value for such a high-quality wine. These characteristics are nourished by people who care about what they do, a quality the McManis family has in spades.
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The Taste of Oak By Gary Hewitt, DipWSET, CWE, FWS, Sommelier “I taste oak.” “What makes you think that you taste oak?” “Oh, I don’t know, let me see…” This is a common exchange between a wine studies student and teacher. The question is asked because oak is a complex flavour. It arises from inherent oak flavours, from toasting oak, from interaction of yeast and bacteria with oak extractives, and is further modified by bottle ageing. It depends on oak species, growing climate, stave seasoning, toast level, and more. Yet, signature flavours reveal the use of oak in winemaking. Students are asked to recognize the signature flavours and then deduce the use of oak. Here is a cheat sheet of signature flavours: vanilla, cloves, nutmeg, coconut, cedar, sawn wood, roasted almonds, toast, coffee, caramel, burnt sugar, smoke, and chocolate. There are others—more than 200 compounds have been attributed to oak flavours in wine—but this list is a good primer. For the most part, it is easy to see which traits are born in the toasting process (hint: the roasted and toasted ones!) and, by elimination, which ones come from raw oak. It is the level of toast—light, medium, or high—that extends the range of pyrogenic flavours from heightened spiciness to toast, coffee, and char. The most common types of oak used for winemaking are French and American. These are handy monikers for the underlying difference in the oak species prevalent in each country. As a tasting detective, look for the more obvious vanilla and coconut traits of American oak and the discrete but heightened spiciness of French oak. Traditional Spanish producers love the impact of American oak on Garnacha and Tempranillo, as do Californian producers of Zinfandel. Pinot Noir and the red Bordeaux varieties have greater affinity for French oak—no surprise here!
The actual extraction of oak flavours during fermentation and aging involves water and alcohol, two solvents with distinctly different properties. If live yeast and bacteria are present, extracted compounds can be metabolized into new compounds with smells as intriguing as smoked meat and leather. Most of these compounds enhance the complexity of wine. But a rogue yeast called Brettanomyces (“brett” for short) can infect casks and barrels, and therefore wines, to create a new spectrum of aromas and flavours, including barnyard, burnt plastic, sweaty horse, freshly opened Band-Aids, and wet dog. Yum. Some tasters like the taste of brett at low levels (see Rob Stansel’s take on page 38), but others have zero tolerance for these challenging flavours. Once you recognize oak in wine, use your knowledge in the kitchen. Oak flavours build beautiful bridges to wellconceived food. Link the spicy clove notes of French oakaged Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, or Zinfandel to mildly spiced dishes such as tajines or dishes containing vanilla, basil, or rosemary. Pair an American oak-aged Chardonnay with coconut rice or mild Thai foods. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, or coffee to meat dishes to pair with oaky Cabernets. Open several wines to match the smoky grilled flavours of smoked, roasted, and barbequed foods. And for dessert, consider a Sauternes raised in 100% new oak with a classic crème caramel. Or on a whim, add a little vanilla, clove, cinnamon, coconut, toasted nuts, or maple syrup to the food to build a bridge between the wine you have opened and the dish you are making. “Oak is the most important flavour added to wine,” says world-champion Sommelier Gérard Basset. In fact, oak is so integrated into wine flavour that we consider it a natural extension of wine complexity. But it can be overdone. Historically, little attention was paid to oak flavours; in fact, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Champagne producers actively avoided oak flavours. Then influential critics, enamoured with the exotic tastes of fine oak, pushed the market to extremes, including wines aged in 200% new oak (aged in new barrels and transferred to new barrels to age further!), sometimes obliterating varietal and regional character. Not long ago, heavily oaked Chardonnay was so ubiquitous that consumers thought oak flavours were intrinsic to Chardonnay (remember Wolf Blass Yellow Label from the ’80s?). Thankfully, the pendulum is swinging back. Today, trending winemakers use oak judiciously to complement rather than overshadow regionality and varietal character. This promising trend excites those of us who love vibrant grape flavours accented by beautiful oak.
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Smells Like Funk By Rob Stansel, Sommelier (CAPS)
This is a story about a guy named Brett. Like me, Brett liked to hang out in cellars. Back in the day, no one even knew he was there. He’d just sneak in and eat sugar and sleep it off inside a barrel and do it all again the next day. The problem was, Brett was kind of smelly. In the middle ages, no one cared. But then modernity happened. Hygiene. The chemists found him. He wouldn’t leave. He loved sugar, and he didn’t want to shower. A programmatic barrel-destroying, Brett-banishing ensued. The cellars were scrubbed clean, and our smelly little friend was driven from the land of modernity, where sweet fruit and toasty new oak entered into a glorious matrimony, Brett-free at last. Brettanomyces (shortened to brett) literally means “the British fungus,” so-named because it was first isolated by chemists in the early 20th century who were trying to discover why English stock ales—which were often kept in large wooden barrels—were spoiling. For a long time, these early discoveries led us to reason that brett, a yeast often found on grapes, was somehow the progeny of the barrels themselves—a yeast perhaps native to the oak tree, and therefore particularly happy when living between the staves of a barrel. Brett proved hard to eradicate, but filtration and heavy doses of sulfur dioxide seemed to do the trick. In most beer and wine, brett is undesirable, producing aromas and flavours that recall a barnyard, or even just the thing you stepped in on the way into the barn. But there are exceptions. The lambic ales of Belgium are full of brett. American brewers fell in love; now, this little organism, once the scourge of wineries, is the beer world’s new darling. Indeed, comparing the entries for Brettanomyces in both the Oxford Companion to Wine and the Oxford Companion to Beer is telling. Wine, though noting that at low levels
brett can certainly produce myriad, complexity-enhancing flavours in red wines, strikes a generally cautious tone: it warns of “infections” and “high-risk wines” and suggests ways to “monitor and reduce the populations” of it in the winery. Brett is the unwanted guest; the guy that wasn’t invited to the party; the close talker with bad breath. Beer calls it “new paint on an ever-broader canvas.” Brett is the life of the party; the story-telling cool guy; the drake. Indeed, the entry in Beer was written by Chad Yakobson, a brewer who not only wrote a master’s thesis about brett, but runs a brewery in Colorado called Crooked Stave, devoted entirely to brett-fermented ales. Winemakers of the modern variety, with their anti-brett sanitation regimen, would do best to stay out of Chad’s cellar. Happily for Brett, the winemakers aren’t all moderns anymore. A little filth, a little funk? No problem, say the proponents of natural wines, many of whom who embrace the presence of brett in their wines and accept it as part of terroir, espousing the philosophy that if it lives on the grape skins in the vineyard, why kill it in the winery? Even the scientists are changing their tune. The Viticulture and Enology faculty at UC Davis, once the arch-nemesis of all things funky, have delved deeper, identifying the desirable, friendly flavour compounds that brett can produce. They’ve even created a “flavour wheel” for brett—like that fun little rainbow-coloured graphic you’ve seen in all the wine books. Rancid meat might not sound appealing, but coffee and violets and tobacco do. And yes, these flavours, commonly attributed to wine generally as part of our beloved drink’s magical aura, are being isolated as yeast-derived and therefore—sorry, rock lovers—not so much about soil. So is there any connection between brett’s rise to prominence in the craft beer world and its re-evaluation within that of wine? Absolutely. At all the hip bottle shops and restaurants, where the lines between beverage categories are blurring—indeed, where the term “beverage categories” would be met with suspicion and disdain— the talk of the town is all about that funk. In fact, sour beers and pet-nats can be remarkably similar, flavour-wise, and brett is part of the reason why. The result is a shifting discourse, a change in tone, in the way we taste. It’s not so much “Ewww, that smells like a barn” as it is “Dude, this smells like a barn!” Brett is back, and he’s unabashedly smellier than ever.
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ROLL OUT THE BARREL:
an interview with Franz Stockinger Interview by Andera Eby, DipWSET, CMS, Sommelier
Franz Stockinger (r) with son and fellow master cooper Mathias
The coolest thing about Franz Stockinger is that he doesn’t know just how cool he is. Winemakers around the world are lining up to get their hands on a barrel made by the celebrated Austrian cooper, who works with his wife and sons, master cooper Mathias and Martin, who is learning the family business (and joined us in our interview). Located between Salzburg and Vienna, the Stockinger cooperage can trace its roots back over 300 years. The Stockingers are in the envious position of being able to choose clients based on the compatibility of their philosophies and cannot make enough barrels to satisfy demand. Renowned for their beautiful craftsmanship, a Stockinger barrel is truly a work of art.
Andrea Eby (AE) How did you find yourself working in the cooperage business? Franz Stockinger (FS) My grandfather was a carpenter. My father learned from him and became a barrel maker. My father learned that profession in this cooperage, and I learned by my father.
we have only -5 or -7°C, and this is good, but not nearly as good as -15°C. AE You source most of your oak from Austria and Germany and some from Hungary and Romania. What is it about the oak from these countries that you prefer over French oak? FS I had a very interesting meeting, a long time ago when I was very young. I met Giacomo Tachis from Antinori in Tuscany. He showed me an old book that he found in an antique market in Paris from the beginning of the 1900s. The book was written by a French cooper with a lot of experience with the different oaks from Europe, and he ranked the various oaks. The French oak was ranked number five; Austrian oak was number two; another oak from Russia was number one. Before this, I really only knew about French oak.
I realized that, as a very small producer, we must look to find the gap in the market. French oak barrels were made by nearly all of the coopers of the world, so we AE Do you have a lot of people asking to work with began to search for something you now, to learn the trade? special that would differentiate us. We began looking in Austria, FS No, this is a very big problem For us, it is a bad barrel if Transylvania, Germany, and we across Europe, and maybe in all you taste not the grape, but saw that these oaks were not the of the world. For business that same as French oak. The French depends on craftsmen, it is very, the flavours from the wood. oak is an excellent oak, but it’s very difficult to find people that not the finest oak, and we have have the passion for this work. seen that mixing from different sources of oak is sometimes more interesting. AE You have been quoted as saying, “One is allowed to be picky. One has to love wood in order to spot the You see this in the wine world: a lot of the wines best pieces.” What do you look for in a tree to make are blends of different varieties of grapes, especially an outstanding barrel? in Bordeaux, and we have the same idea—that our barrels are also a blend. The largest portion of the FS I am looking for vitality from the tree. I’m looking wood often comes from Austria, but the barrels are for the structure, because this is similar to wine. nearly always a blend of woods from different places. You’ll find some terroirs that are perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon, and you can find other terroirs that are not We live in a region with mountains, and we have a good for it. We now know the right places in Europe very good air quality—and I think the effect on the to find the right oak for our barrels, and one of the wood is very important. It’s not that it’s French oak or important things is the vitality. Austrian oak. It really comes down to the air quality during the drying process. First of all, the wood has to be healthy. When you cut the trees is also very important—this must be in the AE Speaking about drying the wood, how do you winter. The best time is the when the moon is waning. It season the wood at Stockinger? is also very positive to have freezing cold temperatures in the winter because the tree stops transporting water Martin Stockinger (MS) We put them on racks near our and closes itself off, and that is the highest quality you production facility, just outside so they are exposed to can have. Today, it’s very difficult. When I was young, the elements. They get rain and everything on them, every year we often had -10 or -15°C. Now, sometimes
and this washes the tannins out. The duration of the drying really also depends on the size of the staves. For a barrique, you would say two to three years, and then depending on the size of staves it could be much longer. We have staves that are 10 years old, being dried for bigger barrels.
Bordeaux or from Canada. It is not a question of the barrel, it is a question of the person who makes the wine. Our barrel can be helpful for a person if they have nearly the same philosophy as we have about wine.
AE That is quite an investment in quality! Do you toast your barrels at all?
AE We’ve seen producers start using what we call oak alternatives, such as staves, chips, and powders to mimic oak flavours in an inexpensive way. Why use a barrel over these less expensive oak alternatives?
FS Yes, there are two very important things regarding this. If it’s a bad toast, then you can destroy a good piece of wood. We like to drink very good wine, and so we make the toasting so that it makes the style of wine we like to drink! And we do this through a very light, very long toasting. It is a much longer, gentler process. From our barrels you taste the variety of the grapes, the fruit from the grapes, and the aromatics from the earth. For us, it is a bad barrel if you cannot taste the grape, but only the flavours from the wood.
FS I’m not a doctor, but the feeling in my belly is the difference is that if you take chips, then you have all the chips with all the ingredients from the oak in the middle of the barrel, or the tank. Then the wine washes out all the things found in these chips. For me, the barrel works more with filtration, where aromatics from the wood develop slowly as the barrels allow a very slow exchange of oxygen.
AE Is there a certain type of wine that you feel works best in your barrels? FS No. I think it’s a question of the philosophy of the wine producer. It’s not important if the wine is from
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I think you can make a good wine with chips if it is not intended for ageing. I had one experience in Bordeaux when I tasted a fantastic white wine. When the winemaker told me that it had been made with chips, I thought, “Okay so we can forget about making barrels. There is no point if chips can do this.”
However, I bought six bottles of that wine from him. We opened a bottle after a half-year and another after one year, and the wine went downhill very quickly. I think for stabilization purposes that, if you want to make a great wine, a high-quality wine, you cannot make it with chips. You need a barrel.
world, and taste the wine from our barrels with the wine producer. We don’t taste the barrel, we taste the wine. This is our philosophy.
AE I’ve read that some producers don’t even like to tell people they use Stockinger barrels—they prefer to keep it as their secret weapon, because your barrels are the special thing that sets their wine apart. That must be a very nice compliment.
MS In comparison to the large producers in France, we are a small company, but we have managed to become a niche leader, and that niche is always quality. The main challenge is that we are growing, but we have to keep the quality up. It’s not important to make more, less. We think that quality will always be our legitimacy to exist, and so our main focus is quality. That’s the challenge, and that’s the opportunity.
FS Yes, I think this is crazy but true! AE Was it difficult to break into the French market considering you weren’t using French oak? FS One of my ideas was always, to be a good barrel maker, you must have clients in France, because France is the country for wine in barrels. We are happy that we have now a lot of friends and clients in France, but I am happy about all my clients. We are now in the French market, but it’s a pleasure to go to clients all over Europe and maybe, in the future, all over the
AE What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for the next generation of Stockinger coopers?
AE Have you ever thought of making wine? FS Yes, but we have a hard job, and I have seen that making wine is a very hard job—and one hard job is enough! I prefer to drink very good wine with friends. This is, for me, a luxury, the enjoyment. It’s better that I can drink this wine and not have to think about how I had to work very hard for it.
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Chef Timothy Palmer, VG at the Fairmont Winnipeg Chef Timothy Palmer grew up in the south end of Winnipeg and was first introduced to the industry in a spot that will be familiar to any late-night after-bar diner in the 1990s: the 24-hour Perkins on Pembina. At 19, like many adventurous Prairie teens, he went West and landed work at the Fairmont in Jasper. Chef got his Red Seal through the Fairmont Apprenticeship Program, and from there, travelled to warmer locales, cooking in Australia and Bermuda. With their first child on the way, Tim and his wife moved back to Canada and brought their growing family home to Winnipeg. What makes Winnipeg unique? Winnipeg has a really under-recognized food scene. There is a lot of amazing talent in this city, but they are all very humble as well. Everyone is willing to get together and collaborate and share their knowledge and craft. The secret ingredient in your kitchen? The secret ingredient in our kitchen is the diversity of our team members. We have a well-balanced and well-travelled culinary team, from myself, to our restaurant chef, to our banquet chef. Joel Rumarate is from the Philippines via The Fairmont Dubai; Daniel Davyduke was on Culinary Team Canada and was previously in Vietnam; Jeet Bhati is Indian via Vancouver at the Boathouse; and Richard Duncan is a true-blue Prairie boy. Favourite wine? Cave Spring Gamay ($23.99) Guilty pleasure? I truly enjoy Big Macs. Favourite kitchen gadget? It’s a toss-up between my Anova sous vide cooker and my manual pasta machine. That’s fun because I can get my son in there and have fun making pasta and ravioli together. Favourite cookbook? I really love the Thomas Keller classics from when I was coming up. One I use a lot is Ad Hoc at Home, which has a lot of usable recipes, like different brines, great buttermilk chicken, pickles, local pantry-type foods that are the wholesome, Prairie kitchen flavours we are in tune with. 44 http://banvilleandjones.cornervine.com
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Favourite food destination? Every place is amazing and unique. We just went out east to New Waterford, Nova Scotia, during lobster season. We ate fresh lobster on sweet bread rolls on the ocean. That was amazing! And this summer, we harvested fresh chantrelles out in Kenora. But honestly, as a food destination, I love Winnipeg. There is everything here from cultural foods to high-end to great little hidden spots. I love going out with my son. He really fuels my passion for food because he truly enjoys eating and experiencing: we will go out for sushi together; we forage mushrooms together; he helps me garden; he helped me install the bees [on the roof of The Fairmont]. He’s open to anything. The most interesting current food trend? Artisan—sourcing as much as we possibly can locally. Ultimately, I am interested in it not as a trend, but a way of life. Building relationships and working directly with local farmers, producers, foragers, and the Bee Project [The Fairmont was one of the first urban apiaries to work with the local bee keepers] is something we really love to do. I am proud of Winnipeg and Manitoba, and I think it’s an opportunity to really showcase what we have available to us.
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WINE & FOOD
EVENTS SCHEDULE OCTOBER 2018 THROUGH JANUARY 2019
Wine & Food Evening
Top Shelf Tasting
Join us for our wine and food pairing series! Our talented Sommeliers work with Winnipeg’s most talented chefs to create the ultimate pairing experience. Cost: $85.99 per person
Taste the luxury when our Sommeliers open the doors to our specialties cabinets to explore some of Banville & Jones’s exclusive treasures. This event is held on the main floor and is wheelchair accessible. Cost: $99.00 per person
Thursday, November 8: Mon Ami Louis Thursday, January 3: Carne Thursday, January 17: Vegan Food and Wine with Ben Kramer Thursday, January 31: Mitchell Block
Essentials (Level 2)
Learn from the best! Banville & Jones Sommeliers team up with Winnipeg’s premier chefs for an instructional evening of recipes and wine pairings. Cost: $89.99
Essentials (Level 2) are one-evening classes that dig deep into specific topics of interest, with an educational and engaging approach. Friday, October 12: South Africa Thursday, January 31: Natural Wines
Give the gift of a unique wine experience: BANVILLE & JONES GIFT CARDS can be used towards any of our events, and can be purchased online at banvilleandjones.com.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Saturday, October 20: Australia: Barossa & Beyond Saturday, January 12: Rhône & Company
Thursday, October 4: Chef Craig Guenther featuring Lange Twins Family Winery Thursday, January 10: Mon Ami Louis
Tour de France featuring VG Restaurant at The Fairmont
REGULAR HOURS: Monday to Friday: 10 am to 8 pm Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm Sundays and holidays: 11 am to 6 pm
Join us as we indulge in an evening of fine dining, showcasing the classic cuisine and wines of France. Executive Chef Tim Palmer of the VG Restaurant has expertly curated a menu that our Sommeliers have paired with some exquisite French wines. An experience in wine and food not to be missed. Cost: $149.99
Click on the Events & Education tab at banvilleandjones.com for updated information on wine and food events. To reserve a space or inquire about private events, call 204.948.9463. • Tickets for events are non-refundable, but are exchangeable 14 days prior to the event. • Events begin at 7 pm and take place in the 2nd floor Tuscany Room unless otherwise noted. • Prices do not include taxes.
HOLIDAY HOURS: Starting November 24, open till 8 pm on Saturdays. December 17–22: 10 am to 9 pm Christmas Eve: 10 am to 4 pm Christmas Day: Closed Boxing Day: 12 pm to 5 pm New Year’s Eve: 10 am to 5 pm New Year’s Day: Closed
PuttING ( Fo u N ta I N ) P e N to Pa P e r Please JoIN us For our FINe WrItING NIGht
Thursday, October 25th from 5:00-9:00 p.m. · We’ll be giving away prizes throughout the evening. · as usual, scotch, wine and discounts will all be served!
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Choose from one of our prepared baskets or design a custom basket in-store! Detailed descriptions of the baskets can be found on our website: banvilleandjones.com Sweet Treats $60 Savoury Sensation $60 Wine & Cheese $90 The Cali Cab Carrier $100 Festive Favourites $130 Holiday Reds $150 Decadent Delights $250 Holiday Duo Red $45 Holiday Duo Mixed $45 One-Bottle Gift Bag: Solo Red or Solo White $20
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We deliver! • Basket Delivery: $12 for business and $17 for residential (plus taxes) • Regular wine order delivery over $200 FREE (within city limits) • Selected wines are available for delivery at Skip the Dishes!
1616 St Mary’s Rd, Winnipeg | 204-948-WINE (9463) Holiday hours: December 17–22: 10 to 9 | Christmas Eve: 10 to 4 | Boxing Day: 12 to 5 New Year’s Eve: 10 to 5. We are closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
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Perfect Pairings for Harvest With Britt Embry, Justin Girard, Sylvia Jansen, Saralyn Mehta, Mike Muirhead and Maureen Stewart Photos by David Lipnowski
Harvest time is a big deal in Manitoba. Many of us have friends whose plans in August and September are always given with the caveat “…unless we are harvesting!” From big farming operations to our growing community-supported agriculture (CSA) to the seemingly endless crops of tomatoes, beans, and zucchinis in our urban gardens, we are lucky to live among our thriving Prairie crops. The bitterness of saying goodbye to summer is softened by knowing that for, a few glorious weeks, we will be feasting on fresh garden vegetables.
Inspired by the growing farmer’s markets where we meet the people who grow the veggies and raise the livestock that grace our tables, we were excited to partner with local producers to put together a true Manitoba harvest feast. Britt Embry and Justin Gerard of local farm Hearts & Roots not only provided the potatoes, carrots, beets, beans, and zucchini for our meal, they also hosted the dinner on their farm. Our wine and food experts, Sylvia, Saralyn, Mike, and Maureen, turned their fresh ingredients, along with a host of other locally sourced meats and products, into a feast paired with some very special wines.
Ridge 2014 Geyserville Sonoma County, USA ($81.99)
Zorzal 2015 Graciano Navarra, Spain ($18.99)
Tahbilk 2017 Marsanne Victoria, Australia ($22.99)
Giant Steps 2015 Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley Australia ($36.99)
Montes 2016 Classic Series Chardonnay, Central Valley Chile ($17.99)
Zind Humbrecht 2015 Turckheim Riesling Alsace, France ($30.99)
Ridge 2014 Geyserville (California, $81.99): One of the icons of the Sonoma Valley, Ridge has been doing Zinfandel blends since before it was cool. This one always reminds us of fall: with brambleberry, cherry compote, and fine grained tannins, it is like tasting the autumn. This pairs perfectly with the autumn carrot tart.
Montes 2016 Classic Series Chardonnay (Chile, $17.99): One of the best-value Chardonnays in the store, this one hits way above its weight class. This “middle-style” Chardonnay has a bit of oak, but not too much, and some buttery qualities, but not too much. It has enough weight for the richness of the gnocchi, and the flavours played beautifully.
Tahbilk 2017 Marsanne (Australia, $22.99): The oldest family-run winery in Victoria (and maybe Australia), dating back five generations, has vineyards that are still producing fruit that was planted in the 1920s. This Marsanne (a Rhône varietal) is fresh and bright when young but ages beautifully. Weighty without the use of oak, this is a very food-friendly wine. This has just the right acidity to cut through the potato gnocchi and rich cream sauce.
Giant Steps 2015 Pinot Noir (Australia, $36.99): This wine is powerful yet restrained—earthy with red fruits, supple tannins, and a long finish. You get a sense of the history of Burgundian Pinot Noirs having found a new home. Paired with the carrot tart, this wine sings a beautiful song.
Zorzal 2015 Graciano (Spain, $18.99): A grape that is not well known outside of its region, Graciano has a long history in Rioja blends but is rarely found shining by itself. This one does, with its lovely floral and blue fruit flavours, easy tannins, and medium body. A multitasker, this is a great match with both the beets and the Coq au Riesling.
Zind Humbrecht 2015 Turckheim Riesling (France, $30.99): If you ask a Sommelier for their secret weapon for food pairing, they will often tell you it is Riesling. It helps when the dish is called Coq au Riesling! This biodynamic producer from Alsace is among the top in the region, producing powerful wines with great nuance that beg for food. This dry Riesling is a winner with the chicken dish, but also pairs well with the carrots and gnocchi.
POTATO GNOCCHI WITH GRANA PADANO CREAM SAUCE
2 lb 2½ cups 1 1
red potatoes ‘00’ flour egg egg yolk
Boil red potatoes until soft (after boiling, the skin will slide right off). Put skinless potato through a potato ricer or blend in a food processor. Arrange the potato into a ring on a floured surface. Fill the inner ring with flour to the top. On top of the flour, crack one full egg and an additional yolk. Blend together by hand until you get a doughy texture. Remove any hard pieces of potato that have not been mashed. With your hands, roll out the dough into long cylinders and cut into 1-inch pieces. Roll the gnocchi over the tines of a fork. (These pockets are created to catch the sauce.) Drop the gnocchi into a large pot of boiling water. Gnocchi are done when they rise to the top (3–4 minutes; do not overcook). Remove from boiling water with a slotted spoon and add to sauce.
Grana Padano Cream Sauce 3 cups heavy cream ½ cup salted butter 1 cup grated Padano cheese 500 g bacon, fried and chopped 1 cup green peas, cooked Salt and pepper to taste Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Add cream and bring to a gentle boil. Add grated Padano cheese, reduce heat to medium and simmer. Once your sauce is reduced to desired thickness, add the gnocchi, bacon, and peas. Heat and serve with parmesan cheese. For a vegetarian option, substitute 1 cup sundried tomatoes for the bacon.
AUTUMN CARROT TART
8 tbsp 1½ cups 4–5 tbsp 1–2 tbsp
cold butter flour (about 1 ¼ cup white, ¼ cup whole wheat) ice cold water white wine a dash of salt
Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or food processor. Transfer to a bowl; add wine and cold water, one tbsp at a time, stirring gently with a fork until doughy in texture. Form it into a flat ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for half an hour or overnight. When ready to use, roll dough out on a flour surface and gently press into a 9” flan pan, trimming the edges. Filling
1 tbsp 1 ½ tsp 1½ lb ½ 2 cups
butter large onion, finely minced salt slender carrots, cleaned and very thinly sliced lemon, freshly squeezed a scant 1 tbsp flour 1% cottage cheese
2 3 tbsp 1 tbsp 1 tbsp 1 cup
eggs, beaten fine dry bread crumbs freshly ground black pepper chopped fresh dill (or ½ tsp. dried) chopped fresh thyme (or ½ tsp. dried) semi-soft or firm mild cheese, grated (provolone, edam) ground flax seed
Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt butter in a large pan. Add onion and salt, stirring on medium heat until the onion is soft (about 7 minutes). Add carrots and lemon juice. Stir and cook only until carrots are crisp-tender, another 5–7 minutes. Stir in flour; remove from heat and cool slightly. In a bowl, whisk together cottage cheese and eggs; stir in bread crumbs, pepper and herbs. Add the grated cheese. Mix cooked carrot and onion into the cottage cheese mixture. Spread onto crust and sprinkle the top with ground flax seed. Bake 15 minutes at 375°F, then lower heat to 350°F and bake another 30 minutes (total 45 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before slicing. Serve hot or at room temperature. www.banvilleandjones.com 53
4 2 tbsp 2 tbsp
medium beets, peeled and grated butter Frescolio Traditional 18-Year Balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add beets, stirring to coat with butter, and sauté for 2–3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of water and cover the pan. Cook over low heat until beets are just tender and liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Veggies by Hearts & Roots: Britt and Justin are known for their organic Garden Growlers, which can be viewed and ordered all summer on Facebook and Instagram (@heartsandroots). Find them at local farmer’s markets and online at heartsandroots.com. Chicken by Wildfire Farms: The impossibly juicy and plump chicken is 100% natural grass-fed and, along with their beef and pork, free of hormones, antibiotics, animal by-products, soy and corn. Find them at the St Norbert Market year-round! wildfirefarms.ca 18-Year Balsamic Vinegar by Frescolio: Our favourite local olive oil and vinegar tasting bar has locations on St Mary’s (in the strip mall beside Banville & Jones), Corydon, and, coming this fall, on Regent! Taste before you buy and ask them about perfect oil and vinegar pairings! frescolio.ca Ice Cream by Chaeban: Originally a cheese and yogurt expert, Joseph Chaeban shifted his focus to ice cream in 2016 when his wife, Zainab Ali, needed to help her family in Syria escape the war. Joseph and business partner Darryl Stewart opened Chaeban Ice Cream as a thank you to the South Osborne community for supporting the sponsorship of Zainab’s family, and as a place to employ newly landed Canadians. The story is amazing, but the ice cream—it’s even better. 390 Osborne St. chaebanicecream.com Thick-Cut Bacon by Miller’s Meats: Since 1971, Miller’s Meats has provided Winnipeg with the service you can only get from a friendly neighbourhood butcher. You can’t beat Miller’s homemade thick-cut bacon. millersmeats.com
COQ AU RIESLING
3 tbsp 2 4 lbs
½ 1 ½ lb 3 tbsp 1 cup ½ cup ½ cup 3 tbsp
butter, divided thick-cut strips of bacon, cut into lardons chicken pieces (one whole cut up chicken or thighs and drumsticks) sea salt to taste onion, medium diced leek, cleaned and cut into 1/4 inch rounds mushrooms, quartered cognac Riesling chicken stock freshly cracked black pepper crème fraîche* chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Melt butter in large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Using slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to paper-towel lined plate. Reserve fat in pan. Pat chicken pieces dry with paper towel and season with salt. Heat the same sauté pan to medium high heat until the fat is hot. Add half of the chicken pieces, skin side
down, and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes in total. Repeat with remaining chicken. Remove the chicken from the pan and take the pan off the heat. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from pan. Return to heat and swirl in another tablespoon of butter. Add onions, mushrooms, and leeks and cook on low heat until mushrooms release their liquid and most of it has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Season lightly with salt. Increase heat to medium-high and add cognac, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. When cognac has evaporated, add the Riesling and the chicken stock and bring to a light simmer. Return chicken to pan and cover. Simmer on low for 40 minutes, then add the bacon back to the pan and season with salt and black pepper. Simmer uncovered an additional 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a large serving platter. Stir the crème fraîche* and parsley into the pan and pour over the chicken. Serve immediately. *To make crème fraîche: Add 2 tablespoons buttermilk or yogurt to a bowl with 1 cup of heavy cream. Leave at room temperature for 12-24 hours.
CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE Served with Chaeban’s Abir al Sham ice cream
½ cup ½ cup 1¾ cup 2 1 tsp ½ cup 2½ cups 4 tbsp ½ tsp ½ tsp 2 cups
soft butter vegetable oil sugar eggs vanilla sour milk* flour cocoa baking soda cinnamon shredded zucchini Chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325°F. Cream together butter, oil and sugar. Add eggs, sour milk and vanilla and mix well. Mix dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture. Beat well. Stir in zucchini. Pour into 9 x 13" greased pan or two 8 x 8" square pans. Sprinkle top with chocolate chips. Cook for 40–45 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. *To make sour milk, add 1 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice to 1/3 cup of room-temperature milk. Let rest for 5 minutes until it begins to separate.
Buy any three receive Valdisanti for only $5 ~ Value: $50 ~
Al Passo 2014 Gambero Rosso: Tre Biccheri
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2011 James Suckling: 93 pts
Robert Parker Jr: 92 pts
Picconero 2011 Wine Spectator: 93 pts
Tolaini Estate wines are available exclusively at Banville & Jones Wine Co. Offer applies to 750 ml bottles only. Offer expires January 31, 2019. Delivery available.
A Cellar Tour The Banville & Jones Sommeliers travel the world in search of the finest wines to bring home to Manitoba. Their travels are populated by extraordinary people— and memorable places. Wine cellars range from the ancient white clay caves of Champagne and troglodyte galleries of Loire to ultra-modern cellars with tasting rooms in Napa Valley and Chile. It is in these cellars where the science of the vineyards meets the alchemy of winemaking, culminating in the magic that graces our wine glasses. (All photos used with permission of the wineries.)
Ployez-Jacquemart – Ludes, Champagne, France Yes, this cellar has oak casks, but the real show is deep underground. At Ployez-Jacquemart, the chalk cellars are 20 metres deep, leading to ageing cellars for hundreds of thousands of bottles of Champagne, each patiently waiting their turn (over the course of at least several years) to be riddled, disgorged, and then labelled before being sent to fine restaurants and retailers. Be prepared: the cellars are a cool 12°C year round, which is perfect for ageing Champagne; for guests, it makes a chilly but fascinating walking tour. The cellar tour ends at ground level, with beautiful Ployez-Jacquemart Champagne in the cozy and comfortable drawing room of the main building. —Sylvia Jansen
Montes Wines â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Colchagua Valley, Chile The ultra-modern Montes winery is designed using the principles of feng shui. From its contours to its colours, everything in the building makes you feel comfortable. When we visited, Gary Hewitt and I were led to a private tasting room overlooking the barrel room at Montes; we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think we could be more impressed. Looking through the floor-to-ceiling glass wall onto the cellar below, we were taken aback by not only the beauty, but the music. Gregorian chants are piped into the cellar, as it is believed that the wine melds and ages better when surrounded by the dulcet tones. Having tried most Montes wines on offer (the Folly Syrah was my highlight of that trip), I can confirm that something magical is definitely at work. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Mike Muirhead
Emilio Hildalgo â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Jerez, Spain Emilio Hildago is a traditional bodega in the heart of Jerez, the capital of the Sherry region of AndalucĂa, Spain. Its bright white exterior yields to shadowy, chiaroscuro interiors under soaring ceilings that facilitate cooling ventilation. Earthen floors are wetted to provide humidity. Vast rows of butts, 600-litre casks, are organized into groups of aging wine called soleras. Arcane paraphernalia for the endless task of transferring wine from cask to cask lies conveniently at hand. New oak has no value in the making of Sherry, and the agedarkened casks enhance the serenity. In a corner, staves from dismantled casks are readied for reassembly or to repair damaged casks. Fortunate guests taste cask-fresh finos and nutty olorosos, perfect companions for tapas, which are easily found at restaurants upon re-emergence onto the sun-drenched streets. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Gary Hewitt
A new red wine sourced from Tuscany by owner Tina Jones. Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Exclusive to Banville & Jones Wine Co.
Quintarelli – Verona, Italy Giuseppe Quintarelli once said, “The secret behind my wine? I follow my rules; I do not run behind the fashions. You must have rules but also update without abandoning traditions.” Committed to continuing Bepi’s legacy after his passing in 2012, the family recently renovated their historic cellar. What struck me most about the renovation was the seamless integration of contemporary style and historic elements. The barrel room is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Elegantly lit massive oak botti are intricately carved with scenes depicting the history of winemaking in the Valpolicella region. A very modern concrete tunnel lined with bottles from historic vintages leads from the barrel room at the heart of the Quintarelli winery. In the midst of this most contemporary cellar, you step back in time as you enter the original tasting room of Giuseppe. Lined with dusty bottles and ancient wooden shelving, one expects to glance over and see Giuseppe Quintarelli sampling wine from one of the smaller barrels contained in the room. Never have I felt so closely connected to the spirit of a winery than I have at Quintarelli. —Andrea Eby
Monteraponi – Chianti, Italy Passing from the winemaking cellar, with its bright, white walls and neat rows of concrete vats, to the ageing cellar, with its old stone surfaces and various shades and grains of wood, winemaker Michele Braganti’s enthusiasm became palpable. This was where the wine came to relax, to grow, after the work of fermentation. He was particularly proud of his various botti, the large oak casks which held and nurtured and refined their estate’s best wines. Custom-made casks from Austria and Burgundy, this was no ordinary cooperage; its imprint was to be found in the glass, with a subtlety that was more felt than tasted. He explained their shape to us: not round, but elongated, ovular. The moon pulls the wine, Michele gestured, his hands moving across the front of the cask, down and back up, elliptically. He’d commissioned these with precisely this idea in mind: the wine is alive, still part of nature, as if never totally separated from the vine itself. Next to the casks, a stack of cigar boxes. Cubans, Michele explains, only the best. Cellar ecology. Good things live here. —Rob Stansel
OPUS ONE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; NAPA VALLEY Completed in 1991, the Opus One estate was one of the first real architectural wonders in the Napa Valley. Outside, the vineyard slowly transforms into a vast green lawn, and the winery gently rises out of these natural surroundings. The Opus One wine cellar is on the lower level, but this is not the damp, cool caves of Europe. As we arrive into the tasting room in front of the barrel room, we can see the stunning beauty of the cellar. The first thing that is the most striking is the single stacked barrels wrapped around a semicircle cellar, which have certainly been aligned with laser precision. When we walk into the barrel room, it takes a moment to fully take in the subtlety of the experience. The winemakers at Opus One believe that wine is a living thing and treats it as such: classical music plays gently; the lighting is muted. The space is cavernous but feels completely serene. When I close my eyes, the familiar smells of wine ageing in ancient cellars surround me, and when I open them, I marvel at how this winery has managed to capture the tradition of hundreds of years in such a perfect, contemporary space. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Tina Jones
D R & IN E NI
A Port in the Somm In June, two members of our staff represented the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers Manitoba Chapter at the quarter-finals of the Master of Port competition in Porto, Portugal. The Master of Port is a prestigious title awarded to a professional that demonstrates an expert level of knowledge in all aspects of the Port industry. Rob Stansel and Andrea Eby were awarded the opportunity after achieving the highest scores on the provincial qualification exam that was open to professional Sommeliers across the country. The event was sponsored by the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e do Porto (IVDP), who brought together a group of 10 Sommeliers from across Canada to compete in the semi-finals in Portugal. The finalists received two days of instruction at the institute’s historic headquarters, led by some of the world’s foremost Port experts. The group had the honour of visiting a selection of producers in the Douro Valley and some of the legendary Port lodges in Vila Nuova de Gaia. The event culminated with a half-day exam that tested the candidates’ knowledge through written and service exams and a blind tasting component. The group celebrated the occasion with a dinner at the British Factory House, the exclusive Port Shippers association established in the 18th century. David Guimaraens, Technical Director of Taylor-Fladgate and the current president of the association, hosted the dinner. Following dinner, five finalists, including our own Andrea Eby, were announced and awarded the opportunity to move forward to the next round of the competition. We wish Andrea the best of luck at the finals to be held in 2019.
WESTERN CANADA’S PREMIER WINE AND DRINKS EDUCATION FACILITY OFFERS WINE, BEER, AND SPIRITS COURSES FOR EVERYONE FROM THE HOBBYIST TO THE PROFESSIONAL. FORMERLY BANVILLE & JONES WINE INSTITUTE
Join the Wine Scholar Guild Family! Wine & Drinks College Manitoba is proud to be a provider for the Wine Scholar Guild (WSG). Originally focused on the wines of France, the WSG has since expanded to provide study and certification programs encompassing the wines of France, Italy, and Spain. If you are interested in learning more about the wine, food and culture of France, Italy, or Spain then these are the classes for you! Students will be treated to in-depth instruction and opportunities to taste a myriad of unique wines. The programs appeal to those consumers looking to learn more about a favourite region in a fun and relaxed environment, and also to wine trade professionals that are seeking professional development and certification.
&DR INE I N
When you sign up for a WSG course through Wine & Drinks College Manitoba you will also be granted access
to all of the spectacular resources that the organization has compiled. In addition, you will be eligible to sign yourself up for any of the Wine Immersion Study Tours that the Guild organizes throughout the year. This June, Andrea Eby, one of our instructors for the Italian Wine Scholar Program, was chosen to participate in the first ever WSG Educator trip to Italy. For 10 days she travelled with Maurizio Broggi, Italian Wine Scholar Director of Education, and 14 other instructors from around the globe. The group tasted and toured their way through Trentino, Franciacorta, and Lugana, creating lasting friendships along the way. Andrea is looking forward to sharing her experience with students in upcoming WSG programs. Watch for Italian Wine Scholar Guild courses coming up in 2019! For information on other courses offered by the WSCM, click on the Events and Education tab at banvilleandjones.com.
A Tribute to the Other Oak: Cork By Sylvia Jansen, DipWSET, CSW, Sommelier Harvesting cork (photo courtesy of Apcor)
Even a cursory look at a wine bottle gives a hint as to how to get to the wine inside. Is that a screw cap ready to be opened with a twist of the wrist, or is that a cork waiting for your wine tool to be employed? For some wine lovers, it matters. And for the cork and aluminum industries, it matters a lot. Some wine professionals maintain that if wine were being invented today, there is no way we would think that sticking a piece of tree bark into a bottle is a good way to secure wine for transport. They believe a screw cap is superior, and we should just get used to it. I posed this question recently to Carlos de Jesus, communications and marketing director of the cork company Amorim. Carlos responded that there is a simple reason we are still using a material that the Romans used: “It works.” Cork oak bark has a natural elasticity that makes it a forgiving material to stopper a bottle of wine securely, because even mass-produced glass bottles are not all exactly the same. (The occasional screw cap bottle showing signs of leakage in transport is a testament to that claim.) The second thing that makes cork suitable is its oxygen transfer rate (OTR for short). Over time, miniscule air exchanges within the
open cells of cork, and between the cork and wine, can have a positive impact. Screw cap producers are also now engineering OTR into those products to mimic cork, according to some experts. A regular traditional wine cork is actually as long as the original bark is deep. The average life span of a cork oak tree is over 200 years; its re-growing bark can be harvested 17 times during that time. Cork trees are harvested by hand, with minimal impact on the incredible biodiversity of these forests. Carlos added that there is not a cork shortage, as is often rumoured, and that “the commercial value of its bark actually helps protect cork forests.” When top-grade wine corks are punched from a layer of the harvested bark, the leftover bark is put to use. This lightweight, supple, and durable material becomes more cork closures (from milled bits or cork powder), cork flooring, badminton birdies, and even heat shields inside spacecraft. I like to think I am helping the space industry by drinking wine with my dinner guests. As suitable as it is, the disadvantage of natural cork is the possibility that the stopper itself might taint the wine. The problem is tiny fungus compounds, the main villain of which is 2,4,6 Trichloroanisole (TCA).
So powerful is this taint that even minute proportions of it can flatten a wine’s aromas and shorten the finish. A slightly higher concentration renders the wine not poisonous, but disgustingly undrinkable. Humans can detect it at concentrations of 3 or 4 nanograms per litre. (A nanogram is one-billionth of a gram; a single grain of salt is close to 60,000 nanograms.) It is a tiny thing with a big, bad impact. In the old days, the incidence was made worse through chlorine cleaning of bark. But more recently, cork producers have been developing methods of reducing it. Several cork products now guarantee against TCA. Good thing: no one wants it. Mind you, the screw cap is not completely fail-proof, and its metal production is not terribly friendly to the environment. Even though aluminum is theoretically recyclable, I need to ask myself: how many times have I peeled off that aluminum sleeve from a bottle and thrown it into the recycle bin? Answer: not once. And even if I did, would it actually be recycled? No clue. But those pieces of bark the winemaker has stuck into the bottle? Completely biodegradable. So here’s to you, still collecting corkscrews.
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529 Wellington serves only Canadian Prime beef and fresh seafood, with impeccable service in an elegantly restored 1912 mansion on the banks of the Assiniboine River. Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, 529 has quickly become a world-renowned icon in the restaurant industry. An exquisite menu and extensive wine cellar make for truly memorable food and wine experiences at 529. Just ask Brad Pitt or Jennifer Lopez! 529 Wellington Crescent 529wellington.ca
Regarded by many as one of the best restaurants in Winnipeg, Beaujena’s French Table provides a truly unique dining experience. Seven-course surprise dinners featuring Chef/Owner Randy Reynolds’ modern interpretations of French and Mediterranean Cuisine combined with his wife Beaujena’s warmth and hospitality make dining here special, regardless of the occasion. 302 Hamel Avenue beaujenas.com
Banville & Jones Wine Co. partners with Manitoba’s finest restaurants to develop the perfect wine list. For more information about partnering with us, contact Todd Antonation, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chef partner Tristan Foucault has reinvented the menu on the corner of King and Bannatyne. Peasant Cookery goes back to the land with uniquely prepared Old World dishes and top-notch service. This is real food, freshly harvested, and the seasonal ingredients speak for themselves. Literally everything is made from scratch by Tristan and his team. 100-283 Bannatyne Avenue peasantcookery.ca
Carne is an elegant and contemporary Italian Chophouse featuring Waygu beef from Canada, USA or Japan as well as high-end single-source beef from select suppliers across the country. Or choose succulent seafood, fresh pastas and Italian classics such as Osso Bucco. Pair these entrées with an exemplary wine and cocktail list. Carne is just steps away from the MTS Centre and The Forks. Private rooms are available. Open for dinner Monday–Saturday. 295 York Avenue carneitalia.ca
Across the Board Aevi Spa Salon Boutique Aurora Pizzeria Café Beaujena’s French Table Boulevard Pub and Bistro Canadian Brewhouse Café 22 Café Dario Chew Cordova Tapas & Wine D-Jay’s Restaurant Deluca’s Cooking School and Restaurant Diana’s Cucina and Lounge Earl’s Restaurant and Bar Elkhorn Resort Enoteca ERA Bistro at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Forth Hotel Fort Garry Hy’s Steakhouse
Inferno’s Bistro Joey Restaurants Joey’s Only Seafood Jonesy’s Restaurant King & Bannatyne Kristina’s on Corydon La Roca Le Cercle Molière Máquè Manitoba Club McGee’s Family Restaurant Mere Hotel Mon Ami Louis Monticchio Ristorante Italiano Muddy Waters Olive Garden Passero and Corto Pizzeria Gusto Prairie’s Edge Rae’s Bistro Rae & Jerry’s Riverside Inn
Sabai Thai Segovia SMITH Restaurant South Beach Casino & Resort St. Charles Country Club Swiss Chalet Super Deluxe Pizzeria Tapp’s Neighbourhood Pub Teo’s The Alt Hotel The Common The Merchant Kitchen The Mitchell Block The Victoria Inn Thermëa Spa Tony Roma’s Urban Prairie Cuisine Vera Cucina VG Restaurant at the Fairmont Wasabi Sabi
shopping list Acumen 2011 Red Blend Napa Valley, USA $83.99.................................................................................................................... 29 Bella Wines 2017 King Farms Pet Nat Chardonnay Okanagan Valley, Canada $44.99............................................................... 29 Bella Wines 2017 Mariani Pet Nat Red Okanagan Valley, Canada $44.99.................................................................................. 29 Bernard Defaix 2016 Chablis Burgundy, France $39.99.............................................................................................................. 29 Bernard Defaix 2015 Côte de Lechet 1er Cru Chablis, France $43.99........................................................................................ 29 Bistro 2016 Signature Rosé, Pays d’Oc, France $19.99/1L.......................................................................................................... 70 Cave Spring 2017 Gamay Niagara, Canada $23.99.................................................................................................................... 44 Claude Val 2016 Blanc Pays d’Oc, France $12.99 (750 ml)/$7.99 (375ml)................................................................................. 20 Coriole 2016 Songbird Cabernet Sauvignon McLaren Vale, Australia 23.99............................................................................... 70 Domaine de la Treille 2016 Anjou Rouge Loire Valley, France $14.99........................................................................................ 21 Fabio Motta 2016 Pievi Bolgheri, Italy $26.99........................................................................................................................... 70 Giant Steps 2015 Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley Australia $36.99....................................................................................................... 51 Gorrebusto 2016 Tempranillo Rioja, Spain $13.99..................................................................................................................... 21 Hindsight 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, USA $49.99.................................................................................................. 10 Hindsight 2014 20/20 Napa Valley, USA $49.99........................................................................................................................ 10 Hindsight 2014 Chardonnay Napa Valley, USA $39.99.............................................................................................................. 10 Invivo 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand $18.99............................................................................................. 70 Judith Beck 2016 Ink Zweigelt/St. Laurent Burgenland, Austria $21.99..................................................................................... 70 Le Boncie 2015 Cinque Tuscany, Italy $32.99............................................................................................................................. 12 McGuigan 2016 Bin 9000 Semillon New South Wales, Australia $16.99.................................................................................... 20 McManis 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon California, USA $22.99..................................................................................................... 32 McManis 2016 Pinot Noir California, USA $23.99.................................................................................................................... 32 McManis 2015 Merlot California, USA $22.99.......................................................................................................................... 32 McManis 2016 Petite Sirah California, USA $22.99................................................................................................................... 32 McManis 2016 Viognier California, USA $22.99........................................................................................................................ 32 McManis 2016 Chardonnay California, USA $22.99................................................................................................................. 32 Montes 2016 Classic Series Chardonnay, Central Valley Chile $17.99........................................................................................ 51 Moone-Tsai 2014 Howell Mountain Hillside Blend Napa Valley, USA $147.99......................................................................... 10 Moone-Tsai 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, USA $131.99............................................................................................. 10 Moone-Tsai 2015 Chardonnay Napa Valley, USA $86.99........................................................................................................... 10 Nichol 2017 Pinot Gris Okanagan Valley, Canada $24.99.......................................................................................................... 12 Nichol 2014 Syrah Okanagan Valley, Canada $39.99................................................................................................................. 12 Niepoort Tawny Dee Port Douro, Portugal $18.99 (375 ml)...................................................................................................... 70 Pacina 2015 La Cerretina Bianco Tuscany, Italy $39.99.............................................................................................................. 12 Quadri 2016 Pinot Noir delle Venezie, Italy $13.99.................................................................................................................... 21 Reassi 2016 Terre d’Argilla Manzoni Bianco Veneto, Italy $22.99.............................................................................................. 20 Ridge 2014 Geyserville Sonoma County, USA $81.99................................................................................................................. 51 Tahbilk 2017 Marsanne Victoria, Australia 22.99...................................................................................................................... 51 Tawse 2013 Laundry Vineyard Cabernet Franc Niagara, Canada $35.99................................................................................... 29 Tawse 2015 Sketches Riesling Niagara, Canada $19.99.............................................................................................................. 29 Tawse 2014 Spark Riesling Niagara, Canada $22.99.................................................................................................................. 29 Tolaini 2011 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Tuscany, Italy $53.99........................................................................................... 10 Tolaini 2016 Vallenuova Chianti Classico Tuscany, Italy $30.99................................................................................................. 10 Ventisquero 2014 Grey Carménère, Chile $21.99....................................................................................................................... 10 Zind Humbrecht 2015 Turckheim Riesling Alsace, France $30.99.............................................................................................. 51 Zorzal 2015 Graciano Navarra, Spain $18.99............................................................................................................................ 51
Due to the nature of the wine industry, any prices and vintages listed in this publication, as well as the availability of all products, are subject to change and cannot be guaranteed by Banville & Jones Wine Co. www.banvilleandjones.com 69
* C U STOMER P IC K *
Invivo 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand $18.99
Bistro 2016 Signature Rosé, Pays d’Oc, France $19.99 (1L)
Allison and I fell in love with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc when my Aucklander son-in-law was our personal tour guide through Marlborough’s wineries. Mike at Banville & Jones recommended some new ones we hadn’t tried, so we invited our friends over to test them out. This was our favourite: very light and fresh, goes down smooth with bright lime and gooseberries.
You will know by now that I love rosé! I can enjoy it all year long. This south of France gem is fresh, delicate, easygoing, and perfect as a starter, with a salad, or with a light seafood dish. To top it off, it is a 1 litre bottle and completely recyclable plastic!
Coriole 2016 Songbird Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale, Australia $23.99
Fabio Motta 2016 Pievi Bolgheri, Italy $26.99
Niepoort Tawny Dee Port Duoro, Portugal, $18.99 (375 ml)
Judith Beck 2016 Ink Zweigelt/St. Laurent Burgenland, Austria $21.99
Fabio Motta’s coastal wines have a freshness and vitality that I love. This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sangiovese is a mix of Old and New World grapes. Bing cherries, violets, and blackcurrant are in the initial attack, with dusty tannins giving structure. A great match with spicy sausage or rack of lamb. Drink now or keep for up to five years.
A lively, lovely tawny Port, whose name recalls Tweedledee in Alice in Wonderland! Aromas of dried fruit and a luscious, smooth palate, balanced sweetness, and just a bit of fire on the finish, this is lovely with any dessert that includes roasted nuts, or as dessert with nuts, cheese, and fruit. Yes, it is fun.
Like a filthy fistful of cranberries squeezed over cloves, this juicy little blend from eastern Austria was fermented naturally in stainless steel before further development in large, neutral acacia casks. The definition of a “fresh red,” this is lively, energetic glou-glou; a reminder that thoughtful, conscious winemaking can still be a lot of fun.
Ohhhhh to sing the praises of this beautiful expression of McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant, and eucalyptus give way to a palate exploding with dark cherry, tobacco, and spice. A memorable savoury finish with bold tannins make this a perfect pairing for grilled or braised meat dishes.
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