Cellar Door Wi n e and p ossi b i l i t ie s by Banville & Jone s Wine Co.
Issue 11 February â€“ June 2012
C U S TO M R E N OVAT I O N S
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Features 27 Falling in Love with Air: Sardinia and the South Sylvia Jansen and Tina Jones weave the magic of Southern Italy as they guide you through the fragrant and diverse geography of Sardinia and Sicily.
34 Perfect Pizza Andrea Eby and Sylvia Jansen trace the roots of Italyâ€™s gift to the world: the perfect pizza.
34 Charlie Spiring, Senior Investment Advisor, Vice Chairman and Director, Spiring Wealth Management Group, National Bank Financial Group. As an expert in financial investments, capital market development, and wealth management, Charlie can help your family grow, preserve and manage prosperity. You can trust 30 years of experience. You can trust Charlie. National Bank Financial is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of National Bank of Canada which is a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA:TSX). National Bank Financial is a Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.
40 Taste the South: An Interview with Stefano Chioccioli Gary Hewitt (with translator Lia Tolaini-Banville) gets technical with celebrated Italian consulting winemaker and viticulturist Stefano Chioccioli.
52 How Do I Rate? Rick Watkins breaks down the art of wine rating.
Cover: The city of Positano overlooks the stunning blue of the Mediterranean Sea
California in every sip.
Columns 13 Ask a Sommelier 13 38
16 Banville & Jones and Company 22 Product Review 25 Behind the Label: Pala 31 Gary’s Corner Co-operation
38 Gluggy The New (Old) World
46 Green Cork Carbon neutral, Earth positive!
48 Banville & Jones Wine Institute 50 Banville & Jones Events Schedule 51 CornerVine 54 Culinary Partners 56 Test Kitchen Chef Patrick Shrupka of Amici Restaurant serves up a beautiful two-course Southern Italian meal
60 Shopping List 61 Sidebar It’s magic
The sunshine does its part. Then we do ours. Welcome to California’s Central Coast – home of Sterling Vintner’s Collection.
62 Top Picks
STERLING PURE CALIFORNIA www.banvilleandjones.com 7 PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY
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Cellar Door Publisher and Marketing Director Megan Kozminski firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Director Lisa Muirhead email@example.com Art Director Aubrey Amante, CR3ATIVE firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Associate Vanessa Shapiro
Contributors Tina Jones, Todd Antonation, Chad Cunningham, Andrea Eby, Carol Fletcher, Sarah Kenyon, Jennifer Hiebert, Gary Hewitt, Sylvia Jansen, Jill Kwiatkoski, Pauline Lomax, Ian McCausland, Saralyn Mehta, Mike Muirhead, Karen Nissen, Darren Raeside, Rob Stansel, Rick Watkins Published for Banville & Jones Wine Co. by Poise Publications Inc. 101-478 River Ave Suite 707 Winnipeg, MB R3L 0B3 poisepublications.com
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For advertising information, please contact email@example.com Banville & Jones Wine Co. is a fine wine boutique in Winnipeg, Manitoba that specializes in promoting wine education and lifestyle. Opened by sisters Tina Jones and Lia Banville in 1999, it is located in a three-storey Tuscaninspired 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 ph. 204-948-9463 banvilleandjones.com banvilleandjones.cornervine.com
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a message from tina jones Welcome to Southern Italy, and to some of the country’s most undiscovered treasures! For Italians, “the South” means south of Rome, the tip and heel of the boot. Together with the islands of Sardinia and Sicily in the Mediterranean, this part of Italy is amazing and intriguing. For me, the South and the islands were a mystery for a long time, conjuring up images of people like my grandfather and his friends, meeting nightly in the town piazza, sipping the hearty, traditional red wines. Their rustic wine styles continue today, as do surprisingly fresh, crisp whites and modern, robust reds! Wine producers in the South and the islands are stepping up the competition in the wine world, with new styles, modern winemaking, and options that are a delight to wine lovers. I invite you to come with us to explore the undiscovered! Sylvia Jansen tells us how she fell in love with the island of Sardinia. I am sure that, like me, you will discover that this is a place you want to visit! Gary Hewitt speaks with famed Italian winemaker Stefano Chioccioli about new styles in the South; Mike Muirhead introduces us to some unique grape varieties; and Andrea Eby joins Sylvia Jansen in deconstructing the culinary gift from Italy’s south: the beloved pizza. I hope you devour every word!
ask a sommelier Being of Croatian heritage, I am always on the lookout for wines from that corner of the world. But I cannot find Croatian wines, and in fact, I rarely encounter wines from anywhere in Eastern Europe. I know that they do produce wine, so why don’t I ever see it on the shelves in Manitoba? —Elaina Samardzij Dear Elaina, Croatia is one of a handful of Eastern European countries that, despite having established wine cultures, have failed to gain a foothold in wine markets outside of Europe. The isolation from Western markets that occurred under the period of Soviet influence is one important reason. While New World countries established themselves within the global market, Croatia saw its wine industry regress, with a focus on quantity and a lack of access to the technological advancements occurring in the rest of the wine world. When the Soviet regime ended, most producers recognized that they had some catching up to do! There are quality producers out there, but bulk or boutique, importation proves difficult. Transporting wine from Eastern Europe to Canada is an extremely expensive undertaking. If the wines had more exposure in our markets, they would gain popularity and transportation channels would develop, but it's rather like the chicken and the egg at this point. Those producers who have chosen to focus on producing quality wines, often from some of the amazing indigenous grape varieties these countries possess, are often crippled by the resulting high cost of putting
their wines on foreign shelves. Coupled with the foreign grape varieties and often incomprehensible labels, these wines will require adventurous and affluent consumers in order to succeed. We are still a few years away from seeing many wines from these historic winemaking countries on our shelves. In the meantime, travelling to Croatia may be the best way to get your hands on these Dalmatian delights! —Andrea Eby & Gary Hewitt
Is a single variety wine better than a blend? —Mary Clark Dear Mary, This is one of the more difficult questions to answer, because there are no proper answers, only opinions! Blends started out as a very simple form of crop insurance. Merlot ripens faster than Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Franc is more susceptible to disease than both of them, and all three have very distinct qualities that you look for in fine wine. Plant them side-by-side, and if you have problems with the weather, you still have reserve grapes to make the best blend. Planting in optimum climates also reduces risk and allows growers to make single-variety wines from consistently high-quality grapes. Here is where opinion comes in: lovers of blends say the marriage of grape varieties results in the best wine; stalwart single-variety lovers believe theirs is the purest form of winemaking. Who is right? That is the best part about taste: you choose! —Mike Muirhead As a vegan, what should I look for (or avoid) when buying wine? —Maggie Layne
Dear Maggie, You may be surprised to know that animal-derived ingredients are used in the processing of most wine. Typically, these ingredients are used as processing aids in the “fining” or filtration part of the winemaking process to help remove solid impurities or to adjust the tannin levels in certain wines. Though almost all of these ingredients are filtered out of the wine before it’s bottled, vegans usually want to avoid these wines. Egg whites, caseins (a protein from milk), and fish- or animal-derived gelatins are common examples of animal-based fining agents. Veganfriendly fining agents such as bentonite clay and activated carbon are derived from pulverized minerals. In terms of labelling, New Zealand and Australia have laws mandating that producers disclose the use of fining agents that may be allergens, including animal-derived products. However, I would still double-check with the producer regarding any other organic compounds used in the entire winemaking process, including in the vineyard. If you are sticking to strictly veganfriendly wines, you will have more white options than red. If you prefer red, your choices will likely be limited to the large, mass-produced wines. Many of the quality reds that are produced organically or biodynamically use natural fining agents that are often animal-derived. Our wine experts at Banville & Jones can give you a hand with your search of the Winnipeg vegan wine market. Here’s a start: the Temple Bruer 2009 Shiraz from Langhorne Creek, Australia is a quality red wine that happens to be preservative-free, and vegan! —Darren Raeside If you have a question for our Sommeliers, visit us at www.banvilleandjones.com/cellar.aspx
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Friends of Banville & Jones: 1. Rick Burge of Burge Family Wineries, Australia shares his wines at Elements – The Restaurant; 2. Danielle and Chef Alex Svenne of Bistro 7 ¼ with Cameron Mackenzie of Innocent Bystander Wine, Australia, and Tina Jones; 3. Jillian Cockbill, Tina Jones, and Carla Mclean at the Virden Wine Festival; 4. Mike Muirhead, Delaney Wood, Bret Olson, Tina Jones, Mark Treen; 5. Lia Tolaini-Banville, Cameron Mackenzie of Innocent Bystander Wine, Tina Jones, and Lee Meagher; 6. Fabio Motta shares the wines of Michele Satta at Banville & Jones; 7. At the Rick Burge Winemaker’s Dinner: (clockwise from left) Kim Drewry, Bob Stewart, Inna Loewen, Caron Procak, Rolly Vermette, Lorraine Dodick, Harry Loewen, and Randy Drewry.
8. Mark Treen and Chef Carmela at Tolaini Estate, Tuscany 9. Mario Pala, Sylvia Jansen, Fabio Angius, and Ercole Iannone at Pala Wines of Sardinia; 10. The Cambria family of Cottanera Winery: Francesco, Emanuele, Mariangela, and Enzo; 11. Murray Jones and Fiona Duncan of Platinum Bench Vineyard with winemaker Michael Bartier at OCP in the Okanagan Valley; 12. Alan Wickstrom of Klein Constantia Estate and Kevin Coates in South Africa; 13. The staff of Banville & Jones welcome René Schlatter from Merryvale Vineyards, Napa Valley.
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Finished reading the latest issue of The Cellar Door cover-to-cover and craving more? Find more wine news and reviews with Banville & Jones’s magazine section, including Wine Access, Wine Spectator and Decanter.
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Turn a boring Saturday night into a wine tasting adventure! Pour a lineup of your favourite wines and guests can taste, record tasting notes, and assign ratings to each glass. For the more advanced palates, slip the bottles into the velveteen bags provided and challenge your guests to a blind tasting! Also included in the kit are party invitations, a “Quick Facts” sheet, pencils, and wine glass identifiers.
A true family affair, Cottanera was founded in the 1960s by Francesco Cambria, father of the current owners, Guglielmo and Enzo. Rooted in the black volcanic soil of Mount Etna, Cottanera works with native as well as international varieties to offer the best of local and international flavours. Indigenous varieties include Nero d’Avola, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Inzolia; their international varieties include Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Mondeuse. A third generation of the Cambria family, Mariangela, Francesco and Emanuele, is currently bringing new vitality to this innovative Sicilian company.
C H E • H D’O P • P P • W
behind the label: pala by Saralyn Mehta, Sommelier (ISG), CSW
I’ A A Y
Pala 2009 I Fiori Vermentino di Sardegna DOC $19.99 .ASC. • (204) 477-1897
Sardinia is a magical land steeped in history and tradition. The wines of Sardinia are unlike wines from any other region of the world—they will beckon you back time and again once you experience their magic.
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Pala 2010 I Fiori Cannonau di Sardegna DOC $23.99
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To my good fortune, Pala, a family-owned and operated winery, was my introduction to Sardinian wines. Salvatore Pala established his winery in 1950 in the village of Serdiana at the southern tip of Sardinia. For 45 years, he was at the helm of the family business, until 1995, when he passed the reins to his sons Enrico and Mario. In 2008, Mario took over the winery, which he runs with his wife Rita, and his children Massimilano, Elisabeta, and Maria Antonietta. Today, the winery is equal parts Old World tradition and modern winemaking; respect for history and the land is at the forefront of their winemaking philosophy. From five separate vineyards, Pala produces wines made from indigenous Sardinian grape varieties, including staples Vermentino, Monica, and Cannonau. It is a core Pala family belief that great wines are created in the vineyard. To that end, they are committed to sustainable agriculture. There is limited chemical intervention in the vineyard, meaning that there must be great attention given to tending the vines. In Sardinia’s scorching hot Mediterranean climate, it is not uncommon for the vines to shut down for a time to protect themselves from the extreme heat. Though the vineyards of Pala are fully equipped for drip irrigation, the technique is used with extreme caution and never more than a couple of days a year. Instead, Pala’s winemakers believe that dry farming
Pala 2010 Stellato Vermentino di Sardegna DOC $25.99
will produce more interesting and complex wines. Put to the test, this theory seems to be working out for them! The Pala winery has received many awards for their exceptional wines. The 2010 I Fiori Vermentino took the gold medal in 2011’s Sommelier Wine awards in the UK, as well as the silver at the International Wine Challenge. In fact, Pala was the most awarded Sardinian producer at the International Wine Challenge. Stellato Vermentino was awarded Vermentino di Sardegna dell’anno (Vermentino of the Year) for the third year running by Espresso Wine Guide, a major Italian publication. The Palas are not only passionate winemakers, they are passionate Sardinians. When you visit the winery, you are exuberantly and warmly welcomed. They welcome the chance to share their love for Sardinian history and tradition, as well as the beauty of its landscape. They regularly participate in events that highlight Sardinia, such as the Augusta Calici di Stelle—a tasting of traditional food together with Pala and Argiolas (another famous producer) wines featuring traditional music and exhibitions. Though their first passion may be wine, they are also music patrons with a love for great jazz. Indeed, the perfect pairing for Pala’s expressive wines just might be an evening of smooth jazz. As Pala continues to grow, they build on their wine traditions for future growth. Their successful formula is the surest path to rising up the ranks as one of Sardinia’s premier wine families.
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falling in love with air:
Sardinia and the South
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By Sylvia Jansen, Sommelier (ISG, CMS), CSW and Tina Jones, Proprietor, Banville & Jones Wine Co. Sardinia by Sylvia Jansen
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The lost city of Atlantis. According to Fabio Angius, the marketing and commercial manager of Pala Winery, as well as a knowledgeable guide, this is the unofficial mystery behind the beehive-shaped stone Nuraghe slab structures that tower over the Sardinian plain like so many question marks.
recently been uncovered from beneath thousands of years of dirt and vegetation. As Fabio explained, there is evidence that a major tsunami rocked the Mediterranean almost 3,000 years ago, washing over the structures in the southern part of the island, and either killing the inhabitants or forcing them to flee. Some suspect that this story grew into the legend of the lost continent of Atlantis, buried under the sea.
This UNESCO World Heritage site, about an hour from the Sardinian capital city of Cagliari, contains the ruins of stone buildings that once stood 20 metres tall, with 3-metre walls to support them. They have long dotted Sardiniaâ€™s northern regions, and southern examples have
For a few short days, Fabio introduced the island of Sardinia and the people and products of Pala. It was enough to convince me that to truly get to know Sardinia would require several return visits!
According to Fabio, half of the orchids indigenous to Italy are found only on Sardinia. Rosemary grows in wild bushes along the roads, and a unique evergreen called myrto (myrtle) perfumes the night air. In fact, the beauty of the air contributes greatly to the beauty of Sardinia: the exotic flowers and plants of the island combined with its clean seaside air to provide an intoxicating welcome from the moment I stepped out of the airport in Cagliari. It is almost embarrassing to say that I fell in love with the air. Sardinia’s small cities provide easy access to secluded white-sand beaches, exclusive resorts, and even Europe’s largest desert, Piscinas, with its unspoiled dunes stretching between mountain and sea. The capital city, Cagliari, welcomes visitors with a lively waterfront and the authentic feel of a Southern Italian city going about its everyday business. Its long, rich history, Roman amphitheatre that is home to trendy concerts, and modern Italian nightlife make Cagliari a good place to start any visit to the island.
By Tina Jones
For many travellers, Italy’s South includes stopovers along the famous Amalfi Coast on the mainland; it is easy to forget that the South also includes the ancient regions of Apulia, Basilicata, and Calabria; and it includes the important island of Sicily.
Beachgoers stake their claims on the white sands of Sardinia Sardinia’s stunning natural beauty and secluded beaches have made the northern edges of the island a magnet for glitterati and the ultra-rich. Every summer in Porto Cervo, the exclusive Billionaire Club buzzes with guests in refined restaurants, nightclubs, and cozy lounges; their selection of Champagnes start at €1,000 per bottle. A few days in a nice suite at one of the luxury hotels can be had for about the same price as a small car. I opted not to depart from my cozy hotel in downtown Cagliari at the southern tip of the island. On my last evening, I enjoyed dinner with Fabio and his wife, Luiza, near the Cagliari waterfront at the stylish restaurant Luigi Pomata, with an array of gifts from the sea and the land, matched with Pala’s white Vermentino and dark red Cannonau.
Ancient rock formations called Nuraghe dot the countryside (photo by Carol Fletcher)
Don’t forget that the South is also
Wonderful wine, good people, beautiful land, shimmering water, and perfumed air: it has the makings of la dolce vita. On the next visit, a meeting with a realtor might be in order.
Sicily is a magnet for thousands of visitors each year. Along the northeastern Ionian coastline, one of its centres, Taormina, is nestled between the water and beaches below and the craggy cliffs above. Like other Mediterranean resort towns, Taormina offers accessible beaches, lots of easy, casual dining, and a relaxed approach to life. The city is a popular stop on day trips in the cruise circuit. International tourists and city-weary Italians alike flock there to take in its beauty, and are happy to return every year. The eastern coast between Taromina and Catania is dominated by views of the smoldering Mount Etna. Tourists who want to feel the volcano’s heat up close and experience the softening of the rubber on the soles of their shoes can do so; those who prefer to view it from a vantage point that does not melt the ice in their afternoon drinks can also find what they need. The volcano dominates the skyline, and its liquid danger is ever-present in the lives of its people.
Mount Etna smolders in the background of the ancient Greek ampitheatre in Taormina, Sicily Vineyards circle the lower slopes of Mount Etna. They perch themselves between opportunity and danger: the rich volcanic soils lend unique aromatics and structure to the wines. At the same time, vineyard owners know how dangerous their life is: vineyard acreage was reduced significantly in 1981 when hot lava covered many acres along the volcano’s northwestern side. Living in the midst of such beauty and danger brings a reminder to enjoy every vista, savour each sip of wine, and luxuriate in good company whenever you can.
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By Gary Hewitt, Sommelier (ISG, CMS), CWE
Co-operation The United Nations has named 2012 the International Year of Co-operatives. What better time to highlight co-operatives as an overlooked segment of the wine industry? An issue dedicated to South Italy, a region with a strong history of co-ops, gives us the perfect opportunity to do so. Co-operatives arose in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century European wine regions in response to hard economic times. Huge numbers of grape growers, each tending vineyards too small to support the cost of producing and marketing finished wines, had no buyers for their grapes. By pooling resources, they could build wineries and support marketing efforts. Italy was a late adopter, but a convergence of favourable factors in the early 1960s—dominance of the Christian Democratic Party, the social doctrine of the Roman Catholic church, ample government subsidies, and thousands of struggling small producers—led to the emergence of co-ops as the dominant force in the Italian wine industry. Today, cantina sociali (coops) account for more than 60 per cent of Italy’s wine production!
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There are good co-ops and poor ones. Unfortunately, the image of weary growers lugging their overcropped grapes to ill-equipped wineries to be combined with their neighbours’ poor grapes for bulk production and marketing has some basis. Over-generous EU subsidies, low quality standards and payments based on quantity (not quality) of grapes discouraged ambition. However, recent EU cutbacks, everincreasing international competition and falling domestic wine consumption are eliminating poor performers.
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Today, as for all wineries, the success of a co-op depends upon quality and a strong commercial business plan. Some co-ops, most notably from Northern and Central Italy, produce successful brands that are in many ways indistinguishable from estatebottled brands. Mezzacorona, Cavit and Cantina di Soave are a few of the big players on the international market. In our store, you may be surprised to learn that Terlan (Alto Adige), La Vis (Trentino) and Leonardo (Tuscany) are all coops. Cantina Terlan, in particular, is considered an elite producer. Established in 1893, this modestsized co-op of about 100 growers creates intense, layered, terroirdriven wines from a spectrum of typical Alto Adige varieties: Terlan wines can be bought with complete confidence. South Italy, long a source of cheap blending wines, grape concentrate, and base wines for vermouth production, was fertile ground for the evolution of co-ops. Today in Apulia (the “boot” of Italy, a region that vies with Sicily for the second most productive Italian wine region) co-ops make 60 per cent of all wines. Much is still inconsequential wine destined for bulk markets; however, falling demand for bulk wine and grape concentrate is forcing more co-ops to focus on quality over quantity. Cantina Sociale Cooperativa Copertino from south Apulia is a great example, even if they were well ahead of the curve. Starting in 1935, this far-sighted group focused on quality regional wine made from indigenous grapes (Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera). Their Copertino Riserva DOC, a rustic but delicious wine redolent of warm sunshine, dried cherry and deli meats, pairs wonderfully with cheese, pizza, or
pastas with tomato or meat sauce. Sicily and Sardinia are likewise dominated by co-ops, and the cream of producers is rising to the top. At Banville & Jones, our duty as wine buyers is to find good wines of sound value. We prefer to deal with suppliers that we can get to know personally, and we have succeeded with co-ops and estate producers. Whether you have been unwittingly drinking co-op wines or your curiosity or social conscience have been piqued, we encourage you to explore the world of good co-operative producers. Today, the leading co-ops are every bit as good as top estates. Raise a glass.
Cantina Sociale Wines to Try North & Central Italy La Vis Pinot Grigio Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT $16.99 Terlan Terlaner Classico Alto Adige DOC $21.99 Terlan Lunare Gewürztraminer Alto Adige DOC $49.99 Leonardo da Vinci Chianti DOCG $15.99 South Italy & the Islands Cantina Sociale Cooperativa Riserva Copertino DOC $16.99 Santadi Shardana Valli di Porto Pino IGT $45.99
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Fire, Food, Friends & Famiglia Head Chef Eric Lee of Pizzeria Gusto
perfect pizza By Andrea Eby, Sommelier (ISG) and Sylvia Jansen, Sommelier (ISG, CMS), CSW It is comfort food gone gourmet. It is a hot dish delivered to your door on a cold night. It is a generous feast that feeds a table of hungry friends. It is the gift of Southern Italy to the rest of the country, and to much of the world: the pizza. The humble pizza is not what we might associate with royal cuisine. But the simple Margherita pizza, dressed with mozzarella, tomatoes, and fresh basil, honours the nineteenth-century queen of Italy. In 1889, when Naples chef Don Raffaele Esposito was asked to cook for Queen Margherita and her husband, he and his own wife pulled together the three ingredients commonly used on pizza
Pizzaioli Federico Bonato
in their restaurant. When Esposito placed the dish in front of the Queen, she saw the white, green and red of the Italian flag. She asked the chef for its name. Esposito thought quickly on his feet, and responded that the pizza was named for Her Majesty. The Margherita pizza was christened. (Rumour has it that the queen was delighted.) The pizza has been around for many centuries. The Roman poet Virgil described his hero eating the plate while dining with chiefs. Ancient peoples baked a flat piece of bread between hot stones from the fire; toppings or fillings made the bread a portable meal. In the sixteenth century, tomatoes were imported from the New World, and Italians eventually began tossing them onto pizzas.
The pizza has migrated from Naples to every part of Italy. In any Italian city, town or village there is sure to be a small trattoria or pizzeria that offers up its own local specialty of the dish. The Margherita pizza, which celebrates the beauty of a few perfect ingredients, is almost invariably present. Everywhere in Italy are piazzas, streets, drives, and malls dedicated to the hero of Italian unification, Vittorio Emmanuel, and to Queen Margherita. The pizza that bears her name is easily the most well-known (and well-travelled) tribute to the Queen. Creating the Perfect Pizza The art of pizza is well represented in Winnipeg. Ask anyone who makes the best pizza in town, and you are sure to get a range of answers, based on peoples’ personal preferences for thick or thin crust, sauce, and ingredients. At Pizzeria Gusto, Head Chef Eric Lee, with the help of Pizzaioli (pizza chef) Federico Bonato of Veneto, Italy, has brought the flavours and feelings of authentic Italy to Winnipeg's Academy Road. Bonato and Lee generously offered to share their best pizza tips with our readers. “Start the day before.” Both experts agree that “the pizza is in the crust,” and all crusts begin with a simple combination of flour, water, salt,a and yeast. Bonato favours pastry flour, while Eric advises experimenting with different brands of flour to create the crust you most enjoy. Both chefs agree
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Go Local While the classic Margherita can be found throughout Italy, local ingredients are prized: what grows together goes together. Chef Bonato’s home in Italy’s northern Veneto region sees Pizza Veronese with mushrooms and Prosciutto crudo; famous radicchio di Treviso; and even mussels and clams. To recreate the flavours of southern Sicily, Chef Lee suggests using a slightly thicker crust, with toppings such as breadcrumbs, anchovies, and sardines. Mozzarella is not a typical ingredient on Sicilian pizza, but Provolone can be substituted for Sicilian Caciocavallo cheese. With these insider tips, we can all create perfection. The next time you crave an authentic Italian pizza, put hands into flour and create your own tribute to Italy.
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Cellar Door Win e an d p o ssib ilit ie s b y Ban ville & Jo n e s Win e C o .
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Cellar Door Win e an d p o ssib ilit ie s b y Ban ville & Jo n e s Win e C o .
Cellar Door Win e an d p o ssib ilit ie s b y Ban ville & Jo n e s Win e C o .
As for baking, “the hotter, the better,” according to our chefs. Wood-fired ovens bake pizzas at 900°C in three to four minutes. What to do if your backyard or bank account lack the elements needed to install a full-sized pizza oven? Lee and Bonato suggest using a pizza stone, preheated in a 500°C oven. Spread out the dough on a cutting board sprinkled with flour (don’t worry about shape; “real” pizza isn’t perfectly round). Top the pizza and transfer it to the preheated stone. After about 10–12 minutes check the bottom of the pizza for a nicely browned crust. Serve piping hot.
Perfect wine pairings for pizza have everything to do with the topping.
For the perfect sauce? Tradition suggests San Marzano tomatoes, but our experts recommend using fresh, local ingredients whenever possible. Otherwise, opt for the best quality canned tomatoes possible. Tomatoes, onions, fresh garlic, oregano, salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar are all it takes to sauce your pie.
that making the dough the day before and allowing it to rest (refrigerated) overnight results in relaxed dough with a chewy, yet tender texture.
Win e an d p o ssib ilit ie s b y Ban ville & Jo n e s Win e C o .
salud spain! taste the stars
issue 9 June – september 2011
Issue 8 February-June 2011
amo argentina issue 10 october 2011 – January 2012 spanish winemaker Telmo Rodríguez
Issue 11 February – June 2012
gluggy By Mike Muirhead, Sommelier (ISG, CMS), CSW The New (Old) World
There is something interesting going on with the wines of the Old World: they are reinventing themselves, to change with current drinking trends. I am not talking about the holy grounds of viticulture, but rather the regions that have flown under the radar until only recently in our market. While old bastions such as Southern France have had their ups and downs, the latest trend is a focus on the native grapes of Southern Italy. Italy has over 1,000 native grapes. This number is staggering, especially when you consider that most of the wine sold in today’s market is grown from the “Significant Seven”—Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah (a.k.a., Shiraz), Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc. The wonderful thing about these new (old) grapes is the value that is attached to them. From Southern Italy, we have seen an incredible increase in quality from white grapes like Falanghina and Fiano. In the red varieties, grapes such as Primitivo, Nero d’Avola, and Negroamaro have given us wines that are great values. These wines are rich in flavour and style, but don’t have the price premium that regions like Barolo and Brunello di Montalcino carry. Several features make these wines appealing to the North American market. First, the price of the wine is very reasonable. Most of these wines land between $10 and $20. The second appealing feature is that these wines are really suitable to our North American palate. Southern Italy’s warm climate creates warmer, smoother wines, with a flavour profile that North Americans tend to enjoy. These wines represent where the market is currently heading: medium alcohol wines that are distinct and unique.
The South is distinct in that that it honours traditions with an eye to innovation. On the heel of the boot, Apulia alone has 26 DOCs (delimited areas of controlled grape growing and winemaking). To put that in perspective, all of Tuscany has 29! Apulia accounts for more that 17 per cent of Italy’s annual production and makes more wine than any other region. They are not, however, simply producing for volume. The quality of the region’s wine is such that, historically, bad or weak vintages in France were “fortified” or “beefed up” with wines from Apulia. Apulia is also the home of Primitivo, which has been linked genetically to Zinfandel—one of the U.S.’s signature grapes. The grapes have similar characteristics to their American counterpart and are a great introduction to Italian wine. Sicily is the second largest grape producer in Italy; however, more of their production focuses on table grapes. Sicily’s fantastic local grapes include red, such as Nerello Mascalese and white, such as Catarratto, but they also plant Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Chardonnay. These varieties, along with the climate and volcanic soil, make Sicily a prime location for quality wine production, without the price attached to more famous Old World regions. When people want to try something new, we recommend Southern Italy. It is easy to fall in love with the diverse number of Italian wines that are priced to let you experiment.
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S H O O T
S K A T E
T R A I N
Southern Italy attracted me because it is an extreme territory still to be discovered. I love its rich aromas, warmth, and passion—the same characteristics found in their wines. GH: Southern Italy has thousands of years of winemaking history. Yet, our market sells few wines compared to those of Central and Northern Italian regions, such as Tuscany, Veneto, and even Trentino Alto Adige. Why do you think Southern Italy is less present in international markets? SC: For many years, Southern Italy was a bulk market producer of concentrated grape must. In the 1980s (before the renaissance of viticulture in the 1990s), almost every harvest needed enrichment of the must for fermentation, because the potential alcohol level was one degree below that required by the market. Unlike in parts of France where it was possible to add sugar, a practice that was and still is prohibited throughout Italy, the only legal way to add sugar was to add concentrated must that came from grapes from Southern Italy. In the 1980s, many Italian DOCs allowed a minimal percentage of wines from other Italian regions and the South was their supply tank.
taste the south: an interview with Stefano Chioccioli Interview by Gary Hewitt; translation by Lia Tolaini-Banville Consultant viticulturalist and winemaker Dr. Stefano Chioccioli’s expertise spans the whole of Italy, from Friuli-Venzia Giulia through Tuscany, and south to his beloved Sicily. As Chioccioli's reputation grew, a pair of 100-point scores (Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate) for a Tuscan wine he made called Redigaffi by Tua Rita, helped raise his international recognition. During our interview and by way of responses laced with technical detail, he painted a wonderful picture of South Italy’s enormous potential for quality and diversity. Because we retained many technical terms, we included a short glossary. We caught up with Dr. Chioccioli at his home in Italy and conducted the interview through translator Lia Tolaini-Banville. Gary Hewitt: Stefano, please tell us a little bit about your background and how your interest in the wines of Southern Italy arose. Stefano Chioccioli: I graduated in agronomy in 1984 and define myself more as an agronomist than an enologist. During my first years of study at the University of Florence, I was interested in the various disciplines in the world of agriculture. Then an interest in viticulture hit me like a landslide; immediately after that, I was similarly hit by an interest in enology. When I graduated with honours, I was hired right away at Ruffino, a large producer, where I worked for seven years. Those seven years were formative because they allowed me to explore complex viticultural and enological themes that became the foundation of my future professional experience.
In 1992, I took my first few steps as a consultant of agronomy and enology. It was a period of big changes in the world of wine. We were renewing vines and concentrating on new viticulture in a territory rich in possibilities, but still not expressing what it was capable of expressing. The year 1995 was important, not only because the arrival of my daughter Ginevra, but because it marked the beginning of a new era that emphasized the expertise of consultants in almost all of Italy. Today, as well as consulting in Italy, I work for two wineries in France and one in Hungary. In my 25-year career, I have consulted on more than 70 wines with Tre Bicchieri from Gambero Rosso, and many wines that have received ratings of 92 to 100 points.
At the beginning of the 1990s, a deep cultural revolution happened in Italy. Qualified professionals (agronomists, sometimes with enologists) started a critical and constructive analysis of the existing vineyards. We knew that it was not possible to succeed in the international market with poor or even basic viticulture. I define this period as the “viticultural renaissance.” It was the most beautiful phase in our recent history, where we questioned the history of Italian viticulture and deeply changed viticultural and enological practices to lay a foundation for the future. This was the birth of grand Italian wines that today challenge the international market. All of this progress reduced the need for concentrated must and/or wines from Southern Italy. Southern winemakers started bottling and selling their wines as new expressions from quality wine regions with their own identities. The South replanted old vineyards with new vines, planted international varieties (a mistake!), improved clonal selections of native varieties, and changed the density of the vineyards, the rootstocks, and the training of the vines. GH: We are seeing more wines from the regions of Apulia and Sicily in our local market. What is special about the wines from these regions? SC: I believe the “specialness” of wines from Apulia and Sicily comes from native grape varieties with distinct characteristics. The viticultural production in Apulia and Sicily are quite different from each other, but is also different among individual regions within the larger ones. For example, in Sicily, the quality and identity of the wines are completely different between the regions of Trapani [Ed. note: the hot, low-lying area of western Sicily] and Catania [Ed. note: eastern Sicily], with its own viticulture born on the slopes of Mount Etna. In Apulia, the quality of wines obtained in the Salice Salentino region [Ed. note: in south-central Apulia, in the heel of the boot] is different than those from the Itria Valley [Ed. note: in central Apulia, in the province of Bari] or the new, emerging region of Foggia [Ed. note: further north, up the heel of Apulia]. In Italy, there is diversity in the territories and varieties capable of producing wines with different characters and personality.
Glossary Agronomy: the science of soil management and crop production Alcoholic fermentation: the process of transforming grape juice sugars into alcohol Anthocyanins: the red-to-blue pigments found in grape skins that contribute to colour in wine Clonal variety: nearly identical vines derived vegetatively from a single ‘mother’ vine Enology (also, oenology): the science and study of wine and winemaking Enrichment: sugar addition to must to increase the final alcohol level— not intended to sweeten a wine Lees: gross lees contain grape skins, seeds and stems, plus yeast cells, whereas fine lees are light deposits of mostly yeast cells Maceration: a pre- or postfermentation soak that promotes colour, flavour and tannin extraction from grape solids Malolactic fermentation: a postalcoholic fermentation process that converts harsh malic acid (think green apples) into softer lactic acid (think milk) Must: grape juice intended for fermentation that may (red wines) or may not (white wines) contain grape seeds, stems, and skins Polyphenols: a large and abundant group of reactive compounds found in grapes that contribute colour, flavour, texture, and longevity to wines Rootstock: the rooting part of a vine grafted to the variety-determining flowering part Tre Bicchieri (translation: Three Glasses): Italy’s most prestigious designation, awarded by Italian publisher Gambero Rosso to a small number of Italian wines per year Viticulture: the science of grape growing and production
Mount Etna Catania
GH: Which Southern Italian grape varieties do you personally like to work with?
Verdeca, as a professional challenge. It is a rare and less well-known variety.
SC: Today, Italy has over 1,000 native grape varieties available, which explains the great diversity in our country!
I love Sicily, its sea, its towns and countryside, its history and the people. Grillo is a great varietal, rich in pre-fermentation aromas, similar to those present in Sauvignon Blanc. Carricante, cultivated on the slopes of Etna, is attractive for its unique perfumes that are almost defective, but that make it unique. I love Nero d’Avola with its young, rich expression of blueberry and raspberry! Frappato is a huge technical challenge as it is a delicate varietal with very thin skin (dangerous in the last phase of maturation because of its extreme delicacy).
My personal preference is working in Campania, Calabria, Apulia, and Sicily, so I can speak only about the varieties of these four regions. In Campania, the big challenge is Greco. I love this salty varietal, its golden skin, and its amazing ability to evolve and age: it needs time to concede its complex personality. In Calabria, the Magliocco grape is the variety that is most attractive to me: it produces wines that are earthy, rich, and complex. In Apulia, the Verdeca grape represents a professional challenge to me—a chance to re-evaluate a minor white variety from the South. It produces wines that are perfect for the market, with low alcohol and rich citrus and Mediterranean vegetal aromas. In Apulia, I like Primitivo and Susumaniello: the Primitivo for its expression, representing a warm wine from the South—full-bodied and extraordinarily fresh; and the Susumaniello, like the
GH: What are your thoughts on the use of international grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in South Italian wines? SC: Unfortunately, when the South started is viticultural renaissance, it made the error of introducing international varieties. Many of these varieties failed, particularly following the increase in temperature in the last 10 years. Chardonnay cultivated in the South of Italy, in my experience, is excessively alcoholic. Chardonnay is a varietal “of light” and not “of heat,” and therefore the South isn’t its ideal territory. Merlot also failed, producing high-alcohol, super-mature wines, without freshness. Cabernet Sauvignon matures later so it had
better results in Sicily, but it will never reach the quality it reaches in Tuscany. The only international varietal that is at home in Sicily and has had good results is Syrah. The great heat of the Sicilian summers produces a complex and rich Syrah with spicy aromas of black pepper that I find fascinating GH: How do you approach making wines in the different regions of South Italy? SC: Every variety has its own character, problems, and needs that must be understood. If we want to create wines with a strong regional character, it is necessary to create a process that has as its goal wines with a strong identity. The main discriminators in white wines are the quality of the skin and the balance of acidity in the must. The prefermentation phase—and the use of different techniques such as contact time between the pulp and skins, cold or not cold—fundamentally affect the personality of each specific white grape. Following alcoholic fermentation, a big variable in the enological process is the malolactic fermentation, which depends on the amount of acidity, the area of production, and the variety. Last but not least, the management of the fine lees, even in the case of white wines and wines made with indigenous yeasts, can impart extra layers of complexity. This is an open frontier that will no doubt be discussed in the next few years. (continued)
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For red wines, the first factor, without a doubt, is the use of indigenous yeasts that occur naturally in the winery. Using them instead of selected yeasts creates regional identity that must, when possible, be kept present. On a larger scale, red winemaking demands successful management of the grape skins and polyphenols. The quantity and quality of anthocyanins and tannins vary by vintage for each variety in each specific region, and this affects the pre-fermentation and fermentation phases. In some varieties, important factors are a short alcoholic fermentation with maceration limited to 7–10 days. For example, Frappato is a variety with a thin skin and not adept to long macerations. There are many more examples. In all honesty, although there are general rules, each variety and vintage presents its own challenges, and professional experience and judgment are essential in choosing one fermentation process or another. GH: It’s difficult to imagine Italian wines without Italian food. What are some of your favourite regional wine and food combinations from South Italy?
s u o r u t t n r e a v . m d e s a l
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SC: I agree—even if a great wine, especially a red wine, can be enjoyed without food—this is the mark of a truly great wine.
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In Campania, I drink Greco di Tufo with spaghetti and clams; in Calabria, lamb tenderloin with Cirò (a Gaglioppo grape variety). In Sardinia, I would pair tuna and fava beans with a Cannonau Rosé, salad of spaghetti and bottarga [mullet roe caviar] with a Vermentino di Gallura, or roast lamb with Carignano del Sulcis. In my second home, Sicily, I recommend eggplant capponata with Cerasuolo di Vittorio (Frappato), pasta and sardines with an Etna Bianco, and for dessert, a Sicilian cannoli with a Malvasia di Lipari. GH: What do you predict regarding the future of Southern Italian wines on the international market? SC: The wines of Southern Italy are in a period of great development. Wines of great character from new Southern Italian viticultural regions are hitting the market with great impact. The future has two important aspects. The first is the qualitative development of the varieties already in the international marketplace. We will have more growth in quality, personality, and experience in Campania, Apulia, Sardinia, Calabria, and Sicily with the varietals that are representative of Southern Italy: Greco, Fiano, Negroamaro, Primitivo, Vermentino, Carignano, Grillo, and Nero d’Avola.
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The second aspect will be the discovery of Southern Italian varietals that are today considered minor but have great potential for an international market. The market is now looking for “diversity” and “uniqueness,” with an understanding of the “culture” of wines from the region of production. Italy in general, and the South of Italy in particular, can make new wines to compete with the thousands of Cabernets, Chardonnays, and Merlots produced in many regions around the world. In the near future, we will produce unique and interesting wines with the “right”’ characteristics that come from varietals like Verdeca, Carricante, Sciascinoso, Piedirosso, Nerello Cappuccio, Cannonau, Frappato—alone or in a blend of native varieties.
To increase the consumption of the wines of the South, being that they are not “internationally known,” we need to educate people about these wines. It is important that consumers know some of the story, the geography, the culture of the southern regions. The good fortune of Italians is that we have always had a great food culture that is well recognized around the world. I think that this is important for the market, wine education, and synergies with great Italian foods and wines. I think importers, distributors, winemakers, and Sommeliers have a responsibility to educate the public on these new unique options.
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green cork By Jill Kwiatkoski
Carbon Neutral, Earth Positive! Many people have heard the term carbon neutral before, yet it remains one of those “green terms” that often gets tossed around without explanation. “Carbon neutral” describes an environmental practice that reduces our carbon footprint, offsets greenhouse gas emissions, and promotes environmentally friendly initiatives with the end goal of releasing no net carbon into the environment. That means that for any carbon we release into the atmosphere, we counter it with an environmental practice to offset its impact on global warming. With the goal of being carbon neutral in mind, a country, company, or even an individual can apply several strategies in their daily practices to reduce harmful emissions into the environment. For example, simply reducing waste, recycling, and using renewable resources can reduce the amount of carbon we are releasing into the atmosphere. A relatively new strategy for obtaining carbon neutrality is purchasing what are called “carbon offsets.” By purchasing carbon offsets, you can subtract polluting emissions with credit that is used to support renewable energy projects such as wind machines, solar installations, tree plantings, and forest regeneration. One carbon offset represents the reduction of one cubic tonne of greenhouse gasses (such as CO2) in the environment. Many large corporations, including hotels, airlines, transport companies, movie studios, and sporting organizations, are going carbon neutral by purchasing carbon offsets, implementing recycling programs, and becoming more energy efficient. Rock bands such as the Rolling Stones and the Dave Matthews Band have begun to offset emissions associated with their concert tours. Individuals can purchase carbon offsets to make up for automobile use, air travel, or energy use in our homes. To
on the homefront While Canada as a country lags behind the international standard for environmental responsibility, we have reason to be proud of individuals and companies who make an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. A glowing example is Niagara’s Stratus Winery, the first winery in North America to be carbon neutral and LEED (Leadership
find out how, trust Canadian icon David Suzuki to provide the way. Visit his website at www.davidsuzuki.org, and a quick search of the term “carbon offset” will bring you to a guide for business and individual consumers.
Tre Bicchieri by Gambero Rosso is the most prestigious wine award for Italian wines.
In the vineyards Many wine regions have practiced environmentally friendly agriculture for generations out of respect for the earth that gives them their livelihoods. If our environment is compromised, so are the fruits (literally!) of their labour. With new technology, however, comes new ways in which wineries can contribute to more carbon-neutral practices, for example: • Manufacturing bottles out of recycled materials or lighter-weight glass reduces fuel consumption during transportation • Producing labels made from recycled paper using vegetable-based inks
Three Glasses for Tolaini Valdisanti 2008
• Reducing packaging and using boxes made from recycled cardboard • Using solar- and wind-powered energy to operate the winery • Purchasing carbon offsets against the massive effect wine transport (via trucks, trains, and ships) has on the environment • Harvesting organically grown grapes free of fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, etc. • Hand picking and sorting reduces the use of machinery and fuel emissions We often get hung up on searching for organic or biodynamic wines for healthy living, but don’t forget: it is not only what is inside the bottle but all the factors that contribute to that bottle being on the store shelf that add up to its impact on the environment.
in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. Show your support for their efforts by trying their exquisite wines. Wildass 2006 White Niagara VQA $23.99 Wildass 2008 Red Niagara VQA $26.99 Stratus 2007 Riesling Icewine Niagara VQA $48.99 Stratus 2006 White Niagara VQA $57.99 Stratus 2006 Red Niagara VQA $57.99
Eco-friendly tags on Banville & Jones Wine Co. store shelves indicate wines from around the globe that are produced under four categories: sustainably produced, organic, biodynamic, and carbon neutral.
20,000 wines tasted 375 Tre Bicchieri awarded • Every year, Italian publisher Gambero Rosso samples the best of Italian wines, and awards the most extraordinary of these the coveted Tre Bicchieri award. • Tolaini Estates’ 2008 Valdisanti was oﬃcially recognized in October 2011. • Valdisanti will be included in Vini d’Italia, one of Europe’s most respected wine guides.
1616 St Mary's Rd • Winnipeg, MB 948-WINE (9463) • www.banvilleandjones.com Imported exclusively by
banville & jones
wine institute Basic training Since our opening in 1999, Banville & Jones has been offering wine appreciation classes that provide a fantastic introduction to wines of the world, without the requirement of examinations or essays. The popular Wine Basics classes are held in the beautiful Tuscan Room (upstairs at 1616 St. Mary’s Road). The courses provide an interesting, interactive way of learning about the world of wine. Class size is limited to 28 people to ensure the best learning experience.
How do I describe a wine I enjoy?
With a bit of wine knowledge you will find yourself ready for more! Basics 2 goes around the world in four weeks, with some important stop overs. Through tasting and enjoyable presentations, we tour the world’s major wine regions and wine styles; we learn some of the scandals that have resulted in current regulations around wine; we explore a range of bubbly wines and Champagne; and we warm ourselves with Port and fortified wines. By the end of the course students will have what they need to navigate restaurant wine lists and explore new wine territories!
How do I explain what I like and what I do not like? What is the difference between Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz? The experts at Banville & Jones have heard questions such as these from wine lovers, and designed a course to answer them. The two-evening Basics 1 course is designed for anyone who wants to know something about the world of wine. No prior wine knowledge or experience are necessary. Through an interactive taste experience, the course helps each participant understand his or her own unique palate. By the end of the course, students will have learned of major wine varietals and wine styles; how to taste, and importantly, how to describe what they enjoy and prefer to avoid; what contributes to quality and price in wines; and the basics of food and wine harmonies. There is no exam, everybody passes, and the only expectation is that you will do a bit of homework (tasting wine) between classes! Two evenings, 7 to 9pm. $79.00 per person
Basics 2 is open to anyone, whether or not you have taken Basics 1. Again, no exams, no essays, and no homework beyond tasting a wine or two from time to time! Four evenings, 7 to 9pm. $159.00 per person
WINE APPRECIATION: BASICS PROGRAMS Wine Basics, Level 1
Beyond Basics, Level 2
June 6 & 13 (Wednesdays) Cost: $79.00 per person
March 1, 8, 15 & 22 (Thursdays) Cost: $159.00 per person
Register for Basics courses by calling Banville & Jones at 948-WINE (9463) or inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org. Gift cards are available for Banville & Jones Basics classes.
ISG CERTIFICATION ISG Wine Fundamentals Certificate, Level 1
ISG Wine Fundamentals Certificate, Level 2
ISG Sommelier Diploma Program
Duration: three hours, once a week, for eight weeks (non-consecutive) Starting: April 2, 2012 (Mondays) Cost: $600.00, includes GST
Duration: three hours, once a week, for 16 weeks (non-consecutive) Starting: September 2012 Cost: $1,000.00, includes GST
Duration: 23 classes, eight hours per class Starting: Next class dates TBA Cost: $3,250.00, includes GST
Register for ISG programs online at www.internationalsommelier.com.
WSET® CERTIFICATION We are delighted to team up with Red River College Continuing Studies and Distance Education to offer the WSET® programs at the beautiful new Red River Campus. Banville & Jones brings wine education to the heart of downtown Winnipeg.
WSET® Level 1: Foundation Certificate Duration: One 8-hour workshop April 7 (Friday) Cost: $359.00 plus GST Foundation Workshops can also be presented on demand at B&J Wine Institute for a minimum of 10 persons: ideal for restaurant staff training or your next corporate team-building event.
WSET® Level 2: Intermediate Certificate: “looking behind the label” (no prerequisite) Duration: three hours, once a week, for eight weeks, 6:00 to 9:00 pm Starting: April 19 (Wednesdays) Cost: $859.00 plus GST
Register for WSET® courses at Banville & Jones, 948-WINE (9463) or inquire at email@example.com. For full course descriptions, please visit www.banvilleandjones.com and follow the link to “Wine Education.”
Log in, set up your own profile and use our site to: • Browse the Banville & Jones inventory • Review your personal purchase history • Share your tasting notes, ratings and reviews with selected contacts in the B&J CornerVine community • Receive notifications about products specific to your tastes
banville & jones
events schedule Passport to Wine
Test Kitchen Encore: southern italy
Each Passport evening, Banville & Jones wine experts and local chefs take you on a journey to explore a different country’s wine and food culture. Attend three Passport events, and you will receive a complimentary Eisch Sensis wine glass!
Chef Patrick Shrupka of Amici Restaurant serves up his South Italian duo of Calamari Umido and Veal Limone. Perfect wine pairings are provided by Banville & Jones’s wine experts. See Test Kitchen (p. 56) for the recipe and tasting notes.
Cost: $69.99 per person, plus taxes
Cost: $89.99 per person, plus taxes
Friday, March 2: Alto Adige with Amici Restaurant
Wednesday, April 4
Wednesday, March 14: South Africa with Café Savour Thursday, April 19: Catch of the Day with Wasabi Sabi Sunday, April 22: Basque Country with Bistro 7 ¼
Cost: $99.00 per person, plus taxes
Wednesday, May 2: That’s Amore with Pizzeria Gusto Friday, May 11: Wine Fusion with Elements – The Restaurant Friday, May 25: Under the Sea with Chef Craig Guenther Saturday, June 2: Final Departure with Amici Restaurant
Wine is so much fun. It is my passion, but like everyone, my life is busy. I have work, family; it’s hard to find time to devote to hobbies. What I like about CornerVine is that if I have a couple of minutes here or there, I can pop on and read about wine. I am not on Facebook because I don’t feel it has the privacy level I am comfortable with, but I am comfortable on CornerVine because it focuses on such a specific interest. The feature I find myself using often is My Wines. Because it is a history of the wines I have purchased, I can track the dates of wines I am cellaring, and I can also scroll through wines I have purchased in the past, to remind me of old favourites.
Luxury Tasting Taste the luxury as our wine experts open the doors of our Specialties cabinets to explore some of Banville & Jones’s exclusive treasures.
Saturday, April 14: London 2012 with Inn at the Forks
the social network
March 2012 through June 2012
Saturday, March 10: Thai Tour with Chef Craig Guenther
Join the wine community on cornerVine
— Gerry Hochman, wine enthusiast
Friday, April 27: The Rhône
The Banville & Jones CornerVine site is a place for wine lovers at all levels to explore new wines, compare notes, track purchases and much more. Whether people are looking for insight into wines they haven’t tried or are looking to share their own tasting notes, CornerVine users get the benefit of a dedicated network of tasters at their fingertips.
Tasting on the Terrace Join us on the Tuscan Terrace to enjoy a wine tasting in the sun! Friday, June 8
To reserve a space or book a private wine tasting event, call 948-WINE. • Tickets are non-refundable but are exchangeable 14 days prior to the event. • Events begin at 7:00 pm unless otherwise noted. • Check www.banvilleandjones.com for updated information on event themes and dates.
— Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson, wine columnist, Wine Access and Winnipeg Free Press
Watch for Cottage Cases, available in store May 17, just in time for May Long!
Not only does Banville & Jones CornerVine help you review and organize your own wine purchases (past and future), it links you to a community of wine drinkers. CornerVine gives you a space where you can share recommendations, bookmark wines to try (or try again), see what your friends are drinking, and get ideas for great gifts! Share as little or as much as you want!
1616 St Mary’s Rd • 948-9463 banvilleandjones.cornervine.com
if you need help getting started, come in to the store and ask any of the Banville & Jones wine experts for a short tutorial!
wines were awarded the coveted Tre Bicchieri (Three Glasses). One of these was the Tolaini Estates' 2008 Valdisanti, which just happens to come from Tina Jones’s family estate in Tuscany! In contrast to the Italian rating system, California is home to weekly wine fairs that award bronze, silver, or gold medals to wines. Some of these fairs have so many flights of wine that, with only two or three wines in each flight, each wine wins a medal no matter how good (or awful) it really is. Some of the cheaper U.S. wine labels will brag that they have “won over 500 medals”—but if they are entering every flight of every wine fair, these medals quickly become irrelevant to the objective quality of the wine.
how do i rate? By Rick Watkins, CSW
Customers come to Banville & Jones, browse the shelves, and examine wine labels, trying to find that “special” bottle that jumps out at them. Occasionally, they examine the tags indicating how a particular wine is rated. However, wine rating systems are not practical until you can decipher their meaning. A basic knowledge of the most common rating systems will allow you to enhance your ability to choose the best wines for you. Thirty years ago, there were two ways to find out if a wine was any good. The first was to go to your local wine shop, buy a bottle, and then go home and try it. The second was to find someone at the wine store who had tasted the wine and could offer a coherent opinion about it. That all changed when a lawyer named Robert Parker decided he could make a living by tasting, evaluating, and rating wines for consumers. Parker decided to use a 100-point rating system, since it would be familiar to most North Americans based on the common school grading system of a letter grade and a percentage. In this system, a 94 would equate to a grade of A, 83 would equate to a B, 76 would equate to a C, and so on. (In reality, in Parker’s system, every wine is given 50 points to start, so it is actually based on 50 points). In Parker’s system, the colour and appearance of
the wine are rated together out of five points; the aroma and bouquet are rated up to 15 points; the body and flavour of the wine are worth up to 20 points; and the overall quality and potential for further evolution is rated up to 10. The problem with this 100-point system is that the numbers become very compressed. Few wines rate under 85 points or over 92 points. For most wines, this rating system is effectively a six-point one that ranges between 86 and 91 points. Parker states that the rating is just a “snapshot in time,” as wine is a dynamic product that might rate an 89 now, but in five years could rate a 92. He feels that the accompanying notes are where you really learn how the wine actually smells and tastes. Parker has become so influential in the wine industry that a high rating from him can result in the wine doubling or tripling in price almost immediately. Some wine writers, especially in Britain, prefer to use a 20-point rating system. The idea is the same as the 100-point system, but you can issue half points. A very good wine might rate 17.5, while a truly exceptional wine would rate 18.5. The problem with this system, of course, is that most wines will rate between 16 and 18 points, so the actual ratings become meaningless.
Decanter magazine uses the 5-star rating system. Wines can receive between one and five stars depending on the quality of the wine. Again, most wines will rate between three and four stars, so the rating becomes far less important than the detailed tasting notes that follow the rating.
The Internet has democratized the field of wine rating and reviews. Websites like grapestories.com gather the opinions of amateur wine lovers, then compile the ratings and give an “average” rating. This average becomes a more accurate picture of the wine if many people have
To highlight how a wine rating system can be misunderstood if you don’t know the context, let’s look at how Gambero Rosso scores Italian wines. They give wines that are already above average one, two, or three wine glasses to show that they are truly special wines. What is potentially unclear is that a wine rating of even one glass can mean that a wine is exceptional. The problem with simply reading a number rating or seeing that a certain wine won a gold medal is that you do not know the scale or context of the rating system. Gambero Rosso is one of the toughest rating systems in the world. In the 2012 edition of Gambero Rosso’s wine bible, Vini d’Italia, 20,000 of Italy’s top wines were selected to be tasted and evaluated. Of these, only 375
weighed in, as opposed to one or two. Through the Banville & Jones website, customers now have access to CornerVine, a social media platform wherein they can keep track of the wines they’ve bought; rate wine and share ratings with other “Viners”; and get information about new wines coming to our market (banvilleandjones. cornervine.com). Of course we cannot forget our own Todd Antonation and his “Wines of the Year” list, as rated by the up-andcoming “Todd-O-Meter” scale. Ask Todd about his top 2011 picks next time you are in the store. When you get out there and start building your own ratings and reviews of wines, just keep one thing in mind: in the words of wine expert Sylvia Jansen, when you taste a wine, you only need to answer two questions: Do you like the wine? Would you pay what it costs? If the answer is yes to both questions, then you have found a winner!
culinary partners 529 Wellington 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. Just ask Brad Pitt or Jennifer Lopez! 529 Wellington Crescent 204.487.8325
Amici | Bombolini For over 20 years, bombolini Amici has maintained its reputation for culinary excellence, pairing consistently delicious meals with selections from an impressive wine list. Bombolini is the downstairs sister to the award-winning Amici; extensive renovations to Bombolini mean that the elegant décor and fun atmosphere of this culinary destination are now on par with the excellent food and wine. Amici 326 Broadway (upstairs) 204.943.4997 Bombolini 326 Broadway (downstairs) 204.943.5066
Los Chicos Restaurante Y Cantina Los Chicos offers what every palate craves: Mexican-inspired cuisine that is as cozy and relaxing as it is fresh and delicious. From the trusted professionals of Wow! Hospitality, comes the newest and most colourful member of Winnipeg’s premier restaurant group: Los Chicos Restaurante Y Cantina. Enjoy great Mexican food for lunch or dinner, or take pleasure in the largest selection of tequilas in Winnipeg in the comfortable lounge. Watch for weekly food and drink specials, including Margarita Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, or Jets games Beers and Burritos. Olé! 1715 Kenaston Boulevard 204.938.2229
Peasant Cookery 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 204.989.7700
Café Savour Chef Louise Briskie-de Beer and partner Faiz de Beer love to share the fruits of their travels by bringing global cuisine with Manitoba flare to your palate. Café Savour’s atmosphere is as unique and delightful as the food, perfect for an intimate, formal dinner for two or a casual evening of relaxing laughter with friends. Dinner reservations start at 5:30 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. 956 St Mary's Road 204.254.4681
Step’N Out Sur le Boulevard Step’N Out is the most uniquely intimate restaurant sur le boulevard in St. Boniface. The rich décor, personalized hand-written menu board, innovative cuisine, and wine list are inspiring and romantic, making loyal patrons out of most every visitor for 14 years. Step’N Out is the ideal destination for your next lunch date, or that perfect night out. 157 Provencher Boulevard 204.956.7837
Terrace Fifty-Five Food and Wine Terrace Fifty-Five mirrors the natural beauty of Assiniboine Park. Whether for an evening out, a leisurely lunch, or a special event, this restaurant has the venue to match the occasion. With an original menu that is representative of Manitoban culture, Chef Resch maintains a strong commitment to sustainable and renewable resources. Enjoy Canadian fish, produce, bison, lamb, and grains, beautifully paired with a unique wine list. Unit B - 55 Pavilion Crescent 204.938.7275
The Brass Lantern Restaurant and Banquet Centre The Brass Lantern is southeastern Manitoba’s finest dining experience and Steinbach's first full-scale banquet and conference centre. Chef and owner Gregory Klippenstein, joined by highly acclaimed Executive Chef Joseph Dokuchie, have created an extensive menu featuring bistroinspired Continental cuisine. They take great pride in creating dishes that feature the freshest available local products and only the finest Certified Angus Beef. From Mushroom Caps to Pot Roast to Chicken Cashew, there is something for everyone. Come by for lunch or dinner and be sure to check out the wine list. 145 Main Street, Steinbach, Manitoba 204.320.1880
Bistro 1800 at Hilton Suites Winnipeg Airport Bistro 7 ¼ Blaze Bistro Brooklynn’s Bistro Café Dario Cherry Hill Estate Diana's Pizza Elements – The Restaurant Elkhorn Resort Earl’s Restaurant and Bar Horfrost Hy’s Steakhouse Joey Kenaston Joey Polo Park Joey’s Only Seafood Maple Tree Restaurant and Steakhouse Mulligan's Restaurant and Lounge Olive Garden Italian Restaurant Pizzeria Gusto Rembrandt’s Bistro Sabai Thai Segovia Santa Lucia
Wasabi Sabi Winnipeg’s premier sushi destination is Wasabi Sabi. For a bite of lunch on-the-go, or a long, lingering meal at the chef’s table, the Wasabi Group offers unforgettable sushi, appetizers, entrées, drink specials, and desserts. Visit Wasabi Sabi for Happy Hour, Monday to Saturday, 3 pm–6 pm and choose from tuna nachos, spicy mango prawns, tuna goma ae, pizza sushi, assorted tempura or ginger crème brûlée, just to name a few. 3-1360 Taylor Avenue 204.415.7878
Spuntino Café St. Charles Country Club Sukhothai
Photos by Philip Houde
Turkey IN 2012
Great food and wine (yes wine!)
Incredible archeological sites & history Very friendly and welcoming people
A safe country with modern infrastructure Turkey is a vast and varied country boasting incredible landscapes and natural wonders bordered by four different seas. Well known as a great destination for relaxing beach holidays, it also offers many sporting activities, some of the world’s most important ancient monuments, welcoming Turkish hospitality and a delicious and varied national cuisine. Described by many as the cradle of civilization, Turkey is the bridge between Europe and Asia.
Book your Turkey trip by April 15, 2012 and receive a $50.00 Gift Certiﬁcate to Banvillle & Jones Wine Co.
The Current at Inn at the Forks The Victoria Inn Tony Roma’s Urban Prairie Cuisine
THANK YOU FOR VOTING US # 1 AS BEST TRAVEL AGENCY 4 YEARS IN A ROW!
204.338.4677 • 800.653.1177 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.rivereasttravel.com www.banvilleandjones.com 55
calamari umido (4 servings) 12 oz cleaned, sliced baby calamari rings 1 tbsp capers 2 tbsp pitted black kalamata olives 1 tbsp chopped, fresh garlic 1/4 cup julienned red onion 1/2 cup diced mixed bell peppers 1 tbsp julienned fresh basil 3 tbsp tomato paste 2 tbsp extra virgin oil 2 oz red wine (like Cottanera Barbazzale Rosso) The secret to tender calamari is to cook it as quickly as possible. In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp olive
oil. Add the calamari and sauté it for about 2 minutes then remove it from the pan and heat. Heat the other tablespoon of oil and sauté the onions, olives, peppers, capers and garlic for 3–4 minutes. Deglaze the pan using red wine and continue heating, until it is reduced by half. Stir in the tomato paste and reduce heat to medium/low until the vegetables soften. Return the calamari and juices to the pan, just long enough to heat the calamari thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, and toss with fresh basil. Serve it with a fresh baguette or crusty bread. Photo by Ian McCausland
Cottanera 2010 Barbazzale Bianco Sicilia IGT $15.99 Tina Barbazzale Bianco is grown on the slopes of Mount Etna. Its acidity makes it very foodfriendly. Salads are especially hard to pair with wine, and the minerality makes this one you can keep on hand for flawless pairing. The saltiness of the olives and the capers are stunning with this wine—it compliments the whole dish. This pairing is like an out-of-body experience! Saralyn The Insolia grape has a Chardonnay weight without being oaked. It is a great wine to pair with tough foods like fennel and asparagus. It has vanilla and coconut notes on the nose and an interesting viscosity on the finish that just hangs out on your palate. This wine is proof-positive that you don't always have to spend a fortune on wine for an expressive pairing—it makes the flavours in the calamari dish explode! All the salty components with the Insolia are amazing.
Photos by Ian McCausland
KITCHEN South Italy is defined by two particular geographic features: the Apennine Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Although traditionally, much of the population was vegetarian—with a rich history of cheese, breads and sauces— livestock has grown as an industry over the last century, especially in the mountains. In this Test Kitchen, executive Chef Patrick Shrupka of Amici Restaurant has challenged the Banville & Jones experts with a taste of both the sea and the mountains. Umido is an Italian stew, and Chef Shrupka has created a simple calamari stew that harnesses the fresh flavours of the Mediterranean: capers, basil, peppers, and kalamata olives. From the slopes of the Apennine mountain range, Chef Shrupka has prepared tender veal scallopini with homemade lemon preserve. The simplicity of these meals is defied by the complexity of their flavours. Banville and Jones wine experts Tina Jones, Darren Raeside, and Saralyn Mehta take on the challenge of pairing wine with two very different courses.
Darren Southern Italian whites have a richness to them and a minerality that can go with either a heavy dish or a lighter meal. It's amazing—the wine does not alter the flavours of the meal; instead it accelerates them—from the sweetness to the saltiness. Since this is such a Mediterranean meal, it makes sense that all the components of the calamari work with such a versatile Southern Italian wine.
Cottanera 2010 Barbazzale Rosso Etna DOC $16.99 Tina There is a warmth on the nose that doesn’t come through on the palate. I was expecting a high-alcohol wine, but it’s more cool cherry. Though there is a fruit note to this Rosso, it is also very traditionally Southern Italian, which makes me think of comfort food, like stew. This wine brings the calamari to life. Saralyn This Rosso has a New World nose—smoky and juicy. As with a lot of Southern Italian reds, this one is even better when it is served with a meal. That is the tradition in Southern Italy: wine and food together. Paired with this red, I find the calamari almost a little bit spicy. Darren There is a nice underlying fruit note on the nose. This red plays very nicely with the pepper and tomato in the calamari dish. With just the caper, the fruit and the alcohol come through, but as soon as you taste the dish as a whole, the pieces fall into place.
veal limone (Serves 4) 4 x 6 oz veal scallopini 1 cup all purpose flour 4 tsp olive oil A pinch of lemon preserve (see recipe to follow) 4 oz white wine (like Pala I Fiori) 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley 8 oz demi glace 2 tbsp butter (optional)
Photo by Ian McCausland
Lightly season both sides of the veal and dredge in flour. Heat the oil in a skillet, then fry the veal for about 2 minutes per side or until nicely browned. Remove the veal from the pan and add lemon and parsley. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Cook the wine until reduced by 3/4 and add the demi glace. If you want
your sauce a little richer, whisk in a little butter, then pour the sauce over the veal and serve.
Lemon Preserve Take nice unblemished lemons and wash them very well. In a salted pot of boiling water, add the lemons and cook for 8–10 minutes. Remove from heat. Quarter the lemons lengthwise and place them in a clean, airtight container. Cover generously with kosher salt and lemon juice and place the container in the fridge for about 3 days. To use the lemon preserve, you only need the yellow zest. Cut the fruit and white rind away with a knife and mince the zest. The preserve is very intense, so you only need a small amount.
Pala 2009 I Fiori Vermentino di Sardegna IGT $19.99 Tina Vermentino is a fun grape because it is a little unusual. This wine glides effortlessly across the palate with a mouth-watering acidity that lingers on the end. This pairing is really dynamic. The lemon and the veal make the Vermentino more lively—they make me want to keep drinking this wine! Saralyn This wine is crisp and clean and a good alternative for those who like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. It has good tannin structure that makes it a little more gutsy. It is spicy, but somehow also citrusy, and becomes even more so once it is paired with the lemon in the veal dish. This wine goes well with both the calamari and the veal. Darren This Vermentino starts with a lime zest and grapefruit on the palate that reminds me of Reisling, but it just keeps changing every time I smell it. There are deep, rich flavours in this veal dish, with the lemon preserve and demi glace. Weight-wise, the Pala is perfect with the veal, which brings out a savoury quality in the wine.
Photos by Ian McCausland
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Mazzei 2008 Doppiozeta Sicilia IGT $73.99 Tina I thought this wine would be too big and too fruity, but it works. Even with a single caper, this wine is unbelievable. You don’t need to buy an expensive wine to have a perfect pairing, but after trying three other red wines, it’s clear that this one is worth every penny. It pairs so nicely with the calamari dish, and it also hits every perfect note of the veal. Saralyn The flavours become so expressive when this wine joins this meal. The lemon in the veal dish is very savoury—not the sweet I was expecting—and hits on the finish of the food. Like the salty flavours in the calamari, the acidity in the lemon has the potential to break down a wine, but this bold wine is a lovely balance to both the calamari and veal dishes. Darren I also thought this would be too tannic and overwhelming for this meal to stand up to, but it has amazing structure that works with both parts of this meal. Red wines are hard to find in Southern Italy, and the two reds we have paired with this meal have been perfect food wines. The Doppiozeta is a wine everyone needs to try—and I suggest you try it with food. 175 mcdermot ave. · 943.1068 · www.unluggage.com
Bamboo Wine Racks $18.99–$39.99................................................................................................................... 22 Bodegas Muñoz 2009 Legado Muñoz Garnacha Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, Spain $10.99.............................. 62 Cantina Sociale Cooperativa 2004 Riserva Copertino DOC, Italy $16.99........................................................... 31 Col dei Venti 2007 Barbera d’Asti DOC, Italy $16.99......................................................................................... 36 Colosi 2010 Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT, Italy $13.99............................................................................................. 36 Cottanera 2010 Barbazzale Bianco Sicilia IGT, Italy $15.99.......................................................................... 23, 57 Cottanera 2010 Barbazzale Rosso Etna DOC, Italy $16.99........................................................................... 23, 57 Cottanera 2010 Etna Rosso Sicilia IGT, Italy $45.99........................................................................................... 23 Cottanera 2010 Fatagione Sicilia IGT, Italy $23.99............................................................................................. 23 Decanter $11.50.................................................................................................................................................. 23 Jacques Bruère 2007 Brut Reserve Cap Classique WO Robertson, South Africa $28.99...................................... 62 La Forge Estate 2009 Marsanne Reserve Vin de Pays d’Oc IGP, France $18.99................................................... 62 La Vis 2010 Pinot Grigio Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT, Italy $16.99...................................................................... 31 Lange Twins 2007 Midnight Reserve Lodi, California $39.99............................................................................. 62 Leonardo da Vinci 2009 Chianti DOCG, Italy $15.99........................................................................................ 31 Mazzei 2008 Doppiozeta Sicilia IGT, Italy $73.99............................................................................................... 58 Mazzei 2008 Zisola Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT, Italy $33.99................................................................................. 36 Menhir 2009 No Zero Negroamaro Salento IGT, Italy $15.99............................................................................. 38 Menhir 2008 Quota 29 Primitivo Salento IGT, Italy $15.99................................................................................ 36 Michele Satta 2010 Costa di Giulia Toscana IGT, Italy $21.99............................................................................ 36 Montalto 2009 Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGT, Italy $11.99........................................................................................ 38 OGIO 2009 Primitivo Puglia IGT, Italy $10.99................................................................................................... 38 Orin Swift 2009 Saldo Zinfandel, California $49.99........................................................................................... 62 Pala 2010 I Fiori Cannonau di Sardegna DOC, Italy $23.99......................................................................... 25, 57 Pala 2009 I Fiori Vermentino di Sardegna DOC, Italy $19.99....................................................................... 25, 57 Pala 2010 Stellato Vermentino di Sardegna DOC, Italy $25.99........................................................................... 25 Paolo Scavino 2009 Langhe Bianco DOC, Italy $18.99....................................................................................... 63 Paolo Scavino 2009 Dolcetto d’Alba DOC, Italy $19.99..................................................................................... 36 Provenza 2010 Tenuta Maiolo Lugana DOC, Italy $19.99.................................................................................. 36 Remo Farina 2009 Soave Classico DOC, Italy $14.99......................................................................................... 36 Santadi 2007 Shardana Valli di Porto Pino IGT, Italy $45.99.............................................................................. 31 Siro Merotto NV Prosecco Treviso DOC, Italy $19.99........................................................................................ 36 Sprucewood Handmade Cookies $6.99............................................................................................................... 23 Stratus 2006 Red Niagara Peninsula VQA, Canada $57.99................................................................................. 46 Stratus 2007 Riesling Icewine Niagara Peninsula VQA, Canada (200mL) $48.99............................................... 46 Stratus 2006 White Niagara Peninsula VQA, Canada $57.99............................................................................. 46 Temple Bruer 2009 Shiraz Langhorne Creek, Australia $29.99........................................................................... 13 Terlan 2009 Lunare Gewürztraminer Alto Adige DOC, Italy $49.99.................................................................. 31 Terlan 2010 Terlaner Classico Alto Adige DOC, Italy $21.99............................................................................. 31 Tolaini 2007 al passo Toscana IGT, Italy $29.99................................................................................................. 36 Wildass 2008 Red Niagara Peninsula VQA, Canada $26.99............................................................................... 46 Wildass 2006 White Niagara Peninsula VQA, Canada $23.99............................................................................ 46 Wine Access $5.95............................................................................................................................................... 23 Wine Spectator $6.95.......................................................................................................................................... 23 Wine Tasting Party Kit $32.99............................................................................................................................. 22
Due to the nature of the wine industry, any prices and vintages listed in this publication, as well as availability of product, are subject to change and cannot be guaranteed by Banville & Jones Wine Co. 60 http://banvilleandjones.cornervine.com
sidebar It’s Magic By Sylvia Jansen, Sommelier (ISG, CMS), CSW Photo by Ian McCausland A few weeks ago, I tried a few online “food pairing” tools to see what recommendations were out there for one of my favourite food ingredients: sautéed exotic mushrooms. One site I found offered so many possibilities that it was almost useless: there were more than 30 possible wine styles or grape varieties, with an almost infinite set of choices among them. Apparently anything from a tart bubbly Spanish Cava to a big, burly Brunello di Montalcino or a rich, velvety Napa Cabernet Sauvignon would be perfect. It was a precision tool that magically became a blunt instrument.
ringers, laptops, dogs, and doorbells. Then refer to my fourth guideline and open something wonderful. Match the palates at the table: Every month a few friends and I meet at some Winnipeg restaurant and enjoy a nice dinner with wine. My main challenge is that, given the choice, my friends will always select robust, full-bodied reds over light-bodied white wines regardless of their food choices. Remembering that wine’s first obligation is to give pleasure means that, in the right company, any dish goes well with a full-bodied red wine.
Believe in the power of the “food wine”: What makes a good food wine in the first If you really want a great wine and food It was a place? To be good with food, a wine must experience, try something that might be have enough mouth-watering acidity, or precision tool outside of your comfort zone. Roast a leg enough mouth-drying tannins, to marry of lamb and open a Cabernet Sauvignonwell with the food it accompanies. The that magically dominated Bordeaux. Make an Alsatian very elements that make a wine a bit onion tart and try a Pinot Blanc. Spend tart or stiff at first sip are actually the became a blunt a ridiculous amount of money on exotic elements that create marvelous pairings. instrument. mushrooms, toss them with some egg-rich With the right structure, the pairing can pasta and enjoy the pleasures of a good be even nicer if the wine’s aroma characters Barolo. echo the dominant flavours of the dish. Finally, if the weight of the wine matches the weight of the Believe in magical pairings: The play between texture, food, a happy result is sure to follow. aroma, and the mouthfeel of food and wine can create Forget the food-pairing app, and consider that great food and wine harmonies can be distilled into four basic guidelines: Create the occasion and the moment: There are few experiences quite as wonderful as a modest local wine, accompanied by a local dish, in a lovely small town in Italy, France, or Spain. But take that same modest wine and place it on your own dining room table, with the dog barking to be let out and your week’s work threatening to spill in—suddenly the wine falls on its face. For the best wine-and-food pairing experience, turn off all phone
combinations that are downright magical. A few classic examples: Sauternes and fois gras (unctuous meets unctuous); Port and Stilton cheese (fabulous and funky); Pouilly-Fumé with goat cheese (hand in glove). In my view, magic also happens when you pair fine Australian Shiraz and bacon (meaty meets meaty); Prosecco with popcorn (especially paired with a good movie); and my favourite, Vintage Champagne with potato chips (foamy and tart meets fat). But go upmarket and get sea salt chips. So here’s to the magic of food and wine.
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Lange Twins 2007 Midnight Reserve Lodi, California $39.99
Orin Swift 2009 Saldo Zinfandel, California $49.99
Bodegas Muñoz 2009 Legado Muñoz Garnacha Vina de la Tierra de Castilla, Spain $10.99
The Lange Twins never disappoint. Whether drinking a glass on its own or enjoying it with a beautiful dinner, this wine lends itself so well to both. It is a rich blend of Petit Verdot (41%), Cabernet (26%), Merlot (25%) and Malbec (8%) that gives a very robust smell of berries that only gets stronger and more enjoyable as it continues to open up.
It isn’t often that a wine stops me in my tracks and makes me say “WOW!” but this powerhouse Zin will knock your socks off. Big, bold, and brambly with a distinct pop of ripe dark juicy fruit—this is California Zinfandel at its best. Don’t let the simplicity of the packaging fool you: this wine is serious business.
At Banville & Jones, we are constantly looking for wines that have a high quality-to-price ratio: wines that taste more expensive than they really are. The Legado Muñoz Garnacha delivers: it exhibits flavours and aromas of white pepper, violets, and maraschino cherries, and has excellent structure to stand up to the heartiest dishes. This is the ultimate entertaining wine.
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Chase away the winter blues in 4.7 seconds. The new 911 has arrived. Redefining the standard, as it always has. More than 90% of its parts are completely new or significantly re-engineered. But behind it all, the same race-bred passion that has defined every 911. Reduced weight, lower fuel consumption and increased horsepower with improved stability and driver comfort. Porsche. There is no substitute.
Paolo Scavino 2009 Langhe Bianco DOC, Italy $18.99
La Forge Estate 2009 Marsanne Reserve Vin de Pays d'Oc IGP, France $18.99
Jacques Bruère 2007 Brut Reserve Cap Classique WO Robertson, South Africa $28.99
This delightful blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay comes from one of the top producers in Northern Italy. Flavours of peaches and ripe apples dominate on the palate, while a touch of oak adds texture to this fresh wine. Enjoy with seafood, pasta, or as an aperitif to any dinner!
A “country wine” grown near the once-impregnable citadel of Carcassonne, the Mas family’s Marsanne is anything but medieval. Taking a cue from the Aussies, Paul and his sons have produced a fresh, tropical-fruit-laden white with Chardonnay-like weight and perfumed, peachy aromatics. Drink it now with lobster wontons.
This South African gem is the everySaturday bubbly for sparkling lovers. Made in the traditional (Champagne) style, the fruit is rich and nicely balanced with creamy, freshly baked bread notes, and a lovely sparkling mousse. Noble Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes provide the components to this great wine. Enjoy with anything from starters to aftertheatre snacks!
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