//to kalon//dreams of chile//farmersâ€™ markets
PICKING SEPTEMBER 2013
Korean airline on cd
//features 20// the street is buzzing by Rosemary Mantini
A Farmer’s Market is more than just produce.
22// grey by tim pawsey
Is Pinot Gris the new Chardonnay? In British Columbia, at least, you might be excused for answering “yes.”
24// the dream by tod Stewart
On a cloud in the fields of Chile.
29// Versatile by Michael Pinkus
Riesling may be the most versatile wine ever. What do you think?
32// the beautiful by rick Vansickle
The To Kalon vineyard is a marvel. Find out why.
36// let’s face it by Brenda McMillan
Why is Greek wine such a mystery?
38// It’s autumn by Ron Liteplo
A wine revolution is happening in the fields of Arizona.
40// wild thing by Merle Rosenstein
The state of sour beer in Canada.
44// to Market, To Market
by Duncan Holmes A world of ingredients awaits.
48// wheying in by merle Rosenstein
We look at 4 of Quebec’s maverick cheesemakers.
//Ă la carte 7// Contributors 8// from the editor 11// Conversations Letters to the editor.
14// Umami Joanne Will
17// lazy mixologist Crystal Luxmore
18// Bon Vivant Peter Rockwell
43// Must try
51// Matter of taste sheila swerling-puritt
55// Bouquet Garni Nancy Johnson
66// final word
14 //notes 50// the mav notes 54// the food notes
An appetizing selection of food-friendly faves.
58// The Buying Guide
Top wines from around the world scored.
argentina // p. 59 Australia // p. 58-59 Canada // p. 59-60 chile // p. 60-61 France // p. 61
43 4 // September 2013
greece // p. 61-62 italy // p. 62-63 portugal // p. 63 South Africa // p. 63 spain // p. 63-64 United States // p. 64-65
CRAFTED FROM GRAPES GROWN ON FAMILY VINEYARDS
Hope wineries on cd
PASO ROBLES, CALIFORNIA
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Opim on cd
An Opimian membership is your ticket to travel the wine world from the comfort of your home. This summer, discover our innovative wine programs – Mosaic by Opimian and Wine for 2. Both programs feature 500ml bottles – a growing trend worldwide, the smaller bottles are becoming a large part of the ever-evolving Canadian wine culture and lifestyle.
Good Things Come in Small Packages No need to sacrifice taste or quality for this smaller size. Each wine meets Opimian’s highest standards – tasted by our Master of Wine and bottled by one of France’s foremost négociants, and valued Opimian supplier, Paul Sapin. Mosaic by Opimian features a mixed case of six 500ml bottles centered on a specific theme. Previous selections included Summer Sippin’, Out of Africa; have taken us on a Tour de France and to the Land of Oz. Open a case at a small wine tasting party, when experimenting with food matches or for everyday wine enjoyment.
Mac Andrews Shiraz, Chardonnay & Shiraz/Cabernet featured in Mosaic by Opimian’s Land of Oz
Wine for 2 features a case of six 500ml bottles of the same wine. Each bottle is perfect for a romantic dinner for two or an evening with close friends. Order a case for those occasions when a full bottle is just a bit too much.
Share the experience with your friends and family today and you could earn a coupon* for a FREE case of wine! Call 1.800.361.9421 or visit opim.ca *Some restrictions apply; please mention Tidings when you join.
Paul Sapin’s “On the Billabong” Semillion Chardonnay & Shiraz Cabernet offered in the Wine for 2 program
+ more on quench.me
Follow us on twitter and tumblr living.quench.me twitter.com/quenchbytidings Michael is an award-winning journalist. He is currently the President of the Wine Writers Circle of Canada and the wine columnist for Ottawa Life and Grand magazine as well as a regular contributor to Tidings and Grapevine. In whatever he does, it is Michael’s desire to educate, inspire and encourage others to grow their love for wine and to realize that it’s their palate that ultimately makes the decision.
Thirst Sangria for those serene September nights.
cooking challenge These Banana Oat Bars will keep you coming back for more.
Feature Rick Van Sickle explores the merits of old wine.
Chaos and Canapés Rosemary attempts the art of pickling.
New videos Visit videos.quench.me to see contributing editor, Gurvinder Bhatia on the Grapeful Palate.
Rosemary Mantini’s life has always been one of ordered chaos. She collects interests, ideas and objects like a winemaker sources grapes from various vineyards, blending them together until they produce an exquisite richness.
Nancy Johnson logged 30 years in the music industry before segueing into writing about food, wine and life. She is a graduate of Toronto’s George Brown College and can usually be found in the kitchen cooking, in her office writing or at the gym working it all off. She never turns down a glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Or any other wine for that matter.
Original recipes: A daily serving of food
and drink news and views; culinary tips, tricks and techniques.
Next Month In Tidings 9th annual maverick chefs issue Canada’s Cab Franc revolution Painting Argentina red Kicking it up with spice Thanksgiving wines
Harry Hertscheg is executive director of the Vancouver International Wine Festival. Harry writes reviews, judges in competitions, presents seminars, teaches classes, and is a Wine DJ for fundraisers. He’s a Certified Wine Educator and Certified Specialist of Spirits (Society of Wine Educators), and has a Diploma in Wines and Spirits (Wine and Spirit Education Trust). Follow @HHonwine on Twitter.
Drinking like the great Gatsby 4 of Niagara’s Maverick wineries A deep red history of Chile ... And So Much More
//from the editor September 2013 Issue # 313
they need you For the next few months,the fields of most vineyards will be teeming with people. Family members, tireless workers and volunteer hangers-on will attack the vines and start the hard work of making the sought after potion that finds its way into our bottles. We sometimes find ourselves in awe of the situation. But we don’t always realize the amount of work that goes into it. Someone needs to bring the liquid from a solid grape through a winemaker’s hands and into our glasses. Sometimes that person is you. There are armies of volunteers, every year, that parachute down into the fields. It’s become such a big thing that wineries are now capitalizing on it quite a bit. Free labour comes at the expense of a free meal, good conversation and a somewhat bottomless glass of wine. Which one of you wouldn’t want to live that experience? So I encourage you all to make the time to find a vineyard that needs plucking. And don’t just look to Europe to do that. It’s somewhat easy to find a beautiful place, complete with Old World charm. Look to your own backyard. There are hundreds of wineries across Canada that are clamouring for your help. You can become a friend to an industry sometimes forgotten. You can run your fingers through the vines and feel the heart of an industry beating. You can watch the loving eyes of a winemaker as the fruit hits the crusher. And you can do all that sometimes within a short drive. You owe it to them and to you.
Aldo Parise firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Editor
Rosemary Mantini email@example.com Contributing Editors
Gurvinder Bhatia, Tod Stewart Contributing food Editor
Nancy Johnson Columnists
Tony Aspler, Peter Rockwell, Tom de Larzac, Joanne Will, Sheila Swerling-Puritt, Crystal Luxmore Contributors
Sean Wood, Harry Hertscheg, Evan Saviolidis, Gilles Bois, Rick VanSickle, Merle Rosenstein, Tim Pawsey, Brenda McMillan, Michael Pinkus, Ron Liteplo, Duncan Holmes Tasters
Tony Aspler, Rick VanSickle, Evan Saviolidis, Gilles Bois, Harry Hertscheg, Sean Wood, Jonathan Smithe, Ron Liteplo and Gurvinder Bhatia COPY DESK
Lee Springer, Kathy Sinclair Creative by Paris Associates Art Direction
Aldo Parise Production
ww+Labs, cmyk design, studio karibü Illustrations & Photography
Matt Daley, Francesco Gallé, Push/Stop Studio, august photography, Westen Photo Studio Cover Design
8 // September 2013
On the stage and in your glass... an evening surrounded by stars.
We’ve got a wine for that.
Jackson triggs on cd
Please enjoy responsibly.
JACKSON-TRIGGS NIAGARA ESTATE – SUMMER CONCERT SERIES
C A N A D A’ S M O S T AWA R D E D W I N E R Y
J A C K S O N T R I G G S W I N E R Y. C O M
Ad 26 Crystal Ball th
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Rainbow on cd
Unexpect the Expected....
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Senior Account Executive Gillian Thomas: email@example.com 9 05-886-6641 ext 308 www.quench.me living.quench.me twitter.com/quenchbytidings
Kylix Media, 5165 Sherbrooke St. West, Suite 414, Montreal, Quebec, H4A 1T6, Tel: 514.481.6606, Fax: 514.481.9699. Subscription Rates: Canada: $36 per year, $58 per 2 years, USA: $55 per year, Other: $75 per year. Single Copies: $5.95. Tidings, Canada’s Food & Wine Magazine, a registered trademark of Kylix Media, is published 8 times a year: (February/March, April, May/June, July/August, September, October, November, December/January). Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. © 2013 Kylix Media Inc. Printed in Canada. ISSN-0228-6157. Publications Mail Registration No. 40063855. Member of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
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Tom De Larzac is right (“A Bright Summer”). I consider my knife to be #1, too. But, I have a titanium pan that I swear by. It holds the #1 place right alongside my favourite knife. Sandra Clark, email
Rot, knobby stumps, infected wine barrels and spent grape skins? The opening paragraph of Crystal Luxmore’s article “Hybrid” sounds more like a concoction created by MacBeth’s three witches not a new type of beer style! But, I certainly did enjoy reading it. I can’t wait to pick some up and try some myself.
... Crystal Luxmore’s article “Hybrid” sounds more like a concoction created by MacBeth’s three witches not a new type of beer style ...
Derek Freize, Winnipeg
In Tim Pawsey’s “Ok Go” he writes that rosés are typically considered seasonal wines. It’s an unfortunate state of affairs and altogether true. I visited my local wine seller only last week to find most of the rosés sold out with none on order. Too bad for year-round rosé lovers. Rick Grand, Halifax
“The Cor” by Rick VanSickle was a great read, one I had to re-read a few times just to make sure I had all the names and timelines straight! I had no idea Ontario’s wine industry was created not just in the vineyards, but in boardrooms. Yury Proshchenko, email
Thanks to Duncan Holmes for pairing great musicians with delicious recipes. This article was a fun read that led me down memory lane. David Watabe, Sherbrooke
Material chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and fit. Please e-mail your comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PKNT on cd
As the summer draws to a close,it represents a symbolic end to all grilling. After another season of putting the grill through a workout, it is time to say goodbye. What better way than with a good ole-fashioned “Que”? This may cause a bit of confusion, I suspect, but bar-b-que — true Que — is the process of slow-cooking food for hours on a grill and letting smoke permeate the meat, giving it that smoky flavour that is undeniably delicious. Most of us don’t have the luxury of (or the space for) a wood-burning bbq pit, but that doesn’t mean we should miss out on these smoke-kissed meats. Here are my tips and tricks to recreating that same taste, without the smoker. ONE: Quality meat makes the difference, and a good rub goes a long way, so start here (see pork below). TWO: The setup is key to this process, and any grill will do. For gas and propane grills, turn on only one side of the grill. With charcoal, push all the coals to one side, and don’t overload the charcoal at this point (more will need to be added periodically). The idea is to create indirect heat and to prevent any direct heat under the meat. Aim to keep the heat around 250˚ to 275°F. THREE: Smoke; soak some wood chips in water for an hour, wrap in tinfoil and place over the heat source. Replace every hour. FOUR: Position; place the meat on the top rack (where possible) on the other side of the grill. Keeping it high in the grill will allow the most smoke to surround it without being lost through any gaps in the lid. FIVE: Baste; apply a sauce (mop) every 45 minutes to keep the meat moist. This may seem like a long process to get Que, but one bite of smoked chicken, ribs or pulled pork will make you want to hold off on shutting down the grill for just a little while longer.
by tom De larzac
maple pulled pork
2 shallots, sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 tbsp each of salt, pepper, brown sugar 1 tbsp each of smoked paprika, mustard powder, cumin, chipotle powder, instant coffee 4 lbs pork shoulder (add one pound for bone-in) 1/4 cup maple syrup + 1 tbsp extra 1 bottle of beer
1. In a large bowl, mix shallots, garlic and all dry spices (reserve 1/4 of the rub). Place pork shoulder in bowl and rub
spices thoroughly into the meat. 2. Pour 1/4 cup maple syrup and 3/4 of the beer over the pork and mix and cover. 3. Place the mixture in the fridge overnight to marinate. 4. Prepare grill (see above) and place meat on the top rack. Place small baking sheet under the meat (but not touching) to catch any drippings. Alternately, cook in the oven at 275°F, uncovering halfway through. 5. Combine the reserved rub, 1 tbsp maple syrup and remaining beer and use the basting liquid, applying every 45 min. 6. Allow the meat to cook for 4 to 5 hours. Let it rest under foil for 10 minutes. Shred with tongs or fork. Add any remaining basting liquid to pulled pork. …… Serve with soft rolls and a good BBQ sauce, and enjoy!
there’s some magic\\
Whether you’ve wondered howto select mushrooms in the woods or off the grocery-store shelves — and how to prepare those enokis, shiitakes, chanterelles, porcinis, morels, criminis, and oysters — the 10th and latest cookbook from chef and wild food expert Bill Jones offers invaluable fungi fundamentals. The Deerholme Mushroom Book — from Foraging to Feasting was a 10-year labour of love, and the culmination of a passion piqued over 20 years ago, when Jones was working as a geologist in Calgary. “I used to escape the city almost every weekend to go backpacking or hiking,” Jones explains. “I did a couple of big 10-day trips in the Rockies. It all started with me bringing dehydrated trail food along, and I wondered if there was something else I could add to it. It started with trying to supplement my diet when I was on these trips. So I started bringing a fishing rod and fishing for trout, then I graduated to some wild onions and wild herbs. But never too much in the way of mushrooms, because I was sort of raised on white buttons and scared of it all.” Jones’s fungi education really began when he switched from geology to the profession of his father, who was also a chef. “I did my apprenticeship in France, and it was eye-opening. These old guys would come to the back door of the restaurant with baskets of cepes — also known as porcinis — and it really intrigued me. I talked one of them into taking me out on the trail, and that was the big eye-opening experience. It really struck me that he wasn’t necessarily looking for the mushrooms; he was looking for trees, terrain — the right conditions for the mushrooms. That was an amazing opportunity to learn from someone who’d been doing it all his life,” says Jones.
14 // September 2013
by joanne will
Back on Canada’s west coast after time in Michelin-starred restaurants in France and England, Jones discovered there were thousands of mushroom varieties at his feet. For the past 13 years Jones and his wife have lived at Deerholme Farm on Vancouver Island, where they host local food dinners, cooking classes and foraging tours. For novice fungi enthusiasts, a tour is the ideal way to begin. “It’s intimidating, because even in our area there are 10,000 different types of mushrooms. If you’re just starting out, that volume of information is overwhelming. It’s nice to have a guide to steer you to what’s an important place to start, what mushrooms you should focus on to begin with, because there’s lots of ways you can create error when you have so many different types and some look very similar,” says Jones. Jones recently discovered truffles in his area. “They’ve probably been here for thousands of years, but for me it’s a couple-of-year-old discovery. We were just out walking one day along the river in the spring and saw these little buttons on the ground. They looked like chanterelles emerging; I dug them up and they turned out to be white Oregon truffles. That day we found about 60.” What are indigenous truffles like? “Once they ripen, these particular truffles are very aromatic. When you open the fridge door all you can smell is the truffle aroma. It’s very pungent; a little garlicky and quite wonderful. And definitely in the world of truffles, much better than I’ve ever found by importing them from France or Italy. Quite impressive,” says Jones. If you want to discover how to make chocolate truffles from real truffles, and knockout dishes from all manner of fungi, The Deerholme Mushroom Book is an excellent companion.
Road 13 on cd
Mags Canada on cd Canadian magazines are diverse.
In more ways than you think. That’s why we publish hundreds of titles, so you know there’s one just for you. All you have to do is head to the newsstands, look for the Genuine Canadian Magazine icon marking truly Canadian publications and start reading. It’s that easy.
Visit magazinescanada.ca/ns and newsstands to ﬁnd your new favourite magazine.
with a fizz\\
Fancy-schmancy eight-ingredient cocktailsmade with elixirs, herbs and a few signature bartender tricks are slowly going out of fashion. We’re seeing a return to simplicity: restrained cocktails made with a few wonderful ingredients. I’ll admit to loving the complex flavours of the well-crafted multi-ingredient cocktail, but also championing the idea of keeping things easy in the kitchen. And then it hit me — one way to have both is to search out some of the new small-batch sodas popping up in North America. These sodas use simpler sugars instead of the dreaded high-fructose corn syrup, and incorporate fewer ingredients. The best of the lot — like Halifax’s Jitterbug Sodas —use fresh fruit, herbs and spices and little else. Jitterbug’s owner, 36-year-old Rowena Power, hawks her sodas at the year-round Halifax Farmers’ Market, and her customers love incorporating them into simple tipples. “Busy parents just mix my blackcurrant ginger soda with sparkling wine,” she says. “Cocktails should be something everyone can do.” Her advice on mixing your favourite small-batch soda? “For a tall, easy-sipping cocktail, just add a shot of vodka to about five-times the amount of lighter, herbal or citrus soda.” For something warming, make a shorter drink with spicier, darker sodas — like blackcurrant ginger — on a three-toone ration with rum. “In choosing a soda, local isn’t enough — look for fresh fruits on the ingredient list, not just sugar water with flavouring,” she says. “When you mix these types of sodas, the booze really draws out the flavour of the fruit.” While Jitterbug is only available in Halifax (for now), higher-end food stores like Whole Foods or the shelves of HomeSense or Winners stock some good international brands like Britain’s Fentimans and Portland’s Maine Root.
+ Visit quench.me/search-mixed/ for more drink recipes
by crystal luxmore
For my mix, I used the sweet, jammy blueberry Maine Root soda as a base — along with the vodka, it needed a boost of acidity and some herbaceous depth. The best combination turned out to be a four-ingredient tipple with rosemary and fresh lime. The vodka brightened the blueberry flavour, while the bitter herb balanced the soda’s sweetness. I used less lime than usual because of the latent acidity in the fruit soda. The result was a tall cocktail with a bright, amplified blueberry goodness — that still packed that complex flavour I’ve come to love.
Bluemary Fizz 2 1
sprigs rosemary oz vodka 1/2 oz lime 6 oz Maine Root Blueberry Soda Rub inside of glass with a rosemary sprig, then muddle the sprig with vodka in a shaker. Add lime, shake over ice and strain into tall glass. Top with soda, garnish with rosemary sprig and serve.
hybrids and best for indian\\
18 // September 2013
The cool thing is, because we need these hybrids to support our Vitis vinifera output, Canada has become so associated with many of these unique grapes that the world now thinks of them as ours. I’m a huge fan of Indian cuisine. Thoughts on the best wine pairing? You and me both. When it comes to eclectic food flavours, it’s hard to beat India. They’re crazy about them. While I’m a major fan of the spices, sauces and palate-pounding personalities found on an Indian plate, a wine match doesn’t come easy. Sure, India may make its own vino, but the locals prefer an ice-cold lager beer when it comes to washing down their evening intake. Beer, after all, is the great booze equalizer. Refreshing, easy-drinking and thirst-quenching, a frosty brew easily tames the heat of aggressive meal choices. The best wine pick is something white and off-dry. Think those made with aromatic grape varietals like Riesling, Chenin Blanc and even Sémillon. All offer a ripe, relaxed flavour flow and, not unlike a chilled brewski, enough mouth refreshment to soothe even the most savage curry recipe. When it comes to Indian some pooh-pooh white grapes, like Gewürztraminer and Viognier, which offer a touch of spicy attitude of their own. As long as they’re not too heavy-handed I find both will work exceptionally well. Red wines don’t cozy up to flavours with in-your-face characteristics as well as white wines. Their tannins, especially, take a beating when up against a forkful of exotic spice. If you have to go red, keep things light and juicy. Wine made with Gamay, Merlot and, in some cases, Shiraz will be a safe bet. Then there’s rosé. Combining the best of both the red and white wine worlds, they go where many wines fear to pour. That’s why you always see one on an Indian, Asian or Mexican resto’s wine list.
+ Ask your questions at email@example.com
Illustration: Matt Daley/Shinypliers.com
When it comes to grapes, what’s the difference between a cross and a hybrid? For fear of tarnishing my Bond, James Bond reputation: when I was in high school, genetics was never my strong suit. I had enough trouble figuring out how to get a date, let alone what X and Y chromosomes were up to when no one was looking. I’m much more of a student today. I guess there’s something about wine that brings out my inner botanist. The thing you have to remember about wine grapes is that while every country loves wine, not every grape loves every country. More specifically, not every grape loves every part of every country. Sure, while The Major Six — Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling — have found an affinity for the soil of many regions in nations around the world, there are many places where they just won’t cooperate. That’s where the idea of crosses and hybrids come in. These grape-enstein creations were developed to bring fermentable fruit to places not designed by nature to accept the classic Vitis vinifera species of varietals (which includes all those previously mentioned big-time berries) with open arms. So what’s the difference between a cross and a hybrid? Well, here goes. The term “cross” refers to a union of grapes from the same species, typically those included in the Vitis vinifera family of fruit. Pinotage is a classic example. It’s a mix of Pinot Noir and Cinsault that created a new-wave grape, which South Africa now calls a native son. Hybrids are a pairing of grapes from different species often designed to grow in less hospitable climates. Thanks to our weather conditions, hybrids have found a home here in Canada and a well-established place in our liquor lexicon. Even as our wine industry evolved to the point where we now understand how to grow Vitis vinifera, hybrid fruit such as Baco Noir, Marechal Foch, Seyval Blanc and Léon Millot are still cultivated — especially in emerging regions like Nova Scotia.
by peter rockwell
Crush pad on cd
It’s Saturday, eight in the morning, and already the street is buzzing with conversations and activity. by rosemary mantini I’d hoped to be hereearly enough to miss the crowds (a pet peeve of mine) and have first pick of the colourful produce. I guess everyone else had the same idea. Ten years ago, you could roll a bowling ball down the middle of Main Street at this hour. Now, people come out early, carrying bags or pulling wagons ready to fill them with the freshest vegetables, the sweetest fruit and the juiciest pies. I’m at the Brampton farmers’ market this morning, and like so many other markets around Ontario, mine is undergoing a kind of renaissance. Score one for the locavores. Without them working to spread the love for local food over the last decade or so, I doubt the masses would have ever made their way back from the convenience of one-stop-shopping at the grocery store. Here at the market, I can talk to the farmers and taste the food that was grown not far from my home. If I have one pet peeve, though (OK, another … oh, alright, I have many), it’s that farmers don’t always sell what they grow. Buyer beware is the rule. My favourite one is the farmer who sells piles of English cucumbers nicely wrapped in plastic. Tell me why they need to be wrapped before coming to the market if they were supposedly picked not long before market day. Can we say, “food terminal?” Know-what-grows-when is all the advice I can give. One more thing: look for the MyPick sign at each vendor’s stall. Created by Farmers’ Markets Ontario, MyPick is a verification program that inspects each member’s farm twice a year to make sure they’re growing what they sell. Neat, eh? There are farmers’ markets springing up all over the place. Mall parking lots make a great market locale, and historic buildings, like Toronto’s St. Laurence Market get a new lease on life. Keep an eye out, and you’ll always come across one somewhere on your travels, and not just on Saturdays either. Here, the city closes off the main thoroughfare to accommodate a growing number of farmers, buskers and food vendors. It’s a happening place. Look around — you’ll see everyone smiling. Maybe that’s why people fill the street every Saturday. The market junkie ad-
20 // September 2013
miring the flat beans tells me that he looks forward to trying veg that can’t be easily found at the store. My neighbour insists that the warm aromas of artisan-made pies and cookies make her mouth water. As for me, I have no idea what I’m looking for. I’m on a mission to answer the question that’s foremost in my mind right now: what’s new at the market today?
pumpkin/orange muffins Makes 12 muffins
The recipe for these tasty muffins comes courtesy of Andrews’ Scenic Acres and Scotch Block Winery, a 165-acre family farm and winery located in picturesque Halton Hills, Ontario.
cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1
tsp baking soda tsp each salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg 1 cup raisins (optional) 1 egg 1 3/4 cups cooked pumpkin puree 1/3 cup vegetable oil 2 tbsp grated orange rind 1/2 cup orange juice
1. In large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
2. In separate bowl, beat egg; blend in pumpkin, oil, orange
rind and juice. Pour all at once over dry ingredients; stir just enough to blend. Spoon into large greased or paper lined muffin cups, filling to tops. 3. Bake in 375°F oven for about 25 minutes or until golden and tops are firm to the touch. Let stand for 5 minutes before removing from pans to cool on racks.
sweet peas in wine An old family favourite. The only definite is that you have to use freshshelled peas. The frozen peas from the store just don’t taste the same.
3 6 1 1 1 1
tbsp olive oil cups fresh-shelled peas bunch Swiss chard, washed and finely chopped tbsp basil leaves, finely chopped tbsp mint leaves, finely chopped tbsp parsley, finely chopped cup dry white wine cup water
1. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add peas and Swiss chard. Stir
and toss until vegetables are coated in oil. Add basil, mint and parsley; stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add wine and water. 2. Partially cover pan. Let simmer until the liquid has evaporated and peas are soft. If liquid evaporates before peas are cooked, just add a splash of equal parts wine and water.
tomato salad This is a great way to use up the truckload of tomatoes I end up buying.
1 4 1
1/2 4 3
garlic clove, sliced in half tomatoes, quartered and seeds removed green pepper, chopped into bite-sized chunks onion, thinly sliced basil leaves, ripped into pieces tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (best quality)
1. Rub the inside of the serving bowl well with the two halves of
garlic clove. Add tomatoes, green pepper, onion and basil to the bowl. 2. In a separate bowl, stir together olive oil and salt. Pour dressing over tomato mixture and toss gently. Adjust seasoning.
apple spice cake Spicy and sweet, this one works out nicely as muffins, too.
2/3 cup chopped walnuts 1 3/4 cups flour 2 1
tsp baking powder tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp allspice 1/2 cup butter 1 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 eggs 1 cup applesauce
1. Coat walnuts in a little flour and set aside. 2. In another bowl, combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.
3. In a separate bowl, cream butter, brown sugar and eggs
until light and fluffy. 4. Add dry ingredients alternately with applesauce. Stir in nuts. 5. Spread batter into two greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch pans. Bake at 325°F for 45 to 55 minutes.
roasted harvest soup Perfect for those cooler nights.
1/4 cup olive oil 2 tsp fresh thyme 2 to 3 sage leaves, finely chopped 1/4 tsp cayenne 1/2 tsp salt 3 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces 6 to 8 plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise 3 leeks, white part only, sliced lengthwise, washed and dried 6 cups chicken stock 1/2 cup cream
for the garnish
180 1/2 2 3 1 4
g hot pancetta, diced small onion, diced garlic cloves, crushed tbsp butter bunch Swiss chard, chopped finely green onions, finely sliced
1. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, thyme, sage, cayenne and salt.
2. Brush or toss vegetables with the olive oil mixture. Place the vegetables in a roasting pan, and roast at 350°F for 1 1/4
hours, or until they are beginning to brown. 3. Remove from the pan and place in a food processor. Purée completely. 4. Place vegetables into a large stockpot. Add the stock. Simmer for 15 minutes then add the cream. Simmer again for a few minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes longer to blend the flavours. Garnish
1. Sauté the pancetta on medium heat until crispy. Set aside. 2. Pour off the fat. 3. Over medium heat, sauté the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
4. Add butter to pan. Add Swiss chard, stirring and tossing
to cook. Add a little water to pan if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
1. Reheat greens, if necessary. 2. Divide greens into soup bowls. Pour very hot soup
onto the greens. Garnish with the sautéed hot pancetta and green onions. •
grey by tim pawsey
Is Pinot Gris the new Chardonnay? In British Columbia, at least, you might be excused for answering “yes.” The BC Wine 2012BDO Grape Crop Report shows that there was almost as much Pinot Gris harvested as Chardonnay — while Pinot Blanc has been eclipsed by both Gewürztraminer and Riesling. Part of the reason for BC Pinot Gris’s popularity may well be because people find its unoaked (or usually discretely oaked) style to be pretty food friendly. But the variety’s growing success may also be thanks to less confusion between the use of “Gris” and “Grigio” on the label at the marketer’s whim. There used to be a time when comparisons real or intended were made between leaner, crisper styled traditional Pinot Grigio (as you might find in northeast Italy’s Alto Adige) and usually more full fruited, sometimes with higher residual sugar, and sometimes with a little judicious oak, Pinot Gris. While BC offerings to some degree still span the spectrum, the naming trend — and the perceived style, seems to have shifted firmly in Pinot Gris’s favour. “It seems obvious to me,” says 50th Parallel winemaker Grant Stanley, “That the only reason anyone outside of
22 // September 2013
Italy would call their wine Pinot Grigio is just feigning something. I think the entire Pinot Grigio phenomenon is a marketing exercise. It doesn’t even represent the style to me,” he says. “And you’ll never see a Pinot Grigio coming out [from] 50th Parallel Estate!” Laughing Stock co-owner and winemaker David Enns says his take on Pinot Gris is about “differentiating his style with other BC winemakers.” According to Enns, “We have a canvas on which we can do anything we want. Our style relates to northeastern Italy, but with lots of lees stirring, a touch of oak and a mouthweight that you can get in Alsatian style wines. That combination of fresh fruit, acid and mouth weight are the goal every time we make Pinot Gris.”
50th Parallel Estate Pinot Gris 2012 ($19)
An impressive effort from still young vines from this new estate on the northeast shores of Lake Okanagan. Aromas of apple, pear and citrus with keen acidity and a dry finish.
Laughing Stock Pinot Gris 2012 ($22)
Lemon-lime and pear notes on top followed by a generous (but focused) palate of tropical and melon balanced with bright acidity before a lengthy dry end. Six months on the lees adds extra heft.
Haywire Switchback Pinot Gris 2011 ($23)
Concrete egg-shaped fermenters yield accentuated mouthfeel and a distinctive minerality with flinty and orchard note aromas and citrus notes on a full-bodied, lengthy palate.
Spierhead Pinot Gris 2012 ($19)
A bright streak of acidity lends backbone, with apple and citrus notes, drier style, well structured before a lengthy finish.
Sperling Vineyards Pinot Gris 2012 ($19)
Definite mineral notes with some spicy undertones in a broadly textured palate with melon and a touch of citrus.
Stoneboat Pinot Gris 2012 ($19)
Intrigue’s Roger wong
Remarkably clear (all the ‘pinkiness’ drops out with the lees, says winemaker Alison Moyes), broad palate, with peach and citrus, balanced acidity and a mineral, spicy streak. Part neutral-barrel fermented.
Lanny and Julie Martiniuk from stoneboat
Gray Monk Pinot Gris ($18) Intrigue Pinot Gris From a winery that pioneered the variety 2012 ($17) in the Okanagan. A touch of salmon colour from skin contact, before lifted orchard fruits and a juicy, off dry style. Okanagan Wine Festival 2013 Best of Varietal Wines Award.
Roger Wong takes time out from duties at Gray Monk to make wines at his own nearby winery. An approachable style, with citrus and tropical hints, good mouthfeel and a lingering close.
Tinhorn Creek Pinot Gris 2012 ($19)
Fort Berens Pinot Gris 2012 ($18)
Full fruited with apple and citrus notes and good acid balance, with just a little extra heft from partial malolactic fermentation.
Mainly estate-grown grapes from Lillooet. Melon and hints of honey on the nose with green apple and stone fruit palate wrapped in vibrant acidity and a clean close. •
The cool, dense fog that wafted coastward off the South Pacific in the predawn hours has all but dissipated. A once hazy Chilean sky is transforming into a canvas of infinite blue as warm February sunlight sears away the last of the morning mist. I can see myself seated on the patio of a restaurant in a town on the water’s edge — perhaps the rather exclusive Zapallar; maybe Isla Negra where Nobel Prize-wining poet, politician and diplomat Pablo Neruda lies entombed. Exactly where I am is of less importance than whom I’m with and what I envision laid out on the lunch table. My company appears to be much like me — lovers of good food, wine, and travel. What seems to be on offer is a seafood feast the likes of which convinces me that I certainly can’t be experiencing this without the assistance of Morpheus. Right now I am converging on a deep ceramic bowlful of heady conger eel soup, the complex broth studded with frutos del mar and chunks of meaty eel tasting not unlike halibut. And, of course, there is wine. Lots of wine. Crisp, herbal/mineral Sauvignon Blanc from the cool Leyda Valley. Intense, nutty/smoky/caramel-tinged Chardonnay from the Limarí, its fruit and oak seamlessly integrated and its interplay with the dense, buttery eel bordering on otherworldly. Plus some brisk sparklers to recalibrate the palate between courses. Though I know Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot put Chile on the wine map, and that increasingly, Carmenère, Syrah, and Pinot Noir are stealing the limelight, there is nary a red wine to be seen tableside. And I realize, as the scene begins to slowly dissolve, that I really don’t give a damn …
24 // September 2013
reality: chile in black and white
It’s sometimes hard to believe that Chile’s winemaking history stretches well back into the 16th century when Spanish conquistadors and missionaries first introduced wine grapes to the region. The French left a lasting viticultural and vinicultural mark a few centuries later. However, it still seems like it was just yesterday when the wines of Chile began storming the shelves of Canada, even though a thoroughly modern industry had been established by the 1980s. As the wines of Chile began journeying to foreign markets, wine lovers far north of the equator soon began to realize that they possessed some very desirable qualities. They fit the deep, lush, fruit-driven profile that the North American palate appreciated. They were very easy on the wallet, delivering a great quality/value ratio. And they were made with recognizable grape varieties. That is, recognizable black grape varieties — Cab, Merlot and the like. Sure, the occasional Chard or Sauv Blanc would trickle in, but they were mostly novelties. However, the tide is starting to turn. “The demand for white wines is increasing every year,” confirms Marcelo Papa, winemaker for the Concha y Toro, Marques de Casa Concha, and Casillero del Diablo range of wines. “All of the Chilean white wines are constantly improving as we explore new terroir and new regions.” Many of the emerging white wine regions lie close to the ocean, with altitude and sea breezes contributing to a cooler growing zone which, in turn, yields white grapes with exceptional structure and balance. One such zone is the Casablanca Valley,
located on the windward, seaward side of the Coastal Mountain Range, about 75 kilometres from Santiago. It is turning out to be one of Chile’s premier spots for Sauvignon Blanc.
the dream: phase 2 The landscape has shifted dramatically. Eagles circle high above. I stand amongst rows of vines planted on a steep incline, the emerald valley floor stretching below to rendezvous with distant mountains on the horizon. A disembodied voice somewhere nearby is telling me this is the El Chaparro estate, a 25-hectare vineyard that supplies fruit to the Viña Casablanca, which is a boutique operation under the Carolina Wine Brands umbrella. “Growing grapes here is not cheap,” admits a slender chap who has materialized beside me. “Gonzalo Bertelsen,” he says, extending a hand. “I’m General Manager at Viña Casablanca.” He explains that water for irrigation, energy to run the irrigation system, and the labour necessary to handpick the grapes all come at a premium in this area. However, the effort, he says, is paying off. “Casablanca is doing great with Sauvignon Blanc, and the Leyda Valley, also close to the ocean and a little south of here, is turning out to be a very good place to grow it as well.” Bertelsen is quick to inform me that although climate is important, another factor is equally so: “Soil is important. Granitic and calcareous soils are excellent.” His voice starts to fade. I look skyward at an eagle silhouetted against the noon sun. The light intensifies. The backdrop blurs …
Casablanca’s Gonzalo Bertelsen
“Sauvignon Blanc is fermented at 10 to 12 degrees Celsius in order to retain the fruit and enhance mouthfeel,” I hear Bertelsen explaining. Disoriented at first, my surroundings become more familiar as my vision clears and I notice the fermentation tanks. The unmistakable aromas of a working winery permeate the air. I seem to be at Viña Casablanca itself where 900 tons of fruit can be processed into 1.1 million litres of wine when operating at full capacity. “I like to ferment using wild yeasts,” Bertelsan confides. “You’re working on the edge and things are a bit riskier, but you end up with more complexity and more interesting wines. Sometimes you can take things too far and you run into problems. But in the end, natural is best.” Natural is best … natural is best … natural is be …
the dream: phase 3 Tropical fruit, sweet grapefruit, cut grass and wet gravel aromas bring me back into sharp focus. The taste of the Casablanca Cefiro Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2010 zaps my palate with crisp, zesty citrus with a dollop of almond. I’m again at a lunch table, slightly further inland this time. But still with wine. Lots of wine. Another Sauvignon Blanc is poured and the label informs as to my current location: Viña Casablanca’s Nimbus Estate. The wine just poured is the Nimbus Estate Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2012. It’s slightly more complex than the previous wine, enveloping both nose and palate in a blanket of flint, herbs, and lemon-lime with a hint of fennel. A third glass is filled with a goldenrod-coloured liquid, its smoky/buttery/ clove and crème brûlée aroma heralding a change of grape, and a change of fermenting technique. “This is the Nimbus Chardonnay 2010,” announces Bertelsen. “Some of the juice has been barrel fermented, some in stainless steel. Some of what goes into the final wine is aged in stainless steel, some in barrel.” My sense of taste and smell become untethered and drift away on a glycerine river, leaving memories of toasted nuts, butterscotch and lime drops … the end notes of the song played by Chile’s other superstar white grape.
reality: hot southern whites
“Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are Chile’s top white varieties,” Papa maintains. “The future belongs to both of them, but specific terroirs will be what defines them. For example, I have a deep faith in Chardonnay grown in the Limarí Valley. With its calcareous carbonate components, limestone deposits and costal climate, this region has perhaps the best potential for this variety in Chile.” Papa is quick to point out, however, that even though Sauv Blanc and Chard may be the country’s star whites, there are other varieties showing promise, including Viognier, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Gris, Muscat, and Gewürztraminer. Be that as it may, the reality is that in the right here and now, Sauv Blanc and Chard are where the interest, the sales, and the money are.
26 // September 2013
the dream: phase 4
“Our Reserva range is our main focus! We want the best grapes from the best estates! The finest Chile has to offer at an affordable price! Over-deliver is the word!” Oh, god … the dream has turned to nightmare. My subconscious has betrayed me, delivering me into some boardroom-based marketing meeting dungeon in hell. An imposing fellow with shoulder-length silver hair is laying down his mantra for global wine domination. I shudder to think of what other corporate dictate he has on deck. (“Micro-oxygenate!” perhaps). He approaches me, bottle raised. I cower. “Try this, I think you’ll really like it,” he intones pleasantly while splashing a goodly measured pour of Santa Carolina “Barrica Selection” Chardonnay 2010 into my glass. As I take a tentative slurp of the rich, viscous, clove and baked-apple nuanced wine, I give a furtive glance around. Turns out I’m not in a dungeon, but rather, in the
Viña Casablanca Nimbus Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2010 ($15)
With its granitic soil and close proximity to the Pacific, the Nimbus Estate produces fruit that benefits from complex minerality and a long, slow ripening period. The grapes for this wine are hand harvested and hand selected. The wine is fermented in both stainless steel and barrel and undergoes 10 to 12 months aging in oak (approximately 30% of which is new French). Intense, smoky/ flinty aromas are given added complexity with hints of butterscotch and lime that linger on the long, memorable finish.
Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2012 ($9.95)
Grapefruit, cut grass, gooseberry, and tangerine intermingle in the fresh, fragrant nose of this great value Sauvignon Blanc. The flavour profile is bright, clean and racy with lemon, grapefruit, herbs, and mineral notes all vying for top slot. The extended finish suggests a wine costing considerably more than this.
original underground cellar of the Santa Carolina Winery, which, my friend pouring the wine (who turns out to be Commercial Director Christian Wylie) reveals, is now a national monument. “Now try this one,” he says, offering a second glass. Another Chardonnay, for sure, but quite a bit different than the first, showing more lime and mineral nuances woven in with the buttery/tropical notes. “That’s our Santa Carolina “Reserva de Familia” Chardonnay 2010. The only difference in the two wines is the soil the grapes are grown in.” Speaking to me now is Andrés Caballero. He would be intimately familiar with such details given that he is Santa Carolina’s Chief Winemaker. The two Chardonnays I’m tasting quash any possible argument regarding the importance of soil type on a wine’s flavour. I’m seated at a table with Caballero, Wylie, and a number of other Santa Carolina personnel. And wine. Lots of wine. A dozen bottles to be exact, representing the entire Santa Carolina range (which, I should add, has recently undergone a major packaging redesign that
Viña Maipo Vitral Chardonnay Reserva 2011 ($13.95)
Fruit for this wine is sourced from the cool climate Casablanca Valley, ensuring good balance between acidity and fruit. Aromas suggesting white flowers, peach, citrus and a hint of almond lead to a mid-weight palate with flavours of lime, apple, melon and hint of toasty oak. Elegantly styled, it offers poise and refinement as opposed to brute power. A good match for lightly herbed white meat and fish dishes
adds a greater sense of cohesion to the portfolio). In tasting through the range it’s obvious that Caballero knows what he’s doing, but he’s quick to reveal that there is still much learning going on. “Viticultural practices have been changing over the years,” he points out. “However, Chile is in the process of gaining a better understanding of matching individual grape varieties to specific terroirs. You must remember that Chile is particularly complex due to the fact that we have a huge diversity in terms of climate and terroir. So we are still very much involved in the learning process. And because of the influence of the Pacific Ocean, Chile’s potential for producing great white wines is huge. Our unique geography will always help us produce quality wines.” The tasting table morphs into a dinner table with Chile’s gustatory bounty spread out in all its glory. Wine, laughter, food, more wine, more laughter. Just before the scene fades before me I see myself posed on the cellar staircase, having my photo taken with four of Santa Carolina’s sales and marketing beauties … oh, but to dream …
v t intermezzo
I hear the pounding surf crashing on the rocks just below my hotel balcony in Viña del Mar. Sea breezes whisper though the screen door, rustling the light cotton drapes. A faint glow east over the ocean promises another warm, sunny day ahead. A squadron of seabirds wheel and dive, snatching breakfast from the frothy water and screeching admonishment at others attempting to steal their prize. Yes, they screech. And screech. And screech. I put a pillow over my head. The screeching becomes rhythmic, mechanical …
reality: the awakening
On the night table beside me the alarm clock bleats incessantly, its singular neon eye glaring 6:00am. I sit up with a groan, the dream mercilessly shattered; the Chilean sun banished; my head still heavy. February in Toronto. Outside a blizzard rages though a frozen, black, impenetrable winter sky. I shiver and wrap a sheet around me. Reaching for my laptop, I flip it open to find out if what’s going on outside is finally the “snowmageddon” the weather doomsayers have been warning of. The screen’s wallpaper blindsides me. In the photo, I’m standing on a staircase in a candlelit, underground cellar. I’m surrounded by four attractive, smiling women. And the look on my face is of the cat that ate the canary.
28 // September 2013
Carolina’s Andrés Caballero
Santa Carolina Chardonnay Reserve 2011 ($11.95) Santa Carolina’s Casablanca Estate yields Chardonnay grapes with excellent fruit/acid balance. The wine does not undergo maololactic conversion, ensuring that the natural, taut acid component stays intact. The result is a Chardonnay that deftly balances smoky/buttery/clove and baked apple nuances with an elegant, restrained, style and a brisk, fresh finish. Assuming you can’t find any conger eel, try with a grilled, meaty fish like monkfish, or scallops in a cream sauce.
Santa Carolina Sauvignon Blanc “Reserve” 2012 ($11.95)
Fruit for this wine is sourced from the winery’s Leyda Valley Estate. The nose, reminiscent of fresh herbs (basil?) and grapefruit, is enhanced with notes of tropical fruit and lemongrass. Crisp and lively on the palate with flavours suggesting lemon rind and pink grapefruit with some fennel endnotes. Try with raw oysters or basil/goat cheese/ sundried tomato pasta. •
+ For more on Chile visit quench.me/magazine/davine/chiles-wine-industry/
versatile by michael Pinkus
“There is no single grape that screams summer to me more than Riesling,” says my wife Erica. “If it’s summer I want to drink it and if it is not summer I want to drink it and think about summer.” When it comes to my Riesling-loving wife you can keep your white blends, stick your Sauvignon Blancs where the sun don’t shine and put rosés out to pasture — ‘cause when it comes to Riesling no other grape doth compare. Rieslings can range from seven per cent to 13 per cent alcohol — so that means the lighter styles are perfect for those workday patio lunches, and you can still go back to your desk and function, while the heavier versions are great for when you get home and can put your feet up and stay awhile on the patio or sink into the couch. But what is it that makes people stand up and take notice of Riesling? Is it the acidity, the minerality, the (apparent) sweetness, the freshness or even its liveliness? There is just something about this grape that brings out the rabid fan in so many, and once you have a good example there’s no turning back — you’re a convert for life. In Niagara, the grape has such a loyal following they devote two full days, every second year, to learning why there’s such a love affair between this grape and the Riesling-ophiles who believe no other grape will do. “There are so many reasons that Riesling is special,” says Mary McDermott, winemaker at Thirty Bench (Ontario). “Riesling is one of the most versatile varieties, which gives the winemaker a chance to try new things. A winemaker can really express themselves as well as the terroir when making Riesling.” “Great Riesling is not made by winemakers that impose their will on the grapes,” says Brian Schmidt, winemaker at Vineland Estates in Ontario. “Great Riesling is made by winemakers confident enough to remove their own signature from the equation and let the vineyard express itself.” As Angelo Pavan, winemaker for Cave Spring Cellars explains, “No other variety is so pure in its sense of terroir. No other variety is as versatile, making austere, citrus-driven dry wines, floral and complex, fruit-salad like medium-dry wines, all the way to luscious dessert wines, and even mouth-watering sparklings; and no other variety can be enjoyed throughout all its stages of evolution, from very young to very old.” We’ve heard from the winemakers, what about those who drink it, or better yet those who try to get us to drink more?
“We put an emphasis on Riesling at our restaurant,” reports Alex Good, Sommelier and General Manager of Alloy Dining in Calgary, Alberta. “It adapts to food just as it adapts to the climate where it is grown. Riesling has such a fascinating, paradoxical quality: What other grape variety can produce a delicate, feather-light wine with sweetness held at bay by tense, nervous acidity in the coolest climates, then emerge dry, focused, vibrant and clean as a whistle when grown in warm areas? Riesling always surprises you with its quiet, almost tensile strength and uplifting character. It defines the terms “balance” and “finesse.” For the last words of praise to be heaped onto this grape we go back to winemaker Mary: “Riesling is eminently drinkable, a wine for all occasions. Not only does it pair well with a variety of foods but it can be enjoyed all on its own. I often find I turn to Riesling as my number one choice for wine.”
Vineland Estates Semi-Dry Riesling 2010, Ontario ($13.95)
There’s a nice sweet entry here but it’s after the initial taste that this wine shines its brightest and best. The acidity is so well balanced that you’ll forget all about that sweet entry the moment it hits the mid-to-back palate. You’ll find lemonade tartness in the middle before it finishes with big acid and green apple ... sweet entry, tart finish and delicious length.
Cave Spring Riesling 2011, Ontario ($14.95)
Nose is apple, pear and tropically fruited while the palate doles out plenty of fruit of its own, with just a touch of sweetness, plus there’s nice acid and a mild mineral character added into the mix. This will easily take care of your next Riesling-fix.
Thirty Bench Triangle Riesling 2011, Ontario ($30)
The nose is loaded with mineral, lime and green apple, which mostly follows into the mouth: the green apple and minerality do anyway ... then there’s the zip and zing of the lively acidity and the squeeze of juicy, fresh, peach on the mid-palate, which lingers right to the end.
Leitz Dragonstone 2012, Germany ($23) The name is derived from the discovery of fossilized bones in the vineyard that looked vaguely Dragon-like. It starts out very floral and ends with a sweet mineral quality and lovely balance of acidity.
Leitz Kaisersteinfels 2012, Germany ($46)
The benefit of older vines cannot go unnoticed here, this wine is made from 40-to-80-year-old vines and has off-thehook minerality mixed with a lovely bite of apple fruit.
Giesen Marlborough Riesling 2011, New Zealand ($15.95) Walter Gehringer
Tawse Quarry Road Riesling 2012, Ontario ($23.95)
For a hot vintage Riesling like this there is some amazing acidity, the longevity is in question but you gotta love the acid-base. Lemon-lime leads the charge with a peach softness and good minerality … that acidity is spot-on with freshness and there’s a beautiful green apple-like tart finish.
Vineland Estates St Urban Elevation Riesling 2011, Ontario ($19.95)
This 2011 version has a nose with lots of lemon, lime, floral and peach notes. On the palate the signature mineral notes appear along with sweet pear, peach stone and limeade that ends with a dry finish and good replaying acidity.
30 // September 2013
An appealing nose of talc, green apple and limeade; palate is a mix of green and Delicious apples. There’s also a great lemonade note along with a mango finish. It seamlessly blends the sweet and the tart so that you get a different take on the wine with each sip, plus there’s a lovely mineral note.
8th Generation Riesling Selection 2011, British Columbia ($28.50)
A nose of pear, wet-stone, apple and peach; the palate is driven by the mineral quality in the wine along with lemon-lime and a good, dry finish full of mouth cleansing acidity.
Gehringer Dry Riesling 2012, British Columbia ($14.99)
Aromas of limeade and apricot with lime sherbet on the palate and tropical fruit notes, simple but deliciously effective as a quencher.
Orofino Hendsbee Vineyard Riesling 2012, British Columbia ($22.90) Sweet smelling wine with peach, apricot and pear on the nose, palate brings more sweet flavours than dry, like pear and Delicious apple, but it does end surprisingly dry.
Back 10 Cellars The Big Reach Riesling 2012, Ontario ($25)
This wine is from a new virtual winery in Niagara, and it is a really nice start for the project. Nose of peach, pear and mineral give way on the palate to peach pit and a pear-sweet middle before turning green apple on the finish … there’s also some nice acidity here too.
Schloss Wachenheim Riesling Trocken Traditionelle Flaschengarung Sekt, Germany ($16.95) Not a normal Sekt for Germany, this one is done in the traditional method, time on lees in bottle, which gives this wine an edge over your usual Sekt (German Sparkling). This lovely bubbly has good aromas and flavours that instantly say “Riesling” with some pretty biscuit notes and some interesting sesame cracker.
Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2012, Ontario ($17.95)
Another hot vintage Riesling with outstanding acidity. According to winemaker/owner David Johnson, he picked these grapes 3 weeks early in order to retain the vibrancy. The nose is apple/ lime while the palate has a lemon-lime grip on the tongue with lots of mineral and green apple tartness and a long stunning finish. Great quality to price ratio.
Coffin Ridge Bone Dry Riesling 2012, Ontario ($17)
A two-vineyard blend of Niagara fruit goes into this Meaford winery’s Riesling. When it says ‘Bone Dry’ on the label it means just that: mineral and tropical fruit battle it out on the palate along with some interesting lime on the finish. Crisp and very enjoyable with a nice acid seam keeping it rather tense.
Karlo Estates Lake on the Mountain Riesling 2010, Ontario ($22)
This wine has something that Riesling purists might find sacrilegious: barrel fermentation. Plenty of tropical notes like pineapple and melon with citrus hanging out in the background. There’s also a nice mix of green and Delicious apple here giving the wine a sweet and sour element.
Weingut St Urbanshof Riesling 2011, Laurentiuslay, Grosses Gewaechs, Germany ($55)
In Germany it’s all about the soil, and this Riesling, grown in Blue Slate, is what is called a Grosses Gewaechs wine, in French terms it would translate to Grand Cru vineyard. Lovely Mac apple on the nose followed by a real purity of fruit on the palate, namely apple puree and great balanced acidity. So well balanced.
Weingut Stefan Winter Riesling Kalkstein Dittelsheimer 2011, Germany ($29.60)
Again it all comes down to the soil, and this one is limestone based and it really comes through on the palate. An apple-pear combo on the nose with hints of peach pit … palate brings out the mineral quality of the limestone and a real crisp apple finish.
brooks photo: Rick vansickle
back 10’s andrew brooks
Dr Loosen Blue Slate Riesling Kabinett 2012, Germany ($20)
Like a moth to a flame I find myself drawn to these Blue Slate wines, great minerality and acidity seem to blend seamlessly with the fruit making them so much fun and enjoyable to drink.
Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese 2002, Germany (Price Not Available) At 11 years old, this wine showed very little sign of its age; the only thing is the wine seems golden in colour. Nose was apple and apricot with some lemon rind and minerality showing through. The palate has a lovely sweetness mixing apricot, pear and some intense sweet lemon notes, but there was so much more here. The acidity helped to balance it out, but it did not get in the way of the gulpability of this wines ... there’s something to be said for a well-made, well-executed Spätlese that one just can’t quite put into words. •
NAPA VALLEY, Calif. — The Califor-
nia sun is just beginning to burn off the morning fog that’s cascading over the Mayacamas Mountains as we make our slow ascent to the To Kalon vineyard’s most prized blocks of vines. It is a comfortable bike ride, and by the time we reach “I Block,” where glasses of chilled Fumé Blanc from this very vineyard are waiting, the sun has obliterated any sign of the cooling mist that shrouds Napa’s west border most mornings. It’s only early May but already the vines are showing lush foliage as tiny flowers begin to emerge, setting off an annual ritual that turns grapes into wine in the most important wine region in the U.S. It will be a stressful season of relentless sunshine beating down on the vines with little or no relief from rain until fall. Up here, in the northwest corner of Robert Mondavi Winery’s share of the To Kalon vineyard, snuggled up against the Oakville bench, these 68-year-old vines, believed to be the oldest Sauvignon Blanc in the New World, are a freakish mess. There is no discipline, no geometric order to the freestanding, head-trained and gnarly-twisted vines planted in wide rows, eight-foot by 12foot (454 vines per acre). These bush vines are thick, unruly and utterly deranged in their untamed state.
They are totally impractical, of course, yielding small, yet intense berries that in a good year produce a paltry half-ton of fruit per acre. It’s hard for an accountant to see the upside of the old vine To Kalon vineyard planted in this manner. A number cruncher would tear out all the Sauvignon Blanc, justifiably so, and plant high-density vines in four-foot by four-foot rows (2,750 vines per acre) all to Cabernet Sauvignon. Yeah, $200 to $350 a bottle, compared to $85 for the top To Kalon I Block Sauvignon Blanc, that’s what sends the ledger from red to black in a hurry. And with vineyard land in Napa selling at $300,000 an acre and up … well, you can do the math. As Matt Ashby, Mondavi’s director of vineyard operations, told us: “It’s really a privilege to have this vineyard, but it’s not economical. A half-ton an acre is not kind to the accountants.” But at the Mondavi winery, it’s not always about the bottom line. They have history to preserve, a reputation to uphold, and their proudest legacy lies right here in this beautifully incongruous vineyard planted in 1945 at the highest point of the winery’s holdings. I Block is living proof of the past, the link that gives Napa Valley its rich history.
the bea 32 // September 2013
To Kalon“The Beautiful” was so named by one of
Napa Valley’s first wine pioneers, Hamilton Walker Crabb, shortly after he planted his first vines in 1868. Crabb and other early grape growers and winemakers, including George Yount, Gustave Niebaum and Thomas Rutherford, established an industry that would grow to 140 wineries by the end of the 19th century. Several of those wineries still exist today: Beaulieu, Beringer, Charles Krug, Chateau Montelena, Far Niente, Mayacamas, Markham Vineyards, and Schramsberg Vineyard. Crabb’s To Kalon vineyard consisted of 130 acres of vines by 1877, and he was making almost 200,000 litres of wine a year using an astonishing 400 different grape varieties as he experimented with what worked best in the well-drained, gravelly loam soil on the slopes and alluvial, loam, and clay on the valley floor of his unique vineyard. Crabb died in 1899 and his beloved To Kalon changed hands several times through the 1900s before being bought by Robert Mondavi where, at 53 years old, he established his iconic winery in 1966 surrounded by the vineyard. It was Mondavi’s primary goal to combine European craft and tradition with the latest in American technology.
Mondavi, who died in 2008 at the age of 94, acquired 450 acres of To Kalon, the lion’s share of the vineyard, which is also owned by Beckstoffer Vineyards (90 acres), Opus One (100 acres) and the University of California at Davis (20 acres). The vast majority of the vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon with supporting red Bordeaux varieties for blending and a little Semillon to blend in with the old-vine Sauvignon Blanc.
is not a phrase used officially by anyone in Napa Valley, but it is whispered in certain circles when referring to the To Kalon vineyard. According to Master of Wine Mark de Vere, from the Constellation Academy of Wine, terms like Village, Premier Cru and Grand Cru are used more as a metaphor to describe the various parts of To Kalon with the highest quality coming from the back of the vineyard (the vineyard rises 23 m to 152 m front to back). “I think it is fair to suggest that To Kalon is one of the ‘Grand Cru’ sites of Napa Valley: the soil and the track record of producing great grapes, and having multiple wineries making high-quality, sought-after wines would justify that as a metaphor,” says
by rick Vansickle
de Vere. “And I like to suggest,” he adds, “that the Robert Mondavi Winery Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the ‘First Growth’ wines of Napa, using the Bordeaux analogy: not only is it based off a great vineyard, but there is a 40-plus-year track record of consistently producing wines that can sit easily alongside any of the other great wines from Napa.” De Vere admits to an obvious bias, as he is employed by Constellation Brands, the company that now owns Robert Mondavi Winery, but there is no doubt To Kalon provides some of the most sought after fruit in Napa Valley, most of it Cabernet Sauvignon that’s undergoing replanting to high-density vines using various trellising systems as the older vines succumb to age.
Aside from the fruit Mondavi and Opus One own, To Kalon grapes are sold to over 23 different wineries in the Napa Valley, most from grower Andy Beckstoffer’s holdings (UC Davis sells much of its fruit to Silverado). The vast majority of those bottlings are clearly marked To Kalon on the label, which is only permitted if 95 per cent of the fruit is from one single vineyard. A bare minimum price for these wines seems to hover around $90 a bottle with prices reaching $350 and beyond. It has been suggested that the more you sell your Beckstoffer To Kalon wines for, the higher the price you are charged per ton to purchase the fruit; a sliding scale, if you will, that can reach $25,000 a ton (the Napa average hovers between $6,500 and $7,500 per ton). Jamie Dowell, production manager at Rutherford’s Alpha Omega winery, makes one of her “most prized” wines from purchased Beckstoffer To Kalon fruit. “We work with stunning, stunning fruit,” she says during a tasting of various Cabernet-based To Kalon wines. “I think it’s a very identifiable density in the fruit, a deep-rooted density. The vineyard speaks for itself.”
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Provenance Vineyards associate winemaker Trevor Durling, who crafts a wine called Cabernet Sauvignon Blend TK2 from Beckstoffer fruit, calls To Kalon his favourite vineyard to work with in Napa. “There’s a vibrancy of fruit,” he says. “It’s like a gentle giant that comes off approachable right out of the gate.” Genevieve Janssens, Mondavi’s director of winemaking since 1997, points to a “freshness and lightness of the fruit” with dark wild berries, herbs, tobacco leaf and something she calls “crunchy rocks” or defined minerality, that runs through the veins of To Kalon Cabernet wines, and “a saltiness at the end that makes you want another sip.” Tasting a collection of To Kalon wines together shows a common element that seems bound by terroir and only separated by the artistry of the winemaker. It is, as Janssens, Dowell and Durling suggest, the quality of the place that shines through all the wines and a refinement of the tannins that make these wines some of the most sought after in the Napa Valley.
Mark de Vere
As an ode
to Robert Mondavi’s oft stated credo: that his wines can stand beside the best in the world, we are poured, in order, Krug Grand Cuvée Brut, Domaine Gros Clos Clos-Vougeot Musigni 2009, Chateaux Margaux 2006, Sassacaia 2008 and Penfold’s Grange 2006 all served one after the other as we move slowly around the To Kalon winery that was built exclusively to make the wines from grapes that were harvested from the To Kalon vineyard. In 2001, Janssens and Robert Mondavi unveiled the To Kalon Cellar. It took five years to design and build the 20,000-squarefoot state-of-the-art winery and it represents a complete
re-imagining of the vinification of red wine fruit from To Kalon. The 56 5,000-gallon Taransaud oak fermenters form the backbone of the red winemaking program. The winery is entirely gravity flow, gently allowing wines to age in the first-year barrel room where the winemakers choose from among 10 different coopers to achieve the complexity and balance they seek. It is a spectacular sight, all clean lines and fine oak in perfect symmetry from top to bottom where, three floors down, new French oak barriques house the wine for nine months before moving to another cellar for a further nine months. The wine spends a further year in bottle before being released. It is the Robert Mondavi Reserve that is the flagship wine of this storied winery, and the wine most closely associated with To Kalon even though you won’t find To Kalon anywhere on the label. It only contains 90 per cent of that vineyard’s fruit, a blending decision that Janssens hints could change with the 2012 vintage.
She says the winery wants to honour the legacy of Robert Mondavi, and finally putting his beloved To Kalon on the label of its most important wine would be the perfect expression of gratitude to the man who nurtured Napa’s most famous vineyard to its modern glory. Aside from the Reserve Cab, Mondavi also bottles a rare small-production Cabernet Sauvignon simply called To Kalon made from the oldest vines in the vineyard and available only at the winery for $250; an I Block Fumé Blanc (which is a term invented by Robert Mondavi to differentiate it from sweeter style Sauvignon Blancs) from old vines that sells at the winery only for
de vere photo: Rick vansickle
$85; the Fumé Blanc Reserve from a blend of older and newer To Kalon vines that sells for $50; and Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon made from 100% newer To Kalon plantings and sells for $55. Some other wineries to produce wines from purchased To Kalon fruit include: Alpha Omega, Bacio Divino Cellars, Bounty Hunter Rare Wines, Morlet Family Vineyards, Paul Hobbs, Provenance, Realm Cellars, Schrader Cellars and Tor.
The Five Dot Ranch rib eye, blood rare and as tender as warm butter, is served with roasted sunchokes, Maitake mushrooms and braised ramps with Bordelaise sauce. It is as perfect in the mouth as it looks on the plate but it is the wine on the table that makes me swoon: four decades of Mondavi Reserve Cabernet from the vineyard that surrounds us on this warm spring evening. Our view from the floor to ceiling windows that look out onto the To Kalon vineyard is breathtaking as our stemware is charged with Cabernet Reserve 2009, 1999, 1989 and 1979.
40 years of To Kalon, a snapshot through time that shows the complete transformation of this wine as it ages ever so gently. The subtle freshness and brightness of dark fruits, fine tannins and spices in the current 2009 vintage give way to lovely tertiary flavours of black olives, garrigue, herbs and bay leaves with softening tannins and integrated spices in the older vintages. These are wines connected by their place, the sprawling vineyard from which they are grown, To Kalon, or simply and utterly appropriate, The Beautiful. •
Let’s face it. by Brenda Mcmillan
Greek wine is a mystery to most people. Made from tongue-twisting indigenous grape varietals like Assyrtico and Moschofilero (white) and Agiorgitiko and Xinomavro (red), they are quaffed in great quantities in Greek restaurants, but outside of that, are not widely available on wine lists. And that’s a great pity. Greek wine pairs with food like sun goes with sand. And the match is as universal because wine from Greece complements most recipes. For example, I thought my son, the chef, would serve Pinot Noir with seared duck breast and potato mash, but he surprised me on my birthday with an aged Xinomavro. Its body stood up to the rich sauce, while its elegance enhanced the subtle flavours of pistachio and chives. The wine was a heavenly match with the food. Who knew? On the home front (my dishes are simpler than my son’s), I serve a lot of Greek red because it is terrific meat-and-vegfrom-the-grill wine. Served at 18˚C with a burger, steak, lamb, chicken or sausages, the tannins — and price — are attractive. Try Agiorgitiko (aka Saint George) or Xinomavro, the two most widely grown reds, or blends of these grapes with others to find your favourite pairings. In the winter, my braised dishes with rich sauces and tomato-based pastas find favour with savoury Greek reds. Herbed, garlicky tomato sauce with feta and fat shrimp is comforting with almost any bottle, and a fast one-dish wonder that I first tried in Nemea with that region’s wines. The real beauty of wine from Greece is that it is different. Unique. It affords the curious, the bored-with-Cab-and-Chard, and the adventurer a whole new realm to explore. When you invite it to your table, not only does it make friends with your food, but its mystery entertains your guests.
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Kir Yianni Akakies Sparkling Rosé 2011 ($14)
Made from Xinomavro, it smells like strawberries and tastes like flowers. A smile in the glass, it stands alone as a welcome to any party or gathering.
Tsantali Mt. Olympus Rapsani 2010 ($12) Grapes (Xinomavo, Krassato, Stavroto) for this wine are grown at a monastery where no women can visit. But the guys do a great job without us. Round and quaffable with ripe fruit and a solid finish, serve this approachable, happy-go-lucky red with appetizers and friends.
Kir Yianni Ramnista 2009 ($19)
My first taste of a Kir Yianni wine was at a taverna not far from the winery where a dozen of us shared a plethora of dishes and a magnum flight of older Ramnistas. The food, wine and company were so memorable that I still think of that night when I taste this floral, round, silky Xinomavro beauty. A classic with meat-based dishes.
Karydas Naoussa 2008 ($25)
A lovely aroma of ripe cherries and plums is followed by softening tannins, a welcome brightness and a long finish. Perfect with rich comfort food, like macaroni and cheese.
Alpha Estates Old Vines Reserve 2008 ($27)
Rich and intense, this flavourful wine could still spend time in the bottle, but is delicious now. Savour with a rare grilled steak topped with blue cheese. And consider yourself fortunate.
Boutari Grand Reserve Naoussa 2007 ($19)
Complex with a medium body, this wine has an earthiness that would make it pair well with mushroom dishes, and blackcurrant flavours combined with solid tannins call for meat. A steak and mushroom pie made with some of this wine in the sauce would be divine.
Katogi-Strofilia Naoussa 2007 ($20)
This round, soft, balanced, dry wine has cherry and herb flavours that call for spaghetti and meatballs with lots of basil in the sauce, or a slow-cooked winter stew with thyme, rosemary and pepper.
Alpha Estates Hedgehog Vineyard 2007 ($20)
There is a lot going on in a glass of this flavourful Xinomavro/ Syrah blend! Not surprisingly, lavender aromas greet you just like they do at the winery. Full bodied but not heavy, grilled meats and sausages with a tomato, feta, olive and fresh herb salad would be delicious with this big boy.
Skouras St George Nemea 2010 ($17) St. George is the English name for Agiorgitiko grapes. This offering is bright, balanced and flavourful with herbs and crushed stones. Bring on the appetizers!
Tselepos Driopi Rreserve 2008 ($33)
Big, deep and as full bodied as a line-backer, this balanced wine sports ripe cherry flavours and a long finish. Throw a beast on the barbecue and pull the cork for a bit of heaven on Earth.
Papaioannou Estate 2007 ($20)
Spicy, dusty, dry and ready to drink, this lovely single vineyard St. George from Nemea would match a simple pasta dish that included mushrooms sautĂŠed in olive oil with garlic and tomatoes. Crumble goat cheese on top and let the magic begin.
YIANNIS PARASKEVOPOULOS and LEON KARATSALOS from Gaia
Gaia Wines Agiorgitiko 2011 ($20)
This wine from Nemea has a welcome acidity with peppery, cherry and wood flavours. It would age well but could also be quaffed now with savoury dishes and cheeses.
Monemvassia 300 Red 2005 ($35)
This garnet coloured Agiorgitiko/Mavraki blend from Laconia is really beguiling! Very dry and medium bodied, it sports savoury cherry flavours that make it ideal with meat, cheese and tomato-based sauces. Bring on a rare flat iron steak with garlicky mashed potatoes and heaps of roasted veg. Expect sighs of contentment. And cheers! â€˘
It’s Au tu mn
by ron Liteplo
38 // September 2013
Vignerons are thinking about the weather:will the sunshine persist? Will there be enough (but not too much) rain? Will the grapes ripen well and fully? The rest of us (those without vineyards) are also thinking about the weather. But our thoughts are: when will it snow? How cold and how long will winter be? And most of all, can we possibly escape at least some of the slush, ice, and biting winds? And lots of us do make our escapes. Each year, half a million Canadians visit Arizona. Many are snowbirds like me, who wait smugly in our warm desert homes for the bitter Canadian winter to pass. While we wait, we hike in the desert, sightsee, shop with our blessedly strong Canadian dollars, watch the Suns, Cardinals and Diamondbacks, and eat in the wide array of excellent restaurants. And we drink wine — lots of it, because the prices here are shockingly low, even compared to my beloved Alberta. One of the keys to wine enjoyment is, of course, drinking local. “Local wines — in the Sonoran Desert?” you ask. Well, yes. Some very good wines are made here, from grapes grown here (although many Arizona wineries also use grapes from California). Their secret to success is that the Arizona vineyards are located at higher altitudes (up to 5,200 feet), in the mountainous areas in the northwest and southeast parts of the state. There, the grapes do not suffer from extreme summer temperatures, and the differential between daytime highs and nighttime lows (as much as 10˚C) makes for good acidity and aromas even though the grapes can get very ripe. While Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay predominate, in this “frontier” area the wineries are experimenting with many varietals including Italian (Sangiovese, Malvasia Bianco) and Rhone (Syrah, Grenache, Rousanne). Wine tourism is increasingly popular: there are dozens of wineries in Arizona now, and more putting out shoots every
year. Almost all of them welcome visitors, although they tend to be more casual and less sophisticated in catering to tourists than their Californian counterparts. Somewhat typically of new wine areas, some producers try to make up for young vines and lack of winemaking experience with cutesy names and eye-catching labels. Australia has its koala bears and kangaroos; Arizona has its roadrunners and lizards. But, as everywhere, there may be little relationship between the adorability of the label and the quality of the wine inside the bottle. I have found good wines from several Arizona winemakers. One of my favourite labels is Page Springs Cellars, located in the northeast, near Sedona. Family owned, it was started in 2004. The vineyards lie mostly in the northwest, from 3,500 to 5,200 feet altitude, on sandy loam soil over a volcanic and limestone base; some grapes are purchased as well. Page Springs has spawned several offspring wineries, including another good one, Arizona Stronghold. AS was formed in 2007 with the philosophy that great wine “has to be made by people that care.” Arizona Stronghold’s vineyards are mostly in the southeast, at about 4,300 feet, on sandy loam soil over a volcanic base. Years ago this area was the redoubt of the mighty Apache chief Cochise, and several AS labels pay tribute to Apache warriors. On a recent visit I enjoyed these wines. Some are for everyday, some are surprisingly sophisticated.
Arizona Stronghold Cochise County Chardonnay 2010 ($35)
Aiming for a Burgundy style, this wine was aged on its lees in neutral oak casks and had no malolactic fermentation, so as to preserve acidity. Medium gold, with a mild nose of apples and a touch of vanilla. On the palate it features apples and pineapple, zippy acidity and a long finish.
Page Springs Vino de la Familia Blanca 2011 ($21)
100% Malvasia, pale silvery-yellow, bouquet of melon, apples and lime, with more melon, citrus and honey on the palate.
Page Springs Mules Mistake 2011 ($16)
Trying for a lighter, Beaujolais style, this is a blend of mostly Zinfandel with Pinot Noir, Syrah, Barbera, Grenache and even some California Gewürztraminer. Pale cranberry red with a candy apple/raspberry nose. A crowd-pleaser with strawberry and raspberry flavours and a good tannic backbone.
Page Springs La Serrana 2010 ($26)
50/50 blend of Viognier and very ripe Rousanne, with no malolactic. Medium lemon-yellow with peaches and flowers on the nose. Interesting flavours of stone fruit and a hint of bitter almond. Great food wine, good value, and my favourite of the Page Springs tasting.
Page Springs Super Arizonan 2011 ($32) Mostly Sangiovese with Cab Sauv and a little Petit Verdot. Medium cherry red with a sweet nose of strawberry and candy apple, this wine is very fruity with cherry and cranberry flavours, all nicely balanced.
Arizona Stronghold Lozen 2010 ($40) Lozen was an Apache warrior and “seer.” The wine is a meritage blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cab Franc and Malbec. Deep garnet with a nose of cassis and cedar, it has lots of cherry fruit with mineral and herbal flavours, all in good balance. My overall top point scorer.
Arizona Stronghold Taza 2011 ($20)
Taza was one of Cochise’s sons. This eclectic blend includes Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Malvasia, Chenin Blanc and even a bit of Gewürztraminer. It is pale silvery yellow with a strong floral and gooseberry nose, the Sauv Blanc and Riesling shining through. It is dry, an aperitif wine with good acidity and melon and citrus flavours.
Arizona Stronghold Dala Chardonnay 2011 ($20)
Dala means one in Apache, signifying this is a single varietal wine. Medium gold in colour, it has a powerful nose of banana and apple. Full bodied with flavours of apple, melon and lime, this was another high-scorer. •
wild th by merle Rosenstein Some people like sweet stuff. I’m the queen of sour. When I was five, I overindulged on sweet tarts and sour powdered candy. I was the only kid in school with cream cheese and pickle sandwiches. Ketchup was my condiment of choice, and salt and vinegar potato chips my comfort food. So when I tried a kriek beer in Brussels a few years ago, I knew I’d found my ideal style. The dry, tart, cherry brew was smooth and complex and unbelievably refreshing. It lingered long on my tongue, teasing my taste buds. Kriek is a type of lambic beer made with sour cherries. Lambic is a geographic designation reserved for Belgian beers brewed in the Senne River Valley near Brussels. By royal decree, lambics must be made with 30 per cent malted wheat and twoyear-old hops to limit bitterness. A key feature of lambics is spontaneous fermentation, whereby wild airborne yeast is allowed to enter the brewery landing in open fermenting tanks. In Canada, brewers don’t tend to use spontaneous fermentation. Yeasts and bacteria are added with intention, although there is still less control over the final product than with other beers. According to beer expert Roger Mittag, lambic beer is the most authentic because “It’s probably the way brewers were producing beer from 10,000 years ago until modern times when it was discovered that yeast was creating the alcohol.” Flanders red ales and brown ales (or oud bruins) were originally brewed in the northern half of Belgium and represent another sour beer style. Depending on the style, brewing and aging techniques, sour beer can be lightly tangy or bracingly acidic.
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Sour beer is making inroads in the United States. To learn more about the state of sour beer in Canada, Tidings talked to experts at Yaletown, Storm and Driftwood breweries in BC, and À la Fût in Quebec.
yaletown brewing company: gold medal beer
Head Brewer Iain Hill started making sour beers six years ago and produces one 2000-litre batch of oud bruin a year. He explained that brettanomyces or brett is a yeast that imparts flavours ranging from cherry pie to horse sweat and adds depth and complexity when at the right threshold. Wine makers fear brett because it penetrates wood barrels and can survive barrel washing. For makers of sour beer, the tenacity displayed by brett is an advantage. Two bacteria, lactobacillus and pedioccocus, produce lactic acid and add crisp, dry, acidity and pleasant sourness to the beer. In 2013, Yaletown Brewing Company won a gold medal at the Canadian Brewing Awards in the category of wood and barrel aged sour beer. Hill considers Yaletown’s Oud Bruin to be his “pièce de résistance” and the thing that he is most proud of. It has mild to moderate acidity balanced by sweetness and fruitiness. As with wine, blending is used to control the level of acidity. Hill admits that he has a secret for blending that he keeps from brewer friends like James Walton, owner of Storm Brewing. He says that this secret will “probably come out one night over a beer.”
driftwood brewing company: a trio of sours
Driftwood Brewing Company has an ongoing sour program with three sour beer releases to date: Bird of Prey, a Flanders red; Mad Bruin, an oud bruin; and Belle Royale, a kriek-style beer. Made in small batches, these beers don’t last long on store shelves. Jason Meyer started Driftwood with two partners in July 2008. They won silver for Bird of Prey at the 2012 Canadian Brewing Awards, and were also recognized for Bird of Prey at the 2012 BC Beer Awards.
storm brewing: sour beer pioneer
James Walton, owner of Storm Brewing, is involved in every aspect of his business. “This is one of the few breweries where the owner is the brewer, makes deliveries and washes the tanks,” he says. Walton cruised the scrapyards to build his brewing equipment. He started making sour beers in 1996, but gave up after only a few years. “No one got the style for years and I got tired explaining to everyone what it was.” His 1997 vintage Black Currant Lambic sat in oak casks for about 14 years before he became famous for it across North America, winning two gold medals from North West Brewing News in 2010. Walton also received recognition at the 2012 BC Beer Awards for his Imperial Flanders Red Ale. The 11 per cent alcohol beer includes malted barley and Walton’s own sour yeasts. A sherry flock forms on top of the brew, protecting it from oxidation. The beer was aged in oak for one year in the same barrels as the 1997 Black Currant Lambic. “The beer is really quite sour,” remarks Walton. “Smelling it gets my salivary glands going,” he says. The crimson-hued brew has some sweetness, malty sourness and notes of oak, barnyard and goat. As Walton points out, “Ten years ago I couldn’t sell the stuff to save my life, now they can’t get enough of it. Ten years ago it was, ‘who has the hoppiest beer?’ Sour is the new bitter.”
Mathieu Brochu from à la fût
The inspiration for the raptor-like motif adorning the labels of all three beers was a cooper’s hawk trapped in the brewery around the time Bird of Prey was being brewed. Meyer believes that sour beer is the bridge between wine and beer because “Sour beer balances acidity and sweetness in the same way that wine or cider does.” Bird of Prey has a distinct cherry pie aroma even though no cherries were added to the brew. The Mad Bruin is less acidic, maltier and darker in colour than the Bird of Prey. This beer is dry as a bone, with a slight sweetness and biscuity notes. The Belle Royale is crafted with morello sour cherries followed by over 18 months of maturing in select American oak barrels. Close to 50 per cent of fermentable sugars come from the cherries and not the malt. As Meyer says, “we use a ridiculous amount of cherries.”
The Mad Bruin and Belle Royale beers were aged in wine barrels previously filled by the Bird of Prey beer. The barrels were not washed between fills to make the most of the resident brett and lactobacillus. Walton says that non-beer drinkers like sour beer the most, especially if they don’t like the bitterness that hops imparts. He advises that sour beers are quite versatile and can be paired with fatty nuts, filberts, pecans and almonds, strong cheeses or even steak.
à la fût: beer of the year
Saint-Tite, a town of 4000 between Montreal and Quebec City is the home of À la Fût, a brewery started in 2007 by three engineers who met at the École de technologie supérieure. This young brewery won Beer of the Year at the 2012 Canadian Craft Beer Awards for an aged sour beer called Co-Hop V. A second sour beer brewed with lambic yeasts, Co-Hop VII, will be ready in the summer or fall of 2014. The award-winning Co-Hop V Rouge de Mékinac is a Flanders red ale made with very tart cherries. Cop-Hop V relies on natural lactobacillus from the cherries and a little bit of
AGENCE DE VOYAGES W. H. HENRY
brettanomyces and takes 17 months to produce. There is only one batch on the market and another batch will be ready in two months. This five-point-nine per cent alcohol beer can be paired with almost any type of food because the taste is powerful, but not overpowering. À la Fût’s base malts are organic and sourced locally, about 60 kilometres from the brewery. Mathieu Brochu, brewer and quality control manager, explains that Co-Hop VII is the first lambic brewed with Quebec malts. “It has a special taste of the terroir. Primary fermentation occurs in a stainless steel vessel using an ale yeast. For the secondary fermentation in oak barrels, a blend of wild yeasts from Oregon is used. The wild yeast contains microorganisms like lactobacillus, brettanomyces, and pediococcus.” Brochu is also brewing another batch of sour beer to blend with Co-Hop VII to create a more complex and flavourful beer. When asked about the popularity of his sour beer, Brochu said, “At the beginning we thought it was for beer geeks only, but my mother loved it.” Are you ready to sample a sour beer this fall? Pucker up and give one a try. •
ROYAL INDIA TOUR WITH AN OPTIONAL 4 NIGHT YOGA EXTENSION Royal India Tour – September 25 to october 8, 2013
Yoga Extension – october 8 to 12, 2013
You are invited to join us on this tour of India to savour the splendour and spirituality of India’s golden triangle. Our tour has been carefully designed to give you an intimate glimpse of India’s Northern Beauty. Your tour includes: • the legendary forts & palaces of rajasthan • the cherished love story surrounding the taj mahal • the blue city of Jodhpur
• the cultural contrasts of old & new Delhi • the colourful bazaars of Jaipur • the romance of Lake pichola in Udaipur
For a memorable finish to the Royal India tour add on a 4 night yoga extension in Rishikesh.
13 nights in Northern India: $1,872.00* per person, single supplement $794.00 4 nights Yoga extension: $737.00* per person, single supplement $345.00 International airfare will cost approximately $1,589.00 taxes included (subject to change). *price based on double occupancy, including GST, QST and FICAV contribution of $2.00/$1000, Quebec licensee
FOR ITINERARY PLEASE CALL DAPHNE AT 514.369.3300 • 1.800.361.9421 OR EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org WH Henry Inc 5165 Sherbrooke Street West, Suite 400, Montreal, QC H4A 1T6 Wh_Henry AD_Royal_India.indd 1
42 // September 2013
3/7/13 9:54:27 PM
trailing the tart\\
There are just some foods that inspire groupies, aren’t there? Chili, for instance, and ribs. Aficionados will travel anywhere for the best versions. How do they know which are the best? Maybe it’s the length of the cooking time, or the addition of some special ingredient to the mix. Whatever the magic formula may be, the expert tasters know exactly what they’re looking for. Here in Ontario, we’ve got our own version of chili and ribs. It’s called the butter tart. Made from a mixture of butter, sugar, syrup and egg poured into flaky pastry, it’s baked in individual tart moulds until the filling is just the right amount of jiggly. How much of each ingredient, and whether or not the gooey centre comes out of the oven covered in a crunchy-sweet surface, depend entirely on the baker’s own preferred recipe. Everyone has a special rendition. This sweet, oozy confection might be popular in other parts of Canada, too. But in Ontario, the butter tart is truly revered. We even have a destination named after it: The Butter Tart Trail. Are you in the mood for a delicious road trip — on a bike or in a car? The Butter Tart Trail runs through much of picturesque Wellington County (an hour northwest of Toronto), zigzagging from bakery (for each baker’s interpretation) to ice cream parlours (for butter tart ice cream flavours) to home and bath stores (scented candles, body lotion, soap, etc) to pet stores (get your butter tart-flavoured dog treats!). B&Bs even promise the tarts for breakfast. Is there a standard of perfection that dictates what makes the perfect butter tart? Oh, probably in the minds of these pastry lovers, there is. But, really, it all comes down to one’s own personal taste. For some, the pastry must not be too thick. For others it shouldn’t be too thin. A flaky shell is important, but the
by Rosemary Mantini
filling is key. That syrupy sweetness can’t be drippy enough for some, while others prefer a drier filling. And let’s not get started on the additions. Raisins, dried currants, nuts or just plain and simple — everyone has a favourite … and an opinion. It’s fun to spend an afternoon travelling through the countryside noshing on these sweet concoctions despite the belt-loosening that inevitably must happen. I can’t help wonder where they originated. Apparently, no one really knows. Food historians have their guesses, of course. The Scottish made a tart using sugar, butter and dried fruit. Then there’s the classic French-Canadian sugar pie also made from similar ingredients, except with the addition of cream. Wherever the inspiration began, the butter tart is considered a truly Canadian invention. Now, it’s your turn to eat one. What do you think makes the best butter tart? Tell us on twitter @quenchbytidings.
Blueberry Butter Tart 12 frozen tart shells 1 ½ cup blueberries 1 egg ½ cup corn syrup 1 tsp lemon juice ¾ tsp vanilla 1/3 cup brown sugar 1 tbsp all purpose flour 3 tbsp melted butter
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. 2. Place tart shells on baking sheet. Thaw according to manufacturer’s directions.
3. Divide blueberries equally among the tart shells. In a large
bowl, whisk together the egg, corn syrup, lemon juice and vanilla. 4. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and flour, then stir it into the egg mixture. Add the melted butter. 5. Pour mixture over the blueberries, filling each tart shell right to the top. 6. Bake on the bottom oven rack, until bubbly and slightly crusty on top, approximately 18 to 23 minutes. •
44 // September 2013
The affable gent who owns and runs the gym where I work out four times a week lives on the Canada/US border. Not somewhere in that heavily populated, loosely defined swath that stretches from one side of the country to the other, but right on the border. Right where a peculiar nodule of geography that might once have been Canada becomes Point Roberts, USA.
In a food world where multinational behemoths rule the agricultural roost with ecologically dangerous one-crop might, farmers’ markets, and the guys and girls who keep bees, and grow and sell all kinds of other delectable treasures, could well become our nutritious-delicious food salvation. And it’s people like you and me who keep hunting down these jewels of close-to-the-good-earth folk to find the stuff that will not only be food for the heart, but fodder for the soul. These markets in one way or another have been around for as long as there have been farmers who thought it might be a good income-supplementing idea to set up a stand at the front gate, strut their stuff and make a sale to the passing parade. For buyers who want not just honey, but everything else that is seasonally fresh, good, and priced exactly right,
For him, life at home is interesting. Without needing to worry much about the eagle eyes of US Homeland Security or Canadian Immigration, he is able to move at will from the Canadian front of his property to the US back. That’s where two hobby hives of bees do exactly the same kind of border-buzzing thing that he does — except that in their case, they pollinate plant life on both sides of the 49th parallel in a beautifully natural, non-obstructed, international way. Which gets me into the fact that I’m a farmers’ market aficionado, and more specifically, a farmers’ market honey aficionado. Show me a jar with a brown-paper or red-and-white gingham, raffia-tied top, a hand-written label, and contents Crumble is a great word that perfectly matches what it is. that glow gold in the early-morning mar- Depending where you are in the country, there should still ket sun, and I’ll snap it up, price no object. be some plums around. I like the blue more than the gold, Lavender from Provence, leatherwood but they both work. from Tasmania, eucalyptus from Napa — I have them all and more. And yes, a gifted ½ cup sugar ½ tsp cinnamon jar from my workout buddy on the Can- ¼ cup shortening 1 tsp baking powder ada/US border. Honey with sweet notes 1 egg ½ tsp salt of Canadian blueberry and quite possibly, 1 cup all purpose flour essence of Washington State bud? 1. Combine the above in a bowl and mix to form crumbs. 2. Place 18 fresh, pitted and sliced plums in a greased, 9-inch square pan. 3. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the fruit and bake in a 375˚F oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Late in the season, beets are a staple at farmers’ markets. I pickle beets every year, because they’re great with just about anything. We used to make them in sandwiches of white bread when we were kids. Can’t beat purple sandwiches!
2 lbs beets, 2-inch diameter (about 15 or equivalent) 1 ⅓ cups sugar 1 ½ cups white or cider vinegar
1 cup water 2 tsp whole allspice 1 cinnamon stick, broken 1 tsp salt
1. Wash beets, leaving taproots and 2 to 3
inches of stem attached. Cook in boiling water until just tender (20 to 30 minutes). Plunge into cold water, remove skins, stems and roots. 2. Combine remaining ingredients in a large pot, simmer 15 minutes. Pack beets into clean, hot jars, leaving ½-inch headspace (cut larger beets in two if necessary, or slice your beets if you wish.) 3. Return liquid to boil and pour over beets, leaving ½-inch headspace. Seal. 4. Process in boiling water bath for 30 minutes. (Make sure the glass is not touching the bottom of your pot, it could break the glass.) 5. Remove and wait for the lids to pop. Store and/or eat.
46 // September 2013
it’s home economics at its very best. As are the bigger markets, when the farmers bring their stuff to town to collectively present it to thee and me. In and around the Lower Mainland of BC, and up into the nearby Fraser Valley, farmers’ markets boom at locations inside and out, sometimes day and night, for 12 months of the year, peaking with the bounty of each new season. The farmers, or perhaps their kids, load up their stalls with eye-appealing goodies, vying for the attention that each deserves, as the seasons roll on. And while “farm” is the operative word here, the fare is much more than simply homegrown from the farm’s garden. Check the fancy websites for the locations in your neck of the woods, the product lineup, what’s in season, the current range of market variety, and the recipes that bring things together when you get home. It’s a — forgive me — cornucopia of organic cool. Farmers’ markets are places to bring the kids, and often the dog, to not only pick up fruits and vegetables, but meats, fish and poultry; breads and other baking; jams and jellies; honey of course, and a miscellany of non-edibles that make shopping at these weekend “high streets” such a pleasure. Many have live music, activities for the kids, and water bowls for the dogs. “Sit! Stay! Be a good dog, and I’ll slip you a slice of Oyama sausage!” Markets, and there is one or a dozen near you, are destinations for taste adventures, social intercourse, a step back to a time before supermarkets and smartphones; when the genuine article was grown or made right around here by a neighbour who cared as much about sharing and smiling as making a buck or three. If you road tripped this summer, or made a journey to a destination beyond the horizon, chances are that as well as remembering all of the things that were featured in the travel brochure, you will recall in an even bigger way the sensual pleasures of a great little market that sucked you in from the freeway, the rue, the strasse, the via, or the straat, and held you spellbound for the sweetest of moments. Not just of your vacation, but perhaps of your life.
So simple. The sweetness of honey, the bite of mustard and lemon — brought together in a mélange of flavours.
cup mayonnaise tbsp prepared mustard
tbsp honey tbsp lemon juice
1. Whisk ingredients together. Store covered in the refrigerator.
honey mustard dressing
pickles You may have your own recipe for these and if you do, by all means share it with us. But meanwhile, clip and save this one. For your pickles this year, or maybe next.
1 cup cider vinegar 3 cups water ¼ cup pickling salt
1. Mix ingredients and bring to a boil. Add a
clove of garlic and a healthy sprig of dill to well-scrubbed pickles placed whole in sterile jars. 2. Pour the hot liquid over the dills to cover. Seal with screw top lids. I don’t process the dills. They last up to a year in a cool place. The ingredients can be increased proportionately for larger quantities. 3. I once used a four-gallon mayonnaise bucket, picked up from a restaurant. The dills sat on the deck — I live in Vancouver! — all year. It’s more fun diving into a pickle barrel than it is into a jar.
At this time of year it’s a rare market that doesn’t have mounds of first-of-the-season apples — and the time is always right for a great pie. I tend to break the rules a bit, but my guests invariably tell me the pie is simply — key word! — the best ever.
8 Granny Smith apples 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup lard
½ cup butter 1 cup sugar Pinch of salt 2 tbsp cornstarch
ing 2 1 2 2
eggs tsp vanilla cups flaked oats cups flour
cinnamon 1 egg 1 tbsp vinegar 6-8 tbsp cold water
1. Mix the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the lard into the flour, and work until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 2. Beat the egg, vinegar and water together with a fork, and add to the flour mixture. It’s easier if you have a mixer. When mixed — but not over-mixed — the dough should come away easily from the sides of the bowl. (Purists will say that after you have made a ball of the dough — add more flour if you wish — it should sit in the fridge for an hour. I never have a spare hour, and begin my pie right away.) 3. Cut the dough in half, and roll half to form a base for the pie. Peel and slice the apples. 4. Toss with butter, sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon and place onto the bottom pastry layer. Roll the top layer to a size that overhangs your dish by a centimetre or so. 5. Fold back and seal in a pattern with your fingers. If you have any dough left over, make an apple shape to decorate and identify your piece. 6. Cut some vents in the pastry, sprinkle with sugar, and bake in a preheated 400˚F oven for about 40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with ice cream.
I was going to say that you start these by going out and finding yourself some bees, but, as I do, you can buy honey at any market, which saves you time and a ton of stings!
1 cup packed brown sugar 1 cup honey ½ cup butter ½ cup vegetable shorten-
¾ tsp ground
½ ½ ½ ¼ ½
tsp baking powder tsp baking soda tsp ground cinnamon tsp salt cup raisins
honey oat cookies
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Combine sugar, honey, butter, shortening, eggs and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
2. Add the oats, flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt. Beat at low speed until soft dough forms. Stir in raisins.
3. Drop dough onto greased cookie sheet and bake 8 to 12 minutes. Let cool before removing from sheet. Cool before storing. •
Wheyin by merle Rosenstein
Have you ever tasted cheese? I mean really tasted it. Rolled it around with your tongue and let it linger on the roof of your mouth? Cheese eating is a sensual and sensory pleasure according to cheese sommelier Vanessa Simmons. “You want the cheese to go right to the back of your mouth, popped up where the peanut butter used to get stuck when you were a kid, and swish it all the way around so you are absolutely coating your palate and getting all of your taste buds working,” she advises. I met Simmons at a tutored tasting for Quebec cheeses at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Picton, Ontario, in June. The Festival, showcasing the best Canadian cheeses under one roof, attracted 4000 cheese lovers this year. Artisan cheeses from Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Alberta were all on offer. One-third of the producers were from Quebec, Canada’s leading cheese-making region. According to Simmons, Quebec cheese makers are well organized and funded, share knowledge, are well informed by international research and display superior craftsmanship. Simmons is passionate about cheese and even has a cow named after her. She led a two-hour Quebec cheese tasting and advised on proper tasting technique. The cheeses on our plates ranged from light to robust. We were given three choices for pairing — KeintHe Winery’s 2010 Pinot Squared, Stanner Vineyards 2010 Lincoln Lakeshore Chardonnay or Beau’s Beaver River beer. “At the end of the tasting you should not just taste cheese on the back of your palate, otherwise your wine is not bold enough to stand up to that cheese. If all you taste is wine or beer, there’s not enough going on with that cheese — it’s not big enough,” she said. Simmons encouraged us to get physical with our cheese, to rip each piece in two and examine the formation of the curds inside. We noted whether the cheese broke evenly or if there was a jagged edge. We considered whether the cheese was made from a mould or hand crafted with care. We examined the outside, inside, colour and texture and noticed if the cheeses were creamy, hard, glistening or runny. Then we savoured the fabulous cheeses of popular producers such as Fromagerie Médard, Fromagerie du Presbytère, Fromagerie Nouvelle France and Fromagerie du Pied-de-Vent.
48 // September 2013
fromagerie médard: saguenay–lac-saintjean region
Normand Côté is the fifth generation owner of Domaine de la Rivière, a farm in Saint-Gédéon, Québec, two hours north of Montreal. The dairy, Fromagerie Médard, named after Médard Côté, the son of the original landowner, uses milk from the farm’s Brown Swiss cows. Fromagerie staff member Diane Paget explained that the taste of the cheese varies depending on what the cows ate: “Was it just pasture or was it augmented because of a sparse year?” On hand at the Festival were two Fromagerie Médard cheeses. The first one, Belle-Mère, an orange-brown washed rind semifirm cheese was made from pasteurized milk and aged for three months. Washed rind cheeses are bathed in liquid, usually salted water, wine, brandy, local spirits, or herbs making them susceptible to bacteria that break down the curd from the outside, resulting in a more pungent flavour. The Belle-Mère with big buttery notes and aromas of lilac and lavender won a 2012 Selection Caseus award in the semi-firm, cow’s milk cheese category. Also made with pasteurized cow’s milk, 14 arpents, aged 30 days, was creamy and full of flavour, with the slight taste of hazelnut.
fromagerie du presbytère: centre-du-québec region
The Morin family has operated the Louis d’Or farm in Warwick, Quebec for four generations. In 1980, the farm went organic. Holstein and Jersey cows chow down on dry hay, clover, timothy grass, bluegrass and other organic grains and are not injected with antibiotics or hormones. “This dairy really pushes the envelope with raw cheese and more layers of complexity. They are truer to traditional cheese making,” says Simmons. A renovated church rectory built in 1936 houses the dairy. Friday nights are a celebration of cheese and community. Visitors converge on the rectory lawn with bottles of wine and beer to enjoy fresh cheese, music and bread. Fromagerie du Presbytère took three awards at the 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, Best Blue and Best Organic for Bleu d’Élizabeth and Best Swiss-type Cheese for Louis d’Or, aged for
ngin 18 months. I sampled four Fromagerie du Presbytère cheeses. The Brie Paysan, a pasteurized cow’s milk cheese had a bloomy rind and soft paste that melted in my mouth. Bloomy rind cheeses are covered with Penicillium candidum forming a white casing causing the cheese to ripen from the outside and become soft and runny on the inside. The vegetal, grassy and fungal notes offered an amazing expression of terroir. Laliberté is a triple cream cheese, made with whole organic milk and aged for 45 days. The bloomy rind surrounds a soft paste with mushroom flavour and a creamy mouthfeel. Louis D’Or, made from raw organic cow’s milk is crafted in 40-kilogram wheels and develops complex flavours after nine months of ripening. This washed rind, firm pressed, cooked paste cheese has nutty and fruity aromas. Bleu d’Élizabeth is a semisoft fruit-flavoured cheese made from non-pasteurized milk, displaying blue and greenish veins resulting from the presence of Penicillium roqueforti.
fromagerie nouvelle france: eastern townships
A young brother and sister team, Marie-Chantal and Jean-Paul Houde, started a sheep farm and a cheese-making operation, the Fromagerie Nouvelle France in 2010. Jean-Paul tends to a herd of over 200 East Friesian sheep on the 250-acre farm in the village of Racine. Marie-Chantal makes cheese. Fromagerie Nouvelle France’s signature cheese, Zacharie Cloutier, is a raw sheep’s milk cheese, named for an ancestor who came to Canada from France in 1634. This ancestor is also said to be a distant relative of Céline Dion. In its first appearance at the 2011 Selection Caseus awards, Zacherie Cloutier won gold for the best cheese in Quebec in all categories. This orange washed rind, firm pressed cheese, aged for six months, exudes aromas of butter and caramel. Le Pionnier, a cheese-making partnership between Fromagerie Presbytère and Fromagerie Nouvelle France is a 40-kilogram wheel made of raw sheep’s and cow’s milk coming from the cheese maker’s herds. The cheese is a “great marriage of
cow’s milk cheese according to Morin’s tradition, and sheep’s milk cheese, according to Houde’s tradition,” offers Simmons. Le Pionnier is a firm cheese with a bit of washed rind, a dense cheese texture and some earthiness, and is very robust. Aged for 10 to 12 months, Le Pionnier displays complex aromas of butter, brown sugar and macadamia nuts with a delicate floral note. As Simmons says, “This cheese says ‘look at me’ and is very indicative of their personalities. They are very outspoken cheese makers.”
FROMAGERIE DU PIED-DEVENT: îles de la madeleine
In 1998, Jérémie Arseneau brought over a herd of Canadienne cows, a small black heritage breed, from Saint-Simon-de-Rimouski and l’Île Verte to Îles-de-la-Madeleine. He launched the Fromagerie du Pied-de-Vent and began cheese production on islands traditionally known for a strong fishing industry. Pied-du-Vent is a whole milk, soft surface-ripened cheese with a bloomy natural rind and a dominant flavour of hazelnuts. Surface-ripened cheeses have mould on the rind, ripening the surface first and then the inside. Tomme Des Desmoiselles is a raw milk thermalized cheese in a gouda-like style with a washed rind. The cheese is full and robust with a fruit aroma. You get a bit of salt in the cheese because the cows graze on hay and grasses around the edge of the island and right on the border of the St. Lawrence River. Two beautiful small hills on the Havre Aubert landscape inspired the fromagerie in the creation of this cheese. To sample some stellar cheeses, take a tour on La Route des Fromages du Quebec linking producers across the province. Enjoy the ride through Quebec’s scenic countryside. Many barns are open, allowing direct access to goats, sheep, cows or calves. In Ontario, check out Oxford Country’s new cheese trail to see a life-sized statue of record-setting milk producer Springbank Snow Countess, or be a cheese maker for a day. Or head for the Taste Trail in Prince Edward County for a quick calcium fix. You’ll develop a whole new appreciation for fromage. •
the mav notes\\ 92 Shafer One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Napa Valley, United States ($84.95)
They don’t get much better than this from the Stags’ Leap District. Dense purple-black colour, which speaks to the concentration of fruit on the nose and on the palate. Spicy blackberry, blackcurrant and chocolate flavours firmly structured with supple tannins. Needs time in bottle, 3 to 5 years. (TA)
89 Château Tour des Gendres Cuvée des Conti 2011, Bergerac, Southwest, France ($17) Medium yellow. Aromatic and sharp nose of citrus, passion fruit with a hint of chalk. Fat texture contrasting the bright acidity. Very intense fruity flavour with a great length to match. A wine with a strong personality, it will go nicely with smoked Atlantic salmon. (GBQc)
91 Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Shiraz 2010, Victoria, Australia ($35.95) Who can resist the name? Nothing girly about this muscular Shiraz. Dense purple in colour, it has a smoky, savoury, blackberry nose. Medium- to full-bodied, dry and elegant with a peppery-herbal, black fruit flavour and stylish acidity. (TA)
89 Wildass Red 2011, Niagara ($19.95)
Stratus’s second label. A blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Tannat! The best Wildass Red yet. Deep ruby colour; a nose of cedar and red and blackcurrants; medium-bodied, dry, well-extracted fruit with a herbal note. (TA)
93 Cornellana Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Barrel Reserve 2007, Cachapoal, Chile ($14.33)
Deep plum red. Nose of raspberry jam, prunes, a hint of menthol, and smoke and oak from the barrel fermentation. Presents a full-bodied mouthful of blackberry and blackcurrant and an accent of mint. Good balance, and the tannins promise a longer life. Huge value. (RL)*
89 Quinta de Ventozelo Reserva 2009, Douro Valley, Portugal ($21.95)
Dense purple-black colour; a bouquet of black fruits and vanilla oak; full-bodied plum and cherry flavours, dry, chunky mouthfeel with a smoky note on the finish. A BBQ wine for steak if ever there was one. (TA)
92 Robert Mondavi To Kalon I Block Fumé Blanc 2009, Oakville, Napa Valley, United States ($85)
Fumé Blanc is just Mondavi’s way of telling consumers this is a completely dry Sauvignon Blanc. I Block is the oldest planting of Sauvignon Blanc (1945) believed to exist in the New World. This is heady stuff with a vibrant and expressive nose of gooseberry, citrus-lime, lemon zest, white flowers, crushed rock and then tropical-peach aromas as you swirl the wine in the glass. It has such racy acidity in the mouth, and that is matched by profound minerality, freshness of fruit and depth through the finish. An extraordinary wine, but you will have to go the winery to get it. (RV)
50 // September 2013
Matter of taste
by Sheila Swerling-Puritt
With summer slipping away, the season for a slick gin and tonic or a Collins is coming to an end. The good news is that gin is an excellent spirit to imbibe all through the year with different mixing partners. It also pairs well with certain foods with salty, fatty bites, like tapas. With its strong juniper character, gin mixes beautifully with lime, a tangy partner that’s less rich or sweet than a lemon. Orange peel and muddled kumquat works too. Gin is a white spirit produced by distilling fermented grain mash and re-distilling the resulting raw spirit with aromatic plant products referred to as botanicals. The essential one is juniper berries. Other frequently used botanicals include citrus elements like lemon and bitter orange peel, anise, angelica root, orris root, liquorice root, cinnamon, saffron, nutmeg and cassia bark, and the list goes on and on. Subtle differences in flavour between gins are a result of the guarded botanical recipes employed by each producer. In tropical British colonies gin was used to mask the bitter flavour of quinine, a chemical thought to fight malaria. (I heard that Champagne worked just as well ... I always liked that idea!) There was a time when many a respectable lady drank a pink gin — coloured by a dash of Angostura bitters — out of a teacup. This drink looked like tea, and it could be garnished with a thin slice of lemon to complement the flavour. To tell the truth, I was never terribly fond of gin. When I was younger I found it far too perfumy for my taste, and juniper was not my favourite flavour even in food. If need be, I hid my gin in cocktails such as Negroni, Pimm’s Cup, or Singapore Slings. Thanks to great marketing, gin brands became so popular, such as Tanqueray, which has a strong juniper and cassia bark flavour and not much citrus. Bombay Sapphire is quite pungent with hints of liquorice and almonds. Loved their advertisements. So what was a girl to do? And then I fell in love at first taste with Hendrick’s Gin, made in Scotland and infused with cucumber and rose petals. It’s packaged in a dark blue apothecary-style bottle. Hendrick’s method of distillation and botanical extraction emphasizes the lighter, sweeter floral flavours. I found when tasting the product, cold and neat, there was a pronounced citrus silky finish. Cucumber slices as a garnish flatter its flavour. My guest’s favourite gin, in its Art Deco–style bottle, is Plymouth English Gin. It’s only made in the channel port of Plymouth in England. Similar to London Dry in style, it has a slightly sweeter side on the front of the palate with a full body and dry finish. (Makes for an excellent martini.) Then there’s the bartender’s favourite, Beefeater London Dry Gin with a complex taste and a slight sweetness that is persistent on the smooth juniper finish. I’m mixing a Collins right now. •
It is no secret that I am an unapologetic Italophile. There are many wine-lovers who enjoy navigating the diversity of Italy’s 600-plus grape varietals, extreme regionality and multitude of wines and styles. But there are as many that shy away for the same reasons, not to mention the hard-to-pronounce names. When I first started my in-depth exploration of Italian wines almost two decades ago, one of my go-to reference tools was, and still is, Gambero Rosso’s annual Vini d’Italia (Wines of Italy). Each year, the Italian-based food, wine and cooking magazine’s gang of tasters, lead by senior editor Marco Sabellico, taste some 40,000 Italian wines — of which 20,000 make it into the guide and are scored not based on points, but based on bicchieri (glasses). The wines are ranked according to one, two or three bicchieri, with tre bicchieri (three glasses) being the highest rating and one of the more coveted forms of recognition by Italian wine producers. The guide is not a casual reading (unless you are a wine geek), picture-filled coffee-table book, but instead a very useful guide to help navigate the complexities of the thousands of wines being produced in this regionally diverse country. While reading about wines provides background, there really is no substitute for tasting, and tasting with the producers themselves. With this in mind and, of course, to raise awareness of the publication itself, Gambero Rosso has taken their show on the road travelling with over 60 wine producers whose wines have been awarded tre bicchieri.
52 // September 2013
by gurvinder Bhatia
The Tre Bicchieri tasting in Canada has been held in Montreal for the past few years, but this year arrived in Vancouver and Toronto for the first time. Trade and consumers (Toronto only this year) were afforded the ability to not only attend a wine tasting with only great-quality wines (how often do we all attend wine-tasting events where a good portion of the wines in the room are generic, mass-produced dogs?), but to speak with many of the producers to help gain a better understanding of the many regions and grape varietals of Italy’s multi-faceted wine industry. I attended the tasting in Vancouver and encouraged the organizers to not just continue the annual tasting, but to expand the number of cities on the tour and to ensure that both a trade and consumer event are held in each of the cities they visit. The more wine enthusiasts have the opportunity to taste under the guidance of wine producers, the more Italian wines will be demystified and the more Italophiles will be cultivated.
Marchesi di Barolo Barolo ‘Sarmassa’ 2008, Piedmont ($85)
Intense and fresh perfumy aromas and penetrating flavours of plum, berry and strawberry with liquorice and earth; firm tannins and nice acidity on the long finish. Will develop more complexity as it ages; quite delicious even now.
Poggio al Tesoro Dedicato a Walter 2009, Tuscany ($99)
Best known for producing Amarone in the Veneto, this wine made from Cabernet Franc comes from the Allegrini family’s Tuscan property. Dark, rich and full with flavours of blackberries, black cherry, plum and fresh herbs; firm, velvety, fruit-coated tannins, mouth-filling fruit, lots of power, but also quite approachable. Marilisa, Silvia e Franco Allegrini
Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno 2009, Tuscany ($95)
Big and rich with loads of ripe black cherry, liquorice and spice, full, velvety tannins, round texture and a lingering finish of ripe fruit and spice.
il Pollenza il Pollenza 2009, Marche ($65)
Dark but fresh aromas and flavours of concentrated raspberry, cherry with a rich texture, lush tannins and a long finish packed with fruit, but also a bright refreshing quality. A great wine for roasted meats and game.
Arnaldo Caprai Sagrantino Montefalco ‘25 Anni’ 2008, Umbria ($125)
Blockbuster-big with rich dark fruit packed with blackcurrant and blackberries, huge, muscular, ripe tannins, and a dark, still-closed finish. Needs time to evolve and soften, but this will only continue to get better with time. A decade in the cellar will be rewarded.
La Montecchia Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Ireneo Capodilista’ Colli Euganei 2008, Veneto ($35)
Elegant and fresh with currant, red and black berries and a touch of earth; great balance with penetrating flavours; medium-bodied and a bright finish. A nice example of a red wine that doesn’t need to be heavy to be good.
Ruggeri Prosecco ‘Giustino B’ 2011, Veneto ($38)
Whomever thinks that Prosecco is simple should just taste this. Elegant, fresh and refined with beautiful aromas of citrus, acacia blossoms and peach, fine lively bubbles, wonderful balance and mouthfeel with lots of fruit, but plenty of acidity. Prosecco’s best producer hits another home run.
Elena Fucci Aglianico del Vulture ‘Titolo’ 2009, Basilicata ($65)
Loaded with character and complexity showing bright aromas and flavours of blackberry, currant and exotic spice; firm, edgy tannins finishing with a dark juiciness. Very appealing and difficult to stop drinking.
Cusumano Noa 2010, Sicily ($35)
Big and bold with loads of dark, jammy fruit under currants of juicy figs, fresh acidity, velvety tannins, a firm core and long, rich finish. A blend of Nero d’Avola, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ca’ Rugate Soave Classico ‘Monte Alto’ 2010, Veneto ($28)
Bright nose with ripe citrus, freshly floral and hints of honey and spice with a full, mouth-filling texture, layers of apple and almond with a round, persistent finish. •
//the food notes 88 Hester Creek Trebbiano 2012, Old Vines Block 16, Okanagan ($23)
87 River Stone Cabernet Franc 2011, Okanagan ($26) Fragrant aromas of blueberry, raspberry, sage and black pepper. The juicy palate features mouth-watering acidity, integrated tannins and black-fruit flavours. Notes of cedar, tobacco and youthful tannins linger on the finish. Try this peppery-themed varietal with kale-partnered dishes. (HH)
87 Rosemount Diamond Label Pinot Grigio 2011, Australia ($15)
A nose of lemon-citrus zest, melon and orange rind. It’s fresh and lively on the palate with spicy pear, fresh tangerine wedges and citrus fruits. Good summer sipper. (RV)
91 JoieFarm Pinot Blanc 2012, Okanagan ($23)
The 25-plus-year-old vines bring out complexity and intensity. The fresh, fragrant nose unleashes a potpourri of floral, fruit, savoury and custard scents. Brisk acidity, vibrant citrus/apple flavours, long mineral finish and impeccable balance make this a delight to taste. Designed for simply prepared seafood; spectacular with BC spot prawns. (HH)
89 Argyros Estate Atlantis White 2011, Santorini, Greece ($17.95)
This blend of Assyrtiko, Aidani and Athiri, from the sun-drenched paradise known as Santorini, flatters with a perfume of peach, pear, white flowers, lime, white pepper and mineral. The medium body, refreshing acidity and great length makes for a perfect pairing with grilled kalamari served on a shaved fennel, orange and olive oil salad. (ES)
91 COS Rami IGT 2011, Sicily, Italy ($44)
Fresh aromas of citrus, almond and mineral; possesses a fullness without being heavy. Great depth of flavour, balance and acidity with a grippiness on the palate and a fresh, pleasing finish. As good with fresh burrata cheese as with smoked white fish or shellfish, but would hold up to grilled pork and maybe even steak. (GB)
54 // September 2013
Winemaker Rob Summers coaxes intensity out of these 34-yearold vines, while a warm vintage yielded ripe, off-dry fruitiness. More complex and richer than this varietal’s Italian relatives. Displays honeysuckle, tangerine and passion fruit, balanced by vibrant acidity. A match for blue cheese– dotted pizza or Cobb salad. (HH)
89 Castaño Hecula Monastrell 2011, Yecla, Spain ($9) Not sure if there is a better wine at this price available anywhere. Such an incredible deal. Thick and rich currants, blackberry, mature plums and lovely vanilla spice on the nose. The palate reveals ripe dark fruits, liquorice-anise notes, spices and vibrant acidity for balance. Just a good, honest red wine to serve with grilled steak or roasted lamb. (RV)
i should be dancing\\
I have been dancing a lot lately,mainly “Gangnam Style,” which is a craze that has come and gone, yet somehow I can’t seem to shake it. Or perhaps it’s because I keep shaking it (whatever “it” is) that I can’t stop dancing. As a child, I took dance lessons for about three minutes. As soon as my mother twigged that I wasn’t going to rehearse “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” ad infinitum, she pulled the plug on my dreams of kicking it with the Rockettes. Years later, after my son was born, I decided to get into shape by belly dancing. I loved everything about it: the exuberant Middle Eastern music, the graceful shimmy-shimmy-shakes, the cymbals, the discreet-and-sweet tummy rolls, and the ethereal costumes all made of gauze. And while I never danced publicly, I was an exceptional student until I fell on my noggin trying to do a jelly-belly backbend. After that, I moved on to acting in community theatre musicals, necessitating a serious return to tap lessons, since every audition required the kick-kick-ball-change number. While not particularly light on my feet, I clomped through the routines with a kind of goofy-grinned enthusiasm that made one of my instructors exclaim, “Nancy really sells a dance!” Which I think was a compliment. The fact is, I love to dance. Dancing is pure joy, true bliss, and a little slice of nirvana in an otherwise-stressful world. As a teenager, I embraced the ’60s, which began with the Twist, moved on to the Mashed Potatoes, and settled, during a particularly dorky week, with The Freddy. When the disco ball dropped on the ’70s, I was first on the floor with the Hustle and the Bump. Over the years dance crazes have come and gone. Who knew the Minuet was once just a silly teenage fad? In fact, the 7th to 17th centuries were all about dance fads — during this era,
+ Search through a wide range of wine-friendly recipes on quench.me
by nancy Johnson
occasional dance hysteria erupted en masse, with thousands of peasants spilling into town squares to dance till they dropped. Historians now believe these bouts of mania were related to times of stress and hardship. Which may explain why the video for Psy’s quirky-jerky “Gangnam Style” has struck a nerve with 1.6 billion YouTube viewers. Because, let’s face it, who hasn’t been just a wee bit stressed these days? Following are some fabulous recipes that we can all totally dance to!
swedish meatballs Serves 4 to 6 Music: Dancing Queen by Abba
Like Ikea, only better. Because I work off so many calories with my dance routines, I use heavy whipping cream for the gravy. However, half-and-half or light cream can be substituted with equally good results. Ground veal is sometimes hard to find, but it lends a very tender bite to the meatballs and is worth using. Grind your own, or in a pinch, leave it out altogether and increase the portions of beef and pork.
1/2 1/4 1
1/4 1/4 1/4 1/2 1/2 1/2
tbsp butter, divided small onion, peeled, grated and squeezed dry cup dried bread crumbs cup milk egg, lightly beaten tsp allspice tsp salt tsp white pepper lb ground beef lb ground pork lb ground veal
ragin’ cajun shrimp Serves 4 Music: Song of the Shrimp by Elvis or, for real hipsters, Townes Van Zandt. Since this is a Cajun feast, Zydeco music is entirely appropriate, as is a conga line down your town’s main street.
Nothing blows the tops of my guests’ heads off better than Cajun cooking. It’s not that I’m a grandstander, but darn, when I’m in the driver’s seat at dinner, I try to impress. Serve this delicious Cajun dinner with plenty of rice and bread to sop up the super yummy juices.
swedish meatball gravy
Pan juices 1 tbsp flour 1 cup heavy cream, half and half or light cream Beef broth, if needed
1. Preheat oven to 300˚F. 2. In a large skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat. Sauté the grated onion until golden.
3. Meanwhile combine the bread crumbs and milk in a large
bowl. Add sautéed onions, egg, and seasonings. Gently stir in beef, pork and veal. Form small meatballs, using about 2 tbsp of the meat mixture for each. 4. In the same skillet, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Add the meatballs a few at a time and sauté until browned on all sides and cooked through. Remove and place on a baking sheet in 300˚F oven. Repeat until all meatballs are done. 5. Make Swedish meatball gravy: In a small bowl, mix the flour and cream. Add to the pan drippings and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. If too thick, thin with a bit of beef broth or water. Pour over meatballs. Leftovers freeze well for 1 month. 6. Serve with mashed potatoes and lingonberry or cranberry sauce. …… A Burgundy or California Pinot Noir is a lovely accompaniment.
56 // September 2013
cup butter cup olive oil 1 medium onion, diced 1 green bell pepper, diced 1 red bell pepper, diced 3 ribs celery, sliced 4 cloves garlic, minced 1/4 cup flour 1 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp celery salt 1/2 tsp chili powder 1/2 tsp dried thyme 1/2 tsp dried basil 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined 1/2 cup dry sherry 2 cups chicken broth 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce Dash Tabasco sauce 1/4 cup minced parsley 3 scallions, sliced
1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt butter with
oil. Add onion, green and red pepper, celery and garlic. Sauté until softened. 2. Stir in flour, paprika, celery salt, chili powder, thyme, basil and cayenne pepper. Cook 2 minutes. Add shrimp. Cook 1 minute. 3. Deglaze pan with sherry. Simmer until liquid is nearly evaporated. Add broth, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce. 4. Bring to a boil; cook until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Garnish with parsley and scallions. …… I like Gewürtztraminer with Cajun food, which opens a whole other door to great music possibilities. Yes, I’m talking Oom-pah-pah polka!
easy cheesy cheese dip Serves 4–6 as an appetizer. Dance Move: It’s a dip, so learn to dip your partner as you Tango and nosh. Or if someone asks you if you brought the dip, point to the nearest dude and say, “Yes, I brought him!”
Delicious and slightly addictive, this cheese spread is my Northern answer to Southern Pimento Cheese. Once I made it, Ron requested it three more times in the same week. Really, enough is enough. This recipe isn’t an exact science. Add or subtract ingredients at will.
3–4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (or any cheese to your liking) 2–3 tbsp minced red onion 2–3 tbsp minced celery 1–2 tbsp snipped chives 1 cup good-quality mayonnaise, more or less to taste
In a large bowl, mix ingredients. Serve with French bread or crudités. …… Delicious with Spanish Cava.
ravioli and kale soup Serves 4 Music: Ravioli? Frankay! Try Nancy With the Laughing Face by Frank Sinatra. It’s one of my favourite songs. No reason.
I’ve gotten into kale lately, which isn’t as abhorrent as I thought it would be. It has a sort of broccoli-meets-Brussels-sprout vibe, if you can stand it. Substitute spinach if you prefer a milder flavour.
1 tbsp olive oil 1 small onion, minced 3 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced 3 stalks celery, sliced 1 tsp dried thyme 8 cups chicken broth 1 package fresh small cheese-filled ravioli 4 cups fresh kale or spinach, cleaned and chopped Salt, pepper, grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the
onion, carrots, celery and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. 2. Add broth. Increase heat to high. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are cooked through. Bring back to a boil. Add ravioli. 3. Reduce heat and simmer until ravioli rise to the surface. Add kale or spinach. Cook until wilted. Season with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese to taste. …… Cheese ravioli is always paired well with a Pinot Grigio from Italy.
eggs benny with salmon Serves 4 Music: The Salmon Dance by The Chemical Brothers
To poach the eggs, fill a skillet halfway with water. Add a splash of vinegar and bring to a boil over high heat. Place heat-safe ramekins in water. Water should come halfway up ramekins’ sides. Melt a dab of butter in each ramekin. Crack one egg into each ramekin. Lower heat to simmer, partially cover and poach until whites are set and yoke is at desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
4 toasted English muffin halves 4 slices smoked salmon 4 poached eggs Mock Hollandaise Sauce (recipe follows)
Place one toasted muffin half on each plate. Add smoked salmon and top with poached egg. Serve with hollandaise sauce and skillet-fried potatoes.
mock hollandaise sauce A true hollandaise is whisked in a double-boiler. This version is slightly easier and just as good. Be sure to use fresh, high-quality or pasteurized eggs. The leftover egg whites can be frozen up to six months.
3 egg yolks Juice of 1/2 lemon Dash cayenne pepper 1/2 cup hot melted butter
In a food processor, blend egg yolks, lemon juice, cayenne. Add salt to taste. Process 1 minute. With machine running, add hot butter in a steady stream. Serve immediately. …… Serve with Champagne and pomegranate juice. •
Tidings uses the 100-point scale 95-100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90-94. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85-89 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80-84. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75-79. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 & under. . . . . . . . . . .
exceptional excellent very good good acceptable below average
* . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . available through wine clubs green. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . white & rosé wines red. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . red wines
the commentaries in order to get an idea of whether the wine might appeal to your taste. The prices listed are suggested retail prices and may vary from province to province. Since a large number of these wines can be purchased across Canada, check with your local liquor board, or its website, for availability. Our tasters are Tony Aspler (ON), Sean Wood (NS, NB), Gilles Bois (QC), Evan Saviolidis (ON), Harry Hertscheg (BC), Gurvinder Bhatia (AB), Rick VanSickle (ON), Ron Liteplo (AB), Tod Stewart (ON) and Jonathan Smithe (MB). Argentina // p. 59; Australia // p. 58-59; Canada // p. 59-60;
Each wine is judged on its own merits, in its respective category. Readers should open their palates to compare the relationship between quality and price. We’d also ask you to carefully study
Chile // p. 60-61; France // p. 61; greece // p. 61-62; Italy // p. 62-63; Portugal // p. 63; South Africa // p. 63;
the notes\\ /Argentina / 89 Blason Chardonnay 2011, Mendoza ($10.58)
Medium-deep gold colour. Tempting nose of baked, spiced Spartan apple, papaya and a hint of banana. Guava flavours continue the tropical theme in the mouth, with added rich green apple and a bit of lemon for tartness. Full-bodied and ready to drink. (RL)*
88 Santa Ana La Mascota Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Mendoza ($14) Dark ruby. Black fruits with some oak notes. Full-bodied, with a velvety mouthfeel.
58 // September 2013
Tannins are tender, wrapped in rich fruity extract. Ready to drink. Ideal with grilled lamb chops. (GBQc)
/Australia / 88 Black Opal Chardonnay 2011, Southeastern Australia ($14.99)
Scents of peach, grapefruit and background vanilla carry through with ripe peach as well as lemon-citrus flavour; well-balanced refreshing acidity, lightly creamy-buttery texture and sensible alcohol. Try with butter pasta or light terrine appetizers. (SW)
Spain // p. 63-64; United States // p. 64-65
88 Lucky Penny White 2011, Australia ($17)
The white Lucky Penny is a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier and Pinot Grigio. It’s fresh and forward on the nose with orchard and tropical fruits and a whiff of wild honey. There’s a touch of sweetness on the palate but balanced out by generous acidity. The flavours range from apple and pear to citrus and apricot. (RV)
87 Westend Estate Eternity NV ($17.33)
Charmat-method sparkler made from Sémillon grapes. Medium lemon-yellow colour with bubbles, of course. Nice
aromas of peaches, apricots and yeast. Sweetly appealing, like “Juicy Fruit” with peach and tangerine flavours. A crowd-pleaser. (RL)*
88 Rosemount Diamond Label Shiraz 2011, Australia ($16)
The Diamond series represents the heart of the Rosemount portfolio. The Shiraz shows dark plums, blueberry pie and raspberries with nutmeg and peppery spices. It’s smooth on the palate with dark fruits and raspberry-cherry notes, all backed up by an array of baking spices and pepper. (RV)
88 Lucky Penny Red 2010, Australia ($18)
A new wine that’s hitting the shelves from the land Down Under, Lucky Penny bills its wines as “approachable, unpretentious and bursting with flavour.” The red is a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and shows notes of blueberry, cherry-raspberry, bramble, plums, pepper and vanilla on the nose. It has some tannic structure on the palate with blackberry fruit, jammy red fruits, liquorice, spice and tar notes. (RV)
87 Black Opal Cabernet/ Merlot 2011, Southeastern Australia ($14.99) Warmly ripe dark plum and blackcurrants on the nose with crushed ripe fruit flavours that just avoid excessive jammy sweetness. Moderate tannins, balanced acidity and a light splash of dark chocolate complete the picture. Would go well with BBQ ribs. (SW)
/Canada / 91 JoieFarm Muscat 2012, Okanagan ($23)
The perfumed aromatics mesmerize and fruity palate explodes with sparks of peach, floral, white pepper and unbridled grapeyness. After an off-dry, honey-licked start, the citrusy mid-palate features light-footed richness, while the tingly salty-tang finish lingers. And at only 11.5% alcohol, it rewards with ample sensory-pleasing sips. (HH)
90 Angels Gate Winery Mountainview Sauvignon Blanc 2011, Niagara ($19.95)
Two harvests were carried out to produce this completelyover-the-top SB. The first was a regular picking of healthy grapes. The second, which was almost 2 months later, was for the picking of clusters which had dried up via botrytis. The sum of the vinification is a full-bodied and viscous wine chock full of cream, honey, spice, tropical fruit cocktail, peach jam and grapefruit marmalade. The finale is long and dry. Singular juice indeed! (ES)
90 JoieFarm Rosé 2012, Okanagan ($21)
Bright red-rose hue. The nose brings out red berries, candy apple and dried sage, while the mouth-watering palate gushes with red fruit character. Finishes dry with citrus zest. Pinot Noir (60%) rather than Gamay (30%) leads this vintage (with splashes of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Gris). A worthy rosé-by-the-glass staple on restaurant lists. (HH)
90 JoieFarm A Noble Blend 2012, Okanagan ($24)
Spicy Gewürztraminer (35%), lively Riesling (29%) and textured Pinot Blanc (17%) dominate this Alsatian-inspired blend (with Pinot Auxerrois, Schoenberger and Muscat). Fragrant elderflower, guava, clove and lime aromas and flavours. The warmer year adds a bit more weight compared to the recent cooler vintages. Pair with Asian fare. (HH)
89 Inniskillin Pinot Grigio 2012, Okanagan ($15)
Pale straw colour, fresh aromatics, brightly textured palate and twist-off top bespeak its “Grigio” style. The no-oak treatment means lively apple, citrus and tropical scents and flavours. Appetizing herbaceous notes complement the clean, zesty finish. A well-poised reception wine at a well-positioned price point. (HH)
89 Mission Hill 5 Vineyards Pinot Blanc 2010, British Columbia ($15.95)
Light straw in colour, a nose of peaches and citrus fruits; medium-bodied, peach and pineapple flavours; satisfyingly dry with a baked-apple finish. A versatile food wine. (TA)
89 JoieFarm Un-Oaked Chardonnay 2012, Okanagan ($23)
Attractive aromas of lemon, apple, pear and pineapple, which intensify on the juicy palate. The stainless steel fermentation and twist-off top ensure bright fruitiness. Yet, there remains a satisfying weightiness that gives way to a minerally finish. Enjoy with West Coast halibut, salmon or sablefish. (HH)
89 Stoney Ridge Cellars Excellence Pinot Gris 2011, Niagara ($25)
This wine is aptly named, as it is now a trifecta of excellence for this bottling; the 2011 is a worthy successor to the 2010 and 2009. Full-bodied, the
peach, white flowers, honey, pineapple, pear, cream and spice gush from the glass. The finish is lengthy and the palate is a ying-yang of cream and refreshing acidity. No thin Pinot Grigio here; this is an impressive Pinot Gris done in the Alsatian style. (ES)
88 Hillebrand Estates Winery Trius Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Niagara ($13.95)
Made in the New Zealand style, this wine is for you if the greener/aggressive side of Sauvignon Blanc is appealing. Jalapeño, fresh-cut grass, grapefruit, passion fruit and fruit salad are all in play. Drink tonight with grilled asparagus topped with a parmesan cheese sauce. (ES)
88 Inniskillin Viognier Reserve 2012, Niagara River ($19.95)
Viognier is a varietal which excels with heat, and in 2012, there was an abundance. Peach, apricots, spice, banana, white flowers and honey exudes from the glass. It is mid-weight with soft acid and a fruit-driven finale. Drink now. (ES)
88 River Stone Pinot Gris 2012, Okanagan ($20) Opens with scents of honeysuckle and Turkish delight. The vibrant acidity balances well with the melony flavours and rich mouthfeel. Nougat flecks poke through, while spicy notes linger. A versatile coleslaw-friendly partner, whether in fish tacos, pulled pork sandwiches or Asian-inspired dishes. (HH)
//the notes 87 Château des Charmes Aligoté St David’s Bench Vineyard 2011, St David’s Bench ($13.95) This is the finest Aligoté I have ever tasted from CDC. Peach, flowers, pear, apple and honey are all framed nicely by the crisp acidity and lengthy finale. Drink now with a cheese platter or hors d’oeuvres. (ES)
87 Hester Creek Cabernet Franc Rosé 2012, Block 3, Okanagan ($20)
Watermelon-red colour. Fragrant aromas of cherry, strawberry and a hint of pepper delight the nose. The palate tingles with fresh acidity, peppery fruit and medium-body weight. Dried herbs, ripe strawberry and white pepper linger on the vibrant finish. Pair with an ahi tuna Niçoise salad. (HH)
86 River Stone Malbec Rosé 2012, Okanagan ($20) Deep red-rose colour. Floral, strawberry and savoury scents waft from the glass. Lively mouthfeel accompanies light tannins and flavours of raspberry, plum, rhubarb and meaty tones. Finishes dry with spicy salami notes. Begs for a bacon cheeseburger. (HH)
90 Stratus Merlot 2010, Niagara-on-the-Lake ($32)
The dark cherry colour leads into a spice rack of a wine weaving through the plum, menthol, cherry, vanilla and toast. Medium to full body; it is approachable now, but will continue to improve over the next 5 years. (ES)
60 // September 2013
90 Malivoire Wine Company Stouck Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Lincoln Lakeshore ($39.95)
Winemaker Shiraz Mottiar has really started to crank things up at Malivoire, case in point, this wine. A vanilla edge dances around the smoke, toast, cassis, plum, cherry, cocoa and herbs. Grill up some steaks and head to town now or anytime over the next 7 years. (ES)
89 Southbrook Vineyards Triomphe Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Niagaraon-the-Lake ($22.95)
Certified organic and biodynamic, this Cab is complex, to say the least. The plum, cherry, raspberry, violets, coconut and vanilla on the nose meshes with nuances of cassis, spice and graphite on the palate. The tannins are ripe and give structure and age-worthiness. Drink until 2020. I want to say steak but I won’t. Instead fry up some veal burgers. (ES)
89 Tawse Winery Redstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Lincoln Lakeshore ($40)
The 2010 Small Lot Cab is a structured red with a wonderful perfume of cassis, violets, spice, vanilla, cocoa, mint and roasted herbs. Linear in the mouth, the slightly gritty tannins clamp down on the finish, assuring at least 7 years of longevity. Grilled lamb chops were made for this wine. (ES)
88 Union Squared Red 2010, Niagara ($18)
Union is a virtual winery that sells exclusively through the LCBO in Ontario and has been quite a hit with its entry-level wines. This is Union’s top cuvée, a multi-variety blend that will only be made in top vintages. It has a smoky-meaty nose of blackberry, raspberry, earth, pepper and savoury spices. It’s juicy in the mouth with ripe fruit, cedar smoke, a pepper bite, and good structure and length through the finish. (RV)
88 River Stone Corner Stone 2010, Okanagan ($28.50)
This plush, French oak–aged, Bordeaux-style blend features softly textured Merlot (59%), well-structured Cab Sauv (23%) and peppery Cab Franc (18%). Gushes with aromas and flavours of raspberry, plum and cassis. Well-proportioned tannins propel a chocolatey finish. Grill up a charred New York strip steak. (HH)
88 The Foreign Affair Dream 2011, Niagara ($28.95)
This was one of the highlights of the Meritage category at this year’s Ontario Wine Awards competition. Approximately 30% of the crop was dried, helping to create a medium-bodied red, as well as one of the stars of the generally average red wine vintage of 2011. The bouquet of morello cherry, plum, smoke, violets and cocoa combines with very good length and supple tannins. (ES)
86 River Stone Cabernet/Merlot 2011, Okanagan ($24)
The 50-50 Cab Sauv-Merlot blend balances the earthier, more structured former with the softer, fruitier latter. Both nose and palate feature cedar and tobacco as well as plum and black pepper. Oak-influenced vanilla and clove linger. (HH)
85 Inniskillin Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Okanagan ($17)
Varietally focused aromas of cedar, blackcurrant and black plum, but with the Okanagan marker of dried sage. Vibrant acidity and tight tannins juxtapose the savoury-toned fruit, while brightening the tobacco-laden finish. Pairs well with corned beef. (HH)
85 River Stone Merlot 2011, Okanagan ($20)
Oak-toned aromas of vanilla and chocolate accompany the berry-fruit scents. Lean acidity and firm tannins frame the softly textured black plum fruit. Dusty, sage-toned finish. Softens up with aeration. Pair with stewed meats. (HH)
/Chile / 89 Miguel Torres Santa Digna Estelado Sparkling Brut, Curico ($20)
Made from the Pais grape — the grape first planted by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century — this light pink sparkler has flavours of sour cherry and blood orange. It’s beautifully dry and refreshing. (TA)
88 Carmen Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Valle de Casablanca DO ($13.49)
Typically vivid Chilean aromatic grassy freshness; gooseberry, pungent green herb and mineral on the nose, and generous sweet ripe gooseberry, citrus and passion fruit with lively acidity and a long fruity finish. (SW)
/France / 91 Jean-Max Roger Sancerre Cuvée GC 2011, Sancerre ($25)
A really nice Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of fresh summer flowers, riverbed minerality, pear, lemon, grapefruit and subtle cut-grass notes. It washes the palate with zippy citrus, quince, herbs and a nice core of minerals. Great summer wine or serve with oysters or goat cheese. (RV)
91 Domaines Schlumberger Riesling Grand Cru Saering 2007, Alsace ($28.50)
Straw yellow. Distinctive nose of citrus, conifer, petrol, sweet apple. Sharp acidity, light body, nice round middle palate and a soft finish of very good length. It drinks nicely now but it will hold 5 years or more in the cellar. (GBQc)
90 F. Tinel-Blondelet L’Arrêt Buffatte Pouilly-Fumé 2010, Loire ($22.95)
Quintessential Pouilly-Fumé. Light straw colour with a nose of elderberries and freshly cut grass; full-bodied and crisply
dry with gooseberry and lemon flavours. Mouth-filling and elegant. (TA)
90 Château de Chamirey Mercurey 2009, Burgundy ($28)
Pale yellow. Discreet, minerally nose, lightly oaked with hints of citrus and ripe white fruits. Fatty mouthfeel, almost creamy in texture with good volume and roundness. There is a nice balance between the acidity and the oak and a good lengthy finish. (GBQc)
89 Château Tour de Calens 2009, Graves, Bordeaux ($19.95)
A well-priced white Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. Deep straw colour with a spicy, toasty nose of apples; full on the palate, well-balanced and forward with just enough oak to give it a round mid-palate. (TA)
87 Domaine de la Tourlaudière Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine sur Lie 2011, Loire Valley ($13.95)
Very pale. Light nose of citrus, sharp minerality (shells), lanolin. Vivid acidity, very light body, refreshing mouthfeel, simple flavour and a clean finish. Drink now and with a mustard-laden rabbit stew. (GBQc)
91 Domaine Durand Les Coteaux St-Joseph 2009, Rhône ($29)
I eat a lot of beef. Rare, tender, blood-dripping and it always has a bit of searing from high heat on the BBQ. So
I look for wines that pair with that style of cooking. Syrah from the Rhône Valley is always a fantastic match and this one, from the still-affordable St-Joseph appellation in the Rhône Valley, works brilliantly with steak. The savoury fruit ranges from field raspberry to blackberry and currants and is backed up by all those lovely earthy Syrah notes of tar, liquorice, violets and pepper spice. Wonderful stuff. (RV)
89 Delas Les Launes 2010, CrozesHermitage, Rhône Valley ($21)
Purplish. Clean nose of cherry and other red fruits, spices and fruit stones. Medium body, supple, almost silky texture; it gets tighter and has more intensity near the finish of good length. Nice acidity too. Ready to drink. (GBQc)
89 Albert Bichot Côtes de Nuits-Villages 2010, Burgundy ($25)
Light ruby. Characteristic Pinot nose of small red fruits and earthy notes. Bright acidity; nice pure, fruity taste. Good-quality tannins, finely grained, only slightly bitter with a good grip in the finish. A fine glass of classic Burgundy at a reasonable price. Enjoy now. (GBQc)
88 Domaine des Marrans Fleurie 2011, Beaujolais ($19.95)
A well-priced Beaujolais cru. Purple-black in colour with a floral, black-cherry nose; light and fresh, fruity but firm. Easy drinking. Chill lightly. (TA)
87 J-L Colombo Les Fées Brunes 2009, Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône Valley ($25)
Ruby-purplish. Black olives, blackcurrant, a little spice and a touch of vanilla in a typical Rhodanian Syrah nose. The soft texture makes a pleasant first impression but the wine is a little thin on the tongue, making you wish for more volume and thickness. It gains some power in the somewhat firm finish though. Drink now. (GBQc)
85 Lagarde 2010, IGP Pays D’Hérault ($8)
Medium-deep plum red. Nose fights above its price weight with cranberry, toasted hazelnuts and coffee aromas. Simple on the palate, light-bodied and feminine with fresh red-berry flavours. Appealing but will be shortlived; drink now. (RL)*
/Greece / 89 Gaia Thalasitis Assyrtiko 2011, Santorini ($21.95)
Fruit from 80-year-old Assyrtiko vines. Pale straw in colour; you can smell the volcanic soil in which these grapes were grown. Minerally, smoky, melon nose; medium-bodied with a crisply dry, crabapple flavour carried on lively acidity. (TA)
90 Farma Atalantis Domaine Hatzimichalis Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 ($17.95)
Complex, refined nose opens up with fine dark fruit,
//the notes especially signature Cab blackcurrant with refined spiciness and subtle cedary oak. Deftly balanced and harmonious throughout, with attractive Cabernet varietal character also coming through on the palate but with a distinct regional accent. An outstanding value. (SW)
89 Lykos Winery Krastitos 2008, Nemea Appellation of Origin ($18.95) To qualify for the Nemea Appellation, red wines must be 100% native Agiorgitiko. Aged in new oak, this one offers a complex bouquet revealing black cherry and spice, as well as charred smokiness. Rounded and full-flavoured in the mouth with generous dark fruit, firm structure and solid balance. (SW)
/Italy / 89 Prevedello Asolo Superiore Extra Dry Prosecco 2011, Veneto ($17.95)
Toronto restaurateur Franco Prevedello’s own Prosecco, grown in his home town in the hills above Venice. Almost water-white in colour, off-dry with white peach flavours; elegant and refreshing with good length. (TA)
88 Villa Sandi Prosecco DOC Treviso ($9.99/375ml)
A delightfully fresh, crisp and minerally Prosecco, nicely balanced with a judicious splash of residual sweetness. (SW)
62 // September 2013
88 Banfi Centine 2011, Bianco Toscana IGT ($18.99)
On the nose shows mellow ripe apple and pear with gentle floral and honeyed overtones. Generously ripe grapefruit and apple flavours emerge on the palate with medium weight; agreeably balanced acidity culminating in a crisp clean finish. (SW)
94 Bussola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2007, Veneto ($85)
Dark and rich, but still fresh, with powerful aromas of bright dark berries, fig jam, mocha and cloves; full-bodied with lush but firm, velvety tannins and a tight core with amazing balance, purity and length. A blockbuster that will cellar well for 15-plus years. (GB)
93 Bussola L’Errante 2007, Veneto ($85)
So rich, so dense, so concentrated, yet so balanced, so elegant and layered with aromas and flavours of berries, plums and mocha; fine, firm, velvety tannins and huge length. A super delicious blend of Merlot and Cabernet made appassimento-style. (GB)
92 Baglio di Pianetto Salici 2006, Sicilia ($29)
Dark ruby. Black fruits, spicy and balsamic notes, a good deal of oak, all this with an overall impression of finesse. Full-bodied, almost powerful without being excessive in any way, it coats the palate. The slightly drying finish has great length. Worth every penny. (GBQc)
92 Bussola Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2006, Veneto ($85) Complex aromas of rich berries, fig and plum, with hints of earth, savoury herbs and mocha; full-bodied with tons of fruit-coated tannins and an incredibly long, fresh finish. Calls for rich meat dishes like braised beef short ribs. (GB)
92 Tignanello 2009, Toscana IGT ($89.49)
Tignanello delivers consistently fine quality. More forward than the 2008, the ‘09 shows harmoniously developed vinosity with elusive floral scents, gorgeously rounded fine red and dark fruit and firm tannic grip. Ageworthy, but can be drunk with pleasure now. (SW)
91 Maestrina Sangiovese Romagna Riserva 2009 ($19.50) Deep plum-red. Sexy black-cherry nose with a touch of strawberry, and some spice from oak aging. Medium-bodied. Powerful tannins still overwhelm dark berry flavours. Decant, or give time in the glass, or best of all give it a couple of years in the cellar to develop complexity. (RL)*
91 Bussola Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore ‘Ca’ del Laito’ DOC 2009, Veneto ($42)
Great intensity and structure with black cherry, fig, raisin and currants; beautiful silky texture with firm tannins, great balance and a fresh, lifted long-lasting finish.
Delicious and rich, but still elegant and immensely drinkable. Complimenti! (GB)
91 COS Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG 2010, Sicily ($44)
Bright and floral with cherry, plum and mineral; complex, elegant and persistent, with elegant tannins and a long fresh finish. So versatile. Serve this with anything. It will become one of your go-to wines. (GB)
90 Marchesi Antinori “Il Bruciato” Guado Al Tasso 2010, Bolgheri DOC ($36.99)
Mainly a Bordeaux blend with some Syrah, showing blackcurrant, blackberry and scents of cinnamon and clove with plush ripe dark fruit, evolving velvety texture and a light splash of dark chocolate. Heavily tannic dry grip takes over on the finish. Fine balance, but better with another 2-3 years aging. (SW)
90 Marchesi Antinori 2008, Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG ($37.79)
Elegantly perfumed fruit with subtle spice and a discreet scent of oak on the nose, shifting towards supple sour cherry flavour with some dark plum, stiff dry tannins and brisk acidity. Best with a bit more time in the cellar. (SW)
90 COS Nero d’Avola ‘Nero di Lupo’ IGT 2011, Sicily ($44) A very classy and elegant wine with great penetrating flavours of red fruits, spice and liquorice. Amazing
freshness and minerality with great structure and construction, and a fresh, lifted finish. (GB)
89 Baglio di Pianetto Shymer 2010, Sicilia ($18.75)
A 50/50 blend of Shiraz and Merlot (Shy-mer) that features a ruby-purplish colour, a nose of nice red fruits, slightly perfumed with only a touch of toasted, spicy oak. Full-bodied, finely grained tannins are really nice on the palate. The finish is firm and balanced. (GBQc)
89 Banfi Centine 2011, Rosso Toscana IGT ($19.99)
Enticingly scented combination of cherry, dark berry and subtle oak with a dusting of cinnamon and a hint of fresh green herb. Mouth-filling dark berry and chocolate take over on the palate with supple tannins, well-integrated fruit, spice and fine oak. (SW)
89 Masi Brolo di Campofiorin Oro 2008, Veronese ($25) Full ruby. Simple but clean nose of red fruits. Smooth and velvety on the palate, there is good fruit and tight tannins for a compact mouthfeel and a nice, clean finish. Ready to drink. (GBQc)
89 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Chianti Superiore DOCG 2010, Tuscany ($28)
Lovely aromas and flavours of juicy cherry fruit with a touch of savoury; very fresh, fleshy
and pleasing while still maintaining acidity and true Sangiovese character. The perfect Tuesday-night pizza wine, but easily dressed up for any occasion. 90% Sangiovese, 10% Canaiolo. (GB)
anced and elegant with a fresh, lingering aftertaste. Pizza, pasta or grilled meats would all work well. (GB)
full-bodied, powerful wine — dry and fruity with earthy notes, firmly structured with ripe tannins. (TA)
/South / Africa
89 Marchesi Antinori Villa Antinori 2008, Toscana IGT ($33.29)
84 Masi Modello delle Venezie 2011, Rosso delle Venezie IGT ($13.99) Reveals lively fresh cherry, floral and spicy herbal scents with bitter cherry flavour, pleasantly firm tannic bite and sweetish fruit with dark chocolate on the finish. (SW)
Developed nose shows refined fruit; suggestions of cinnamon, clove and a whiff of cedary oak. Surprisingly intense blackberry fruit opens up in the mouth with a bitter cherry note, good structure and a dollop of dark chocolate. (SW)
89 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Rosso di Montalcino DOC 2009, Tuscany ($38)
Shows wonderful concentration of bright cherry, liquorice and a touch of earth; well-constructed with a full body, but soft, elegant tannins, great approachability and a long finish. Roast rabbit or pork would be a great partner. (GB)
88 Baglio di Pianetto Syrah 2009, Sicilia ($19)
Purplish. Nice red fruits on the nose, no oak. Supple and clean taste, delicate tannins; almost silky texture except in the grainy finish. A simple but elegant glass from the southern island of Sicily. (GBQc)
88 Col d’Orcia Chianti ‘Gineprone’ DOCG 2010, Tuscany ($22.99) Lovely aromas and flavours of cherry and plum with a silky texture; vibrant fruit with nice minerality, bal-
79 Torrebella Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2011 ($11.83)
Medium-deep garnet. Nose of oak, raspberry, molasses and prunes. Light-bodied; flavours of sour cherry and raspberries with an aftertaste of amaretto on the surprisingly long finish. Usually much better, but 2011 was an undistinguished vintage in Abruzzo. Drink now. (RL)*
/Portugal / 88 Fracastel-Comercio de Vinhos Lua Nova EM Vinhas Velhas 2010, Douro Valley ($14.95)
A bargain-priced wine made from a blend of port grapes. Dense purple colour with a nose of spicy black berries; full-bodied, dry and fruity with earthy notes, firm structure with ripe tannins. (TA)
88 Lua Nova em Vinhas Velhas 2010, Douro Valley ($14.95)
A field blend of old port vines, this rugged red is dense purple in colour with a nose of spicy black berries. It’s a
82 Clovelly Wild Fig White 2011, Stellenbosch ($14.83)
Medium gold colour. Likeable aromas of melon, gooseberry, orange and flowers from the Chenin Blanc grapes. Medium-bodied, quite dry; melon flavours with lemon-lime overtones. (RL)*
/Spain / 93 Vega Sicilia Valbuena 2006, Ribera del Duero DO ($147.99)
Many prefer little-brother Valbuena to Vega Sicilia’s flagship, Unico, which needs ages to mature. This one can be excellent after a mere decade; it needs another 3–5 years to start peaking. It already shows an amazingly complex, distinctive bouquet, fine dark fruit, a panoply of fine spices and background oak. With more time the stern tannic grip will relent enough to release the underlying generosity of this impressive wine. (SW)
92 Cañada Negra 2008, Valencia ($13.33)
Opaque plum-red. Complex nose of black raspberry, stewed fruits, candy apple, leather and liquorice. Medium-bodied, dominated by cassis and red berry flavours. Great value. (RL)*
//the notes 89 Puertas Novas 2007, Toro ($12.17)
Deep garnet, almost black. Nose has heavy oak overlaid on plums, black cherry, sultana raisins, smoke and caramel. Full-bodied and balanced on the palate, the black theme persists with more black cherries, black liquorice and espresso. Long finish. At its peak now; will last another couple of years. The complexity and fruitiness work well with the exotic flavours of Chinese BBQ duck and ribs. (RL)*
88 Abrazo Garnacha Tempranillo Crianza 2007, Carinena DO ($14)
Shows plenty of character and some complexity derived from bottle age. Developed dark cherry fruit comes in a robust, slightly rustic old-fashioned style that will pair well with full-flavoured grilled or braised red meat dishes. (SW)
87 Spanish Demon Tempranillo 2011, Rioja DOC ($13.79)
Shows bright red cherry scents with spicy, minty and graphite overtones. Lively cherry fruit on the palate is supported by light tannic grip, brisk acid balance and a light splash of chocolate and spice on the finish. (SW)
79 Viña Aljibes 2007, Castilla ($13.17)
Medium-deep garnet. Aromas of roasted meat, oak, and raisins; also a surplus of sulphur that dissipates with a bit of time. A fruity wine tasting of cranberries and raspberry, light-bodied with a short finish. Good pizza wine. (RL)*
64 // September 2013
/United / States 93 Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc Reserve 2011, Oakville, Napa Valley ($50)
This is made from 100% To Kalon fruit, 30–40% from old plantings. The nose is an intense mix of pear, citrus, guava, white flowers, minerals, passion fruit and lovely oak spices. It has weight and vibrancy in the mouth to go with succulent fruits and creamy spices through a long and glorious finish. Such a powerful white wine, yet maintains balance and freshness through a long finish. (RV)
91 Chateau Montalena Chardonnay 2010, Napa Valley ($57.95)
Very elegant and restrained. Straw-coloured with a bouquet of green pineapple, vanilla and oak spice; full-bodied, spicy, richly extracted citrus and pineapple flavours. Just a joy to drink. (TA)
89 Bonterra Chardonnay 2010, Mendocino County ($19) Pale yellow. Fresh nose of citrus with a mineral hint. Sweetish attack from the oak, even if the wine is technically dry. Full-flavoured with a smooth texture. The lengthy finish has a nice acid lift. (GBQc)
89 Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc 2010, Napa ($22.95)
The Sauv Blanc delivers up a bouquet of lime, lemon verbena, tropical fruit,
grapefruit and herbs. The palate mirrors this, with added nuances of apple and passion fruit. There is very good length and a fresh finish. Pair with yellow perch in a herb/lemon sauce or a feta and yellow beet salad. (ES)
88 Clos du Bois Chardonnay 2010, North Coast, California ($18.50)
Pale yellow. The nose features citrus notes and some complexity brought by the oak. Nice balance on the palate; pleasant throughout, but especially the finish. A good glass of Californian Chardonnay at an affordable price, ready to enjoy. (GBQc)
94 Robert Mondavi To Kalon 2009, Oakville, Napa Valley ($250)
This is the epitome of the To Kalon vineyard, the benchmark, and a pure expression of single-vineyard Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. It is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from 2 To Kalon blocks planted in the 1970s. It is complex and just about as elegant as a Napa Cab can be with aromas of wild berries, crème de cassis, blackcurrants, bay leaves, black liquorice, garden herbs, loam and cocoa. It is full and broad on the palate as the fruit builds in intensity and the elegant oak stylings and array of yummy spices chime in. It is a stunning wine with assertive tannins and verve through the finish. Nicely integrated now but will develop further for years to come. (RV)
93 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Napa Valley ($77.95)
Impressive black/purple colour and a fabulous nose of plum, blackberry, boysenberry, toast, mint, spice and graphite. Full-bodied, there is a great mid-palate and superb length. My suggestion would to be hold on for a couple of years, then drink until 2030. (ES)
93 Provenance Cabernet Sauvignon TK2 Beckstoffer To Kalon 2010, Oakville, Napa Valley ($95) Rich aromas of cassis, blackberry, cherry-kirsch, loam and spices to go with wild herbs and cedar notes. It is simply gorgeous on the palate with soft, supple fruit that is ripe, concentrated and silky in the mouth. This is heady stuff, luxurious and complex yet not at all chunky with a gentle vibrancy through the long, lingering finish. (RV)
93 Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Napa Valley ($144.95)
The ’09 still requires a year or two to fully blossom and smooth out the tannins. That being said, cassis, black cherry, blackberry¸ smoke, tobacco, vanilla, spice and mocha are all in play. Drink from 2015 until 2027. (ES)
93 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2009, Oakville, Napa Valley ($145) Considered by some to be one of Napa Valley’s “First Growths.” This contains just over 90% fruit from To Kalon
with a bit of Cab Franc and Petit Verdot added to the blend. It is a grand wine with notes of blackberry, dark plums, kirsch, cedar smoke, thick cassis, blackcurrants, black olives, graphite, bay leaves and a smidge of wild herbs, spice and loam. This is a big wine that’s driven by rich, thick fruits on the palate that are complex and balanced by equally profound spice notes, polished tannins and a vibrant core of acidity. I would buy and hold for a few years, or serve now with a big juicy ribeye steak. (RV)
92 Signorello Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Napa Valley ($62.95)
83% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Cabernet Franc delivers loads of dark fruit: plum, blackberry and cherry. These combine with liquorice, violets, mocha and scorched earth. It is full-bodied, with excellent length and enough tannins to take it to 2025. (ES)
92 Alpha Omega Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To Kalon South 2010, Oakville, Napa Valley ($150)
On the nose: blackberry, dark
plums, cassis, tobacco leaf, cocoa powder, wild berries and sweet oak spices. The flavours are expressive and compact on the palate with a baker’s rack of spice harmoniously woven in. It’s all backed up by chewy tannins and fairly decent acidity through a long finish. (RV)
91 Simi Landslide Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley ($39.95)
This wine starts with a deep red colour and then leads into a huge bouquet of cassis, blackberry, raspberry, mocha, coffee and vanilla. The palate is nicely concentrated with a replay of the fruit found on the nose as well as hints of mint and spice. The finish is long, with the plummy tannins giving enough structure to age a decade. (ES)
91 Calera De Villiers Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009, Mt Harlan, California ($44.95)
The vineyard, planted in 1997, is named for Canadian Marq De Villiers, who wrote The Heartbreak Grape. Deep ruby in colour with a bouquet of
black cherries and vanilla oak; full-bodied, rich and dense. Cellar for 2–3 years. (TA)
91 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2010, Oakville, Napa Valley ($55)
I don’t think you’ll find a To Kalon wine for less money than the Oakville from Mondavi. It’s a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot and 1% Malbec from newer To Kalon plantings. The 2010 vintage is slightly cooler, giving this wine a bit more finesse on the palate. The nose shows classic black fruits of cassis and blackberries with cherry fruit, mocha, peppery spices, liquorice and tar notes. There is a raciness on the palate from higher acids, but the fruits are ripe and bold with integrated spice, oak and tannic structure. (RV)
89 7 Deadly Zins Old Vine Zinfandel 2010, Lodi, California ($25)
At 15% alcohol and the fruit to back it up, this is unabashedly a big bruiser from California’s classic grape. Plump blackberry, cherry and plum fruits on the nose to go with earth, boysen-
berry, black pepper and even blueberry jam. It explodes in the mouth with black fruits, lavish spice, peppercorns, ripe tannins and some decent acidity to pick it all up. Manly, yes, but women might like it, too. (RV)
88 The Dreaming Tree Crush 2010, North Coast, California ($17)
A joint project between Steve Reeder and musician Dave Matthews to make easy-drinking wines from Cali fruit. This is a 6-variety red blend, mostly Merlot, that shows currants, raspberry, blackberry, plums and spices with just a hint of smoke and eucalypt. It’s smooth and quite approachable on the palate with sweet black cherry, liquorice, savoury spices, minty herbs and soft tannins on the finish. Rock on, Dave, rock on. (RV)
88 Greg Norman Petite Sirah 2008, Paso Robles, California ($21)
Dark ruby. Enticing nose of kirsch, menthol and plenty of fruit. Supple, generous on the palate with a noticeable acid lift in the finish. A good way to get familiar with the little-known Petite Sirah variety. (GBQc)
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I had a letter once that made my heart sink. It read: My father-in-law has a bottle of Château-Gai Champagne that was purchased by his father, for his mother, when he was born. He is now 81. We are going to have a family reunion in June and he wants to open it and drink it. I have two concerns. One that it may be bad and should not be consumed — or, that it may be actually worth something and should not be opened and consumed.” My very first taste of Canadian wine was Château-Gai Imperial Champagne, a sparkling wine made from Catawba and French hybrids. The occasion was Canada Day 1975. I was living in England and had been invited to celebrate Canada’s birthday at a lunch held at Macdonald House in London’s Grosvenor Square. I was seated next to a British diplomat. When the time came for the loyal toast to the Queen, this was the wine that was served. I asked my lunch companion what he thought of it. “Fine, dear boy,” he said, ... for launching enemy submarines.” In those years Château-Gai, like Brights and other Ontario wineries, called their sparkling wines “Canadian Champagne,” although it had nothing to do with the real thing from France. In 1955, as a promotional gimmick, the president of Château-Gai had the temerity to send a consignment of his “Champagne” to Paris and had it displayed in a store window. The Globe and Mail ran a story headlined, “He Sells Ontario Wines In The Very Heart of France.” The outraged French appealed to the Canadian government, citing the terms of the Canada-France Trade Agreement Act of 1933. Under its terms, both countries agreed to protect each other’s trademarks. The term Champagne had been included and could only be used for wines grown in that French district. Two years later the Canadian government, to placate the French, offered them half a loaf. A directive was sent to Ontario wineries instructing them that they could only label their sparkling wines as Canadian Champagne.
66 // September 2013
by tony aspler
The French reacted slowly. In 1964, 15 Champagne houses took Château-Gai to court in Quebec seeking an injunction to stop them using the term Champagne on their labels. The French won and their victory was upheld when Château-Gai appealed to Quebec’s Supreme Court; but the ruling only stood for the province of Quebec. However, the 1933 agreement between France and Canada was never ratified and in 1980 the House of Commons repealed it, which meant that Ontario winemakers could now use the term Champagne with impunity. In 1987 the French tried again, pleading their case in Ontario, and this time they lost. In his ruling, Judge W.R. DuPont wrote that, “Canadian Champagne is a distinct Canadian product not likely to be confused or even compared with French Champagne.” The judge went on to note that the vast price disparity between French Champagne and the Canadian version was such that no Canadian consumer could confuse the two. (He said nothing about the taste comparison.) I was an expert witness for the French in that court case and made myself thoroughly unpopular in the Ontario wine industry. But I believed that it was unethical to trade on an established appellation for commercial gain. The French lost that battle, but they continued to skirmish on another front: with the help of the European Economic Community, they managed to restrict the importation of Canadian wines to EU markets which affected the exportation of Icewine. It wasn’t until 2001 that the EU’s Wine Management Committee granted Ontario Icewine access to European member markets in a quid pro quo that would prevent Canadian winemakers from using traditional European appellation names. The agreement was signed in 2003 giving Canadian producers 10 years to phase out names such as Chablis, Champagne, Port and Sherry. Oh, and my reply to that letter above: Please don’t think of opening that bottle. Keep it as a valuable part of your family history. •
illustration: FRancesco Gallé, www.francescogalle.com
Please enjoy responsibly.
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Rock nâ€™ roll your whiskey tonight. Traditionally scent, temperature, and taste were the keys to drinking scotch or whiskey. This glass brings two new elements, chilling & motion, to the tasting experience.
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This set includes one On The Rock Glass & one silicone ice mould. The elegant design of the glass allows you to roll the ice ball around the ROCK peak with a simple & easy motion. The rolling motion of the ice ball will chill your drink while stimulating the senses. The large 2â€? ice ball will outlast regular ice cubes. See how motion & ice takes your drinking experience to the next level.
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