Garlic Paste for Breakfast?

Kalles Creamed Smoked Cod Roe

I have fish paste for breakfast. On hot buttered toast, it’s a great start to my day. No apologies, I love fish paste, and garlic comes a close second. Now confess, who hasn’t had a nibble or two of garlic bread or Bruschettabruschetta sitting on the kitchen counter the morning after a meal of spag bol. So when, thanks to Wine and Food, I watched a video showing Justin Chapple making garlic paste in a baggie, I was obliged to share. It’s a neighbourly thing to do. By the way, Kalles fish paste, great for breakfast or hors d’oeuvre, can be found in the food market at IKEA for about $3.29. Not close to IKEA? Then try Denninger’s. Even at $4.29, it’s worth it. 

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All Aboot Scotch Pies…

This is where the Scots in me takes flight, and I think cabers, for the tossing of, and all things Celtic.

 

And now back to Scotch pies. Scotch pies are individual meat and egg pies traditionally shaped  by hand using a hot water crust pastry which forms a stiff casing. The filling can be mutton (the meat of a sheep too old to be called lamb), beef or veal which is blended with herbs and spices and added, together with half a cooked egg, to the pastry case. A pastry top is added to the case, the pie is cooked and another great Scottish food is created. Why are the Scots such great cooks, you ask? because before Mary Queen of Scots so carelessly lost her head, she was married to the Dauphin of France and spent most of her life there until the Dauphin died and she returned to reclaim her Scottish throne. In case you didn’t know it, the french are wonderful cooks. And now, back to Scotch pies for a third time. Scotch pies can be eaten hot or cold, and make wonderful fare when

opening the hampers out on the moors shooting grouse, stalking deer or doing battle with the Jacobites, depending which side you were on, and that doesn’t include the French…not to mention the Dutch…and then there were the English…

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Palcohol, what every wilderness or sports event needs!

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)  recently approved Palcohol. Palcohol powdered alcohol is the brain-child of Australian Mark Phillips, for those times when all you can carry is water, or pop, or tomato juice and a small plastic bag full of white powder. It does come in six versions:

  • V which is powder made from premium vodka distilled four times.
  • R which is powder made from premium Puerto Rican rum

and can be used two ways. One way is by adding five ounces of your favorite mixer to make a Rum and Coke, Vodka and Orange Juice, etc. Another option is adding five ounces of water to the powder and then adding a flavored drink powder to make it any flavor you want. The result is equivalent to one average mixed drink.

The four cocktail versions are:

  • Cosmopolitan
  • Mojito
  • Powderita – tastes just like a Margarita
  • Lemon Drop

rippling streamApparently, if you’re out hiking and feel the need of a shot of alcohol, this is just the packet. You hie yourself off to the nearest rivulet, stream, lake or waterfall, and taking care not to fall in or over, use whatever container is available to mix yourself a late afternoon Margarita. I wonder if, faced with a hungry bear, you could get them paralytic by lacing abear in stream rib eye with a few packets of Cosmopolitan? Worth a try!

Palcohol, five ounces of alcohol in a packet for when you’re absolutely desperate, although it seems to me that some will need to carry enough little packets to sink a battleship, or a marauding bear. Snorting is not recommended.

Take it easy out there!

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The Second Cheapest Wine is the Best Wine in Town

Let’s play let’s suppose. Let’s suppose you’re newly married, you’ve just taken possession of your first home, which means your first mortage, which means serious bills, and economizing and no more fun. Ok, so fun sometimes, but bottom line, you have responsibilities, you have to be responsible. But this is a special evening and you want to celebrate in a modest way so off to your favourite restaurant you go. Usually you order your favourite meal, your favourite wine but this, this is ‘responsibility you’. You take the winelist and cast a glance down the right hand column, the column where the prices are displayed. You’ve never needed to look at that column before but now you feel obliged, you are obliged. You turn to your server and you say, “We’ll have a bottle of  Second Cheapest Wine please.” Certainly Sir, your server says…

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I’m Really Looking Forward to the Next 1st Global Wine-up

Sometimes, it doesn’t happen at all as you imagined it. I’m in touch with wineries around 6281 revisedthe globe on a daily basis. What could be better, I thought, than to have a global wine-up. I’d participated in wineups before, there was #ONTastesBC and dozens of hangouts. After all, all you have to do is create a hashtag. Create a hashtag #TWINEnsew (T-WINE north south east west) and they will come. Well, not necessarily.

First, there’s a time change. Summer time starts a week earlier in Canada than the UK and the time changes between Australia and New Zealand are daunting. Only when you look at a map do you realise that #OZ and #NZ are not kiddy-corner to each other. There are wineries on every continent, so what time to start? Well, you have to start somewhere, right? So I started. On Sunday March 30 at 4pm Toronto time, I made the first of what would be over fifty posts. And you know what, it was such fun. I’m really looking forward to the next 1st Global Wineup. Cheers!

TWinensew 1

TWinensew 2

TWinensew 3

TWinensew 4

TWinensew 5

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The Best Buy in the LCBO at the moment

Jackson Triggs MeritageNiagara 2010 vintage could possibly be the best of the decade and Jackson-Triggs Black Series Meritage reflects those perfect conditions. With an alcohol per volume of 13.3%, this extra dry wine adheres to the traditional 37/32/31 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes. Aged in both French and American oak barrels, (French oak generating satiny tannins whilst American oak providing more creamy, vanilla compounds), this Meritage, with it’s ruby robe, delicious ripe fruit/oaky bouquet and good structure confirms it’s a wine worth buying. However, it is still a touch assertive, and since most wines benefit from a period of quiet in-the-bottle contemplation, I’d give it either another couple of years and/or decant, decant, decant…for several hours. I bought a case of this almost two years ago. Six months later I opened one bottle. It had definitely benefitted from having some ‘quiet time’ but I still think it will be even better in another twelve months.

LCBO #526228 | 750 mL bottle  normally $13.95, Limited Time Offer $12.95  until April 27, 2014. Buy a case and do what I did, forget about it for a year or so. If you drink it now it’s a good wine. Leave it, you’ll be really impressed.

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3rd Annual County in the City – It’s worth the drive to Toronto

I want to be clear about something. Prince Edward County is not the same as Prince Edward Island, which does have a wine industry but is not the subject of this post. Prince Edward County is in Ontario and has a bevy of memorable winemakers, some of whom willWine in the Country be bringing their wines to Toronto for a buy and taste event on April 3, 2014.

Join the 3rd Annual County in the City and sample some of the best wines Prince Edward County has to offer.

Samples of more than 50 different wines (including many vintage and specialty wines) will be showcased from 5pm-9pm to the public.  Wine Spectator magazine dubbed the County as the “world’s least-known great wine zone

Participating wineries include:

Broken Stone Winery
Casa Dea Estates Winery
Devil’s Wishbone
Grange of Prince Edward County Vineyard and Estate Winery
Harwood Estate Winery
Huff Estates Winery
Karlo Estates
Keint-He Winery and Vineyard
Lighthall Vineyard
Norman Hardie
Rosehall Run
Sandbanks Winery
Stanners Vineyard
ThreeDog Winery

And it’s worth the drive to By Chadsey’s Cairns next October to participate in the grape harvest. It’s great fun, you meet some great people and you’ll eat a great lunch and drink some great wine. How many more greats can you expect! (If you stay late you can watch the crush)

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To #TWINE or not to #TWINE…that is the question

#TWINEnsew  is a hashtag for an event on Twitter. It’s the marker that Twitter and Twitter users recognise as identifying someone or something. In this case, it marks the first global Wine-up. T for Twitter, WINE for well, wine, then nsew for north south east west. As an acronym it becomes twine ‘n sew.

map.1396144800Wine is grown on every continent. That means wine is grown in every time zone. Will #TWINEnsew be successful? Define successful. To me, success means sharing some time and wine knowledge with one or more other people. Logistically it’s a nightmare. 4:00pm Toronto time is 4:00pm in Chile, 1:00pm in California, 9:00pm in the UK and 9:00am the following day in New Zealand…. and I could be wrong with every time zone except Toronto!

But 4:00pm in Toronto will definitely happen. Some will be there to share wine news and reviews. Some will join along the way. You can’t say fairer than that.

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My Copy of Crowd Funded Book ‘Jura Wine’ Has Arrived!

Wink LorchWink Lorch @winklorch  is a wine writer I’ve  followed for many years. About three years ago I received an email from Wink.  She said that she was crowd funding a book on the Jura, a region in France still relatively unknown and seething (my word, not hers) with wonderful wine. Would I like to participate? “Well, yes dear Wink, I surely would” said I,  sat back and waited.

The book, my beautiful book, arrived today. I’ve ordered a bottle, or two, of Domaine De L’aigle À Deux Têtes Les Clous Côtes Du Jura 2010, Henri Le Roy – Vintages 323618 $ 29.25. This is the review of the wine I’ll be drinking while reading my book. From Vintages Shop Online:

“Constituting the first harvest from his tightly-spaced replanting of this long-fallow slopeLes Clous Cotes de Jura; harvested already September 30; and amounting to only two barriques worth, Le Roy’s 2010 Cotes du Jura Les Clous leads with a greenhouse-like melange of floral and leafy scents that continue inner-mouth, accompanying a polished delicate matrix of apple, white peach, and lemon that I might have mistaken as issuing from Riesling. Iris and elder flower add allure to a gently satisfying, juicily persistent though, for its cepage, surprisingly understated finish. This may well gain allure over the next several years in bottle, though I also suspect that it will take these young vines a few years to find their voice … or should I say, the voice of their site? Score – 91. (David Schildknecht, erobertparker.com, June 2012)” 

Did I say, in the acknowledgements, is my name. Tres exciting!

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One Man’s Wine is Another Man’s Poison

In his article in Snooth, Gregory Dal Piaz discusses ‘The Problem with Wine Ratings’, what’s wrong with them and their affect on how we buy wine…

“….wine ratings, we hate them and we love them, but are they really worth anything? It would be sad to realize that something so many people become emotionally invested in is actually not worth the effort, but to a large extent that is what I believe….In the abstract they are generally worthless. You can have two 90 point wines that are qualitatively equivalent, but so completely different as to make their equivalency useless. And you can also have two tasters, each with a different palate, assign points scores that are so divergent that you really have to ask who has lost their mind. Might it be us, those of us who use point scores to begin with? Maybe we have lost a bit of our minds….the scoring of wine has undergone a huge compression over the past two decades or so. The argument goes that wines are just getting better, so it’s no surprise that scores continue to rise. But even if wines are getting better, there are levels of quality that these scores should reflect. Perhaps there is another reason, perhaps it has to do with the business of wine criticism (and make no mistake about it — it is a business.)”….read the entire article here and, you know where to comment.  

What do you think?

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