Tag Archives: Cava

Restocking at the LCBO

My top shelf is empty.  For those who follow this blog you will recall that the top shelf is the vin ordinaire – the wine that my wife can open without asking “is this saved for something special?”.

So a restocking is in order.  Here’s what I came up with – 8 bottles for $90. They are the wines that are good and inexpensive too.


  1. France – GEORGES DUBOEUF BEAUJOLAIS  LCBO 212480 |Price $ 10.95
  2. Pelee Island – PELEE ISLAND BACO NOIR VQA LCBO 485128 | Price $ 10.45
  3. Spain – BODEGAS CASTANO HECULA  LCBO 300673 | Price $ 11.80
  4. Niagara – CHATEAU DES CHARMES ALIGOTE VQA ST. DAVID’S BENCH  LCBO 296848 |Price $ 13.95
  5. Italy - MEZZOMONDO NEGROAMARO SALENTO IGT LCBO 588962 |Price $ 9.00
  6. Spain [Cava} – CODORNIU BRUT CLASICO SPARKLING LCBO 215814 | Price $ 12.95
  7. Portugal – BERCO DO INFANTE RESERVA LCBO 253864 |Price $ 9.20
  8. Niagara – CALAMUS RIESLING 2010 VINTAGES 158642 | Price $ 16.95 [I spend big $$ on this one because my man Orest vouched for it]

Bon Appétit

If you don’t know something then its never been easier to ask an expert.  I was sitting at my computer  tweeting (aka reading other people’s mail) when I read that Adam Rapoport, editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit magazine was answering questions for the next hour. Perfect – I’m chatting with the freakin’ editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit!  Here’s how it went down.

bon app intro

I was ready to “Let’s do this” so I began the proceedings …

bon app 1

@rapo4 aka Adam Rapoport replied …Bon appetite twitterI countered that …

bon app meand that …bon app cava

Thanks Adam – it’s good to have somebody reaffirm my own taste in wine

Disclaimer – Adam Rapoport was not paid for this interview – in fact he has no idea who I am

Bon app editor

4 for 4

Last night I opened a dangerous highly pressurized bottle of bubbly with the back of an equally dangerous 10″ chef’s knife.  This marked the first tine I’ve sabred Cava (Spanish champagne) on this continent.  I’ve learned that the secret is to NOT tell your wife about your intentions as apparently “that sounds really dangerous”.  Thanks again Brother-in-Spain for getting me started. I am 4 for 4 on first attempts.

If I can ever figure out how to get the people from YouTube over to my house I will get this on video the next time.

I should probably consult my lawyer friends and put some sort of disclaimer here about not trying this at home – but you know …

Spanish Math

Forgive me if this turns into a travel blog for a couple of months – I’m in Spain soaking up another Euro Championship, some sun, and some Cava

3  por 2 is my new favorite Spanish math.  We bought 3 Segura Viudas brut nature cava – Lavit – for the price of 2.   Loco!

That means that if I do my math correctly I can get 6 for the price of 4.  When have you ever seen that at the LCBO? Furthermore they are delicious.  They are inexpensive enough that I’m going to attempt to saber one open if I can convince my wife that our travel health insurance covers me for accidents related to opening champagne with the back of a chef’s knife. Video to follow.

It happened in Spain

My brother lives in Spain. In Spain you can buy cava (Spanish Champagne) at the gas station while you pay for your diesel fuel.  My brother-in-Spain got up to the counter with his gas station cava – actually a respectable brand – when the young gas attendant said to him something like (and I translate from the original Spanish), “Dude. You can totally get a better deal on this other cava because it’s 2 for 1″.

Slightly taken aback, my brother-in-Spain initially opted NOT to follow the advice of the clerk selling petrol, gum, soccer scarfs, and pairs of fine Spanish sparkling wines.  Fortunately he came to his senses. “Of course I’m following the wine purchasing advice of gas attendant – I’d be loco not to.  Also, this feels like an SNL skit“.

When in Canada I buy  these cava.  They aren’t 2 for 1, and they’re not available at Norm’s Esso, but they’re good sparklers.


Segura Viudas

Cremant in Vintages

The word of the day is Crémant.  What is Crémant? It’s French Fizz – fake Champagne – France’s other bubbly – and it’s real good!

I quite like fake Champagne.  We opened a Friexnet Cava last night because I remembered that it paired well with tuna melts – really my wife makes the best tuna melt ever!  Also, Cava is delicious on its own. Crémant is the French version of Cava – or actually vice versa as any Frenchman would be quick to point out.

One of the reasons I love Cava (Champagne from Spain) is that it doesn’t start at $50 a bottle like “le vrai stuff”.  Champagne is expensive, probably worth it if you can afford it, and fun to drink.  But (“and it’s a big but” – Pee Wee Herman) you can get many sparkling wines that satisfy the palate in search of some luxury.

This weekend the Vintages section of the LCBO is releasing good fake Champagne from France.  Crémant comes from the Loire, Alsace, Bordeaux, and Burgundy – all regions that produce great wine.  Their versions of champagne allow the wine makers to highlight their own regional grapes using the traditional méthode champenoise. If you need my wife’s tuna melt recipe I might be able to get it to you.

France | Louis Bouillot
VINTAGES | 178137 | $ 19.95

The most gluttonous day of the year

Thanksgiving weekend is here!  Now I know how confusing this is to my American readers.  As my American wife once said, “Why do you have Thanksgiving? You didn’t have pilgrims”.  She’s right.  We do Thanksgiving differently around here. We don’t put the Detroit Lions on TV (clearly an upgrade), we don’t have a Black Friday, we do have turkey, but we don’t put marshmallows on yams. Heck, we don’t even celebrate on Thursday. 

We do have a harvest celebration – sit around eating way too much food – and then finish it all off with pie.  It’s the most gluttonous day of the year! So then,  what do you drink for Thanksgiving? This is what I am having.

A dry Gerwürztraminer is perfect for cool weather drinking and a fun word to say while waving a drumstick

This is my favorite wine right now in the LCBO and a Cru Beaujolais is perfect with roasted turkey this weekend

Cava is perfect for white meat and mayo sandwiches - two hours after dinner when I'm no longer full but want that "I over-ate" feeling back again

Cava – Juvé y Camps

Juve Y Camps Brut Nature Gran Reserva - Reserva de la Familia 2006 Botella no. 59309

Yes I’m still in Spain. Don’t read any further if you’re not emotionally prepared to deal with that.

How cool is it that Juvé Y Camps individually numbers each one of its Gran Reserva Cava bottles with a pen? This bottle is number 59309 of 2006 vintage. We drank this on the patio with an ensalata and tournedos of grouper wrapped in bacon. Why aren’t you drinking Cava on the patio tonight?  There’s no good reason not to. My good reason for doing it is that I’m in Spain! (for more on Cava read my previous post Don’t Be Afraid of “Champagne from Spain)

The LCBO carried Juvé Y Camps 12 years ago – I remember because this is the cava that my wife and I toasted the arrival of our twins with.  Taste and wine taste memories are strong and this one has the best of memories attached to it.

Don’t be afraid of “Champagne” from Spain

I can forgive anyone who ignores my New Year’s Resolution #1 – to drink more white wine.  Perhaps white wine is not for everyone. What I can’t understand is when people tell me they never drink Champagne.  Why the heck not?  Champagne is for everyone. In the words of Mark Twain, ” Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.”

I have a friend who thinks that he may be a little intimidated by Champagne.  That’s crazy talk that needs to be met head on with therapy – and the Doctor is in! 

There is nothing in the world like Champagne – it delights both the palate and the imagination.  Champagne is delicate, dry, festive, and fun!  That is what wine is supposed to be. 

What is not fun is the price of Champagne. The good stuff starts at $70 at the LCBO. That is a little intimidating. Fortunately, I have a solution.

Cava is just like Champagne for a fraction of the price. Nobody has ever claimed to be intimidated by Cava. Bottled using the Methode Champenoise (translation – the way they make it, by law, in the region of Champagne), it is essentially “Champagne from Spain”.   Cava is dry, has bubbles, and looks great in a flute. 

Open one of these on a week night.  It’s not crazy – it’s Cava!

LCBO 158493  Price: $ 14.45 – green apple, light citrus, dry.

 FREIXENET CORDON NEGRO BRUT LCBO 88591 Price: $ 13.95 –  crisp, apple, pear.

LCBO 6262 | Price: $ 12.20 - may be the most “toasty” of the three

  Also, check out the many Vintages “Champagnes”.  I like a good Crémant de Bourgogne, Alsace, or Loire when the price is right.  I also like a Prosecco – if it is very dry.

Get out and buy yourself two champagne flutes, buy a bottle of “Champagne”, and delight in a little luxury.  Do it!  This means you.


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