3 more sleeps

Do you buy beaujolais nouveau? I do. I even commissioned my own logo for this year’s party.

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Thanks cokemokeola for the design.

If beaujolais nouveau is a mystery to you then apparently it is at the LCBO too.  It’s so hard to find information on it. I had to go to the twitter of all places to find a press release.  Good thing i’m social media savvy – or not. Also, good thing i can read type in 2-font  – or not.

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If you want my advice – and why the heck wouldn’t you – inexpensive French nouveau almost always wins.  But if you’re coming to my house for the party, don’t be afraid to overspend.  And please, don’t bring a cellared nouveau from 2 years ago like my friends R&C did – it really did almost kill us.


Harvest Ale or Harvest Kale

“Did you say Harvest Ale or harvest kale?”  Why can’t it be both?  This past week i harvested kale from my micro-farm with a harvest ale in hand [photo proof below – well that’s not my hand, my daughter takes a better photo than i do so i outsourced the pic].  I’ve tried many Harvest Ales and i always come back to Muskoka’s Harvest Ale when i get to choose..  It has the right amount of roasted malt and bitterness that helps me transition from IPA beers into the colder autumnal months.  This season you can find it in 6-pack bottles at your LCBO and beer store for under $15.  I also like Miijidaa’s harvest ale [a Stonehammer  brewery product], and so does the little fly that found her way into my pint🙂

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Once inside the cucina my kale were transformed into the most beautiful salty kale chips – i mean really, what else would a Guelphite do on an autumn afternoon?

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Hello pretty little fly – are you enjoying my harvest ale?  No, i didn’t ask my server what she was doing in my beer because she was clearly drinking delicious elixir and not swimming very well at all.

img_7513Also, i saved this little friend and set her out in the sun until she sobered up and could fly away safely.

 

 


Blue Jays Bubbly [why the French don’t watch baseball]

Looking for some insight on the champagne celebration in the Jays clubhouse?

As the only wine blogger with a Physed degree I want to know what they’re drinking and how much money are guys who earned a million dollars in salary this month paying for champagne.  The talking heads at Sportsnet keep referring to the expensive champagne in the clubhouse. What I found may shock you!

Firstly, why does Josh Donaldson get eye protection and Hazel Mae doesn’t?  Also, who pays for her dry cleaning?

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So it turns out the Jays aren’t pouring and spraying and possibly drinking champagne at all.  Super slow motion on my PVR shows me that they’re drinking American sparkling wine from California [ask anyone from France and watch them be outraged at this being called Champagne even though we mean no harm – WE MEAN NO HARM!] .

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And how much does it cost?  Less than $15!
img_7443These players earn obscene amounts of money – the team is owned by Rogers Communications – who i pay a thousand dollars a month for my cell phone – and they drink $15 bubbly.  Awesome! And they also drank Korbel, which is also less than $15 a bottle.
img_7444So my point here?  I think we could all afford $15 per bottle to shake up and spray all over each other if the Jays in the ALCS!  Do it, nobody from France is watching baseball anyway.


Get Ye to a Cask Days

If you haven’t been to a cask beer festival then I implore you to do so soon. 

Casks of beer are often made in smaller batches so brewers can experiment and have some fun.  Combining different hops, roasts, fruit, the brewers than use some voodoo to make the ales, lagers, sours, and ciders.

Last week we attended the Welly Cask Fest at Wellington Brewery in Guelph.

It’s so much fun that even the cider got “bunny-eared” during  a photo.


My winners were 

  1. Wit the Hell – a Chardonnay barrel aged Witbier by TWB brewing coop in KW
  2. KY2-7 – a barrel aged American  sour with plums by Wellington
  3. Lucy’s Orange Beret – a hopped cider with oranges by Revel cider that tasted like a mimosa

My only mistake was the ghost pepper milk stout that had I finished it would have finished me. Still, what doesn’t kill you …wait, that almost killed me.

Find a cask days near you if you can. 


Closing Ceremonies 

I believe i am the only wine blogger in the world with a PE degree, and as someone with such a degree it should be no surprise that i love the Olympic games. The final three days were awesome but also a bit sad –  in an “all good things must come to an end” kinda way.  So to celebrate – a form of “three cheers to the Olympics” I opened a Sour a day for the last three days, cleverly combining my University degree with my latest hobby – collecting Sours.  Here’s how the last three days played out.

Wellington Brewery’s Prismastic Golden Sour – chosen for it’s rather mild sourness and complexity gained from being aged for one year in Cabernet Franc barrels with a mix of wild yeast and sour bacteria. Golden because i drank it during the Gold Medal men’s volleyball match between Brasil and Italy.

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Wellington Brewery’s Against the Currant – a Blackcurrant kettle sour – made in much less time than the Prismatic and soured in a kettle by creating lactic acid through some magic that i don’t really understand totally.  I would like to say that i watched this during the kayak races, but truthfully i had it during the 4×100 m relay when Canada has to wait 15 minutes to discover they actually won a bronze.

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Royal City Brewing’s Berliner Weiss was Friday’s edition of the “three cheers for sours” weekend.  Honestly, i don’t recall what i watched because i started into a string of Wikipedia pages on John F Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” quote which kept me amused for over an hour reading about East Germany, the cold war, Berlin, and the complexities of the German language.  Did you know some people think that the translation of that was “I am a donut”?  Thanks for trying to rewrite history whatever idiot added that to the highly reputable and accurate Wikipedia site.

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3 Things I Learned in America

I visited the United States of ‘Merica this weekend.  Also, i avoided talking politics with everyone! Weeeeeeee.

I learned three important things in my casual quest for knowledge. I think I learned more than that but I don’t focus very well in the summer and i wasn’t really searching for more knowledge.

  1. BBQ peaches and bourbon are brilliant – i macerated this perfectly ripe fruit with bourbon [america’s vodka], brown sugar, and vanilla then grilled them and served them with ice-cream.img_6940
  2. You can’t get a pint of high alcohol beer!   Anything around 7% ABV and you get a stemmed “snifter” with less ounces than a pint. As i pointed out to the owner of the bar, “We don’t put up with stuff like that in Canada”.  However, as i get older and more understanding i think i know why they do this –  but you’d lose an election in Canada  with laws like that.
  3. Mars, PA – where my wife is from [no really, that’s not a joke], population 1,699, has a fantastic tavern/gastropub. Breakneck Tavern has exceptional food and an extensive craft beer list. It’s worth the detour off I-79 and i’ve no doubt that Guy Fieri will appear there soon, so you should get there before he does.
  4. There’s a really good winery halfway between Cleveland and Youngstown Ohio. No that’s not a typo and i haven’t been drinking – today – yet. Uncle “Jim” [that’s his real name minus the quotation marks] had a party and his friend Rich showed up with 4 very good wines from his winery, Laleure Vineyards, in Parkman, Ohio  – a white blend, two vintages of Chardonnay, and a Cabernet Franc that made me especially happy.  One impromptu wine tasting later and i became a believer that at least one talented winemaker lives in “Merica’s Midwest. Good party Uncle “Jim” – well played.  Great food and beautiful house Aunt “B”.img_6927

Swirling, swirling, swirling

We visited Norman Hardie’s winery in PEC last week.  It was lovely … but what attracted my attention was a young woman swirling her wine at the table next to me. She swirled it non-stop, or “constantly”, as we wine writers like to say [we actually don’t].

So I pondered the reasons for swirling. I know there are reasons – real “wine person” reasons.  It aerates the wine in the glass and makes it taste better. Heck, it’s been locked inside a bottle for quite a while and needs to catch a fresh breath air.  But i think this woman at the table beside me taught me something important.  Swirling your wine is fun.

Watch here

The only thing more fun? Convincing your wife to swirl her wine too.

Weeeeeeeeee

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Photo of us NOT swirling.  Doesn’t look as much fun does it.

Also, the pizza was really good.  We swirled and drank the Riesling and the Cab Franc. I’m going to swirl and drink them again soon.