Monthly Archives: January 2011

Help! I’m trapped

Two weeks ago I didn’t even know what a guest blogger is – now I am one! Find me this week at – a website dedicated to looking for the best and most productive waves the world wide web can offer.  He traps them at

Read Any Monkey Can Choose Wine – the places I go on the internet to research for my blog

John has trapped me in one of 4 billion available Internet protocol (IP) addresses shown on this “map”. Image would be courtesy of the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis if they knew I existed

Speaking of Coffee

I like how people talk about coffee.  “That’s a good coffee” or “That’s a good strong coffee”. Either we like it and drink it or hate it and leave it in our mug unfinished. I have a close relative that likes all coffee.  He once declared that his favorite coffee was “any size for a dollar” coffee at the local gas station. Good guy, but he’s not the most discerning relative I have.

Why do people get in a fuss talking about wine.  “That’s a good wine” or “That’s a really good wine” would usually suffice. I like the Spaniards and their “Colosseum Approach” to wine – thumbs up or thumbs down.  “Let it live – drink it” or “Let it die – let someone else drink it”.  Unless the wine is really good or very expensive just let it go and enjoy it. More sipping less talking.

That's the nicest crema photo I've ever seen

I did however, find a reason this week to think deeply and talk about the coffee I was drinking. I received 2 lbs of coffee via mail order from Transcend Coffee in Edmonton.  These guys are serious about their coffee.  They fly to Central America to buy from the growers, they roast their own beans, they send out specific brewing instructions for each type of bean, and the coffee is out of this world. They are even venturing into the tourism business as they have a coffee trip planned to meet growers in Costa Rica.  Thumbs up to all that!


Icewine at Night – Inniskillin

Photo blog from the Icewine Dinner at Inniskillin
Icewine Vodka Martini in an Iceglass

Pingue's Meats & Upper Canada Cheese

Glacier Bay Oysters with Icewine mignonette – Served in the cellar with Sparkling Vidal Icewine


Crispy Pork Belly from that magical animal

Vidal Foie Gras Brulee? The Chef is just showing off

Strip Loin with Bernaise demands a closeup


Don't lick the Icebar set up for smores - serving Cabernet Franc hot chocolate


Callebaut Chocolate and CabFranc Icewine - say no more!

Ridiculously large chunks of Aged Parmesan with Oak Aged Vidal

Thank you to the staff at Inniskillin, Marcie, Chef David Penny and Winemaker Bruce Nicholson.  I took photos because words would not do it justice.

20 000 and counting

Pullthecork just surpassed 20,000 hits. Wow – thanks to everyone for reading what I write.  Seriously, it keeps me amused on a daily basis that people read to what I want to write about.  I think  the word Blog means – “Now let’s talk about what I want to talk about

At 10,000 I celebrated with a Juve Y Camps Cava since I was in Spain.  Today I opened a Jackson-Triggs Sparkling Cuve Close.  It’s not expensive – $15 – but it sparkles, bubbles, and feels like there’s a party in my mouth and I only invited the people I wanted to (my wife). Furthermore it’s delicious, it’s local, and I like that.

Proprietors' Reserve 2007 Sparkling Cuve Close VQA Niagara Peninsula

Road Trip? The Geography of French Wine

Reims to Rhone - the perfect iTrip

I am planning early for retirement.  Champagne to Chateauneuf – that’s my first road trip!  And I do believe that despite what my iPhone says, it will take more than 6 hours and 25 minutes. Here are the details …

The only thing I’ll need is a convertible as I already have a good-looking wife for the passenger seat (an essential part of retirement).

From the bubbles of Champagne to the Pinot Noirs of Burgundy I promise only to take country roads. 

On to Beaujolais (which although technically part of Burgundy serves up Gamay grapes) where I can track down Georges Dubœuf and ask him why he connects his “o” and “e”. 

Lyon is the most northern point of the Rhone and the gastronomic capital of the world. I am a gastronimic fan.  We will stop for dinner. 

The Northern Rhone Syrah wines inspired the Shiraz movement all over the world.  It’s a good stopover before I get to my favorite French wine region – the Southern Rhone –   where wines are made with a blend of as many as 13 grapes.

This trip needs some careful planning.  Some further research is forthcoming as there is much to look forward to.

Theatre of the Absurd

Why is this man smiling?

Ripley’s believe it or not is relevant again – if you can believe it.  This past month, Cliff Lee signed a $24 million dollar contract to pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies .  If my math is correct, and I believe it is, that works out to $2 million a month or $66,000  dollars a day. Oh, and he signed a 5-year contract so I guess he doesn’t have to worry about money for the next five years.

I hope that helps put your life into perspective.  I make considerably less each day writing this blog – but admittedly I am not the best left-handed blogger on the free-agent market this year and I have not won a Cy Young award – yet.

Hey Cliff Lee, next time you go to the wine store don’t worry about looking for the best deals on Cava or American Sparkling wine.  Sure there are some really good ones to be found but I think you should splurge on the real stuff – Champagne.  Somebody thinks you’re worth it. Oh a don’t forget to pick up some Russian caviar on the way home. I find the saltiness of  light Beluga caviar really cuts nicely through the fine bubbles and acidity of Perrier-Jouet.  Just trying to help.


This limited edition 12-bottle box sets of Perrier-Jouet champagne is valued at 50,000 Euros

A kilo of Almas caviar in a 24-karat gold tin for £16,000