My search for this year’s holiday beer and holiday beard is over. The double-hoppiness of Muskoka Brewery’s Twice as Mad Tom Imperial IPA is just the ticket for winter sipping. Featuring what I can only describe as deep spruce notes and a big bold flavour, fans of an IPA need to run to the LCBO and get them some of this.
The people at Muskoka Brewery tell me that Twice as Mad is aggressively dry double-hopped – I aggressively dry double-dare them to keep making this holiday nectar.
We paired it with a 6 yr old white cheddar from Maple Dale Cheese. Something beautiful is going on pairing über-hops with sharp cheese. I hope the rest of the holidays taste this good.
Not to be lost in this good news of holiday cheer is Muskoka’s seasonal offering – Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout, aka “Winter Beard“. Made with 70% dark chocolate, these clever people have made a slightly, but by no means, distractingly sweet stout. Also, this has fulfilled my need to grow my own winter beard – which my wife has declared “good news”.
At my annual Beaujolais Nouveau party this year there was considerable discussion about which wine was the best. To be frank, there was more discussion about the wine than I was comfortable with. Nouveau isn’t meant to be discussed.
However, since we’re on the topic …
Best local wine – Chateau des Charmes Seven Generation. Somebody commented that it tasted like the wine that their Dad used to make. We all concluded that was a good thing. I hope people keep buying it so that the Chateau makes it again next year.
Best Italian – they both tasted the same to me but they were very good. To be honest they annoyed me because 1. They tasted too much like real wine and 2. Their labels weren’t festive or fun. Actually, the discussion of these two topics with Roger was the only “wine” conversation I was comfortable with all evening. I think the Italians deliberatly make good wine with serious labels just to bug the French.
Best true Nouveau – Georges Dubœuf Gamay Nouveau – light, spritzy, festive label, inexpensive. This is what Nouveau is supposed to be – but I’ve already said too much.
There is a marketing scam going on this week to rival Vince Shlomi’s ShamWow (which holds 20 x it’s weight in liquid) and SlapChop (which sits in your cupboard until you toss it).
Each year the French, led by the irrepressible Georges Dubœuf , market and sell a product that they’ve spent more time and effort marketing than they have making. But I love it!
Beaujolais Nouveau will be released Thursday all around the world and at our LCBO stores and I couldn’t be more excited. It is the first taste of this year’s harvest – 2012 – and is the red wine that white wine drinkers like. I’ve witnessed several “conversions” of people who had previously told me they don’t like red wine until they tasted the little french gem that is Beaujolais Nouveau.
The wine is light and juicy and is as quaffable as anything you will ever drink. There are several French Nouveau available Thursday along with a couple of Italian Novello (because they can’t let the French out-scam us without getting involved) and two Ontario wines that have gotten into the game. See the full list here.
So Georges Dubœuf, with that clever little œ in your name, I am ready once again to believe the hype and buy the ShamWow of wine once again and party like it’s 1999.
Come to think of it, I’ve never seen photos of Vince and Georges together – they may be the same person!
Muumuu is also a great word with consecutive u’s in it. But more importantly – I have good news! I have found the information that I previously thought was in a vacuum – which was becoming a black hole for a Beaujolais lover like me.
Next Thursday November 15th the LCBO will have the following wines available for the Beaujolais Nouveau release. I am going out on a limb and recommending based on past performance – results from the informal poll at my party will be forthcoming.
Here is the list – directly from a person at the LCBO who refuses to be identified by any other name than helloLCBO.
Duboeuf Gamay Nouveau – this is the one that I will purchase 6 bottles of right away, no questions asked as it will be amongst the most inexpensive and the juiciest of the Nouveau. Novello Rosso Terre Di Chieti – I won’t buy any of this since I’ve invited Italians to my party and they can’t resist rubbing it in the face of the Frenchies. Jeanjean Syrah Primeur – made with Syrah, probably good but I am a Beaujolais purist (maybe the only one in the world and I don’t care if Carolyn is making fun of me). Primeur Syrah Merlot Pays D’Oc – this isn’t right, Merlot has no place at my Nouveau party. Negrar Novello Del Veneto – it’s always a good Italian version, however, still banking on my Italian friends to “represent”
The Fool Reif Estate Gamay Nouveau VQA – I will try it again, Guelph loves the local underdog – but last year’s was awful
MommessinBeaujolais Nouveau – Oui
Chateau des Charmes Generation Seven Gamay Nouveau VQA – Okay, this sounds like a promising local – I love everything that Chateau des Charmes does!
And from the VINTAGES program – two classics that cost more but are totally worth every penny. Hello LCBO – bring it!
George Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau
First of all, how cool is the word vacuum? If there’s a better word with consecutive u’s in it then I don’t know it.
Secondly, how come I can’t find any information on the most important wine event of the season – BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU? I can’t get a list from the LCBO (even though I have a reliable inside source) and hardly anybody even discusses it on the interweb. It certainly is not garnering the attention it deserves.
I think that I am one of the few that champions the event. So what is it? Well apparently if I tell you I break one of the rules about wine blogging. Three years ago when I was researching how to write a wine blog (yes I did that) the overwhelming cardinal sin was to explain Beaujolais Nouveau. NUTS TO THEM.
Read about it here in Wine Weekly (I didn’t just invent that). About the only question it doesn’t answer is “Who drinks Nouveau?” Answer – I do.